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KatzKnitter
01-30-2011, 02:29 AM
I wear knee socks under my slacks or jeans all winter, and I'm thinking of knitting a pair, because the beefy cabled or ribbed cotton knee socks I prefer are getting harder to find.

But I've never done socks before. Does sock yarn have the same elastic thread as store-bought socks? What should I look for in a good pattern and reasonably priced yarn for a beginner?

Jan in CA
01-30-2011, 03:54 AM
I suggest before you make a pair of socks with sock yarn that you make a pair of house socks with worsted weight yarn. You can learn about sock construction and become comfortable with the technique before you start knitting with size 1 or 2 needles and thin yarn.

I learned on this pattern and it's great! It has instruction for different yarn weights. This one uses double pointed needles (DPN).
http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Start.htm

If you prefer to magic loop or use two circular needles I can find a pattern for those, too.

Beyond that..a good sock yarn should have nylon of some type in it for strength. Merino or wool is good for warmth. You can find a few sock yarn types in the craft type stores (Michaels, Joann, etc), but you can find more on in LYS (local yarn stores), but it will be more expensive. Start with the less expensive stuff then move on if you choose.

KatzKnitter
01-30-2011, 05:01 AM
:cheering: I like their closeup photos. I've never used DPN's or circular needles. Which is easier? But I can't have wool in my socks or slacks. Is there a cotton-nylon worsted you recommend for starting? Will the house socks stay up by the ribs alone?

We have at least 5 or 6 LYS's here with varying prices, as it's a large metro area. But I've also found some nice yarns at Michael's with discount coupons.



And yes, I did knit the aqua hat. Do you think it's too small? :D

cacunn
01-30-2011, 06:03 AM
IMHO two circular or magic look are easier than DPs. I found that there were just too many needles to worry with with DPs. Now I have learned to use DPs and some find that they like DPS better than circulars. It is more a matter of taste.

There are sock yarns with elastic in them. however, since the socks are made to measure elastic is not needed as much to get a good fit.

There are some nice cotton yarns on the market, I like Hobby Lobby's "I like this yarn." I don't think I have seen a cotton with elastic or nylon. However, you can add either or both as you knit.

Jan in CA
01-30-2011, 02:36 PM
This is where you'll have a harder time finding what you want in a store like Michaels, but you can look. I'm looking on Ravelry with filters and there are pages of cotton/nylon worsted yarns and quite a few fingering weight as well. I have this page bookmarked that lists non-wool sock yarns. These are sock weight I think, but it gives you something to start with.
http://veganknitting.typepad.com/vegan_knittingand_then_so/vegan-sock-yarns.html

I learned on DPNs, but now I usually use either two circs or magic loop. I don't know that one is easier than the others..they all take practice. Have you knit in the round at all?

KatzKnitter
01-30-2011, 04:44 PM
This is where you'll have a harder time finding what you want in a store like Michaels, .... Have you knit in the round at all?

thanks for the search. We have enough yarn stores here or I can order online. I've never knitted in the round, but I've been looking at videos.

crazykntter83
01-30-2011, 08:17 PM
If you haven't knit in the round before, I would say that you might want to try something like a hat first. It'll give you a better feel for knitting in the round. It can be kinda intimidating at first. But this is just my opinion. Either way it goes, good luck. :)

KatzKnitter
01-30-2011, 09:08 PM
:yay: Many thanks to you both. I do have a simple hat in the round picked out already.

crazykntter83
01-30-2011, 09:11 PM
Ok sounds awesome! Good luck with your hat and be sure to post pick when you're done!!! :) And of course, feel free to ask questions if you need any help!! :)

Jan in CA
01-30-2011, 11:30 PM
Yes, I agree. Learn to knit something simpler in the round first. A hat is an excellent idea. :thumbsup:

knittyhaha
02-09-2011, 04:07 PM
Soooo, you are about to join the wonderful world of sock knitting. You will love it, and knitters seem to be caring and sharing.
The best pattern I have found for learning is the freebie from Lion Brand. It explains things very clearly and is an excellent basic sock pattern. You can find it online, if not on the label of some of their sock yarn.
If you cannot have wool on your feet, not even 50 percent wool, then I suggest you start with a baby acrylic, or a good nylon if you can find it. I have made at least 2 pair of acrylic socks and they are great. I throw them in the washer and dryer and nothing phases them. However, I realize I will be adding to the earth's landfill for eons when they are trashed.

One caution, I would not use acrylic socks as house socks if you have wood or tile floors as they get very slippery if the least bit damp. I almost fell stepping out of my back door because my socks were damp and slipped on the wooden floor.

100 percent cotton yarn is really hard to use for socks as they stretch out and don't hold their shape. I know from experience. I have given up on cotton unless it is in a blend with other fiber.

Check out Knit Picks for a good online store with lots of variety. You local MIchaels or A.C. Moore will also have some good selections. Some of the variegated acrylic sock yarn looks lovely.

As for dpns versus circular needles, take your pick. I learned on dpns as a very young teenager -- eons ago -- and generally have loved them and have had no problems with ladders where the 2 needles meet. However, I am an American style knitter, and by pulling backwards at the junctures to tighten the stitches I can easily control the tension. I also can knit Continental style, but find I can't control tension well when working in the round.
However, now that so many great circular needles are available, I have a great collection of those too. Just make sure that the cords are really flexible, otherwise you can have a problem when working in the round.
I am new to this site, so I think I have rambled on enough for the first time.
Enjoy your knitting, it is a lifelong sport!!!!

