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Fruit Stripe Socks

Yesterday I finished the Fruit Stripe socks that I began last month. Shepherd Sock yarn is a dream to knit and I love the Lime Stripe colorway from our Fruit Stripe Collection. I’ll admit that I lowered the a/c a bit so I could wear them right away.

Shepherd Sock is a tightly spun 4 ply yarn. It’s made of 80% superwash wool and 20% nylon. The tight spin and the nylon make the yarn more durable, which is important for socks because they’re subject to so much wear in your shoes. While it’s durable, Shepherd Sock is a very soft yarn. It feels good in the hank, in your hands, and on your feet.

I only needed two hanks of Lime Stripe yarn to knit the pair. I even had a few yards left over from each hank. When I brought the first sock into the shop, I was getting teased that it looked so big, but I wear size 10 shoes, which is probably average. And I made the cuffs 9 inches long, which makes the socks look bigger.

Regardless of how they look, they fit perfectly. Judy’s Magic Cast On and the Gusset Heel (see Wendy D. Johnson’s book Socks from the Toe Up) make for very comfortable socks. It’s a combination I’ll use again.

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Fruit Feet Socks

Fruit Feet Socks are striped baby socks knit with just one hank of Shepherd Sock Fruit Stripe Collection Yarn. The knitting pattern is free and the socks are fun and easy to knit.

Earlier this month I showed you the baby sock I’d started in the orange stripe color of the Fruit Stripe Collection. The Fruit Stripe Collection is six fresh, summery colors we developed with Lorna’s Laces for their fantastic Shepherd Sock Yarn. I have three friends with babies on the way, and these cute striped socks will make great gifts.

Fruit Feet Socks

For average sized adult socks with either 64 or 72 stitches, the Fruit Stripe Collection yarns will create stripes that alternate every row. With the much smaller circumference of the baby socks, the stripes are two rounds wide.

Fruit Feet Sock Heel

The Fruit Feet Socks begin with a ribbed cuff to help them stay on. There’s a gusset heel, which is made by increasing every other round on half of the stitches to form the gusset and decreasing with short rows to the original number of stitches. I first encountered this heel in a pattern by Wendy D. Johnson and I’ve come to like knitting it and wearing it. It makes a very smooth heel that’s comfortable in your shoe.

Fruit Foot Sock Toe

The foot circumference is decreased for the toe, which is closed with a 3-needle bind off or kitchener stitch. Kitchener stitch will make a smoother finish, but a 3-needle bind off is easier for many knitters and is effective.

Fruit Feet Socks take just one hank of Shepherd Sock Fruit Stripe Collection Yarn and are quick to knit up. Make a few pairs and keep them on hand for when you need a gift.


newborn (6 mos, 1 year old)
4 (5, 5.5) inch foot circumference

1 hank Shepherd Sock Fruit Stripe Collection Yarn in orange stripe
40″ circular size 2 needle or size to achieve gauge
40” circular needle 2 sizes larger than needle used for gauge
10 sts per inch in stockinette in the round??

?kfb – knit into the front and back of the same stitch??
k2tog – knit two stitches together? 
ssk – slip the next 2 sts knitwise, one at a time, knit into the front of them together

CO 40 (48, 56) sts with larger needle. Switch to smaller needles, place marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist. Work K1, p1 rib for 2 (2.5, 3) inches.
 Round 1             
K20 (24, 28), *k1, p1; repeat from * to end of round.
Round 2             
Kfb, knit to 2 sts before ribbed section, kfb, K1; *k1, p1; repeat from * to end of round.
Round 3, and all odd rounds
Knit or purl sts as they appear.
Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until there are 32 (36, 48) sts in the stockinette section, ending with round 2.
The heel is worked only on the sts in the stockinette section.
Row 1 – K 19 (21, 27), ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2 – Sl1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3 – Sl1, k8, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4 – Sl1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 5 – Sl1, k10, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 6 – Sl1, p11, p2tog, p1 turn.
Continue until all the side stitches have been decreased and you have 20 (24, 28) sts again.
 Resume working in the round with 20 (24, 28) sts in stockinette and 20 (24, 28) sts in k1, p1 rib for 1 (1.5, 2.25) inch(es).
 Set-up round – Knit all sts.
Round 1                   
*K1, ssk, k14 (18, 22), k2tog, k1; repeat from * to end.
Round 2, and all even rounds             
Knit all sts.
Round 3                  
*K1, ssk, k12 (16, 20), k2tog, k1; repeat from * to end.
Round 5                   
*K1, ssk, k10 (14, 18), k2tog, k1; repeat from * to end.
Continue decreasing – there will be two less stitches between decreases in every odd round – until 12 (16, 20) stitches remain.
Close toe with kitchener stitch or 3 needle bind off. Weave in ends.

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Fruit Stripe Socks for Me

My first project with the Shepherd Sock yarn Fruit Stripe Collection was a baby sock. Orange is my favorite color for babies when you don’t know the gender, so I used the orange stripe colorway. Here’s the sock when I’d just started the cuff:

Orange Stripe Baby Sock Cuff

I’ve since finished, but I have yet to write the pattern. As soon as I do, I’ll post it.

Lime Stripe Socks

After the baby sock, I started a pair of socks for myself. It was hard to choose a color, but I finally went with lime stripe. And after a weekend with Wendy and some time reading Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, I decided to start at the toe.

I love Judy’s Magic Cast On and have used it exclusively since I learned it. I increased to the circumference of my foot and now I’m working toward the heel. Shepherd Sock yarn is so soft, it’s a pleasure to knit. And I love watching the stripes form.

the inside of my lime stripe sock

Earlier on I realized how cool the inside of the sock looks. I considered ripping back and knitting sock in reverse stockinette, but I’ll save that for another project. Right now, I want to concentrate on these socks so I can start wearing them!

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Introducing the Fruit Stripe Collection

Earlier this winter, already thinking of summer, I wanted something new and fun for my sock knitting. I talked to Beth, owner of Lorna’s Laces, about a few ideas I had for colors of her Shepherd Sock yarn.

Shepherd Sock yarn has been a favorite at Loop since we opened. The colors are fantastic – the nearly-solids and the colorways; there really is something for everyone. The blend of superwash merino and nylon is extremely soft, so it’s a pleasure to knit and even better to wear. And your socks will last longer because of the nylon in the yarn.

Beth is a great collaborator and a few weeks later she sent me a bag of possibilities (that was a very fun box to open). I swatched a few of the options she’d sent and we discussed colors and effects. We decided to pair fresh summer colors with sunny white for stripes that alternate every other round. (The stripes alternate every other round when you knit average adult-sized socks. With very small or very large socks, the stripe thickness will vary.)

There are six delicious combinations that we’re calling the Shepherd Sock Fruit Stripe Collection.

The Fruit Stripe Collection

Last night just as Project Runway was beginning, I wound up a ball of Orange Stripe and cast on for a baby sock. I have a few friends with babies on the way and I need to start knitting them gifts. Because of the small circumference, the stripes are two rounds wide. It looks fantastic and I think it will work for a boy or a girl. I’ll post some pictures soon.

After the baby gifts, it’s either Citron Stripe or Lime Stripe for a pair for me. I’m taking Wendy’s Introduction to Toe-Up Sock Design class tomorrow, so I can design and knit myself a pair of socks. There’s still room in the class if you want to join me. Which color would you pick and what would you do with stripes?