Saturday, July 13, 2013

Colorful Patchwork Socks & A Free Pattern!

Some time ago, I knit my son up some colorful, crazy, scrappy socks (in his chosen colors, of course)... and they have been well loved. 

We are going to define well-loved here as worn for days at a time, worn outside in a pinch to retrieve forgotten objects, worn over other socks for added warmth... bascially the important word here is WORN.  As in.... worn completely through.  I thought about trying to darn them.. I really did!  But after watching countles You-Tube videos on the art of the darning... and then looking at these poor socks, it occured to me that it would be faster (and MUCH more time efficient) to simply knit him another pair.  And thus the "Colorful Patchwork Sock Pattern" was born.

I've always been a fan of the Blender Sock recipe on Ravelry (more here), but I've been on a color work kick lately, and I wanted to incorporate some random color work into the whole blended scrappy look.  My go-to cast on amount for the 2-at-a-time magic loop socks I prefer is about 64 stitches, so I designed some simple 4 stitch repeat color work patterns in Excel (here is a great tutorial about this process, in case you care to try it yourself) to work into the new socks.

Apparently, the key when adding in color work sections is to be careful not to pull the floats too tight (I was only doing a 4 stitch repeat pattern, so each float was well secured), and to be careful to keep any complicated color work out of the "instep area" on the sock... as this can make it a challenge to pull them over your foot!

I let my son dive through my bag of sock yarn mini's (I always wind and label my leftover sock yarn so that I have mini's ready for swaps, projects, etc) - and he picked out all of his chosen colors.  After about 3 days, I had his new scrappy socks ready for a test drive!  They only needed a steam treatment on the sock blockers to help even out the blended areas, and the slight puckering from the colorwork.

If you enjoy scrappy socks, and want to knit up a couple pairs of your own, I've written a simple pattern for these socks that you are free to download!  This pattern is appropriate for someone who is already comfortable with sock basics (try this pattern or this magic loop tutorial if you need a refresher course on how to knit a pair of simple top-down socks), and includes the color work charts I drew up as well as suggestions for touches like afterthought heels, etc.  I hope you enjoy knitting up some scrappy socks as much as I did :)


  1. I really love these. I saw you write somewhere that you used reinforcement thread on the soles. I've never tried that. I'll be interested to know if it helps with the wear factor!

  2. I'm really hoping it will, lol! I bought some wooly nylon from Jo-Anns Fabric in a light grey (the best color for blending in invisibly, in my opinion), and it was pretty easy to carry it along while knitting the heel and toes.