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Pom Pom Peds in Anzula's Squishy!

I have been working on the Purl Bee team for only a short while (6 months, last week!), but the Purl Bee has had a place in my life for years. I have been a faithful reader and follower of the blog almost since its creation!  My crafting bag of tricks is filled with techniques picked up from this very site. I can remember my first foray into hand hemming with Page's beautiful Rolled Hem Handkerchiefs, just as I remember feeling that Whitney was holding my hand right through my very first pair of socks, the Pom Pom Peds.

The Pom Pom Peds were my first hand-knit socks, and to this day, they remain my favorite! Whitney describes the pattern as being perfect for beginner sock knitters and short attention span knitters. How right she is! The first time I knit them, all my fears and insecurities about sock knitting flew out the window. Now these peds are my go-to pattern for last minute gifts or for short subway rides. I have turned to this pattern again and again due to its simple construction and super friendly instructions.

So when I set my eyes on the new Purl-tastic color of Anzula's Squishy, Hyacinth, I knew exactly what I was going to knit:  my old friend, the Pom Pom Peds in Hyacinth and Natural. Squishy has been a Purl Soho favorite for a little over a year now. Joelle used it to make her 'Squishy' Log Cabin Baby Blanket and her Stirrup Socksand Whitney used it to knit her Ribbed Hand Warmers, but I still can't help thinking of Squishy as the new kid on the block. I am constantly astonished by how amazing it is, as if I am encountering it for the first time, every time. Its lofty spin of merino and cashmere not only makes it sumptuous to wear, but also luscious to knit. Plus, Squishy comes in a range of gorgeous hand dyed colors, from petal soft Dusty Rose to high octane Ducky to toasty warm Coco.

Two of these generous 385-yard-skeins (one in each color) are enough for four pairs of Pom Pom Peds as long as you are conservative with your tails and pom poms. Worst case scenario, you'll end up with three socks in each color to mix and match at your whim!  Hope y'all enjoy these peds as much as I do. Thanks for the great pattern, Whitney!  --Laura


Whit's Knits: Pom Pom Peds


Here's a quick knit perfect for both beginning sock knitters and short attention span knitters. These guys are all the fun parts of knitting socks, cutting right to the chase of heels and toes!




Pom Pom Peds - Materials


  • 2 skeins of Hand Jive's Nature's Palette 100% merino wool. These colors are Coral and Walnut. Please note that to make 2 pairs of socks you will probably need all 185 yards of these skeins, so be careful substituting... 

UPDATE August 18, 2011:  Since Nature's Palette is no longer available, we have redone our pom pom peds in Anzula's Squishy - please scroll to the top of this page to see how they look (or click here).  One skein each in two colors of Squishy makes 4 pairs of socks!


Pom Pom Peds - The Pattern


8 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch (See our Circular Gauge Tutorial for tips on knitting an accurate gauge for in-the-round projects.) 

Finished Size

Fit most women - 7 1/2 inches in circumference and adjustable length

The Cuff

With the Contrast Color, cast on 60 stitches to three double pointed needles.

Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 five more times.

Change to the Main Color and knit 3 rounds.

The Heel Flap

Knit 15 stitches and turn the work so the purl side of the fabric is facing you.


Purl 30 stitches. (The 30 stitches that you just purled are the beginning of the heel flap. For this section, you will be working back and forth on just these 30 stitches.)

Arrange the stitches so that the 30 heel flap stitches are on one needle. Put the remaining stitches on hold on two needles (15 stitches each). 


(Again, work the following rows back and forth, turning the work between each row.)

Row 1 (right side): *Slip 1 purlwise, k1, repeat from * to end of 30 stitches.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to end of 30 stitches.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 fifteen more times.


Turning the Heel

Still just working the heel flap stitches:

Row 1 (right side): K17, ssk, k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you and there are 19 stitches on the left needle and 10 stitches on the right needle. 

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn the work. (18 stitches on the left needle and 10 stitches on the right needle)

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.

Here's the so-called "gap":


Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the heel stitches have been worked and 18 stitches remain on the needle. 



The Gusset

Knit across the 18 heel stitches.

With the same needle (now called "needle #1"), pick up 17 stitches along the heel flap. (35 stitches)


With a new needle (needle #2), knit across the 30 stitches that have been on hold.


With a new needle (needle #3), pick up 17 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.


Still with needle #3, knit 9 stitches from needle #1. 

Now there are 26 stitches on needle #1, 30 stitches on needle #2, and 26 stitches on needle #3. Needle #1 is the beginning of the round (at the middle of the heel).


Round 1: Needle #1 - knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #2 - knit all the stitches. Needle #3 - k1, ssk, knit to end.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until 60 total stitches remain.


The Foot

Knit evenly until the piece measures 2 inches less than the desired final length, measuring from the back edge of the heel.


Here's a guideline for final sock lengths:

   US size 6 shoe (European 37) = 9 inches

   US size 7 shoe (38) = 9 1/4 inches

   US size 8 shoe (39) = 9 5/8 inches

   US size 9 shoe (40) = 10 inches

I'm making socks to fit a size 7 shoe, so I knit the foot until it measures 7 1/4 inches (9 1/4 inches - 2 inches).

The Toe

Round 1: Needle #1 - knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #2 - K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #3 - k1, ssk, knit to end.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until 32 total stitches remain.

Then, repeat Round 1 until 12 total stitches remain.

With Needle #3, knit the 3 stitches from Needle #1 so that there are 6 stitches on each of two needles.


Use the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe. 


The Pom Poms

I used the Susan Bates Pom Pom Maker to make the smallest size pom poms. (Please visit our Pom Pom Tutorial if you need help with your pom pom maker.)


When you tie the pom pom in half leave generous tails so that you can use them to sew the pom pom to the top back of the ped. Bring the tails to the inside of the ped, tie a knot (yes, a knot!), and very thoroughly weave the ends in to the cuff.


Now switch the colors and make another pair!

Here are our Pom Pom Peds made in Anzula Squishy!