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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Basics for Crocheting Socks! and GIVEAWAY



Thank you Ellen for allowing me to do a guess post on your blog!  Socks are a passion of mine, and I am thrilled to share a bit about them with everyone.

I, like most crocheters, was really intimidated by socks.  Knitters seemed to make them by the dozens, but there weren’t many patterns for crocheters out there that could actually be called socks.  Most were made with sport or worsted weight yarns and, in my humble opinion, they looked like slippers more than socks.
A few years ago, while looking through a box of items from my grandmother, I found the sock pattern that she used to knit for the family.  I decided I needed to make that pattern because it was hers.  Once I knitted it up, I knew I could translate it to crochet!  My very first sock pattern, Toe-Up Socks (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/toe-up-socks-5) was created from the techniques I discovered in Grandma Bessie’s pattern.
Working with Grandma’s pattern, and creating my own, I realized several things I would like to share with all of you. I am hoping these ideas will not only turn you on to crocheting socks, but give you some tips to help make your socks turn out flawlessly.

1.       Select the right yarn.  This is really important.  Most crocheters don’t like the “sock” patterns out there because they are too thick and won’t fit in their shoes! So first, head off to the actual sock yarn section of your local yarn shop or box store.  The preferred weight is the #1 (Super Fine) or #2 (Fine).  Also make sure you select a yarn with some stretch.  Wools, acrylics are the most elastic.  If you must have cotton or silk, both of which have little to no elasticity, make sure they are blended with a wool or acrylic so that you have enough stretch.

2.       Sizing is important. The best place to measure your foot is around the widest part of your foot. (usually the ball of the foot) The way my patterns are written, the heel takes into consideration how the ankle is formed. The gusset in the case of a heel flap, or the way I do the short row heel will give you more room to get the foot into a sock if needed.

3.       Start simple! In the book, the first pattern is a cuff down sock with a heel flap.  I used #3 Light Weight Yarn on purpose because it is larger yarn and a larger hook. If you never made a sock before, start with that one. It is a basic recipe for a sock that will help you really understand what goes on in the construction of a sock. The best part is that the sock will still fit in your shoes!
4.       Don’t be afraid of the smaller weights of yarn. Many crocheters stay away from socks because they don’t want to work with thinner, lighter weight yarns.  Don’t be afraid!  To make socks you are actually using a bit larger of a hook that you would normally with that yarn. Definitely larger than what the label says too!  This does two things: 1) your stitches are larger so you can see them, and 2) it makes the crochet stitches less dense so you have drape and elasticity in your fabric.

5.       If you struggle at first, switch to a heavier weight yarn. When I teach sock classes, many people struggle because they have never used sock yarn before, and they have a hard time seeing the stitches. This is especially true when starting from the toe-up. What I have them do is take out worsted weight yarn and a Size I (5.5 mm) hook.  Then I have them work the pattern in that yarn first.  If you find you are struggling too, try this tip!  Once you know what you are looking for, going down to the sock yarn and smaller hook will be a snap!
I hope that the five tips above will help motivate you to try your hand at crocheting socks.  And if you do, let me know about it!  I would love to see photos of what you have created with my patterns or even what you might have done on your own!  Drop me a note on my website at http://www.krwkntwear.com
Happy Sock Making!

Karen generously gave me a copy of her book to GIVEAWAY.  Leave a comment for us here on this post with your first name and last initial plus your city before 11:00 pm EST on Wednesday night.  I'll randomly select a winner.  I'll announce the winner in Thursday's post.  The winner will need to email me at Ellen at sign GoCrochet dot com  with the mailing address. Thanks, Karen!

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been crocheting for a while, and like you, I have avoided socks for the same reasons. Now that I have some good tips, I'd like to give it a try! Thanks for the info.

Shannon S., US Navy Base, Yokosuka, Japan.

Richard Rose said...

With all the things that I have crocheted, I have never even thought of making socks. I might just give it a go, if I can find the right pattern.

SandieP said...

I am one who doesn't do socks. I don't mind working with sock yarn - in fact I made a hat with it recently. I think one problem I have is that I don't care for working in rounds in sc but I've always wanted to make socks. I did make ONE sock out of worsted weight yarn in a "flat" pattern. It fits, but is as you said more a slipper than a sock and I never completed its mate.

Betty Jean said...

