Everyone wants to knit socks! Well, maybe not everyone. Many of you have asked all kinds of questions about knitting socks. While I surely don’t know much about knitting socks, I’ll try to tell you everything I know about knitting socks.
- If you can knit at all, you can knit socks. But . . you have to do it — you can’t just keep wanting to do it! I knitted in college and as a young adult but put it aside. I had wanted to knit socks for years and when Susan finally sent me yarn and a pattern, I couldn’t even remember how to cast on. That’s how little I knew! With help, I figured out how to cast on.
- If you can cast on, knit and purl, you can make socks. If you get suck, there are plenty of videos to get you through the hard spots. For the longest time, I had to watch a video to make the kitchener stitch (a grafting method for finishing off the toe).
- The pattern I started with and still my favorite pattern is Classic Socks for the Family by Yankee Knitter. This is the website for the designer and she has other patterns!
There are many methods for knitting socks:
- Using double pointed needles (DPNs), you can knit from the cuff down (which is my favorite way) or knit from the toe up.
- Using one circular needle, knit one sock at a time, or using one really long circular needle, knit two socks at one time, either toe up or cuff down.
- Use two sets of needles (either DPNs or circs) and make two socks. It’s the same as knitting one sock, then another but if you have a problem with finishing the second sock or remember how long to make the cuff or something, this method might work well for you.
The sock yarn:
There are some fantastic sock yarns — I most mostly buy mainly wool but some with cashmere, some with mohair, some with silk. The yarns that have nylon added should last longer and I buy a lot of yarn with 10 – 15% nylon.
Much of the wool is superwash which means it can be machine washed. I still wash all my socks by hand and lay flat to dry.
There are less expensive yarns at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s, and those kinds of places. The less expensive yarns that I bought early on have held up really well but the feel of those socks don’t compare to the wool blends with cashmere, mohair and silk. There’s a yarn out there for most everyone’s taste and everyone’s budget.
So far, my very favorite yarn of all time is this one. It’s 55% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk and 15% nylon. I love the colors, love knitting with it and love wearing it. But, I have several new yarns that I haven’t tried yet.
There are all kinds and sizes of needles. I’m not crazy about the bamboo needles. My knitting is tight and it seems to hang up on the bamboo. I like metal or something called Quicksilver in 7″ DPNs. I knit my cuff 7″ and from top of the ribbing to where I start my heel. After the heel is formed, before decreasing for the toe, I knit 7″ (this is subject to change, depending on your preference, your pattern repeat, your foot length). So, if I’m using a 7″ needle, that’s also my measuring tool! 🙂
I have knitted patterned socks but my favorite is just plain stockinette stitch with no pattern. I don’t have to count, nothing has to come out perfect . . just mindless knitting.
I’ve knitted shawls and sweaters but still prefer just plain socks. Here’s the only sweater I seem to have from when I knitted 25 or more years ago.
If you truly want to knit socks . . just try it and remember that the first ones may not be perfect, but they will be fun!