should I knit socks?

ct_irisJuly 14, 2007

I've been trying to buy socks that don't irritate my feet. Everything I see in the stores has seams across the toes. I was getting frustrated and then I thought, duhhh, I could knit a pair, BUT - do handknit socks have really smooth seams? If I'm going to go to the trouble of figuring out knitting with dps, learning the kitchener stitch ( or whatever) will the result be comfortable enough to be worth it???

PS I haven't been knitting very long but I'm usually pretty good at figuring out patterns. Any suggestions for a first sock?

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ct_iris, I say, yes, you should give knitting socks a try. There are lots of free patterns on the net and you'll find that if you check out, that they have compiled a huge list of them. There are some that are knit on two straight needles and seamed, but the great majority are knit on double pointed needles or circulars and are seamless. And the very names of some of the socks listed attest to their simplicity. Try one of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: sock patterns

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:20AM
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*looks confused* "do handknit socks have really smooth seams?"

I wasn't aware that handknit socks /had/ seams.

You can also knit them using magic loop, 2 circs or one 12" circ, but you have to use dpns for the toes. My preferred method is a 12" circ until I can't stretch the stitches any more, and then I switch to dpns.

And remember, dpns are ONLY difficult for the first few rounds. They're pretty unweidly at first, but remember, you're only knitting with two neelds at a time, the rest are just stitch holders.

As for a first sock, I would NOT recommend doing one on teeny needles. I'd go for worsted weight and something like size 4 needles or so. I like Paton's Classic Merino.

~ Kit

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 4:34AM
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Well, re: the seams, it depends on how you knit the socks. If you knit it top down doing the cuffs first, some patterns have you Kitchener-grafting the final row of stitches to close the toe. You can also start them toe-up or toes first (my preferred method) using the Turkish, figure 8 or backward loop cast and increasing to the desired width. There is no seam this way. Check out Donna's link to sock patterns and find one that doesn't involve grafting the toes. There are also plenty of sock-help website like I also agree with Kit that your first sock should use a heavier yarn. You can also use 2 circulars or one long circular (Magic Loop method) instead of DPNs, The very short cirulars can be awkward for some knitters and you will still have to get DPNs for the toe.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 9:40PM
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YES!!!! My dad has diabetes. He always complains that store bought socks make his toes sore, because of the seams. I made him a pair of socks. Mom washes them & as soon as they are dry, they are back on his feet!!!! I knit mine cuff down and kitchener the toes closed. NO irritation! My first knit project was a dish cloth. 2nd was a baby sock, 3rd was my first pair of socks for me. I started with double points, but after about a year, the magic loop method was found by the owner of our local store. I have done them that way ever since. I also do not switch to dbl pts to do the toe. I have never seen any reason to. I have tried the 12" needles, but don't like them. Also, I have 2 sets of circular needles for socks. I start both socks at the same time, especially good for the new self striping yarns, and my gauge is much more likely to match for both socks. I do a few inches on one, then work on the other for a while, then switch back again. I use Ann Norling's Basic Adult sock patter, which gives you your choice of 3 different weights of yarn and the instructions to match. You have also been given excellent advice above. I always have socks on needles, as they are easy take along projects and fit in your purse or a small bag, for dr. appts, ect.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:08PM
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Knitting socks is an adventure. I've made 3 pair, not thrilled with any of them, but it sure was fun and I would encourage you to try it. You might come up with something you really like!

You could also check They have a 2-3 kinds of seam-free socks. One is linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: seamless socks

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:33AM
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Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I'm really looking forward to getting started, But there's SO MANY choices. Which is more comfortable in the toe area - toe-up patterns or top-down?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:45PM
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There are so many ways to start toe up or finish top-down that you can find comfortable ones either way. If you do top-down and Kitchener the toes, you shouldn't get much of a seam. Some people do a 3-way bind-off and that will produce a ridge. Most toe-up cast-ons will be quite seamless, whether you choose to start with a few stitches and increase or short row instead. The best thing to do is to look through patterns like the ones in Donna's link and decide whether a method is seamless enough.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Interweave puts out some great magazines. Obviously for those who know my postings, I crochet so I get the crochet magazine. They also have a Knit magazine and a knitting newsletter. The new edition is coming out in September but each edition also posts some free patterns on the web. The new one will have a few sock patterns. They currently have some up now from previous editions (see link) but the new ones (click here) look really great for you knitters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interweave Knits - Socks

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:19AM
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Also, you can knit a baby size sock to try out a pattern, especially the toes to see how you like it.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Yes, hand knit socks really are seamless. The kitchenered toe isn't even a seam, you are simply grafting stitches together which produces a continues piece of knitting.

You don't have much to lose by trying sock knitting. It isn't as big an investment in yarn as starting a sweater or blanket.

You would do best to buy yarn specifically made for socks for the most comfort and durability. While it may sound "easier" to make a larger gauge sock out of worsted yarn, they will be very uncomfortable to wear and probably won't even fit in your shoes (save the heavier yarn for slippers.)

If you've never worked with DPNs, try making something a little easier and larger gauge like a hat to learn the technique. Starting off with a fine gauge yarn and size 2 DPNs will be frustrating if you haven't done it before. But DPNs are easy once you get the hang of it, keeping in mind that the first few rows and going to be difficult...DON'T GIVE UP! Knitting socks is fun and addictive.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 4:55PM
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