Knitting Socks - any advice?(8 Posts)
I've just ordered a couple of books on how to knit socks, my christmas project for this year being to knit everyone a pair of socks!
I'm impatient to get started and I know I'm going to need needles as I only have straight needles. Are socks still knit on double pointed needles or are circular needles used? Does anyone have any favourites for needles?
What about yarn? There is a lot of 'sock' yarn out there, is it worth the extra expense or are other yarns just as versatile?
Any other tips when starting?
I like to use DP Bamboo needles (because the wool does not slip) but I have friends who swear by two circulars so it is just whatever you feel happiest using.
As to wool, you know the adage, use the best you can afford. I think it does make a difference both on the knitting front (nicer to work with) and wearing, (wears longer and better).
I like Austermann, especially the yarn with aloe vera... but I also use a fantastic Alpaca and Merino mix for bed socks, so snuggly.
Also, don't worry about stitch markers, make them yourself if you need to, from contrasting scraps of wool knotted and slipped onto your needles.
Finally just go for it, for years I didn't cos I was always told, "Ooooh socks they are really difficult" and actually they really aren't but they are great fun to make. Let us see the results
I do mine using magic loop with one circular. You need a really good quality circular needle so its easy to move the stitches around.
Sock yarn usually has nylon for wear. It is definitely false economy to do as I did and buy cheap 4 ply to find it wear through in a couple of wears. King cole zig zag is not bad for the price and I can usually get two pairs from a ball depending on pattern
Cookie A is the sock designer for me. Have a look on ravelry for her free designs. Monkeys are my favourite socks ever.
Sock knitting is very addictive probably because you get results quickly. I've never had anyone turn their nose up at hand knitted socks as a gift either.
I knit my socks on 5 metal dpns, a pain as you usually have to buy 2 packs of needles. I found all the books talked about using the smallest size needle you can - after many frustrating attempts I abandoned this and now use a slightly bigger needle. I find knitting in rib gives a great fit and is very forgiving of any mistakes. I use sock wool as the patterned type gives a bit of interest to the sock and wears well.
I also keep a tab of row nos etc on one of the knitting apps on my iPhone
Many thanks for the replies, my books arrived and I have now ordered some wooden dpns and some sock yarn. I can't wait to start knitting. I'm waiting to have an op next week and I'm hoping that this won't be too difficult for me to do during my recuperation period.
OP, not sure if this thread has died but if you're still around, I'd highly recommend Regia sock yarns which come in a myriad of colours and knit up beautifully in fascinating patterns, without you having to worry about them. If you buy them from a shop (eg John Lewis, Liberty), they usually also have a free pattern leaflet you can take, which is now the only pattern I ever use for socks. It's really simple and makes reliably fitting socks every time.
As for needles, I started out using 4 bamboo ones (really like bamboo as they're very, very light and easy to use), then was converted to a circular when one of the assistants in Loop (fab knitting shop in Islington) insisted to me that it was by far the easiest way. I think he's right; once I figured it out there was no stopping me. There are plenty of how-to videos on You Tube.
I've bought a few balls of yarn and dpns because that's what the tutorial I'm following uses. Not sure if it's going to be easy though! How do you keep hold of all the needles? I'm adamant not to try a circular needle until I've mastered the dpns. It'll be a while before anyones wearing any socks I've knitted though!
You only keep hold of the two you are using and let the rest fall behind the work.
There's some really great tutorials online. have a look on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2idjxsuCaMw
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