Nothing keeps feet wonderfully warm like hand-knit socks. Once you’ve worn handmade socks, you’ll never want to wear store-bought socks again, especially in winter.
Complicated techniques for knitting heels have discouraged many knitters from trying to make socks. That’s over now, because this revolutionary sock design has no heel! The stretchy knitting technique used adapts perfectly to the shape of the foot, and it even lets the socks grow with children.
Knit in brioche stitch, these socks can be made in a very simple manner, but the design can easily be made more sophisticated by working two-color brioche stitch, combining brioche with other pattern stitches like garter or stockinette stitch, and by working with stripes. Using the size charts given on page 46, you can make any pattern in any size. Let yourself be carried away by the diversity of patterns in the brave new world of socks!
The tube socks in this book are knit in the round in several variations of brioche stitch, which is very elastic. Because it’s looser than stockinette stitch, and the knit fabric is quite stretchy, fewer stitches are cast on than with conventional socks.
Socks for All Sizes
All of the socks in this book can be knit in any size. See the charts on page 46 to choose the size you want to make and determine the correct number of stitches to cast on for that size. For socks that are made entirely in brioche stitch, you only need to change the number of stitches to cast on and the total number of rounds to work for the desired length. For socks that have a different pattern on the instep with the sole worked in brioche stitch, cast on the number of stitches shown in the chart and work to the desired leg length. Then work the number of rounds specified in the chart for the instep and sole.
To achieve the best results, use the yarn specified in each pattern. If this yarn isn’t available to you, choose yarn that works up to the same gauge, preferably sock yarn, to guarantee the finished sock will be the right size and have the same wear properties as the sample shown. If you’re making a sock larger than specified in the pattern, you may need to purchase additional yarn.
Working with Center-Pull Balls Knitting is much easier when you knit with the tail of yarn pulled from the center of the skein. The yarn pulls easily from the center of the skein without tangling. Starting Both Socks in the Same Place in the Colorway Many specialty sock yarns have repeating color patterns or stripe sequences. When you join a new ball of yarn, make sure that the pattern is not interrupted and that you join the new ball of yarn at the correct place in the color sequence. This may mean unwinding a ball until you find the color repeat you need, and then winding a new ball from there.
Many different types of knitting needles are available today. There are needles made of metal, plastic, bamboo, and other special materials, such as rosewood. Try different types of needles to determine which material you prefer to work with, and be aware that needles of the same material but from different manufacturers may vary in quality. Choose the material that works with the yarn. Bamboo is very grabby, while plastic and rosewood are a little more slippery, and metal is very slippery.
The long-tail cast on is used for the socks in this book.
1. To create a loop for the first stitch, hold the needle in your right hand and drape the long tail of yarn over the top of the needles so the tail is away from you (in the back) and the working yarn attached to the ball is near you (in the front). Cross the strands underneath the needles. Place the working yarn around your left index finger and the yarn tail around your left thumb. Grasp the strands in your palm.
2. Pull the needle down a bit, until the two parts of the thumb yarn cross, and insert the needle from below into the thumb loop.
3. Draw the working yarn through the loop.