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About the designer

I'm a math professor by trade, and (unsurprisingly) my designs are informed by mathematical concepts. I co-edited the books Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects and ...

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Rachel's Cool Socks

from sarah-marie's knitting patterns
(6) Name: 'Knitting : Rachel's Cool Socks
Rachel's Cool Socks
Rachel's Cool Socks
Rachel's Cool Socks
Rachel's Cool Socks

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Twisted stitch (aka k tbl), M1, k2tog, ssk.
  • Judy's Magic Cast On, Jeny's Super Stretchy Bind Off, Rachel's Cool Increase, and Reverse Rachel's Cool Increase (Online tutorials are available for all of these).

Pattern Description:

These socks were designed collaboratively with Rachel Shorey in order to display uses of Rachel's Cool Increase (RCI). A phototutorial for RCI is posted at http://www.toroidalsnark.net/rci.html. RCI is used structurally in the mathematical heel (you can substitute a different heel if you want) and decoratively in the spiralling motif. Special thing about the heel: it's done in the round, not using short rows or flaps.

There are two versions of the socks, one with a plain foot and one with the spiralling motif flowing around the foot and across the tip of the toe.

Any springy DK/sport-weight yarn should do.


6 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 6.9" finished circumference for size small
  • 7.5" finished circumference for size medium
  • 8.1" finished circumference for size large
  • This pattern is not easy to modify for other circumferences, but easy to modify for other foot lengths and calf heights.


  • 275 - 320 yards of DK weight yarn.
  • Suggested yarns: Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK, Mirasol Yarn Chirapa
  • Use size #2-#2.5/2.75mm-3mm needles or whatever needle size is required to get obtain the correct gauge.
  • You will need one 16" (or longer) circular needle for JMCO and one set double-pointed needles, or one 7" or 9" circular needle, or two circular needles, or one 24" (or longer) circular needle for use with magic loop knitting.

You Will Also Need:

  • Two stitch markers (locking preferred but not required)
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.