The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Danube Socks July 23, 2008

Filed under: patterns — Cailyn @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here they are, the Danube socks! (Finally!)

I’m not going to say that these socks are easy. But they were a lot easier than I expected. If you’ve done cables and you’ve made a sock before, you can do these socks! The center cable is complex, but the side cables pretty much take care of themselves. Some of the cables take a knit stitch and turn it into a purl or vise versa, so trust in the chart! (I forgot my own advice sometimes.) Also, unlike larger cables, there are cable twists every row. I’m going to post some pictures of how to do a twisted stitch tomorrow, in case the written description is confusing. It’s similar to cabling without a cable needle, just with fewer stitches.

One other word of advice- the ribbing at the top is pretty, but not very functional. I’ve broken it into sections for the written instructions, separated by semi-colons. The ribbing seems random, but there’s a pattern, I promise. And it’s really only the first row that you have to really pay attention to. After that it’s just working the stitches as they’re presented. Feel free to substitute your own favorite ribbing pattern instead, though. Oh, and do yourself a favor and gauge in the round- twisting stitches on the WS is not fun.

I made these socks on 2 circs- I particularly love the two circ method for cables, because I don’t have to worry about a cable traveling over a needle join. I also love the magic of working with DPNs, though, so I’ve tried to write the pattern as non-needle specific as possible. There are no guidelines as to how to arrange the stitches, except for the heel, so I hope the instructions are clear. I like to use stitch markers to mark the beginning of the round and the start and end of the instep sts.

Danube Socks

Download the PDF: Danube Socks

  • Finished Size: Women’s 9 (9.5″ foot length)
  • Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) DPNs or 2 circulars
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Essential, Mermaid (2 skeins)
  • Yardage: 400 yards
  • Extras: Stitch markers, stitch holder or scrap yarn, tapestry needle
  • Gauge: 9 sts x 12 rows= 1″ in stockinette; first 29 sts x 18 rows of Chart A= 2.5″ x1.5″

Special Stitches

PYI Ribbing (Pretty But Ineffectual Ribbing): *P2, k2, p2, k1; p2, (k1, p1,) twice, k1; p2, k1, p1, (k2, p2) twice, k2, p1, k1; p2, (k1, p1) twice, k1; p2, k1* twice

1×1 Twisted Ribbing: *k1 tbl, p1* repeat to the end of the round.

Right Twist: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then k2 tbl.

Stitch Key

Cable Key

Left Twist: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then k2tbl.

Right Purl Twist: Perform a Right Twist, but at the end, k1tbl, p1.

Left Purl Twist: Perform a Left Twist, but at the end, p1, k1tbl.

(See tutorial here.)

All knit stitches on Chart A and B are knit through the back loop (tbl). Gray stitches on the chart are purled.


CO 80 sts using the Long Tail Cast On.

Work PYI Ribbing OR 1×1 Twisted Ribbing for about 1”.

Work Chart A completely once, then work Rounds 1 to 30 of Chart A again. (The red line just shows the halfway mark on the chart.)

Chart A - Leg

Divide for heel: Work Round 31 of Chart A. At the end of the round, work the first 3 stitches as presented from the beginning of the round, turn.


Row 1 (WS): Sl 1, p39, turn.

Row 2 (RS): *Sl 1, k1* repeat until the end of the row, turn.

(After the first few rows, you may want to put the other 40 sts on a holder or scrap yarn.)

Repeat these two rows 28 more times for a total of 30 rows, then work Row 1 again. RS will be facing.

Heel Turn

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, k22, ssk, k1, turn.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3 (RS): Sl 1, k8, ssk, k1, turn.

Repeat Row 2 and 3, working 1 more stitch every row, until all stitches have been worked, ending after a WS row. 24 stitches remain.

Turn and knit across all heel stitches.


Pick up and knit through the back loop 16 stitches along the heel flap and 1 st in the gap between the flap and the instep. (17 sts increased). Work Row 1 of Chart B across the held instep stitches. Pick up and knit through the back loop 1 st in the gap and 16 stitches along the heel flap (17 sts increased), k12 heel stitches to move the beginning of the round. Beginning of the round is now in the center of the heel. 98 sts.

Chart B - Instep

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k1. Work the next row of Chart B across instep. K1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to instep. Work the next Row of Chart B across instep. Knit to the end of the round.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 40 sole stitches remain; a total of 80 stitches.


Work Round 2 until 2 ½” short of desired length. Try to end on Row 1, 13, 19 or 31 of Chart B. (Shown ending on Row 19).


Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to 3 sts before the end of the instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 4 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 20 sts remain.

Graft remaining sts together using Kitchener Stitch. Weave in ends, make another one, and wear around proudly!


Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at



Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


10 Responses to “Danube Socks”

  1. H3Dakota Says:

    Those are simply gorgeous! I can see why you couldn’t wait to post the pattern… 😉

  2. Hoc Age Says:

    I love the center cable.
    You have designed and knitted a beautiful sock. The colour you chose is very close to the colour of some of the glacial feed rivers that we have up here in Alaska.

  3. Dave Says:

    These are gorgeous — thank you so much for sharing the pattern!

  4. Tracy Says:

    Beautiful …. I really, really want to knit these socks. I usually don’t do cables but this pattern is really calling my name. Thanks for sharing.

  5. risiko Says:

    it is gorgeous. i love all your sock patterns…you’ve got the knack. you don’t possibly have a pdf. version of it, do you ? my pc is old and insane and funny things happen when i print out blog posts. if not, no problem, i’m gonna make them anyway.
    thanks for making your patterns available especially to those of us on fixed income.

  6. dailyskein Says:

    I do have a pdf version actually… I apparently just forgot to publish it on the blog! Whoops. The pdf version will be up soon! -Cailyn

    Edited 4/1/09: PDF is up now!

  7. […] went through a few iterations and color changes.  They were originally pink!)  Like my Danube socks, these are based on Austrian/Bavarian twisted stitch designs, although the main cable on these […]

  8. […] twisted stitch I love knitting and especially designing twisted stitch socks.  Exhibit A: Danube, Salzburg, and Glass Slipper.  I’ve finally completed my collection of German stitch […]

  9. […] and cables.  K2togs and even k3togs are a breeze.  I used my KA bamboo circs to knit my Danube socks and had trouble with the blunt points trying to do the twisted stitches.  The Harmonies knit […]

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