Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-07-2008, 03:40 PM   #1
Casting On
busy_hands's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: victoria, bc
Posts: 18
Thanks: 7
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Do socks stretch or shrink?
I was just wondering if finished socks have a tendancy to shrink or stretch slightly with wear and washing.
I am using a merino sock wool and the sock so far (it is 3/4 done) is slightly tight at the gusset. I think having the needles in the work is making it difficult to gauge the comfortableness of the sock when I try it on.
Hmmm, I after reading several posts here I am considering frogging back to the end of the heel and picking up more gusset stiches. Or just continuing on and making these a gift for someone with smaller feet. What do you think?
busy_hands is offline   Reply With Quote


This advertising will not be shown to registered members. Join our free online community today!

Old 01-07-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
Working the Gusset
vaknitter's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: virginia
Posts: 1,732
Thanks: 450
Thanked 461 Times in 420 Posts
I'm not sure there is a general answer here to give you - some socks I've made are tight and others are very loose. Also not sure you can guage the fit with the needles in the work...
I would vote for finishing them and if they don't work out for you then take a picture and gift them to someone with smaller feet who will think it's super cool that you knit socks for them.
vaknitter is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to vaknitter For This Useful Post:
busy_hands (01-07-2008)
Old 01-07-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
Working the Gusset
Mariblue's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,246
Thanks: 188
Thanked 343 Times in 328 Posts
I think that can depend entirely on your yarn choice/gauge/needle size, etc. But if it's a little tight now, it wouldn't hurt to frog back and pick up a few extra stitches. Or, if you are so inclined, keep on making them and share the knitted sock love with someone else.
I've got some socks that I made that loosen up with wear during the day, but go right back to shape after being washed, so it's a little of both in the stretch/shrink department.
Mariblue is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Mariblue For This Useful Post:
busy_hands (01-07-2008)
Old 01-07-2008, 06:18 PM   #4
Jan in CA
Mod Squad
Jan in CA's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 38,158
Thanks: 1,723
Thanked 8,979 Times in 7,324 Posts
It probably depends on the yarn, but for the most part I'd say wool won't shrink..unless it's feltable, but hopefully you're using superwash wool.

My socks were too tight at the gusset, too. I solved the problem by making the heel flap about 1/2 in longer and picking up more gusset stitches. They're great now!

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

NEW! KH knitting video archive

Jan in CA is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jan in CA For This Useful Post:
busy_hands (01-07-2008)
Old 01-08-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
Working the Gusset
Doublereeder2's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 1,027
Thanks: 507
Thanked 322 Times in 307 Posts
Tight gusset = need a longer heel flap.
I think the shrinkage or stretchage (is that a word?) depends on the yarn and pattern. If you love the yarn and pattern and really do want to keep them for yourself, go ahead and and frog back to make the heel flap longer so they will fit comfortably.

Aw, gee - c'mon and see:
Doublereeder2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #6
Instepping Out
Silver's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Orange Park, FL
Posts: 3,949
Thanks: 854
Thanked 669 Times in 351 Posts
In my experience, socks stretch while wearing, and shrink after washing. They go back and forth between the two. Different yarns act differently, but I'm speaking generally.

As a rule, socks should fit nicely straight off the needles, without blocking. Otherwise they're very likely to be too tight after washing, or too loose while wearing.

Silver's Sock Classes
Shop: On The Town Knitting Bags, hand made elegant small project bags.
My Blog, Write | KBelle on Ravelry | ComeToSilver on Plurk | Puppies, Jinx & Hex Photos & Videos
Silver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 11:55 AM   #7
Knitting the Flap
SteveDallas's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 281
Thanks: 111
Thanked 110 Times in 82 Posts
Send a message via AIM to SteveDallas Send a message via Yahoo to SteveDallas
If you're using magic loop, is it worthwhile to try them on while you're still on the needles, by sliding the sock off so it's completely on the cable?

In Knitting Rules, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee recommends making a gauge swatch, and then washing it, so you can see the gauge of the fabric after laundering. Is this a good idea for socks?
SteveDallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
Working the Gusset
Crycket's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kitchener, ON - Canada
Posts: 1,675
Thanks: 273
Thanked 307 Times in 251 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to Crycket
I have to agree, it is probably depends on the material...I tend to stretch the foot part of my socks to reach the intended length, just to adjust for the slack that I tend to feel in the heel. This works for me, however I do get a little tightness on my first wear.
Crycket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2008, 01:32 PM   #9
Turning the Heel
mdog182's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 521
Thanks: 247
Thanked 154 Times in 151 Posts
it's kind of a pain but sometimes if i'm uncertain as you how a sock will fit and i will slip all of my stitches onto some scrap yarn so that it is off the needles and easier to try on
melissa (mdog182 on ravelry also, add me as a friend!)
knitting since nov. '06

OTN: snowflake lace socks, green (or in my case, blue) gable
mdog182 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FO: Man's Stretch Socks Arielluria What'cha Knittin'? 12 07-26-2009 02:49 AM
socks from trekking xxl - will they shrink? merchgirl How-to Questions 5 10-26-2007 03:09 PM
can you stretch out too small socks? carmabelle1191 How-to Questions 2 02-22-2007 10:53 PM
Can I stretch my hat? vaknitter How-to Questions 1 12-29-2006 08:20 PM
To Stretch or Not to Stretch Treasure How-to Questions 1 03-28-2006 07:19 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:14 PM.