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Knitting socks

(30 Posts)
Pixieboots Sat 23-Jan-21 13:55:45

Is it really difficult to knit socks? I have it in my mind that I'd like to knit some socks but not sure that I am skilled enough for the heel part. Any advice would be appreciated.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 23-Jan-21 15:33:48

Hello Pixie I've just started knitting socks and it's quite an adventure I can tell you. I've completed one pair each of thick ankle socks and knee high ones in DK. Neither are perfect - but wearable. You're meant to try a 'sacrificial' sock first and accept that it'll never be as neat as subsequent efforts. Knitting with double pointed needles is an art which can be learned - if I can do it so can you.

Turning the heel requires care - you knit the leg in the round and then knit the back of the heel (with 2 needles) and then concentrate on the heel 'cup' then pick up and knit from the sides to form gussets. Easier than it sounds when you get the hang of it. I'm going a little insane though.

I'm exasperated by my latest knee high socks. The leg was great but I've undone the foot (twice) as it's just too big. That won't be comfy, will it? I probably need to change to a smaller size needle and the wool shop is shut. I am persevering. Did I mention that I'm going insane?

There's two threads on Mumsnet about knitting, crochet and natter which you may like to dip into. A book which is recommended on there 'Start Knitting Socks' by Ann Budd which is American so some terms a little different but not insurmountable. Anyway, happy knitting.

tanith Sat 23-Jan-21 15:40:39

Not socks but similar i knitted mittens and found it so much easier on a circular needle than the double point needles, I watched some utube videos and once I’d got the hang of the circular needle I was hooked, I made some nice baby stuff on one too.

greenmossgiel Sat 23-Jan-21 16:04:17

I love knitting socks and have done loads. Self-patterning yarn makes it really interesting to do. If you have Facebook, try looking at Winwick Mum Sockalong.

Marmight Sat 23-Jan-21 16:26:43

I can vouch for ’Greenmossgiel’s* socks! Very cosy in this weather

Dorsetcupcake61 Sat 23-Jan-21 16:32:50

I was going to knit some for my grandson but must admit I was surprised at how involved it seemed! I've yet to try knitting any but I agree that YouTube videos are excellent if you are stuck on a stitch or technique.

Auntieflo Sat 23-Jan-21 17:44:46

I have been knitting, requested, socks for my GG son, and they have been on the back burner for practically all of last week. This afternoon, I picked them up again, and have finished the first one, apart from grafting the toe stitches, together.
I did some for him last year, see photo, nd they grew a lot faster.

Blossoming Sat 23-Jan-21 17:48:21

Turning heels isn’t difficult but if you find it too fiddly you could always knit tube socks ?

Doodledog Sat 23-Jan-21 17:55:48

The first socks you knit will be a bit different from things you have made before, but if you follow the pattern, and just do what it says without overthinking, they will work out, and you will have great fun watching them come together. Enjoy!

trisher Sat 23-Jan-21 17:57:07

When I was in the last class in Junior school (so 11) we were expected to knit a pair of socks. I hated it. We were using 4 ply wool and thin needles. Turning the heel was a nightmare. Never again!

biba70 Sat 23-Jan-21 18:00:28

how many needles do you use? I learnt on 4 + 1 on the square.

CraftyGranny Sat 23-Jan-21 18:03:39

I fancy making socks too, but the thought of using three or four double pointed needles puts me off. However, yesterday I was looking online for sock insiration and came across circular 9" needles to use for socks. So I think I will give it a go, that is if I don't forget, after I have finished the two projects in progress!

