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Beginner's guide to Knitting Socks Part 1


Socks are on many knitter's wish lists and yet can daunt even the most seasoned knitter! We want to take the mystery out of knitting socks and help you to get started with your first pair of socks.

There are many ways to knit a sock. Some socks are knitted from the toe up, others start at the top with the cuff, while some start with the heel or include the heel later. Whichever way you choose, the basic structure of the sock remains the same.

We will be explaining the top down method. A  good beginner pattern for simple, snuggly socks is the Rye Light pattern by Tin Can Knits, or if you'd prefer slightly thicker socks, the original Rye pattern.

Some things you need to know before starting..

Yarn: For durability, look for a sock yarn. Most include around 20% nylon as this helps strengthen the socks and prolong their life. You could knit them in 100% wool but they may quickly develop holes.

Needles: Due to their circular nature socks are usually knitted in a round. You will need circular needles in the sizes recommended in your pattern or Double Pointed Needles (DPN's).

Now to the fun part.... casting on! Socks need to have a stretchy cast on that is big enough to go over your heel and will retain their shape. A stretchy cast on method often used in sock knitting is the Longtail cast on method. Something to note is that it creates the first row at the same time.

If you've mastered the Long Tail cast on you might want to give the Alternating Long Tail cast on method a go with creates the first row in rib.

One of my favourite things about knitting in a round is no seams! So perfect for socks, beanies, sleeves, cardigans. My preferred method is the Magic Loop Method using circular needles. Or you may prefer to use DPN's (Double Pointed Needles). There are lots of videos to help you get started.

Top Tip: Keep a record of how many rows you've knitted for the cuff etc. You want your socks to end up the same size!

In Part 2 we will be back with how to knit the heel. Happy sock knitting.