New Sock Pattern, and Cabling Without A Cable Needle

Today I’m happy to unveil my latest sock pattern, which is also my entry for the Socks Revived contest. (I’d been delaying a bit hoping to get some super snazzy photos – but it turns out that travelling around and being trapped under piles of grading does not lend itself to super snazzy photo session time, so I hope these will do!) Happily, I present the Revival socks – available here in my Ravelry store and, for a limited time, here as a free download. I am offering the pattern for free until April 30th, and as of May 1st it will be a sale download through Ravelry and Patternfish as per my other patterns. Ta da!


When I set out to design something for the contest I wasn’t entirely sure what it was going to look like. I wanted something that would require some concentration and technicality in the execution (because I hate being bored by my knitting), but that would still maintain some simplicity in the final look (because I didn’t want a sock that would look too precious or chaotic to actually, you know, wear). I also am not a huge fan of cutesy or over-stated. And since I’ve been harbouring plenty of twisted-stitch thoughts and art deco-ish inspriation lately, I put that to work on these socks.


I like socks that have repeating motifs and which show off the pattern details over the top of the foot and leg where most people will see it. I also like cables and twisted stitches. (Headline: no one surprised). This pattern features a series of (fully charted) cables (all cables and twists are worked over 2 sts) to create an attractive set of linear motifs, which also have the practicality of providing a bit of structural integrity. Cables always snug things up a bit, and I like that in a sock. I’ve included instructions for both Magic Loop (which I used in making them), as well as DPNs (with which I am well familiar). Use whichever method is more comfortable for you.

You’ll also see that, like some of my other sock patterns, I include a decorative heel and toe which extends some of the stitches from the main chart. I like the detail and I think it creates a very sharp look, but don’t be shy about modifying this if it suits you – work a regular old slipped stitch heel flap or short row heel if you like, or keep the toe plain if you prefer.


I include sizing instructions based on modifying gauge. This sample was worked on 2.75mm/US 2 needles (over 68 sts), and comfortably fits a foot/ankle size of 8-9 ins around. Increase or decrease the needle size for best fit according to the size you are knitting for. This sample was worked in Madelinetosh tosh sock, and even for my Size 11 feet I still had a small amount of the 395-yds skein leftover.

Finally, there is one thing you’ll want to know that will make this pattern about a kabillion times easier, which is the method of cabling without a cable needle. It’s how I worked the pattern and my notations strongly encourage you to do so.

If you’re looking for tips on how to do this, it turns out that Knitting Daily’s Sandi Wiseheart is sharing a piece of my brain this week, as she chose this week to do a post on just this topic. In her post she shares links for 2 other cabling-without-a-cable-needle tutorials (it turns out there are several ways of approaching this), and also does a pretty decent job of explaining the method that I use.

Back at the knitting retreat I went to in February with some of the Toronto crowd, she mentioned that she’d never quite gotten the hang of doing it. And I was suitably astonished at this, and sat down (as I was happily whizzing away on my Portland pullover, cable-needle-free) and showed her how I do it. I think she has actually done an even better job than me of explaining it (though I’m still going to give it a shot too, no worries), and articulating through photos and written instructions how to make the cable twist first, then work the stitches. (Essentially, I always keep the “live” stitches to the front of the work, and work the twist-switcheroo on the right needle for right-leaning cables, and on the left needle for the left-leaning cables). Go check out the photos and have some needles and yarn ready to practice it yourself if it’s something you haven’t tried before.


If you aren’t a cables-without-a-cable-needle person, you can still knit these socks. But I think being able to become fluent with the technique makes cable knitting accessible in more ways and situations (no worry about losing the cable needle on the subway, say), and can move you along more quickly than otherwise.

Anyhoodle, I hope you’ll enjoy the pattern! Happy Friday, and keep the knitting close by.


  1. Lovely pattern! Thanks for making it free for now 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for making this pattern available for free for a bit! It’s really beautiful, and I’m looking forward to knitting them.

