YarnCraft Episode 96 :: All About Socks: 20+ Tips, Patterns, and More for Knitting & Crochet Socks

19 Jul

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On this episode of YarnCraft, Zontee and guest co-host Michelle, manager of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio retail store & education center in NYC, talk all about socks. Michelle tells us about the great sock-related classes and the upcoming free Socktacular event, all of which take place at the LBYS.

Yes, socks are one of Liz’s favorite topics, so despite having to high-tail it out of town, Liz does share a few brief thoughts before heading out.

Books discussed include:

Patterns discussed include:

We’re also giving away 2 balls of Sock-Ease on this episode. Just leave a comment here in the show notes about why you like making socks, or if you don’t, why you haven’t made socks. Contest will run until July 28, 11:59:59 EDT. Please be sure to fill out both your name and email address when leaving a comment so that we can get in touch with you.

Zontee also interviews veteran designer, Ann Budd, author of Getting Started Knitting Socks and Sock Knitting Master Class (links to both books above), who tells us about her latest book and why shoe loves sock-making. She also mentions Sock Summit, a yarny event featuring classes and all-things sock-related that’s once again coming at the end of July.

The on Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life, Zontee & Michelle talk about 5 kinds of beach-friendly projects from flip-flops to shawls. Whether you use them at the beach, or just make them on your beach vacation for some relaxing crafting, they’re patterns you’ll want to bookmark!

Patterns discussed include:

Join us again in two weeks, when we talk about favorite patterns, favorite knit & crochet books, and favorite knit & crochet magazines. What are your favorite knit & crochet resources, techniques, or yarncrafting-related activities? Leave a message on the blog or email us at yarncraft [at] lionbrand [dot] com! You can also call in and leave a message at 774-452-YARN–that’s 774-452-9276.

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Theme music is “Boy with a Coin” by Iron and Wine, from the PodSafe Music Network.

Show Notes:
00:12 Intro & welcome
01:49 Comments from Liz
03:20 Listener Comments
07:01 Sock-Making Resources and Techniques
16:05 Interview with Ann Budd
25:01 Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life
30:32 Thanks to our listeners and guests

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    I don’t think there’s any particular “dirty secret” about short row heels; each designer probably just has their personal preference for sock construction. Because of this, we definitely encourage you to check out the various books that help you learn how to design your own socks. Then you can use whichever heel suits your fancy!

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Glad to hear you like Sock-Ease, Marianna! Be sure to tell your local stores that you’re looking for a specific yarn, because they rely on the input of their customers for future ordering. If they don’t know that you’re looking for it, they won’t know to order it in the future.

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Hi Cakepans, don’t forget that you can find tons of crochet (and knit) slipper patterns online. Definitely check out Ravelry.com, which has compiled information about patterns from many sources, from books to free online patterns. Hope that helps!

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Hi Cari, there are a ton of great videos on YouTube for turning heels and other sock-related skills. Don’t forget to check out the Lion Brand YouTube channel for a whole series on our men’s socks (a great first pattern): http://www.youtube.com/lionbrandyarn

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Turning a heel is not bad at all! You can do it!

  • Ellie

    I made socks from a kit, but the yarn was a cotton that didn’t keep its form- hmm..perhaps its time to try again with real sock yarn. All those interesting techniques in one project would make it a nice challenge.

  • pam

    I love to knit socks and my family loves to receive a pair.  I get the fun of knitting and they get the fun of wearing them.  I use the Yankee Knitter Designs pattern #29 Classic Socks for the family.  It has sizing from a small child to a large adult and yarn from fingering to worsted.  It explains each step and gives you a great finished fit. 

  • Martha

    I really enjoyed the information and inspiration. I have re-discovered the joy
    of making my own socks using 4 needles. I learned to knit at the age of 12 and
    one of the projects that I completed was argyle socks for my nephew, then 5. Sock-ease
    has been a good choice to use now. This last pair of socks, I am crocheting
    from the toe up. My next project will be knitting from the toe up and hopefully
    2 at the same time. I get bored on the second sock and really have to force
    myself to finish it so that I can wear a matching pair! Maybe I can just wear
    one from 2 different projects and then I would have a pair!!

    Thanks for
    sharing…Martha Warren

  • Ryan Mcgurl

    I like the pretty colors of sock yarn, and they made a great small, but interesting project for traveling. Also, since making my family socks for Christmas, I always know what to them; everyone requests hand knit socks now.

