My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Do Your Kneesocks Fall Down When You Attempt to Move?

(Sung to the tune of “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bed Post Overnight?”)

An interesting question, and one for the ages: do you have trouble keeping your kneesocks up?

Do you have problems with your kneesocks falling down?

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I for one do not have problems with kneesocks staying up. I think this has a lot to do with fit.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom bought you cotton or cotton-blend kneesocks? And after a few washings they would shrink? Then they would never stay up properly because they were a bit too small. Sure, you could tug them into place but as soon as you took 3 steps they were inching down your leg.

When you knit your own kneesocks, you really have to pay close attention to fit. You want the socks’ circumference to be a bit less than the circumference of your leg at all the crucial points for a snug fit, and (very important) you want them tall enough.

To knit ’em tall enough, you really need to try them on several times as you knit. Case in point: my kneesocks.


Lying flat, these socks measure about 21 inches from the bottom of the foot to the top of the cuff. My leg, from just below the knee to the bottom of my foot, measured along the “in-seam,” is 18 inches. Why the extra three inches? Because I have fat shapely calves. Some of that length is taken up in width as I put the socks on.

As I knit these bad boys I kept trying them on to make sure my rate on increase was working, and that they were going to be long enough. They are.


I had not really planned on writing up this pattern, as the lace is very simple and similar to other stuff I’ve done, but now I’m thinking I will, and make it a “how to knit a pair of kneesocks that fit” pattern. What do you think? Are you interested?


Lucy seems thrilled with all this kneesocks talk, no?



  1. Absolutely interested in your knee sock pattern. I’m sick of mine falling down. Sally

  2. I think I’d be verrrry interested. It would be a great summer project so I’d have nice, warm knee socks ready when the cold weather hits (in eastern Ontario, this can be as early as September).

    Those are very lovely, by the way. Lucy’s just jealous because her socks are always going to be the same color.

  3. I would totally love to know how to do this! I don’t buy knee socks because my legs are *ahem* shapely and I haven’t knit them because I haven’t had a decent pattern.

    Karen in Toledos last blog post..This Too Shall Pass

  4. I’d love a pattern for knee socks. Especially for thick calves.

  5. I’m interested! I’ve only ever worn store bought knee socks. They’ve always fit fine though, I think because they have minimal shaping and my calves would hold them up. Yours are BEAUTIFUL! btw πŸ˜€

  6. I had pretty much given up on knee socks because of my “shapely” calves and the fact they wouldn’t stay up. Now I think I’ll have to give them another try. Heaven knows the regular socks I knit fit so much better than anything I every bought in the store.

  7. I think that is would be a wonderful tutorial. I don’t wear knee socks due to lymphedema restrictions, but I know many who would be glad you shared your wisdom.

    bevsyarncrazys last blog post..A Frogging I Will Go

  8. I vote for the knee socks that fit pattern, but no lace. Or at least with a no lace option. To me, knee socks should be warm! Thanks!

  9. I would love for you to make a “how to make them fit write” pattern. I bought the knee sock pattern available on Loopyewe, and it’s absolutely beautiful, but that’s the only thing I’m afraid of… fitting around my overly large calves and staying up closer to the knee. My store-bought knee socks don’t fall down ever. I’ve never knit any though… and I’m looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

    Deineras last blog post..The world is falling apart

  10. Great idea to write up a how-to. Teaching people to create their own versions gives them many more possibilities than telling them how to do a thing one way. Mary above gave me an idea–you could do cables or other traveling stitches and work them into the design as it increases. Or just do things plain, so others have a blank canvas.

    Sunas last blog post..A Birthday Treat

  11. Elena Viscarra says:

    I would absolutly be interested. Mostly because my calves are also…ummm, shapely. (And it’s not from squat thrusts or other such nonsense.) You always knit up socks so quickly – it’s inspiring. I just finished my first pair and additional tips are always welcome. Thanks – Elena

  12. You can see from looking at Lucy that she is clearly a proponent of knee socks – she wears them all the time!

  13. I like the idea of a knee sock tutorial.

    I tend to shy away from them for fit reasons.

  14. Marion, on Long Island, NY says:

    What I remember about knee socks and slippage when I was in high school was using a rubberband to keep them up. I had a permanent indentation right below my knee from the circulation stoppage.

