Any advice on teaching myself to knit socks?

(43 Posts)
januarysnowdrop Sat 23-Jan-16 15:52:42

I have a long-held ambition to learn how to knit socks (I like the idea of a project that doesn't take too long but can still be complicated enough to be interesting) but I'm not sure where to start - I've been looking at possible books on Amazon and wondered if anybody had any recommendations?

I'm a reasonably good knitter and can follow patterns okay but I've never tried using double pointed needles or knitting in the round before, and tbh it rather intimidates me.

Any advice gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
elephantoverthehill Sat 23-Jan-16 16:07:54

My grandmother has a war knitting pattern to knit for the troops. One of the items was a pair of socks and I managed to do these as a teenager. I recall you need to use very fine wool or you get kind of slipper socks. One pair I made I used fine wool for the heels and toes but DK for the rest. Turning the heel is the skillful bit, but I am sure someone on Ravellery will help you out if needed. Knitting on 4 needles is the easy bit grin.

elephantoverthehill Sat 23-Jan-16 16:12:34

* sorry that should have read Grandmother had a war knitting pattern. The poor soul has been dead for over 30 years!

soloula Sat 23-Jan-16 16:40:43

There's a fab book called Super Socks by Christine Perry. I'm using it just now and it's so clear - lots of step by step photos. It gives instructions for small circulars, dpns and magic loop as well as advice on matching your yarn pattern. She has a group on Facebook that is full of advice for people following her book. Look for winwick mum sockalong. She has a blog too with the pattern but I find it much easier with the book in front of me.

SocksRock Sat 23-Jan-16 16:47:32

Was going to recommend the Winwick mum sock along as well. I love knitting socks, very therapeutic and portable

PolterGoose Sat 23-Jan-16 21:15:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coldtoeswarmheart Sat 23-Jan-16 21:16:45

Placemarking - I fancy a go at this, too.

PolterGoose Sat 23-Jan-16 21:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

januarysnowdrop Sat 23-Jan-16 23:36:28

Thanks for the Winwick Mum and Christine Perry tips. I've seen some books by Ann Budd on amazon - are they any good for a beginner (to sock knitting, not to knitting generally)? The idea of being able to complete a project using beautiful wool for under a tenner definitely appeals!

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Sat 23-Jan-16 23:37:57

A local wool shop helped me get started. Whereabouts are you?

januarysnowdrop Sat 23-Jan-16 23:39:26

Ah, just realised that Christine Perry and Winwick Mum are one and the same!

OP’s posts: |
januarysnowdrop Mon 25-Jan-16 17:38:59

Right - I've ordered Super Socks, together with some double pointed needles, short circular needles and some gorgeous sock wool. I am still rather intimidated by the various new techniques I will have to master, but I'm going to give it a go. I love the sockalong blog - really helpful. Thanks for all of your top tips!

OP’s posts: |
PolterGoose Mon 25-Jan-16 17:43:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soloula Mon 25-Jan-16 19:06:17

Oh exciting January! You'll need to report back and let us know how you get on - with pics of course! Enjoy smile

AnthonyPandy Mon 25-Jan-16 19:26:07

Winwick Mum also has a facebook sock-along which is active and lots of people are posting for advice, photos etc.

blackheartsgirl Tue 26-Jan-16 21:45:53

I am so jealous of anyone that can knit socks. Even Winwick mum pattern looks complicated. It's the turning of the heel that I just cannot understand, the rest I'd probably be fine with.

My mum can't even help me, fantastic knitter with tons of patterns and projects under her belt but socks just baffle her!

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 26-Jan-16 21:50:41

I love knitting socks! It is very addictive.

Turning the heel is a bit mind boggling at first. Friends mum told me to just follow exactly what it said on the pattern, but it didn't really make sense until I had tracked down some youtube tutorials and actually 'saw' someone do it.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 26-Jan-16 21:55:41

I prefer to do toe-up socks, I live in fear of not having enough yarn to finish and I love knitting right to the end

also have a look for super stretchy cast on/off otherwise -- I find-- it impossible to get the buggers on or off with a normal cast on/off

TheFurryMenace Tue 26-Jan-16 22:06:40

Can I recommend VERYPINK You can download her patterns and then she puts links in to video tutorials for all the parts you might find tricky as well as getting started and finishing off. You can access the clips for free to help you through any sock making techniques but you don't have the actual pattern unless you buy it from her. She has many sock patterns - from basic to Magic loop, toe up and two at a time! I did her Christmas stocking pattern which teaches the basics of sock knitting in the round but on Aran yarn so not as fiddly for a beginner, video support with this also. I learned how to turn a heel, pick up stitches, mirror increases and Kitchener, phew!

Good luck, I like the sound of the book recommendation above - sounds good too!

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 29-Jan-16 08:38:28

Just join in the round and trust the pattern. Heels happen by magic...

gasman Fri 29-Jan-16 23:30:15


Follow the pattern.

Hey presto a heel appears!

I did some really simple stripes ones (a free Rav pattern) first and am now working my way through Socktopus by Alice Yu.

Cookie A's sock patterns also get good press. She has a blog which teaches you how to knit socks too.

Experiment with all the methods. Personally I get on a heck of a lot better with magic loop than DPNs.

HarvestMoon9 Sat 30-Jan-16 13:32:31

Probably not something for your first pair of socks, but doing them two at a time is brilliant - when you've finished, you're really finished rather having to psych yourself up to do the second sock wink

Another thing I enjoyed with knitting my first pair of socks was using some self striping yarn as I still had a nice effect even though I was learning by doing a simple pattern. These yarns are great:

Good luck!

januarysnowdrop Mon 01-Feb-16 22:04:03

Wow, thanks everyone - I hadn't realised people were still adding to this thread. I absolutely love the fact that there are people out there who think it is exciting that I want to learn how to knit socks! Anyway, I've got everything now, apart from the book which should be with me some time this week, but I'm using the pattern on the winwick mum blog and have cast on and knitted the first 20-odd rows of my first ever sock. Still rather apprehensive about the later stages of sock-knitting but I will do my best to trust the pattern and will let you know what happens.

OP’s posts: |
januarysnowdrop Wed 03-Feb-16 12:08:04

Knitting two socks at once?! Have you grown two extra arms? What an extraordinary concept - I must have a look on youtube some time and see how on earth it works.

I'm 35 rows in and counting. I'm finding I rather like knitting in the round - it looks very neat and is easy to carry around. And I love self-striping yarn!

OP’s posts: |
tribpot Wed 03-Feb-16 12:19:12

You can do two socks at once by using one very long circular needle or two shorter ones - you put both front halves of the sock on one needle and both back halves on the other. Don't worry about this now smile There is an even more insane way of doing two socks at once, where you knit one inside the other.

I would have suggested you start with a test pair in aran or DK so they go quicker, but as you've started already, crash on! I second VeryPink Knits, she is great, and also

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