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How-To: Knit Duck Feet Baby Socks

Knit Duck Feet Baby Socks

These duck feet baby socks from Jeny Staiman over on Knitty.com are fantastically fun and whimsical. I love that they can serve the function of keeping baby’s feet warm while adding so much character and charm.

RLI (Right Lifted Increase): Use the right needle to pick up the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle. Place it on the left needle, then knit into it. 1 stitch has been increased.

LLI (Left Lifted Increase): Use the left needle to pick up the stitch 2 rows below the last stitch on the right needle. Knit into this stitch. 1 stitch has been increased.

S2KP: Slip next 2 sts together, knitwise, as if to work a k2tog. Knit next st, then pass both slipped sts together over st just knit. This forms a centered double decrease.

DIRECTIONS

FOOT
Shape Center Point:

Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, CO 4 sts (2 sts on each needle).
Round 1: [K1, yo, k1] on each needle. 6 sts.

As you shape the center point and webbing, sts will be cast on at each side of sts on needle. Use Turkish Cast On method for this, as shown in photos below. Note that cast on is worked around one needle and one cable instead of two needles; this helps tighten the new CO sts.

Round 2: CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k2 (first st to be knit is new CO st), p1, k1; CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k2, p1, k2. 10 sts.
Round 3: CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k3, p1, k2; CO 2 sts (1 st on each needle), k3, p1, k3. 14 sts.

Shape Webbing:
Round 4: CO 4 sts (2 sts on each needle), k5, p1, k3; CO 4 sts (2 sts on each needle), k5, p1, k5. 22 sts.
Round 5: CO 8 sts (4 sts on each needle), k9, p1, k5; CO 8 sts (4 sts on each needle), k9, p1, k9. 38 sts.
Round 6: CO 12 sts (6 sts on each needle, k15, p1, k9; CO 12 sts (6 sts on each needle, k15, p1, k15. 62 sts.
Round 7: [K15, p1, k15] for each needle.

Begin Side Toes:
Round 8: [YO, k15, p1, k15] for each needle. 64 sts.
Rounds 9-11: [P1, k15] four times.

Shape Foot:
Round 12: [P1, k13, k2tog, p1, ssk, k13] for each needle. 60 sts.
Rounds 13-15: [P1, k14] four times.
Round 16: [P1, k12, k2tog, p1, ssk, k12] for each needle. 56 sts.
Rounds 17-19: [P1, k13] four times.
Round 20: [P1, k11, k2tog, p1, ssk, k11] for each needle. 52 sts.
Rounds 21-23: [P1, k12] four times.
Round 24: [P1, k10, k2tog, p1, ssk, k10] for each needle. 48 sts.
Rounds 25-27: [P1, k11] four times.
Round 28: [P1, k9, k2tog, p1, ssk, k9] for each needle. 44 sts.
Rounds 29-30: [P1, k10] four times.

GUSSET
Round 1: P1, k8, LLI, k2, p1, k2, RLI, k8; p1, k8, k2tog, p1, ssk, k8. 44 sts: 24 sts on first needle, 20 sts on second needle.

Rounds 2-3: [P1, k11] twice; [p1, k9] twice.

Round 4: P1, k8, LLI, k3, p1, k3, RLI, k8; p1, k7, k2tog, p1, ssk, k7. 44 sts: 26 sts on first needle, 18 sts on second needle.

Round 5-6: [P1, k12] twice; [p1, k8] twice.

Round 7: P1, k8, LLI, k4, p1, k4, RLI, k8; p1, k6, k2tog, p1, ssk, k6. 44 sts: 28 sts on first needle, 16 sts on second needle.

Rounds 8-9: [P1, k13] twice; [p1, k7] twice.

Round 10: P1, k8, LLI, k11, RLI, k8; p1, k5, k2tog, p1, ssk, k5. 44 sts: 30 sts on first needle, 14 sts on second needle. Note that center st on first needle is knit, instead of purled.

HEEL
Work first 9 sts of first needle in pattern; place next 13 sts on st holder for instep. Turn work so that WS is facing. Heel flap will now be worked back and forth in rows over remaining 31 sts. When working first row, work all sts onto one needle.

Row 1 [WS]: P8, k1, [p6, k1] twice, p8.
Row 2 [RS]: K8, p1, k4, k2tog, p1, ssk, k4, p1, k8. 29 sts.
Row 3 [WS]: P8, k1, [p5, k1] twice, p8.
Row 4 [RS]: K8, p1, k3, k2tog, p1, ssk, k3, p1, k8. 27 sts.
Row 5 [WS]: P8, k1, [p4, k1] twice, p8.
Row 6 [RS]: K8, p1, k2, k2tog, p1, ssk, k2, p1, k8. 25 sts.
Row 7 [WS]: P8, k1, [p3, k1] twice, p8.
Row 8 [RS]: K8, p1, k1, k2tog, p1, ssk, k1, p1, k8. 23 sts.
Row 9 [WS]: P8, k1, [p2, k1] twice, p8.
Row 10 [RS]: K8, p1, k2tog, p1, ssk, p1, k8. 21 sts.
Row 11 [WS]: P8, k1, [p1, k1] twice, p8.
Row 12 [RS]: K8, p1, S2KP, p1, k8. 19 sts.
Row 13 [WS]: P8, k1, p1, k1, p8.

Break yarn. With RS facing, divide remaining sts between 2 needles, placing first 9 sts on first needle and last 10 sts on second needle. Transfer sts to st holder, slipping sts purlwise and alternating sts from each needle as follows: [sl 1 st from second needle to holder, sl 1 st from first needle to holder] 9 times, sl last st from second needle to st holder. Alternating sts in this way closes back of heel; later on, applied I-cord will be worked over these sts.

TOES
Toes are worked in applied I-cord. Cords will be worked along columns of purl sts which run along top, bottom and sides of foot.

Side Toes:
These toes will run along sides of foot. Each one begins just above yarnover worked in Round 8 of Foot section, and runs along side of foot to base of heel.

Using double-point needle, CO 3 sts.

Row 1: Slide sts to other end of needle, switch needle to left hand, bring yarn around back of work and k3. Use tip of right needle to pick up 1 st just above yarnover at tip of side toe. 4 sts on right needle.

Row 2: Slide sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to left hand, bring yarn around back of work; k2, k2tog tbl (last st of I-cord worked together with picked-up st). Use tip of right needle to pick up next p st in column.

Repeat Row 2 until 2 p sts remain in column, including st on holder. (In diagram below, work st marked with red “3”, but not st marked with black “2”.) Do not pick up st at end of last row. Break yarn and place sts on st holder.

Center Toe:
This toe will be worked as one long I-cord, beginning at center of instep, running along top of foot, over center point of toe, along base of foot to heel, and up back of heel.

Note: Read next paragraph through and see photos below before proceeding.

Using crochet hook and with work positioned as shown, draw a loop of yarn through each of the center 3 held instep sts (see below); ensure that tail of yarn is at left, with working yarn at right. Place these sts on double-point needle and bring yarn to front of work as shown.

Rotate work so that toes are pointing away from you. Place needle in left hand and slide sts to tip, ready to work I-cord; k3. Use tip of right needle to pick up next p st in column.

Next Row: Slide sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to left hand, bring yarn around back of work; k2, k2tog tbl (last st of I-cord worked together with picked-up st). Use tip of right needle to pick up next p st in column.

Repeat this row, working I-cord along top, over toe, then along bottom of foot,  until you have attached I-cord to S2KP at base of heel. Do not pick up st at end of last row.

There will be 3 held sts from each side toe to each side of sts on needle. Transfer these sts to needle, placing sts of side toes at either side of center toe sts.

Divide sts between 2 needles as shown below, with first 4 sts on first needle and last 5 sts on second needle. Transfer sts to circular needle, alternating sts from each needle as you did at end of heel section. Working yarn will be attached to second st on needle.

Transfer heel sts to same needle, after toe sts. 28 sts.

Close Back of Heel:
Heel will be closed by working applied I-cord, continuing from center toe.

Next Row: K2, k2tog tbl. Sl sts purlwise back to left needle.
Repeat this row until all sts have been worked. 3 sts remain.

CUFF
Continuing from I-cord sts just worked, pick up and k 9 sts along upper edge of opening, k held sts of instep, pick up and k 9 sts along upper edge of opening. 34 sts.

Next Round: *K3, p2, [k2, p2] three times; repeat from * once.

Repeat this round 15 times more, or until cuff is desired length.

K 2 rounds. BO all sts using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

FINISHING
Weave in ends. If desired, sew elastic thread through inside of cuff.

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