As long as I can remember, I have hated pantyhose and stockings. Mine simply won't stay rip-free for longer than two wears. As an enthuastic knitter I've always known that it is possible to knit your own stockings or pantyhose, but for some reason I hadn't gone down that road yet. Perhaps because there simply aren't that many long lace sock patterns. In addition, most of them are one size patterns with the odds that the one size would fit my legs tending to zero.
When I saw the Tribute sock pattern in Knitty's Spring+Summer 2010 issue, I fell in love with the pattern immediately. The only drawback was that they are way too short for my taste. So I decided to knit them longer and from the toe-up. As I was knitting them, I realized why there aren't many long lace sock patterns sized to fit different feet and legs. It is very difficult to increase or decrease stitches in pattern without disrupting the beauty of the lace; different sizes require different placements of increases and decreases.
Despite the difficulty I wanted to solve my own problem of pantyhose and stockings ripping too fast and to offer others a lace sock pattern that can be customized to fit different sizes of feet and legs. As this is my first attempt at designing, please forgive me if there are some first-timer mistakes. I hope you enjoy knitting (or at least looking at these photos of) the Extra Long Tribute socks.
I want to thank Brenda Patipa for designing the Tribute socks which inspired these stockings, my husband Olli for taking the pictures, my friend Anssi for drawing the Increase Charts A, B and C for this pattern and - last but not least - Karen for helping with translating this pattern to English.Photo credit [model: Senja Jarva, photographer: Olli Jarva]
Foot size [S, M, L] (shown in size S)
From ankle to knee and knee to thigh in three different sizes: A, B and C, customizable for different sizes of feet and legs (shown in Chart C from ankle to knee and in Chart A from knee to thigh)
As the stockings will be knit to custom fit different sizes of feet and legs, measurements will be taken along the way. Size orientation is provided here:
Foot dimensions for Sizes S - M - L
Foot length: 23 cm - 25.5 cm - 28 cm
Foot circumference: 17.5 cm - 20.5 cm - 23 cm
Ankle circumference (narrowest point): 23.5 cm - 23.5 cm - 26.5 cm
Increase Charts A, B and C for the legs grow as follows:
Chart A: 1.1 cm width per 1 cm of height (the largest growth)
Chart B: 0.83 cm width per 1 cm of heigtht
Chart C: 0.66 cm width per 1 cm of height (smallest growth)
Red Heart Fashion Crochet Size 3 [100% mercerized cotton; 125yd/114m per skein]; white; at least 6 skeins (the amount varies because the pattern is multisize pattern)
3 sets of US #1.5/2.5mm double-point needles
1 US #1.5/2.5mm long circular needle for magic loop method
2 US #1.5/2.5mm circular needles for two-circulars method
size needed to obtain gauge
4mm or 5mm wide elastic band (at least 6 times the circumference of your thigh)
4mm or 5mm wide satin ribbon (at least 6 times the circumference of your thigh) (optional)
a tape measure
a skin friendly marker pen
32 sts/40 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch
34 sts/40 rows = 4" in lace pattern
I recommend knitting both socks at the same time. If you have the typical problem of leaving normal socks unfinished after the first one, you'll definitely have the same problem with the long ones.
Use a circular needle to avoid having to move the stitches from one needle to another to accomodate the stitch pattern. If you use double-pointed needles, you'll need 3 sets of them as the amount of stitches increases quite a lot to the thigh. It is much comfortable to work approximately 150 stitches at the thigh on 5 or 6 needles rather than just 4 needles.
The whole point of these toe-up socks is that you can try them on from time to time as you are knitting to see how they fit. First, you knit from toe to ankle, take measurements that determine how you are going to work the sock from ankle to knee, and when you have reached knee, you take again measurements again to determine how to work the sock from knee to upper thigh. Ajustments can be made along the way as required.
Don't be stressed about getting very accurate measurements. Your measurements might be different if you are standing or sitting, and they change from time to time anyway. This is compensated by the lace's flexibility.
The sizes from ankle to knee and knee to thigh aren't according to the CYC standard, because the standard doesn't provide any measures for those parts of legs.
I designed this pattern in the hope that you can knit it to fit any size of feet and legs, so in theory it should fit all. To achieve the miracle of fitting many legs, this pattern requires that you take your measurements and do some math.