  15. Yes, please! I have one pair of kneesocks that fit fairly well, but even so, they tend to creep downwards. And once they’re over the midpoint of the calf, well, you know what happens. I’d love to see you write up your kneesock pattern!

  16. Ohh, yes please!

  17. you bet! thanks for the offer!! they are sooo pretty.

  18. I would love to buy a good how-to knee sock pattern (and I know yours would be good). My husband (who knits) just discovered your sock patterns about a month ago and I already have a lovely pair and he’s started the next one for me too… and he already bought your other knee sock pattern – I can’t wait for more!

    Lucys last blog post..Slippers

  19. Of course we want the pattern.

    Silly lady. πŸ˜‰

  20. Marie Wilson says:

    I am very interested. My legs get cold. Store bought knee socks either slide down immediately or cut off circulation just under the knee. My 60 year old calves are “shapely” as well.

  21. I would definitely buy that pattern – those are gorgeous!

  22. Yes, please. I would absolutely be interested in knitting knee socks that fit. For example, the percentage of negative ease at the widest part of the calf and at the just below the knee point would be very helpful. And instructions on increasing the stitch count for around the calf vs. making the socks taller to accommodate width – that would be helpful. I was going to try to make my own toe up instructions from the Shaping Knee Sock pattern calculator ( ) but I had looked at several Ravelry projects that used that pattern that said their resulting knee socks were too big.
    I think you would do a great job.

  23. Lucy looks like she just said something smart and sassy.

    miss sandras last blog post..That’s Just Cruel

  24. yes please do write a pattern with instructions on how to make our kneesocks fit! It would be truly very helpful!

  25. Linda in Dallas says:

    Yes, interested in the knee sock pattern. Even though it doesn’t get super cold in Dallas, I would like to knit these for friends in the northern territory.

  26. I would love to figure this out, but I don’t know if it is too much for me, as I am only just learning to follow a pattern and haven’t been able to modify anything in order to make “medium” socks fit on my “small” feets…

    Pamelas last blog post..A weekend β€œoff”

  27. Yes, please write the pattern/how-to. These look pretty.

  28. I use garters to hold mine up. A length of cord tied just below the knee with the top of the sock folded over it works fairly well.

  29. Oh I remember those cotton ones. I for one do not knit my sock that high because I just can’t seem to get the fit right. So yes a “how to knit knee socks that fit” would be great!

    Qutecowgirls last blog post..A very cute FO

  30. Oh I totally forgot to add this, My Mom Loves Lucy and thinks she is very beautiful.

    Qutecowgirls last blog post..A very cute FO

  31. Lynne E. says:

    Sure, I’m interested! One of the reasons that my kneesocks stay up, is that I’m always reading the new technical knitting stuff as it gets published.

  32. Darla Jones says:

    I would love to know how to knit a kneesock. Even though I live in a more southern area, I wear them much of the time. My husband keeps our house very cool and I am cold natured. I wear skirts or dresses all the time so shorter length socks leave a lot of leg uncovered. I was going to try to just lengthen a shorter sock but I just don’t have the skills yet to do that.

  33. BuckfastBee says:

    I switched to woolen socks &rabbit-angora-long-johns to keep my “shapely” calves (& thighs & butt) warm in our horrible wet and cold winter, and I would love to get numbers for shaping the kneesocks/tights in simple 2/2 rib – no lace pattern needed under my jeans.*g*

  34. I am in the process of knitting my very first knee socks. I am using Cat Bordhi’s Coreolis pattern and an instruction I found on the internet for the increases. I am also trying them on often. So far so good, but I am just under the widest part of the calf; lots of error room yet!

