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Summer Sock Knitting

August 6, 2020

Are you a sock knitter? We love knitting socks during the summer because they’re lightweight, portable projects that can travel with you everywhere you go. Just grab a skein of yarn, the right needle(s) (kollage SQUARE™ of course!) and cast on!

Today we’ll discuss a few sock knitting techniques and give you links to more resources. We’ll also include a few free pattern suggestions to get you started in your summer sock knitting!

Techniques

One of the reasons we love socks so much is because there are so many ways to knit them! You can knit one sock at a time using DPNs (double pointed needles), or use our SQUARE circular needles (or our rounded Sonix needles) to magic loop! Some knitters prefer our firm cables and others prefer our soft cables which are floppy and flexible to accommodate the looping. You can also knit socks two at a time on a single circular needle or using two, avoiding the dreaded “second sock syndrome.”

But the needle(s) you use are only the first choice in your sock knitting journey. You can knit socks toe-up (starting at the toe, working through the foot and heel and then up to the cuff) or top down (starting with the cuff and working in the reverse direction). There are tons of different heels to choose from – as you continue to knit socks and experiment with different constructions you’ll probably find one that fits you the best. You can substitute that heel into any sock you knit and you’ll even have options on toes; you can knit them wider or more rounded by varying your rates of increase/decrease. Did we mention that there are over 40,000 sock patterns on Ravelry to choose from?

Pattern Inspiration

We hope we’ve piqued your interest in knitting socks, but here’s some pattern inspiration to get you started.

  • How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson – Knitting designer Susan B. Anderson got asked how she made her socks so often that she wrote up a tutorial! Variations include instructions for fingering weight and worsted weight, and even a men’s version. This is a great first pattern that will teach you the construction of a top down, stockinette stitch sock, with a heel flap and gusset.
  • Hermione’s Every Day Socks by Erica Lueder – This sock is knit from the cuff down and features a garter stitch edged slip stitch heel. The pattern itself is written for one size, but with a 4 stitch pattern repeat, it is easily customizable to fit whatever size one desires. This pattern adds textured stitches to the mix, and is one of the most-knit patterns we’ve found!
  • The Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes – These are vanilla socks with just a tiny kick of caffeine. In a way this is a sock recipe: included are directions for knitting with 56, 64, and 72 stitches. You choose your favorite cuff ribbing, then choose between three heel flap variations, and two different toes. Socks knit in solid or semi-solid yarn are simple and elegant, yet this pattern also is perfect for a striped or highly variegated yarn! 
  • Trusty Toe Up Socks by Tanis Lavallee – Unlike the first three socks on our list, these socks are written to be knit toe up. They also include a short-row afterthought heel and work exceptionally well with those gorgeous self-striping yarns!
  • David’s Toe Up Sock Cookbook – Knit with ANY yarn you like (even handspun) using this sock “recipe.” Just take a few measurements of your foot, and knit a small gauge swatch. The pattern will lead you through a few calculations to produce the perfect fitting sock every time!
  • Monkey Socks by Cookie A – Monkey Socks are one of the most popular patterns ever to be published by Knitty, an online magazine full of gorgeous free patterns. They look complicated, but they’re just a combination of knits, purls and yarn-overs. Be careful though – they’re addictive and you may find yourself knitting multiple pairs!
  • Zigzagular Socks by Susie White – This pattern is the solution to the variegated yarn conundrum – that one where a gorgeous skein of yarn refuses to knit well in a pattern, but the thought of yet another totally stockinette sock is too monotonous to bear. This pattern is written top-down on DPNs, but is easily adaptable to be knit toe-up with one’s preferred sock knitting method, and those traveling stitches are so lovely.
  • A Little Hocus Pocus Socks by This Handmade Life – Do you love cables? Whet your appetite with these delightfully spooky socks. The instructions are for knitting the socks using the magic loop method (easily adaptable for DPNs); the cable is charted only. These would be perfect for Halloween!
  • Lyne Socks by Dawn Henderson – When you’re ready to add a few more techniques to your repertoire, we love these lacy socks by Dawn. These quick and easy ankle socks are perfect for the warmer months. They are knit from the cuff-down, beginning with a long-tail tubular cast-on, and feature a fun scalloped cuff detail. 

We hope we’ve given you some resources and inspiration to jumpstart your sock knitting. If you want to see more, we’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to sock knitting!

We’d love to see what you create – tag us on Instagram with #kollagesquareneedles or come share your projects in our Facebook group or on our website.

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