View Full Version : dumb questions about socks

12-16-2005, 08:28 PM
I've been reading the threads on socks, and how so many of you are knitting them.
Do you wear these socks as slippers, or do you wear use them everyday inside your shoes. I would like to try and knit a pair. I told you it was a dumb question!

12-16-2005, 08:40 PM
No question is a dumb question. I wear my socks as socks. I wear them with birkis or with crocs or with my birki closed toe sandals or with clogs (ya know so other people can see them :D ). I have made some slipper socks out of bigger yarn on size 6 dpn's, but mostly I work with fingering weight yarn on size 0-3 needles. I love the way they feel and they are so groovy!

12-16-2005, 08:49 PM
Socks are just so cool to knit. They probably cost a little more then regular store bought socks but they are LUSCIOUS if you make them out of some beautiful wool. I've made 4 pairs so far. My husband can't take his off, they're big green socks made out of Donegal (Irish) wool and he loves them to death. They conform to your feet really nicely and are oh so warm.

Of course, I should admit I've a real problem with the one I've just been making coz I didn't like the toe closing (too pointy as posted here in another place) so you have to learn what you like about a sock and you can make it to conform to YOUR foot. Anyhow, I will wear these pretty blue socks all the time, with shoes and without.

There's just so many variations you can do, striped or weird colors... I'm looking forward to doing some hearts or a message around the ankle.
Plus, they're easy to take with you on the road ... it's a small amount to be toting around. What else can I say?

I love sock making. Although they can be a p in the a. Sometimes.

12-16-2005, 08:50 PM
thanks for replying! I just starting knitting, have made scarves and a sweater. I'm hooked on knitting.....and I'll have to try to knit socks. DPN's scare me. But I'll try to make a pair of socks. The worst that can happen is that they'll end up in the trash!

12-16-2005, 08:55 PM
Is there a specific type of yarn that you have to buy to make socks?

12-17-2005, 12:16 AM
Well, there are "sock yarns", like these at KP (http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/yarn_list.aspx?searchType=PROMO&categories='005'&DGroups='Socks'&titleName=Sock+Yarn+Lines&titleType=sockyarns)--but your choice depends at least, in part, on the kind of socks you want to make--dressy, thick and warm, sporty--it's all up to you!

I'm in the "thick and warm" mood lately, so I use wool/acrylic--it's important to me that I can throw them in the wash with everything else. I've been using Lion Brand Wool-Ease, and I really like it. It knits well, and it washes well: it gets really soft in the wash--much softer than the yarn feels to the touch when on the skein. And the socks aren't too thick to wear with shoes, and they are very comfy--plus, at least for me, no sweaty feet!

Now there are many yarn snobs who prefer other brands, and I'm sure they'll post their preferences, too! I'm just too poor to be a yarn snob! :D Champagne tastes on a beer budget and all that!

LM Needle Fanatic
12-17-2005, 02:34 AM

I just started knitting socks myself and am entirely hooked on them. I started with worsted weight and size 7 dpns...didn't make the cuff long because I figured that yarn was too thick to fit in shoes so gave my mom the first pair for keeping her feet warm in bed. Now have some sock yarn and man is it thin! and using size 2 dpns....I'm going to need new glasses :roflhard: I had never used dpns before. Once I got used to them I had to wonder why I was so afraid of them.

Happy Socking :D

12-17-2005, 11:31 AM
If you want thin socks on a thin budget, I can fully recommend Bernat Sox. It's an acrylic/nylon blend that is very forgiving to newbies, and the self-stripers turn out nicely {except the army hot I tried making for my DH :crying: }. I've made several pairs for my kids, and they wear and wash well. The pattern that is on the label is really easy to follow too.

Just my 2 CAN,

BTW: I'm waving down the Red River to ya... howdy neighbour!!!

12-17-2005, 12:10 PM
Yup! It will take you some time to get used to the dpns, the beginning is the worst (then the 2nd time and 3rd time) but after that it's a breeze! ha ha
The hardest part abought dpns is the very beginning round, that takes perserverence and patience and if you don't get it at first put it down and come back when you're not frustrated.

Like I said, I made my first pair with heavy Donegal tweed. But then I got on sale this stuff called Cleckheaton Country 8 ply ($3 or 4 a skein) and I love it! It's like middle weight.

I've never made socks with size 7, that's big! I usually use size 3.


