Basic Top-Down Socks on 5 Needles

Top-Down Socks on 5 Needles

GAUGE: 7 sts = 1″

NEEDLES: 5 double-pointed needles, Size US 2 (2.75mm)

SIZE:              Baby  Kid’s S   Kid’s M   Kid’s L   W 6-7   W 8-9   M 8-9   M 10-11          

CAST ON          40       54          56          58         60         62       64         68

HEEL STS         20       27          28          29         30         31       32         34

HEEL ROWS      10      18           20          20         22         24       24         26

P/U HEEL          8        14          14          15         15         16       16         17

*NOTE: The pattern following is given for Women’s 8-9. Numbers from the chart above can be substituted to make socks in any size.

RIBBING: Cast on  62 sts. Join into a round, being careful not to twist. Work K1 P1 ribbing for 1-1/2″ or desired length.

LEG: Work even in St st until work measures 5″ from beginning (or desired length).

HEEL FLAP: Place sts from needles 1 and 4 on one needle for heel flap. Leave sts from needles 2 and 3 unworked. Work 31 sts for heel flap. Work back and forth on thee 31 sts for 24 rows (To get a better fit through the heel, I work these sts in K1 P1 ribbing.)

TURN HEEL: (Short Row Shaping) Divide heel sts by three (10-11-10) placing markers between. Work in short rows as follows:

(RS Row) K first 2/3’s sts, Sl 1, K1, psso (SKP), turn, *Sl 1, purl center sts, P2tog, turn, Sl 1, K center sts, SKP, turn; rep from * until all sts have been worked. K 1 row on all sts.

DIVIDE: Divide heel sts on 2 needles so that beg of rnd is at center of heel. Pick up 16 sts at each side of heel flap as follows:

Work sts on needle 1 pick up 16 sts along one side of heel flap. Work sts on needles 2 and 3, pick up 16 sts along other side of heel flap. Work sts on needle 4. join and work in rnds on all 4 needles. *Work the first row of picked up sts through the back loop*

INSTEP: *At the end of needle 1, K2tog and at beg of needle 4 work SKP. Work 2 rnds even* Rep betwee * until 62 sts (the same number as originally cast on) remain. Continue working in rnds until desired foot length is reached, keeping in mind that toe decrease rounds take up about 2″.

Note that the sts on needles 1 and 4 are the sole sts; the sts on needles 2 and 3 are the instep sts.

SHAPE TOE: Dec rnd: On needle 1 work to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1; on needle 2, K1, SKP, K to end of rnd. On needle 3, work as for needle 1, on needle 4 work as for needle 2. Work 3 rnds even

(Work dec rnd, work 2 rnds even) twice

(Work dec rnd, work 1 rnd even) three times

Rep dec rnd every rnd until 12 sts remain.

GRAFT TOE: Place sts on 2 needles and graft using the Kitchener stitch.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

4 thoughts on “Basic Top-Down Socks on 5 Needles”

  1. I’ve knit socks before just not on five needles. I wanted to learn how on five needles so I followed this pattern and found it a very succint easy to follow pattern. Then I get to the end where it says kitchner (which I can do) but my working yarn is in the middle of of the bottom row when I place the stitches on two needles. Should I knit to the end of the next needle or rip out the previous needle. I’m leaning toward ripping out the previous needle because I think I need an uneven number to kitchner it correctly. Is there anybody who’s done this can tell me how to handle the problem?

    • Hi Angela!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the pattern and so sorry that the toe was unclear…I’ll modify it right away. In answer to your question, you need an even number of stitches to Kitchener stitch the toe and you’ll need an equal number of stitches on each needle. Knit across to the end of the row and graft the toe from there.
      If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at I’d love to see some photos of how your socks turn out!
      Happy knitting,

  2. Thank you so much. Now I can’t wait to start that second sock.

  3. Yay! Can’t wait to see pictures. Watch for new, free mitten patterns coming in the next day or two ;)

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