Become a Sock Knitter
And the best practice is . . . you guessed it, knitting a pair of socks!
I started out with a pair of stockinette socks, knit from the top down with self-striping yarn. I gave them to my mom, and she wore them for years.
A great pair for you to start with is the Starter Socks by Jen Lucas, shown at right, which are available with her video tutorial, Knit a Quick, Comfortable Pair of Socks.
In her workshop, Jen takes you step-by-step through the process of knitting a sock, detailing each technique and going in-depth so you’ll understand how all of the sections work together.
Jen’s Starter Socks are knit in stockinette stitch with worsted-weight yarn, so they’re a great learning tool. When you’re finished making them, you’ll have some versatile new skills to show off! And since they knit up so quickly, you can make up several pairs to give as gifts. Soon you’ll be a seasoned sock knitter, ready to move on to more challenging patterns, or you can create your own pattern!
One of the neat things about sock knitting is putting elements of sock patterns together to make your own creation. I’m not talking about Franken-Socks, here, but a beautiful custom pair of socks that are made up of your particular favorite stitch patterns.
For example, you can knit socks with a cable pattern on the leg portion, and switch to a ribbing pattern on the instep, and plain stockinette on the bottom of the foot. Many people, including myself, use very simple patterns on the foot of socks, because more complex, textural stitch patterns add bulk to the socks and might make them uncomfortable. I always make the bottom of my socks stockinette—other stitch patterns start to bother me after walking around for awhile.
Something fun that I always do is replace the knit/slip patterned heel flap with my favorite Eye of Partridge Stitch—it’s so much prettier! Here’s how to work it:
Eye of Partridge Stitch (multiple of 2 stitches)
Row 1: *Sl 1 purlwise with yarn in back (wyb), k1; repeat
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: *K1, sl 1 purlwise wyb; repeat from *.
Row 4: Purl.
Rep Rows 1–4 for pattern.
Download Knit a Quick, Comfortable Pair of Socks today and go forth as a sock knitter!