12-17-2005, 03:32 PM
I've been doing something different with my socks lately. I cast on the stitches with a straight needle {or single dpn}, with one extra stitch. I knit or purl the first row according to the pattern onto the dpns, dividing the stitches up as the pattern calls for. When I get to the last stitch, I slip it on to the first needle, making sure my work isn't twisted. I then proceed with the 2nd row of the pattern, treating the last loop and first loop {which are side-by-side on the first needle} as one stitch {k2tog or p2tog, etc}. I have found this a much easier way to divide up my work on to the various needles, and easier to keep my work from twisting since I have the first row already stitched. The small gap that's left at the top of the sock, gets closed up when I weave in the yarn tail.

12-17-2005, 03:40 PM
Thanks for all your info. I'm going to have to get some yarn and dpn's and start a pair of socks. Hi to you in Winnipeg, nicolethegeek! That's a neat city. We get up there at least once a year to see friends....not too far away. It's pretty cold here today, but the sun is shining. Bright off the snow! Back to the socks - I'll have to find a pattern and figure out the sock size and the size of needle that I'll need. Can't imagine knitting with #3's.....pretty small.
Hey, Maybe my friend in Winnipeg could get me the Bernat Sox yarn and needles. They'll be down here for Christmas. Is there a special store that carries it up there? What size dpn needle do you use with the Bernat Sox yarn? If I have a problem....I'll get on here and I'm sure I'll get the help I need. This is an awesome forum. Again, Thanks! Starlight :thumbsup:

12-17-2005, 05:46 PM
I got a bunch of Sox at WM when we put it on clearance. I got the last of the Army Hot that was at Camille's but she still had a bunch of other colours left the last time I was there. She's not ordering any more stock since she's trying to sell the shop; perhaps the new owner will carry it. I know that Michael's doesn't carry it, and neither does Ram Wools. Lewiscraft *might* carry it, I know that I've seen Kroy there. I used the 3.25 mm needles that were recommended with the pattern on the label. I think that's a US 3 {someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that}. You can do a search on Bernat.com to see who carries the Sox in your area or here in Winnipeg.

12-17-2005, 06:26 PM
How many skeins of yarn does it take to make a pair of socks? I'm going to have my friend pick the yarn up for me.

12-17-2005, 06:39 PM
How many skeins of yarn does it take to make a pair of socks? I'm going to have my friend pick the yarn up for me.
Two balls for a pair of adult's calf length, one ball for a child's pair.

12-17-2005, 06:45 PM
O.K.! Again thanks for the info! Happy Holidays!

12-17-2005, 07:10 PM
I'm so happy to see someone else interested in SOCKS...YAY!! If I may suggest, there are several tutorial on the net, one from our own Silver, as you can see here (http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Beginning.htm), as well as this one (http://www.royea.net/sockdemo1.html) and then there is aLOT of info on this episode & site (http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/shows_dkng/episode/0,2046,DIY_18180_36323,00.html) of the Knitty Gritty show.
I, too, was very, very intimidated by dpns, but got over it after watching the show & reading the tips that are found on these sites. I began using larger dpns (like 6 or 7's) and worsted wt yarn. Some find tackling sock wt yarn & dpns at the same time overwhelming. Anyway you do it...just do it bc it's FUN, FUN, FUN :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

12-17-2005, 07:12 PM
I hope I can borrow this thread for a sec and ask all you sock people if you've found a pattern for cuff-down knee socks?

You'll have tons of fun with socks, Starlight!

12-17-2005, 07:21 PM
Rebecca KNOWS socks! :notworthy:

Yes, start with worsted weight, and I highly recommend using the long-tail cast-on (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/index.php)--it will save your sanity when working with dpns!

12-17-2005, 07:56 PM
Oh My!! :oo: After looking at the tutorials that you so graciously posted , I DO believe that I'm going to start with worsted weight yarn and larger needles. Do you knit them in worsted weight specifically made for socks, or would any worsted weight yarn work? I have acrylic worsted weight yarn.
I sure hope I can make a pair....right now it looks like a huge mountain to climb!

12-17-2005, 08:21 PM
I knit my first pair with Encore worsted weight, which is 75% acrylic and 25% wool. I wear them in boots or for sleeping. I did wear them with shoes once with no problem, but I can see how that would bother some people's feet.

12-17-2005, 08:31 PM
Oh My!! :oo: After looking at the tutorials that you so graciously posted , I DO believe that I'm going to start with worsted weight yarn and larger needles. Do you knit them in worsted weight specifically made for socks, or would any worsted weight yarn work? I have acrylic worsted weight yarn.
I sure hope I can make a pair....right now it looks like a huge mountain to climb!

Socks really aren't hard--you can do it! And remember there are all sorts of sock-makers here, so anytime you feel stuck, just ask--no question is a dumb one.

My advices:

1) Use the yarn you have for now; it will work just fine--you can branch out once you feel comfortable.

