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home » issue 4 » Patterns » Basic Ribbed Socks

Basic Ribbed Socks

by Kate Atherley


I love to solve problems... and to knit. This sock design was developed as a solution to two irksome issues: socks with a plain stocking-stitch leg tend to fall down, and I find k1p1 ribbing tedious.

And so,the basic ribbed sock was born.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate Beginner




SPUN’s Standard List of Abbreviations can be found HERE





Cast 60 stitches onto a single needle. Distribute stitches evenly across 3 needles. Join, being careful not to twist.

Turn Heel

This portion is worked flat in plain stocking stitch.

Knit first 27 stitches. Put remaining 33 stitches onto a holder.

Re-establish Round and Create Gusset

Knit all heel stitches. Using that same needle, pick up and knit 15 stitches along selvedge edge at side of heel, using slipped stitches as a guide.

With a new needle, work in pattern across the 33 stitches of instep – those stitches that you’d set aside on the stitch holder.

Using another new needle, pick up and knit 15 stitches along selvedge edge at other side of heel, using slipped stitches as a guide. Work 6 stitches from the first needle.

The beginning of the round is now at the centre of the heel. There should be 20 st on the first needle, the 33 st of the instep on the second, and 21 st on the third. Rearrange the st if you need to.

From here on in, the 33 instep stitches will be worked in the rib pattern, and the gusset and sole will be worked in stocking stitch – that is, knitting every round.

Decrease Gusset

Work a round even – keeping the instep stitches in pattern – twisting all picked-up stitches.

Shape Toe

From here on in, you’ll work entirely in stocking stitch. Rearrange the stitches so that you’ve got 15 each on Needles 1 and 3, and 30 on Needle 2.

* Work 3 rounds even

* Work a decrease round followed by 2 even rounds, twice. [6 rounds total]

* Work a decrease round followed by 1 even round, three times. [6 rounds total]

* Work 7 more decrease rounds. 8 stitches remain.


To finish, either graft together final stitches or cut yarn, draw through the final stitches and tighten. Weave in ends.

About the author: When not at her day job, Kate’s a designer, writer and knitting teacher. She lives in Toronto with her husband, dog and cat. Visit her blog, wise hilda for more of her musings and fantastic knitting tips.

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