Knitting may be a respite from the hectic pace of our digital world, but sometimes as I gaze upon the stitches floating off my needles, I realize that knitting is really a binary code; it’s zeros and ones; it’s knits and purls!

Pixel Stitch Socks | Purl Soho

Our Pixel Stitch Socks celebrate these parallels in modern life with a stitch pattern that is as soft and smooth as it is easy to work. Anzula Squishy’s striking, hand dyed palette adds complexity and depth, while the sock’s shorter length provides a satisfying, portable project you can easily take along on your next car ride or flight.

Pixel Stitch Socks | Purl Soho

Although it may be impossible for us these days to ever completely shut out the digital world, with these socks, at least for a short while, you won’t have to! – Gina

UPDATE: NOW IN POSY

MAY 2022

Pixel Stitch Socks | Purl Soho

Try our Pixel Stitch Socks in Posy! A super soft blend of 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere, and 10% nylon, this yarn is machine wash- and dry-able and wonderfully durable for socks. The hand-dyed color of Posy creates a beautiful, stippled effect as the two colors play, and with lots of pretty hues to choose from, you can adjust the brightness of your Pixel Stitch Socks to exactly your liking!

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, and #PurlSohoPixelStitchSocks. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Pixel Stitch Socks | Purl Soho
  • Color A: 1 skein of Anzula’s Squishy, 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. Each skein is 385 yards; approximately 160 (185, 220, 265) yards required. This color is Au Natural.
  • Color B: 1 skein of Anzula’s Squishy. Each skein is 385 yards; approximately 100 (115, 140, 170) yards required. This color is Mauve.

(UPDATE: We no longer offer Anzula’s Squishy, but recommend our Posy as a suitable substitution. View our Posy version here!)

You will also need…

GAUGE

33 stitches and 34 rounds = 4 inches in Pixel Stitch Pattern on larger needles

33 stitches and 42 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on smaller needles

SIZES

Adult Small (Adult Medium, Adult Large, Adult Extra Large)

  • Finished Foot Circumference: 7¼ (8¼, 9¼, 10¼) inches (unstretched)
  • Foot Length: Adjustable
  • Height from Top of Heel to Top of Cuff (unfolded): 5½ (5½, 6, 6½) inches (unblocked)

SAMPLE: We knit the Adult Small.

NOTES

CONSTRUCTION

You will work these socks from Toe up, starting with a provisional cast on. You will  increase for Toe, work Foot even, increase for Gusset, turn the Heel, work Heel Flap flat, work Leg even, and finally work Cuff in 2×2 rib.

YARN OVERS

Work all yarn overs (yo) through the back loop as you come to them.

SLIP STITCHES

Slip stitches purlwise unless specifically directed otherwise. When working a right-side row or round, slip the stitch with yarn in back. When working a wrong-side row, slip the stitch with yarn in front.

COLOR DOMINANCE

For best results, be consistent by floating MC under CC throughout. If you knit with one color in each hand, hold MC in your left hand and CC in your right hand.

ABBREVIATIONS

K1A: With color A, knit 1.

K2A: With color A, knit 2.

K1B:  With color B, knit 1.

K2B: With color B, knit 2.

YOA: With color A, yarn over.

YOB: With color B, yarn over.

PIXEL STITCH PATTERN

NOTE: See Abbreviations above for help with below terminology.

Worked over an odd number of stitches and in the round…

Round 1: *K1b, k1a, repeat from * to last stitch, k1b.

Round 2: *K1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 for Pixel Stitch Pattern.

PATTERN

TOE

With scrap yarn, use a Provisional Cast On to cast 8 stitches onto one smaller double pointed needle.

Join Color A, leaving a 10-inch tail, and with smaller double pointed needles…

Set-Up Row (right side): K4 onto Needle 1, k2 onto Needle 2, k2 onto Needle 3.

NOTE: Prefer to use Magic Loop? Distribute the stitches equally between 2 needles instead! Just remember that the front needle holds the Needle 1 stitches, and the back needle holds the Needle 2 and 3 stitches. You can place a stitch marker in the middle of the back needle stitches to distinguish between Needles 2 and 3. For more help with Magic Loop, visit our tutorial here (or here for how to work 2 pieces at a time)!

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

Increase Round: For Needle 1, k1, yo , knit to last stitch, yo, k1; for Needle 2, k1, yo, knit to end of needle; for Needle 3, knit to last stitch, yo, k1. [4 stitches increased]

NOTE: Remember in next rounds and throughout pattern to work yarn overs through the back loop as you come to them.

Repeat Increase Round 4 (8, 12, 12) more times. [28 (44, 60, 60) stitches]

Next Round: Knit to end of round.

Next Round: Repeat Increase Round. [4 stitches increased]

Repeat last two rounds 7 (5, 3, 5) more times. [60 (68, 76, 84) total stitches: 30 (34, 38, 42) stitches on Needle 1 and 15 (17, 19, 21) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Next Round: For Needle 1, k1, yo, knit to end of needle; for Needle 2, knit to end of needle; for Needle 3, knit to end of needle. [ [61 (69, 77, 85) total stitches: 31 (35, 39, 43) stitches on Needle 1 and 15 (17, 19, 21) stitches on Needles 2 and 3]

FOOT

Join Color B and with larger needles, work in Pixel Stitch Pattern (see Notes), until piece measures 6¼ (6½, 6¾, 7½) inches from cast on, or 2¾ (3, 3¼, 3½) inches less than desired length from Toe to back of Heel, ending with Round 2 of pattern.

NOTE: It is always best to measure the foot length of the intended wearer. If you don’t have that measurement, here are some guidelines for the length from Toe to back to Heel, based on shoe size.