    I love the way your knee socks look on. I couldn’t see them until after they were on your feets. I would be very interested in the tutorial. Knee socks are the fashion statement this year. I have decided. ; )

  35. OMG, I would love knee socks. I’m still trying to master the whole toe up thing. When I do, watch out!

  36. I’m very interested in a lace knee sock pattern/how to. I’ve been looking for a really good knee sock pattern on Ravelry and haven’t found one yet. I have the yarn and the needles. πŸ™‚

    Rilanas last blog post..Snow In March

  37. Since I am also blessed with shapely calves (prefer to think of them as ‘muscular’) I would love a kneesock formula pattern! Over the past couple of winters I have grown to love kneesocks. Oh, and thank you for getting that song stuck in my head. πŸ˜‰

  38. I voted that I don’t wear knee socks . . . but I would love to. I just haven’t gotten up the nerve to knit myself some. It’s hard to find knee socks in stores cause I am a big girl, but one day I will brave the waters and knit myself at least one pair.

    Waldens last blog post..Crochet Scrubbie

  39. Patricia says:

    Definitely want to know how. I don’t like how short most sock patterns are. Hope you’ll include how to stop without going totally Knee sock. I’m never sure where else is a good stopping point like store bought socks.

  40. I think they are grand! I can’t wait to get started on my own! Thank goodness the weather has turned rather summery in my neck of the woods so I won’t feel guilty about not having them going already πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your warm toes! (And shapely calves!)

    Megan S.s last blog post..Warning: Very Little Content

  41. I would love a how-to-knit-knee socks that fit pattern. I really like to wear knee socks, but the kind I find in the department stores are … icky. It would be nice to be able to make my own!

  42. Danielle from SW MO says:

    I prefer shorter socks however am intereste in making kneesocks as that is all my husband will wear. I was just planning on ribbing all the way up the calf however would rather make a pair tha actually fit him rather than just ribbed. If I can make a pair of long socks to fit comfortably I would also mpst likely be willing to wear them as well. Long story short I would be very intersted in the pattern!

  43. cool – I love knee socks, but store-bought ones are usually too small and end up falling down because of my freakishly long legs. and I rarely have the patience to knit my own, because the one time I did, they ended up doing the same thing and I lost all hope in my knee sock future. maybe if you wrote a “how to make your knee socks stay up” pattern I’d give it another go πŸ™‚

    Olivias last blog post..we could close the curtains, pretend like there’s no world outside

  44. Well, I don’t think your legs are any more ‘shapely’ than they should be πŸ™‚ And I would love a ‘how to knit kneesocks pattern’, myself. Thanks for keeping us educated about these things! πŸ™‚

    Tabbys last blog post..Chewy Granola Bars!

  45. I would be very interested in knee socks that fit. Every pattern I’ve looked at for knee socks seems to be top down AND has a decorative ribbon or something around the top… that’s cheating!

  46. I am very interested in your knee sock pattern.

    tabithas last blog post..5K

  47. Lynette Holzer says:

    I answered your poll with “I don’t wear knee socks”. But I’d like to. I am tall and have long legs and a profound dislike of anything too tight around my legs, so purchased knee socks are not an option. I also live in cold country, and it would be nice to have nice knee socks. It seems to take me forever to knit a pair of “sock yarn” socks and and then there’s the issue of the yardage provided… it takes me most of a 425 yard skein for one pair of socks for my size 11s. I make one or two of those every year and about a half dozen or so in a heavier yarn. I wear birks year-round, so thick socks are not a problem. They might, however, be a problem if I were to wear worsted-weight socks on my already generously proportioned calves. Fingering weight knee socks remain on the “maybe someday” pile.


  48. Kate Lathrop says:

    Yes, I would LOVE a pattern on how to make knee socks that fit! I’m working on a toe up pair now and am at the point I need to do increases. It’s simple stockenette and I’m trying to piece together how to do increases. I want to use up every inch of this great sock yarn.

  49. Oh yes….Yes yes yes. Please.

  50. Yes please knit up a how to do knee sock pattern. Some patterns just say to keep knitting. That doesn’t help with the fit.
    Thank you so much.
    And Lucy is just precious.

  51. definitely interested in that pattern. I really like that colour also.

  52. I’d certainly welcome a knee sock pattern.
    With her lovely seal-point fur, Miss Lucy finds the whole knee sock thing kind of sad. Truly evolved animals don’t have that silly naked skin on their legs.

    Brendas last blog post..Soggy Weather

  53. While it’s obvious Lucy is uninterested in knee sock patterns, I am! I would be very interested in seeing your “how to knit kneesocks that fit” pattern.

  54. Lorraine Seibert says:

    Nice knees. Might try the pattern.

