Here’s a whopper of a collection featuring free knitting patterns for making socks. Some are classic, simple designs that are ideal to slip on with a pair of work boots while others are more delicately patterned and better suited for casual wear.
I focused on ladies socks but there are a few options for men too, some sizes range from Child to Adult so check out a project page to see pattern sizing.
I also tucked in some great resources at the bottom of the page that offer tips and tricks for all skill levels (Beginner to Advanced).
New Collection Update: May, 2022
First up is how to care for them. After spending a few hours knitting a beautiful pair of socks, you’ll want to make sure they last as long as possible.
Here’s a few quick tips for laundering, you may want to print them off to include alongside a pair when gift-giving.
How To Care For Handmade Knit Socks
Although many yarns available today are machine washable (especially superwash yarns), you can prolong the life of handmade goodies by taking a more gentler approach.
I’ve learned from experience that hand washing keeps the fibers in nicer condition and they last longer. I don’t bother blocking unless they are cabled or feature a more delicate pattern.
I prepare a tub with lukewarm water, add a bit of gentle detergent suitable for wool (bleach free) then toss in the socks. Gently swish them around a bit and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. Avoid scrubbing or rough handling to prevent damaging fibers.
Once clean, rinse well with lukewarm water then again with cold.
If they are especially dirty (especially those worn for work), I’ll gently agitate the water after a 5 minute soak, drain the tub and add a fresh batch of soapy water for another 5 to 10 minute soak. Rinse well as noted above.
To Dry: Remove the socks from the tub, gently pressing out excess water and lay them on a clean, thick towel. Roll up the towel to pull up any moisture then hang to dry or lay them flat on a new, fresh towel.
If you do decide to machine wash them, they’ll still give you plenty of wears (as long as the label specifies the yarn is machine washable). Toss them in a mesh laundry bag first before laundering in cool or cold water then dry as noted above.
What happens if you wash in hot water or toss in a hot dryer? Items with wool content will shrink dramatically to the point of no return. The fabric will be thick and tightly woven, some knitters and crafters will do this intentionally when wanting to make felted items such as slippers or other garments (they’ll make the original piece super large first to accommodate the shrinkage).
Now let’s check out the freebies! As always here on Tipnut, the patterns below are 100% free, no emails to submit or memberships required–simply instant access. Some may offer a pdf to download or a video to guide you, but text is provided in some format. If that has changed, please let me know in the comments area below. Enjoy 🙂
Free Knitting Patterns For Socks
Directions: Click on images to visit project page, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
A lovely mix of stockinette, cables and seed stitch. Fits large–unstretched circumferences: Leg (8.5″); Foot (8″). Sizing can be easily adjusted.
The Best Sock Pattern Ever
Every knitter needs a standard go-to in their pattern stash, here’s one to check out. It promises to fit snug without the dreaded droop and bonus! it’s easy to follow.
Early Grey (Men’s)
For those who don’t like anything too “fancy” but do like a touch of flair, these fit the bill. Plain on top with a simple design running up the sides.
Includes a chart to follow for the patchwork, these are made with about 400 yards of fingering weight yarn on circular needles (US 1 – 2.25mm).
Wink & Smile
A pretty, airy eyelet design. The heel is worked using an Eye of Partridge flap (one of my favorites), French turn heel & rounded, star toe.
Classic Wool Socks
Warm & comfy in worsted weight wool worked in two colors (or more if you like) on a set of DPNs. Easy to follow directions, Adult sizes (Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large).
Endless Saturday Unmatched Socks
Although the pattern is simple, this is suitable for a more experienced knitter (Intermediate to Advanced) since the instructions are general. Fun inspiration for using up leftover sock yarn.
A lovely unisex pattern with an intricate diamond design. Knit in a classic top down method with 1×1 ribbing at top, stockinette heel & rounded wedge toe.
Skill Level: Intermediate, size: Medium (Adult, Woman). The price you see at the top of the page is for the recommended Lion Brand yarn…scroll down a bit to find the free pdf download.
Dad Joke Socks
A masculine pair that promises not to be super boring to make, these feature a racing stripe rib pattern that continues up the front only & a simple Fleegle heel so it’s a quick & easy project.
Features a two-color waffle stitch & contrasting toe & cuff. The stitch makes them super squishy which makes them ideal boot socks. Pattern via free pdf download.
A good starter project for Beginners, this is done up in worsted weight yarn. A free pdf pattern download is available & it’s filled with notes & helpful hints for the newbie.
