Knitting socks

I had avoided sock knitting – until now. And I am now a convert to this strange pastime, converted by the enticing balls of sock yarn that are available.


My first pair was in Aran weight wool. Great to knit – really quick – but too chunky for almost all my shoes. They do make really great bed socks, although denim blue is not really my choice of colour for bed-socks.

Having mastered the techniques I then moved on to knitting socks in 4 ply sock yarn. The yarn I chose was Drops Fabel, the multi-coloured variety. Great to knot with but I found the resulting socks need to be washed using fabric conditioner in the final rinse to soften them up. Hand knitted socked should have a cosy, soft foot feel.

I found a simple pattern for top down socks and discovered that the sock consists of 4 main areas:

  • Cuff
    • Top of leg
    • leg
  • Heel
    • Heel flap
    • Heel turn
  • Gusset
    • Pick up stitches from heel
    • Gusset
  • Foot
    • Instep
    • Toe

Although lots of patterns call for double pointed needles, it is much easier to use circular needles and the magic loop method. This way you can arrange things so that the front/upper section of top the sock is one half and the bottom/back section is on the other half of the circular needle.

Reading and knitting – multitasking

A latte, an eReader, one sock finished and the second a work in progress.

Unless the pattern is very intricate, knitting lends itself to multitasking. Here is my eReader (Sony not a Kindle) set up on a table. I use a stand which was designed for an iPad. Supporting the reader like this lends itself to fast knitting and reading.

Perhaps the most distractive activity when knitting is being in conversation. This is where the mistakes creep in.