  3. Thanks for this lovely pattern and the help with cables without a needle. I can’t wait to try it! Good luck in the contest!

  4. Christine · ·

    I’m in the process of knitting the Two Hearts sweater from A Fine Fleece. Thank you so much for linking to the tutorial. It makes so much sense and my life is going to be so much easier now.

  5. wow, great new design!! I love that the patterns continue over the heel flap. I’m not a massive sock knitter, but I think I could see these being a really awesome pair of wrist warmers, too…

  6. Thanks for the great pattern! The socks are gorgeous!

  7. Amy McWilliams · ·

    I’m working on a cable scarf right now–first cabling. I am going to try this! Plus, I want to do your pattern sometime, and using a cable needle for a 2-stitch cable seems overkill. I don’t need any help being slower. 😀

  8. Oo, that would be from me, McAmy. 😀 And I love the new pattern!

  9. Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this pattern! I bought two skeins of Jojoland Melody three years ago and have been looking for just the right sock pattern ever since. Your pattern is the perfect one! Thanks for making it free too. Very generous of you!

  10. Sarah JS · ·

    How perfect is this? I got the cabling-without-a-cable-needle down last year with my dad’s Aran cardigan. LOVE it. And I just bought my first-ever skein of Madelinetosh tosh sock yarn.

    Gorgeous pattern!

  11. Lovely pattern, as always! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  12. I’m curious – when I do basic 2-stitch crosses, I just leave both stitches on the left needle and for a right cross, I skip the first stitch and knit the second, then knit the first. Conversely, for a left cross, I bring my right needle from back to front *between* the two stitches on the left needle, knit the second one, then come back around and knit the first. (I don’t think I explained that well.) Do you do this too? Or do you still pre-cross your stitches for 2-stitch cables?

  13. I do still pre-cross my stitches for 2-st cables, it’s true, but the way you’re describing is do-able as well! Some of these are “twists” (background stitch is a purl, foreground stitch is a knit) as opposed to “cables” (both sts are knits), though, so your approach might work with a bit of adjusting.


  14. Awesome socks. I just had to frog non-fitting socks and I am thinking your new pattern will be the perfect thing to get my sock mojo back, oh yes.

  15. Thank you for the wonderful pattern. The socks are gorgeous! I’m looking forward to knitting a pair for myself now!

  16. Very beautiful! They look so intricate.

  17. That was a great shout-out from Sandi for you! I do mine a little differently, and posted tutorial videos on my blog. Whatever works for you is the right way for you to do it!

  18. Thanks a million for the free sock pattern. It’s a beauty!

  19. What an awesome sock pattern ~ simply gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with us 🙂

  20. Am I doing something wrong? When I click on the free download pattern, I get a message that the file is damaged. Maybe it’s just my PC? Just thought I would mention it in case anyone else is having a problem.

  21. Jeanne – The file seems to be working fine from my end. Perhaps there is a problem on your computer? Could you try the Ravelry download option as an alternative?


  22. Beautiful pattern! I love cables and haven’t tried knitting without a cable needle. Thank you for the pattern.

  23. Lovely pattern & thanks for sharing.

  24. Gorgeous! Thank you! 🙂

  25. What a lovely pattern!

  26. Sunnyknitter · ·

    Love this pattern! Thanks for sharing.

  27. thank you for the pattern, it’s exactly what I was looking for! cables-without-a-cable-needle? I’m not so sure I can pull it off with Knitpicks Essential yarn and size 2 needles, but I’ll still make them, regardless, because I love cables, any way I can get them to work! I’ll give it a try though, promise! ♥♥♥

  28. […] The front and back each feature a large cable motif framed by a smaller one, and the smaller cable motif is then repeated along the centre of each sleeve. Additionally, I’ve written the pattern so that the tiny cable twists from the motifs grow from the ribbing at the hem and cuffs. The cable patterns are all fully charted, and once again I strongly recommend cabling without a cable needle to speed things along, which I’ve talked about recently as well. […]

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