Tips, Tricks & Goodies
- How To Fix Holes: This tutorial shows how to mend holes on gloves but certainly works for socks and other garments.
- To Block or Not Block: A quick introduction to blocking from danagervaisdesigns.com.
- Make Your Own Blockers: Here’s a quick DIY using plastic placemats (or other thick plastic sheets) from littlesesameknits.blogspot.com.
- How A Sock Is Supposed To Fit: This article from Interweave Magazine is an excellent quickie course on determining sizing.
- Who Needs A Pattern? I found this to be a good primer on the basics of sock making AND knitting a pair at the same time (instead of one at a time).
- Customizing Tips: Here’s a good read from Laine Magazine about how to tweak elements for a custom fit.
- How To Knit Socks The Easy Way: This tutorial from nimble-needles.com is one of the best I’ve come across for Beginners. If you’re ready to start your first pair and would welcome a little hand holding, this is a great project to go with.
- 9 Best Heel Types: A nice reference page from brightbeecraft.com.
The Beehive Aladdin Heel
*First published August 22, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization
This is a two page spread from an old Beehive book detailing the instructions for replacing a worn out heel without unraveling the foot as well as replacing a worn out toe. I think it’s from the 1940s, it’s pretty old.
Click the picture below to view a larger, readable size; (then click on the pic to zoom in).
You Can Replace A Worn Out Heel Without Unraveling The Foot
When Replacing a Worn Out Heel
Unpick the sewn instep seams. Pull the coloured thread out of the knitted portion. This releases sts. in the foot and sts. of the heel.
Put the foot sts. on a spare needle. (If any difficulty is experienced pulling the coloured thread, unpick it with a needle).
Unravel the heel sts. to the beginning of the heel sts. (If any difficulty is experienced in unraveling the wool, cut off the heel flap a few rows above the beginning of the heel and unravel the remaining few rows).
Pick up these heel sts. on 2 needles. See Picture 3.
Slip the heel sts. onto 1 needle and work the heel as given originally in the instruction. Graft these sts. to the sts. left on the spare needle. See Picture 4.
If a coloured thread is used for the Grafting you may replace the heel again in the same manner. Re-sew the instep seams at each side of the heel flap. See Pictures 1 and 2. Press all seams.
When Replacing a Worn Out Toe
Pull out or unpick the coloured thread to release the sts. for unraveling. (If any difficulty is experienced in unraveling the wool, cut off the toe a few rows above the beginning of the shaping and unravel the remaining few rows.)
Arrange the sts. on the needles as they were originally and rework the toe as before, grafting with coloured wool. For Grafting, see below.
TO SHAPE AND GRAFT TOE
To Shape Toe:
1st round: 1st needle: Work to last 3 sts. K2tog. K1. 2nd needle: K1. Sl.1. K1. p.s.s.o. Work to last 3 sts. K2tog. K1. 3rd needle: K1. Sl.1. K1. p.s.s.o. Work to end of needle.
2nd round: Work across each needle. Repeat these 2 rounds to 30 sts. in round. Knit the sts. of 1st. needle onto end of 3rd needle. Break wool. Using a strand of (A) wool 12 ins. long, thread through a wool needle and graft toe. For Grafting, see opposite (Tipnut: see below).
To Graft Toe:
*Inserting the wool needle as if for knitting into 1st. st. of front needle, draw it through the st. and slip the latter off the needle; inserting the needle, as if for purling into 2nd st. of front needle, draw wool through and let the st. remain on the needle; taking the wool under front needle and inserting the wool needle, as if for purling, into 1st. st. of back needle, draw the wool through this st. and slip the latter off the needle; inserting the needle, as if for knitting, into the 2nd st. of back needle, draw the wool through and let the st. remain on the needle; bring the wool forward under the needle and repeat from * until all sts. are worked off, darning in the end of wool securely.
To Finish Heel:
Using the (A) wool, sewing on the wrong side, sew up each side of heel flap evenly to the sts. cast on at the instep, see Picture 1 on page 27 (Tipnut: picture is above). Break wool, darning in the ends securely. Heel is now complete, see Picture 2 on page 27.
Darn in all ends. Sew side and back seams (if it has been worked on two needles). Put socks on wooden stretchers of correct size. Press with damp towel and hot iron, being careful not to flatten ribbing. Leave flat until dry.
After washing always dry flat on wooden stretchers.