I've become a fan of making my own sock patterns. As an experienced knitter, it's fun and relatively easy. To the beginner, though, having a pattern is important. Even better is a basic pattern, which is often a blank canvas on which a knitter imposes his or her own creativity. Baby socks are good for that. They can also be an instant-gratification project, a way to use up leftover yarn, or a way to take a new yarn for a test drive.
It is because of the latter that these socks came about. I had seen On Your Toes Bamboo (Ravelry link) at my LYS months ago, but whenever I stopped in after that they were sold out. I don't like special ordering yarn (for some reason I feel like premeditated spending is worse than impulse buys--I have no idea why), so I just kept an eye out. Last week while I get getting some Cascade 220 for a sweater, I noticed that they had it in. It's a pretty salmon pink, plenty girly without being run-of-the-mill pastel.
The gauge on the ball band calls for US 3 (3.25mm) needles, so that's what I used. I like the fabric it produced despite the fact that many Ravelers used US 1 or 2 needles. Also, it went faster. At this gauge, they should fit babies up to about 12 months old or so. Changing yarn may change either stitch or row gauge and will therefore affect the size of the finished sock.
So here's the pattern. As always, get creative. Longer cuffs, ribbing down the foot, it's all good. :) Unlike my Little Feet pattern, this has been written for the begging sock knitter with detailed instructions for the turned heel, gusset, and wedge toe. Grafting/Kitchener instructions for the toe can be found in a multitude of places, so you're on your own there. Happy knitting!
Yarn: On Your Toes Bamboo, 75% Bamboo 25% Nylon
Needles: US size 3
Gauge: 7.5 sts/in
Knit 10 rows of 2x2 ribbing
After completing the tenth round, knit 16 stitches onto one needle for the heel flap. Work 12 rows in total (including the first knit row) for the heel flap, ending with a purl row.
Row 1: sl 1, k 9, ssk, k 1, turn
Row 2: sl 1, p5, p2tog, p 1, turn
Row 3: sl 1, k 6, ssk, k 1, turn
Row 4: sl 1, p 7, p2tog, p 1, turn
Row 5: sl 1, k 8, ssk, turn
Row 6: sl 1, p 9, p2tog, turn. 10 sts remain
Knit 5 of the heel stitches onto one needle and the second five onto another needle, now Needle 1. With Needle 1, pick up 8 stitches along the side of the heel flap. Knit across the top of the sock to the other side of the flap (needles 2 and 3). Pick up 8 stitches with a new needle (needle 4) and knit the five remaining heel stitches. Needles 1 and 4 each have 14 stitches. Needles 2 and 3 each have 8. The center of the heel is the new beginning of the round.
Row 1: Knit even.
Row 2: Knit to the last three stitches of needle 1, k2tog, k1. Knit even across needles 2 and 3. When you get to needle 4, k1, ssk, knit to end.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until all needles have 8 stitches.
Work 12 rows even
Row 1: Knit to last 3 sts of needle 1, k2tog. K1, ssk at the beginning of needle 2. Knit to last 3 sts of needle 3, k2tog. K1, ssk at the beginning of needle 4. Knit to end of round.
Row 2: knit even
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until each needle has 4 stitches. Graft two sets of 8 and weave in ends.