Firsts are always Fun...if not curious

I made a pair of socks. They aren't anything special, just worsted weight for warmth, Caron acrylic, sensible grey. I have put off making socks since I started knitting in 2010, but now I have overcome that hurdle. They aren't my best work, but I'm proud that I finished them both and they fit! Maybe I'll even get brave enough to use sock yarn one of these days.

I don't like the bind off that I used, but it is stretchy. If anyone knows of one that is stretchy that looks better off the foot, I'd enjoy learning it. While on, they look just fine.

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Bill's picture

They're nice...but I think you'll find knitting with a nice wool a lot more pleasant...

Tallguy's picture

I agree. I think wool really would make a world of difference in how much you enjoy the knitting. If making for your friend with the cold feet, be sure to make them of a good wool. Or alpaca or llama blended with wool. She will love them!!

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks Bill. I think you are probably correct.

AKQGuy's picture

Great work, and let the sock yarn fumes talk to you, sock yarn is your friend. I agree with Bill, a wonderful bouncy wool sock yarn is a joy to work with even though I tend to make things like shawls and scarves with it more frequently than socks.

As for a bindi off, on a tow up sock I think you would find the JSSBO or Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off a nice option. Here's a knotty. Com link

But you can also find some good you tube videos as well, one of them from Cat Bhordi. I love to use it for the top of my market bags as well.

I hope these are just the first to many more socks.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks Quinton. I know Jeny's surprising stretchy bind off. Cat Bhordis has excellent video tutorials. I have used them often and will probably use Jeny's on my next pair. I've decided to go bigger rather than smaller with yarn. I found a pattern for Warm and Cozy Socks that uses bulky yarn, so I will be able to make a pair for a wonderful friend of mine who always has cold feet. I have a ton of yarn left over from the afghan I made, so this will be a perfect chance to use some of it and deplete the stash.


thomasmc's picture

I was using Judy Staiman's "interlock bindoff" (, but it's a sewn bind off, and I found it very hard to get a consistent and stretchy gauge. And it's a real mutha' to un-sew if it isn't stretchy enough. Now I've been using the JSSBO, with much larger needles.

Thunderhorse54's picture

Very Good, you're braver than I. As of yet, I haven't attempted socks!

CLABBERS's picture

Hi Terry,
I was surprised at how easy they were actually. Of course, they are nothing fancy, but a good start. I did toe-up socks and did Judy's magic cast on. Once I got the hang of that, the pattern I used plus YouTube tutorials, the gusset and heel were easy and made sense. Well, the third time I attempted it, it made sense. Ha!
Give them a try! I used the site Knit Freedom because she offers video tutorials as well. .


thomasmc's picture

My first successful socks used the Fleagle heel, which I really liked. Now I've settled on Liat Gat's (Knit Freedom) Faux Heel Flap (, which is very similar to the Fleagle, and provides a PERFECT fit for me.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very nice first socks, Mark. By all means, try bulky socks in wool. I use that approach when I teach beginning socks - working from the top down - so people get the basics in an easy-to-see format. As it is, I use acrylic for my "everyday" socks and wool for the others that are done with "toothpicks and string" [as my friend, lynn, desribes it]. The main thing is that you enjoy youself knitting them.

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

CLABBERS's picture

I feel the same as Lynn while trying to manipulate sock yarn and such small needles. Do you use DPNs or magic loop?


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I mainly use DPNs but also do Magic Loop. The current sock is on a 24 inch size 1 KA circular. Really easy to transport and work on before going to my job.

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

thomasmc's picture

I started with 2 circs, then changed to Magic Loop. I learned DPNS (4 and 5), but just too much going on to be enjoyable. I really need a K.I.S.S. experience ;) More recently, I've switched to a 9" circ, with NO loops. It took quite a while to get used to, though. I practiced 15-20 minutes a day for about a week, just trying to figure out how to hold them. When I finally started a sock, I would knit a few inches, then realize the gauge had changed dramatically. I must have restarted that sock 15-20 times before my gauge settled down and I could knit consistently. But now It's become my favorite (and fastest) method. You don't even hold the needles, the sock does that for you. I hook the finger next to my pinkie on the top of the sock where the cable starts, on the inside of the first knuckle, and pull that finger to pull the needle left and right. My thumb and forefinger just kind of tap the needle to move it forward and back, they don't even hold the needle. My left thumb pushes that needle to move the stitch off to the right needle. Very little movement, and my hands/fingers never get tired. And it's the only method where I can knit without looking at what I'm doing.

I wasn't sure I would even be able to use the 9" circs as I have wide hands and very wide thumbs, but it turns out that isn't an issue at all. My main reason for learning is we are taking a vacation to the Netherlands next month, and I wanted to be able to have something very compact to knit on the plane. Years ago, before I started knitting, I sat next to a woman who was using Magic Loop, with a very long loop. Every time she would turn the work over, the needle would fly around the cabin striking both of us on either side, and even the people sitting in the row in front. She was a real danger. I was determined to have something that stayed entirely in my hands. And with a toe-up sock, I can even stick the ball of yarn in the toe, so I don't have to worry about it rolling around.

thomasmc's picture

I started out with worsted weight, and only when I was successful there did I go down to DK, then sport, and finally fingering weight. I wasn't sure I would even be able to use size 1 needles, as my eyesight is pretty bad, but now I even knit with size 0. I suppose if I had someone to teach me it would have been a lot easier, but I was on my own, as I don't even know anyone else who knits.

Buzzboy's picture

Great job Mark.


Tom Hart's picture

Those are so excellent, Mark. I've made only 2 or 3 single socks so far and they look like the kind of sock they're finding in the Alps as the glaciers recede. Also I used worsted so they're HUGE. But I'm determined to make a sock I like. I've got the needles, I just need to get some proper sock yarn....