  • Rebecca

    I like making socks because they never go out of style! And when I make them for the people I love I know they will wear them and appreciate them.  Even my daughters who don’t like being bothered with special laundry care methods will machine wash their socks but let the socks dry flat because they know the socks last longer and don’t go fuzzy.

  • Steph C

    I love making socks because they are portable, easy, and the only place I feel comfortable wearing the craziest dyed yarns!  As an elementary teachers, the students (who are usually the only ones who notice my socks) get such a kick out of them!

  • Kitten With A Whiplash

    I, and everyone I knit for, have the kind of feet that poke holes in cast iron sock the first time their put on, but I love sock yarn for other projects, from hats to sweaters.

  • LadyWiggin

    I love making socks.  I enjoy it because, they’re small and fit into my bag for easy toting.  I can knit on them while out to dinner, in a meeting, waiting in line, etc.  They are just so tote-able!  I LOVE sock yarns and it is so much fun to see how they knit up.  It’s fun picking the right pattern for the sock yarn I want to use.  My family loves hand knit socks….so what’s not to love?

  • katiknits

    I enjoy making socks, they were my first projects in the round using DPNs. I learned using Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks book and knit many of the patterns in there. I haven’t knit socks in awhile but I would love to pick it up again with her new book and maybe try something new, like knitting socks on DPNs.

  • Ruthknits

    I LOVE knitting and wearing hand-made socks. Luckily I’m married to a man who also loves to wear hand-knit socks. My go-to sock pattern is for Plain Cuff Sockees from the 1951 Lux Knitting Book. It has only 60 stitches cast on for the cuff. The easy math (20-20-20 stitches on 3 DPNs) and the small size (I have a size 6 1/2/Euro size 36 foot) make them quick, easy, and close-fitting. Knit5,Purl1 ribbing on the leg and foot also makes for a great fit.

  • Jmfmiller

    I have buying a bunch of sock yarn but am kind of scared (totally silly) to actually try socks…some of it is just that there are a jillion ways to do it – up or down, different heels, different toes etc., double points, magic loop or two circs etc. before you even get to the pattern so I feel sort of overwhelmed before I even start….

  • Toohot_forwhat_yougot

    I actually completed my first pair of socks July 4th weekend. I did from the top down and was a little stuck on the kitchner but I got it. I love my new socks, I wear them around the house as slippers.

    Now that the basic sock is done I can’t wait to try the next patterns in my sock booklet, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/american-school-of-needlework-1273-learn-to-knit-socks

  • Wadlea

    i LOVE socks, i am definitely a sock knitter(although an inexperienced one) i love toe up so that i can use every last bit of the yarn, and i love how i can actually wear socks being a guy, lots of time i dont get to wear the really cool knitwear, but with socks i can definitely knit them

  • Kelly

    I would love to win the Sock-Ease yarn and give socks a try. To be honest, I’ve been completely intimidated by this type of project. I’ve gone as far as buying a knitting sock making kit, but am now using the lovely yarn for a crochet scarf. If I win, I will hold myself accountable and actually make socks! : )

    Thanks for the change to win!
    Kelly aka ShortysSutures

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  • Jodiebodie

    Lion Brand’s “Cozy Crochet Socks” pattern has been in my folder for months now, and your last episode has motivated me to give it a try. 

    I’ve perused various knitting patterns but found the abbreviations hard to understand and new terms which intimidated me; It always seemed too hard compared with other projects.

    I agree with Liz’s reasons for socks as great projects and have vowed to make some socks before the year is out. 

    I remembered my grandmother who knitted and crocheted until she was old and frail, even when going deaf and blind. She was expert at making socks with 3, 4 and even 5 dpns and not dropping them once! If she can do it, so can I (this is what I have convinced myself).

    So, with your encouragement and the memory of my grandmother (family tradition to uphold), I went out and purchased two circular needles and a set of double points so I will be ready to escape the comfort zone to take up a new challenge. 

    I am in the midst of the Cozy Crochet Socks right now as a warm-up and have a picture to prove it! ;-) .

    It’s easy to sit back and do the things we have always done after years of practice. Sock knitting is enticing me with the rewards of new skills and a sense of achievement from learning something truly new and challenging, with the bonus of warm, cosy feet, thanks to your encouragement.

