Instructions on How to Knit Mary Jane Socks for Adults

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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Instructions on How to Knit Mary Jane Socks for Adults
Mary Jane-style footwear has a strap over the instep. (shoes image by Deborah Durbin from

The term Mary Jane refers to a style of shoe with a strap across the instep or ankle. Named for a character in the 1902 comic strip Buster Brown, these shoes allude to sugar, spice and everything nice. The Mary Jane style isn't limited to shoes. Knitting patterns abound for socks and slippers for children in this style. Knitting a pair of Mary Jane house socks for adults is a suitable project for beginning knitters. Knit flat and seamed, the only skills needed are casting on, knitting, purling, binding off and a basic knowledge of sewing.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Buttons
  • Needle
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Select a yarn in worsted weight in your preferred colour and fibre. Use a pair of 4 mm, or U.S. size 6, knitting needles.

  2. 2

    Cast on 40 stitches. Knit two stitches. Purl two stitches. Repeat this for the entire row of stitches.

  3. 3

    Work the next row in the knit two, purl two stitch pattern. This creates a pattern known as ribbing.

  4. 4

    Work the piece in a ribbing stitch until the length of the project measures 7 inches. Bind off all stitches in the manner of your choice. Repeat from step 2 to create the base of the second sock.

  5. 5

    Cut a length of yarn approximately 6 inches long. Fold the pieces of knitting around your feet. Sew 1 to 2 inches of each end of the pieces together, so that the knit fabric moulds to your foot, creating a sock base.

  6. 6

    Cast on four stitches. Knit one stitch and purl one stitch. Repeat this for each row until the piece measures about the same length as the width of the top of your foot, or approximately 4 to 6 inches. Bind off all of the stitches.

  7. 7

    Sew one strip to each sock base, across the centre of the open part of the sock. Attach the strips using one or two stitches on each end of the strips.

  8. 8

    Use a needle and thread to attach decorative buttons to the inside edge on top of each strip. Weave in any loose yarn ends and cut any hanging threads.

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