Whether you are new to weaving or have been playing with yarn for a while, you may be interested in learning how to weave socks. These are extremely useful items to learn how to make, and you can complete a simple couple shown here in just a few days.
Why know how to weave socks? Why not just buy them?
The DIY movement has been building in popularity over the past several years. Many are rediscovering the joys of handmade crafts and realizing that assisting with self-reliance has a helpful side effect of being extremely calm and satisfying.
After all, a craft that proves helpful in reducing anxiety while keeping you (and your family members) warm and comfortable is a win that is all around, right?
When it comes to making this type of item of clothing by hand, many people roll their eyes. After all, when you can buy a three-pack of socks at Walmart for a few dollars, why would you bother spending a few days wrestling with knitting needles and yarn?
Quite simply, this is not always a possibility.
We never know how life will unfold, and the more skill sets we have under our belt, the better prepared we will be for unexpected situations. I know people who have moved to extremely rural areas and have had to learn that all kinds of clothing items are made only because local stores were not available to them.
If electricity or WiFi goes out for a while and you can’t get anything to your home, knowing how to turn yarn into clothes with a few sticks can be extremely beneficial for those around you.
To build on a basic sock pattern
The sock pattern I am sharing here is a really basic top-down pattern but a good foundation. Once you are comfortable with the basics of sock construction, you can experiment with different stitches for text effects.
There are a few different ways to make knit socks. Some people prefer to work with toe rather than top-down. Others prefer to use circular needles with the “magic loop” technique. Feel free to experiment with different approaches to see which one you like!
I think it is easiest to control double-pointed needles (DPNs), but each with its own ecstasy.
I am instructing for medium sized adult socks. A friend wrote about the pattern in my magazine 20 years ago, and it has been mine ever since. These will fit women’s size 8-10 or men’s size 7-9. You can customize the patterns as you go to make them slightly larger or smaller as needed.
what you’ll need:
We are using “fingerring” or “sock” weight yarn for this project. If you knit a gauge test prematurely, you are aiming for a gauge of seven stitches per inch. I used the Notpix Straw Tweed Yarn for the pictures that come with this article, but any weighting yarn will do.
Washable wool is great for easy care; Regular wool will require hand washing, but it is warm and durable. Very good for practicing with acrylic but can give you blisters.
- 434 yards / 398 meters weight yarn
- Sizes 1 to 3 (2.25 mm to 3.25 mm) Double-point needles – These come in sets of four or five. You will need four of them for this project. Make sure to knit that test to make sure you are using the correct needle size for your yarn.
- Stitch marker
- Demonetisation and pen
- Tape measure or ruler
- tapestry needle
- Crouching hook (optional)
Knitting Terms and Abbreviations:
- CO: cast on
- St: stitch
- K: Knit
- P: purl
- SL: Slip
- SSK: slip, slip, knit (watch this video to reduce this leftward tilt)
- P2tog: purl two simultaneously (this is a right-leaning reduction, displayed here)
- WYF: with yarn in front
- Rape: Repeat
Cast on 64 stitches using a stretch CO method. If you don’t already have the tried-and-true method that you love, try one of this videos here.
Once you are on, you need to split those stitches between your three DPNs. Since there are 64 stitches, I usually put 20 each on needle 1 and needle 3, with 24 needles in between (magic number 2). Make sure that all the stitches face the same way, so you do not form Moebius Infinity Circle, and join them.
To join your yarn to work in rounds, you are going to use what is known as a “crossover join”. Move the first stitch you put on the right needle (which will be on the left needle).
Then, with that left needle, lift the second-last stitch on the right needle. Instead leave the one you just switched and instead on the left needle. If you need visual assistance with this method, follow this video tutorial.
Originally, you have just invited the first and last stitches to replace the needles with which you are working. This creates a smooth transition, so there is no difference in your work as you weave.
Time to knit socks!
In your notebook, mark each line you weave so that you can count how many rounds, weeps and stitches you are making, depending on how much part you are making. For now, write that you are working on the cuff.
Keeping track of how many rows you weave can help ensure that you make (almost) socks.
Work the cuff in a basic K2, P2 rib until it is one inch to inch and half in length. I do 24 rows to make a cuff that is a little over an inch. It helps to keep the sock in place without feeling awkward.
Once you have done this, switch to stockinet stitching (which is just obviously weaving continuously) until your sock leg is seven or eight inches long. If you write how many lines you have written, you can be sure that the second sock will match. Otherwise, you can guess it later with a ruler.
K16 when you are ready to weave. Then, sock around and K32 on a needle. Transfer the rest of the sutures to the other needles, and secure the unused needle somewhere so that you do not lose it.
Weave heel flaps
By this point you will have weaving back and forth like any other flat project, rather than working in rounds. You can use any knit stitch of your choice, but the seam stitching on the bottom is really easy. This needs to be done with an equal number of stitches, so make sure you have 32 stitches.
Row 1: (on right) Repeat all the way ending with SL1, K1, K1.
