A few questions about knitting socks

Sock knitting continues around these parts! Some days depending on how busy I am, a few rounds of sock knitting are the only knitting progress of the day. It’s reassuring in that way. As promised, here are answers to a few questions I got about sock knitting. If you’ve never tried it and are curious, it really is a whole new potential rabbit hole to fall into.

What kind of needles do you use for sock knitting?

Me personally, I alternate between double-pointed needles (set of 4), and Magic Loop method for when I’m doing more complex stitch patterns like cables down the front and back of the sock. It’s nice to have different options!

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My socks keep falling down under my heel, what do I do about that?

There are a few ways to problem-solve this. First, make sure you’re not knitting them too loosely – try going down a needle size or knitting a smaller size of the pattern. Second, make sure your heel flap (or other heel style, depending what kind of pattern you’re using) is tall enough to fully enclose your heel and not pull down on the leg, but not so tall that it over-shoots your heel and flaps around. The heel (or heel and gusset in combination, if using a heel flap) should encompass your heel just right and not be too loose or too short. Try adjusting how tall your heel flap is if you think one of these could be the culprit. And third, make sure your sock is long enough. One of my consistent problems as a new sock knitter was that I under-estimated how long I needed to make my socks to fit my size 11 feet. I had to make a mental effort to go a bit farther than I thought I needed and try on the sock-in-progress just to be sure.

Knitting socks is a learning process! You’ll get better with each pair.

What kind of yarn do you use for knitting socks in the summer?

I knit all of my socks with wool yarn of some kind, mostly ‘superwash’ wool intended for knitting socks that is fingering weight/sock weight, because I prefer wearing wool socks. (I don’t wear the knitted socks in the summer, but it’s nice to knit smaller projects that don’t take up a large amount of room in your lap during the hotter months). There are other sock yarns out there that are cotton or bamboo fibre, but I don’t mind so much about knitting with wool in summer. I do enjoy the occasional blend of superwash merino/cashmere for soft luxury, and also appreciate the sock yarns that have a small amount of nylon blended into it for sturdiness.

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But actually, isn’t “sock knitting time” the same as “all of the time?”

I like the way you think, dear blog reader.

You really knit socks in movie theatres?

Sure do! Not complicated ones, but plain ribbed socks or stockinette socks are definitely manageable. As long as I don’t need to look directly at the project while I’m working on it, I’ve found that I can get along just fine. This sort of happened a few years into my knitting life and I’ve never looked back. I probably get more work done on basic sock projects in movie theatres than at home.

I knit socks using [method] but a lot of other people use [this other method], which is better?

You’re both right!

I 100% believe in the right to have favourite things. Knitting is our chosen hobby, it is a leisure pursuit that is often challenging and pushes our comfort zones occasionally with new knowledge and figuring-out-of-things. You are allowed to make this more fun for yourself by discovering what your favourite needles, method, yarns, styles, and colours are, and roll out those favourites whenever you want.

The trade-off, though, is that other people get to have favourites too, and they may well be different from yours. The great thing about knitting is that we all get to do whatever the hell we want with yarn, and isn’t that amazing?

Happy sock knitting (or other kinds) this fine almost-summer Wednesday!

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Patterns in photos above:

A Nice Ribbed Sock (my own, available on Ravelry) and Jaywalker Socks (by Grumperina, also available on Ravelry), my two go-to basic patterns. The Nice Ribbed Socks shown are in Socks That Rock, the Jaywalkers are in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.

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More sock-thoughts resources:
*So you’ve discovered sock knitting (blog post)
*Some recent sock knitting tips & patterns posts at Mason-Dixon Knitting on socks here, here, here
*How to darn hand knit socks from Twist Collective
*Sock Knitting 101 from Knitty
*How a Sock Is Supposed to Fit from Knitting Daily
*Sock Knitters FAQ with a ton of useful web links

 

 

 

 

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10 comments

  1. Joanne S. · ·

    I’ve seen/heard of many people knitting while reading or watching movies. I’ve not managed to master knitting without looking yet. Do you knit continental or European style? Do you feel the knitting with your fingers as you knit? How do you position your hands? Would love to see a video of your knitting in action to see how that works.

  2. Heather · ·

    I knit in movie theatres but only stockinette in the round (or garter on a circular needle). For some reason I don’t find purl as easy. I knit a combination style. There’s more light in the movie theatre than you think and as long as you knit even enough most of the time without making a mistake it’s not hard. I usually do the stockinette parts of hats. Or dish cloths in garter stitch. If I make a mistake who cares because it’s a dish cloth and if I don’t then I have a dish cloth!

  3. mionsiog · ·

    Here is a FB page you might like to see — https://www.facebook.com/groups/GeneticGenealogistsAnonymous/ — I do knitting put not socks. I came across the FB group because of Genealogy but one of the ladies in the group also does knitting and has a DNA pattern which fits in with the DNA Genealogy group. The group is from Australia so they have some great wool traditions there.

  4. I love your A Nice Ribbed Sock pattern! I’ve used it for me, my husband, and my daughters. It really fits well.

  5. Joanne – try knitting a stitch or so with your eyes closed – guess what, they are still there! Gradually increase the number of stitches with your eyes closed – and you will find that your fingers will tell you if things aren’t working for you. Pay attention to your fingers – trust them. And don’t try all this while knitting lace!! Socks are a good project, or you might want to start with a very simple garter stitch scarf. About the only place I haven’t knitted is in church.

  6. I love this. I’ve only just started sock knitting (finished my first pair half an hour ago!) and am really loving it.

  7. So helpful! I am newly inspired to work on some socks that have been languishing in the WIP pile!

  8. […] Glennaknits – this is the blog that introduced me to knitting blogs and a source of knitting inspiration. […]

  9. I recently found a new sock pattern that sounds like it would be fun to knit. You might like it, too! http://www.theknittingsquirrel.com/slip-stitch-snowflake-socks/#comment-4089

  10. anastasia · ·

    I am almost finished some socks in the cheapest (quality & price wise) sock yarn I have ever bought. They are proving to be a favourite though. Hope they hold up really well, the yarn is a bit scratchy & I think the nylon content is pretty high. Do any of our LYSs carry Lorna’s Laces? I really enjoyed knitting my Jaywalkers out of it & would like to make more but I can’t get back to the store I bought it from because, well, California is far.

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