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View Full Version : How long does it take you to knit a pair of socks?


KristiMetz
12-27-2005, 12:36 PM
I knitted my first sock over the last few days (took me a few hours). It was a toddler sock - I am just heartbroken that it doesn't fit!! Too small, and I even upped the needle size too (I used the North Country Cotton baby socks pattern).

Anyhoo - the socks were a lot of fun (thanks to Amy's videos, otherwise I never could have done them) but it got me thinking... if I were to knit socks for us to wear, and used sock yarn (which is pretty thin yarn, right?) and the smaller needles which a lot of patterns seem to recommend...

Don't those socks just take FOREVER?? I like the idea of knitting socks, but if it will take me as long as, like, two hats or something, I'm not sure I'm ready for that type ofcommittment! Esp. since I'm still not a very fast knitter.

Please, spill the beans not only on how long they take you, but what you like about sock knitting. I *want* to be a convert... LOL.

amy
12-27-2005, 01:35 PM
Fingering weight socks DO take a fairly long time. When you count how many stitches cover a square inch of knitting in fingering weight, verses worsted weight, you'll see that it's 2 1/2 to 3 times as many stitches to make up the same amount of knitting. So, I'd say you've got about 4 or 5 snug hats to knit for the equivalent of a standard pair of fingering weight socks.

I personally have a preference to knit socks in heavier yarn than the typical fingering weight. I like to do them in worsted weight yarn, which makes them fast projects, much the same as a hat or two, and I like socks to be fast. I also like the thicker and warmer socks that the worsted weight yarn creates. Unfortunately there's few if any patterned sock yarns in worsted weight, and also few worsted weight yarns that are reinforced with nylon for the durability that the heel and toe and sole need.

My personal solution is to knit the sock in any soft worsted weight wool I like, but do the soles in a more durable yarn. My favorite sock pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mocassin socks, because you can actually knit the entire sole in the durable yarn, while keeping the ankle and the top of the foot knit in your pretty, soft yarn. And if the sole eventually wears out, you can re-knit JUST the sole, exclusive of the top of the sock. That pattern can be found in her book The Knitter's Almanac (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=knittinghelpc-20&path=tg%2Fdetail%2F-%2F0486241785%2Fqid%3D1099782163%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fref%3Dpd_csp_1%3Fv%3Dglance%26s%3Dbooks%26n%3D 507846). I have a thread about the pattern here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?p=674).

I actually contacted Meg Swansen (Elizabeth Zimmerman's daughter) last month, asking if she'd let me republish the Mocassin Sock pattern on this site, and do a video about it. I haven't heard back, but I've not given the idea up! :pray: I would LOVE to introduce more people to that great pattern. It's so cool.

nicolethegeek
12-27-2005, 01:36 PM
My first sock that I did took me maybe a week to make. I multi-task constantly with my projects, so my best estimate would be 6-10 hours with fingering weight yarn for a pre-teens sock. Depending on the pattern, my guesstimate is around 8 hours per sock for me. The sock I'm doing for DH out of worsted seems to be taking longer than a regular sock for some reason. :?? Personally, I think the time investment is worth it... my kids all love their hand-knit socks, and DH & I are hoping to discover that too soon! :D

javede
12-27-2005, 01:45 PM
I just recently had to knit two pair of socks with a deadline of 4 days(christmas :shock: ). They were for a one year old and a three year old and I used 6-ply sockyarn(would that be worsted, I don't know :?? ). Well, it took me an evening and a day to knit them. And when I say a day, I mean a day like 6+ hours.

I got alot faster since my first pair of socks, but still for something that small it sometimes seams to take forever. Mostly I knit socks while watching tv(instead of eating snacks ;) ) and that helps. They are kind of my inbetween projects when I don't want/can knit on something else.

VictoiseC
12-27-2005, 01:53 PM
Ohhhh I can't wait to try that moccasin sock! Thanks to Amy for that tip.

Well, I'm on my 5th pair of socks, although one doesn't count coz it was a little "backless" sandal sock with no toes, really cute. I've made my DH two big thick pairs (out of Donegal Tweed) that he wears around the house. And now I'm making some beautiful heathery blue socks for me out of this Cleckheaton yarn:

http://www.cleckheaton.biz/Colour_range.asp?yarnid=15

I can't really say how long it takes me to make a pair. I guess I could make a pair in a week but I don't like to push myself on a piece and I like to switch around. I have an afghan going, a thick wooly vest just started, AND a hat. The thing I enjoy is to always have a sock on the needles and pick it up and do a little when I feel like it. Knitting the bigger stuff can get tiring but knitting socks since they're on smaller needles is less stressful on the wrists for me anhow. Might be the opposite for others. The beauty of a sock is you can always take it with you to work on in other places coz it's small. I wouldn't worry about the time, just make other stuff that's fast if you need that but do the socks too! You'll be happy happy.
Ok, I'm going to go work on my little blue sock!

Was that confusing or not!

Julie
12-27-2005, 02:00 PM
I've knit 4 pairs of socks for my 5yo and her best friend...those have taken two evenings on average. Hard to say because they're a great portable project that I took out while running errands, etc -- waiting in line? Pull out a sock! I'm a lot less cranky that way!

That said, I've knit them all on US4 needles (using sport weight, 6ply sock yarn, and the last pair was worsted weight). I'm about ready to do my first pair with fingering weight on US2s... :shock:

brightspot
12-27-2005, 02:56 PM
That moccasin sock is exactly what I need for my dd. She goes thru a sock bottom faster that anyone I know. I asked her one day if she had sandpaper on the bottoms of her feet. I could see going thru the toe faster if one had long toenails, but the bottoms? I can't get another book right now so I hope she lets you post the pattern. It sounds perfect.

feministmama
12-27-2005, 03:02 PM
IT takes me FOREVER to knit with fingering weight yarn. I got some Dancing from KP and I just gave up on it. I like to use woolease for socks. I use a size 4 needles which is much smaller than recommended but it gives a good tight weave and they knit up so much faster.

rebecca
12-27-2005, 03:42 PM
I haven't knit any socks since around Oct :shock: (can u believe?!)...but when I'm in "sock mode" I usually knock out about 4 pair a week. If it's a complex pattern, of course, it will take longer as with anything ;)
Amy...that would be TOO COOL if Meg gives u the go ahead :cheering: :cheering: