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Free Pattern: Scrambled Socks

Tube socks in a variegated ocean-colored yarn. Heels, toes, and cuffs are bright yellow. They are modeled; the model is wearing black pants and the background is charcoal colored asphalt.

Usage and licensing: Please feel free to share this pattern with others by directing them back to this page. You may not copy and paste, re-post, or duplicate it in any way without my permission. It is (c) 2020 Ruth Brasch. If you would like to reproduce this resource in a class, book, or other resource, please contact me via the "contact" tab on this website.

These socks are knit all out of order - they're scrambled!

Instead of starting from one direction or another, the entirety of both feet and both legs are knit first, then both cuffs, toes, and heels are added.

The nature of this pattern makes it an excellent mindless project or travel project - you can knit the entire foot and leg tube without having to count stitches, turn heels, or graft toes!

This pattern includes a recipe to help you calculate sock length - whether you want an ankle sock or a mid calf length sock, all the details are included (and don’t worry, i’ve done the majority of the math for you. You just do a simple A-B type equation, and you’re off to the races!)

Video tutorials are included to help you work a crocheted provisional cast on and to separate the tube into two sock legs.

A photo tutorial explains how to cut and knit the afterthought heel.

This pattern has been professionally tech edited for clarity and accuracy.


32 sts /44 rounds = 4” (10 cm) in blocked stockinette stitch


Toddler (Child, Women’s S, Women’s M/L, Men’s M)


5 (6, 7, 8, 9)” / 13 (15, 18, 20.5, 23) cm


  • Size US 1.5 (2.5 mm) knitting needles in the size needed to meet specified gauge, in your preferred style for small circumference knitting
  • Size US 1 (2.25) knitting needles in the size .25mm smaller than gauge needles.
  • Fingering weight yarn: 135 (225, 275, 310, 405) yds / 124 (205, 254, 292, 370) m total if using one color. If using 2 colors, divide as follows:
  • Main Color (MC): 75 (160, 200, 230, 290) yds / 69 (145, 185, 210, 265)
  • Contrast Color (CC): 60 (65, 75, 90, 115) yds / 55 (60, 69, 82, 105) m
  • Scissors
  • Waste yarn (just a few yards)
  • Stitch markers: 2 locking, 2 ring


Crochet Cast On

Cutting the Sock Tube for Toes

Cutting in the Afterthought Hee


K = knit

K2tog = knit next two stitches together as one

Kfb = knit in front and back of next stitch

Ktbl = knit in back loop of next stitch

P = purl

Pg(s) = page(s)

Ssk = slip next two stitches knitwise, one at a time, then transfer both stitches back to the left needle together, and knit them together as one.

St(s) = stitch(es)



Measure the circumference of the ball of the intended wearer’s foot. For children, choose a size that is 0.5” (1.25 cm) smaller than their foot circumference. For adults, choose a size that is 1” (2.5 cm) smaller. This will ensure a snug fit, which is especially important when knitting a non-elastic stitch like stockinette.



  • Sock length should be approximately 0.25” (0.75 cm) shorter than the wearer’s foot length for children, and 0.5” (1.25 cm) shorter for adults.
  • The second, contrasting color is optional, and should be used for heels, toes, and cuffs if you desire.


With larger needles and waste yarn, provisionally cast on 40 (48, 56, 64, 72) sts.

I recommend using the crocheted cast on (link to tutorial above) Place a stitch marker after the first 20 (24, 28, 32, 36) sts and at the end of the around. This separates the instep stitches for the sole stitches.

Knit every stitch for a looooong time. When the tube is long enough, add the details, starting with cuffs, then toes, then heels.

How will you know when the tube is long enough?

Your tube needs to be long enough for two sock legs, and two sock feet minus heels and toes. Don’t worry, I’ve done most of the math for you already!


Here’s a simple recipe for you:

A) Write the wearer’s foot length here: _______________________________________

B) Multiply A’s number by 2.15 for ankle socks, and by 3.5 for mid calf socks. Write it here: _______________________________________

C) Total length of all heels and toes (circle the size you’re making): 5 (6, 7, 8, 10)” / 13, (15, 18, 20.5, 25.5) cm

D) Do the Math! B-C = minimum sock tube length.

Write it here: ___________________________

Now that you’ve knit your tube, you’re ready to add the details!

Do not bind off the tube – proceed directly to Cuff 1


**Switch to smaller needles.**

Pattern Round: (k2tbl, p2) around.

Work pattern round for

1.25 (1.5, 1.75, 2, 2.25)” / 3.25 (3.75, 4.5, 5, 5.75) cm.

Bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off or Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Better Bind Off.


With the smaller needles, pick up the 40 (48, 56, 64, 72) held stitches from your provisional cast on.

Work as you did for Cuff 1.


This is the fiddliest part of the whole sock, because you literally need to cut the sock in half.

Follow these steps:

  1. Fold the sock tube in half, mark the center row.
  2. Thread a lifeline into the two rounds of stitches that are above and below the marked round (there’s a link to a video tutorial on pg 1 of this pattern).
  3. Snip and unravel the central, marked, round.
  4. Rejoice! You now have two separate socks on waste yarn!



Insert the larger needles into the held stitches of one sock, picking them back up and removing the lifeline after they are all on the needles.

40 (48, 56, 64, 72) sts.

Place markers at beginning of round, and after first 20 (24, 28, 32, 36) sts.

Round 1: knit

Round 2: (sm, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before next marker, k2tog, k1) repeat once more.

Round 3: (sm, k1, k1tbl, k to next marker) repeat once more.

Repeat Rounds 2-3 until you have 20 (24, 28, 32, 36) sts left, 10 (12, 14, 16, 18) each for instep and sole.

Repeat Round 2 another 2 (2, 3, 3, 3) times.

12 (16, 16, 20, 24) sts remain, 6 (8, 8, 10, 12) each for instep and sole

Graft the toe shut. A good grafting tutorial can be found here:

Work the second toe the same way.

Now you just need heels!



If you have never done an afterthought heel before, check out my photo tutorial for cutting and picking up the heel!

Use larger needles.

Measure from the toe of the sock upwards.

At 1.25 (1.5, 1.75, 2, 2.25)” / 3 (4, 4.5, 5, 5.5) cm shorter than full sock length, insert your needle into the right leg of all the sole stitches in one row, picking up 20 (24, 28, 32, 36) sts.

Repeat the process two rows above the one you just picked up stitches from (Photo 1).

Cut a center stitch of the row between the picked up rows (Photo 2), and unravel all except the last 2 sts on each side (Photos 3-5).

Place markers for either side of the heel to divide the top and bottom half of the stitches.

Knit 2 rounds. 

*If you have a high instep, knit an additional 1-2 rounds before beginning the decreases.

Now, knit a toe! (Yes – a toe! You read correctly!)

Graft the heel shut, and work the second heel the same way. Weave in all ends and block if desired.


Congratulations! Your scrambled socks are complete!


Finished items may be sold from my patterns if they are your handmade work, but may not be mass produced. Standard copyright restrictions apply to the pattern itself. You may not sell, distribute, copy and paste the pattern itself to other websites, or otherwise reproduce my patterns or any of their charts, images, or written descriptions without written permission from me. Use of this pattern indicates agreement to these terms.


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