These socks were inspired by the Tour de France, an annual bicycle race on the roads of France. Most of the time the cyclists ride in a group (called a “peloton”) and when they meet a roundabout/traffic circle, the group divides in two with half going around one side, half the other, forming back into a group after the roundabout. This has inspired the cable pattern.
Size: Women’s Medium (Use 2.5mm needles) & Women’s Large/Men’s Medium (Use 2.75mm needles)
Yarn: Fingering/4ply sock yarn in a solid or semi-solid colourway x 100gm (for a longer leg, or longer foot you may need up to about 120gm)
Gauge: 8sts per inch with 2.5mm needles in stocking stitch
Needles: 2.5mm/US#1 or 2.75mm/US#2
Also required: cable needle
Note: divide/arrange stitches on needles to suit your knitting style. For magic loop or 2 circs, I suggest placing the last 18 sts of the round plus the first 17 sts onto one needle, and the centre 37 sts on another.
Cast on 72 sts & join for knitting in the round. Place marker at start of round.
P1, (K2, P2) 7 times, K1, P2, K3, P1, K3, P2, K1, (P2, K2) 7 times, P2.
Continue ribbing until cuff is about 5cm (2”) or desired length.
Work one set-up round: P1, (K2, P2) 6 times, K2, pm, P5, K7, P5, pm, (K2, P2) 7 times.
The 17 stitches between the 2 markers you just placed form the basis for the cable panel.
Continue established rib pattern, working the cable panel as follows:
Rnds 1 - 3. P5, K7, P5
Rnd 4. P2, C6B, K1, C6F, P2
Rnd 5 - 9. P2, K13, P2
Rnd 10. P2, T6F, K1, T6B, P2
Rnd 11 - 12. P5, K7, P5
C6B = sl3 to cn, hold to back, K3, K3 from cn
C6F = sl3 to cn, hold to front, K3, K3 from cn
T6F = sl3 to cn, hold to front, P3, K3 from cn
T6B = sl3 to cn, hold to back, K3, P3 from cn
Continue until leg is desired length, placing the cabled ‘circles’ at random intervals by repeating Rnd 1 of the cable panel to lengthen the space between cables. (If preferred, just repeat the 12 round pattern to place the cables at regular intervals).
Work the first 17 sts of the round in the established rib pattern.
Slip the first stitch and purl the next 16 (this brings you back to the start of the round). Purl the next 18 sts, so now you will have 34 purled sts + 1 slipped stitch = 35 sts. These stitches are for the heel flap. (The remaining 37 sts are for the instep).
The 35 heel stitches are worked back and forth to create the heel flap.
Heel flap (eye of partridge):
1. *Sl1, K1. Repeat from * to last stitch, K1.
2. Sl1, P34.
3. Sl1, *Sl1, K1. Repeat from * to end of row.
4. Sl1, P34.
Repeat these 4 rows 7 times (total of 32 rows worked)
The centre stitch is stitch #18, the stitch before the marker.
1. Sl1, knit to 2 stitches after the centre stitch. Sl1, K1, PSSO, K1. Turn.
2. Sl1, purl to 2 stitches after the centre stitch. P2TOG, P1. Turn.
3. Sl1, knit to one stitch before the ‘gap’. S1, K1, PSSO, K1. Turn.
4. Sl1, purl to one stitch before the ‘gap’. P2TOG, P1. Turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel stitches have been worked, ending after a purl row.
Join for knitting in the round:
Knit across the heel stitches. Then pick up and knit 16 stitches along the edge of the heel flap.
Place marker (“instep marker #1”).
Work across the 37 instep stitches as follows. K6, P2, K2, cable pattern, K2, P2, K6.
Place marker (“instep marker #2”).
Pick up and knit 16 stitches along the edge of the heel flap. Continue knitting to the end of the round.
1. Knit to 4 stitches before “instep marker #1”. K2TOG, K2. Continue across instep in established pattern (K6, P2, K2, cable pattern, K2, P2, K6) to “instep marker #2”. K2, Sl1, K1, PSSO. Knit to the end of the round.
2. Knit to “instep marker #1”. Work across instep in established pattern to “instep marker #2”. Knit to the end of the round
Repeat these two rounds until you have a total of 72 stitches (35 stitches form the ‘bottom’ of the foot and 37 the ‘top’). Remove the 2 instep markers.
Continue in established pattern until the sock measures 2” (5cm) less than desired foot length.
Set up for Toe:
Remove all stitch markers. To ensure the pattern remains centred, the centre stitch of the cable pattern is the ‘centre’ of the sock. So, the 18 stitches before the centre stitch + the centre stitch + the next 18 stitches form the ‘top’ of the foot (37 sts). The remaining 35 stitches form the ‘sole’ or bottom of the sock. Place 2 stitch markers (or rearrange stitches on needles if you prefer to use circulars) to identify where the ‘top’ and ‘sole’ stitches meet.
The ‘top’ of the sock has 2 extra stitches (37) so to even up the numbers,
1. Knit to first marker. K1, Sl1, K1, PSSO. Knit to 3 stitches before second marker, K2TOG, then knit to end of round.
2. Knit all stitches. (Total of 70sts – 35 for ‘top’ and 35 for ‘sole’)
Commence toe decreases:
1. Knit to 3 stitches before first marker. K2TOG, K2, Sl1, K1, PSSO. Knit to 3 stitches before second marker. K2TOG, K2, Sl1, K1, PSSO. Knit to end of round.
2. Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until you have 26 stitches remaining.
Rearrange stitches (if required) to ensure the 13 ‘top’ stitches are on one needle and that the 13 ‘sole’ stitches are on a second needle.
Kitchener/graft the toe.
Weave in ends, wear and enjoy!
Special thanks to Cat, Jennifer & Michele: test knitters extraordinaire. Thanks too to Karen.
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