After I had a baby and started knitting socks for her, I realized
that many of the functional constraints for socks didn’t
apply, because she didn’t walk. This opened up a whole
new world of ideas, of which this design is one example.
I came up with the idea for duck socks from the book Cute Knits
for Baby Feet by Sue Whiting. Indeed, the book is full of cute
patterns, and her simple “Quack!” pattern inspired
my goal to develop a more realistic, somewhat outrageous design.
The pattern below is where I finally ended up.
My daughter has now outgrown her duck socks and is walking, and
thus I had to come up with a toddler version based on a different
web-footed bird. You can find that one on my blog.
and Katy photos:
Jeny Staiman, Minette Layne
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
US #2/2.75mm circular needles, 24 inches
or longer Note: If preferred, double-point needles or one long circular needle (with
magic loop technique) may be used instead.
1 set US #2/2.75mm double-point needles (only two are used, to work applied
hook, close in size to US #2/2.75mm
Small stitch holders
Elastic thread (optional)
sts/48 rows = 4" in stockinette st
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
These socks are intended to be worn
by babies who are not yet walking. For a variation designed for an active toddler,
please visit my blog.
Instructions for Judy's Magic Cast
On can be found here.
Instructions for the Turkish Cast
On can be found here:
Instructions for Jeny's Surprisingly
Stretchy Bind Off can be found here.
RLI (Right Lifted Increase): Use the right needle to
pick up the stitch below the next stitch on the left
needle. Place it on the left needle, then knit into it.
1 stitch has been increased.
LLI (Left Lifted Increase): Use the left needle to pick
up the stitch 2 rows below the last stitch on the right
needle. Knit into this stitch. 1 stitch has been increased.
S2KP: Slip next 2 sts together, knitwise,
as if to work a k2tog. Knit next st, then pass both slipped
sts together over st just knit. This forms a centered double
Shape Center Point:
Using Judy's Magic Cast On, CO 4 sts
(2 sts on each needle).
Round 1: [K1, yo, k1] on each needle.
As you shape the center point and webbing, sts will be
cast on at each side of sts on needle.
Use Turkish Cast On method for this,
as shown in photos below. Note that cast on is worked around
one needle and one cable instead of two needles; this helps
tighten the new CO sts.
Round 2: CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k2 (first st
to be knit is new CO st), p1, k1; CO 2 sts (1 st on each
needle), k2, p1, k2. 10 sts. Round 3: CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle),
k3, p1, k2; CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k3, p1, k3.
Shape Webbing: Round 4: CO 4 sts (2 sts on each needle),
k5, p1, k3; CO 4 sts (2 sts on each needle), k5, p1,
k5. 22 sts. Round 5: CO 8 sts (4 sts on each needle),
k9, p1, k5; CO 8 sts (4 sts on each needle), k9, p1, k9.
38 sts. Round 6: CO 12 sts (6 sts on each needle,
k15, p1, k9; CO 12 sts (6 sts on each needle, k15, p1,
k15. 62 sts. Round 7: [K15, p1, k15] for each needle.
Begin Side Toes: Round 8: [YO, k15, p1, k15] for each
needle. 64 sts. Rounds 9-11: [P1, k15] four times.
Shape Foot: Round 12: [P1, k13, k2tog, p1, ssk, k13]
for each needle. 60 sts. Rounds 13-15: [P1, k14] four times. Round 16: [P1, k12, k2tog, p1, ssk, k12]
for each needle. 56 sts. Rounds 17-19: [P1, k13] four times. Round 20: [P1, k11, k2tog, p1, ssk, k11]
for each needle. 52 sts. Rounds 21-23: [P1, k12] four times. Round 24: [P1, k10, k2tog, p1, ssk, k10]
for each needle. 48 sts. Rounds 25-27: [P1, k11] four times. Round 28: [P1, k9, k2tog, p1, ssk, k9]
for each needle. 44 sts. Rounds 29-30: [P1, k10] four times.
GUSSET Round 1: P1, k8, LLI, k2, p1, k2, RLI, k8; p1, k8, k2tog,
p1, ssk, k8. 44 sts: 24 sts on first needle, 20 sts on
Rounds 2-3: [P1, k11] twice; [p1, k9]
Round 4: P1, k8, LLI, k3, p1, k3, RLI,
k8; p1, k7, k2tog, p1, ssk, k7. 44 sts: 26 sts on first
needle, 18 sts on second needle.
Round 5-6: [P1, k12] twice; [p1, k8] twice.
