Toe-up socks KAL

This Christmas just past I gifted about 30 pairs of hand-knit socks. I started in June and knit every. single. day. to create all those socks — and other presents.

Does sock knitting intimidate you?
It did me in the beginning of my knitterly path.
Several people and loads of websites told me that sock knitting was ‘hard.’

Don’t believe it.

I have the pattern for the way I knit socks in my head and can give it a go with any weight yarn and any size circular needle. It is that simple.

Following this KAL you’ll learn the way I do socks. It is my formula developed in the process of reading and looking at patterns and trying things out and basically just finding what works for me.

I encourage you to follow this KAL and do it my way a time or two. Once you have this process mastered — modify it in whatever way suits you and make it yours. Add decorative or fiddly-bits.

This KAL shares a basic sock construction foundation. What you do once you feel confident is completely up to you. And I have no doubt that you will be confident in your sock knitting after this KAL because you will see that it is all just simple, straightforward steps put together in such a way and POOF you have socks. πŸ˜€

What should you knit first….aka WHO should you make socks for during this KAL?
Well, in my humble opinion there are 2 best options for this:
– you
– a baby

The best option is to make socks for yourself.
Many fittings will lead to a much better fitting socks. These are custom creations — and it will be much easier to make progress if the feet are always available. πŸ˜‰

If, however, you find you are intimidated by making socks for a full-grown human (which I’m assuming you are) then have a go at generic baby socks. You’ll be learning all the same steps and doing all the same stuff.

Either way, whether you are making socks for itty-bitty or somewhat larger feet, if you are newish to sock knitting — DO NOT feel limited to sock yarn.
Sock yarn is yummy — without question.
It comes in so many lovely self-striping varieties.
It feels fabulous on the feet.
The fit is fabulous.
BUT it can seem like it takes forever to finish the pair.

If you have limited time to knit and/or patience (you know who you are πŸ˜‰ ) then go with a heavier weight. There is nothing wrong with making some big, thick, slipper(ish) socks out of some warm worsted weight yarn. It will knit up MUCH quicker and you will have something quite lovely to keep your toes warm later when you cast on a beautiful pair of socks in that sock yarn after which you’ve been lusting….

Needle Consideration
I use the Magic Loop method for all my (smaller diameter) circular knitting. I never (repeat NEVER) use double pointed needles — except to make I-cords or serve as stitch holders. There is nothing wrong with dpn knitting — it just doesn’t suit me.

In my next installment I’ll be sharing links to videos for Magic Loop as well as Judy’s Magic Cast-on and any other skill that you’ll want to know for this KAL. For now, however, I’ll just mention that Magic Loop knitting is far more enjoyable (and much less likely to lead to swearing) if your cable is nice and flexible. It should have little-to-no ‘memory.’ In other words, if your cable wants to curl up and that makes it hard to manage — then Magic Loop is going to be harder than it needs to be. You need a cable that doesn’t make you work harder.
I have a set from Knit Picks – the cables are a dream to work with. They seem to be very similar to the sets available from Webs. I imagine that anything from the Addi line would be a dream as well.

I have stiff cables — can I not do this KAL?
Certainly not. Just know from the outset that it might be more challenging. Do your best and know that if it is more work than not that it is probably not your fault — you’ll do fine with a better needle.

What about length?
Yes, it does matter. πŸ˜‰
Your circular needle doesn’t need to be very long for 1 at a time sock knitting. I think 24″ is the minimum I’d try.
For 2 at a time, though, I prefer 47″ anything shorter and I feel that I’m pulling the stitches too much.

Ok, that’s enough for today.

Next, getting ready — cataloging the basic skills list with tutorial links.

Then in January we’ll begin to put these basics together.

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3 thoughts on “Toe-up socks KAL

  1. Pingback: Toe-up Socks KAL « attachlings

  2. I have 2 resolutions for 2012. To master the art of crochet and to learn magic loop knitting. I do have to admit I have always said socks are too hard but I do buy sock yarn because it is so darn cute. Count me in! Thanks for doing this Mary.

  3. My pleasure, Gina!
    Feel free to use some of your sock yarn if you like! I use it for way more than socks. I made a sweater for Whinnie out of sock yarn — with matching socks (which are shown in the photo at the top of this post…) It takes more time but if you like the yarn, it is worth the effort.
    And let’s get that Magic Loop resolution knocked off right at the beginning of 2012. πŸ˜€

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