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Knitted Socks

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Talk to me about knitted socks please. I know many of y'all make them, and have said how great they are. I've never had any. Yesterday I got a sock loom (I loom knit, I've not learned needles) and sock yarn. It was kind of an impulse buy. The cashier even told me how great knitted socks are.

So not counting the loom, the yarn was about $5 a ball, and the loom instructions said 2 balls. (there was a sale so I paid a little less) $10/pair for socks? And lots of hours. Wonder if maybe I'll have some left, so that a 3rd ball could complete a second pair? ( yes I know that depends on my knitting and the pattern) Sounds like a lot of work and expense.

What is going to be so great about these socks? Are they warmer, softer, thicker, squishy-er than store bought socks? I bought super fine 75% washable wool. Will these be cozy socks to wear around the house in the winter? Can I wear them with shoes? What about other times of year?  I would love if I could wear them with tennis shoes or boots.

Once I get used to making them, will they go fairly fast? Or do they always take *for-ever*? I can knit a hat with 48 stitches per row (which is what I'm doing for these socks) in a little over an hour. Baby cocoons about 8-10 hours. A sock I imagine would be between that maybe? Once I learn the whole heel/toe thing and get used to the new loom. Sound reasonable?

Thanks! :)

 

 

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Good luck Tracy, I have no clue! LOL!

They sound fantastic, can you make a knit cap as well??? I wish I would have asked my grandmother to teach me how to knit.

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Thanks Carrie! Yes, I have made several hats, including a couple cable knit hats that were time consuming, but turned out good. I have also made scarves, baby cocoons and leg warmers. I made a pair of slipper sicks once, but I'm not sure I loved them. I made a couple small baby blankets, but neither were great. I have some bigger looms now, and I'm going to try a bigger blanket soon.

I've never known anyone that knitted, and I've never seen it done. I use a loom instead of needles, and while that limits a lot of what can be done, there's still lots of possibilities. It was really easy to learn. The site I used was http://www.loomahat.com/ if you're interested.

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Never knew of sock looms, raised by a mum who knitted pieces to show in a shop window so got knatting by age 4-5 something, Love the feeling of knatting but rarley do these days. I do however LOVE the knitted socks, especially in late fall/winter when the floors are getting a bit cold. Mum used four double endes needles for the socks and it always amaze me seeing her knitting. Those needles just race so to speak :) Hope someone else can help out with advice on how to approach it though, and Please share pics 

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I have never heard of a sock loom, but I have knit many socks by hand.  I actually love knitting socks, as they go fairly quickly (not as quick as a hat, but not nearly as long as a sweater).  When you're knitting by hand, you're also knitting in the round.  So unless you're doing a fancy pattern, it's all knit, no purl (which I like).  Also, once you get the basics down, you can start to make up your own patterns, which is fun. You said the yarn you're using is 75% wool.  Is the other 25% nylon?  Having some nylon in a sock wool helps the socks to last longer.  Some people also use an additional nylon thread when knitting the heel.  They will likely be thicker than some store bought socks, but, yes, you can wear them with shoes.  If they're wool, I'm not sure about summer wear (although here in the summer they'd be fine).  Definitely you could wear them with boots; tennis shoes, too, although I wouldn't exercise in them.  Do you know what kind of heel you'll be doing?  I always did a Dutch heel (with gusset), but I don't know how sock looms work.

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Thank you! That is helpful info. I really just want to know that this is going to be worth it in the end. Once I get one sock down, that should make it easier to do the other. Right now it just seems so daunting!

Yes, the other 25% is nylon.  Right now I'm about 2/3 through the cuff, which is alternating purls, and I am so looking forward to the part with only knits!! I also have never used yarn this thin, so that has been an adjustment. I'm not sure about the type of heel... Right now I'm just following the instructions that came with the loom. I figured once I did those once, I could start looking up more things. But it does knit in the flat for a bit, and reduce then go back, with the ends attaching. I am SO hoping once I get to that part it makes more sense than it does just reading it!

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When I use sock yarn I cast on 60 stitches (20 per needle when using four needles, 15 per needle when using 5) and #3 needles.  When you're knitting the back flap for the heel you put the rest of the stitches on a holder and knit the flap in stockinette (knit the right side rows and purl the inside rows) until you shape the heels; pick up the stitches along the side of the flap and knit them with the needle holding the heel stitches.  Then you pick the stitches off the holder and knit them, pick up and knit the stitches along the other side of the flap; and then you decrease every other row to shape the heel gussets.  Every pair of socks I buy seems to have elastic in the cuffs which at my age & heart condition I do NOT need.  My hiking socks don't seem to have such tight elastic, but ordinary socks make my legs swell above the cuffs, and my handknit socks don't; plus they are more comfy and toasty.  I may not wear shoes in the house, but I have to have on socks!

