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Old 12-18-2006, 05:16 AM   #1
Working the Gusset
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How to size socks properly?
This post's Swedish word/phrase: "Varför har jag så svårt för strumpor?" = "Why do I have such difficulties with socks?"

I really really really want to make myself a fancy pair of socks. I've knit a pair for my boyfriend and a couple of baby socks, but have never been successful in knitting a pair for myself...

I have weird feet. And problems with sizing my socks correctly. Help and tips would be highly appreciated!

How to describe my feet? My longest toe is the big toe. And the slant down the rest is fairly steep. My measurement over the part where toes attach to the foot is almost an inch narrower than the circumference on my foot part where the foot attaches to the ancle. Did that make senso to anyone? I also have thin ancles and calves.

My first four attempts for socks for myself (Jaywalkers as well as toe up with a Feather and Fan pattern around the leg) ended up fitting perfectly around the foot but I wasn't able to get them over my heel and up the ancles. Now, I started another pair of toe-ups this weekend and thought I'd adjust for my "heel part" and therefore casted on more stitches. Of course this sock is turning out to be too wide for the upper part of my foot...

What would you do? Cast on for the upper part of the foot and then increase as I get closer to the heel? And then decrease as I get past the heel? What if I was knitting socks in a pattern (as I am on these ones)? Would you do the increases on the sole part only? Would that be enough to make the sock fit?

When you knit socks, how do you decide on the size? How do you make your socks snug but still flexible enough to get past your heel?

Are socks with a gusset easier to get past the heel than socks knit with a short row heel?

So many questions... But I really want to make myself a fancy pair of socks...

Hoping for some good tips, ideas and comments on how you make socks work!!! Thanks!!!
As I'm terrible when it comes to keeping things updated...

On the needles: A couple of different projects
Recently off the needles: A couple of different projects
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:14 AM   #2
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In what limited knowledge I have about knitting socks, I would say you're on the right path with increasing/decreasing around the heel. Can you do some practice sock swatches? Not a full sock, just a smaller cuff (enough for you to get those increases in), ankle, heel, gusset, a little bit of the foot?

The only thing that's difficult about my foot is that I think my heel is shorter than the kind most top-down patterns create, which is why I think I end up liking the short-row heel. And my toes are shorter too. But I think both of those things are easy to manipulate in most patterns.

I wish I could help you out more! I've only knit 3 socks in my life, so I'm not exactly experienced in the technical aspects of the construction. I can only follow patterns at this point. Good luck Anna!
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:28 AM   #3
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I can't begin to answer all your questions, but here's a suggestion:

Why not try making a pair with 'forgiving' yarn like this?

The small amount of elastic makes it quite stretchy! I'm sure there are probably other companies making a similar product...

It takes a few rows to get used to the strangeness of an elastic-y yarn, but once you do, it's pretty cool! I made the Wheelie at knitty (a really fun knit) and really liked the result.

Good Luck


P.S. There are LOTS of free sock patterns using it, too!
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:19 AM   #4
Working the Gusset
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If you're having trouble getting the sock over the heel, try making the heel flap deeper. Or, if you prefer short row heels, try doing the heel over 60% of the stitches rather than 50%. I'm no sock expert, but these are a couple of tips I've come across. HTH

There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
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