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Sock Pattern for Knit Christmas Stockings




These stockings were embroidered using a technique called the duplicate stitch. First the socks were knit, then designs were added over existing stitches with a tapestry needle and contrasting yarn. You can draw your own design on graph paper to use as a guide. Each square on graph paper equals one stitch. Work from bottom up, making stitches taut, not tight. Thread needle with same weight yarn as sock.


  • Size 2 double-pointed needles


  1. Step 1


    Cast on 60 (54, 30) stitches (sts) on size 2 (6, 2) double-pointed needles. Divide sts among 3 needles with 20 (18, 10) on each (see fig. 1). Knit cuff in rib (k2, p2) for 5 rounds. K only until leg is 6 inches (9 inches, 3 1/4 inches) or desired length from beginning of heel.

  2. Step 2

    The cast-on stitches are evenly divided among 3 needles. Then the needles are laid flat and the stitches are arranged with the twisted border at the edge of the work, pointing inward. The stitches on the 3 needles are joined using a fourth needle. The first few rounds are worked in ribbing (k2, p2), then the rest of the leg is worked by knitting every round.

  3. Step 3

    Divide sts among 3 needles again, placing 30 (27, 15) sts on 1 needle for the heel flap and 15 (13 & 14, 7 & 8) on remaining 2 needles for instep. Working on heel needle only, knit in stockinette (k 1 row, p 1 row) for 22 (20, 11) rows; always slip first st of each row. End with a knit row.

  4. Step 4


    After the leg is done, stitches are divided again to start heel. A greater number (for heel) are put on 1 needle; fewer (for instep) are put on the other 2. On needle with heel stitches, you'll work straight rows back and forth, creating a flap that extends beyond the leg.

  5. Step 5

    P15 (14, 8) sts. P1, purl 2 together (p2tog) -- see Decreasing Two Ways -- p1, turn. Slip (sl) 1, k2 (3, 3), k1, slip, slip, knit (ssk), k1, turn. Sl1, p up to the stitch preceding gap created by the slipped st on the previous row, p2tog to close gap, p1, turn. Sl1, knit up to the stitch preceding the gap created by the slipped st on the previous round, ssk across gap, k1, turn. Continue until you have 17 (15, 9) sts on your needle. If you don't end on right side, turn work and knit across.

  6. Step 6


    To round off the heel flap and make it curve to fit a foot, a number of short rows are worked back and forth. Decreasing at regular intervals gives the heel its curved shape.

  7. Step 7


    Pick up 1 st in each "chain" along the left side of the heel, as shown, and k across. (To avoid holes, pick up an extra st or two at the corners of the instep.) Combine sts from the 2 instep needles, placing 30 (27, 15) instep sts on 1 needle. K across instep sts. Pick up 1 st in each "chain" along the right side of the heel, and k across. Divide heel sts evenly between 2 needles. Keeping in mind that each round begins at the center of the heel, work as follows. On needle 1: k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. On needle 2: k across instep. On needle 3: k1, ssk, k to end. Knit 1 round. Repeat until 60 (54, 30) sts remain.

  8. Step 8

    To integrate heel flap into foot, stitches are picked up along left-side "chain" of heel flap. With an empty needle, instep stitches are knit; with another empty needle, stitches along right side of heel are picked up and knit. Stitches remain on needles this way until sock is finished.

  9. Step 9

    Each round begins at center of heel. Knit until foot measures 7 inches (7 inches, 2 1/2 inches) from back of heel. Then, on needle 1: k to last 2 sts, k2tog. On needle 2: ssk, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. On needle 3: ssk, k to end. Knit 1 round. Repeat until 30 (27, 15) sts remain. Then decrease, as above, every round until 8 sts remain. Break yarn; thread through sts twice. Secure with a knot.

  10. Step 10


    Stitches are arranged correctly, but you have more than you need for a foot's width. The sock is shaped by decreasing. It will look like this before you knit the foot and toe. A few more rows, then you're done!

  11. Step 11

    Insert on inside and come out at base of stitch ("V"). Pass needle behind stitch directly above, from right to left. Insert needle back through the starting point. Repeat for each stitch; snip yarn and weave ends in at back.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2004



Reviews (13)

  • pkosborn 11 Apr, 2012

    The duplicate stitch pattern for the reindeer can be found at

  • CynthiaYouse 11 Feb, 2012

    I can not find the pattern for the Duplicate Stitch. Please inform me as to how I can obtain them.

    Thank you,
    Cynthhia Youse

  • Kabucha 3 Nov, 2011

    Would a dp needle work? Any suggestions how to do this?

  • Appola 10 Oct, 2011

    I need to see the graph for the pattern. Why is it not avalible. I can not finish this stocking that I started without the Fig. 3 where I am in need of the rest of Fig.
    Please send to me. Thanks for you help.

  • MAD1982 2 Jan, 2011

    I would like to see the graphs for the motifs as well.

  • snowmoonelk 19 Nov, 2010

    I have circular needles, how do I translate this pattern which uses 3 pointed needles to my circular needles, please?

  • Fktfrt 12 Dec, 2009

    I, too, would like to see the graphs for the motifs. I am anxious to get started on these Christmas socks

  • SarniaKid 28 Nov, 2009

    Where are the graphs for the motifs? I want to make a couple of the stockings but cannot find the graphs! Thanks!

    Angie C.

  • debisz28 8 Jan, 2009

    Does anyone have the chart for the Duplicate Stitchs? I can make my own, but need to make 6 pairs for gifts and really don't want to ttake the time.

  • jjbates26 30 Jul, 2008

    I have made several of these for Christmas stockings in our family and I just love it! It is super-easy and a great result. Great for a new knitter.

  • Bridget2958 20 Feb, 2008

    I do the grafted toe as well. It's called the Kitchener or something like that. There are some great step by step instructions at this website.
    It takes some practice but looks great after. I love the duplicate stitch addition.

  • lauraks555 16 Jan, 2008

    It's the size of the sock in the photo above, I think. I've knit several pairs of sock using this toe and all have been great. The final 8 stitches are usually closed with something called a Kirchner stitch, though. This particular heel isn't very long wearing. I'd modify it to slip the first stitch on the heel, then knit the next, with slipping one, knitting one to the end of the row. Turn, slip the first stitch, then purl each stitch across the row.

  • kickypants 6 Dec, 2007

    Has anyone tried these? They look a bit lumpy in the toe...could just be the photo though.