KatzKnitter
02-09-2011, 07:34 PM
Haven't started yet, learning to use a circ needle with a hat. Acrylic makes me perspire, it has to be mostly cotton, so it might not be practical for me to knit socks. I wear cotton knee socks under my slacks in the winter, crew socks when it's warmer, cotton Peds in the summer. My apt. is warm enough to go barefoot indoors.

What do you think of the cotton-nylon combos Jan pointed out? michael's has very little, and the LYS's near here are mostly upscale.

crazykntter83
02-09-2011, 08:11 PM
The yarn that I'm working with for my socks are 41% cotton 39% wool 13% nylon and 7% elastic. They're actually fairly light, and don't over heat your foot. And this is coming from a person who is always hot. Maybe you could try it out? And I know you don't like the funky colors. They actually have some more modest choices too. :)

KatzKnitter
02-09-2011, 11:20 PM
Brand name?

crazykntter83
02-10-2011, 12:00 AM
Oh wow I totally forgot to include that. Sorry!!! :oops: It's Paton's Stretch Socks.

KatzKnitter
02-10-2011, 12:38 AM
Took your earlier advice, Crazy, making a hat in the round now, and I it's not problem, in fact I don't drop as many stitches as I did with the straights, and it's easier on my bad finger.

Roughly how much Paton sock yarn do you think I would need for knee socks for small feet (6 1/2)? The Spearmint looks good, because most of my clothing is green or blue. I'll be following Silver's Sock tutorial.

But I'm also going to take Jan's advice and start with a worsted. What very soft yarn would anyone recommend?

I can now get 1-to-1 instruction because I joined a small local group tonight, and we meet weekly. :cheering:

crazykntter83
02-10-2011, 12:49 AM
I would say you might need about 3 skeins of yarn if you're wanting to make them into knee socks. I say that, because I know that socks without as high of cuff takes two, from what I understand.
For soft worsted yarn, I would recommend Caron Simply Soft or Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! I crocheted some socks for my gf in Carom Simply Soft, and she seems to like them. :)

Mokumegane
02-10-2011, 09:33 AM
IMHO two circular or magic look are easier than DPs. I found that there were just to many needles to worry with with DPs. Now I have learned to use DPs and some find that they like DPS better than circulars. It is more a matter of taste.

There are sock yarns with elastic in them. however, since the socks are made to measure elastic is not needed as much to get a good fit.

There are some nice cotton yarns on the market, I like Hobby Lobby's "I like this yarn." I don't think I have seen a cotton with elastic or nylon. However, you can add either or both as you knit.

Lol, I'm the opposite of you... unless the circs fit the project fairly well, I'm screwed and just naturally switch to dpn's. I'm good with four or five needles! I'm sure it's because my brain is warped or something... :teehee:

dddebbb3
02-12-2011, 09:21 AM
[QUOTE=KatzKnitter;1315223]Roughly how much Paton sock yarn do you think I would need for knee socks for small feet (6 1/2)? The Spearmint looks good, because most of my clothing is green or blue. I'll be following Silver's Sock tutorial.

I wouldn't start with knee socks. I've made several pair from handspun wool, and gave up because I just couldn't get them to stay up very well. I haven't tried the Paton yarn.
I tried this pattern with a cuff from knitty.com http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/PATTtoirneach.html (kilt hose) and made elastic garters that the cuff hid, which worked OK. Another suggestion I haven't tried yet is to make regular height socks and then make coordinating ribbed tubes that will overlap the sock tops and reach as high up as you want. This would have the advantage of using good sock yarn for the foot and cheaper stuff for the legging.
I, too, used to wear commercial knee socks all the time, but gave up trying to find them in anything other than little girl sizes. It was easier to buy longer skirts to cover the tops of my shorter hand-knit socks! I hope you have fun experimenting; I've found socks to be addictive.

KatzKnitter
02-12-2011, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the tips.

You'll find both cotton and wool knee socks at www.vermontCountryStore.com. I've been getting their mail order catalog and my socks there for 30 years. The ones at department store are mostly acrylic these days. But the socks are all in solid colors, so I thought I might knit my own.

Paton's Stretch Socks has elastic in the yarn. It was recommended by someone earlier in this thread.

Mazie
02-13-2011, 04:36 PM
While looking for Paton's stretch sock yarn in my Mary Maxim catalog, on page 17 (spring 2011) I found a free knit knee high sock pattern. Requires 3 balls on 3.25 mm needles. I tried to find it on their web page but couldn't get past the sign-in page. stupid password thing. Have a look, you are probably better at this computer thing than I am. They are good looking plain socks but I'm guessing that is all you need under slacks.

KatzKnitter
02-13-2011, 07:44 PM
Thanks, Mazie. I think any sock made with that yarn can just be extended up over the calf with ribbing.

You have to register and log in to download certain patterns, but not this one, which is right on the page.Thanks, I D/L it.

Mazie
02-13-2011, 10:32 PM
Love your Kitty.

Glad you got the pattern.

KatzKnitter
02-14-2011, 12:33 AM
That's not my kitty; that's me. I'm the KatzKnitter!