This is my basic sock pattern, arrived at by trial and error over numerous pairs of socks, and it is the pattern that I invariably use for my husband's socks. It fits me too, if I change the needle size.
We all have our own sock patterns, I am sure. In my knitting notebook this particular pattern is a few lines and some numbers, with a fair amount of crossing out and different things put instead. Mostly it is just in my head, so it is probably high time that I wrote it down. There are a few little details included here that make the difference with regard to fit and finish. Anyway, here it is.
64 Stitch Socks
You need 100 grams of ordinary sock yarn - Opal, Regia, Trekking XXL or possibly Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - whatever you like.
Needle size 2.25mm (2.5mm) - you can use either 4 or 5 dpns, two circs, or magic loop as you please. I prefer 5 dpns, but that's just me.
Tension 8sts and 11 rds = 1" (7.5sts and 10 rds). Do check this - if your tension is different, then the finished sock won't be the same size as mine.
Helpful links - for instructions on working in the round - look here - small diameter circular knitting is what you want. And for instructions on grafting, aka Kitchener stitch - look here. For weaving in ends - this is what you want. For ssk - look here. (You want to look at the English video if you hold the yarn in your right hand, the Continental video if you hold the yarn in your left hand. And if you hold the yarn in your teeth, you're on your own.)
Cast on 64 sts. Join for working in the round, taking care not to twist the cast-on. I use a set of 5 dpns, with 16 sts on each of 4 needles. I like to join for working in the round using this method, which is the best I've found.
Work 20 rounds of rib, either 1x1 or 2x2 as you prefer - less, if you like. I usually only work 8 or 10 rounds for my own socks.
Work 60 rounds stocking stitch - or more, if you like. I often work 70 rounds for my socks.
Work a heel flap over the last 32 stitches - that would be the last two needles if you are using 5 dpns - using heel stitch. Please note that this is a little different from the usual method, because it starts with a purl row. It is a good idea at this point to arrange your stitches so that the heel stitches are all on one needle. The instep stitches are set aside until after the heel is finished.
To begin, turn your knitting so that the purl side is facing.
Row 1: slip1, purl across the remaining 31 heel stitches. Turn.
Row 2: (slip 1, knit1) - repeat across. Turn.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked 32 rows in the heel flap. (Usually the number of rows in the heel flap is the same as the number of stitches across. )
Turn the heel in whatever way you like best - or use this method:
Slip1, p18, p2tog, p1, turn - this leaves 10 sts unworked on your left hand needle, before you turn.
Slip 1, k7, k2tog, k1, turn - again, this leaves 10 sts unworked on the left hand needle, before you turn.
Slip 1, p across to one stitch before the gap, p2tog using the next stitch and the first stitch on the other side of the gap, p1, turn.
Slip 1, k across to one stitch before the gap, k2tog with the next stitch and the first stitch on the other side of the gap, k1, turn.
Repeat the last 2 rows until you have used up all the stitches across the top of the heel flap. You will finish at the end of a knit row, and there will be 20 sts left. Don't turn at the end of this last row.
Now we need to pick up and knit stitches along the sides of the heel flap, and return to working in the round.
Knit up one stitch in each slipped stitch along the left hand side of the heel flap - 16 sts. I work through both loops of the slipped stitch, together. And I always seem to want to pick up an extra stitch at the bottom corner as well, so that would make 17 - I use this method. It does mean that you won't get a hole.
Then carry on across the 32 instep stitches. Knit up another stitch in the corner on the other side, then one stitch in each slipped stitch along the right hand edge of the heel flap, then continue working across to the middle of the heel - 10 more stitches.
This point - the middle of the heel flap, and also the middle of the sole - is now the beginning of the round.
Work one round to confirm the stitches. It is helpful to arrange things so that the instep stitches are separated from the rest, if you haven't got this arrangement already.
Now work the side gussets.
On the next round, work to three stitches from the end of the first needle (in other words, three stitches before the instep stitches begin) and then k2tog, k1.
Work straight across the 32 instep stitches and then work k1, ssk at the beginning of the next needle, knit to the end of the round.
Work one round plain.
Alternate these two rounds until your stitch count is back to 64 again.
Now work the foot - plain stocking stitch, until a total of 72 rounds have been worked since the pick-up along the side of the heel flap. This fits the sizes given above - you can adjust for a women's size 5 or 7 by working 4 rounds less or 4 rounds more, and for a men's size 8 or 10 in the same way.
Now shape the toe - this is a graduated wedge toe. First, work 16 sts plain, this takes you to the right hand side of the sock, and this point is now the beginning of the round.
Round 1: This is the decrease round. You will be working 4 decreases, 2 at each side of the sock. At the beginning of needle 1 work k1, ssk. Work to three stitches before the end of needle 2 then k2tog, k1.
At the beginning of needle 3, work k1, ssk. Work to three stitches before the end of needle 4, k2tog, k1.
Rounds 2, 3, & 4: work plain. 15 sts on each needle, 60 in total.
Round 5: as Round 1
Rounds 6 & 7: work plain. 14 sts on each needle, 56 in total.
Round 8: as Round 1
Round 9: work plain. 13 sts on each needle, 52 in total.
Alternate these last two rows until you have 10 stitches on each needle - 40 in total. This will be at the end of round 14.
Now work every round as Round 1 until there are just 4 sts left on each needle -16 in total. This will be at the end of 20 rounds since you started the toe shaping.
Slip the sts from needles 1 and 2 onto the same needle, and the sts from needles 3 and 4 onto another.
Graft these stitches together - 8 from the top of the sock, and 8 from the sole.
Weave in ends - and you're done.