Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sock Knitting 101 - Sock Knit Along - Introduction

Are you a wanta be sock knitter?  Would you like to learn to knit basic socks?  If so, then get ready to join me in a sock knitting 101 Knit Along.  Each week I will post a lesson and at the end of the course, you should have a completed sock! 

It was probably 17 years ago when I knitted my first pair of socks.  I found a pattern in a magazine and bought some yarn and started on my adventure of knitting socks.  Since I'm a self taught knitter, I didn't know that sock knitting can be problematic.   I simply followed the written directions and voila!  I had a beautiful sock that fit, too!

But, after my first initial success, I found out that there are special yarns to use for socks; sock yarn.  And, I soon replaced my archaic steel DPNs (double pointed needles) for bamboo or wood DPNs.  So, let's get started......

NEEDLES:
This tutorial is written using the standard method of knitting socks with double pointed needles (DPNs).  They come in various sizes and materials; steel, wood and bamboo.  I use wood or bamboo needles since they are lightweight and the yarn doesn't fall off them easily.


In the picture above, the needles on the left are made of bamboo, followed by wood in the middle and the far right is steel.  I strongly recommend that you use bamboo or wood.  Believe me, it will be much easier to handle than the steel ones. 

YARN:
Socks can be knit from any smooth twisted type yarn.  But there is also a specific range of yarn made specifically for socks.  Sock yarn is usually a blend of wool and nylon or another fiber like polyamide to reinforce the sock and extend the wear.  It's best to read the label and make sure the yarn you are using is machine washable.  Socks can be made from worsted weight yarn (they will produce a thick boot sock), 6 ply yarn (which is similar to sports weight yarn) and 4 ply yarn (fingering or "sock yarn") which will give you the thinnest sock of the three yarns.

 The picture above is worsted weight yarn.  This weight of yarn will knit up very fast due to the thickness of the yarn.

This is sock yarn.  It is made from 75% wool and 25% polyamide for strength.  It is known by "super fine, fingering or 4 ply".  It is a fine yarn and you will use a small needle.

Pictured above is "6 ply sock yarn".  The size of this yarn is basically between the fingering weight and worsted weight.  It will knit up a soft and plyable sock.  I purchased this particular skein of yarn from Little Knits.  I bought it at a bargain price of $7.99!

PATTERN:
Like other knitting projects, your pattern will indicate what type of yarn to use and what size of needle to use.  Basically, the thicker the yarn, the larger the needle.  For a beginner sock knitter, you may want to start with worsted weight yarn or 6 ply sock yarn.  (Worsted weight yarn is readily found and inexpensive and machine washable.) 

Here is the pattern link for socks using worsted weight yarn.  Here is the pattern link for socks using 6 ply sock yarn.

SOCK ANATOMY:
Below is my poorly made diagram of an anatomy of a basic sock.  You are going to make a "top" down sock.  This means you will start at the cuff  and continue to knit the leg followed by the heel flap, turning the heel, picking up stitches for the gusset, knitting the instep and finishing by knitting the toe.
The socks above were made with Red Heart worsted weight yarn.  It's not my yarn of choice but it's a great yarn for a first time sock knitter to knit with.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
You are going to need the following:
1 skein worsted weight yarn or 6 ply sock yarn (machine washable)
1 set DPNs size 4
Stitch markers (you can use safety pins if you wish)
Pattern

TUTORIAL INFO:
Each Sunday (if all goes well), I will post a segment of the sock knitting 101 knit along.  It will begin on February 8th with:

1.  Cast on
2.  Cuff
3.  Leg

Basically, we will be following the sock diagram above.  As long as you know how to knit and increase/decrease, you will glide through this tutorial easily.  And, along the way, I would love to see the photos of your progress.

So, go get your needles and yarn and to make it easier, sign up to follow this blog via e-mail and that way the tutorial updates can be delivered to your inbox.  We are going to have fun!

By Sunday, February 8th, I will have the first segment of the tutorial posted.  Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.  And, one last thing, I'm linking up today at Happy Friday so stop by and meet some great people.

See you soon!
Pat

P.S.  I have seen so many lovely wintry pictures on your blogs.  But since I don't have snow here where I live in California, I thought I would share these two lovely pictures I received from my friend in Belarus:


50 comments:

  1. Great! Everyone should knit socks! :-) xx

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  2. Your yarn looks really pretty - my mom is knitting socks (I could do it for 15 years ago, now I should relearn it) ... and she told me about this yarn, that makes patterns all by it self :)

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    1. Hello Nina, Yes, the sock yarns today are so fun to knit with as you see the pattern take place as you are knitting. Thank you.

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  3. Wow, I am very very tempted to join in, I already have bamboo DPN but have never used them. I think I might have to look for some appropriate sock yarn this week.

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    1. Hi Vicky, get your needles ready to go!

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  4. Alas I am not a knitter, I wish I was and I'm sure one day I will get round to learning this craft! Your tutorial looks fab. Xx

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    1. Thank you Suze for your kind comments.

