Rainbow Brite Socks

I had no delusions that caring for a 4 year old and a 6 month old would be a week of snuggles and hugs. I was not prepared to dedicate a full day to discovering all the different ways you can get covered in bodily fluids (I stopped counting at 8. What creativity they have!). Children should have a warning label. Warning: Disgusting - cuddle at your own risk. Foolishly, I thought I would have time to indoctrinate the next generation with the greatest things of the '80s - My Little Ponies, Rainbow Brite, Lisa Frank. Sparkly, rainbow colored awesomeness. Step one: Rainbow Brite inspired socks for each kiddo. Step two: well... step two got de-prioritized real quick.

My plans to get action shots dissolved pretty quickly, too. I didn't even get a not-on-kid shot of the larger pair and the even the completely immobile child wouldn't sit still.

So, you want me to flail about as much as possible and fuss, right?

But, whatever, these socks are awesome.

Not on a baby.

Rainbow Brite socks


Ages 1-3, 5.5” foot (Ages 4-7, 7.5” foot)


  • 55 (65) total grams of Cephalopod Yarns Bugga! [70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 380 yds/ 347 m per 113 g/ 4 ounces] - Sample shown uses the Rainbow 2 mini-skein palettes
  • 5 (6) gr for each stripe, heel and toe
  • 15 (20) gr for foot color
  • Size 1 double pointed needles (dpns)

Pro-tip: If you’re a faster knitter than purler, you can work the leg inside out (specifically, knit 7 rounds for each ridge, instead of purling). Before working the heel, flip the work right side out and work heel as written. This may affect your gauge. Otherwise, just work as written.


15 sts x 20 rows in 2”/5 cm square in stockinette


Cast on 44 (52) sts using your favorite stretchy cast on. I used the long-tail cast-on.

Evenly distribute the sts across the four dpns (11(13) sts on each needle), and join to knit in the round being sure not to twist the sts. Work 2 rounds of k1,p1 ribbing and proceed to work your first ridge.


  • Work 3 rounds of k1,p1 ribbing
  • Purl all sts for seven rounds
  • Break yarn

Join next color and repeat ridge until six ridges have been worked.

Work 3 rounds of k1, p1 ribbing. Break yarn.

Short row heel

Heel is worked across two needles (22(26) sts).

Join color for the heel. Row 1: Knit 21 (25) sts, wrap next st, turn. Row 2: Sl st purlwise, p20 (24) sts, wrap next st, turn.

Repeat the next two rows until 10 sts remain unworked.

  • Sl st knitwise, k to st before wrapped st, wrap next st, turn.
  • Sl st purlwise, p to st before wrapped st, wrap next st, turn.

Repeat next two rows until all sts have been worked

  • Sl st, knit to wrapped st, pick up wrap and knit together with next st, turn
  • Sl st, purl to wrapped st, pick up wrap and purl together with next st, turn

Knit to end of row and break heel yarn.


Join foot color. Work in stockinette st until work measures 2.25” (4.25”) from the heel color change, or the full length of the foot is 1.25” (1.5”) inches less than the total length required, ending after needle 4.


Alternate the following two rounds until 20 sts remain:

  • K1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before the end of needle 2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k to 3 sts before the end of needle 4, ssk, k1
  • Knit all sts

Break yarn with an 8" tail, and use kitchener stitch to close the toe. Weave in all ends.

Make the second sock.

Block with the socks standing upright to allow the ridges to get a good shape.

Let the socks dry standing like this to give the ridges shape.