Sock Survey

So I am almost done with my second pair of socks (so that means I am on #4), and I wanted peoples opinions on the whole knitting sock thing.

1 - one at a time or two at a time?
2 - Toe up or cuff down?
3 - cuff - ribbing, 1X1, 2X2, something else?
4 - cuff vs leg - same number of stitches or different?
5 - heel - short row or something else?
6 - if short row - what is your technique? I don't like how I do my short row so I am looking for new ideas.

My answers are
One at a time (although I am tempted to try 2), cuff down, I have done 1X1 and 2X2 ribbing but I think I like the 1X1 better. My cuff and my leg are the same number of stitches on 3 of the 4 socks. I can't tell which one is different, so why bother. As I said above, I do a short row. I turn the work one stitch before the end 10 times on each side for a total of 20 stitches. Then for the increase, I knit the last working one with the first skipped one together (to close the gap) and then pick up a stitch to get back the stitch I just lost (I don't like the whole pick up stitch part). I also seem to get some small holes at the point where I join the short row heel back with the other needle and go back to working both sides.


Thor's picture

Having unsuccessfully done several Adult socks... but most successfully at kid socks... I am "successful" doing then one at a time. My two at a time on two circs has been laughable (mostly my attempt at understanding guage!) I have knitted the kiddie socks on DPNs and 2Circs. I am quite sure that once my aversion to correctly adding and subtacting, multiplying and dividing has passed - adult socks will be just as successful. Personally, I do not want to "specialize" in any one particular method of sock knitting. So many patterns! So many wonderful stitches. I want to try them all.

crmartin's picture

I do one at a time on 9" circulars.
Prefer toe up
Ribbing depends on the pattern
Cuff and leg same size.
Prefer short row heels, but it depends on the pattern.
I like this basic sock pattern:


Nashrunner's picture

I am a one-at-a-time guy, top down, same number of stitches in the ribbing as the leg but often change needle size so the ribbing might appear smaller. As for the heel, I have tried the deal where you drop off half the stitches, continue knitting down the top of the foot, make a new, provisional cast on for the missing 1/2 of the stitches, continue to the toe, etc. When I went back to pick up the stitches and knit in the heel, I had "holes" in each corner where the heel met the body of the sock, and these heels always seemed too pointy. I have had better, more consistent result with knitting down the flap, making short rows, picking up along the sides, etc. Seems to be pretty consistent if somewhat primitive looking. Hope this is the information you're looking for.

Stan Stansbury's picture

1. Two at a time. That way when I'm done, I'm actually done. I hate going back and doing it all over again. Plus I never can manage to do it *exactly* the same a second time. I get real fussy when things don't match.
2. Toe up. I always worry about running out of yarn, and toe up gives me better control of that I think.
3. 2x2, because for me it pulls in more strongly than 1x1, and therefore stays up better.
4. Depends, if I used a pattern that didn't pull in strongly, I might decrease as the cuff to get more staying power.
5. Heel flap. Additional thickness at the heel seems to make the socks last longer for me, plus I've got high arches and the heel flap method seems to fit me better.

QueerJoe's picture

1 - always one at a time
2 - Usually toe up so I can maximize yarn and length of cuff
3 - cuff - ribbing - 1x1, 1x2, 2x2 and other pattern stitches
4 - cuff vs leg - same number of stitches
5 - heel - a modified short row that I first saw described here:

The Andersson Heel is shaped like a gusset/flap combination, but uses increases and short-rows without having to pick up stitches. It's only described for toe-up socks, but it could be figured out on a cuff-down I'm sure.

albert's picture

What bindoff do you guys use?

QueerJoe's picture

On toe-up, I use Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Cast off as described here:

sonics's picture

God god I can only handle one at a time. I hope to progress to this 2 at a time sock thing!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

1) Top down. 2) 2x2 rib for a snug fit. 3 & 4) Usually 8 sts less, increasing front and back into a knit stitch at regular intervals on the next to last ribbing row. I then knit, purl around on the last ribbing row, purling the 3rd stitch where needed. That establishes my leg count. 5) Heel flap. Turning varies depending on the type of heel its made for (narrow or wide) although I learned a heel from an old German knitting book that is becoming a favorite. Same with the toe decreasing. BTW - To avoid the gaps or loose stitch when rejoining the sole and instep, I usually pick up an extra stitch into the stitch that's right there at the join, making it my first decrease on the gusset. I also twist the first and last stitches on the instep part to tighten things up. - Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

TheKnittingMill's picture

1. One at a time.
2. Cuff down
3. 2X2 ribbing.
4. Same stitch count on cuff and leg
5. k1, sl1 heel flap

“Now, let us all take a deep breath and
forge on into the future;
knitting at the ready.” -- E. Zimmerman