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Yep.  That's a Dutch heel.  I guess you do have to purl a little bit when doing the heel flap and the ribbing, but compared to most projects, it's very little!  :)  I used to do  an inch or so of ribbing at the top of the sock.  Then I could do something a little fancy on the rest of the leg, like a strip of gull-wing stitch down either side.

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I think the sock loom makes tube socks, so no heel gussets (which are very comfy & worth the extra work, IMO); Tracy, is that so?  I can usually get a pair of ankle socks out of a skein of sock yarn.

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28 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I think the sock loom makes tube socks, so no heel gussets (which are very comfy & worth the extra work, IMO); Tracy, is that so?  I can usually get a pair of ankle socks out of a skein of sock yarn.

Socks made on a loom are not tube socks. See enlightening video here.

I share Holly's loathing of elastic-topped socks. I clip the elastic in places which solves the constriction problem but make for sloppy looking socks. I'm tempted to try to make my own on a sock loom, as I like heavier socks, especially in winter. It appears to me to be not much more complicated than making spool looms with an empty thread spool and 4 nails. I can recall making miles of "knitted" tubing as a kid. :) 

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My loom came with instructions on making a heel by knitting flat and attaching, and also says to follow the same steps to make the toe and then flip it over and sew. So it's not a tube sock.  This special sock loom is also a smaller gauge than the ones I use for hats and blankets, and adjustable for different sizes. 

Interesting about elastic in the socks. A lot of my socks seem to squeeze my legs really tight and hurt my ankles, which I thought was odd, because Holly and Kathie y'all know I do not have large ankles!! But now that I think about it, my more wool-like socks don't do that, and I'm thinking they just have a smaller cuff and not much elastic. So this may end up turning out great for me! These instructions have me do about 1 1/2" cuff then the rest straight. I'm keeping a journal of how I make them and I'll make notes as I wear them, so I can adjust accordingly. 

If anyone is keeping up with my progress, I've worked on it the last 3 evenings, and tonight I should finish up that cuff. Then it's just plain knitting until the heel, so that should go faster. Last night was already going faster as I was getting used to the smaller yarn and gauge, and the new sharper tool I bought.

I'm excited to see how they turn out! Hopefully I'll have them ready for the cooler weather (being in the south I still have some time!!).

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Kathie, thanks for the video! I'll watch that in little bit. I haven't gotten around to looking for videos yet, figured I'd try it first with written instructions. But I'm sure I will need a video when I get to the heel. 

Looking at the screen cap, it looks like they used regular yarn and a larger gauge loom. If you do decide to get one, look up sock loom. I got mine at Michael's with a coupon, but Walmart I know also has them.

http://www.michaels.com/loops-and-threads-knit-quick-sock-loom/10227907.html#q=sock+loom&start=1

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Watched the video... Aha!! I get it now. And they showed a nifty way of sewing up the toe that I don't think my loom instructions use. That doesn't look too bad, I think I can do it!

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The last time I saw a sock loom it looked like it would make tube socks, which is why I struggled with all those double-pointed needles instead; I'm glad that they make heels.  The hiking socks are mostly or all morino wool, so the ribbing doesn't need elastic.  Kathie, sock yarn is definitely larger denier than most commercial socks.  When I get to the part of sewing the toes I just bind the two halves off together and slip the end of the yarn back through the last loop and use a crochet hook to thread it through the purl stitches to get it out of the way; no seam (yeah!) and NO KNOT!

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I knit all the time and socks are one of my personal favorites but I am not familiar with a sock loom. I knit toe up and toe down. I like toe up best as if I am unsure of how much wool I have I can make them as long or short as I like so  it is a good method when you have leftovers. My absolutely favorite socks are the ones using self patterning yarns.It always amazes me how they come out. Pictured is one of the sock yarns from Cascade. The pattern creates all by itself.

As I live a long drive from any place to buy good wool I buy all mine in the UK. The price is good, the selection is great and the postage is very cheap. I can have 2kg of wool sent for a flat fee of about  $6 US, that wouldn't even pay my gas to my nearest shop.

To see other sock yarns go to Wool Warehouse in the UK and tap in sock wool, it is amazing how the patterned wool works.

I am sorry I can't help with your loom, it sounds fascinating actually,but could help you with any regular knitting. I knit a great many shawls and do quite a lot of miniature knitting.

Good luck

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Thanks Jeannine! That patterned wool is cool! If I make it through this pair and still have any patience, I'll look out for something like that.  The yarn I have now is variegated, so it's got some transition in color, but nothing as neat as what you posted. 