I love to crochet, but have been hesitant to try socks. This book would be just the ticket to get me started. My fingers are crossed!

Tez said...

I just recently bought some actual sock yarn to make a REAL pair of crocheted socks. I tried it out using worsted weight, gave them away as slipper socks and now I'm ready for the real deal! The book would be an amazing help!

gill said...

I've never tried socks! perhaps I should!

gill w UK

Heather said...

I'd love to be entered into your contest. I've wanted to try socks, but never found the right pattern. Thanks! Heather P. (Southwestern, OH)

April Garwood said...

I would love to have this book as I have wanted to crochet socks but have yet to find a pattern I thought would work well. April G. from Edmond, OK.

Ivon said...

It's great that we are seeing crocheted socks designed so professionally. I can't wait to learn these new crochet skills.

Ivon G., Sherwood, AR

Anonymous said...

I have tried to make socks before, but they always turn out looking like Elf socks! I'll have to try this.

Stefani F, Wyoming

60eb4132-441a-11e0-a958-000bcdcb471e said...

Hmmm! This makes it sounds like socks are do-able. I might just have to give it a go!

Cherie S. said...

Love this! I've never attempted crochet socks before but now I want to try! :)

Cherie S. West Hartford, CT
cherie(dot)searles(at)gmail(dot)com

Kiwibirder said...

I would absolutely LOVE to learn how to crochet socks! The book sounds great. Thanks!

Kelly P.
Pittsburgh, PA

LuAnne Keller said...

I have tried socks but like you said they are more like slippers than socks. I am going to try again because I love the colors and the look of knitted socks. I would love to be able to crochet them. Thanks for the tips!

weavinfool said...

I've knitted a bunch of socks, but never crocheted them. This sounds interesting and I'd like to try it.


Lindsey C. , Penn Valley, CA

Anonymous said...

While I have knitted four pairs of socks, I have never crocheted any, thinking they look too bulky. This book would be just the inspiration I need! Janet K, Hoisington, KS

bnnybee said...

Yes, I've been wanting to crochet socks. I do better at crocheting than knitting. This would be fantastic!

Cathy R said...

I live to crochet and is considering picking up knitting again to make some socks for my daughters. Winning this book would be a dream come true. I can crochet in my sleep and would love to find a pattern to crochet instead.
Thanks so much for a wonderful giveaway!
Cathy R

Anonymous said...

I would love to try making socks, please enter me to win this. Thank you.

Carol A. from Minnesota

fracksmom said...

i would love to learn how to crochet socks. i think they would be faster than knitting them. Thanks for letting me know there are patterns.

Marolee S. Whittier, CA

aka Fracksmom

Margie said...

Margie H.
Lansdowne, PA

I was just looking at sock patterns last night. I have a size five foot, and it is so difficult to find socks that fit. I want to make them myself so that I can have the perfect fit! Thanks for the tips (even if I don't win)!

Shirley Drury said...

Crochet is so much quicker than knitting, so if I can crochet socks it would make me a happy camper!

alltheshinythings said...

I'm starting my 3rd try at socks. The other two, not so great.... I think I'll go through all your hints and make sure I'm off to a good start before I begin row 3!

Andi T

Stitch 'n Frog said...

I started crocheting socks last year and love it. I have not gotten below a "3" yarn yet, but have decided that I really have to give the "2" yarn a try next.

Thanks for the tips! And thanks for the giveaway of your book! It will be a great help to any of us who wins it!

Karen said...

I am thrilled that all of you are actually thinking about making socks!

Definitely keep in touch with me and don't hesitate to ask any questions.

I know how hesitant a lot of people can be! I welcome any questions! And I wish I could give away a book to all of you!

John and Sandy Locke said...

I've been scared to make a pair of socks. I even made a New Year's Resolution to make a pair of socks, but so far I haven't done it.

Char said...

My first fiber love is crochet. To be able to crochet socks would be excellent! Thanks for the tips!

Charlotte S., Snohomish, WA

Veronica said...

I really enjoyed this article. It made me really consider buying thinner yarn, because I'm one of those who don't care much for it. But I just might! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. :^)

Kimberly R. said...

I would love to try socks :)
Please enter me - Thanks!
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

John & Judy said...

The great looking yarn for socks has been the reason I keep thinking about learning to knit, but I have so many crochet projects going I have never started to learn to knit.

Judy M, Eaton, Ohio

melbatoast68 said...

