There’s something about self striping sock yarns that lends itself perfectly to vanilla socks. Watching the stripes grow in a pleasingly regular repeat makes it easy to work just a round or two more.

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Simple. And yet very satisfying.

Our self striping sock yarns have a long length of the main colour, then much shorter lengths of three colours. I wondered what would happen if I knitted all of the stitches when I was working with the main colour and purled the other stitches. The result? – caterpillar socks.

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If you look at the foot of the front sock you can just see that I decided I’d prefer less texture on the sole, so once the heel was turned I knitted all of the sole stitches regardless of the colour I was working with.

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The same stitch pattern in a different colourway. I’m pretty sure that blocking would even out the stitch differences where I went between needles – and now that I know these stitches tend to be a little looser it’s easy to compensate.

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I knit 4ply socks on 64 stitches, so any pattern repeat with 8 stitches fits in well. Here I knitted in the main colour and slipped every 8th stitch when working with the contrast colour. On the next stripe I worked the slip stitches 4 stitches further on so the slip stitches are staggered. I didn’t worry about working complete rounds of slip stitches and let the colour dictate when I went back to plain knitting.

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Again you could choose to work the sole plain if you want to minimise texture in that area.

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The last sample I played with with a 6 by 2 rib. There’s a subtle dufference to the look, and ribbed socks tend to be that little bit snugger. I even managed to sneak in a 1 by 1 and 2 by 2 rib on the ends to check which I’d prefer for ribbed socks – and 2 by 2 rib works beautifully.

Want to cast on your own self striping socks? Find the yarn here.