Get ready to step up your sock game with these color contrast socks. The easy spine stitch repeat will make it hard to stop knitting until they're up to your knees!
The Knit Yorker added a pop of contrast color to the toe, heel & cuff of the Riverbank Socks which is not included in this pattern instruction.
For this pattern you will need to use either a set of 5 DPNs or a circular needle with a 32 inch / 80 cm cable. The 80 cm cable is necessary to work the Magic Loop method for knitting in the round.
Some knitters may prefer to use a set of 4 DPNs or a very short circular needle for their socks. This pattern will still work with these options, but please keep in mind that some references to needles and dividing stitches may need to be adjusted or disregarded.
DPN users will begin with three needles (you will cast on to two of these).
Using either the Judy’s Magic Cast On or Turkish Cast on technique, cast on 20 stitches (10 on each needle) using US size 4 (3.5 mm) circular needles.
You can use the tail from your cast on to keep track of your rounds. If the tail is on the right, you are about to begin a new round. You can also put a locking stitch marker in this spot to use as a guide.
DPN users can add their additional needles as it feels comfortable while working the toe increases.
k1, m1, knit to last stitch on needle, m1 k1. Rep for second needle. You have now increased 4 stitches, 2 on each needle.
Rep increase round once more.
K one round.
Continue knitting toe in stockinette stitch, working the increase round every second round, until you have 48 stitches total (24 on each circular needle, or 12 on each DPN).
You will now be knitting the foot section of your sock. This section will be knit as a straight tube until the heel is turned.
Half of your stitches will become the sole of the sock, and the other half will be the instep. Keeping the stitches divided over your needles will help you to keep track of this, but you can also place a locking stitch marker at the beginning and middle of the round if you would like.
Knit one round in plain stockinette.
Following the first row of the spine stitch instructions, knit across half the stitches (one circular, or two DPNs). These stitches are now your instep. Knit across the remaining stitches in plain stockinette. This is the sole of your sock.
Continue knitting, working the rest of the spine stitch pattern on the instep and stockinette on the sole. Repeat as set until the sock
[LC, RC] rep between brackets to end of round
Repeat as set until the sock measures 7.5 inches from the cast on edge, or is 2 inches from the end of your foot.
A good thing about knitting socks like this, is you can (carefully) try them on the check the length! Make sure your stitches are all safely on cable of your circular needle, or put the point protectors on your DPNs to prevent stitches falling off. When the sock is level with your ankle bone it is time to move onto the next section.
Knit across all of the instep stitches in pattern.
You will now be putting these stitches aside while you work the heel on the sole of your sock. If you are using a circular needle, the instep stitches will sit on the cable while you knit flat back and forth on the needles.
For DPNs, make sure you secure the instep stitches with point protectors or a stitch holder so they don’t fall off the needles.
Short Row 1 RS
Knit to the last stitch of the sole. Sl1wyif, turn your work.
Short Row 2 WS
Bring your yarn to the front, and while pulling tightly sl1wyif so that the yarn is wrapped around the first stitch.
You have now worked your first w&t. Your wrapped stitches will wait at the end of the row while you are working the middle stitches. This is what builds up the shape of the heel.
Purl across the row to the last stitch. Sl1wyib.
Short Row 3 RS
Pull your yarn firmly to the back and sl1wyib; this is a WS w&t. Knit to the last stitch before the wrap, w&t.
Short Row 4 WS
Purl to the last stitch before the wrap, w&t.
Repeat these steps back and forth until there are 10 stitches left between the wraps. End after a WS row.
Row 1 RS
Knit to the first wrap (the first that you come to, not the first one you made). When you look closely, you should see the wrapped stitch around the legs of the stitch sitting on the needle. From the back, scoop up the back of the wrap and pull it back onto the needle. K2tog-tbl, keeping the stitch tight. You have now picked up your first wrap.
Row 2 WS
Sl1, p to the first wrap, and once again scoop up the wrap from the back and put it back onto the needle. P2tog-tbl.
Repeat these two rows until all of the wraps have been picked up, continuing to sl the first stitch on each row. After picking up the last wrap, knit to the end of the row to begin knitting in the round again.
Some knitters struggle with unsightly holes at the top of their heels, where they have begun to knit in the round again. To fix this, try adding a twisted stitch at the join:
Knit to the last stitch before you turn to the other side of your work. Sl1 onto a cable needle and hold to the front. Turn your work and k1. Sl the stitch off your cable needle back onto the left needle, continue knitting as set.
Knit one round, working the established pattern across the instep stitches. Continue in spine stitch pattern across the heel stitches.
Continue in established pattern until the sock leg measures 2.5 inches from the top of the heel.
Change to US size 3 (3.25 mm) circular needles and work [k2, p2] rib for 2 inches.
Bind off very loosely in pattern. Sew in ends.
If your cast off is too tight, try going up a needle size for the cast off. You can also use "Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off" to create a more stretchy cuff edge.
Repeat pattern for second sock. Sew in ends, wash and block. Using a sock blocker will give you an extra neat finish, and is definitely worth it if you are gifting your socks. If you don’t have access to actual sock blockers, make your own by bending a wire coat hanger into the same shape.
199 meters / 217 yards
26 stitches and 36 rows in over 4 in / 10 cm with 4 US / 3.5mm needles.
Circular 4 US / 3.5 mm
Circular 3 US / 3.25 mm
Darning needle to weave in ends
Cable needle (optional)
This pattern is knit to fit an adult woman. If you would like to knit a different size, or to change anything else about the pattern, download Bellish for free to customize your own socks.
7.2 in / 18.5 cm
4.5 in / 11.5 cm
9.5 in / 24 cm
BOR: Beginning of round
DPNs: Double Pointed Needles
K2TOG: Knit two stitches together (decrease 1 stitch)
K2TOG-TBL: Knit two together through the back loop
LC: left cable
M1: Make 1 (increase 1 stitch)
P2TOG: Purl two together
P2TOG-TBL: Purl two together through the back loop
PM: Place Marker
RC: right cable
RS: Right side
SL1: Slip the next st purlwise to the right needle (without working it), with working yarn held to back
SL1WYIB: Slip the next st purlwise to the right needle (without working it), with working yarn held to back
SL1WYIF: Slip one with yarn in front
SM: Slip marker
SSK: slip, slip knit together (decrease 1 stitch)
W&T: Wrap and Turn
WS: Wrong side
YO: Wrap yarn around the needle to create an extra stitch (it will leave an intentional hole)
Cuff 2x2 Rib
Heel Short Row