Whether you have legs like Rob Roy or Jerry Hall, whether you fancy yourself riding a horse in ancient Mongolia or hopping a subway in 21st century Manhattan, knees high socks are for everyone, everywhere, anytime!

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

These Little Cable Knee Highs are designed to look like they could as easily have been plucked from a case at the Victoria and Albert Museum as from a shelf at Barney’s. They’re simple and practical, but with an attention to detail that’s both timeless and beautiful.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Serious sock knitters are also seriously particular about their sock yarn. That’s why I used Anzula’s Squishy, one of our favorites for everything from socks to baby blankets.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Squishy is the perfect blend of fibers for knitting up a superior pair of socks: merino for warmth and ruggedness, nylon for durability and cashmere for totally happy feet. Plus, I love how its hand dyed color is so gentle and spontaneous, like a wash of watercolor paint.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

These Little Cable Knee Highs are just in time for holiday giving. Wouldn’t they be a spectacular gift to find under the tree? -Whitney

Materials

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Gauge

8 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Sizes

Women’s Small (Medium, Large)

  • Foot Circumference: 7 1/4 (8 1/4, 9 1/4) inches (unstretched)
  • Calf Circumference (at widest): 9 1/4 (10 1/4, 11 1/4) inches (unstretched)
  • Foot Length: Adjustable
  • Height from Heel to Top of Cuff (unfolded): 21 inches (unblocked)

(The photos in this pattern show a size Small.)

Notes

How to Make the Cable

Make Cable: Slip 2 stitches purlwise to cable stitch holder and hold in the front of the work; knit next 2 stitches from double pointed needle; knit the 2 stitches from the holder.

Pattern

The Toe

Using a Provisional Cast On, cast 8 (8, 8) stitches onto one double pointed needle. Make sure to leave a 10-inch tail for finishing at the end.

Set-Up Row: K4 onto Needle 1, k2 onto Needle 2, k2 onto Needle 3.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Increase Round: Needle 1: K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end of needle; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1. (4 stitches increased)

Repeat Increase Round 4 (8, 12) more times, knitting all yo’s through the back loop as you come to them. 28 (44, 60) stitches

Next Round: Knit every stitch, knitting yo’s through the back loop.

Increase Round: Needle 1: K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end of needle; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1. (4 stitches increased)

Repeat last two rounds 7 (5, 3) more times, knitting yo’s through the back loop. 60 (68, 76) total stitches and 30-15-15 (34-17-17, 38-19-19) stitches on each needle

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

The Foot

Knit every round until piece measures 6 (6 3/4, 7 1/2) inches from cast on, or 2 1/2 (2 3/4, 3) inches less than desired legnth from toe to back of heel.

Here’s a guideline for final sock lengths:

US size 6 shoe (European 37) = 9 inches

US size 7 shoe (38) = 9 1/4 inches

US size 8 shoe (39) = 9 5/8 inches

US size 9 shoe (40) = 10 inches

The Gusset

Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1.  (2 stitches increased)

Round 2: Needle 1: Knit; Needles 2 and 3: Knit, working all yo’s through the back loop.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 eight more times. 78 (86, 94) total stitches and 30-24-24 (34-26-26, 38-28-28) stitches on each needle

Knit across Needle 1.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Turn the Heel

Notes:

  • The heel is worked back and forth in rows over just Needles 2 and 3.
  • You will shape the heel using short rows. If you need some extra help, we have a great Short Rows Tutorial right here!
  • Work all yo’s through the back loop as you come to them.

Row 1 (right side): Needle 2: Knit; Needle 3: K7 (9, 11), yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 2 (wrong side): P16 (20, 24), yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Row 3: K14 (18, 22), yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 4: P12 (16, 20), yo, p1, wrap and turn.

LARGE SIZE ONLY

Next Row: K18, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P16, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

MEDIUM AND LARGE SIZES ONLY

Next Row: K14, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P12, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

ALL SIZES

Next Row: K10, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P8, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: K6, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P4, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Knit to the end of Needle 3, working the wraps together with the wrapped stitches and knitting the yo’s through the back loop; knit across Needle 1; knit across Needle 2, working the wraps together with the wrapped stitches and knitting the yo’s through the back loop. 86 (96, 106) total stitches and 30-28-28 (34-31-31, 38-34-34) stitches on each needle

The Heel Flap

NOTE: The Heel Flap is worked over just the stitches on Needles 2 and 3. You’ll be working back and forth in rows.

Set-Up Row (right side): Needle 3: K14 (16, 18), ssk, turn. 85 (95, 105) stitches

Row 1 (wrong side): Working just the stitches on Needles 2 and 3, slip 1, p28 (32, 36), p2tog, turn. 84 (94, 104) stitches

Row 2: *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before the gap, slip 1, ssk (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn. (1 stitch decreased)

Row 3: Slip 1, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 eleven (12, 13) more times. 60 (68, 76) total stitches and 30-15-15 (34-17-17, 38-19-19) stitches on each needle.

Next Row: Needle 2: *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch on needle, slip 1. Needle 3: *K1, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch on needle, k1.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Join for again working in the round.

The Leg

Set-Up Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 3 stitches, p1, k2; Needle 3: K2, p1, slip these 3 stitches to Needle 2, knit to end. 30-18-12 (34-20-14, 38-22-16) stitches on each needle.

Set-Up Round 2: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, k4, p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Cable Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, make cable (see How to Make the Cable at beginning of pattern), p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Rounds 2-4: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, k4, p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 eight more times.

+Increase Cable Round: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 7 stitches, m1r, k1, p1, make cable, p1; Needle 3: K1, m1l, knit to end. (2 stitches increased)

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

*Work a Cable Round.

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

Repeat from * 1 more time.

Repeat from + 7 more times. 76 (84, 92) total stitches and 30-26-20 (34-28-22, 38-30-24) stitches on each needle

**Work a Cable Round.

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

Repeat from ** 4 more times, ending last repeat with Round 3.

The Cuff

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until cuff measures 5 inches.

Bind off loosely in rib pattern.

Finishing

Pick up the 8 cast on stitches, putting 4 stitches onto each of two needles.

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho

Use the cast on tail and the Kitchener Stitch to graft together the toe.

Weave in the ends and make a second sock. Block them both and you’re done!

Little Cable Knee Highs | Purl Soho