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dribbling drops

dribbling drops

Dribbling Drops by Sabine Riefler

Have you ever run up your finger a jet of water? This creates almost magically a chain of drops, matching exactly the image of this sock pattern. While you cannot wear the chain of drops, you can wear the dribbling drops socks. A pattern, that could also be called unpoetically false cables.

Socks are a great project to experiment with new techniques, new patterns, various yarns. They are rather small projects, but teach you a lot about yarn, fit and pattern behavior.

This pattern has been experimented with in three different yarns: a solid color, a self-striper and a variegated yarn, to see how the pattern behaves in the sock yarns available on the market. It is certainly no great surprise that you get the best stitch definition in the solid color, but the muted effect in the variegated yarn and the interplay of stripes and pattern in the self-striper possess their own charm.

As there are no two pairs of feet alike as their are no two persons alike, this pattern comes with two different heels and two different toes. If, however, you have already found your perfect heel and toe, you are strongly encouraged to work those. The pattern is also written up for different st numbers per round, leading to two variations of the same theme.

Personally, I wear my socks all through winter in my shoes, therefore I am not very fond of a patterned foot. This led me to knit the variegated sock with patterning on the leg only, thus you can see right away what the sock will look like if you do not pattern the foot.


S, M, L (shown in sizes S and L)


Self-striper: Regia Fassett Design line Sockyarn (75% superwash wool, 25% polyamid; 220 yd [210m]/50 g ball): Landscape Storm No. 4261, 2 (2, 3) balls.

Variegated: Lang Jawoll Sock Yarn incl. reinforcement yarn (75% new wool superwash,18% nylon,7% acrylic; 200 yd [190m]/45 g ball): Color No.8229, 2 (2, 3) balls.

Solid Color: Opal sock yarn (75% superwash wool, 25% polyamid; 440 yd [425 m] /100 g ball): Color No. 76, 1 (1, 2) balls.


US #1 (2.25 mm) dpns (1 set of 5 needles)


Regia: 30 sts and 42 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in St st.
Lang Jawoll: 28 sts and 40 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in St st.
Opal: 30 sts and 42 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in St st.


1 spare needle for working short row heel (e. g. a cn or another DPN); 1 stitch marker (optional) tapestry needle.


Please see our standard list of abbreviations.

sryo: sl st to right hand needle with yarn in front, then pull yarn over the needle – st looks now as if there are two sts, you are not making a yarn over, you just pull it to the back!

sryo double stitch: This double stitch is always knitted/purled together as one st. Do not make increases!

Pattern Notes

These socks are worked in the round cuff-down. However, if you prefer to work them toe-up or on two circulars, please, don't hesitate to do so.

If you do a gusset heel and are not opposed to patterned heels, you could work the 26 (28, 30) rows of the heel flap in pattern.

Note: If you use a sock yarn with reinforcement yarn, use the reinforcement on the heel and toe!

This pattern strongly encourages you to play with it and arrive at your perfect sock.


Using the long tail cast on method, CO 60 (64, 70) sts. Distribute evenly over 4 dpns and join to work in the round taking care not to twist, pm. Purl 1 round. Start working from chart on Round 1 and work 5 or 6 pattern repeats ending with last row of chart (or desired length).

Short Row Heel

The short row heel will be worked in stockinette stitch, back and forth, over half the stitches. (If you are familiar with a different short row heel or prefer any other heel – work your prefered heel).

After you have completed your last round on the leg, k 30 (32, 35) sts onto one needle. (You will work heel over these sts) Turn, make a sryo as described above. Put sryo onto spare needle. P 29 (30, 34). Turn, make a sryo as described above. Put sryo onto spare needle. *K to the end of row, turn, make a sryo, put sryo onto spare needle, p to the end of row, turn, make a sryo, put sryo onto spare needle.* Repeat until 10 (10, 11) sts are left on main needle, work one round over all sts 60 (64, 70). Keep pattern continuity on foot sts (those not worked for the heel). K across sts on main needle, k1 from spare needle, *turn, sryo, p across main needle, p one from spare needle, turn, sryo,* k sts of main needle including sryo st (double st worked as one), k1 from spare needle*, turn, sryo, p across main needle, p sryo double st as one, p one from spare needle, turn, sryo,*.  Repeat * to *  until all sts from spare needles have been worked; 60 (64,70) sts.

