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A Summer of Handmade Socks

Updated on March 14, 2015

A Baby Sock

Socks: Portable Crafts for Vacation Knitting

I enjoy knitting all year long. After a winter of making sweaters and scarves, I look forward to a summer of sock knitting. Why make socks? They are a portable project, perfect for vacations and for lazy evenings on the porch. When it's hot outside, who wants a big sweater on her lap?

Yes, socks are cheap to buy by the package in most any store. Handmade socks are superior, however, in fit, durability, and comfort. The length can be adjusted to exactly your preference. The yarn could be cotton, wool, acrylic, or a luxury fiber like cashmere. Handmade socks can be fully customized for one unique pair of feet.

One can never have too many great-fitting, handmade socks. With so many creative sock books and patterns available, including free patterns, I can have enough socks made for myself and for special gifts.

All photographs in this lens are my own, including this first picture, a baby sock made from the toe up on a circular needle.

Hand-Knit Socks

Superior Comfort and Fit

The socks pictured are made in the traditional way, from the top down with a heel flap and a grafted toe. They were knit with double-pointed needles. There are many other ways to knit socks, however, including:

  • top down on one or two circular needles;
  • toe up on double-pointed needles;
  • on a sock loom;
  • flat on two needles with a seam;
  • toe up on one or two circular needles; or
  • two at a time on circular or double-pointed needles.

Try any method you like. There are plenty of patterns for each method, so keep trying different styles or find a pattern you like and make it in many variations. I still do top-down socks most of the time because I have done them the longest and don't have to refer to the patterns very much.

Russian Grafting: Try This on Toes

Quick Worsted Socks - Great for Cold-Weather Work

Knit Work Socks

These heavy socks were made for my son when he was working in a walk-in freezer at his store. Regular little cotton athletic socks were not warm enough. Worsted weight socks are quick to make on size 4-6 American needles. These were made with regular Red Heart Super Saver 100% acrylic, available in most craft stores and big box stores.

Try making worsted socks with camouflage yarn for the hunters in your life, too. Heavy yarn and larger needles make quicker socks--good for beginning sock knitters.

Did you know you could crochet socks? - Here's How to Start

Toe of a crocheted sock
Toe of a crocheted sock

Crocheted Socks

Why should knitters have all the fun?

I am blessed to have been taught to crochet by my mother. With sock yarn and a size B hook, I made these comfy crocheted socks that fit as well as my hand-knit ones. Creative crafters have designed patterns for toe-up or top-down crocheted socks in great variety.

Do keep in mind that crocheted socks will use a bit more yarn than knitted socks of the same size. You will need no more than 2 balls of sock yarn for most patterns, more for knee-highs and larger sizes.

Crocheted socks tend to be thicker than knit socks, so consider the shoes you want to wear with your socks.

Mad Knitting Skills!

How will you make your socks?

See results

Convenient Knitting App - Technology Meets Traditional Craft

County Plus
County Plus

Keep track of heel stitches, toe decreases, and pattern stitches with just a touch of the screen. Works on Kindle Fire or other Android devices. Inexpensive and convenient!


Do you knit or crochet socks? - Tell us about it!

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    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 4 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      @julieannbrady: Thank you! I've always been thankful my mother taught me all her mad skills. I try to pass mine along as I can, too.

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      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Honestly? I have never "made" socks although if I still lived in N.E. Ohio, I might consider doing so. I would opt for crochet as that is what I learned from my grandma when I was a weee one. You have a marvelous talent my dear!

    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 4 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      @changrcoacher: If you can increase and decrease, it's just a matter of getting comfortable knitting small things on small needles in the round. Start with heavier yarn and larger needles for a first pair, as they will go faster and the stitches will be easier to see.

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      changrcoacher 4 years ago

      I have never knitted socks, always thought they were too difficult. Maybe I will give them a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 4 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      @norma-holt: Wow, you're right--I don't have any pics of my sock actually being used! Next time I take pictures for my articles, I'll be sure to get some.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      As I live in a very cold winter climate I found your lens very encouraging. I think I will make some socks for myself now. Well done. Just a thought can you show a pic of how they look on the feet and explain how long they last compared to the shop bought ones.?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice lens