Barnacle Stitch Slipper Socks

In August, my mind often turns to my Christmas knitting.  I start making my list and looking at my yarn stash.  The weather has still been humid this month, so I decided to stick with smaller projects and have been making socks.

Earlier this year, I fell in love with a mock cable pattern I found online - a simple four row repeat - that yielded lovely results.  As it's also a variation on K2, P2 ribbing, I thought it would lend itself well to socks. 

I also wanted to make use of yarn I already had on hand, so this time I reached for a 200m skein of Estelle Worsted Yarn (an acrylic, wool, nylon mix) and a set of 3.25 mm double pointed needles.  I made a women's large (size 10) and had yarn left over. These slipper socks are economical to make and are a great project for orphan skeins of worsted weight yarn in your stash.

To make the slippers longer, add repeats of the stitch pattern. To make a smaller slipper, reduce the cast on stitches by multiples of four and shorten the overall length.  Important: You want to be sure that needle two begins and ends with at least one purl stitch. This ensures your pattern stitch is nicely framed on the instep of each slipper/sock. You should also end on pattern round four before you start the heel flap and toe shaping. This pattern make great bed socks or slippers. You can make the leg portion longer, but this will require more yarn, of course.

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Gauge: 6 stitches to one inch on 3.25 mm needles, in stocking stitch.

Materials: one 100g skein of worsted weight yarn (200 m).  I used one skein of Estelle Worsted (acrylic, wool, nylon blend) for this project. If you can, try to use something with a little nylon in it as it will last longer.


CO 40 (small), 44 (medium) or 48 (large-xl) stitches and arrange them across three needles as follows: 10 - 20 - 10 (small), 11 - 22 - 11 (medium) or (large/XL) 12 - 24 - 12. Join in the round making sure not to twist your stitches.

Begin by doing four rounds of ribbing.  P1, (k2, p2), repeat to last stitch, p1. Repeat this round 4 times. Then begin pattern stitch as follows.

Barnacle Stitch (Mock Cable)

1. P1, (k2, p2), repeat to last stitch, p1.

2. P1, (k1, yo, k1, p2), repeat to last stitch, p1.

3. P1, (k3, p2), repeat to last stitch,  p1. 

4. P1, (sl1, k2, psso, p2), repeat to last stitch,  p1. 

Repeat this four round pattern five times (20 rounds completed). After the fifth repeat, using needle three, continue in ribbing across needle one. Then turn your work so the inside of your work is facing you. Purl across the row, decreasing one stitch in the middle (p2tog) to ensure you have an odd number of stitches on the needle (S - 19 sts) (M - 21 sts) (L/XL 23 sts)

Begin heel flap:

Next row: (k1, sl1) to last stitch, k1.

Next row:  purl

Repeat these two rows 12 times (or for about 2-2.25 inches in length)

Turn heel:

Next row:  (S) K8, kfb, k1, k2tog, turn    7 - 6 - 7

                   (M) K10, kfb, k1, k2tog, turn    7 - 8 - 7

                   (L/XL)11, kfb, k2, k2tog, turn.   8 - 8 - 8

Next row: (S) sl 1, p4, p2tog, turn

                    (M)  sl1, p6, p2tog, turn

                    (L/XL) sl1, p6, p2tog, turn.

Next row: (S) sl1, k4, k2tog, turn

                   (M) sl1, k6, k2tog, turn

                    (L/XL)  sl1, k6, k2tog, turn.

Continue last two rows until (6, 8, 8) stitches remain. Knit across those stitches.  Then pick up 12 to 14 stitches across the first heel flap edge. Continue stitch pattern on the second needle.  Pick up 12 to 14 stitches along the other side of the heel flap, knit (3, 4 , 4 sts) from the first needle. Slide remaining stitches onto the beginning of needle one.

Your stitches should be arranged so you have (20, 22, 24) stitches on needle two, and the same number of stitches on needle one and three.  For example, If I had 8 stitches after turning the heel and picked up 14 stitches on either side on the heel flap, I'd have 18 - 24 - 18 on my needles.

From here on out, you will be knitting on needles one and three and maintaining your pattern stitch on needle two. 

Knit across needle one, pattern across needle two, Knit across needle three. Repeat a second time


Next row: Knit to last three stitches, k2tog, k1. Pattern across the second needle.  K1, ssk, Knit to the end of the third needle. 

Next row: Knit across needle one, pattern across needle two, Knit across needle three. 

Repeat the last two rows until (40, 44, 48) stitches remain. You should have the same number of stitches on your needles as you did at cast on.  10 - 20 - 10 (small), 11 - 22 - 11 (medium) or (large/XL) 12 - 24 - 12

Foot Body:

Continue knitting needles one and three, and patterning across needle two.  Complete as many pattern repeats needed to achieve the desired length. For the L/XL I did 13 pattern repeats from beginning of instep (52 rounds) and ended with round number 4. Ending with a fourth row will make a better transition to the toe. better to under estimate the length than make it too long.  

Suggested finished sock foot lengths: (S) 8.5 - 9 inches  (M) 9 - 9.75 inches  (L/XL) 10 - 11 inches

Please note, the above estimates include the toe shaping.

Toe shaping:

Next round: Knit to last three stitches on needle one, k2tog, k1. Sl1, ssk, Knit to last three stitches on needle two, k2tog, k1. K1, ssk, Knit to the end of needle three. 

Next round, Knit across all three needles. 

Repeat until (20, 22, 24) stitches remain. After last decrease, knit stitches from needle one onto needle three, 12 stitches per needle. Use the Kitchener stitch to secure the toe. Weave in the ends.


k - knit                p - purl                sl - slip                kfb - knit in the front and back of the stitch

st - stitch               k2tog - knit two stitches together    p2tog - purl two stitches together 

ssk - slip next two stitches as if to knit and knit through back of both loops

(S) - size small ladies' 5-7  (M) - size medium, ladies' 7.5 - 9.5    

(L/XL) size large/extra large ladies' 10 - 12

Copyright of this pattern belongs to Katherine Walters, The Knitted Raven, August 2023. This pattern is free for personal use. You may also make items for sale using this pattern provided you credit me as the pattern designer. Large scale commercial production of items for sale using this pattern is prohibited. 

If you have any questions about this pattern, please email me


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