Learn How to Knit a Sock

Rainbow striped socks knit by FreshStitches

I love knitting socks. And I get a lot of questions about which resources I’d recommend for learning.

So, in today’s blog post, I’m going to give you a list of my favorite sources!

Your First Pair of Socks

Do you feel comfortable increasing and decreasing? Have you used double point needles? Great! Then you’re ready to knit your first pair of socks!

My Easy Peasy Sock Pattern is designed for the first-timer. It’s a pattern that’s easy to follow and gives you a nice (although thick) sock.

socks

Socks knit by mmeglet on Ravelry

If it’s your first time, then there are a few things you should know. First, ssk is a decrease, not simply slipping two stitches and knitting the next. If you’re not familiar with the stitch, then watch this video. Second, turning the heel requires working short rows. They aren’t scary, but they’re weird. If you follow my instructions to the letter, your heel will come out perfectly. Don’t overthink it.

If learning from a written pattern isn’t for you, then I highly recommend Donna Drachunas’s Knit Sock Workshop on Craftsy. It’s a video course, so you’ll learn everything you need to know!

If you used handwash-only yarn to knit your socks, you’ll want to learn how to hand wash your socks!

Your Second Pair of Socks

I designed my sock pattern to be the easiest to do… but it’s not the best-fitting sock. For your second sock, you’ll probably want to use fingering weight yarn and choose a different pattern. I adore the Basic Sock Pattern by Churchmouse.

neon knitted socks

I’ve knit 7 pairs of socks from this pattern. It’s easy to understand and contains lots of variations.

I also adore The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits. I haven’t knit them yet, but I have no doubt that Rye is a fabulous sock to knit as one of your first.

You also might be prepared to ditch your double point needles. My favorite way to knit socks is with a 9″ Circular Needle. Read this post to see why I love them!

Toe-up socks knitting

And more…

My second favorite technique is to use two circular needles. You can even knit two socks at a time! I highly recommend Antje Gillingham’s book for learning the technique.

two at a time on two circulars

Socks can become a lifelong addiction… they’re portable and fun to make. As you make more socks, you might get interested in more complicated patterns and designs. I have the book Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns From Top Designers, and it really gets your sock juices flowing. Check out this really interesting toe shaping I learned to do:

toe up socks

You might want to have a listen to my recent Coffee with Stacey episode about knitting socks– I chat all about yarns, caring for your socks and different techniques!

Ready to Cast on?

Are you already a sock knitter? Or want to start? I hope you love these resources!

pile of hand knit socks

14 replies on “Learn How to Knit a Sock

  • Pepper

    There are some great classes on the Craftsy platform for sock knitting. I have Knit Original Toe Up Socks and Knit Original Cuff Down Socks – both are totally awesome. I’d recommend watching them after you already have Stacey’s easy sock under your belt, then go wild with all sorts of sock variations!

  • kirsty

    Your sock pattern was the one that made me pick up a set of dpn’s and just start. I made the first one a year ago, but being a sahm and homeschooling, life intervened in making the 2nd one. I’m taking a trip in a few months and will try to make sock two…and then try the “upgraded” pattern to make my next pair a bit tighter. Socks are not *quite* as scary now…thanks for taking out the ‘fear factor’ for me!

    Kirsty

  • Marsha

    Any tips for 9″ circular knitting? Do you cast on with a magic loop? Do you do an afterthought heel? I’m new to 9″, is there a good book you recommend?

    • Profile photo of Stacey

      Stacey

      Hey Marsha! Those are great questions! Unfortunately, since the 9″ is probably the least-popular method, no one has written any books on the topic. But, I can share with you what I do.

      I do a heel flap, and I leave the inactive stitches (for the instep) on the needle as I work the flap.
      As for tips, I hold the needle with just my index, middle finger and thumb. My pinkies hang out like I’m drinking fancy tea ;)
      I cast on with the long tail cast on, directly on the needle.

      Feel free to shoot more questions my way! :)

  • Robin

    Stacey, ok I really want to learn how to make socks and I tried the Easy Peasy Sock pattern, I have had to take it apart twice and I can’t get the gusset correct, I know this may be a stupid question but when I start the decrease should the stitch markers be moving towards each other and how many stitches should be between the markers when I have decreased to 40 stitches. My gusset ends up to one side rather than each side. Thanks, I want to try one more time.

    • Profile photo of Stacey

      Stacey

      Hi Robin- I know exactly what you’re saying. After you turn the heel (when you’re doing your decreases), the decreases should be on the ‘heel side’ of the sock. Your end goal is to have 20 sts between the stitch markers on both sides. The gusset should be on one side of the stitch markers.

  • Maggie

    I can see that the length of the circular is 9″, but what is the size of the needle required, in order to knit a sock? It looks pretty small.

  • Cheri Butts Hudson

    I have mastered the easy sock, a perfect fit for myself ( size 8W) now I would love to know how to increase this pattern to make my husband a pair (size 11M). Any simple calculation to do?

    • Profile photo of Stacey

      Stacey

      If you’ve conquered the Easy Peasy sock pattern, then I would recommend moving onto a ‘real’ sock pattern. You’ll find the fit much better, and it’ll have different sizes!

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