Preemie and Infant Sock Patterns

Preemie Socks
Size small of the Preemie/Infant Socks fits in the palm of my hand.

Sarah E. White

Lots of people like to knit baby booties, but you might prefer to make socks instead. Socks tend to stay on a baby's feet a little better and they do not require much more effort to knit. One thing's for sure, these are super cute and sure to keep a little one's feet warm.

This baby sock pattern can be sized to fit both preemies and full-term babies. The preemie version is extremely tiny and It's hard to believe they fit actual human feet, but they do! According to the sizing chart at Bev's Country Cottage, they should fit babies between one and three pounds. The largest size in the pattern can fit infants up to eight, possibly 9, pounds.

Materials

  • About 18 (30, 40) yards of super-fine to fine weight sock yarn, wool or cotton
  • One set of four size 3 US (3.25 mm) double-pointed knitting needles
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch marker (optional)

Gauge

The gauge should be 6 stitches and 9 rows per inch in stockinette stitch when knit in the round. Gauge is not incredibly critical, as wool stretches and feet grow.

Size

The smallest size is given first with larger sizes in parentheses. The small size is about 2 inches around and 2 inches long; medium is 3 inches around and 3 inches long; large is 3 1/2 inches around and 3 1/2 inches long. To fit a preemie around 28 weeks (34 weeks, full-term).

Instructions

To make this sock pattern easier to understand, it is broken down into sections. It seems a bit complicated at first, but the socks are so small that the work goes fast.

You'll start with this first set of instructions, which will work the ankle tube of the sock and set you up for shaping the heel. Once that is complete, skip to the "Turning the Heel" section that corresponds to the sock size you're knitting. You'll then follow the "Knitting the Foot" instructions to complete a sock.

  • Cast on 12 (18, 22) stitches. Arrange on 3 needles and join in the round. Place a stitch marker, if desired, to mark the beginning of the round.
  • Work in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for 1 inch (2 inches, 2 1/2 inches).
  • Working back and forth on 6 (9, 11) stitches, slip 1, knit across.
  • Next row, slip 1, purl across.
  • Repeat the last 2 rows 2 (3, 4) times.

Turning the Heel: Size Small

  • Slip 1, knit 1, slip, slip, knit, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, turn.
  • Knit the remaining 2 stitches and continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Turning the Heel: Size Medium

  • Slip 1, knit 3, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Knit 1, knit 2 together. 2 stitches remain. Continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Turning the Heel: Size Large

  • Slip 1, knit 4, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 2, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 3, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 4, SSK. 6 stitches remain. Continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Knitting the Foot

  • Pick up stitches along side of the heel flap. Knit across the leg stitches, then pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap with an empty needle. Knit 1 (1, 3) stitches from the heel turn onto this needle. The back of the heel is now the end of the round.
  • Next round, knit to within 3 stitches of the end of needle 1, SSK, knit 1. Knit straight across needle 2, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to end of round.
  • Knit next round. Repeat these last 2 rounds until 12 (18, 22) stitches remain.
  • Work even until foot measures about 2 (2 3/4, 3 1/4) inches long.

Size Small:

  • SSK, knit 2, K2tog, SSK, knit 2, K2tog. 8 stitches remain.
  • Cut yarn, thread onto sewing needle, slide stitches onto the needle and pull tight.

Other Sizes:

  • Work to within 3 stitches from the end of needle 1, SSK, knit 1. On needle 2, knit 1, K2tog, knit to within 3 stitches from the end of the needle, SSK, knit 1. On needle 3, knit 1, K2tog, knit to end. 14 (18) stitches remain.
  • Knit the next round.
  • Repeat these 2 rows once more for size medium and twice more for size large. 10 stitches remain.
  • Cut yarn, thread onto sewing needle, slide stitches onto the needle and pull tight.

Make a second sock in the same way.