In fact, make the first sock, and then if you really like the work you've done--even with its occasional boo boo--you can get yarn you really like, yarn that will be comfortable to wear, and you can knit the first full pair of socks with confidence.

2) Take making your first sock one bit at a time--don't look ahead or you'll just unnecessarily scare yourself. (It happened to me!)

12-17-2005, 09:21 PM
I agree with Angelia 100%, just take it one step @ a time and remember..have fun :happydance: :happydance:
You are too sweet, Angelia ;)
Cate, I know I've seen one, I'll look around for a knee sock :thumbsup:

12-17-2005, 09:24 PM
Thanks, Rebecca! I've found a couple for toe-up, but I'm a bit intimidated by the figure eight cast on.

12-17-2005, 09:26 PM
Cate, I found this (http://www.hjsstudio.com/sock.html) knee sock tutorial link; if this isn't exactly what u r looking for just google free patterns for knitting knee socks, or something like that & u will get tons of links ;)

12-17-2005, 09:30 PM
That's EXACTLY what I was looking for! Thanks, Rebecca! :heart:

12-17-2005, 09:52 PM
Hey- while we are talking about socks, I have a problem/question. I am knitting a pair on size 2 circular needles, using luscious sock yarn called Regia silk color- 55% merino, 20% silk, 25% polyamid. My problem is that I have a gap on either side where I switch from needle to needle. (I guess this will only make sense to those of you who have done socks on circs). I am pulling my yarn as tight as possible for those first few stitches on each needle, but I still have a noticable difference on the sides. Any advice? I think I am going to frog what I have done so far- it's only about 3 1/2 inches. The needles that I am using are too long- 32 inches. I think I am going to try my size 3's, which are shorter. I just don't want to have this gap thing going on on the sides! I didn't really have this problem with the last pair, but the yarn wasn't as thin. :??

12-17-2005, 09:59 PM
Margie, I've not done socks on circs yet, but I have done other projects with the same 2 circ method and it's my thought that it's the same as with changing from dpn to dpn...in all actuality, if u pull too tightly on the 1st st on the next needle, it will also cause ladders...I thought that to be the dumbest thing I had ever heard whem the owner of my LYS told me that! Well, I was gonna prove her wrong & continue doing it...LOL, she was right! I found (& have read from much more experienced knitters) that if you give a bit of a tug on the 2nd st that it really helps with the ladders on my dpns, but, as I said, I'm not that experienced with circs, but I would think it's probably the same deal with the needle change.
Another thing that I have done & read about it redistributing the sts on the ends of the needles every now & then if u just can't get rid of ladders for some reason, this may also work on circ. :thumbsup:
EDIT Margie, I was just googling around for a better answer to your question and came upon this site (http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/socks.html) and I'm sure that if you email this person @ andrade.az.com that u will get a better answer, or perhaps find it on her (or his!) site ;)

12-17-2005, 10:20 PM
Thanks, Rebecca!! I will poke around there and see what I can come up with! :thumbsup:

12-17-2005, 10:40 PM
;) U bet

12-17-2005, 11:27 PM
I don't know if this will work on the two circs...or that I even remember the directions clearly--I was overwhelmed by luscious yarns--but one of the LYS ladies was working on a baby mitten on dpns. (It was gorgeous and absolutely flawless.)

Anyway, I asked her how she avoided ladders. She said that she twists the last stitch of the cast on before joining the ends together and has never had a ladder problem. EVER. And she's been knitting for decades. Anyone ever heard about this or tried it?

12-18-2005, 12:37 AM
I have heard about twisting the cast on edge togther to get a flawless edge.
I just recently bought the cat bordhi book about the socks soaring on 2 circs. It her book you actually take the first and last stitch of the cast on loop and switch them around. It closes the end and forms a tidy circle. I have tried the 2 circs when I was in a bind doing a hat, didn't have the dpns in the right side, but had my Denise's. It was great and so much easier. Esp if you need to set down the knitting periodically, no slipping off stitches.
I am going to try the beginners pair of the socks in the book later this week.
Currently finishing up my celtic hat first.

12-18-2005, 08:07 AM
take the first and last stitch of the cast on loop and switch them around. It closes the end and forms a tidy circle.

THAT'S IT!!! Thanks EC. :thumbsup:

I knew I was forgetting part of the process (the LYS disorients me...). The LYS lady swears by this method; she says she learned it when she first started knitting (probably 40 years ago) and it has always worked for her--never any ladders.

I can't wait to try it!

12-18-2005, 11:48 AM
You might like to try the sock slipper pattern here at KH; the one with the moon. Just skip the intarsia and you have an easy quick sock to knit to get the fundamentals down without having to knit a long cuff.

