Tips on how to knit socks for beginners

quote: toes are happier in hand-knit socks

This week’s feature DIYer: Catherine

Catherine is nature enthusiast, an avid baker, and a force to be reckon when you give her a pair of knitting needles and yarn.

quotes: all you need is tea and warm socksYou’ll often find her curled up on the couch or sitting at a table with her yarn and needles and a cup of loose leaf tea. Hand-knit socks are her latest obsession and If you’ve ever been lucky enough to own a pair, then you know how incredibly comfortable they are!

blue hand-knit socks at sock summitI never thought twice about socks until I worked at Sock Summit in Portland a couple years back. And an adorable pair of red Mary-janes and slouchy blue socks caught my eye. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to learn how to knit my own pair but have always been too intimidated by those skinny double pointed needles.

Catherine swears that knitting socks aren’t as hard as they look so she offered up a few tips that helped her when she got started.

We asked Catherine to give us some tips and advice for beginners looking to knit their first pair of socks

  • Check your gauge! Before starting, practice with the yarn and the needles by knitting a swatch to make sure you can create a nice constant stitch. You don’t want to put in all of that work for socks that don’t fit
  • If you’re using plastic or metal double pointed needles and you find that the yarn keeps slipping off, then try using bamboo needles that are a little less slippery.
  • Pick a beginner pattern to start so you don’t get discouraged. Here’s a great free beginner sock pattern from Virginia Rose-Jeanes available on Ravelry > 
  • For the adventurous beginner, socks are also great projects to try new moves like cables or fair isle
  • Try them on as you go to see if you need to make any adjustments to their fit
  • It’s important to use good durable sock yarn to make sure your socks last for a while. But if sock yarn is a little terrifying, try finding a pattern that uses worsted weight yarn and slowly move your way towards sock yarn. Whatever yarn you use though, make sure there is a bit of elasticity so that it hugs your feet.
  • Knitting your own socks is also a great opportunity to pick some really fun bright colours. Check out some of our favourite fresh hand-dyed yarns:
    ArtisticYarnbyAbi, Sundara yarn, and Folklore Yarns

tips on knitting socksIf knitting your own pair is too ambitious, you could also support a fellow knitter and pick up one of their pairs on Etsy!

Let us know if you have any other great tips for the beginner sock knitter!