The grey stitches in the Increase Charts A, B and C are the increased stitches. They are grey in order to highlight them and so that they are easier to notice.
Notice that the numbering on increase charts A, B and C starts at the second row - the first row is what I call "row 0", since it is the last row normal lace and illustrates how and where the increase charts start.
Stitch key for instep increase, ankle and ankle correction charts
Normal lace chart
Instep increase chart for sizes S and M
Instep increase chart for size L
Ankle chart for sizes S and M
Ankle chart for size L
Ankle correction chart for sizes S and M for chart B
Ankle correction chart for sizes S and M for chart C
Ankle correction chart for size L
Increase chart A
Increase chart B
Increase chart C
Cast on 32[32, 32] sts for each sock with Judy's magic cast on method (if you don't know the technique, have a look at it here).
Now you have 16[16, 16] sts per sock on each needle. Add a stitch marker to the beginning of the round. Knit one row.
Increase 4 sts per row on the next 4[5, 6] rows as follows: *k1, m1, knit until 2 st remain on the needle, m1, k1.* Repeat all steps for the second sock on the second needle. 48[52, 56] sts in total.
Now continue increases on every second row, until you have 60[64, 68] sts. Knit 1 row without increases.
To the right of the marker is the sole of the sock and to the left of the marker the instep of the sock.
Sizes S and M: Move 4 st from the sole's side to the instep's needle, 2 sts from each of the sides. Move the marker with the 2 sts, as its place has shifted because of the moved sts.
Size L: No need to move any stitches or the marker.
Now you have 26[30, 34] stitches on the sole and 34[34, 34] on the instep.
Now start working the lace from the row 1[1, 13] of the normal chart and work the lace for 48[48, 60] rows. Continue in stockinette stitch on the 26[30, 34] sts on the sole's side.
On the next 12 rows, 3[3, 4] sts will be added to the intersections of lace and stockinette stitch. Work the stockinette stitch on the sole's side and the normal lace pattern on the instep's side, but follow the instep increase chart at their encounter point. When the increases are done, you can start the heel flap.
This sock's heel is made with a traditional heel technique, but as this sock is started from toe up, the heel flap is on the sole's side.
Use the 26[30, 34] stitches on the sole to make the heel flap. Turn so that the wrong side is facing.
Row 1 [WS]: Sl 1 knit wise, p 25[29, 33], turn.
Row 2 [RS]: Sl 1 purl wise, k 25[29, 33], turn.
Repeat these two rows until the flap measures 2[2, 2] inches (5 cm).
Turn the heel
Row 1 [WS]: Sl 1 (knit wise), p 16[18, 21] p2tog, turn.
Row 2 [RS]: Sl 1, k 8[8, 10], ssk, turn.
Row 3 [WS]: Sl 1, p 8[8, 10], p2tog, turn.
Row 4 [RS]: Sl 1, k 8[8, 10], ssk, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until there are 10[10, 12] stitches left.
Gusset setup round: With the help of the crochet hook, pick up and knit 15[15, 18] stitches along the first side of the heel flap, knit 3[3, 4] sts, and work the following 34[34, 34] sts in the lace pattern, knit 3[3, 4] sts, pick up and knit 16[16, 19] sts along the second side of the heel flap and knit the 10[10, 12] sts from the heel.
Place the marker.
Total of 81[81, 91] sts.
Shifting the start of the row:
Knit 9 [9, 13] sts, place marker.
Row 2: knit 9 [9, 9] sts, 34 [34, 34] sts in the lace pattern, knit 38 [38, 48]sts.
Row 3-12: work 60 [60, 60] sts according to the lace pattern (starting from 9th stitch in the 3rd row), 13 [13, 23] sts according to the ankle lace chart for the required size and the remaining 8 [8, 8] sts according to the normal lace pattern (stitches 1-8 on 3rd row).
From ankle to knee
Before you continue working the sock, you need to take some measurements to determine how to proceed.
Measuring your ankle's circumference
Now that the sock's ankle is done, try the sock on. With the skin-friendly marker, draw a small line on your ankle where the sock's edge is. Be careful not to color the sock with the pen. Now measure the circumference of your ankle where the sock's edge and the mark on your skin are.
