Okay, thinking about checking out knitting socks, since the guys here say it's so easy. However, I'm looking for opinions and advice as to yarns, and dpns, or circs and magic loop.


Tom Hart's picture

I like the loop. But everyone's different. Some people like dpn's. Some like the loop. What's important though is what works for you. I had to try both before I knew which was easier for me. Fool around with both. See what you like...

Thunderhorse54's picture

Much gratitude Tom. I have some old baby weight yarn here that I can play with. I will keep you informed.

Yarn containing nylon such as MCN are great for socks due to the added wear required of socks. I would either use dpns or magic loop it. Also decide on if you want to knit toe up or top down. There are a couple of good tutorials on Craftsy with Donna Druchunas on knitting socks either way that may help with the technical aspects.

Don't ever get a Craftsy class without first doing a google search for Craftsy coupon codes. I did a search, but didn't find any current Craftsy coupon codes.

This class is on toe up:

This class is on cuff down:

There is another class on Craftsy, Knit Sock Workshop, but it is really designed to help people to knit two specific sock designs, and not knitting socks in general. It's at:

Robbie1991's picture

if you want a good cheap sock yarn try patons kroy sock yarn and buy at least 4 balls and i am a fan of magic loop and 2 circular needles

Thunderhorse54's picture

Thanks Robbie, that yarn should be available at my LYS. Or, I think Paton's yarns are available at Joannes Fabric and Craft. I will keep you informed.

KenInMaine's picture

My two-cents:

I prefer toe-up over cuff down. Reason being: If you're starting at the toe and working you're way up, you do your toe, foot, heel and leg and then can just stop when you run out of yarn. If you are working from the cuff down and only have so much yarn per sock, you have to calculate or guess at when to stop knitting the leg so you can start the heel and keep your fingers crossed that you'll have enough to finish the foot and toe.

As for DPNs vs Magic Loop, I've done both. I made many pairs of socks on DPNs and that method absolutely works great. I later switched over to Magic Loop and now I wouldn't go back to DPNs. With ML, you are working on half a sock at a time instead of on thirds or quarters of the sock with DPNs. Also with DPNs you are fiddling with 4 or 5 needles at once which can feel like a lot going on in your knitting work area. But, that being said, there's not much more advantage of one over the other. However, if I were going to teach someone to knit socks, I would teach them Magic Loop. I suppose it's like learning to drive a car...automatic? stick? They're both going to get you where you want to go, but you may like one method more than the other. And you won't really know until you try both! :^)

Like Robbie mentioned, the Patons Kroy FX yarn is a nice place to start. It's sturdy and made of washable wool/nylon and there are a lot of shades/variegations to choose from. The socks I just posted about for Ron, they are done in Kroy FX and were done with three balls of yarn.

I'm excited for you to get started. Let us know how you make out and post some pics of your progress!

I agree with everything. The cuff down method is the traditional method, and I think most people do go with the toe up method. In the end, they both wear the same, and the toe up has the advantage of simply stopping your sock short if you start running out of yarn. One thing worth mentioning is you can also knit two socks at the same time with two cables. I think this technique is especially good if you are working with a variegated yarn and you want both the left and right socks to match colors as you'll usually still be on the same color at the same time on both socks. This assumes the color change is not that quick with the variegated yarn.

Youtube has a video at:

Thunderhorse54's picture

Thanks Terin, I will check out that video. The majority's opinion is toe-up. I think that's where I'll start.

Thunderhorse54's picture

Well Ken, thanks for your two cents. I like the idea of toe-up, it just seems to make sense.

Bill's picture

I'm a one-at-a-time-top-down-sock-knitter....(grin)

Me, too, Bill.

ronhuber's picture

I have tried everything, and that is what I always return to.

AKQGuy's picture

I myself do two at a time cuff down in the magic loop method. It's a preference I have simply because I my basic oak for my own foot patter memorized and I know for a size 8 foot a standard ball of sock yarn will give me a full two socks with an 8 inch ribbed leg. It's just personal preference though and I am going to start a toe up pair and try the sweet tomato heel in the near future. I have a feeling I may have a new favorite sock pattern in my head

As for a good yarn, I think cascades sock yarn is lovely. It's a slightly bouncier sock yarn that is a delight to work with and for me on size 1's makes a nice padded sock. I recently used Regia sock yarn and though I think they will wear wonderfully over time it was a somewhat harsh yarn as it pulled across my fingers and left my left index finger actually sore and chapped about the base of my cuticle. But, like I said, they will wear wonderfully and the smaller gauge yarn on size 0 needle gave me a great all day wearable hand knit sock.

