Candy Cane Socks
By Mary-Alice McCarthy

Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8 ply
 2 skeins each of Green (color 1301), Red (color 1872) and White (color 3).

Gauge is 7 stitches/inch and 8 rows/inch (I used 2.5 mm needles both 12" circular and dps)

Pattern repeat is 8 stitches by 8 rows

Notes: I knit with circular needles and use a marker to show the back "seam" and again when doing the decreases of the heel gusset.

First sock (red top, heel and toes), which I call the advancing spiral.

Cast on 64 stitches and do K2 P2 ribbing (or ribbing of choice) in red for 1". Do one row of stockinette stitch in red and decrease one stitch in this row. You have 63 stitches.

Begin pattern by K4 white then K4 green. Continue in pattern until cuff measures 7", or the length you want. End cuff at marker after K4 of either color. K16 in red (one half of the heel flap). Switch to dps, turn and Sl1, P31 (16 past marker).

For the heel flap I use the heel stitch throughout which is *Sl1 as if to P K1* repeat across. Turn and Sl1 as if to P then P across. Repeat these two rows 14 times (2.25"). Turn heel. With RS facing you, continue in heel stitch pattern to center, place marker and Sl1 K1, Sl1, K1, Sl1 SSK, turn, P11 P2tog, turn and repeat until all stitches are worked, ending with working a WS row.

Now comes the fun part. If you ended the cuff with the same color you started with (in this case, white) start with the green. If you ended the cuff with the green, start with the white. The stripes are going to be
straight for the duration of the gusset and this sock will have a 3 stitch wide stripe running on the bottom. Back to the gusset!

Gusset work. With RS facing you, there are 12 stitches on the needle. Going by the previous paragraph, I need to start with the white so it's K3 W, K3 G (center marker should be here) K4 W, K4 G, K4 W, K8 G, place marker, *K4 W K4 G* repeat pattern between *s 4X, place marker, K8 W, K4 G, K1 W for a
total of 71 stitches. The decreases are done on the 8 stitch patches.

First decrease row: K in established color pattern to 3 stitches away from the second marker (the first marker being the center one), K2tog K1, K in pattern across instep (remember, stripes are straight in this part), slip
the third marker, K1 SSK K to center marker.

Second decrease row: K around

Repeat these 2 rows 4 times so you have 63 stitches again.

Foot: After the last decrease round, begin the spiral pattern again by doing the K4 following the colors and K to the length you need for the foot minus the toes.

Toe: When you're ready to do the toe, break off the white and green yarns as you finish with them and, with 2 strands of red (I use 2 strands in the toe to keep the same thickness and gauge throughout the sock) K one round in stockinette, increasing one stitch (64 stitches). Divide stitches and do a wedge shaped toe. I use 4 working needles when I do the toes so my decrease roes go K to within 3 stitches of the end of the first needle then K2tog, K1. Second needle, K1, SSK, K across. Third needle, K to within 3 stitches and K2tog K1. Fourth needle, K1 SSK, K to end. K one round plain. Repeat these two rows 6 times (40 stitches). All other rows are the decrease row. When you are down to 8 stitches, cut the yarns, thread through the remaining stitches and pull to close. Now you get to weave in all the ends.

Ready for the opposite spiral? Repeat the ribbing, but in green this time. In the stockinette row you will increase one stitch this time. Now you are using white and red as the stripes. So, *K4W K4R* 8X (64 stitches) K1W (65 stitches). Starting with this W stitch start the K4W K4R until your cuff is the length you want, or 7", or you're sick of it.

The only difference in the heel flap is instead of K16 after the center marker, you K15 K2tog. Do all the heel work. All the stripes while you're doing the gusset will be 4 stitches wide so when you pick up the colors again, following the same color progression we did on the first sock, there is one small change since you have 1 more stitch. This time when you are picking up for the gusset, K2W, K4R, K4W, K4R, K4W, K8R, place marker, *K4W K4R* 4X, place marker, K8W, K4R, K2W giving you 72 stitches. Continue as for the other sock.

The next change is that you need to increase one stitch in white at the end of the last gusset round to get back to 65 stitches then continue in pattern until the toe where you will need to decrease one stitch in the stockinette round to get back to 64 stitches and then repeat the toe.

Copyright: December 27, 1999: Mary-Alice McCarthy