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  5. I tried making a sock once, when I was a teenager, so quite some time ago! It was a disaster and I only ever made the one - it was big enough to be a Christmas Stocking! Maybe it's time to face my demons and have another go!

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    1. Hello Julia, I understand completely. I have some projects that never took off as they were suppose to. I would love to have you join the knit along....

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  6. Never knitted socks but you have inspired me to have a go as small enough to finish

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    1. That would be great Carolee, if you join this sock knit along. I hope we will have fun.

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  7. One of these days I WILL have a go at knitting socks!! Just a shame I have so much on the go at the moment :)

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    1. I understand completely. Life is too busy sometimes. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

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  8. I've always wanted to make some socks so I'll be following your lessons with great interest xx

    PS Did you try the cornbeef pie. I'd love to know what you thought of it xx

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    1. Hello. I have your recipe printed but I haven't got around to making it as of yet. I know my son would love this pie! So good to hear from you.

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  9. Wonderful snoe-picktures, it look like our german winter :-)
    Thid is my blog-contribution
    ♥ly greetings

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    1. Greetings Jutta. It's so nice of you to stop by and visit my blog this week.

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  10. Your sock knitting sounds fun...thanks for the tutorial. Fab snowy pics too...lucky you not having any though. I'm very happy just to look at it through a window :-)
    Hugs,
    Annie x

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    1. Thank you Annie. I too like to look at freshly fallen snow but I remember from days past that the snow melts, freezes and the temps are too cold! Have a great day.

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  11. That is a great talent, while I am crafty in other areas this is surely not my task to take.
    Take Care.

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    1. I understand completely. I admire people who are multi talented. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  12. Socks look fun!! So do the snow pictures!!!
    Have a great day!!
    Karren

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    1. Thank you Karren for your nice comments.

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  13. Bookmarking this for a later date. When my life is not full of crochet blanketing! xx

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    1. I quite understand. Crocheting is one of my hobbies too. My knitting has taken a backseat to my blanket making.

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  14. What a great idea. I am also a self taught knitter and have tackled a few socks in my day. This would have been very helpful back then. I'm sure so many new knitters will love this.

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    1. Thank you Natalie. I hope this tutorial will be readable and makes sense :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Knitting is not my forte but I remember my dear mum knitting my fathers socks.
    Jan x

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    1. What fond memories. Yes, sock knitting is an old art.

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  16. I have every respect for people who knit socks. I can knit myself but I do tend to get bored easily and tend to leave things for a while then lose where I am!!
    Hugs
    xx

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    1. Oh, I totally agree with you about getting bored with a project. That's why I have a few WIPs. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. I'm in for the sock tutorial!!!so excited

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    1. I'm excited that you are going to follow along!

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  18. Thanks very much! I was searching for a worsted weight sock pattern and found it here!

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    1. I'm so happy that you found it here at Lilly My Cat. Thank you!

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  19. Great pattern and tutorial. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You are most welcome. Thank you and have a great day!

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  20. I taught myself to knit because I had always wanted to knit socks. I learned to knit cuff down and am now working on toe up, although I may rip this down and start over, I don't think toe up is for me.
    Your tutorials sound like something that will help everyone.

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    1. Hi Tracey, I'm so happy that you are going to join in. I have a book on "toe up" but I have not ventured to make any socks using that method. I hope my tutorial will be of some help.

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  21. I love knitting socks! Even though it takes me a very long time. It's magical the way you follow instructions even when they don't make sense and you get a wonderful sock!

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  22. I would really love to knit at one point, but I don't think it's going to happen quite yet! Good Luck to everyone learning to do it!

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  23. My fourth grader knitted me a blanket but it's only five inches by three inches. A blanket for a doll? It's the thought that counts!
    Lisa
    LisaTeachR'sClassroom

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  24. I keep saying that I want to learn how to knit or crochet but t never seem to have the time... I just love all the stuff you can create by knowing how to knit and crochet! I even started a Pinterest board called my new hobby... That's as far as I have gotten! Ha! ;-)

    Thank you for linking up to the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday Linky Party!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    Co-Host OMHGWW

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  25. What a lovely idea. I am, indeed, a failed sock knitter. I would love to join in with your knit-a-long if I can find the time. If not, I at least know where to come in the future to find some tutorials! Thank you. x

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  26. I think its great that you are doing a tutorial and breaking it down into easy to follow sections. Shame I don't have time to take part but will still take a look at your tutorials out of curiosity for the mystery of the knitted sock!

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  27. Well done you for teaching yourself to knit! Very kind to share a tutorial too, your socks look wonderfully cosy :) x

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  28. Oh I find socks really scary, not in general, just to knit. I think your diagram looks great, really clear. I will be reading your sock posts but I'm not brave enough to join in.
    Ali xx

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  29. didnt know there would be so much anatomy of a sock! :P excellent

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