Like many knitters, I like to wear wool socks year round, even in the summer. As the temperature rises, the sock legs tend to get shorter and shorter... but up until now I haven't had any legless hand-knit socks. Rose Quartz Shorties will remedy that!
Rose Quartz Shorties are quick-to-knit, ankle-length sneaker socks you can whip out of less than a skein of fingering-weight sock yarn. This pattern is great for sock yarn leftovers, partial skeins, or yarns that come in 50-gram skeins (which is what I used). You could also use 20-gram advent calendar minis to make contrast-colored toes and cuffs.
The ankle-length design makes these socks ideal for both warm weather and transitional seasons. You could pair them various footwear styles from sneakers to ankle boots to — dare I even suggest it? — sandals. This makes Rose Quartz Shorties a versatile addition to your sock drawer.
Rose Quartz Shorties feature an angular lace pattern called Dainty Chevron from Barbara Walker's second treasury. The sharp angles bring to mind the jagged edges of the unhewn rose quartz gemstone which, coupled with the rosy hand-dyed yarn I used, is what inspired the name for the design.
The delicate quality of the lace pattern is ideal for a pair of summery socks: it allows for breathability and extra airflow, keeping your feet from getting sweaty. Additionally, the lace is eye-catching despite being quite easy to knit. The pointy shapes are made with yarnovers paired with single and double decreases. For left-leaning decreases I recommend doing the no-slip SSK; for centered double decreases the smooth moves CDD. As usual, both written and charted instructions are provided, allowing you to choose your preferred method of following the pattern.
Rose Quartz Shorties follow my favorite sock construction: knit from the toe up with a gusset-and-flap heel. The reinforced heel flap is worked in heel stitch, providing durability and cushioned comfort whether you wear the socks with or without shoes.
What's new (for me!) is the optional heel tab at the back of the leg. Short rows are used to raise the top edge of the back heel. This creates a little wedge of extra fabric that helps to keep the socks in place, stopping them from sliding down the heel and bunching up under the foot. If you wear the shorties in shoes, the heel tab also prevents the back of the shoe or sandal strap from chafing your ankle. But, as said, the heel tabs are optional — you can also leave them out if you so prefer.
The top edge of the socks is finished with a short twisted-rib cuff that gives a crisp, polished look to the shorties. Normally I design my socks with the same stitch count throughout the foot and leg. But to make these shorties fit snugly around the ankle, a few decreases are worked on the first round of ribbing. This, in addition to the heel tab, helps in averting sock slippage.
The pattern comes in three sizes (S, M, and L): 58, 66, or 74 stitches in circumference or to fit shoe sizes EU 34–36, [38–40, and 43–45 (US 2–4, 5–6½, 10–12) with approximately 10% of negative ease. If you're smack in the middle of sizes, I'd recommend sizing down because the lace pattern is quite stretchy. The foot length is adjustable within pattern; instructions on when to start gusset increases based on your desired length are provided in the pattern.
To knit Rose Quartz Shorties, you'll need less than a skein of sock yarn, or more specifically, approx. 185–275 m or 200–300 yd of fingering weight. I knit my M-sized sample pair using just 46 grams of sock yarn but the pattern includes a bit of a buffer in yardage estimates so that you don't run out.
My rose-colored sample socks were made with Holst Garn Highland (80% superwash highland wool, 20% nylon, 210 m/50 g, 229 yd/1.76 oz), hand dyed by Charlotte Spagner in the colorway Rosy, a beautiful soft, semi-solid pink with hints of orange here and there. This yarn comes in 50-gram skeins so it's a great budget-conscious option for trying just a small amount of hand-dyed yarn. The commercially dyed options are even more affordably priced.
Rose Quartz Shorties are now available for purchase in all my pattern shops: Payhip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry (seizure warning). Be sure to share your shorties on Instagram with the hashtags #rosequartzshorties and #talviknits so I can find them!
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