Assorted Techniques

Here's a bunch of links to my blog posts covering a variety of sock-knitting techniques. Periodic blogs appearing on the HOME page get filed here.

These are not step-by-step instructions on sock-knitting. I'm assuming you already know how to knit socks, but are looking to improve your skills.

The biggest improvement to my sock knitting was when I switched to knitting two socks at once. I am, it turns out, horribly prone to single sock syndrome, so this really helped me actually finish socks! Also, knitting two at once ensures that the socks are as identical as you can make 'em, which really neatens things up. But, of course, identical doesn't mean they have to have the same pattern or colour scheme! Just that the sizing will be the same...

Miscellaneous techniques

How to make center-pull balls: links to instructions. Essential for 2-at-a-time sock knitting, because you'll need 2 balls!

Continental knitting: there are lots of YouTube video demonstrations, websites with instructions, etc. But here is how I do it - I seem to wrap the yarn a bit differently from most, and I also appear to use my fingers less that other knitters.

Reinforcing socks: some thoughts about reinforcing sock heels and toes. Another post on same topic.

Reinforcing the heel cap: using a "dutch" or square heel, here's how to carry on the slipped-stitch pattern from the back of the heel to the bottom, or "cap", of the heel.

Selvedge Treatments: for flap-style heels, this makes a nice even chain up both sides of the flap so picking up the stitches is easy. Includes a tip on how to get the edges the same on both sides.

Fixing the Toe by Reknitting it: if you hate darning, like I do, then another option is to rip-and-reknit. Here's how.

Darning!! A nasty-but-necessary skill.

Stripey Socks: links to 3 skills - jogless stripes, removing icky dots, and working in the ends as you go - that improve the look of stripey, ribbed socks (use your wool scraps!!).

Self-striping wool: design ideas and another post on controlling pooling.

Using Slow-Striping wool: yarns like Noro, Schoppel Zauberball, Kauni Effect, etc. have very slow and non-repeating colour changes that demand a little different approach. Some ideas.

Stop Tangles: best tip ever for eliminating the windy mess of yarn when doing colourwork on 2-at-a-time socks/mitts/gloves...

Personalize socks: knit your name into them! Here's a simple alphabet.

Sock Sizing: conversion charts for shoe size (EU and NA) to foot length. Then here's a post about using a paper template to get correct heel placement.

Picot cast-on and Bind-off: nice and loose for both ends.

Matching cast-on/bind-off: knit-on cast on and russian lace bind-off.

Decorative Edges: links to braided cast-on, Latvian Braid, Latvian Twist, and how to do fringes!

Knitting On: how to knit onto an existing work (joining strips of knitting as-you-go, without sewing them together).

Inserting elastic into sock they don't fall down.

basic sock construction

Toe-up? Top-down? Flat? : some thoughts about and links to creative construction techniques.

Moving stitches around: fancy designs sometimes require you to move the "beginning of row" sts around. On two-at-a-time socks, this can be quite hard!

Hiding holes in short-rowing: making short-row heels is quite popular. Here are FOUR techniques for hiding holes! If you don't like the popular wrap-n-turn, there are alternatives!

Shaping for short-row heels/toes: where and when you short-row affects the shape of your heel. This post gives a short analysis of the standard construction technique and then a couple of variations, including the yoyo or boomerang heel and a shape based on successive wedges (can't be used as a toe).

Short-row heels: assorted recipes demonstrating the techniques outlined in the 2 blogposts above.
Improving the fit on short-row heels: I find the standard short-row heel too tight over my instep. Here are some thoughts on how to fix this (there are several alternatives suggested). But here's a better way!

Improving afterthought heels: for top-down or toe-up designs...links on how to knit an afterthought heel, as well as my slight improvements and some ideas on how to get the instep to fit a bit better. I've worked out a "padded" variant as well.

Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heels - done Afterthought Style: this accomodates using only 1/2 the sock stitches for the heel - which simplifies knitting them two at a time, and also simplifies designing stitch patterns. It does involve more grafting than be warned!

I've also worked out a simple variation of the STH that doesn't require using the standard 2/3 of the stitch count for the heel. Call it the "Sweet Tomato Hybrid". Works in both directions.

The asymmetric wedge toe: top-down or toe-up.

top-down, 2-at-a-time techniques

These techniques require the use of either 2 circular needles, or one big one for "magic loop" knitting. Here's a tutorial on magic loop. And here's one for using 2 circulars.

Casting On for top-down, 2-at-a-time socks: this is tricky, but with the aid of a helper needle it's a little easier. Shown with magic loop, but same technique for 2 circs.

Ribbing thoughts: it's hard to move stitches around once you're doing 2-at-a-time, so put a little thought into it...

Flaps for 2-at-a-time, top-down socks: how to pick up the stitches along the flaps, when you've got two socks on the go simultaneously. Illustrated with magic loop, but the same applies to 2-circs.

toe-up, 2-at-a-time techniques

These tips are meant for 2-circs or magic loop. Toe-up is surprisingly easy; if you've not tried it, by all means, do so!

Cast-on techniques: links to 3 popular cast-ons for toe-up socks (or top-down mittens)...

Here's how to knit toe-up flap-style heels, and here's how to knit toe-up "fleegle" or "handkerchief" heels (a slight variant of the flap heel).