Goon Squad

Toe-up socks that are big, bulky, and don't require a lot of brain power:  perfect for an inexperienced minion eager to join ranks with the Evil Sock Genius.

As a joke, I wrote up this pattern in the minimalist style of the old, mimeographed Lopi sock pattern which was the first sock pattern I ever knit. A download link is at the bottom of this page. Check it out for some retro fun.

This is the original heel-flap version. An updated version with short-row heel is available on Ravelry. If you like these patterns and want to thank me with a cup of coffee, an Evil Sock Genius could always use the caffeine.


  • Sock circumference 8½ inches, to fit someone with a mid-foot circumference of 9½ inches. 
  • Target gauge is 3½ st/in. 


  • Desirable bulky yarn. 
  • U.S. size 10 (6 mm) circular needle (or size to get gauge), at least 40 inches long. Knit Picks and Addi Turbos have superior cables: soft and flexible.
  • Stitch markers; coil-less safety pin type is recommended.

Special Skills

  • Magic Loop:  a method of knitting a sock (or other small circumference) using a long circular needle. When knitting, the back half of your sock hangs in the middle of your needle cable. There will be two big loops of cable on either side, and you work across the front of your sock with the ends of the circular needle. Type "magic loop" into your favorite search engine to find videos and illustrations.
  • Other skills, like Turkish Cast-On, Yarnover Increases, and Short Rows are explained below.

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 3-4" 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.
  • Knit across the stitches on the "top" needle. Be sure to keep your "bottom" stitches snug around the cord.  (14 stitches total)
You're now at the beginning of your round. Half your sock stitches will be your instep, and the other half with be the sole.
  • Knit one round, working one stitch in each loop.  

Toe Increases

  • Knit 1, YO, knit until 1 stitch remains on that side, YO, knit 1. Repeat for other side.
  • Knit round, making sure to twist the yarnovers by working through the back loop.
Repeat these two rounds until there are 30 stitches total, 15 per side.

Knitting the Foot
Now you just keep knitting around plain. When your sock is 4-6 inches long, or about 4.5 inches shorter than the total length of your foot, it's time to start the gusset increases.

The gusset & heel sections of the sock are 24 rounds/rows long. This is about 4.5 inches, but if you are a loose knitter, 24 rows might be 4.75-5 inches or more. If it is, then start the gussets when your sock is 5 inches shorter than your foot length.

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.
  • Knit round, making sure to twist the yarnovers by knitting into their backs.
Work these two rounds 8 times, giving you 46 stitches total, 15 stitches on the instep, 31 stitches on the sole. Stop at the end of the instep stitches, ready to work the sole.

Turning the Heel

  • Knit 21 stitches. W&T ("Wrap and turn," explained below).
    • Slip the next stitch 
    • Bring the yarn between the needles, to the other side
    • Slip the stitch back to the left needle
    • Bring the yarn back between the needles
    • Turn your sock around so you can work in the other direction
  • Purl 11, W&T.
  • Knit 10, W&T.
  • Purl 9, W&T.
  • Knit 8, W&T.
  • Purl 7, W&T.
  • Knit 6, W&T.
  • Purl 5, W&T.

Transition round
Ready? This is the fun part.

  Knit 5. The next four stitches have wraps around their bases; knit each stitch and wrap together:
  • Slip the wrapped stitch
  • Stick the left needle under the wrap and into your slipped stitch, putting them both on the left needle  
  • Knit them together
  Do this for all four wrapped stitches, then knit the remaining 9 stitches on the sole.

  Knit the instep, then knit 9.  The next four stitches are wrapped backwards:
  • Stick the right needle under the wrap and into the wrapped stitch
  • Knit stitch and wrap together through the back loop

Heel Flap

Knit 8, SSK. Turn.
  • (Slip 1, purl 1) six times. P2tog. Turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 11. SSK. Turn.
Repeat these two rows, knitting the heel flap upwards while consuming your gusset stitches. Finish when your SSK leaves only 1 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.  I recommend knitting 6 rounds plain, then start K2,P1 ribbing.  The length is completely up to you; 4-5 inches is nice.

Stretchy Bind-Off

Nothing ruins your work on a pair of socks like binding off too tightly. Think loose!

Knit two stitches, 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.

Now clone it, so you have a pair.

Evil Geniuses credit their muses.

Yarmando licenses "Goon Squad" 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.
Don Yarman,
Jun 1, 2014, 12:03 PM