Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Nothing like snowy weather to make me get back to making socks, one of my favorite things to knit. Knitters have extreme feelings about the humble sock--it's either your thing or it isn't. One of the reasons I love creating socks is because they are so portable. I like the idea of slipping the needles and a small ball of yarn into my handbag or coat pocket and working a couple of rows while waiting for the next important thing to happen (translation=waiting for one of my children.)

I also love making socks because I actually get them finished. Because I sometimes get overwhelmed, I don't enjoy making big projects, like sweaters.

People who don't enjoy making them say that they do not like making things that wear out as fast as a sock does, or things that require hand-washing. I hand wash socks I make because I want them to last longer.

Socks are made "in the round," meaning that they are created on three or four double-pointed needles so that they have no seam. (Circular needles also create items "in the round" but are not used for socks.)

Here's a pair of socks I made last fall. Because this yarn was self-stripping, I chose to make the socks completely plain and let the stripping set the style. This photo shows the top of the sock, which I chose to rib:
Here's the finished product:


Deniz Bevan said...

Wow! Gorgeous! You make socks?? I had no idea! I agree that they're just the right size for carting around and knitting at odd times but... you didn't mention another major reasons some of us - cough cough - don't like knitting socks: you have to make another one exactly the same directly after you've finished! I knit my first sock last month and now I'm suffering from second sock syndrome... Just can't seem to get started on the pair! It might also have something to do with the size of needles - I used tiny 2.5mm ones; perhaps I'd enjoy the process more if they were bigger and the wool thicker... Or if I could knit both at once :-) What's your favourite pattern? I got the book Socks Socks Socks (Socks Socks Socks: 70 Winning Patterns From Knitter's Magazine Sock Contest by Elaine Rowley and Alexis Xenakis)as a gift and used the simplest pattern I could find in there... Yours are lovely!

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Deniz,

If you want to knit two socks at once, try the Magic Loop technique, which involves a big circular needle. I think most of the patterns are from the toe up, rather than cuff down. This site:

lists many other sites that tell you how to do this method.

For patterns, I ADORE the book Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. I got it out of the library, and then liked it so much I did buy it for myself. She really teaches you everything you need to know. I especially like a certain heel that is much more durable called the partridge eye. It's also extremely fun to make.

Yeah, your 2.5 mm is extremely small, (I usually use 2.75mm) but of course you have to use whatever it takes to get your gauge. For my first pair, I got past turning the heel and was on the foot when I noticed the sock was huge, because of course I didn't test the gauge. I got to RIP OUT the ENTIRE thing and start over. GRRRR!!!!

If you want thicker socks, I used size 3.5mm (US 4)
for the socks in the post above. I used a cable pattern from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. It was a blast, and the socks worked up quickly. Thick socks are supposed to last longer, but of course, they make it harder to get your feet in your shoes!

Your baby sweaters and hats are wonderful on your blog! You are talented!

A Novel Woman said...

I'm SO impressed!! These are gorgeous!!!

Lottery Girl said...

Dear NW:

Thank you!

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm working on a baby blanket and an afghan at the moment, with wool I got as a birthday present, and I hope to go back to the socks once I've finished this round of easy knits :-)

Lottery Girl said...

Dear Deniz,

You're welcome!

I try to keep my knitting fun. You are so talented with the blankets and the baby sweaters and you seem to enjoy them. Maybe socks aren't fun for you.

I will not longer attempt any sweaters because I can't seem to finish them. The biggest project I'll do is a vest, and I only did that because it was on big needles.

Deniz Bevan said...

Sweaters, ugh! They take forever and I never seem to knit them well enough to really enjoy them and keep wearing them. Although I found a pattern for a baby sweater that's knit all of a piece from one arm, sideways to the next. Much less sewing involved :-)