Saturday, September 19, 2015

Let's Knit a Pair of Socks

let's knit a pair of socks

Who wants to knit a pair of socks with me? 

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that a little over a year and a half ago, my husband was in a head on collision with a drunk driver and laid up for quite a while. I coped with the stress by digging into my sock yarn stash and knitting endless pairs of socks. Thirty-four pairs and counting since the accident.

Every time I post pictures of a finished pair, it seems like at least one reader comments that she'd like to learn to knit socks.  If you're tempted, why not take the plunge and give it a try? I'm making these instructions as beginner-friendly as I can. If you can comfortably knit and purl and want to learn some new skills, I think you can do this. If you knit hats, you may even have suitable worsted weight yarn and dpns in your stash.

Over time, I've found a toe that I like, a heel that I like, the number of stitches that I need to make socks in my size. If I want to make a pair for another family member, I can adjust the numbers and still use the same toe and heel techniques. Or I could add a stitch pattern across the instep and around the ribbing.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be walking you through my sock pattern that isn't one and knitting a pair of toe up socks with short row heels.  My plan is to post a new step every two weeks so that hopefully everyone who wants to participate will have time to keep up.

Here's what you need if you want to knit along.


I'll be including instructions for both a worsted weight and fingering weight version of the socks.

For an adult pair, you'll want 100 grams (about 400 yards) of fingering weight. I've made short-cuffed adult socks with 100 grams of worsted weight, but I'm going to suggest that you start out with an extra skein. Knitting is more fun when you aren't worried about running out of yarn.

There's some nice sock yarn available at Joann's and Michaels. I like Lion Brand Sock-Ease, Patons Kroy, and Red Heart Heart & Sole. Sock yarn comes in 50 or 100 gram skeins, so check the label to see if you need one or two skeins.

For worsted weight socks, 100% wool is a good choice, as long as you don't accidentally run your socks through the washer and dryer in the leg of your jeans. I've used Lion Brand Wool-Ease and wear those pairs happily with my sneakers. I've also used Red Heart Strata (very similar to Super Saver) and don't recommend it. That pair literally squeaks. But the stripes are pretty!


You'll want a set of 6 or 7" (that's the length) double point needles in a size that gets the gauge you want (more on that in a second) I strongly recommend wooden or plastic needles because they hold onto the stitches a little better.  For the fingering weight socks, you'll want somewhere between size 1 and 2. For worsted weight, I've used between 3 and 5. The wrapper on your yarn skein will suggest a needle size. Don't pay attention to it. For socks, you'll want smaller needles to get a much tighter gauge than you'd use for a sweater.

Next Saturday, we'll talk about what kind of fabric you want for your pair of socks and on September 26th we'll measure our feet and start to knit. If you plan on knitting along, please leave a comment so I know I'm not doing this all by myself!

Getting Started
The Toe
The Foot 
The Heel 


Rilene said...

I'd like to follow along, but am a bit unsure of being able to do the toes and heels. Thanks for explaining things to us beginners!

Toni Macomb said...

I will be knitting along. I can hardly wait!

Cher in Victoria said...

I will be knitting along.i love knitting socks and can always learn something new.i only started knitting a couple of years ago but still a very slow knitter.

Laura said...

I'm tempted! I already have sock yarn and needles from a previous failed attempt.

Mary Jo said...

I already knit socks but have never figured out the toe up method so I am hoping with your special instructions I will be able to do it. Thanks so much

Judy S. said...

I will be very interested in your take on toe-up socks!

Unknown said...

I tried those double points and couldn't use them. How about directions for using circular needles?

Celeste said...

I've not done toe up socks either, so I'll knit along with you. Thank you!

ThreadCatcher said...

I am tempted to give this a try!

Skrazo said...

I am a sock knitter, but have never tried toe-up. I once knit a short row heel and .. what a mess! Hope to get it right with your help.

Come Sit on My Porch said...

I'm a newbie but have managed to knit two pairs of cuff down socks. I'm eager to follow along and learn how to do toe up socks!

Unknown said...

I have knitted a few socks, only one pair magic loop but haven't started the second sock. I would love to learn a toe up easy sock pattern that can be adjusted easily to fit anyone. I also prefer my DPNs and love my KnitPicks. Good idea to buy two sets at once. I have managed to lose a few needles so now would be a good time to stock up on more of my favorite sizes. I also have a lot of self stripping yarn so this will be a perfect time to get that out as well!!!
Thank you for doing this sock KAL. I am IN!!!

Dar said...

I would like to learn toe up too. I'll be playing along with you. Hope I can keep up.


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