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April 28, 2005

reasons for socks

i was daydreaming on the way to work couple mornings ago, i was thinking that i will not be able to make a shawl for my mum in time for mother's day, though i had promised that i'd make one. so what would be a good and fast project to knit? socks, i thought to myself. and that's how it all started.

not that i have never knitted socks before, i made two pairs of socks few years ago and did not like them. so i stopped pursuing sock knitting. but ever since i owned a blog, i have been prying way too much on others' fabulous blogs and had noticed there are way too many gorgeous looking socks floating around the cyberspace. so, i think i was unconsciously looking for a reason to start making socks again. though you can easily argue that i'm looking for reasons to buying all those too beautiful to mention sock yarns from poshy european countries!

and yes, i now have sock yarns in my stash but i can not show them until this weekend (if you have been a pattern observer of this blog, you should noticed that pictures are only posted on weekends (mostly, that is). nothing mysterious, just that i only have access to my computer then). i also purchased some circular needles so i can avoid using tiny DPNs.

yesterday was a good day as far as sock knitting went, not that i had started anything yet!

this morning, i happily signed up for "six sox knitalong" in hope that i'm going to make some socks that will be the envy of passersby and will be able to whip up a pair for emergency presents, etc.

but i do have questions i'd like to ask:

  1. is tubular cast on a must for socks? what about provisional cast on? and, is tubular only good for 1X1 ribbing?
  2. i notice a lot of the patterns are for leg cir. 8 inches, what if i'm going to make them for someone who has thinner or thicker cir.?
  3. what about the width of the foot? how to be able to read patterns and clearly understand if one should modify?
oh well, i hope i will be able to figure it out as i go. and maybe i'll have a pair ready in time for mother's day!


Tubular cast-on is totally not necessary. It takes more time and is just as good as a completely normal, long tail cast on.To adjust for different sized feet, just add or subtract stitches. For some reason this is usually done in multiples of 4, so the total stitches could be 56, 60, 64, etc. Another way to make socks fit is to use ribbing. 2x2 ribbing on the leg and over the top of the foot makes a nice fitted sock. My favorite sock pattern is in Ann Budd's Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns. She has options for all different sizes of feet. Good luck!

Ok, Diana knows way more about socks then I do, but I found on my first set of socks some really useful sites. Of course, I can't find most of them, but this one is kind of cool http://www.royea.net/formula.html

Personally, I love tubular cast on for ribbing because it looks good to me and is more elastic. And tubular cast on and off can be done for double rib too. Some Japanese knitting magazines have a 'how to' section at the back showing you how to do it.

The tubular cast-on for 2x2 ribbing is a little bit more complicated than 1x1 rib, but possible. It's explained in Knitter's Handbook (Montse Stanley) among others. Good luck!

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