Until just the other day I hadn’t heard of flip-flop socks. I had begun to try my hand at knitting socks, and asked my daughter if she would like a pair. She said instead she would love a pair of flip-flop socks.
(When I first wrote this page, I followed a pattern that no longer exists. I have linked to other patterns for my readers, but I did not knit those. I hope you will still find my notes interesting and helpful.)
My next question, which I thought was pretty logical, was “Why?”. Flip flops are to be worn in hot weather so why would you add socks? As someone who has outgrown flat, floppy shoes and now needs arch support in my sandals, I was obviously out of touch with the flip-flop wearers.
Who Wears Flip-flop Socks, and Why?
It appears that many people who love flip-flopping so much they will also wear their favorite comfy footwear in cooler weather. Because there must be compensation for the toe split, special socks are needed. People of all ages love these socks, and even men will wear them… who knew?
Choosing Yarn For Your Socks
It will not be difficult to find yarn to knit flip-flop socks. Any “sock yarn” will work fine as long as it is washable. I prefer natural, animal fiber, but cheaper acrylic yarn can be used. I knit my socks in DK weight, 100% merino wool. My yarn is Madeline Tosh DK, Hydroponic. I believe this colorway is discontinued, but you still may be able to find it.
This Pattern is Gone – So….
The FREE pattern I closely followed is called the Arizona Flip Flop Sock, but that pattern is no longer available for some reason. Maybe the sharer was not the original designer, or maybe they no longer have the website, or ??? For whatever reason I can’t give you the link.
SO…. here is a link to another Flip Flop sock pattern which is a free Ravelry download. It is not the one I knit, which changes things. I’ve also listed more socks like this at the bottom of the page. Some are free, and some are to purchase.
Joining in the Round – Switch Stitches
I used US size 2 addi Flexi Flip needles. I had never used this type of short needle before so I had to wing it. I prefer the 9 inch circular needles, but didn’t have any at the time.
Cast on however you like and join in the round as you prefer. Or you can do as I do.
Once all stitches are facing the right way – no twists, and working yarn is coming off the Right needle – drop the first stitch on the L needle and let it hang. Move the first stitch on the R needle over onto the L needle (use the spare needle to do this). Pick up the dropped stitch and put it onto the R needle. Place marker here to mark the beginning of the round (BOR). I used the cast-on tail as my marker.
Once the stitches are joined, begin knitting the pattern using the free / empty needle. I’m using Flexi-Flips here, but DPN’s, 9inch, or Magic Loop would work.
Making the Toe Opening
Most likely at some point, the big toe area will be separated from the other stitches. In the pattern I knit, I had to cast on 3 stitches. The video below helped me do that.
BE SURE TO BIND OFF LOOSELY !!! Or your toe openings will be too tight.
Here are my finished socks after being washed (below). Now I will pack them up and mail them to my daughter.
The photo above was taken after the socks were washed in the washing machine. I let them air dry and they got a tiny bit fuzzy, but remain nice and soft and did not shrink. I had a few ends to re-tuck, but that was all.
I will admit that I dislike knitting socks. I’ve tried various patterns and have never fell in love with knitting them. Many, many people knit loads of socks, and sock patterns seem to be very popular. Knitting one sock can be sort of fun, but then you have to start again and knit the same thing all over again!
The nice thing about the flip-flop sock is that it is a much quicker knit because you are only knitting the sole and toe holders. There is no cuff or dreaded heel to deal with like regular socks. But you still must make two! By the time I finished the second sock, I was ready to celebrate.
I choose this free pattern because I have made socks and I thought I could figure this one out. You should be careful of knitting free patterns because they can end up being incorrect – (share them and then they disappear!). Read my next post about that.
More Flip Flop Sock Patterns
Not all patterns will be the same when you search for “flip flop socks”. Some designers will have you knit the whole sock and separate the big toe. Some have the heel included with the sole / instep area. Other socks are very short and cover only part of the foot.
Here are some patterns I have found and want to share. I have not knit any of these myself.