Gusset Heel

(shown in solid colored socks)

Heel Flap

Row 1 (RS)
: K 30 (32, 35) sts onto one needle (sts are from needles 1 & 2), needles 3 & 4 are not worked for heel flap. K 26 (28, 30) rows as follows: sl 1 st, knit to end of row.

Turn heel

Work short rows as fol:

Row 1: K 15 (16, 18) skpsso, k1
Row 2: P 5, p2tog, p1
Row 3: K to 1 st before gap made by previous row, skpsso, k1, turn.
Row 4: P to last st before gap made by previous row, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 until all heel sts have been worked.

Gusset: rejoin for working in the rnd as foll:

Setup Rnd: With needle 1 knit heel sts, with needle 2 pick up and knit 15 (16, 18) sts along right side of heel flap, work 35 instep sts in pattern on needle 3, with needle 4 pick up 15 (16, 18) sts along left side of heel flap.

Rnd 1: K over all sts, being careful to keep continuity of pattern on needle 3.

Rnd 2 (decrease rnd): On needle 2, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1, on needle 3 work instep sts in patt, on needle 4, k1, skpsso, k to end – 2 sts dec.

Repeat these two rnds until 60 (64, 70) sts rem.


Redistribute sts evenly over 4 needles 15 sts per needle (16 sts per needle, 16 sts on needles 1 & 3, 17 sts on needle 2 & 4). Put marker at middle of the heel, this is the beginning of the round. K sts on 1st needle, work in patt over needles 2 and 3, k sts on needle 4. Work in the round until foot is  2” (5 cm) shorter than desired length.

Work either of the following toes or your preferred one.

Round Toe

Size Small - Rnd 1: K2tog at beginning of each needle; 14 sts on each needle

Size Medium - Rnd 1: Work evenly; 16 sts on each needle

Size Large - Rnd 1: K2tog at beginning of needles 1 & 3, needles 3 & 4: k2tog at beginning, k 7, knit 2tog, k to end of needle; 16 sts on each needle.

Note: for the next 21 rounds, when 2 sets of numbers are given they are for S (M and L)

Rnd 2: [K2tog, k5 (6), k2tog, k5 (6)] on each needle
Rnds 3 – 7: K
Rnd 8: [k2tog, k4(5), k2tog, k4(5)] on each needle
Rnds 9 – 12: K
Rnd 13: [K2tog, k3(4), k2tog, k3(4)] on each needle
Rnds 14 – 16: K
Rnd 17: [K2tog, k2(3), k2tog, k2(3)] on each needle
Rnds 18 – 19: K
Rnd 20: [K2tog, k1(2), k2tog, k1(2)] on each needle
Rnd 21: K

Small Size Only

Rnd 22: K2tog

Medium and Large Sizes Only

Rnd 22: [k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1] on each needle
Rnd 23: K
Rnd 24: K2tog

All Sizes

Cut yarn and pull through all 8 sts.

Alternative Band Toe

(not shown in pictures)

Be sure that sts are divided evenly and decrease as follows.

Needles 1 & 3: K to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Needles 2 & 4: K1, skp, knit to end
Work decs on rows 1, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17. From row 18 onwards work decs every row until 8 sts rem. Cut yarn and pull through all 8 sts.


Weave in all loose ends.

About the Designer: Sabine Riefler

sabine rieflerSaRi has been a knitter for over 20 years now. She admits being a knitting addict and is thankful for audiobooks, because reading is her second major free-time occupation. Her musings on knitting can be read on her blog:!

Pattern and images © 2008 Sabine Riefler. Contact .

Twist of Fate - Fall 2008


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