Erik’s Iceberg Socks

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2 contrasting skeins Dale Baby Ull @ 50 g/175 m
100% merino wool
set of 5 double-pointed needles @ 2.5 mm

Gauge: about 7.5 stitches per inch
Size: US 9/European 40
Features: figure-eight cast-on, short-row heel, sewn tubular cast off

Using the figure-eight cast-on, cast on 20 stitches (10 on each needle) with Colour A. Divide over 4 needles: 5 stitches on each needle.

On the next round, increase by knitting into the front and back of the first stitch on Needles 1 and 3, and the penultimate stitch on Needles 1 and 4. Repeat this round until you have a total of 44 stitches, or 11 on each needle.

Knit 1 round plain.
Knit an increase round.
Repeat these two rounds until you have 68 stitches, or 17 on each needle.

Join Colour B. Do not cut Colour A; you can strand it up the side. [Knit 2, purl 2] over the 34 instep stitches on Needles 1 and 2; end knit 2. Knit 34 sole stitches in stockinette over Needles 3 and 4. Continue in the established pattern until you have knit 6 rounds with Colour B.

Knit 3 rounds with Colour A. Knit 6 rounds with Colour B.
After you have 8 stripes of Colour A, knit 3 rounds with Colour B. Do not cut the yarn.

Pick up Colour A again for the heel. Turn work and purl back across Needles 3 and 4 with Colour A. These 34 stitches form the heel.

Turn work and knit to the last stitch, wrap it and turn.
Purl to the last stitch, wrap it and turn.
Knit to one stitch before the wrapped stitch, wrap and turn.
Purl to the last stitch before the wrapped stitch, wrap and turn.
Continue in this way until 12 unwrapped stitches remain.

On the next row, work the first stitch and the wrap together. Turn work and knit (or purl) to the next wrapped stitch; pick up the wrap and knit it together with the stitch. For a better explanation of short-row heel technique, see here.

After you have lengthened all the short rows and have 34 live stitches on the heel again, drop Colour A and pick up Colour B. Knit across the instep stitches; then pick up one stitch in the gap between the instep and heel; knit plain across the heel stitches; pick up another stitch in the second gap. On the next round, decrease these stitches by knitting or purling them together. You should knit 3 rounds of Colour B after the heel, for a total of 6 rounds.

Continue in the stripe pattern as established until you have 15 stripes of Colour B. Knit 6 rounds of Colour A. Then cut Colour A and knit 1 round plain of Colour B. On the next round, [k1tbl, p1] to the end. Repeat this round for a total of 15 twisted rib rounds.

Sewn tubular cast off: cut a long length of yarn about 24 inches long. The first stitch should be a knit stitch. With work facing, *insert needle into the knit stitch as if to purl. Then take the wool under that stitch and insert it into the next stitch as if to knit. Insert it through the first stitch ā€“ again ā€“ as if to knit. Slip the first stitch off the needle.

Thread the wool through the second stitch as if to purl. Then thread it through the first stitch as if to purl. Slip that stitch off the needle.* Repeat from * to * until all the stitches are worked.

If these cast-off directions sucked, go here for a better explanation (with photographs) or see Anna Zilboorg, Magnificent Mittens, page 134.

Reverse the colour scheme for the second sock.

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