Evil Genius Socks - Redux

This sock pattern is based on my Evil Sock Genius Lessons.  Those instructions let you knit socks with any yarn, any gauge, but these instructions are for a typical sock in typical sock yarn.

If you like these patterns and want to thank me with a cup of coffee, an Evil Sock Genius could always use the caffeine.


  • Desirable fingering-weight sock yarn.
  • U.S. size 1 ½ (2.5 mm) circular needle, at least 32 inches long. Target gauge is 8 st/in. Knit Picks and Addi Turbos have superior cables: soft and flexible.
  • Stitch markers; coil-less safety pin type is recommended.

Special Skills

  • Magic Loop.  Let me Google that for you.
  • Turkish Cast-On.  (Explained below).
  • k-twist:  Slip next stitch knitwise onto the right needle, changing its mount. Slip the stitch back to the left needle purlwise; the front leg of the stitch now lies in back of the needle while the back leg of the stitch comes down the front of the needle. Knit the back leg like it's a normal stitch, which further twists it to the right.

Evil Geniuses hate wasting time. Just start knitting.

The toe of your sock is your gauge swatch. Grab your needles and yarn, and get started. When you've finished the toe, you can check your gauge and decide whether you like the resulting fabric. Not much time is invested, so it's easy to start over, but if it's good, then you didn't waste that time doing a gauge swatch. 

Knitting the Toe

Turkish Cast-On

  • Hold your circular needle so that both ends are together, pointed to the right.
  • Pull the bottom needle to the right, so your top needle is held together with the bottom cord.
  • Start your yarn in back of the needles, leaving a 12" tail hanging.
  • Wrap the yarn over toward you, down across the front and up the back of the needles.
  • Wrap until you have 7 loops.

Rounded Toe

  • Knit across the stitches on the "top" needle. Be sure to keep your "bottom" stitches snug around the cord.  (14 stitches total)
  • Hold working yarn and tail together, and work 1 round. (This doubles the number of loops on each side.)
  • Drop the tail, and knit one round, working one stitch in each loop.  (28 stitches total).

Toe Increases

  • Knit 2, YO, knit until 2 stitches remain on that side, YO, knit 2. Repeat for other side.
  • Knit round, making sure to twist the yarnovers.  Work the first yarnover on each side through the back loop, and the second yarnover as k-twist.
Repeat these two rounds until there are 64 stitches total.

Evil Geniuses can knit both socks at once, but they don't always want to.

Before going on to knit the foot, decide whether you want to knit one sock at a time, or both at once.  It's not that tricky to do both at once. The tubes sit side by side on your loop. You knit across the front stitches of one tube, drop the yarn, then knit across the front stitches of the other.  Yarmando finds that he works faster knitting one sock at a time.

Knitting the Foot

Now you just keep knitting around until you've reached the desired length before your gusset increases. If you wish, you can work ribbing or some other pattern across the instep. Meanwhile, it's time to begin plotting your domination of the heel.

Using Rounds-Per-Inch

When your sock is 3-4 inches long, count how many rows (or rounds) work out to an inch. Multiply that by the length of the foot this sock is meant to fit. Got it?  (The chart below will help).

The gusset and heel sections of this sock add up to 46 rows. Subtract 46 from your total number of rounds. You now know how many rounds to knit before starting the gussets.

Rounds per inch =

Length of foot =


Multiply together for
total sock length


Subtract gusset/heel rounds =

- 46

Length of sock (in rows)
before gusset increases


Gusset Increases

If you haven't yet decided, decide now which side of your sock is the top (instep) and which is the bottom (sole).
  • On the sole side, knit 1, YO, knit until 1 stitch remains on that side, YO, knit 1. Knit instep side plain (or in pattern that you've established).
  • Knit round, making sure to twist the yarnovers by knitting into their backs. (Note: You can "mirror" the increases by twisting them in different directions, like you did the toe).
  • Knit round.
Work these three rounds 12 times, giving you 88 stitches total.

Evil Geniuses are not constrained by rules.

The great Cat Bordhi discovered that gusset increases in this section can be placed anywhere on the sock and it will still fit. All you have to do is increase at the rate of 2 stitches every three rounds. The instructions here produce a conventional, normal-looking sock, but as your genius develops, follow Bordhi's lead and explore the possibilities before you.

Turning the Heel

(See also Detailed Instructions for this section)

Identify the center of your sole. This will also be the center of your heel stitches. Place one marker 10 stitches before the center and another marker 10 stitches after the center to identify the heel.
  • Knit to 2 stitches before the end of heel stitches. M1, K1, wrap & turn.
  • P3, place turning marker, purl to 2 stitches before end of heel. M1, P1, wrap & turn.
  • K3, place turning marker, knit to the marker you placed on the last row. M1, K1, wrap & turn.
  • P3, replace turning marker, purl to the turning marker. M1, P1, wrap & turn.
Repeat the last two rows 3 times more, until there are 30 stitches between your heel markers.

Finishing the Heel Base and Knitting the Heel Flap

Your last turn should bring the knit side facing. Knit a complete round, working the wraps together with the stitches that they wrapped. You can discard the turning markers, but keep the heel markers.

Continue knitting around, up to but not including the last stitch heel stitch. Get the marker out of your way and join the last heel stitch with the first gusset stitch with SSK (or Slip 1, K1, PSSO). Turn.
  • Slip first stitch, purl up to last heel stitch, and purl that stitch together with gusset stitch. Turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 1, repeat across heel flap. SSK the last heel stitch with the next gusset stitch. Turn.
Repeat these rows, knitting the heel flap upwards while consuming your gusset stitches. Finish when your SSK leaves only one stitch remaining before the instep stitches (two stitches remain on the other side of the heel flap).
  • Knit the last stitch, then knit across instep.
  • Knit the first stitch after the instep, K2tog, knit across heel flap stitches.


Work the leg of your sock in whatever pattern strikes your fancy. A simple ribbing is always a good choice. The length is completely up to you.

Stretchy Bind-Off

Nothing ruins your work on a pair of socks like binding off too tightly. There are a few techniques you can use to make sure socks aren't too tight at the top: bind off with a larger needle, add yarn-over stitches to your binding, Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off, etc.

This one is easy, fast, and elastic. Work two stitches in pattern, then slide them both back over to the left needle and knit them together through the back loops. Work the next stitch, slide the two active stitches back to the left hand needle and knit them together through the back loop. Continue until finished.

Evil Geniuses gloat.

Break yarn, weave in the ends, and laugh your Evil Genius laugh as you ponder the masterpiece of your perfect sock creation.

Evil Geniuses credit their muses.

Yarmando licenses "Evil Sock Genius Lessons" under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.  Feel free to use for non-commercial purposes, and if you adapt it, please give credit.  Yarmando would like to give credit to the others who inspired this pattern.