12-18-2005, 02:02 PM
sorry to highjack...

i'm late to this thread, but i just wanted to share that i cast on for my first pair of socks about 6 weeks ago now - i didn't start easy - rebecca had previously given me a lot of wonderful information, and after careful consideration, i decided to just go for it - i went for sock yarn - 2 pairs at once on 2 circulars (size 2).

i'm going toe up, and i knit for about 4 inches of both socks, only to realize that i was getting ladders (i kept looking at the socks for them but didn't see them until i realized that the socks would actually be oriented 90 degrees over on my foot then where i had previously thought). i got so frustrated that they've been sitting unfinished ever since (or unripped, because i'm definitely going to have to redo them). the frustrating thing is that i was pulling as tight as a possibly could on the first stitch to try to avoid the ladders:(

i am a tight knitter to begin with, so i was really really really having to pull this first stitch tightly. after reading this thread (and once i've finished the last of the holiday presents that i'm working on) i am inspired to give it another go and try knitting the first stitch normally and pulling the second one in super tight... i will let you know how it goes (or if anyone has tried it by now, i'd be interested to know). i am curious though, am i supposed to be doing anything special in terms of tension to the second to last or last stitch before changing needles or can i solve this ladder problem by always adjusting the tension after the needle change??

also, i swear by casting on an extra stitch and then knitting it together with the first stitch when joining into the round to get a strong join. i've tried switching the positions of the first and last as well, but i like the former method better for some reason...

i can see i needed to vent about my poor unfinished socks badly:)

12-18-2005, 04:35 PM
emeraldcutie, I just finished my first pair of socks using Cat Bordhi's book. I did the beginner's pair in the beginning of the book, and am really pleased with how they turned out. I got stuck on the gussett, but other than that they went well.

Metalsgirl- I am having ladder problems, and wish I had some advice for you. I am a tight knitter, and the rest of my sock looks fantastic, with the exception of the ladders on the sides. I didn't have this problem with my first pair. I don't know if my problem is due to the thin yarn and small needles that I am using. I tried pulling my first few stitches tight, but the ladders are still there. If I figure it out, I'll let you know!

12-18-2005, 07:10 PM
Switching to using 4 working needles instead of 3 working needles cured {or nearly cured} my problem with ladders. All of my socks {with the exception of the woolies I'm working on right now for DH} have been made with fine yarn and small needles. I find that the stress on the yarn at the gap between needles is less with the extra needle.

12-18-2005, 08:55 PM
To get rid of the ladders:

1. Add stitch markers to keep you aware of which stitches go on needles 1, 2, & 3 (or 4 if you use that many).

2. As you knit the calf and foot portion (i.e., excluding the heel flap & turn/gusset and toe decrease), knit two or three extra stitches on each needle, and do this every round. In this way, the stressed stitch moves, relaxes itself, and thus cannot ladder.

3. Then once you get to the heel flap or the toe decrease, you just move the stitches onto their proper needles.

I've knit several socks like this and have had NO ladders--NONE. :cheering:

Thanks to Rebecca the Sock Empress for that tip ;) :heart: :heart:

12-19-2005, 05:20 PM
margie - i realized after i posted that we were both trying to do the same technique with the same size needles. i'm bummed that the tugging method hasn't worked for you (i haven't tried it yet)

angelia - that makes perfect sense on 4 or 5 needles.

any thoughts on how to correct ladders when only using two circs to knit two socks at the same time?

maybe i ought to just give up on this method and go back to using DP but i am a real fan (in concept) of being able to get them both done at once:)


12-19-2005, 06:22 PM
Tugging worked for me, but as someone else said, you have to tug the second stitch on the needle not the first. It truly makes a difference.

BTW, my first pair of socks were on size 2.5" self patterning fingerweight yarn using a ribbed pattern.

12-19-2005, 10:29 PM
I decided that the tugging wasn't working for me- I did a bunch of rounds tugging the 2nd stitch, and the ladders were just as wide as before.
I put down that sock, and started another pair. I am using Scoeller Stahl Limbo Mexiko yarn, which is heavier than the Opal I was working with. I am also using size 3 needles instead of 2. I have NO ladders at all with this sock! I am done with the leg and ready to start the heel flap. So, I'm guessing that my problem is the thin yarn I was using and my newness with using it? I think I will wait a bit on it and then go back and try again, maybe with size 1 needles. In the meantime, this pair seems to be turning out nicely!

12-20-2005, 03:53 PM
knitncook - i'm glad i wasn't the only one to try something adventurous for the first pair

margie - i'm glad to hear that things are going better with the new supplies. when i finally try it, i'll let you know:)