Thousand Kisses Socks

by Josie Mercier

» model: BG » photos: Brandy Fortune

The design for these socks came to be because my son was nervous about his first day of school. With he (and I) needing some reassurance, I decided to knit him a special pair of socks for his big day with an old-fashioned X's and O's colorwork pattern around the leg of the sock. The magic came when I told him that these socks had extra hugs and extra kisses for him saved up in the X's and O's if he needed them at school. When he was reluctant to let me leave him in his new classroom, I put a couple of extra kisses in my hand and patted them into each of his socks. Then he let me leave. Both of us only cried a little.

The original Thousand Kisses socks were worn to shreds and it was high time to make a replacement pair for my son, as well as a pair for my daughter. The pattern before you includes two colorways, one for a bigger boy and one for a smaller girl, but let your imagination, and your child's taste, be your guide.







6-12 months [1-3 years, 3-5 years, 5-9 years, 7-13 years]

Finished Measurements

Foot Circumference: 4½[5½, 6, 6½, 7] inches
Foot Length: 4 [5, 6, 7½, 8] inches


Cascade Heritage [75% Merino Superwash, 25% Nylon; 437 yards/400 meters per 3.5 oz/100g ball];

Girl's version
#5625; 1 skein
#5646; 1 skein

Boy's version
#5615; 1 skein
#5607; 1 skein

Recommended needle sizes

US #1/2.5 mm dpns (set of 4 or 5)


Stitch markers


36 stitches and 48 rows = 4 inches in St st

Pattern Notes

Socks are worked from the top down.

Skills Required

Knitting on dpns, fair isle, short rows, grafting


With CC and using tubular cast on or stretchy cast on of your choice, cast on 40[48, 56, 60, 64] sts. Join to work in the round making sure not to twist stitches. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.
Work in k1, p1 ribbing for 1 [1¼, 1½, 1¾, 2] inches.
Change to MC and work 4 [6, 8, 10, 12] rnds in St st.
Knit one rnd in CC and one round in MC.
Using MC, k 0 [4, 3, 0, 2] sts, work Row 1 of chart 4 [4, 5, 6, 6] times, with MC k 0 [4, 3, 0, 2] sts.

Continue to keep the first and last 0[4, 3, 0, 2] sts of each round in MC and work the remainder of chart rows.
Knit one round in MC and one round in CC.
Change to MC and work in St st until sock measures 2 [2, 2¾, 3½, 4¼] inches. Knit to 10[12, 14, 15, 16] sts before the stitch marker.

Change to CC and k 20 [24, 28, 30, 32] sts; these form the heel sts.
Turn your work, sl the first st, and p across to the end of the heel sts.
Turn, *sl 1 purlwise, k1* across. Repeat the last two rows until the heel flap is square, ending with a WS row.
K 12 [14, 16, 17, 18] sts, k2tog, k1.
Turn, p6, p2tog, p1.
Turn, k7, k2tog, k1.
Turn, p8, p2tog, p1.
Continue as established, adding one stitch per row, for 2 [4, 6, 8, 8] more rows.
Sizes 6-12 months [1-3 years, 3-5 years, 7-13 years] ONLY
Turn, k11 [13, 15, 19], k2tog.
Turn, p11 [13, 15, 19], p2tog; cut CC.

With MC, knit across heel sts, pick up 14 [16, 19, 20, 22] sts along the left side of heel flap, pm, k across instep, pm, pick up 14 [16, 19, 20, 22] sts along the right side of the heel flap: 60 [70, 82, 88, 94] sts.
Knit to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, knit to second marker, slip marker, k1, ssk, knit to end of rnd: 58 [68, 80, 86, 92] sts.
Knit one rnd without decreasing.
Repeat last two rnds, 9 [10, 12, 13, 14] times: 40[48, 56, 60, 64] sts.

Work even until foot measures 3[3¾, 4½, 6, 6½] inches from the point of the heel, ending last rnd at second marker; cut MC.

Change to CC.
K1, ssk, knit to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, sl marker, k1, ssk, knit to 3 sts before second marker, k2tog, k1: 36 [44, 52, 56, 60] sts.
Knit one rnd without decreasing.
Repeat last two rnds 3[4, 5, 5, 5] times more; 24 [28, 32, 36, 40] sts.
Work decrease row every row 4[5, 5, 6, 6] times more; 8[8, 12, 12, 16] sts remain.  


Place the 4[4, 6, 6, 8] sts for the top of the toe on one dpn. Place the 4[4, 6, 6, 8] sts for the bottom of the toe on another dpn. Graft these sts together using kitchener stitch. Weave in all ends.

Present the socks to the child with a bit of ceremony, such as in a box topped with a colorful ribbon. Show the child how the sock is made up of many tiny stitches and explain how you put a kiss into each one so that the socks are made of thousands and thousands of kisses, just for him or her; there are more than 11,000 stitches in the 3-5 year old size. Show the child the X's and O's at the top of the sock and give him or her an extra-big hug and kiss for each of the large letters around the top of the sock. Try not to cry. Offer to re-fill the socks with hugs and kisses, from a distance if necessary, every time they are washed.

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Designer Photo

Josie learned to knit in 2001 while recovering from an illness. She immediately began tinkering with patterns and had her first original knitting pattern published in 2005. She currently lives in Belleville, Ontario with her husband and two children.



Pattern © 2012 Josie Mercier. Contact 

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