A Good Sock Pattern

Another place I sometimes buy yarn is Webs.  They sent out a link today to a really basic sock pattern.  This looks like a great basic free pattern.

When I’m teaching quilting, I often tell those struggling to try something new or lacking confidence:  This isn’t brain surgery!  If you make the most horrible mess ever, you’ve wasted fabric — maybe all of it, maybe a little of it.  But, no one has died.  No one is scarred for life.  You learn from your mistake and move on.  With knitting, it’s the same way.  If you say you can’t knit, short of a physical limitation, you’re simply saying that you don’t want to knit or you haven’t put forth enough effort.  Anyone can knit!  I sat and watched a left handed friend knit til I figured out enough and went home and tried it.  I would go to her for help and to figure out what I had done wrong but I wanted to knit badly enough that I did it.

I’ve shared this story before but I wanted to learn to knit socks and I talked about it for  years and kept saying “I want to knit socks” but I never did it.  Finally, a blog friend, Susan, sent me a package with instructions, yarn and needles and basically said “stop whining and learn to knit socks!”

It had been so long since I had knitted that I had to get help just to remember how to cast on!

For those who are trying to do the socks and struggling, you can relate.  I’ll bet I ripped out a dozen times before I ever got the cuff done.  Then I was fine til I got to the heel.  Because I didn’t know how to rip just a little and pick up my stitches, every mistake meant ripping back to the very beginning, starting over — casting on and doing the ribbing again.  I would get so frustrated.  More than once Vince said “Why don’t you just give up?”

Once I got those socks done, I had to hurry up and start a second pair so I didn’t forget how to do them!

If you want to knit, you can do it but  YOU have to do it . . just get yourself some yarn — cheap yarn is fine, and get started and don’t give up til you have a sock!  Some may think they want to knit, start it and realize they don’t like knitting.  That’s ok .. you never know til you try but, if you think you want to do it, then please try it.


  1. 1


    Great advice. I have a sock on the needles, it’s been there since last Winter and it’s only about 1 inch long but lately I have had the urge to keep going and now I am going to do just that.

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    I learned to knit because of you. You were going to knit socks, I wanted to knit socks. But first I had to learn to knit. So I bought a book, some needles and some cotton yarn and started making myself pretty dishclothes. Then everyone I knew needed to have some. One day I bought some dpns and wool. I made a pair of socks and haven’t stopped. Thanks for the encouragement. I always say “If I can learn it, anyone can.”
    Now I will learn to do cables. I’m ready.

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    I WILL finish – I have too much invested to not finish and besides I just got the most beautiful yarn for another pair. Judy C in NC

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    I love sock knitting, but was wondering if you have a special ‘toe’ aproach. That’s where alot of my socks get stuck: with the last 8 stitches on – and then what? Do you just pull the yarn though all stitches and that’s it or do you do some kind of special stitch to have not such a pointy toe.
    Thank you!

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    I learned to knit socks based on what you told me. You explained what pattern to get and said I could do it. Eighteen months later there must be 30 pairs of socks knitted, more yarn here to knit – and three more skeins of Bugga ordered this morning! It’s addictive – and I love every minute spent knitting socks.

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    You got me to re-learn the very basics of knitting, I have wanted to learn and after reading your post saying that there is a lot of lessons on the internet, I decided to look them up and start. Since money was very tight and I have somehow lost my needles, I grabbed wooden skewers from the kitchen drawer, happen to find a couple skeins of red (probably bought for some crochet thing I never did), hit the play button on the computer and started to cast on.
    I have about 10 inches of knit and pearl (mixed combinations), and will probably keep going to make a scarf then I will learn to cast off (is that the term? still learning), but thanks to you I am learning. Socks? maybe later, a lot later.

