Pattern Courtesy of Interweave Knits Magazine
Knits managing editor Ann Budd designed the Ladder of Life Socks to honor the men and women who work to save lives in our communities during times of need, not only during national crises like the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but every day. We hope that you will join us in a rally of appreciation by knitting them for your local firefighters and/or other rescue workers.
Finished Size 8 (9 1?2)" (20.5  cm) around foot and 9 (10 3?4)" (23 [27.5] cm) long from back of heel to toe. To fit a woman's (man's) foot.
Yarn Worsted-weight yarn: About 350 (400) yd (325  m).
Needles Upper leg-Size 9 (5.5 mm): Set of 4 double-pointed (dpn). Lower leg and foot-Size 8 (5 mm): Set of 4 dpn. Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Marker (m); stitch holder; tapestry needle.
10 sts and 13 rnds = 2" (5 cm) in stockinette stitch worked in the round.
With larger needles, CO 40 (48) sts. Place marker and join, being careful not to twist sts. Work k1, p1 rib until piece measures 1" (2.5 cm). Work Ladder of Life patt as foll: Rnds 1-5: *K5, p1, k1, p1; rep from *. Rnd 6: *P6, k1, p1; rep from *. Rep Rnds 1-6 until piece measures 31?2 (41?4)" (9  cm) from beg. Change to smaller needles and cont in patt until piece measures 7 (81?2)" (18 [21.5] cm) from beg.
Heel: K10 (12), turn, p20 (24). Place rem 20 (24) sts on spare needle or holder to work later for instep.
Heel flap: Work back and forth on 20 (24) heel sts as foll: Row 1: (RS) *Sl 1 pwise with yarn in back (wyb), k1; rep from *. Row 2: *Sl 1 pwise with yarn in front (wyf), purl to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until a total of 20 (24) rows have been worked-10 (12) chain edge sts.
Turn heel: Work short rows as foll: Row 1: (RS) K12 (14), ssk, k1, turn. Row 2: Sl 1 pwise wyf, p5, p2tog, p1, turn. Row 3: Sl 1 pwise wyb, knit to 1 st before gap, ssk (1 st from each side of gap), k1, turn. Row 4: Sl 1 pwise wyf, purl to 1 st before gap, p2tog (1 st from each side of gap), p1, turn. Rep Rows 3 and 4 until all heel sts have been worked, ending with a WS row-12 (14) sts rem.
Gusset: K12 (14) heel sts and with same dpn (needle 1), pick up and knit 1 st in each of the 10 (12) chain edge sts along the heel flap; with another dpn (needle 2), pick up and knit 1 st at base of heel flap, k20 (24) instep sts from holder, pick up and knit 1 st at base of heel flap; with another dpn (needle 3), pick up and knit 1 st in each of the 10 (12) chain edge sts along the other edge of heel flap, k6 (7) heel sts-54 (64) sts total; 16 (19) sts each on needles 1 and 3, 22 (26) sts on needle 2. Rnd begins at center back heel. Rnd 1: On needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog; on needle 3, k1, ssk, knit to end-50 (60) sts rem. Rnds 2 and 4: Knit. Rnd 3: On needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, knit all sts; on needle 3, k1, ssk, knit to end-2 sts dec'd. Rep Rnds 3 and 4 until 40 (48) sts rem.
Foot: Cont even until foot measures 7 (81?2)" (18 [21.5] cm) from back of heel, or 2 (21?4)" (5 [5.5] cm) less than desired total length.
Toe: Rnd 1: On needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, work to end-4 sts dec'd. Rnd 2: Knit. Rep Rnds 1 and 2 until 20 (24) sts rem. Rep Rnd 1 only until 10 (12) sts rem. At end of last rnd, knit sts from needle 1 onto needle 3-5 (6) sts on each of 2 needles.
Using the Kitchener st, graft rem sts tog. Weave in loose ends. Block.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of these instructions. We cannot be responsible, however, for variances in individual techniques, human errors or typographical mistakes.
©2007 Craft Yarn Council of America