I tried socks once and they looked like slippers. They are worn around the house as such. Will have to look into this book.

Kristy R said...

I have crocheted socks before and love them but they always come out a little too big. would love the book to help me with measurements and fitting them.

gtogirl1970 said...

I really want to get the ball rolling on crocheting socks. Hopefully this will help!

h00ker said...

I have the yarn all I need is a good pattern.

70917c9e-443a-11e0-9ea1-000bcdcb2996 said...

Tori M. Midlothian, VA
I am crocheting my first pair of socks. Slow going though, such a small needle and fine yarn. My lucky number is 4. I would love to win this book. thanks!

70917c9e-443a-11e0-9ea1-000bcdcb2996 said...

I have just started crocheting my first pair of socks. Slow going with such a small needle and fine yarn. I would love to win this book.
Tori M., Midlothian, VA

ShellieD2355 said...

I've just bought 3 skeins of Sock Yarn with the hopes of learning to make socks. Then I chickened out. I'm dying to crochet socks -- now I need a foolproof pattern to learn!

Karla M said...

I love wearing my crocheted socks. I usually do toe-up, I have never tried cuff-down.

Karla M. San Diego, CA

Camilla Lawson said...

I have struggled crocheting socks but I will try again with the larger yarn

Alia said...

I've made other things with sock yarn, but no socks yet. The book looks like a great way to start.

Margaret D, Denver, CO

Jenna Z said...

Oh, fun! I have a pattern for corchet baby socks but no adult-sized patterns!
Jenna Z
Champaign, IL

Cindy Fearon, RYT/LMT said...

I love socks and have been wanting to try my hand at crocheting a pair for a while. Thanks for the tips - I feel like maybe I could do it now.

mdmpls said...

Great tips - thank you! I have just started to make more clothing items in my crochet work and would love to try socks!

ArtPride Admin said...

Great tips! Never tried toe up before, so there's always a first time!

divacrafter said...

Even if I don't win the giveaway, I now have a book to add to my library! Thanks for the good tips; now I feel I can try socks.

divacrafter said...

Even if I don't win the giveaway, I now have a book to add to my library! Thanks for the good tips; now I feel I can try socks.
Shirley H, Suisun City, CA

carmelvineyard said...

I love sock yarn. So far I've made fingerless gloves, a couple scarves, and a tank top sweater out of it! ;) Someday I really am going to make socks, I swear... after all I really want to wear some. :)

-Carmel J. from Newnan, GA

Vivian said...

Reading Karen's tips makes me think that even I could crochet socks! I see how committed some knitters are to making socks and wonder if I'd be, too, if I tried. It sounds like Karen's book is just the ticket!

Viv, Cedar Falls

SimchasJewels said...

I've been wanting to try socks! I've also been eyeing this book.

Helen A. Montana

Cosima Ybarra said...

This is a great give-away! Thank you for making it possible

Anonymous said...

Socks for the family is on my bucket list. Been searching for the right pattern so ready set crochet 2011.
Elaine. Frederick IL

Jackie Watson said...

I made some little bags recently with sock weight yarn and loved the way they looked. Making socks would be great!

Tina said...

I was lucky enough to have my first corchet sock experience by taking a class with Karen. I think I would have quit otherwise.

Tina P
Kenmore, WA

Anna Bananas said...

I have tried crocheted socks but no luck enjoying them - this makes me want to try them again! Thanks!!
Anna H - Lebanon, Ohio

SandieP said...

I just realized I didn't leave the correct info on my other post. I've also been inspired to find that other sock I made! LOL That led to cleaning out my plastic bin. I've been rolling yarn and gathering up UFOs all morning. :)
SandieP I am in St. Charles Parish, LA

Kim said...

I've tried to crochet socks before but I've always ended up frogging them because they didn't fit properly. I would love to get some useful tips and patterns!

Kim T.
Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Crochet Friends of Stamford said...

I have thought many times about trying knitting (again) just to be able to make some yoga socks. Thanks for inspiring me to give it a go with crochet!
Haley Madison, CT

Melody said...

I learn to crochet a few years ago.

MelodyJ, Richmond

melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I am very eager for this book. I have tried to crochet socks before, with no success, but I really want to! Thanks for your book!
Susie M., Garland, TX

Lee said...

This book looks wonderful! I have benn wanting to make some socks.