Measuring the circumference above your knee
Stand up and mark a small line about 2 inches (5 cm) above your knee cap. Measure the circumference at the line.
Measuring the distance between ankle and knee
Sitting on the floor, with your knee at a 90 degree angle, measure the distance between the lines on your skin.
Calculating the ankle-knee ratio
Now, calculate the ankle-knee ratio as follows:
ratio = (circumference above knee - circumference of ankle) / the distance between ankle and above knee
Choosing the right lace chart to work next
If the ankle-knee ratio is
Instructions about using increase chart B:
This chart is slightly different from charts A and C. If you have to work chart B more than once, read these instructions.
When you have finished row 48 on chart B, you can see that the lace ends in "holes", not in "flowers". To start increasing stitches according to chart B again, you need "flowers" (as you can see on row 0 of chart B).
You achieve this by starting chart B at a different place: either 17sts to the right or 17sts to the left. This means that the starting place of chart B isn't in the middle of your calf anymore.
Notice that if you have to knit the chart B an odd number of times, you will be able to shift the starting place back to the middle of your calf: if you shifted the starting place to right (or left), you can shift it to the left (or right) next time, and it is in the middle of your calf again.
Sizes S and M:
If you are using increase chart A, work the first 60  sts of the row according to the normal lace pattern, then work the increase chart A from row 13 and work the remaining 8sts according to the normal lace pattern.
If you are using the increase charts B or C; before starting increase chart B or C you need to work rows 1-12 from the ankle correction chart for sizes S and M. Then work as follows: 54sts according to normal lace pattern (starting from the 9th st on row 1), 25sts according to increase chart B or C from row 25 and 2sts according to normal lace pattern (7th and 8th st on row 1).
If you are using the increase chart A: before starting to work on increase chart A, work 60sts in the normal lace pattern, 23sts in correction lace chart for size L and 8sts in normal lace pattern. Now you can start working the increase chart A as follows: 68sts in normal lace pattern, 7sts according to chart A from row 25 and 16sts in normal lace pattern.
If you are to using increase chart B or C, unravel the last 31sts (8sts in normal lace chart and 23sts that are worked according to the ankle chart). Work the 23sts as follows: k2, p2, k3, yo, k9, yo, k3, p2, k2 (2sts added, 93sts in total) and work 8sts in normal lace chart.
Then work as follows: 71sts in normal lace pattern, 3 sts according to chart B or C from row 37 and 19sts in normal lace pattern.
If you have worked the whole increase chart before the sock reaches your knee (which is likely), start working the same increase chart again. If you are working increase chart B, remember to check the instructions about working chart B for more than once above! Do not worry about finishing the increase chart before the sock reaches your knee - you can leave the chart mid-way, take your measurements and change the increase chart as needed.
When the sock reaches about 2 inches (5 cm) above your knee, it is time to take more measurements.
From knee to thigh
Measuring the circumference above your knee
As the pen mark that you made above your knee has most likely faded away, make another mark. Sitting on the floor, with your knee at 90 degree angle, put the sock on and draw a small line to edge of the sock. Again, be careful not to color the sock with the marker. Measure the circumference around the line.
Measuring the circumference of your thigh
First think about what is the desired final length of these socks. Do you want them to go as high as they can go? Or somewhat lower? About 2.5 inches from the desired length, draw a small line on your thigh and measure the circumference of your thigh. The 2.5 inches are for the ribbing with elastic bands that keep the sock up.
Measuring the distance between ankle and knee
Now measure the distance between the lines above your knee and on your thigh.