Round 7: P1, k8, LLI, k4, p1, k4, RLI,
k8; p1, k6, k2tog, p1, ssk, k6. 44 sts: 28 sts on first
needle, 16 sts on second needle.
Rounds 8-9: [P1, k13] twice; [p1, k7] twice.
10: P1, k8, LLI, k11, RLI, k8; p1, k5, k2tog, p1, ssk,
k5. 44 sts: 30 sts on first needle, 14 sts on second needle.
Note that center st on first needle is knit, instead of
Work first 9 sts of first needle in pattern; place
next 13 sts on st holder for instep. Turn work so that
WS is facing. Heel flap will now be worked back and forth
in rows over remaining 31 sts. When working first row,
work all sts onto one needle.
Break yarn. With RS facing, divide remaining sts between
2 needles, placing first 9 sts on first needle and last
10 sts on second needle. Transfer sts to st holder, slipping
sts purlwise and alternating sts from each needle as follows:
[sl 1 st from second needle to holder, sl 1 st from first
needle to holder] 9 times, sl last st from second needle
to st holder. Alternating sts in this way closes back of
heel; later on, applied I-cord will be worked over these
Toes are worked in applied I-cord. Cords will be worked
along columns of purl sts which run along
top, bottom and sides of foot.
These toes will run along sides of foot.
Each one begins just above yarnover
worked in Round 8 of Foot section,
and runs along side of foot to base
Using double-point needle, CO 3 sts.
Row 1: Slide sts to other end of needle,
switch needle to left hand, bring yarn
around back of work and k3. Use tip of right needle to
pick up 1 st just above yarnover at tip of side toe.
4 sts on right needle.
Row 2: Slide sts to other end of needle,
switch needle back to left hand, bring yarn around back
of work; k2, k2tog tbl (last st of I-cord worked together
with picked-up st). Use tip of right needle to pick up
next p st in column.
Repeat Row 2 until 2 p sts remain in column, including
st on holder. (In diagram below, work st marked with red “3”,
but not st marked with black “2”.) Do not pick
up st at end of last row. Break yarn and place sts on st
This toe will be worked as one long I-cord,
beginning at center of instep, running along top of foot,
over center point of toe, along base of foot to heel,
and up back of heel.
Note: Read next paragraph through and see photos below
Using crochet hook and with work positioned as shown,
draw a loop of yarn through each of the center 3 held instep
sts (see below); ensure that tail of yarn is at left, with
working yarn at right. Place these sts on double-point
needle and bring yarn to front of work as shown.
Rotate work so that toes are pointing away from you. Place
needle in left hand and slide sts to tip, ready to work
I-cord; k3. Use tip of right needle to pick up next p st
Next Row: Slide sts to other end of needle, switch needle
back to left hand, bring yarn around back of work; k2,
k2tog tbl (last st of I-cord worked together with picked-up
st). Use tip of right needle to pick up next p st in column.
Repeat this row, working I-cord along
top, over toe, then along bottom of foot, until you
have attached I-cord to S2KP at base of heel. Do not pick
up st at end of last row.
There will be 3 held sts from each side toe to each
side of sts on needle. Transfer these
sts to needle, placing sts of side toes
at either side of center toe sts.
Divide sts between 2 needles as shown below, with first
4 sts on first needle and last 5 sts on second needle.
Transfer sts to circular needle, alternating sts from each
needle as you did at end of heel section. Working yarn
will be attached to second st on needle.
Transfer heel sts to same needle, after toe sts. 28 sts.
Close Back of Heel:
Heel will be closed by working applied
I-cord, continuing from center toe.
Next Row: K2, k2tog tbl. Sl sts purlwise back to left
Repeat this row until all sts have been
worked. 3 sts remain.
Continuing from I-cord sts just worked, pick up and
k 9 sts along upper edge of opening, k held sts of instep,
pick up and k 9 sts along upper edge
of opening. 34 sts.
Next Round: *K3, p2, [k2, p2] three times;
repeat from * once.
Repeat this round 15 times more, or until
cuff is desired length.
K 2 rounds. BO all sts using Jeny's
Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.
Weave in ends. If desired, sew elastic thread through inside
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Jeny Staiman is a mom, a usability engineer,
and a self-diagnosed knitting geek. For
the past 16 years she has knitted primarily socks, hats, and gloves
(i.e., short attention span for knitting in straight lines) and
has recently been seduced into the world of knitting moebii and
other nonorientable mathematical forms. She is now working on her