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    Joan says

    You are so right, you have to try it to know if you like it. well I tried!!!! Of course I didn’t start with something small but started with an afghan. I did finish it, but— that will be my ONLY knitting. I found I hated it. so its back to quilting. that I love. Also crochet–with that I learned by making a small 6″ doily, next project was a 6 foot round tablecloth. DD has it now. Still like that, but don’t do a lot, mostly just quilt.

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    Donna O says

    I had been struggling the past couple of winters trying to make a pair of socks and finally completed my first pair a couple of weeks ago. I started by trying the Magic Loop method but somehow I would drop a stitch here and there. My cable was too long and twisting and I felt as if I spent more time ripping than knitting. Then one day I went to a knitting shop in my area and the owner was using happened to be knitting a pair of socks using the 9 inch circular Hiya Hiya knitting needles. She told me that it was so simple and even gave me a basic pattern that one of her employees had written and encouraged me to give it a try. At first I struggled casting on using the small needles, but once I managed that it was smooth sailing and I rarely dropped a stitch, and when I did it was easier to pick up because the circle was smaller.
    When I had a problem with the gusset or closing the toe with the Kitcheners stitch I would go on the internet and look up videos to help me out.
    It felt so good to finally accomplish my goal of knitting my first pair of socks. Like you, I need to start another pair right away while I still remember what I’ve done and then I’ll have the confidence to try a patterned sock next.

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    SarahB says

    I never did get the internet to work last night so first thing this morning I was at Joann, etc. looking at books and dpns. I bought an excellent book and a multi-pack of double-point needles and cast on as soon as I got home. Well, I still had to rip it out and start over again 2 more times but I am still chugging along. I have about 1″ of ribbing done with no dropped stitches and the pattern actually looks like ribbing!! Had to give it up for today, though, because my hands hurt! Who knew I never use those hand muscles?!?!? Anyway, it’s because of your socks and encouragement that I am trying again.. thanks, Judy!

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    Belinda says

    Didnt’ realize you could hear me whining all the way out here in Oregon about wanting to learn to knit socks!!! So, I have purchased a couple cheap skeins of yard (clearance only of course) but am stuck on what size needles to buy. Any suggestions? Belinda

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    What a great post Judy – and it’s true about so many things in life! I always think its good to do something outside my comfort zone – mostly things don’t turn out to be anywhere near as difficult as you expect and there is a great sense of achievement when you succeed! Three years ago it was knitting socks, two years ago machine quilting and this year I’m training for a marathon and learning to use my new camera properly! We CAN do things, but only if we dip our toes in the water and give it a try!
    Have a great week!

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    carol says

    Judy, I too taught myself to knit. I wanted to learn and had a few people try to teach me and really felt stupid that I couldn’t catch on. Then one day, I was watching a fellow co-worker knit and she made it look so simple. She showed me a few things and from then on I have been knitting. Still haven’t made socks but it’s on my to do list. I have the yarn and needles just need to get the time to settle in and work on the learning curve. I still love quilting more but I like how you can knit anywhere and it can travel with you. Wishing you and Vince the best of luck with your move.

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    Mel Meister says

    Depending on the error, you may not even have to rip out (unless you are a perfectionist). The pair of socks I am working on for my husband has a bunch of “flaws” in it from just not paying attention mostly when I was doing the ribbing (which I also hate). The issues in the ribbing won’t hurt a thing and the couple of places where there is a small “hole”, I will go back and sew up after the sock has been completed. No one will know but me.

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    JanyceR says

    I have not knitted in years and years. And I was never great at it. But reading your blogs about knitting socks has finally gotten to me! I absolutely love socks! (now that I no longer wear heels, I guess socks have replaced shoes for me!). So I created a folder for Knitting, downloaded the free pattern you linked. Now I have to look through the yarn stash, and try to find the needles – or better yet, just order new! ha ha

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    JoAn GODFREY says

    i did some knitting in high school and college. i completed 2 scarves. in all those years. i DO NOT like it and haven’t done any since.
    i LOVE quilting and will do whatever i can to NOT knit again.
    tried it. didn’t like it.