Saturday, November 14, 2015

{Let's Knit a Pair of Socks} The Leg

We left off the last step after working all of the stitches of the short row heel. At this point, we'll stop working back and forth and work around the cuff of the sock.  The yarn should be between Needle #1 and Needle #2. With the tip of needle #2, pick up a stitch from between the two needles. Using your empty needle, knit that stitch together with the first stitch from needle #2. (This prevents a hole where the heel rejoins with the rest of the sock.) Knit all of the stitches on Needle #2, then use the tip of Needle #3 to pick up a stitch from between the needles and knit it together with the first stitch on the needle. Complete the round.

I tend to knit three rounds in stockinette before I start the ribbing. For all of my plain socks, I use k2p2 ribbing, but you could also use k1p1, or any other simple rib pattern. For this pair, avoid cables or a lot of yarn overs because they may make your cuff stretchier or tighter than you need. (With some practice and research, you can learn how to increase or decrease stitches or change needle size to make it work.) Knit in your choice of ribbing until your cuff is as long as you want it. I've been knitting six inch cuffs because that was the criteria for Judy's Pooling Sock Challenge a couple of years ago and I can measure my progress against my six inch knitting needles.  Somewhere, I read that the cuff should be the same length as the foot.

Don't just bind off when your cuff is long enough. For toe up socks, you absolutely need a stretchy bind off. Trust me -- I learned that the hard way! If your bind off is too tight, you won't be able to get your socks on over your heel.

For years, I solved the problem by holding two needles together while binding off. That made the stitches larger. That works, but more recently I've learned to do a real stretchy bind off that I like much better: Knit two stitches, then use the tip of the left needle to knit those two stitches together. Knit the next stitch, then use the tip of the left needle to knit it together with the stitch that's still on your right hand needle.  When I first started using this bind off, I'd knit the knits and purl the purls, but these days I just knit all of the stitches. It's quicker and I can't notice much of a difference.

Weave in the ends, using the length of yarn at the toe to sew up that little opening.

I'd say that you're done, except you've got that second sock to knit.

Have I convinced you to give sock knitting a try? I know that at least one reader found other techniques that she likes better than mine and I think that's wonderful. For me, finally figuring out how to knit socks opened up so many possibilities... which might be why I've got 351 sock patterns in my Ravelry queue.


Laura said...

I'm still working on the foot, but there is a lot going on here now, so I'm not sure when I will finish. But I WILL FINISH IT! I hope you will keep your directions up on your site. Thanks for hosting this knit along.

lindap in il said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your sock knit along. I've wanted to make socks for such a long time. I only know how to do a stocking stitch..but I think with your directions I may be able to figure it out. I don't have yarn or needles and will have to place an order on line. There are no yarn stores anywhere near me. I'm pinning your knit along and hope to join you. Thank you for taking the time to write all of your thoughts and directions.


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