My Top 10 Tips for Knit Socks

The Poudre Knit Socks are perfect for fall knitting and wearing.
Poudre Socks by Ann Budd. Get the kit!

Knit socks might seem simple (after you’ve knit your first few pairs, that is), but there are certain techniques that take them up a notch.

I’m a big fan of tips and tricks, and there are lots of them for knitting socks, but I have gathered my 10 best here, because I love you.

1. To keep track of the washing requirements on hand knit socks, I put in a row or two of color coded yarn in the toes. Red = hand wash, line dry, yellow= machine wash, line dry, and green = machine wash and dry. This is easy to remember. I include the instructions when I knit gift socks. —djbseb, Knitting Daily Reader

2. Gusset stitches too loose? Twist every picked-up stitch on the first round of knitting.

3. For a nice, dense sock that will last longer, knit the foot portion of the sock on a needle one size smaller than the pattern calls for.

4. Turn knit socks inside-out when washing. That way the inside of the sock gets a fuzzy halo over time, and not the outside. —Allison Van Zandt, owner of Simply Socks Yarn Company

The gusset gap is one of the most irritating problems in knit socks. Learn how to avoid it!
The dreaded gusset gap

5. To avoid the gap that can appear at the top of gussets, pick up an extra stitch at the base of each gusset. Work these stitches together with the edge instep stitches on the next row. (For more on this issue, check out Knit Socks with Gapless Gussets.)

6. Did you know that too-tight knit socks fall down more than looser socks? If you’re knitting top-down socks, make sure to cast on loosely—try casting on over two needles if you tend to cast on tightly. If you’re knitting toe-up socks, bind off extra loosely! The sewn-bind-off is a good one to use on toe-up socks.

7. When working Kitchener stitch on toes, treat the first two stitches and the last two stitches as one stitch, this fixes those funny ears that can appear. —Linda Nelson, Knitting Daily Reader (Linda credits Ann Budd for this great tip)

8. Hate Kitchener Stitch? Make a Lazy Toe. Simply knit until there are about eight toe stitches left and use a tapestry needle to draw the yarn through the stitches. I go through the stitches one time and pull them together, then a second time and pull them as tight as I can without breaking the yarn.

9. If you love knitting toe-up socks, learn Judy’s Magic Cast-On. It’s easy and amazing. It looks great; there are none of those loose toe stitches that you sometimes get with other toe-up cast-ons.

10. Avoid Single Sock Syndrome: cast on IMMEDIATELY for the second sock. Or better yet learn to do two at a time! —Gerda Porter, Knitting Daily Reader

Now it’s time to put these tips to work! Sock designer extraordinaire Ann Budd has a gorgeous new design for you, the Poudre Socks (shown at top right). And best of all, the Poudre Socks are available in a kit; get it today and cast on!



P.S. Add your favorite tip for knit socks—just leave a comment below!

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    Poudre Socks Kit

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Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

One thought on “My Top 10 Tips for Knit Socks

  1. For a longer-lasting heel, sole and toe, carry a mohair/acrylic or mohair/silk strand along with the sock yarn. This technique makes a cushioned support surface that can better withstand the friction points of walking inside a shoe. Cut the carry-along strand for the instep stitches then Add it again for the intended section–every row (for the instep). I cut the carry-along yarn at the inside surface, but some earlier pairs have them cut on the outside surface. Only I seem to notice those ends.