  55. Me, too. When I was growing up, we said that our shoes were eating our socks when they started falling down!

  56. P P Walker says:

    YES!!!! Very much interested in a β€œhow to knit a pair of kneesocks that fit” pattern.

  57. It’s not just fit, it’s the shape of our legs.

    Graces last blog post..The Walk up Palm Canyon

  58. As someone who also has shapely calves I would be very interested in such a pattern. I tend to like those sorts of patterns best, I rarely knit socks from actual patterns. Once I learned how to do your toe-up socks I was good to go.

  59. I would be tickled pink if you would write out the pattern & do a “how to” for knee socks! Yours are gorgeous.

  60. Kathleen says:

    Although I don’t wear knee socks, my 25 year old daughter just loves them. I think it’s a great idea for you to write up the pattern. I for one would like to have the ability to surprise my daughter with a pair of knee socks that fit her. Wouldn’t she be surprised.

  61. I have stupidly skinny Big Bird legs but I would still love to know how to get knee socks to fit me! Definitely!

  62. Another “shapely calf owner” here. Probably the reason I don’t wear knee socks. Lord knows it’s cold enough in my office all winter to warrant them.

    karen ws last blog post..

  63. Sarah W. says:

    Positively thrilled that you would do this. I am currently making your toe-up socks with a difference into knee socks, about to get to calf increases and not quite sure what to do. Thanks for a great idea. I love kneesocks, especially with boots.

  64. I have the calves of a Swedish masseuse. Hence, no problem keeping the knee socks up.
    You look adorable in your knee socks.

  65. Yes, please–knee socks are the reason I started knitting in the first place! One can never depend on finding them in the stores, and those you can buy slide down the slippery slope almost immediately. Living in LOLE (the Land of Lake Effect, in northwest Indiana) makes you want to keep your legs warm!

  66. Carla B. says:

    yes, please, for the knee sock tutorial!!

  67. I’d also be interested. getting socks to stay up is always a problem for me. Knee socks especially, it’s either too loose, or I lose circulation.

    Mays last blog post..Flour in some Snow

  68. I came across a great way to keep knee socks up in a Rowan pattern. Simply make a row of eyelets just under the ribbed top. Then thread a piece of ribbon through and tie in a pretty bow. Not only practical but decorative too.

    Marians last blog post..I’ve not totally disappeared…

  69. A really interesting matter, the holding up of socks. I have a bad remembrance of the socks my grandmother knitted and they did not keep their and kept kreeping down. I still don’t knit socks…A tutorial would be great…
    And as for Lucy, she has no need for them, she has the most gorgeous incorporated ones!

    Yarnlots last blog post..Purple Pumpkin Hat-afgewerkt. Purple Pumpkin Hat-finished.

  70. I would love a tutorial on how to know knee socks. it would be really fun because i’ve been looking into making my own patterns for a little bit. (I know i’ve got a ways to go though!)

    PMOYSs last blog post..Things I’m Interested In Right Now

  71. A really interesting matter, the holding up of socks. I have a bad memory of the socks my grandmother knitted and they did not keep their shape and kept inching down. I still don’t knit socks… A tutorial would be great.
    And as for Lucy, she has no need for them, she has the most gorgeous incorporated ones!

    Yarnlots last blog post..Purple Pumpkin Hat-afgewerkt. Purple Pumpkin Hat-finished.

  72. YES. I absolutely want a pattern about how to make them fit. I, too, have shapely calves and they do NOT stay up. haha. I think you are right, the width eats the height so they don’t stay up. ugh.

    Helens last blog post..Twenty-Eight Cents Each πŸ˜‰

  73. I’m so relieved to know that so many have “shapely” calves the way I do. Following a pattern which would give me kneesox that fit would be wonderful. (I even have to buy extra width boots! I’m so jealous of women who can try on boots at the store and not have to go red in the face trying to pull them up!)

    Judys last blog post..

  74. Yes, my kneesocks fall down. Yes, I would like to have some that do not. Please write it out for us!!

  75. I’d love a tutorial. I’m such a sock newbie, I need all the help I can get!

    ccr in MAs last blog post..Yes, this is why I’m not on Twitter

  76. I would love a pattern that is toe-up knee socks. I also have “shapely” caves, and oddly shaped feet. I would totaly pay for this patterns, (if that matters)

  77. i don’t knit socks but a pattern for these? might convince me otherwise.

