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Poolside Socks

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The idea for the Poolside Socks came to me whilst sitting poolside knitting on a sock and watching my daughter’s swimming lesson. The cool blue tones of the water and the bright glistening lights from above are fascinating to watch as the water ripples and splashes, making the colours of the tiles on the bottom dance to the music of children having fun. The easy to memorise cable pattern on the poolside socks is intended to resemble the undulating movement of the pool and be a fun project to work on whether you are sat poolside, like me, at a swimming lesson or in sunnier climes with a cocktail in hand and a palm tree for shade!

The poolside socks are knit from the top down and in the round. The cuff starts with a long tail cast-on (or your preferred stretchy method) and a simple 1x1 rib with a contrast stripe for added interest. The heel is of a German Short Row construction and a traditional wedge toe (with matching contrast stripe) is used to complete the sock. The instructions are intended to be ‘needle type neutral’ so work whether you are using Magic loop, a small ‘sock’ circular needle or DPN’s. Markers are used to mark the beginning/end of the round and the halfway point of the stitch count. If using Magic loop this corresponds to the start of needle 1 and start of needle 2. For DPN’s, the start of needle 1 and start of needle 3. If you prefer knitting socks on a small ‘sock’ circular needle, then simply place the markers as instructed. 


Small (Medium, Large)

Size labels provide a rough guide only, I recommend choosing a size based on the actual foot circumference and intended amount of negative ease rather than relying on the size labels alone.

Finished foot circumference

7” (8”, 9”) / 17.5cm (20cm, 22.5cm)

Approximately 1” (2.5cm) of negative ease is recommended. Therefore, pick a size around 1” (2.5cm) smaller than the actual foot circumference. Size labels provide a rough guide only, choose a size based on the actual foot circumference and intended amount of negative ease.

Yarn Requirements

The sample sock is a size Medium, worn with the recommended 1” (2.5cm) negative ease. It is knit using a Giddy Yarns sock set in the colourway ‘Waters Edge’.

Suggested Yarns

For the main colour, any light fingering or sock weight yarn with approximately 425m (465yds) per 100g. For the contrast colour yarn, one 20g mini skein of the same yarn composition.

Required Meterage (Yardage)

Main colour (MC): 300 (335, 395) m / 328 (367, 432) yds.

This equates to 1 skein of light fingering or sock weight yarn with approximately 425m (465yds) per 100g, for all sizes.

Contrast colour (CC): one 20g contrast mini skein for all sizes.

Required meterage (yardage) is based on the specified gauge and recommended yarn, plus extra for swatching and assuming a large shoe size of a men’s UK 10.5 (EUR 45, US 11).

Needles and Notions


2.5mm (US size 1.5) and 2.75mm (US size 2) OR needle size needed to obtain gauge. DPN’s or long circular needle if using the magic loop method. A short circular e.g. 9” (23cm) needle may be used for the leg, heel turn and foot of the sock but DPN’s or Magic loop will be required for the toe.

Two needle sizes are used throughout. The all over cable pattern on the leg section creates a tighter fabric than the rest of the sock. Therefore, a larger needle size is recommended for this section only and the smaller needle is used for the cuff, heel, foot and toe.


2 stitch markers

Cable needle

Required Techniques

Knitting in the round

Cable knitting

German Short Rows

Grafting of the toe stitches to close

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