Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

About Knitting Socks

Written by: Lindy

December 19, 2007

It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to blog — the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so hectic!

Since finishing the Secret of the Stole, I have been spending time working on two lace projects. One is another shawl and I’ll blog about that later. The other is a pair of socks in Regia Silk yarn that I am knitting on two circular needles. This my first project knitting two socks at the same time using two circulars.

Some thoughts about knitting socks. There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to hand-knitting socks. The one school simply doesn’t see any reason for doing this and the other is completely taken with the idea of being able to hand-knit socks. BTW — if you knit socks, you know which group you are in. 🙂 Unfortunately, my DH belongs in the first group — and after spending the time making him a pair of socks that he made fun of — I have informed him that he has received his first and ONLY pair of hand-knit socks from me.

Now — I like to knit socks because I enjoy having a small portable project on needles that I can take with me whenever I travel or am going to be somewhere where I will need something to keep me busy. There are many sock knitters who are completely absorbed with knitting socks and they make lots and lots of socks and are very involved in finding new yarns and patterns for knitting socks. I think the popularity of knitting socks has really brought about a great deal of innovation and creativity. Just take a look at all the options we have for sock yarns today — I don’t remember seeing such variety ten years ago. Now you can find sock yarns in many fibers from wool to bamboo — and Oh, my! the colors and the self-striping or self-patterning yarns! Yes, this could develop into an obsession….

Back to my lace socks. In this project I am combining my current interest in lace knitting with the fun of knitting two socks on two circulars. So far, I am still working on the leg or cuff of the socks — but they are turning out nicely.

I am not one who uses patterns much anymore. What I have learned about knitting socks is that there are basic technics involved — knitting in the round, knitting and turning the heel and then picking up stitches and knitting the gusset of the sock and then knitting the toe and finishing with grafting the last few stitches of the toe. When it comes to patterns — I like to experiment with different patterns from a stitch pattern library rather than buy or download a specific pattern — so I tend to create my own. For this project, I borrowed the lace pattern from a sock pattern in “A Gathering of Lace” and determined the number of stitches based upon my guage with the yarn and the size of my foot. (These socks are for me!)

Some other thoughts about knitting socks. I recommend that new knitters take on the task of learning to knit in the round using double point needles. There are times when knowing how to use dpns is of value for any knitter — especially for very small diameters. Try a simple hat pattern and a worsted weight yarn to begin. After you have mastered the dpns, try using two circulars. There are many good resources on this technic and it is my favorite way to knit socks. I started by knitting one sock at a time on two circulars — I think it is best to get the hang of the technic before trying to do two socks at the same time. But — once you know how to use the two circulars to knit one sock — it doesn’t take much to learn to add that second sock to the needles and begin knitting a pair of socks. There is another technic called the “magic loop” where you knit socks on one longer circular needles. This will probably be my next learning challenge, but I’m fairly content with the two circular needle technic for now….

Here are some pictures of my socks in progress:

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