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.
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.
Pattern Link, Flexi Flip Needles, and How I Did My Cast-On
The FREE pattern I closely followed is called the Arizona Flip Flop Sock. I added two stitches to the Cast-on, for a total of 36. I also did not do the ribbing at the beginning, just for ease of knitting, but I did do it on the toe area.
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, but here is what I did for the cast-on.
- Cast on 36 stitches to one needle. (I used a long tail cast on.) Figure your gauge – she lists it on the pattern page – to decide needle size and stitches to cast on.
- Knit 18 stitches (or half the stitches), which will be on 1 needle, then knit the remaining 18 stitches to a second needle. (Flexi Flip needles come in sets of 3 needles.) This leaves one needle free to knit with.
- Hold needles with yarn side by side, making sure all knitting bumps are aligned and not twisted. The knitting yarn will be hanging from the R 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 use the cast-on tail as my marker.
Once the stitches are joined, begin knitting the pattern using the free / empty needle. I found the Flexi Flips to be much easier to use than regular DPNs. They are longer so less chance of losing stitches, and they are nice and flexible.
Below are my finished socks after being washed. 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.
Help With the Toes
At round 41 in the pattern, the big toe will be separated from the others. Here you will be asked to cast on 3 stitches. The video below can help with that if you need it. I did!
BE SURE TO BIND OFF LOOSELY !!! Or your toe openings will be too tight.
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 (this pattern) 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. 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. 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.