Text: The Periwinkle Dragon Purple dragon eye with yarn ball and text: Original knitting patterns by Carolyn Lisle Text: The Periwinkle Dragon Purple dragon eye with yarn ball and text: Original knitting patterns by Carolyn Lisle
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Vanilla Bean Layer Cake Socks

The Vanilla Bean Layer Cake Socks are inspired by one of my other creative loves — baking! And like in knitting, I'm terrible at sticking to someone else's recipe; why have a plain vanilla cake when you can have a vanilla BEAN cake? And who can resist also adding a rainbow flair to the batter? I definitely can't, so I always keep a large stash of bright gel food colouring to brighten up my desserts. Why not?

Wide view of rainbow striped socks with green speckled heels on sock blockers. Close view of rainbow striped socks on sock blockers with green speckled heel. Close up of green speckled heel on rainbow striped socks.

This pattern is also a recipe — for well-fitted toe-up socks! Perfect for self-striping, gradient, and self-patterning yarns, they have two afterthought heel options (plus optional afterthought gusset shaping) and a unisex 2x2-rib cuff. They are available in five foot circumferences and the pattern provides formulas to assist you in figuring out exactly when to place the heel to ensure a perfect fit, no matter what your row gauge or foot size. It also provides guidelines for calculating calf increases to accommodate any leg shape or sock height.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round and is method-neutral, so it is easy to use whichever sock knitting technique you prefer (double-pointed needles, magic loop/one circular needle, two circular needles, short circular needle, etc.; this pattern is also well-suited for working two-at-a-time, even on the heels). It clearly explains all techniques required and provides links to useful video tutorials, so the pattern is easily accessible to a beginner sock knitter.

Since it is a plain sock, this pattern can accommodate a wide variety of colourway types. With this heel style, gradient, self-striping, and self-patterning yarns in particular can run uninterrupted around the heel.

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