  • mary

    I’ve made one sock. Yep, just one.  I did it fairly quickly at the end of a community college course just to try and get the hang of it. Unfortunately I picked a yarn that was not really suited for socks and it came out like more of a bootie and I got discouraged from there.  The process itself was fun though and I’d like to try again.

  • Meg in L.A.

    My favorite pattern is Cobblestone Socks by Karen Ratto-Whooley (they’re crocheted from the top down).  Right now the pattern is only available by joining CGOA (it’s in the members booklet “Across the Board”), but they should be available on Karen’s website in 2012; these are NOT the same as the Cobblestone Socks in her book “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks.” peace, meg in L.A. megplatis@pacbell.net

  • SpringSplndr

    I taught myself to knit last year so I could make socks.  I knit one pair toe up, two at a time on two circs.  That was it!  Took me six months.  Since then I’ve crocheted 5 pairs of socks and am working on my 6th.

  • Diana E.

    I like to knit socks because I can take my project anywhere I go and I get to learn different techniques with almost every pattern! I just finished my first sock done toe-up for my husband and I learned how to do a short row heel! Plus, DH picks out his own yarns which motivates me to knit for him!

  • Irene Poston

    I’d love to try making socks with Sock-ease.  I am knitting my first pair of toe-up short-row heel socks and it’s coming along well.  A pair of socks can be made so many different ways that knitting them gives me the chance to try many techniques with low risk! 

    - prymnumber on Ravelry

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Spiotta-Dentino/100000091373347 Maria Spiotta Dentino

    I don’t have a favorite sock pattern yet. I have tried loom knitting socks but found it too tedious. I also tried crocheting socks but made a mistake so I ripped them out. I am totally ready to try crocheting more socks and your podcast is inspiring me to do so! I now have hooks that will be more comfortable too because they have a thicker handle. I am thinking about trying out a sock pattern when I take the train to NYC next week. I will only be in New York for about 24 hours, but am making it a priority to come to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio for the first time!

  • Kay Susan

    I truly enjoy making socks as they feel so good on your feet, there are such a variety of patterns and colors, and are quick portable projects. Since I am “self taught” I have taken advantage of the marvelous resources on this Lion Brand site and studied several books. Now, I still have lots to learn and will keep coming back!!   My favorite technique is using two sets of dp needles and working on both socks alternately as I go along. The project is small enough to put into my purse and I have the double delight of two socks finished within minutes of each other. Your site has wonderful tutorials so this new adventure since 1-1-11 has been so pleasurable. Thank you!! My advice to others is relax, create beautiful things, laugh at any frogging and appreciate your skill. Pass along some of that skill and help others, plus make new friends.
    Kay Susan    luve2quilt1964@hotmail.com

  • http://cathymmiller.blogspot.com/ Cathy Miller

    I have not tried to make socks, yet.  After this episode and eyeing a few books, I’d really like to give it a try.  I’m a crocheter, but I’d like to do more knitting.  I’m a much slower knitter and have only finished two projects.  
    Cathy Miller lighthearted101@yahoo.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754958385 Julie Boller Minnear

    I love making socks because I can actually finish them….LOL
    Julianne Minnear – jminnear@msn.com

  • http://www.katecupcake.blogspot.com Kate

    I’ve knit a few pairs of socks and am really looking forward to trying Cat Bordhi’s sweet tomato heel.  I like the afterthought heel for convenience, but it is not the best for fit.

    Rav id: katepricey

  • Barb56

    I’ve been knitting since the age of 18 when I taught myself to knit 46 years ago. The last couple of years while reading blogs and websites about how much fun it is to knit socks, I decided to give it a try. Oh my, it was a lot easier than I ever thought it could be! I made a pair for all my friends and relatives within the first year. I’ve never had “second sock syndrome” because I can’t wait to start the second one as soon as the first is off the needles. In fact, I bought a set of knitting needles just to keep a pair of socks in progress on them at all times! I wonder how many pairs of socks I could have made by now if only I’d started knitting them when I first learned to knit!

  • Smfsprout

    I am a beginner to crochet and I really want to learn to crochet socks since I have never made any.  I was very pleased to listen to the podcast and be directed to a couple of places to find crochet sock patterns.  Once I spend some time with these, I’m sure I can come up with a favorite pattern.

  • Smfsprout

    I am a beginner to crochet and I really want to learn to crochet socks since I have never made any.  I was very pleased to listen to the podcast and be directed to a couple of places to find crochet sock patterns.  Once I spend some time with these, I’m sure I can come up with a favorite pattern.