I've been using looms for over 3 years to make things, so I'm good there. And I understand the concept behind the heel now too. Having never been around anyone that makes anything, that was all new.

Really I'm just curious on what is so special about knitted socks, and if it's worth the time and expense. I'm excited to see how they turn out.

As far as my progress, I am at about 4" so far. At 6 1/2" I will start the heel. I wasn't able to work on it for 4 days last week, because my grandson was visiting my mom's house. But I'm making good progress now.

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There is something very comforting about home made socks. My husband loved his and I spent a lifetime indulging him.It was later when I started making them for me.I found once I fiddled with a pattern for size and kept a record of it I could get socks to fit me.

When you use the loom does it allow for working with different wool weights? I have no idea and am guessing but would presume it limits you in some way. There are some really good books on learning to knit out there so maybe you can transition to them later on if you find the loom restrictive.

Hand made pure wool socks are expensive so for cost it is worth it. The time ?? Well  , I am working on something all the time so for me when I have to do something  sitting in my recliner which is the time I cannot stand or cannot sit on an office chair I turn to my knitting.

I like to knit in very fine wools most of the time,I don't like heavy wool for anything ,in fact the heaviest I do knit is probably sock wool. In the UK it would be called a 3 ply or the slightly thicker 4 ply,which is still quite fine, in the US it would be considered a 1 or a 2 gauge.

Have fun with your knitting, I wish you speed and joy with the socks XX Jeannine

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Thanks Jeannine! I'm pretty excited to see how they turn out. Hoping they are comfy. I love socks, so this could be really fun if I like them. I've never seen or had hand made socks, so I'm not sure what to expect. I got a little scared last week after talking to a couple people. MIL said someone made her socks one time, and she was so excited, but ended up hating them. They didn't fit, she had to wear insoles with them, and they just weren't comfortable. And then my co-worker said she knows someone that has made her a few pairs, and she also doesn't care for them.  She said they are too hot. So that kind of discouraged me.

I'm keeping a journal of how I make these, so I can make adjustments. Like I have already decided next pair I will make a shorter cuff. This yarn says Super Fine, and is weight 1. It is 4 ply. I'll look for some thinner. That might be better for the weather here.

The loom will accommodate any weight yarn. Well, the big super chunky, no, but most normal. I have larger gauge looms for projects with higher weight yarn. It's not a machine or anything, it's just a board with pins in it that you wrap yarn around. I have several in different sizes and shapes, and have made a bunch of different things with them. Here's a link to the product page so you can get an idea of what it's like. They're actually pretty neat.  http://www.michaels.com/loops-and-threads-knit-quick-sock-loom/10227907.html#q=sock+loom&start=1

I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'm going on a short trip next week, so I plan to work on it during the car trip, to keep me distracted while we drive. So hopefully sometime next week I'll have a completed sock!

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I love mine, but my feet get cold so I wear something on my feet all the time when I'm awake.  I guess it's old age; even when the rest of me feels the heat, my feet don't.

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I am a member  of the cold foot club too, especially if I wear shoes.If I wear my Birkies my feet seem better, weird but true. My cold extends to half way up me calf too.

4 ply if a 1 is good for socks. I find the US way of measuring wool weight iffy and it doesn't go down fine enough.

I think the yarn some folks use may be why they don't like them. It has to be lambs wool , cashmere or silk, anything made  polyester or acrylic does not make comfy socks  although a bit of nylon seems acceptable.

Just to add, if socks are made on large needles I find them poor so I like fine wool and small needles so it gives a good knitted fabric.

I make my daughters Scottish kilt socks and they have to be made with good gauge  to get the design to work well.

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If I find that I am able to complete an acceptable pair of socks, then I will definitely look into finding thinner yarn. This that I'm using is 75% "washable wool" and 25% nylon. It feels very soft in skein form, but of course isn't as much once the texture of knitting is added. But I think it will still be good.

I took a break last night. But I'm hoping maybe tomorrow I can start on the heel. 20 more rows (if my calculations are correct) until I start that. 

 

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Well I got the heel done last night.  As I was working in the reducing, I was thinking, oh this isn't bad at all. But then when it came to the stitch that started the switch back up, I messed that up. Didn't help that husband was watching a loud movie, and the big major battle towards the end happened at exactly that time, and I couldn't concentrate and figure out what I was doing. Sadness. The rest went mostly okay after that, but I had to kinda fudge at the end since my stitches were off (because of the mess up at the switch). So now I'm trying to decide if I want to try and fix that hole when it's all done. Or just give up on socks and work on blankets.

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