The Periwinkle Dragon

Original Knitting Patterns by Carolyn Lisle
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Chinstrap Heel Socks

The Chinstrap Heel Socks are inspired by Pygoscelis antarcticus, the Chinstrap Penguin. They are a very social Antarctic penguin with a distinctive black line under their beak. Though they are small and cute, they are surprisingly tough — in fact, they are considered the most aggressive of all penguins. These socks use a heel with two wide wedges and one narrower one in between, mirroring the thin chinstrap markings of this penguin.

Close-up side view of bright blue rounded three-wedge sock heel. Front and side view of black and subtly-multicoloured striped socks with bumpy surface texture and bright blue heels, toes, and cuffs. Front view of black and subtly-multicoloured striped socks with bumpy surface texture and bright blue toes and cuffs.

This pattern is a straightforward toe-up sock with a textured stitch pattern. It includes instructions for a contrast toe, heel, and cuff. The main feature is the rounded wedge heel I developed — it is worked using no-holes short rows that are formed using increases and decreases.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round (either on double-pointed needles or your preferred technique for socks) and clearly explains all techniques required. There are links to useful video tutorials for many of those technique as well, so this pattern is accessible to relatively inexperienced sock knitters.

These socks are very flexible in size, so yarn requirements will vary widely. A child-size sock fitting approximately a US 1 shoe size uses approximately 150 m / 165 yards total of fingering-weight sock yarn. Adult socks of average length and height will require 80-120 m / 90-130 yards of Contrast Colour yarn and 200-300 m / 220-325 yards of Main Colour yarn.

These socks are perfect for self-striping or gradient sock yarn because they have a smooth, continuous transition from foot to leg around the heel and the stitch count does not change significantly in those sections. However, the simple texture detail will suit any colourway you choose!

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