A lacy pair of knee highs bring a little elegance to a wintry day. Worked in a subtle shade, they echo the season’s sky with swirls of clouds above, or go bold and do them in a vivd color for that little pick-me-up we all need as the days grow shorter.
Pair them with a flirty skirt on the weekend for the ultimate feminine outfit, or wear them under conservative trousers to bring a touch of frill to the weekday doldrums.
Clever shaping worked in pattern along the back calf ensures a good fit, and a casing at the top to hold a length of elastic keeps these long socks from slouching.
Will stretch to calf circumference of about 14 ½” (37 cm) and foot circumference of 9” (23 cm), length of leg and foot are adjustable.
Fonty BB Mérinos (100% merino wool; 219 yards (200 meters)/50 g): Color 881, 3 balls
Possible yarn substitutions
Koigu Premium Merino (KPM), Socks that Rock – Mediumweight
Rowan 4ply Soft, or any other sock yarn with similar yardage
US #2 (2.5 mm): DPN
32 sts and 48 rows = 4” in st st and slightly stretched lace pattern.
Crochet hook US C/2 or D/3 (2.5 or 3.25 mm), waste yarn, tapestry needle, 1 yard of ¾” elastic
Please see our standard list of abbreviations.
These socks are worked from the cuff down. They start with a provisional crochet cast on, the hem is folded in half to allow an elastic band to be slipped through (this is the best way I found to assure my knee highs stay up).
Chart AChart B
With waste yarn and crochet hook, work a chain of at least 80 sts.
With knitting needle and starting 2 or 3 sts from the last chain of the crochet chain, pick up 76 sts by knitting into the bumps behind each chain st, CO 4 sts using the backward loop method without the crochet chain; 80 sts
Divide evenly between 4 needles and join into round being careful not to twist.
K 11 rnds.
P 1 rnd for hem turning.
K 12 rnds.
Folding cast on edge to the inside, carefully undo the provisional cast on and knit 1 st of the cast on round together with 1 st on the needle (the last 4 sts on needle 4 are worked alone to leave a space for weaving in elastic). Twice on each needle (8 times total) knit those 2 sts individually in order to increase by 8 sts; 88 sts (22 per needle)
Start working from chart A.
Work rnds 1-4 of chart A 15 times total.
Start calf decreases
Work from chart B for needle 1 and 4, continue working needle 2 and 3 (2 x 22 sts) from chart A.
When finished with Chart B move on to chart C for further decreases.
When finished with Chart C you have 11 sts each on needles 1 and 4 and 22 sts each on needles 2 and 3.
Cont in patt as est, working needle 1 and 4 from Chart D and needle 2 and 3 from Chart A until desired length before heel flap (about 2 ½ inches before bottom of heel), ending with Rnd 3.
Note: It is normal that the placement of yarn overs changes on the first rnd of Chart D. The stitch pattern needs to be adjusted because it is no longer in the middle of a needle.
Set up for heel flap
Next rnd: Work needles 1 and 2 in established pattern (rnd 4) of Charts D and A. Needle 3: work Rnd 4 of Chart A until 5 sts rem, slide those rem 5 sts onto left needle (needle 4). Also slide all 11 sts from needle 1 and 5 sts from needle 2 onto needle 4.
Sts are redistributed as follows: 32 sts for heel flap, 2 x 17 sts for instep.
(Work back and forth over 32 sts)
Row 1: Sl 1, k 31.
Row 2: Sl 1, p 31.
Rep last 2 rows 14 more times.
Row 1: K 17, ssk, k 1, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, p 3, p2tog, p 1, turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, k to last st before gap, ssk, k 1, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, p to last st before gap, p2tog, p 1, turn.
Rep Rows 3 and 4 five more times until all heel sts have been worked.
Rnd 1: K remaining 18 heel sts, with same needle pick up and k 15 sts along right side of heel flap, k 1 more st from next needle onto needle 1, work row 1 of Chart E for instep over needles 2 and 3, leave last st on left needle, with new needle k this st and pick up and k 15 sts along left side of heel flap, k 9 more sts from heel onto needle 4. Sts are distributed as follows: 25 sts each on needles 1 and 4, 16 sts each on needles 2 and 3.
Rnd 2: K over needles 1 and 4, work row 2 of chart E over needles 2 and 3.
Rnd 3 (gusset decrease round): K to last 3 sts of needle 1, k2tog, k1, work needles 2 and 3 in pattern (chart E), needle 4: k 1, ssk, k to end.
Rnd 4: needle 1: k, work needles 2 and 3 in patt, needle 4: k
Rep rnds 3 and 4 until 16 sts rem on needles 1 and 4; 64 sts
Cont in est patt until foot measures 7 ½” or 2” less than desired length.
Rnd 1: Knit.
Rnd 2: *K to last 3 sts on needle 1, k2tog, k1; k1, ssk, k to end of needle 2; rep from * for needles 3 and 4.
Rep these 2 rnds until 28 sts rem (7 sts per needle).
Using needle 4, k to end of needle 1.
Sl sts from needles 2 and 3 onto one needle.
Cut yarn leaving a 15 inch tail and graft sts using Kitchener st.
Weave in ends and block as desired. Thread elastic on a safety pin and slide it though hem, sew beginning of elastic to tail to suit your leg circumference. You may close the opening with the cast on tail or leave it open in order to be able to adjust the elastic at any time.