Barmeyoldbat Sat 23-Jan-21 18:35:16

I learnt on 3 plus 1 double ended needles and I find it easier than a circular needle. Love knitting socks.

greenmossgiel Sat 23-Jan-21 18:40:03

Thankyou, Marmight!
I never bother about matching the patterns as I knit my socks (as can be seen from the photo) preferring to think of them being siblings, not twins.
I use 4 bamboo needles.

storynanny Sat 23-Jan-21 18:44:20

My friend knits beautiful socks, she has done 6 pairs for me now. She knits two at a time on circular needle using magic loop technique
I can knit and crochet anything except socks

Pixieboots Sat 23-Jan-21 18:52:29

Thank you for all your replies. I think I need to look at you tube to see if it will encourage me or make me go totally ... no way! Love the socks you've made. Love the idea of siblings rather than twins too!!
I have knitted many jumpers in the past but not for many years so not a total novice with following a pattern but I generally knit quite easy jumpers.
It may be time to push myself....

Mrst1405 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:32:20

Beware, its very addictive! Once you've done one you'll be hooked. I use 2 circular needles and knit top down. Just take your time and do a nice plain one at first.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:35:13

Love the socks pics both look great so cosy

Grammaretto Fri 05-Feb-21 11:02:16

Having never got used to the 4 needle thing, I found patterns, first for a baby and then for an adult which uses 2 needles.

I do admire your crafti-competence but those extra needles seem alien to me.

25Avalon Fri 05-Feb-21 11:13:29

There is a Socks for Paramedics Appeal if you have no one to knit for. Once you have a pair knitted contact [email protected] and the organisers will tell you where to send them.

I belong to the UK Hand knitting Association which is free to join and this was in the latest email from them.

nanna8 Fri 05-Feb-21 11:20:34

They look lovely marmite and auntie flo. I have knitted a few pairs but they weren’t as nice as those, just multicoloured wool. I use them as bedsox. They were 4 ply, is that what you used?

PippaZ Fri 05-Feb-21 11:55:19

This has just come up on my FB feed.

Hejira Fri 05-Feb-21 12:36:21

I am an enthusiastic sock knitter. It can be a steep learning curve with several new techniques to learn but once mastered, with so many fantastic yarns to choose from, it can become addictive.

I prefer making socks from the toe up. I find the toe smoother and more comfortable. Knitting toe up also makes it easier to judge how much yarn is needed. I tend to knit each sock from a separate 50g ball to past the heel turn. Then I know how much yarn I have left and can adjust the leg length accordingly.

If you chose striping yarn and want the socks to look as similar as possible (identical isn't always possible with these yarns) make sure you start each ball from the same place in the patterning.

I use Judy's Magic Cast On for the toe and a small circular kneedle. Cat Bordhi's You Tube video is my favourites.

Once the toe increases are complete, I switch to a set of five double pointed needles. I find having the stitches spread across four needles reduces "laddering" where stitches can pull at the row ends

I can also recommend Wendy Johnson's book Socks From the Toe Up as a good reference. Lots of patterns from very plain to lacy and cabled. I use her instep increase and short row heel turn methods but adapt the latter using the German short row method. Lots of YT videos about that. Much simpler and neater than other methods.

Another book I have found invaluable is Leslie Ann Bestor's Cast On Bind Off. A common problem in sock knitting is making the rib cast on or bind off too tight. This can make it hard to get the sock over the heel. I use a sewn invisible ribbed bind off from the book which gives a lot of stretch. This picture shows how neat this looks.

Reading this back, it it all sounds terribly complicated and may feel like that at first but it's very satisfying to master each new technique and have a lovely pair of handmade socks at then end.

mrsgreenfingers56 Fri 05-Feb-21 12:55:26

I have knitted several pairs of socks on two needles and I am not the best knitter and been very pleased with the results.
I could let you have the patterns, just a tad unsure if able to give you the details on a forum as at the bottom of the pattern says "Do not post this pattern to internet sites without my permission" If you send me a private message I could let you know further. Actually have two patterns, one for normal everyday socks on 4 ply sock wool and the other are boot socks using aran more for as it says when wearing boots. Good luck with it all!

Gma9 Sat 06-Feb-21 10:00:16

I am not an experienced knitter but I learnt how to knit socks in lockdown and this is the brilliant website I used. It also includes links to includes youtube tutorial and FB forum. The book is well worth buying.