There's something about self striping sock yarns that lends itself perfectly to vanilla socks. Watching the stripes grow in a pleasingly regular repeat makes it easy to work just a round or two more.
Simple. And yet very satisfying.
Our self striping sock yarns have a long length of the main colour, then much shorter lengths of three colours. I wondered what would happen if I knitted all of the stitches when I was working with the main colour and purled the other stitches. The result? - caterpillar socks.
If you look at the foot of the front sock you can just see that I deceided I'd prefer less texture on the sole, so once the heel was turned I knitted all of the sole stitches regardless of the colour I was working with.
The same stitch pattern in a different colourway. I'm pretty sure that blocking would even out the stitch differences where I went between needles - and now that I know these stitches tend to be a little looser it's easy to compensate.
I knit 4ply socks on 64 stitches, so any pattern repeat with 8 stitches fits in well. Here I knitted in the main colour and slipped every 8th stitch when working with the contrast colour. On the next stripe I worked the slip stitches 4 stitches further on so the slip stitches are staggered. I didn't worry about working complete rounds of slip stitches and let the colour dictate when I went back to plain knitting.
Again you could choose to work the sole plain if you want to minimise texture in that area.
The last sample I played with with a 6 by 2 rib. There's a subtle dufference to the look, and ribbed socks tend to be that little bit snugger. I even managed to sneak in a 1 by 1 and 2 by 2 rib on the ends to check which I'd prefer for ribbed socks - and 2 by 2 rib works beautifully.
Want to cast on your own self striping socks? Find the yarn here.