This design is a product of my affection for stitch patterns that offset the vivid color changes in hand dyed yarn. The shifting quality in the stitchwork reminds me of the busy DC Metro tracks, and after a few repeats the pattern is easy enough to enjoy on the commute home. I became inspired to create this stitch pattern after working with The Fiberists Audubon Sport, a brand new yarn to the shop from local fiber artists Reginald Waters and Spencer Lepler. (It arrived today!!) Their yarns are extraordinarily soft, and the dynamic colorways are drawn from nature. I feel a little bit smarter every time I pick up a skein and learn the scientific name for, say, Spanish Moss which is also known as Tillandsia usneoides. Their colorways range from bright and floral to soft and earthy. Just one skein of their Audubon Sport makes a pair of Metrorail Socks.
- 1 skein The Fiberists Audubon Sport in Spanish Moss, or 385 yds sport weight yarn
- US#2 (2.75 mm) double pointed needles, or preferred method for working socks in the round
- US#3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles, or preferred method for working socks in the round
30 sts and 36 rounds / 4″ square / stockinette stitch in the round
Abbreviations & Stitch patterns
- st/s: stitch/es
- k: knit
- p: purl
- k2tog: knit two stitches together
- p2tog: purl two stitches together
- sl1*: slip one stitch
- ssk: sl1 as if to knit, sl1 as if to knit, knit both stitches together
*With the exception of ssk, all slipped stitches throughout the pattern are slipped as if to purl and with yarn in back, so as to not reverse the direction of the stitch on the needle.
- Twisted Rib: (k1 through back loop, p1), repeat ()
Using US size 2 DPNs, cast on 52 stitches.
Join in the round and work in Twisted Rib for 1 inch.
If working on DPNs, divide stitches on 3 needles as: 16 sts on Needle 1, 21 sts on Needle 2, 15 sts on Needle 3.
Switch to US size 3 DPNs.
Complete Track Chart a total of 12 times.
Work the first 26 sts in Track Chart Row 1. k1. Begin working flat across remaining 25 sts on one DPN.
Work Eye of Partridge Heel for a total of 24 rows as follows:
Row 1: (sl1, k1), repeat () until 1 stitch remains, k1
Row 2: sl1, p to end
Row 3: sl1, (sl1, k1), repeat () to end
Row 4: sl1, p to end
Row 1: k17, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 2: sl1, p10, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 3: sl1, k11, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 4: sl1, p12, p2tog, turn
Row 5: sl1, k13, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 6: sl1, p14, p2tog, turn
Row 7: sl1, k15, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 8: sl1, p15, p2tog, turn
Beginning to knit in the round, knit across 17 heel sts. Pick up and knit 14 sts along heel flap edge. Place a “gusset marker” gm. Work Track Chart Row 2 across next 26 sts. Knit 1 (this stitch will continue to be worked in stockinette stitch throughout the remainder of the pattern). Place gm. Pick up and knit 14 sts along heel flap edge.
Now reposition your stitches so that the center 25 sts of Track Chart pattern are on one needle (Needle 2), while the extra stitch on the left end of Track Chart pattern is on left-adjacent needle (Needle 3) next to gm, and the extra stitch on the right end of Track Chart pattern is on right-adjacent needle (Needle 1) next to gm. Then place a marker at the end of Needle 3 indicating the beginning of the round and move the first 8 stitches of Needle 1 to Needle 3 (this is the section where the heel stitches are).
Round 1: Knit until 2 sts remain before gm, k2tog, slip gm and work across next 27 sts in Track Chart pattern, slip gm, ssk, knit to end of round.
Round 2: Work in pattern, maintaining stitches on Needle 2 in chart pattern and stitches on Needle 1 and Needle 3 in stockinette stitch.
Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until there are 52 sts remaining. Then continue to work in pattern until sock is 2″ shorter than desired length.
Round 1: Knit until 2 sts remain before gm, k2tog, remove gm, k1, place “toe marker” tm, k1, ssk, knit until 4 sts remain before gm, k2tog, k1, place tm, k1, remove gm, knit to end of round.
Round 2: Knit all sts.
Round 3: (Knit until 3 sts remain before tm, k2tog, k1, slip tm, k1, ssk), repeat (), knit to end of round.
Repeat Rounds 2 & 3 until 16 sts remain. Knit first 4 sts of next round.
Kitchener remaining 16 sts to close toe.