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Willowbug MKAL

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Willowbug MKAL are a pair of toe-up socks that combine the beauty of nature with the intricate details of lace, twisted stitches, and cables.

Inspired by the lush undergrowth of the forest floor, this pattern evokes blades of grass swaying in the breeze. The lace pattern is like dappled sunlight filtering through leaves. As you work your way up the leg, twisted stitches become more prominent like vines creeping up a tree trunk. Intricate twists and turns of cables mimic the branches of a majestic tree. Each step of the pattern unlocks a new element, leading you on a journey through the forest and towards a beautiful pair of socks.

Willowbug MKAL is available in three sizes with adjustable foot and leg length. The design is chart-heavy but written instructions are also provided for all stitch patterns. Right and left socks are mirror images of each other and can be worked two at a time.

The pattern is written with both metric and US terminology.

Share your socks on Instagram with the hashtags #willowbugmkal and #talviknits.

Willowbug MKAL was originally released as a 5-part mystery knitalong in May 2023.


  • S [M, L]
  • 64 [68, 72] sts in foot
  • 66 [70, 74] sts in leg
  • To fit shoe size approx. EU 39/40 [41/42, 43/44] / US 7–8 [8½–9½, 10–11]


  • Foot circumference: approx. 20.5 [22, 23] cm / 8¼ [8¾, 9¼]"
  • Foot length: approx. 23.5 [24, 26.5] cm / 9¼ [9½, 10½]" or adjustable within pattern
  • Leg length from top of heel flap: approx. 14.5 [14.5, 16.5] cm / 5¾ [5¾, 6½]" or adjustable within pattern

Choose a size with approx. 10% of negative ease in circumference. The sample pair was knit in size S.



  • Adelia Fibers Merino Sock (75% merino, 25% nylon, 425 m/100 g, 465 yd/3.53 oz), 1 skein in the colorway Lehto
  • or (light) fingering-weight sock yarn, approx. 335 [365, 425] m / 365 [400, 465] yd


  • 2.5 mm / US #1½ double-pointed or circular needle(s) or size needed to obtain gauge


  • 2 cable needles (optional)
  • Darning needle


  • 31 sts × 47 rnds = 10 cm / 4" in stockinette, blocked


This pattern uses the following techniques: working small circumferences in the round, lace, twisted and traveling stitches, cables, and German short rows. The pattern assumes knowledge of a cast-on and bind-off method for toe-up socks; references are given for a few alternatives.

Ability to follow charts is recommended but written instructions are also provided for the lace pattern. Cabling without a cable needle is recommended as it will speed up your knitting.


You will get the following files:
  • PDF (2MB)
  • PDF (2MB)

Customer Reviews

Karen H.

Verified Buyer

2 months ago

Great MKAL

I really enjoyed participating in the MKAL, getting a clue a week. These are definitely the most intricate socks I've ever made so far, but the charts were clear, and written instructions provided for those who don't like charts. An excellent pattern!

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