Earl Grey

Joe is very, very picky about his socks. He likes them tall, but not too tall. Short, but not too short. He likes them in “manly colours” and to be “not wild”. He loves cables. These socks out of plain sock yarn with cables (and no yarn overs, those are “girly”) are perfect. Plain enough that he likes them, but with a little cable down the side to keep the knitter awake. I’m happy enough with them that I’m passing the pattern (such as it is) along.


It’s only here in one size, but if you were even a tiny bit clever you could easily see that by taking out some of the plain stitches in between the cable panels you could make it smaller.


My apologies for the cable pattern only appearing as text rather than a chart and text. I had (and lost) a colossal argument with excel this morning and the car wreck of a a thing disappeared entirely. Also, this thing hasn’t been test knit yet, so if you spot a boo boo…do tell. (NOTE: There have been a few mistakes caught. Apparently I wrote this pattern out like I was on smack. If you printed it out when you first saw it and you’re having trouble, print again. I think it’s correct now. A thousand thanks to the instinctive tech editors out there. )


Earl Grey Socks.

Men’s size large.

I used two balls of KnitPicks
Essential sock yarn (this colour is “ash”) and only had a little left. If you think you’re going to knit these bigger than Joe’s feet (mens 12) then you might want a third one.

I used 2.25mm needles.

Gauge: 36 stitches to 10cm

Cast on 70 stitches.

Begin: k1, p1,k2,p2,k2,p1, (k1, p1) 13 times. k1, p1,k2,p2,k2,p1, (k1, p1) 13 times.

Repeat that row for 12 rounds, or longer, if you are more fond of rib than I.

With the next row, you’re going to start the cable pattern. Every stitch is knit except for the 8 stitch panel on either side of the sock.

To place the pattern : k1, Work the pattern, knit 14, M1, knit 13, work the pattern, knit 13, M1, knit 13. (72 stitches total)

Next round: Knit 1, work pattern, knit 27, work pattern, knit 26.

Repeat this last round, working each consecutive row of the pattern until you have repeated the pattern three times. (Or for however long you want, keeping in mind that if you stop somewhere other than at the end of a repeat, it should be at a point in the pattern where there is no centre cable.)

Cable pattern:

TR= knit the second stitch on the left needle, then the first one, then slide them off together.

CL=purl the second stitch on the left needle, then knit the first one, then slide them off together. (I know this is a little fiddly. You’ll get it, and you only have to do it a couple of times for each sock.)

CR= knit the second stitch, purl the first and slide them off together.

Row 1: p1, k2,p2,k2,p1

Row 2: p1, TR, p2, TR, p1.

Rows 3,4,5: p1, k2,p2,k2,p1

Row 6: p1, TR, p2, TR, p1.

Rows,7,8,9: p1, k2,p2,k2,p1

Row 10; p1, TR, p2, TR, p1.

Row 11: p1, k2,p2,k2,p1

Row 12: p1, k1, CL, CR, k1,p1

Row 13: p1,k1,p1,k2.p1.k1,p1

Row 14: p1.k1,p1.TR,p1,k1,p1

Row 15,16,17: p1,k1,p1,k2.p1.k1,p1

Row 18: p1.k1.p1,TR,p1,k1,p1

Row 19,20,21: p1,k1,p1,k2.p1.k1,p1

Row 22: p1.k1.p1,TR,p1,k1,p1

Row 23: p1,k1,p1,k2.p1.k1,p1

Row 24:p1,k1,CR,CL,k1,p1

Chart: I created this chart here, using Sweater project David’s very useful gizmo “visiknit”. It’s not a perfect chart, since the CR and CL don’t show up with the purl stitches, but between the written text and this chart, you should be in pretty good shape.


Heel: Take a moment and rearrange your stitches.

At the beginning of a round, k1, p1,k2,p1 (you will be in the centre of those 8 pattern stitches) and add them to the end of your round. (The needle you just finished.)

The next 36 stitches (they stretch from the centre of one cable panel to the centre of the other) are your heel stitches. They go on one needle. The others are instep stitches and they are going to wait for you.

Working back and forth on your 36 heel stitches:

Row 1 (right side) *Slip 1, k1 repeat from * all the way across.

Row 2 (wrong side) Slip 1, then purl all the rest of the way across.

Repeat those two rows 17 times more (a total of 36 rows) or until the heel flap is a square. Turn the heel:

Row 1: sl1, k20, SSK, k1, turn. [SSK= slip 2 sts knitwise, knit both together]

Row 2: Sl1, p8, p2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3: Sl1, k10, SSK, k1, turn.

Row 4: Sl1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.

Continue in this fashion, slipping the first stitch, working to one stitch before the gap, working 2 sts together over the gap, then k1 [or p1] and turn, until you finish all the heel sts.

End having worked a knit row. Working up the side of the heel flap, pick up and knit stitches from the long “chain” of slipped stitches. There should be 18 or so. Use your good sense and pick up a few more or less as suits you. (If you are getting holes, knit them through the back loop.)

Put your instep stitches onto one needle and knit them as follows:

P1, k2,p1, knit to the last four stitches, p1, k2,p1.

NOTE: At this point, you can keep the instep stitches as they are, knitting and purling as they appear, if however, you would like to keep some of the pattern going down the foot:

Work 12 rounds knitting knits and purling purls : p1, k2,p1, knit to the last 4, p1,k2,p1

Then work a twist round
every 4th round three times : p1, TR, p1, knit to the last 4, p1, TR, p1.

Then 12 rounds as set…then then twist round every 4th round three times….carrying on until the foot is the right length.

Pick up and knit stitches down the left side of the flap (it would be good if you picked up the same number you did on the right, but I’m not judging) and then knit HALF of the heel stitches onto the end of that needle. This is the new beginning of the round.

Your stitches should be divided like this:

Needle 1: half the heel stitches, new gusset stitches

Needle 2: instep stitches (36)

Needle 3: new gusset stitches, half the heel.

Resume working in the round, keeping the instep in its pattern and decreasing for the gussets as follows:

1st round:

1st needle:: K to 3 sts before the end of needle, k2tog, k1.

2nd needle: pattern

3rd needle:: K1, SSK, k to end.

2nd round:

1st needle:: knit

2nd needle: pattern

3rd needle:: knit

Continue repeating these two rounds until you have 72 stitches again. (18, 36, 18)

Then repeat the second round until the sock fits to the base of the big toe, or is 5cm shorter than the total length of the foot.


1st round:

1st needle: K to last 3, k2tog, k1.

2nd needle: K1, ssk, k to last 3, k2tog, k1

3rd needle, K1, ssk, knit to end

2nd round: knit plain.

Repeat these 2 rounds until 18 sts remain, ending with a “round 1”

Graft together the two sets of 9. Make a second sock to match. Or not. Go nuts.