Thursday, 8 July 2010

Techniques- Let's talk about socks baby

I wanted to make that the title as it causes a little imature giggle from me, which is always fun.
As everyone knows I like socks about as much as Badger loves mashed potatoes (which is a lot, sorry obscure 90s UK TV reference to Bodger and Badger, if you know what I am talking about you will be singing the song). So I thought I would make the socky wisdom I have collected so far into today's post.
  • For top down cast on loosely, a single cast on is good (needle in the right hand, make loops with the left) as it makes loops rather than actual stitches.
  • For bottom up cast off REALLY loosely, like comedy loose- go up several needle sizes or make loops with the needles you were using. Finding you have cast off too tightly and can't get the sock on is frustrating (go on, ask me how I know).
  • Try top down and toe up, you will probably like one better than the other but at least you will know.
  • Do a decent length of ribbing at the top if you want it to stay put, 15 rounds is good for me but it depends on your gauge etc.
  • If you do a pair of plain socks you can use it as the basis for your gauge next time you use that yarn/needles as the gauge is often given for stocking stitch in the round even on fancy patterns.
  • Using a chunky yarn and simple pattern to make boot socks is a good place to start (one like the super simple knitwit sock pattern is good).
  • Mini socks are also a good way to start if you are ok with slightly fiddly, all the steps of a big sock are in there without the commitment of lots of stitches.
  • For a more complicated pattern the 9 to 5 sock is great and no worries about getting the fit around the foot as it is super stretchy.
  • A bit of negative ease around the foot is good (smaller width of knitting than actual distance around foot), keeps it snug. Ribbing can help here.
  • Make the foot the actual length of your foot, if it is too short it will either pull the heel under when wearing, which is not comfy or the toe will rub through faster.
  • There are lots of ways to make the elements of socks, try different ones to see which works best for you.
  • Use a yarn that will not wear through too quickly, dying from lots of wear is fine, dying after three wears is disappointing.
  • Holes can be fixed by darning, reknitting sections or making the wearer a new pair.
  • Handknit socks are for wearing, not for looking at!

I in no way think I have collected all the sock based wisdom there is so at some point there will be another part to this.


  1. Habe you tried that surprisingly stretchy bind off - it's great?!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing on Creative Friday:)

  3. My favorite way to make socks is to buy or spin the yarn and have someone else knit far it's working.