In other words as all things knitting, play with it all because your going to find what works for you by doing so.

Thunderhorse54's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I will give it a shot. I am however curious....Sweet Tomato Heel?

Thunderhorse54's picture

Thanks guys, so much good advice. I will keep everyone posted on my progress.

Robbie1991's picture

I agree with AKQguy I knit socks at two at a time cuff down and i found that melissa morgan oakes book two at a time socks was helpful for me when i started knitting socks

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I usually teach beginners with DPNs and thicker yarn, usually US 7s and bulky [or two strands of worsted]with house socks as the first project. This way, you learn how to do a bit of ribbing, a minimal leg, then move on to the main action - knitting and turning a heel; picking up and decreasing a gusset, then knitting a foot before working on a toe. That way, you can see how a sock comes together and you learn the tricky bits relatively fast. More importantly, you can see mistakes more readily and fix them easier.

However, using size US 4 or 5 needles with a worsted weight yarn will also serve the purpose. As would sport weight on size US 2 or 3 needles. [I use the latter for my "everyday" socks.]

For a heel and toe, I recommend starting with the very basic ones, then explore the other options until you find your favorite combination. That's how I did it, but still try new things as I find them. Same with the various methods: Magic Loop, 2 circs, etc.

Have fun with socks.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

tomanyt's picture

My two cents: Magic Loop for sure. I do love my DPNS though and that's what I usually use. The Patons Kroy FX yarn mentioned by several people is a good start.

Happy sock knitting!!!!

New York Built's picture


If you come to a strange item in the heel called a short row, or discover that this is a stumbling block for your sock adventure since several patterns call for this technique, I humbly offer this site as the most elegant, simple, easy on the eye and the brain and the hands. For your consideration...

after having taught and tried all the others, I recommend this technique.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

scottly's picture

If you like making socks once you get going, and I'm sure you will, you will eventually want to learn all available techniques. Start simple and tradional, dpns, cuff down, flap heel and make sure you learn the Kirchner stitch for finishing off the toe. Once you have a few pair of those under your belt expand and experiment. You will find patterns you like in all techniques so it's best to know them all. Whatever weight yarn you are most comfortable using would be a good start but whatever you pick make sure it is machine wash and dry, what guy wants to hand wash and flat dry his socks?! Also, socks last longer if tightly knit so if your kind of a loose knitter like I am go down a size or two with your needles. I find a worsted wt yarn knit with size 4s makes a nice usable hiking type sock that knits up pretty quickly.
Good luck and post your results.

Tallguy's picture

I think you will agree that everyone seems to have their own opinions about what is best in knitting socks! And so it is.

Whatever method works for you is the right way to do them, since knitted socks is the ultimate goal. How you get there is not important. As long as you have some pointy sticks and some string, you are okay!

I, of course, prefer doing two socks at a time, because I have second sock syndrome. I also prefer Magic Loop, because.... well, just because. I can do them on dpns, and sometimes I will switch mid-sock, because I can. I also prefer them toe-up because I hate running out of yarn, or having any left over! And I've done them cuff down many times, so I always look for something interesting. I'm working on doing them sideways now! LOL

You have already been given lots of very good advice, and can't really add to that. It is all valid. Socks are fun to do, and not too boring, since there is usually something different to do all the time. You don't have much chance to get bored with metres of plain stocking stitch! And they are small projects that you can take anywhere.

YOU may have a different approach, and that is perfectly fine too. After all, the socks are the final result, and we really don't care how you do them. If you are having a problem with one way, then try another. All's fair in love and knitting!! And you should know by now, there is no "best" in anything. There is only better -- at this point in time.

Tom Hart's picture

One more thing about the loop... If you have a long enough cord (I use 60" addis.) you can pull out as many loops as you want to. I do use the loop but most of the patterns are written for dpn's or seem to be anyway. So in order to follow the pattern more easily I pull out however many loops are called for. If the patten is for 3 or 4 dpns it doesn't matter. You can mimic that with the loop by just pulling out the appropriate number of loops and Bob's your uncle, as they say.