  78. mlochk22 (Mel) says:

    I would *love* a knee sock pattern/how-to for my thus far lacking skills in the knee socks area!
    You rock!

  79. I don’t wear kneesocks – because they don’t fit over my “shapely” calves most of the time…but if I could knit my own to fit, that might be a different story.

  80. Must you really ask? Of COURSE we’d love to see a pattern, lol.

    Besides, knee socks are FUN. πŸ™‚

    Eklectikas last blog post..

  81. Please, give us the pattern! I have never made knee socks before, but this would be the perfect opportunity to try! πŸ™‚

  82. You know, this could be useful in so many ways! I don’t have any kneesocks, but I’d like to give them a try. Thanks, Wendy! And yours look wonderful!

    Julias last blog post..Breathing Room

  83. LibraryLes says:

    Absolutely, yes please, without a doubt, a “how to knit kneesocks that fit” pattern/tutorial would be fabulous. I have been having a terrible time finding nice store-bought knee socks to fit my fat shapely calves without cutting off the circulation. I’ve started with regular socks, figuring I’d work my way up to knee socks in time.

  84. LibraryLes says:

    hmmm. obviously I don’t remember html as well as I thought I did.

  85. Yes, I would be interested

  86. I have to admit that I voted in the “I don’t wear knee socks” then realized that I don’t because they fall down. I also have very shapley (nice phrase) calves and would LOVE to have socks that fit and didn’t fall down. After all, fit is one reason we knit socks in the first place! Thank you for your kind offer to do so!

  87. I’m usually just a lurker here, but dang! those are nice kneesocks! Love the color, love the lace. Please please write up a pattern. I’ve been thinking about trying to devise a pair of non-slouchy legwarmers lately, and have been wondering how to do the increases so that they fit right…

  88. wendy, have you ever knit kneesocks that don’t employ increase, but instead use a very stretchy lace pattern and/or progressive needle sizes? thoughts?

    shapely calves unite!

    kittythings last blog post..knitting for rW

  89. Hi Wendy,

    I am interested in the how to fit the knee socks. I started to knit socks in 2004 and my goal is to knit socks that fit. I am so fussy, no particular as to how things fit. After all my job is a fit specialist for apparel so I know about pattern and good fit.
    Knee socks look great.


  90. I would love a how to make knee socks fit pattern!

    All the knee sock patterns I’ve tried do not account for fat shapely calves.

  91. I don’t wear knee socks because of the falling-down issue, but would love to wear them. They’re so cute! I also am blessed with zoftig calves. With the extra calf girth, you’d think the darn things would stay up…

  92. Margie from Maryland says:

    I’m interested in the pattern
    I have those “shapely” calves and I love to wear knee socks AND I have big feet
    Your knee highs look great!

  93. ABSOLUTELY interested in the pattern! I can make kneesocks that fit and I completely agree with your assessment- they must be long enough, they must be snug at crucial points (like the top edge and the ankle) and loose enough through the calf so they don’t “creep”. My challenge is to make my increases LOOK NICE. Mine generally look like crap. All advice on that topic will be greatly appreciated.

  94. A tutorial would be handy. I no longer wear knee scoks because they would creep down–probably been decades–thould I still have a few with the toes and heels cut out for legwarmers for a dance class–which ended over 10 years ago (!).

    E. Engmans last blog post..TOKYO QUILT SHOW PICS

  95. I’d be interested! I also bet that Lucy’s kneesocks never fall down.

    Erikas last blog post..More yarn?

  96. I never wear knee socks because they never fit. They always fall. After reading your post, I wonder if I would actually wear a pair if they actually fit properly. Please do write a how to pattern for these. I think most of us would be willing to pay for the pattern if you hadn’t already decided on that point as well.

    Thank you.

    Patricias last blog post..Shoot me now

  97. Definitely interested in the kneesocks to fit pattern!

  98. I’d be very interested!!

    adas last blog post..Squares!

  99. Meribeth says:

    Put simply, YES!

  100. Oh yes!