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Topic: I need sock help...  (Read 1234 times)
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« on: September 05, 2006 08:56:10 PM »

Ok, so I want to knit my dad a pair of socks for Christmas.  I'd never knitted socks before, so I wanted to make myself a pair just to make sure I could do them.  I finished the first one, in Essential Sock yarn from knitpicks and it's too big for me.  And I'm a big girl with big legs.  And I didn't change the pattern at all. 

My question is this:  are hand-knitted socks just supposed to be a bit looser than storebought?  I normally knit really tightly and have just recently become accustomed to knitting looser, but then I think my sock was too loose, but it was still abou 7.5 sts to the inch, which seemed to be about normal.

Am I crazy?
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006 09:14:16 PM »

Being a new knitter myself, I'm struggling with much the same issues as you are. Did you measure your feet at all, or just go by what the pattern said?

"just keep crafting, just keep crafting"

Sorry I've been gone so long. Am trying to get back on the boards. Body's thrown me for a few loops these past months and am still learning to adjust. Thanks for your patience.
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006 09:35:11 PM »


Try the sock calculator.  You just input your gauge and foot dimensions and it tells you what to cast on, how much to knit, etc.

Good luck!  Socks are fun.  BTW, 7.5 is a normal gauge.  sport weight i belive.

Check out my blog! www.gailknits.wordpress.com
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006 12:55:23 PM »

What pattern did you use?  How many stitches did the pattern call for?

The wonder of handknit socks is one can make them as tight or loose as is desired. 


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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006 01:00:11 PM »

I see so many patterns that say to knit until you have a foot that is 11/2 inches from the legnth of the foot you are knitting for. I also see ones that ask for measurement around the ankle.
I would make sure you are using eaxctly the needles that get the guage in the pattern..no matter what needles are called for, or else wing it using many of the sock formulas that are to be found online.
I really have never followed a sock pattern( yes..as I said I have read many, but I always wing it when I actually make them.)...they are all more or less the same, and I go by my guage and keep a measuring tape close by.

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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006 01:04:10 PM »

thanks!  I followed the pattern pretty much exactly (a first for me, I believe Smiley), just to see what would happen.  I ran the sock through the wash today and it's a little better, but I don't like how loose the stitches are, so I'll be experimenting. 

Thanks for the sock calculator.  I think it might be my new best friend.

You guys are awesome!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006 06:12:17 PM »

opps... sorry.  Here's the link to the sock calculator

Check out my blog! www.gailknits.wordpress.com
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006 04:40:30 PM »

I think the key to well-fitting handknit socks is making them for the measurements of the foot, not to a pattern.

Decide what size needles gives you the fabric density you like. Measure the leg and foot of the intended.
Multiply your stitches per inch (of your gauge from whatever needles and yarn you chose) by the number of inches around the person's leg. Multiply that number by .9 (90%) and voila, you have your number of cast-on stitches!
Knit on down a long as you want the top of the sock. For even more size insurance you can stick with ribbing the whole way. Work your heel flap on half of your stitches. A general guide for heel flap length is knit as many rows as you have stitches (if you cast on 60, work the flap on 30 and work 30 rows). When you pick up, pick up half that number on each side.
Decrease those every other row until you get back to the cast-on number. Work your foot in st st until it's comes to the base of the big toe or so. (A little too long is better than too short.) Decrease every other round until you have 12 or 16 or so left and graft the two sets of 6 or 8 or whatever. For a less pointy toe, eliminate the plain knit rows between the last couple of decreases.

I'm not yet familiar with the short row heel so I can't help you there.

If you wanna go toe-up, the summer Knitty has a formula and wendy of wendyknits.net has one as well.

I made my first sock to pattern specs too. The boyfriend has that pair now. Not exactly the right size but I got the techniques down. For my second pair I used the above formula and they fit like they were made for me. Wink
« Last Edit: September 08, 2006 05:49:32 PM by meriellyn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2006 05:21:46 PM »

meriellyn, that's fantastic.  I really appreciate it.  thanks!
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2006 05:47:25 PM »

You're welcome! Smiley

I forgot to add that you can customize the width (or narrowness) of the heel by leaving a couple more or a couple less stitches in the middle when you're turning your heel. About an inch is a good guide but you can leave more to widen or less to make it more narrow. This is helpful when knitting for my mom's pointy heels. Smiley
And, of course, if there's a good bit of difference between your foot measurement and leg measurement (I'd say more than an inch or so but I'm not quite sure where the line is there) you can stop the gusset decreases sooner or later than your original cast on number. It seems that's not necessary for most people though since the measurements tend to be pretty close to the same.

Socks are awesome because they're so customizable and don't require a strict pattern. Plus they look so darn impressive! Wink

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