Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sock knitting resources

I got a query on the last post about sock knitting resources for beginners. If you know how to knit in the round, you can knit socks. If you don't know how to knit in the round I suggest starting with a hat, then moving on to socks. I learned to knit socks from the Lion brand magic stripes basic sock pattern, a basic top-down pattern. It's a really great pattern to start with. It explains kitchener stitch (how you bind off and finish the toe) really well, and it gives good, clear instructions for both the toe and heel. I just recently switched to using the Knitty universal sock pattern, a basic toe-up pattern that does a good job of explaining short-row heels and toes and an excellent job of explaining knitting math. I am by no means a sock-knitting expert, although I do have a few tips I can share:

  • Make a gauge swatch. It's better to waste one hour making a gauge swatch and doing some knitting math than wasting 20 hours making a sock that will not fit you. Also check your gauge as you are knitting the sock. It's better to catch a mistake sooner rather than later.

  • Try on the socks as you go. This is really akward to do, especially when using dpn (double pointed needles) but at least you'll be able to tell if your sock is the right size.

  • Start with a sock pattern that uses size US 3 needles - you'll get quicker results, which is nice for your first pair of socks.

  • Read the directions. Google or ask a knitting mentor about anything you are not sure about. Make sure you understand the whole pattern before you start.

  • Get some stitch markers and a row counter. Record the row number that you start the heel and toe on so that you can make the second sock *exactly* the same.

  • There are a bajillion different ways to knit the toe and heel - if you don't like the one specified in the pattern just use google to find a different one.

Happy sock knitting!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much! Now I have somewhere to start from.