Polka Dot Spectacle Sock

My progress in the craft of knitting has been erratic.  Whereas people who learn to knit in a more formal pedagogy have this concept of some techniques or stitches being more advanced than others, as a self-taught knitter, I just see things I already know vs. things I don’t know yet.

One of the things I didn’t know yet last month was double knitting.  I wanted to learn it, because I suspected it was the secret of knitting socks two-at-once, so I looked around at various resources and started to figure it out (this was the most helpful tutorial I found).

Normally I have a specific project in mind when I’m learning a new technique, but double knitting isn’t very popular and nothing in my queue used it, so I was trying to figure out what to practice on before trying out my two-at-once sock idea.

I also was starting to get annoyed with having to constantly untangle my glasses from other things in my work bag: they would wrap themselves in my yarn or interlock obscenely with my measuring tape, and this could not continue.

So I made a little double-knitted socklet to keep my specs safe and contained.  It’s knitted in a double-faced stockinette from the bottom up and finished with a marled ribbing section, so it is fully reversible.

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Sizing

Whatever you need, really.  At my gauge, which was roughly 5 sts and 6 rows per inch, the pattern below made a tube 7.5″ long and 3″ wide (6″ in circumference).  It’s very easy to adjust, though.

Materials

  • about 35 yards each of two colors of worsted weight yarn (I used Ella Rae Classic Superwash in Light Grey and Fibra Natura Oak in Castor Grey)
  • five US8 (5mm) DPNs

Pattern

CO 15 sts in one color.  Knit sts through the front onto one DPN, but through the back onto another DPN.  This will leave you with 30sts total.  Repeat this process for the other color of yarn on separate needles.

Take a new DPN and knit the first st from the “front” needle of one yarn, purl the first st from the front needle of the other yarn, and repeat this process until your working needle has all 30 sts interleaved, with all the sts of one color knit and the other purl.  Repeat for the “back” needles.  60 sts.

Now there should be enough slack to redistribute the sts evenly onto your preferred number of DPNs (I used three).

*NOTE: make sure to remember to bring BOTH yarns to the front when you work the right side fabric, and move BOTH yarns to the back when you work the wrong side fabric*

R1: stockinette (knit the right-side sts and purl the wrong-side sts, each in their own yarn)

R2: *4 sts stockinette, 2 sts interleaved (knit the right-side sts with the yarn from the wrong side and purl the wrong-side sts with the yarn from the right side)* repeat around.

R3: same as R2

R4-6: same as R1 (you will trade the yarns back to their originating sides as you work R4)

R7: *1 st stockinette, 2 sts interleaved, 3 sts stockinette* repeat around.

R8: same as R7

R9-10: same as R1 (you will trade the yarns back to their originating sides as you work R9)

Repeat these 10 rows twice, and then work R1-R6 once more for a total of 38 rows.  There will be 7 rows of dots and you will have just finished three plain stockinette rows.

Take both strands of working yarn and establish marled ribbing by k2tog, p2tog to end of round.

Work in 1×1 rib as established (*k1, p1* around) for 1.25″.

Bind off and block as desired.  I used a regular knitted bind off to tighten up the edge because I was paranoid about my glasses slipping out, but any bind off can be used.

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4 thoughts on “Polka Dot Spectacle Sock

  1. What a marvelous creation! Cleverly done, quite attractive, so practical. I like the polka-dot pattern (do you think the “polka” part comes from the dance? Just wondering at the origins of terms) which might make it easier to notice among other items. Bet you could sell this puppy if you took a notion, and no doubt you feel accomplished in learning this new technique you explored. Even though I haven’t knitted anything since the “square” everyone did in 3rd or 4th grade (to create a charity blanket), it is really fun to see the things you create.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Actually nobody knows why they’re called polka dots. The closely related term “swiss dot” is actually well-documented, but the best theory I’ve seen about polka dots is that they’re associated with the costumes worn in polka.

  2. ps – also enjoying the snow scene in your banner (though the white on white makes the text somewhat unreadable) – seems quite appropriate for this winter season!

    1. Ugh, I know the white-on-white is awful, but because of where the text falls in the image (which WordPress doesn’t seem to allow me to edit?), there’s really no winning. I tried white, black, green, blue, all shades…finally settled on the white because it’s no *less* readable than any of the other choices and it’s thematically appropriate. I want to do something else with the banner completely, but it’s (I think understandably) low on my list of priorities right now.

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