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What to Knit With… Sock Sets

A orange and red skein of yarn and a smaller skein of light brown yarn laying next to each other

So, you got your hands on a beautiful Sock Set but aren’t sure what to knit with it? In this post, I’ll show you some ideas on what can be knit with sock sets, and no, it’s not just socks.

But before we dive right in, let’s quickly clarify what a ‘sock set’ actually is. When I talk about sock sets, I am referring to a normal-sized skein of yarn together with one or two smaller skeins of a similar or contrasting color. The larger skein is usually 100g/3.5oz and the smaller one 20g/0.7oz, and most often come in fingering weight, but occasionally you’ll find them in heavier weights as well.

A orange and red skein of yarn and a smaller skein of light brown yarn laying next to each other
An example of a sock set: a mini skein (left) and a full skein (right) in contrasting colors


Yes, the obvious thing to knit with a sock set is, of course, socks. But there are lots of creative ways to incorporate that little mini skein!

Contrasting Heel & Toes

The most “standard” way to use contrast colors in a sock is to knit the toe box and the heel with the contrast color. Follow your usual sock pattern or recipe and switch to the contrast color when knitting the toe and heel. Using a short-row heel (e.g., the Fish Lips Kiss heel) gives it that classic sock look, but it works just as well with any other heel type.

Simply knitting the sock’s heel, toe, and/or cuff in a different color elevates the socks so much without actually needing to do any fancy techniques!

A almost finished knit sock laying flat next to some flowers
A short-row heel sock knit with Barrowland Ballroom (main color) and Thistle (contrast color)
A short-row heel and toe in a contrast color and a few stripes added as well

Contrasting cuffs

When knitting your sock, use the contrast color to knit either the ribbing at the very top of the sock. Or as I’ve done for my Halloween Socks: knit the lace section on the leg with the contrast color. To date, these are my favorite pair of socks I’ve knit: I used the “Art Nouveau Socks” pattern by The Knitting Me, and because the lace section reminded me of cobwebs, I decided to knit it with a speckled grey. The rest of the sock is done in a pumpkin-y orange. You can see a close-up picture of how they turned out below.

My Halloween Socks with the lace section on the leg knit with the contrasting color

Two color Heel Stitch / Eye of Partridge

When using a heel flap for the sock heel, the heel flap (the rectangular section at the back of the heel) is often knit with the Heel Stitch or Eye of Partridge Stitch. Both of those can easily be modified to knit with two colors which gives it a fun effect. Below you’ll find two recipes on how to do this.

A pair of grey shortie socks with green toes and heels
A pair of Palestra shortie socks knit with Yak Sock: 2×2 stranded colorwork at the arch and cuff, and a heel stitch in two colors

Two color Heel Stitch

Row 1: With MC: *Sl1, K1* until 1 st before the gap, K2tog, turn
Row 2: With MC: Sl1, P until 1 st before the gap, P2tog, turn
Row 3 – 4: repeat the above two rows with CC

Two Color Eye of Partridge Stitch

Row 1: With MC: *Sl1, K1* until 1 st before the gap, K2tog, turn
Row 2: With MC: Sl1, P until 1 st before the gap, P2tog, turn
Row 3: With MC: Sl1, K2, *sl1, K1* until 2 st before the gap, K1, K2tog, turn
Row 4: With MC: Sl1, P until 1 st before the gap, P2tog, turn
Rows 5 – 8: repeat the above four rows with CC


  • MC: main color
  • CC: contrast color
  • K: knit
  • P: purl
  • Sl1: slip 1 purlwise
  • K2tog: knit two stitches together
  • P2tog: purl two stitches together
  • *…*: repeat the instructions between the stars

Stripes and Stranded Colorwork

Use the contrast color to add some fun stripes or fair isle colorwork to your socks! Usually, you have less contrast color yarn with a sock set, so keep this in mind when planning your sock. E.g., knit fewer or narrower stripes with your contrast color than your main color.

For stranded colorwork, the sky’s the limit! Have a gander through Ravelry or the internet, or create your own motifs. Below I’ve added a list of some sock patterns using colorwork, all using 20g or less of contrast color:


One sock set is enough to make a small, light-weight shawl or cowl – perfect for those in-between seasons where you might want a little bit of extra warmth in the morning or evening, but during the day it’s warm enough, so it has to fit into your purse or bag, too.

One of my favorite sock set shawl patterns is the Ellie Sock Set Shawl by Heather Boos. I’ve knit it with a sock set in Aubergine and Golden Brown, and it’s a perfect layering piece! Heather has a whole collection of patterns designed for sock sets, so I highly recommend checking them out: Sock set patterns by Heather Boos

My ‘Ellie Sock Set Shawl’, knit in Aubergine and Golden Brown


Like socks, you can add colorwork or stripes to any hat with a sock set! For example, use the contrast color for the brim or the crown for a “color dip” effect, add stripes throughout the hat, or add some stranded colorwork motives like snowflakes. If you’d like some more inspiration, take a look at the hat patterns below:

Add More yarn

One can never have enough yarn, right?! If you have a sock set but would like to use it for a larger project like a sweater, find some additional yarn (or even other sock sets) that coordinates well with your sock set. Dive deep into your stash or visit your local yarn store, and let the creativity flow!

Some ideas to get you started:

If you’re worried that your project might turn out too wild or colorful, use some neutral colors as “white canvas” to let your sock set shine!


So, I hope I was able to give you some inspiration on what to knit with a sock set.

Don’t have a sock set? You can find them here in the shop: Sock Sets, or alternatively, dive into your stash and build your own “sock set” by combining a full skein and one or two mini-skeins.

What is your favorite sock set project? Let us know in the comments!

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