  • Poppy

    It’s funny. I used to knit socks but I don’t like the way they feel..I mean it seems like I can feel every row on my hand knit socks. But my brother loves  the ones I’ve made for him. Hmmm…. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694805829 Colleen Sheehy

    Beginning sock knitter – just started my first pair on two circular needles. Spending as much time ripping back as I am knitting at this point, but that’s why Lion Brand is so sturdy LOL! Glad to have the videos and the list of resources as references – I’ll get those puppies finished yet!

  • Rockin80sbaby

    Beware the 2nd sock syndrome!! That’s what all my knittin friends ingrained in me…..I am still workin on the sizing for a basic sock,but i am enthused by having such a comfy pair of top down socks  to sleep in, that i am now trying a toe up to try out my skills. I have so many fancy sock patterns picked out to make, that i can almost taste the victory of my sock cuffs staying up lol!   My friend who does reenactments is trying to talk me into making period wool long socks~eeek~ one stitch at a time my friend, one stitch at a time  ;]

  • Beylia

    I have never made socks because I am not much of a knitter! I have tried to learn how to knit and have really only ever successfully made a nice scarf. I do, however, crochet! The whole reason I wanted to learn how to knit in the first place was because I wanted to learn how to knit socks. I am determined to learn at some point. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

  • Dianne

    My dad taught me to darn using a bottle under the hole    I am so glad he did because my son loves knitted socks but is very hard on the heel  so I have to do a lot of darning    I love to knit socks of all kinds

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T6TPSRCWDKE3O5IGDYRW6CSOUE AngelA

    Here’s a link to the TSA website on knitting needles on airplanes – http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1252.shtm. I printed this out and brought it with me when I flew Dayton to Seattle back in January. I joked with my hubby that I’d be more dangerous on the plane without my knitting than with :-) Thankfully I didn’t have any problems taking my size 10 metal needles through security :-D

    Also, I love sock knitting because they’re small fairly quick projects that you can carry anywhere. I find socks to be my most rewarding project, and hubby loves them too.

  • Iris

    I taught myself how to knit two years ago, and have fallen in love with many of Lion Brand’s patterns. I’ve not had much time for it lately because of school & college apps, but the next project I want to try is a pair of socks. Once i get my hands on some dpn, hopefully the socks shall turn out nicely. =]

  • Kristyn

    I love making socks because they are such a portable project. I just stick them in my purse and go. Plus hand knit socks feel so much better on your feet them store bought ones. FInally, I love that you can make them in crazy colors because most people will not see them unless you want them to!

  • Jodiebodie

    Thank you for the tips. As a beginner knitter as well as a beginner with socks these sorts of things are so useful to know.

  • Jodiebodie

    The great thing about baby socks is that if they are a little big to start with, it is guaranteed that a time will come when they *will* fit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368300312 Sarah Wear

    I recently learned how to crochet socks using the Lion Brand pattern “Cozy Crochet Socks.”  I figured since I’d successfully completed the crochet Tree of Life afghan, I qualified as an “experienced” crocheter and these couldn’t be too hard.  I made them in just a couple of days, and now I think I’m hooked on crocheting socks.  While I don’t think I’ll ever become and exclusive sock crocheter, it is really nice to have a small project to go to that will work as a gift for anybody in my circle.  Living in Portland, OR, we all appreciate a good pair of socks in the fall/winter.  I was listening to this episode and decided to share another good crochet sock book that I recently picked up.  “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks”  by Karen Ratto-Whooley is a great little book with 9 patterns, both in cuff-down and toe-up designs.  One of the patterns is a men’s sock, and they show it worked with Sock Ease in “Taffy,” and it looks just great.  I’m going to make a pair in that color for my FIL for Christmas.

    As a newcomer to crocheting socks, I was really happy to hear this podcast all about them, and all the wonderful tips you’ve shared.  I’m planning on getting a couple pictures posted soon of my first pair of socks to the Ravelry group, and this is something I’m so glad I took up.

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! Karen Whooley is great, and her designs are very friendly, so I’m glad you’re enjoy it!

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  • Donna R

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE making socks because they don’t have sleeves that end up too long, shoulder seams that get too droopy, and they fit in your purse! Plus, they’re easy to try on while knitting (easier if you use the 2 circ method, I’m told). The best part is the skein is designed for the project so there’s no frantic run to the LYS at the last minute.

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