Hand Knitting Socks - the pros and cons

Many people are big fans of hand knitted socks others are scared off by the thought of it. Some people may be put off by the small needles and fine yarn or the thought of shaping the heel and toe. Below are some of the pros and cons of making your own socks.

Advantages of hand knitting socks

  • Size can be tailored to the foot – many commercial socks cover a range of sizes and are often a poor fit for your foot.
  • Leg length can also be adjusted for personal preference from tennis sock to knee-highs with a folded cuff and anywhere in between.
  • The cuff can be adjusted for the individual wearer – particularly important for people with poor circulation and Diabetes sufferers who cannot have tight cuffs around their legs.
  • Warmth and Comfort – Many sock yarns contain 70-75% wool or merino wool which means they are warm and comfortable, wick sweat and wear extremely well. Once made a pair of sock will generally give you many, many years of use.
  • A good standby project – I often have a pair of socks on the go and they are such a portable size I can pop them into my handbag to knit in waiting rooms, in the car (as a passenger of course), meetings etc.
  • Something for everyone – Socks have such a diverse range of styles from plain, ribbed, lace, fair-isle, embroidered, mosaic and more, there is sure to be a style to inspire your knitting.

Disadvantages of hand knitting socks

Like all new skills it does take a bit of practice to do the heel, toe and instep but once you understand the process it becomes much easier.

Mastering the needles also takes some practice but there are many techniques for working in the round (double pointed needles- dpn’s, magic loop with long circular needle, two circular needles, flexible double pointed needles – and if these defeat you there are patterns for sock on straight pairs of needles).

Grafting the toe can put some people off so perhaps you could try socks knitted from the toe up – this method also makes it super easy to see how the length of the foot is processing.

If you have never knitted socks before and would like to have a go I would recomend choosing a plain pattern (and maybe even a Child’s size – less daunting) and go for it, try some different needle types or techniques (toe up or toe down). There are many tutorials online for all the different options for knitting socks.

Here are some suggestions for getting started on Socks

Click on the image for more information, to see different colours and to buy the product.

Patons Artistry

A colourful yarn perfect for sock and other 4 ply patterns.

Mix and Match Socks

Tried and true patterns with easy variations to hone your skills.

Patons Patonyle Merino.

Plain sock yarn. Patonyle has a proven track record for durability and versatility for socks and garments. 80% Merino Wool 20% Nylon – Gentle machine wash or hand wash.

Opal Sock Yarn 4 Ply.

Patterned sock yarn. An amazing yarn that knits in stripy and faux fair-isle effects.

New to the Shop this month is Lang Super Soxx 4 ply

Lang Sock yarn is made in Italy for Lang & Co  –  is perfect for socks but also beanies, gloves, mittens, and other small items. The composition of the yarn is 75% Virgin (traceable) wool & 25 % Nylon.  The Super Soxx yarn is machine washable (40 degrees) and cool tumble dry.

Shop for Lang Super Soxx 4 ply