Sailing School Socks


Published in The Handmade Sock Society 2


Sailing School Socks is our fifth pattern in this second season of The Handmade Sock Society. The design features a nautical side panel of twisted stitches which bring to mind the challenging shapes of so many sailor’s knots. These decorative stitches are deceptively simple, and with a little bit of patience and attention, you’ll soon be flying along. A heel flap and gusset with a wedge toe finish off the Sailing School Socks, and as always, there are three sizes to make finding the right fit a breeze.

One morning, you wake up to sunshine flooding the cottage. It’s the most beautiful day yet, and it has only just begun. The hours stretch out ahead of you, full of possibility. This time in Cornwall has been restorative in ways you never expected. You have a new well of courage and excitement from which to draw, and everything seems much brighter. As you linger by the kettle in a pool of sunshine and stretch like a cat, a sudden idea takes hold. This is the day. After breakfast, you’ll head to the local sailing school, and for the rest of your time here, you will throw yourself into the adventure of learning to take the helm. Under the patient eye of a seasoned skipper, you make your first wobbly journey around the harbour, and then, around the peninsula. The beauty of the coastline seen from this new angle takes your breath away. Seals bob lazily among the rocks, and a heron stretches its great wings and legs to rise, catching the same wind that fills your sails.

It’s not all sightseeing. Sailing is work. Hours literally learning the ropes and teaching your fingers to tie knots (a bowline, figure of eight and sheet bend, just for starters.) There are endless charts to study and weather patterns to interpret. It’s a whole new world, with a new language. Fore and aft, tack and gybe, mizzen and moonraker. After a day of studying and sailing and earning your sea legs, you fall into bed exhausted. Your hands are sore but your heart is glad. There is a reward for all this planning and all this patience. When you spend enough time out there on a boat, learning to adjust to fickle winds and rapidly changing conditions, to navigate wicked tidal currents and withstand headwind gales, something inside of you changes. The sea may not always be calm, but your hand on the tiller is steady. You make your own decisions and your own choices, trusting in your own abilities, and your boat’s. The freedom is enchanting. From here, you could go anywhere, flying along in the arms of the wind.



Birch Hollow Fibers Sylvia Sock (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 423m/463yds per 100g skein), 1 skein

Colour: Mule & Pear


Medium Sample used 70g (297m/325yds) of fingering weight yarn


2.25mm (US 1), 100cm (40”) long circular needles (or size to obtain gauge) for magic loop method or DPNs if preferred


Tapestry needle
3 stitch markers


32 sts/46 rounds = 10 cm (4”) in stockinette stitch

Additional information

Suggested Yarn

Yarn Weight


Needle size

Size available

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