WOMEN’S SIZES
  • US size 6 shoe (European 37) = 9 inches
  • US size 7 shoe (38) = 9¼ inches
  • US size 8 shoe (39) = 9⅝ inches
  • US size 9 shoe (40) = 10 inches
MEN’S SIZES
  • US size 9 shoe (European 42) = 10½ inches
  • US size 10 shoe (43) = 10¾ inches
  • US size 11 shoe (44) = 11 inches
  • US size 12 shoe (45) = 11½ inches
  • US size 13 shoe (46) = 11¾ inches

GUSSET

Round 1: For Needle 1, *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to last stitch, k1b; for Needle 2, k1a, yoa (see Abbreviations), *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to end of needle; for Needle 3, *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to last stitch, yob (see Abbreviations), k1b. [2 stitches increased]

Round 2: For Needle 1, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a; for Needle 2, k2b (see Abbreviations), *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to end of needle; for Needle 3, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2a (see Abbreviations).

Round 3: For Needle 1, *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to last stitch, k1b; for Needle 2, k1a, yob, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a; for Needle 3, *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k1b, yoa, k1b. [2 stitches increased]

Round 4: For Needle 1, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a; for Needle 2, k1b, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to end of needle; for Needle 3, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a.

Repeat Rounds 1–4 three more times, then repeat Round 1 one more time. [79 (87, 95, 103) total stitches: 31 (35, 39, 43) stitches on Needle 1 and 24 (26, 28, 30) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Next Row (partial row): For Needle 1, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a.

Place 31 (35, 39, 43) stitches from Needle 1 onto stitch holders or scrap yarn. [48 (52, 56, 60) total stitches remain: 24 (26, 28, 30) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Drop Color B, but do not cut; you will come back to it later for the Leg.

TURN THE HEEL

NOTE: You will shape the Heel using short rows, working back and forth on Needles 2 and 3. If you need some extra help, we have a great Short Rows Tutorial right here!

Continuing with Color A and switching to smaller needles…

Row 1 (right side): For Needle 2, knit to end of needle; for Needle 3, k7 (9, 11, 13), yo, k1, wrap and turn (wrp-t, see Note right above).

Row 2 (wrong side): P16 (20, 24, 28), yo, p1, wrp-t.

Row 3: K14 (18, 22, 26), yo, k1, wrp-t.

Row 4: P12 (16, 20, 24), yo, p1, wrp-t.

ADULT EXTRA LARGE ONLY

Next Row: K22, yo, k1, wrp-t.

Next Row: P20, yo, p1, wrp-t.

ADULT LARGE + ADULT EXTRA LARGE ONLY

Next Row: K18, yo, k1, wrp-t.

Next Row: P16, yo, p1, wrp-t.

ADULT MEDIUM, ADULT LARGE + ADULT EXTRA LARGE ONLY

Next Row: K14, yo, k1, wrp-t.

Next Row: P12, yo, p1, wrp-t.

ALL SIZES

Next Row: K10, yo, k1, wrp-t.

Next Row: P8, yo, p1, wrp-t.

Next Row: K6, yo, k1, wrp-t.

Next Row: P4, yo, p1, wrp-t. [56 (62, 68, 74) stitches: 28 (31, 34, 37) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Next Row (right side): Knit across Needles 2 and 3 to last stitch, knitting wrapped stitches with their wraps; wrp-t last stitch on Needle 3.

Next Row (wrong side): For Needle 3, purl; for Needle 2, purl to last stitch, working wrapped stitches with their wraps, wrp-t last stitch.

HEEL FLAP

Set-Up Row (right side): For Needle 2, knit; for Needle 3, k13 (15, 17, 19), slip slip knit (ssk), turn work so wrong side is facing you. [86 (96, 106, 116) stitches]

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1, p26 (30, 34, 38), purl 2 together (p2tog), turn work. [54 (60, 66, 72) stitches]

Row 2 (right side): *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before the gap (the gap is where you turned the work on the previous right-side row), slip 1, ssk (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn work. [1 stitch decreased]

Row 3 (wrong side): Slip 1, purl to 1 stitch before the gap (the gap is where you turned the work on the previous wrong-side row), p2tog (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn work. [1 stitch decreased]

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 ten (11, 12, 13) more times. [32 (36, 40, 44) stitches: 16 (18, 20, 22) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Next Row (right side): *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before the gap; slip 1, ssk, knit last stitch together with its wrap, turn work. [1 stitch decreased]

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, purl last stitch together with its wrap, turn work. [30 (34, 38, 42) stitches remain: 15 (17, 19, 21) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

Switch to larger needles, returning on-hold stitches to double pointed needle for Needle 1 and join again for working in the round. Color B should be ready to go, right where you left it.

Next Round (partial round): For Needle 2, *k1b, k1a, repeat from * to last stitch, k1b; for Needle 3, *k1a, k1b, repeat from * to last stitch, k1a.

LEG

Beginning with Round 1, work in Pixel Stitch Pattern until Leg measures 4½ (4½, 5, 5½) inches from the end of the Heel Flap.

Cut Color B.

CUFF

Set-Up Round: With Color A and switching to smaller needles, knit 2 together, knit to end of round. [60 (68, 76, 84) total stitches: 30 (34, 38, 42) stitches on Needle 1, 15 (17, 19, 21) stitches each on Needles 2 and 3]

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

Repeat Round 1 until ribbing measures 1 inch.

Bind off loosely in pattern, using a needle a couple of sizes larger to bind off, if necessary.

FINISH

Carefully unravel Provisional Cast-On and slip live stitches onto two needles, 4 stitches per needle (top-of-foot stitches on one needle and sole stitches on the other). Graft toe closed using Color A and Kitchener Stitch.

Weave in all ends, and then make another sock!

Pixel Stitch Socks | Purl Soho