Home‎ > ‎Tutorials‎ > ‎Anatomy of Socks‎ > ‎

Part 4--Other options for Socks


Tube socks are socks knit without any specific shaping for the heel. They work best with a round or star shaped toe, that helps insure the sock wears evenly. Tube socks can be less well fitting, but some welted designs make them almost as comfortable as socks with heels.

Crosswise Knit Socks

One common variation/novelty technique for knitting socks is to knit the sock cross wise Most commonly, they are started with a provisional cast on and finished by grafting. Some crosswise knit socks are worked from toe to cuff, some, have toes and cuffs worked in more conventional styles.

Better Mouse Trap and Free Form Swirls

Are two examples of popular novelty sock designs—but both are better suited to bed socks—since they are bulkier than conventional styles and might not fit into shoe.

Mid Point

One style of mid point socks can be knit starting using a provisional cast on at the top of the heel, (and worked to the toe) and then finished by working from the top up of the heel up to the cuff. Bi-directional socks make it easy to cut off and undo the foot portion of the sock, and reknit it (rather than darning it) as various points of the foot wear out.

(see also Re-soleable socks)

The technique is also useful when working with an un known quantity of one of kind yarn (hand spun for example)—to insure you end up with the a pair of socks –before you run out of yarn.


Are sock that start, with or with out a cuff, and have no leg portion at all. The sock starts (or ends) below the ankle and only the foot (and no portion of the leg) is covered.


These are another style of sock that allow for easy replacement of worn areas.

The are most commonly knit in round till the heel position. Then the upper portion of the sock (the instep) is knit flat, to the toe. The toes is shaped by short rows. The work continues to the sole of the sock, and the heel (see any of the styles for toe up socks) is worked. The last row of the heel is grafted to the leg portion, and side seams are sewn. This method allows the sole of the sock to be easily unraveled replaced. There is also a seamless method of joining the sole to the instep.  Both methods (an some other methods allow you to snip a thread in heel, UNravel both the heel and sole, and reknit them.

Tabby toes

Are a style of sock that have a split toe, and make it easy to wear shoes or other foot wear that has a strap that comes between the big toe and the other toes.

Individual toes

Some socks are finished similar to socks, and individual tubes are knit for each toe.

Other Options

Yes there are still more options! Embroidery, either in a back stitch, or crewel work (wool embroidery), swiss darning(duplicate stitch,) or applicate-- flat or 3 dimensional, laced ribbons, drawstrings;--there are many ways to embellish knit socks.

There are several patterns for socks where the pair consists of one sock toe up, and one sock cuff down.--sometimes the pair ends up looking identical (or near identical) other times, the result is two very different looking socks.

One traditional element are clocks—design elements found at the ankle of the sock.

Clocks (the origin of the word is obscure) can be knit in place, as lace or textured elements, or added after, as embroider or applicate.


Tutorial Home page

 Toe Up Socks

Cuff Down socks

Personal Sock Club Kits

References and Links