Row 2: and all rows: SL1, then purge all the way to the end of the row.
Row 3: SL 2, * K1, SL1, the last two stitches from the row from * to * to *. End with k2.
Row 4: Repeat row 2.
Repeat these four rows 9 times (until 34 rows have been worked out in total). It would have made about 17 selvedge stitches, which you would later weave into the gestate.
Turn that heel on!
To fit the heel secretly, you are referred to as “short rows”. These help to form small circles that will hold your heel around the sock.
Row 1: (on the right) K18, ssk, K1, turn on your work.
Row 2: (on the other hand) Sl1 purlwise, P5, P2tog, P1, work alternately.
Row 3: Sl1 purlwise, then you knit only by stitching before the gaps left on the knit row. SSK taking one stitch from each side of the trench. Then K1, and turn on your work.
Row 4: Sl1 purlwise. To stitch in front of the gap you knit only, do the reverse of the row. Then P2T (yes, taking a stitch from either side of the gap), P1.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have worked on each of the rows. At this point, you must have 18 stitches to work. If not, do not panic. You can always do P2tog if you have an extra stitch at the end, or do an extra stitch by weaving in both the back and front of a single stitch as needed.
All gated up
The gusset is a triangular shape formed between the heel and the foot. To make it, you will pick up the selvedge stitches that work on that pretty heel flap. Be sure to take an extra cent or two to work with you: this will prevent you from making a wide hole at the base of the grusset.
You will work round again from here instead of weaving back and forth, so that additional DPNs get back from their hiding place.
Round 1: Knit between 18 heel stitches, then to take it and your fingers and knit 17 or 18 selvedge stitches. This will all be on the same needle (# 1) and may be a bit awkward, but that’s okay.
Then, grab another DPN and knit 32 stitches. This is now needle # 2.
Using needle # 3, pick up 17 or 18 selvedge stitches along the other side. With the same needle, knit needle # 1 to 9 stitches. Place a stitch marker between the last stitch that you knit and the first stitch on needle # 1. This is the center of the heel, for reference.
At this point, you should have a total of 84 stitches, 26 or so needles 1 and 3, and 32 stitches on the needle 2. If there are more than that, again: don’t worry. You can always do less here and there as needed. These socks are meant to be functional rather than aesthetic creations of weirdness.
Round 2: Knit to the last 3 cents on needle # 1, then K2tog, K1. Knit between all stitches on needle # 2, then knit end to end on K1, ssk, and needle # 3. This reduces 2 gestat stitches so you will be 82 instead of 84 you started.
Round 3: Just knit around.
Toe construction and finishing
Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until you have only 64 stitches remaining. There should be 16 stitches on needle # 1 and # 3, and the same 32 cents on needle # 2. Keep weaving in rounds until the sock’s leg is about 6 rounds long. Measure against your foot at this point, and continue knitting until the needles from the back of the middle heel to the tip of your foot, about 2 and 1/4 foot in length.
Time began to decrease.
Round 1: Knit to the last 3 cents on needle # 1, then K2tog, K1. Pick up needle # 2, K1, SSK, knit all the way to the last 3 cents, then K2tog, K1. Finally, needle # 3, K1, SSK, and knit all the way to the end. All this should be reduced by 4 stitches.
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have only 32 stitches left. Repeat only 1 round until you are under 12 stitches. At this point, you will weave all the stitches from needle # 1 onto needle # 3. This divides the stitches evenly so you have 6 cents on 2 needles.
At this point, cut the yarn, so you have a tail that is about 20 the long. Take out that tapestry needle and thread this tail through it. You are going to use a Kitchener stitch to tie these last stitches together. This one is difficult to explain, so watch the tutorial below.
Once you are done with this, do the work inside out and trim the yarn, so there are only a few inches left. Weave the end into a few stitches and remove the needle. If there is still a long section from where you initially cast, weave it using a needle. If threading on the needle is too low, use a crochet hook instead.
Then, of course, repeat this entire process for the second sock!
Some final notes about the Knit Sox
The instructions here are for fingering weight yarn, but you can certainly use any gauge you have available. For example, if you unbutton a bad / weave knit sweater, you would be looking at 5 inches per inch instead of 7.. This will require a larger needle (3.5 to 5 mm in size), and you will need fewer stitches (44 instead of 64).
I think you would like to check some different yarn pattern websites for sock patterns. Then print them out, slip those printouts into plastic sleeves, and place them in a binder. In this way, you will always keep them on hand as much needed. Also, you will have access to a pattern that you really like, rather than what you have available.
Another quick tip? Take advantage of yarn sales whenever possible. Socks take a beating, and you either have to keep them in good repair regularly, or weave new ones. I always have at least one pair of socks on DPN at any given time, as I knit for many family members as well as myself.
Build your library, stock your yarn stash and get a few sets of DPNs in different sizes. You will inevitably break or lose something, trust me. Then get creative, and have fun!
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