Spinnaker Socks

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The Spinnaker Socks feature a stitch pattern that I stumbled across while looking for something else entirely and loved how the addition of a few simple slipped stitches added so much texture to basic garter stitch triangles. The triangles made me think of sails, so I've named these socks after the Spinnaker Tower, a tower in Portsmouth that is designed to look like a sail.

The socks are knitted from the top-down, starting with a 1 x 3 ribbed cuff that flows seamlessly into the sail pattern. The Spinnaker pattern runs round the whole of the leg and across the top of the foot. The heel flap has a slipped stitch pattern and a round (French) heel turn. The toe is created with shaping down each side and is gathered at the end – no need for any pesky Kitchener stitch!

The Spinnaker Socks are knitted in DK weight yarn, which makes them perfect for speedy gift knitting! The slipped stitch cables are also really easy and can be worked without a cable needle.

The pattern is needle-neutral, so you can knit these socks on your choice of DPNs, short circulars or magic loop.


S (M, L, XL)

Finished sock circumferences: 15.5 (19, 22, 25) cm [6.25 (7.5, 8.75, 10) in]; for the best fit, choose a size that is approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) smaller than your foot circumference.

Leg length to heel: 15 (17.5, 17.5, 20) cm [6 (7, 7, 8) in].

Foot length is adjustable.

The stitch counts for the sole are modified so that they are the same width as the patterned foot top, this results in the socks fitting the same as regular stocking stitch socks with a stitch count of 38 (46, 54, 60) sts.


  • 24 sts and 40 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in stocking stitch
  • 25.5 sts and 40 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in Spinnaker pattern

worked in the round on 3.5 mm (US 4) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.

215 (280, 355, 435) m [240 (310, 390, 480) yds] of DK weight yarn.

Note that these numbers are for guidance only as the lengths of both the legs and the feet are variable to fit. See pattern notes for further guidance on yarn choice.


  • 3.25 mm (US 3) and 3.5 mm (US 4) DPNs, set of 5, or 
  • 3.25 mm (US 3) and 3.5 mm (US 4) circular needles at least 80 cm (32 in) in length to work magic loop, or 
  • 3.25 mm (US 3) and 3.5 mm (US 4) circular needle, 22.5 cm (9 in) in length


  • Stitch markers x 5 (one should be different so it can be distinguished from the others)
  • Cable needle (optional)

Pattern notes
The instructions are for the smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses: S (M, L, XL).

The socks shown are knitted in Ripples Crafts Doubly Reliable Sock Yarn [DK; 420 m (459 yds) per 150 g skein; 75% merino wool, 25% nylon] in the colourway Moonshine and size L for a UK women’s size 9.5 foot [foot length 27.25 cm (10.75 in)].

You may be able to get gauge by holding 4-ply/light fingering yarn double. If you use yarn held double, you will need twice as many metres/yds.

I would recommend using a dedicated sock yarn for these socks, either a wool/nylon blend or a high-twist wool yarn.

Pattern edited by Jo Torr.

This pattern was first published in issue 110 of Knit Now Magazine. The red socks featured in Knit Now are knitted in Noro Silk Garden Solo.


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