Free Knitting Pattern - Safety Third Socks


These socks are based on our favorite sock recipe, and one day, partly inspired by the wild color scheme my husband chose for a new pair of socks, I threw caution to the wind because I wanted to know what would happen if I tried a contrasting heel color on the Fleegle heel. What it turned into was an upside-down triangle of color right on the back of the heel, and it reminded me of a caution sign! And thus, the Safety Third Socks were born!

If you would like to download this pattern as a PDF, click here.


Safety Third Socks

If you wish to knit these socks with a magic loop instead of DPN’s, simply treat needles 1 and 2 as the front and needles 3 and 4 as the back.

Supplies Needed:

400 yards (about 100g) of fingering weight sock yarn
80 yards (20g) of neon fingering weight sock yarn
US Size 1.5 DPN’s, or size needed to obtain gauge


7 stitches per inch in stockinette


Small 7” foot circumference (Medium 8”, Large 9”)

Abbreviations & Stitches:

K - Knit
P - Purl
Kfb - Knit front and back
SSK - Slip, slip, knit
P2tog - Purl 2 together
CC - Contrasting color
MC - Main color
Slip - Slip stitch purlwise
Stockinette - Knit all stitches around

Cast-On: Using Judy’s Magic Cast-On (, and CC yarn, cast on 32 stitches (16 stitches per needle). Knit the first round as shown in the tutorial to untwist the twisted stitches on the back needle. Knit one more round.

Toe Increases:

Round 1: *K1, kfb, knit until 2 stitches remain on front needle, kfb, K1; repeat from * on back needle. Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until the total number of stitches on both needles equals 52 (56, 64) stitches. (26 (28, 32) on each needle.)

Place marker for beginning of round. Knit half the stitches on the first needle onto one DPN, then add another for the second half of the stitches. Repeat with the second needle. You’ll now have 4 needles holding all your stitches, and one free needle. Switch to MC yarn.


Work the foot in MC stockinette until from tip of toe it measures 2.5 inches short of entire foot measurement (measure your sole from center back of heel to tip of big toe).


Continue working in MC.

Round 1: On needles 1 and 2, continue to work in stockinette.
On needle 3, K1, kfb, knit to end.
On needle 4, knit until 2 stitches remain, kfb, K1.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until there are 44 (48, 56) stitches collectively on needles 3 and 4 (22 (24, 28) per needle).

Heel Turn:

The heel is worked flat across needles 3 and 4 only, in CC.
Row 1 (RS):
K 25 (27, 31), SSK, K1, turn.
Row 2 (WS): Slip 1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 3: Slip 1, K8, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 4: Slip 1, P9, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 5: Slip 1, K10, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 6: Slip 1, P11, P2tog, P1, turn.

Continue working in this manner, knitting or purling the stitch before the turning gap together with the stitch on the other side of the gap, until all the stitches are worked and you again have 26 (28, 32) stitches collectively between needles 3 and 4 (13 (14, 16) per needle).


Switch back to MC and resume working stockinette in the round until the leg measures 6 inches.


Switch to CC and knit 1.5 inches of K1, P1 ribbing, then bind off either very loosely in pattern or using a stretchy bind off of your choice.