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Inspiration knits
Simplest Socks

Simplest Socks

When you’re dealing with the classics, sometimes it is best to keep it simple. Scroll down for the free pattern, and get the yarn here!

The Simplest Socks hand knit socks by Bellish
Ball of yarn with artistically laid strand

The Simplest Socks are just good old fashioned hand-knit socks. No fancy stitches or edgings. Just Stockinette, a Short-Row Heel and 2x2 Rib Cuff. Bliss.

For this pattern we used the Koigu yarn KPPPM in Burgundy. You can get the same yarn HERE!

Toe Cast On

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).

Cast On
Using either the Judy’s Magic Cast On or Turkish Cast on technique, cast on 24 stitches (12 on each needle) using US size 1 (2.5 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.

First Round
Knit one round.

Increase Round
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.

Next Round
Knit one round.

Next Rounds
Continue knitting toe in stockinette stitch, working the increase round every second round, until you have 64 stitches total (32 on each circular needle, or 16 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 the sock foot in plain stockinette until it 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.

Short Row

Round 1
Knit across all of the instep stitches.

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 12 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.


Round 1
Knit across instep and heel stitches.

Next Rounds
Continue in established pattern until the sock leg measures 5 inches from the top of the heel.

Ribbed Cuff
Change to US size 0 (2 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.


weight |
4 ply

Main Color:

317 meters / 347 yards


36 stitches and 52 rows in over 4 in / 10 cm with 1 US / 2.5 mm needles


Circular 1 US / 2.5 mm

Circular 0 US / 2 mm


Stitch markers

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.

Looking for more sizes?
Base illustration showing measurements

Sock Circumference:

7.25 in / 18.5 cm

Sock Height: 

7 in / 18 cm

Sock Length: 

9.5 in / 24 cm

BOR: Beginning of round

DPNs: Double Pointed Needles

K: Knit

K2TOG: Knit two stitches together (decrease 1 stitch)

K2TOG-TBL: Knit two together through the back loop

M: Marker/s

M1: Make 1 (increase 1 stitch)

P: Purl

P2TOG: Purl two together

P2TOG-TBL: Purl two together through the back loop

PM: Place Marker

REP: Repeat

RS: Right side

SL: Slip

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)

Sweater icon
Toe-Up Socks
Garment pattern section icon

Cuff 2x2 Rib

Heel Short Row

Height Tall

Swatch icon
Yarn ball icon
Measuring tape icon
8 in / 20 cm
The Simplest Socks by Bellish socks illustration