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Man’s Plain Socks with French Heel and Flat Toe

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Men's socks from the 1940's

These socks are sock “A” in the photograph.
from Patons Knitting Book No. 248


Patons Beehive Fingering, 3-ply. Quantity – 4 ozs/112 gms

1 set of four Old UK No. 13/US 1/metric 2.25mm double pointed knitting needles


10, 10½ or 11″ long foot


It is absolutely necessary to work at a tension to produce 10 stitches to the inch in width.


Cast an 86 stitches. (28 on the first needle, 30 on the second needle, 28 on the third needle).

1st round: * K1, P1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat this round until work measures 4 ins.

Next round: Knit.

Repeat this round until work measures 8 ins. from commencement.

Shape for leg as follows:
Next round: K1, K2tog, knit plain to last 3 sts., slip 1, K1, psso, K1.

Work 5 rounds without shaping.

Repeat these 6 rounds six times (72 sts).

Continue in rounds of plain knitting until work measures 12 ins. from commencement.

To commence heel:
K18, slip last 18 sts of round on to end of same needle (these 36 sts. are for heel).

Divide remaining sts onto two needles and leave for instep.

Work 35 rows on heel sts. in alternate rows of purl and plain (always slipping first st. purlways on a purl row and knitways on a knit row).

To turn heel:
K20, K2tog, K1, turn (always slipping first st. after turning),
P6, P2tog, P1, turn,
K7, K2tog, K1, turn,
P8, P2tog, P1, turn,
K9, K2tog, K1, turn.

Continue in this manner until all sts are worked on to one needle (20 sts).

Knit back 10 sts. (thus completing heel).

Slip all instep sts. on to one needle again.
Knit remaining 10 heel sts., knit up 16 sts. at side of heel.

With a second needle knit plain across instep sts.

With a third needle knit up 16 sts. at side of heel and remaining 10 heel sts.

Shape for instep as follows:
1st round: Knit.

2nd round: First needle – knit to last 4 sts, K2tog, K2;
second needle – knit;
third needle – K2, slip 1, K1, psso, knit plain to end of round.

Repeat these two rounds until 72 sts. remain.

Continue without shaping until foot measures:
6 ins. for 10 inch foot.
6½ ins. for 10½ inch foot.
7 ins. for 11 inch foot. (from where sts. were knitted up at side of heel)

Shape for toe as follows:

1st round: first needle – Knit to last 3 sts., K2tog, K1;
second needle – K1, slip 1, K1, psso, knit to last 3 sts., K2tog, K1;
third needle – K1, slip 1, K1, psso, knit to end of needle.

2nd round: Knit.

Repeat 1st and 2nd rounds until 28 sts. remain.

Knit sts. of first needle on to end of third needle.

Graft the toe closed.


With a slightly damp cloth and warm iron, press lightly.

The original publication of this pattern is in the public domain. However, this modernised version is copyright Sarah Bradberry, August 24th 2014. All rights reserved.

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