Calculating the knee-thigh ratio
Now, calculate the knee-thigh ratio as follows:
ratio = (circumference of thigh - circumference above knee) / the distance between above knee and thigh
Choosing the right lace chart to work next
If the knee-thigh ratio is
|Row number on increase chart A||Changing to increase chart B||Changing to increase chart C|
|Row 12||Work row 12 as: k2tog, k2, k2tog, k5, ssk, k2, ssk (decreased 4sts). On the next row: 2sts in normal lace, 9sts in chart B on row 13 (9sts become 11sts) ans 2sts in normal lace.||not possible, work 12 more rows on chart A|
|Row 24||Work row 24 as follows: k2tog, k15, ssl (decreased 2sts). On the next row: 6sts in normal lace, 5sts in chart B on row 25 and 6sts in normal lace.||Work row 24 as follows: k2tog, k, k2tog, k, k2tog, k3, ssk, k, ssk, k, ssk (decreased 6sts). On the next row: work 25sts in chart C on row 25 (8sts that were worked in normal lace on the previous row, 13sts from the altered row 24 and 8sts in normal lace).|
|Row number on increase chart B||Changing to increase chart A||Changing to increase chart C|
|Row 12||Work row 12 as follows: k2, yo, k3, yo, k3, yo, k3, yo, k2 (increased 4sts). Next row: 2sts in normal lace, 13sts in chart A on row 13 (13sts become 15sts) and 2sts in normal lace.||Work row 12 as follows: k2tog, k, k2tog, k3, ssk, k, ssk (decreased 4sts). On the next row: work 25sts in chart C on row 13 (8sts that were worked in normal lace on the previous row, 9sts from the altered row 24 and 8sts in normal lace).|
|Row 24||Work row 24 as follows: k5, yo, k7, yo, k5 (increased 2sts). Next row: 6sts in normal lace, 7sts in chart A on row 25 and 6 sts in normal lace.||Work row 24 as follows: k2tog, k3, ssk, k3, k2tog, k3, ssk (decreased 4sts). On the next row: work 25sts in chart C on row 25 (6sts that were worked in normal lace on previous row, 13sts from the altered row 24 and 6sts in normal lace).|
|Row 36||not possible, work 12 more rows on chart B||Work row 36 as follows: p2tog, ssk, k5, k2tog, p2tog (decreased 4sts). Next row: 3sts in normal lace, 3sts in chart C on row 37 and 3sts in normal lace.|
|Row number on increase chart C||Changing to increase chart A||Changing to increase chart B|
|Row 12||not possible, work 12 more rows on chart C||Work row 12 as follows: k2, p2, k2, yo, k4, yo, k5, yo, k4, yo, k2, p2, k2 (increased 4sts). On the next row: 10sts in normal lace, 9sts in chart B on row 13 (9sts become 11sts) and 10sts in normal lace.|
|Row 24||Work row 24 as follows: k, yo, k3, yo, k2, yo, k5, yo, k, yo, k3, yo, k2 (increased 6sts). On the next row: 8sts in normal lace, 7sts in chart A on row 25 and 8sts in normal lace.||Work row 24 as follows: p, k3, yo, k9, yo, k7, yo, k9, yo, k3, p (increased 4sts). On the next row: 16sts in normal lace, 5sts in chart B on row 37 and 16sts in normal lace.|
|Row 36||not possible, work 24 more rows on chart C||Work row 36 as follows: k3, yo, k4, yo, k3, yo, k4, yo, k3 (increased 4sts). On the next row: 9sts in normal lace, 3sts in chart B on row 37 (these 3sts become 5sts) and 9sts in normal lace.|
|Row 48||not possible, work 12 more rows on chart C||not possible, work 12 more rows on chart C|
Ribbing setup row:
With the sts that were worked in normal lace, work the ribbing setup row as the following chart:
Count the sts that were worked according to increase charts A, B or C. If the amount is not divisible by eight, decrease sts until they are divisible by eight. Start ribbing:
Work k2p2 rib for 1 inch.
Row 1: work *k2, p2tog, yo* for the whole row (creating a row of holes among the ribbing).
Rows 2-6: work the k2p2 rib (for 5 rows).
Work the rows 1-6 two more times. Now you have 3 rows of eyelets. You can make more eyelet rows should you need more than 3 rows of elastic band to keep your socks up.
Turn the sock inside out and in weave in ends.
Thread one end of the elastic band through one of the eyelet rows of the stocking. When the elastic has been through all the holes, try on the sock to determine the tightness of the band. Make the band tight, because it will stretch out, but not so tight as to leave tight bands leave marks on your skin or to feel uncomfortable. Cut the elastic. Sew the ends together.
If you have satin ribbons, thread the ribbon on top of the elastic band, cut the ribbon and make a bow.
Put elastic band and ribbon on the other rows of eyelets in both socks.