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Friday, 23 May 2014

Basic 4ply sock pattern and tutorial - easy beginner sock knitting!

Looking for the Winwick Mum Sockalong basic sock pattern?  Scroll down ... or read the whole post first!  If you're a beginner, you might find it easier to follow the step-by-step Sockalong tutorials here J  

The idea of knitting socks can be quite daunting if you've not done it before.  The whole thought of turning heels and grafting toes can be quite enough to put you off before you even pick up your needles - and I know this because that's how I felt too!  Now, of course, you know all about my love affair with socks ... here's my latest pair.  I just love the colours in this yarn, definitely my favourite combination!


Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - here's a pair I knitted earlier!

I knitted my first pair of socks for my beloved Uncle Harry when I was about 16 years old.  My Aunt Ella had always knitted his socks for him and when she died, he asked whether I'd be able to make some for him as he didn't want to have to buy any.  What a performance!  The pattern was quite awkward, involving sewing gussets and side seams, and I wasn't sure they were anything like up to my Aunt Ella's standard.  I decided I would not be making any more socks.

Fast forward to when small daughter was a baby.  I was in a local yarn store buying wool for yet another baby cardigan when I spotted balls of multi-coloured yarn on the counter, along with leaflets showing knitted socks.

"They're new in," said the lady, noticing my interest.  "They make lovely socks."
"Oh, I made a pair of socks a long time ago," I told her, shuddering at the memory.  "I'm not sure I could face another pair."
"This is a good pattern," she said, "and you get it free with the yarn."

Ker-ching!  I left the shop with baby yarn and multi-coloured yarn to make my husband a pair of socks.  And this time round, the pattern was much more straight-forward.  No sewing up and a heel that magically created itself thanks to some nifty decreasing.  I was hooked!

A couple of pairs later, I just happened to search for sock yarn on the internet. WOW!! I had no idea there was so much sock yarn available, that so many people knitted socks, there were so many fabulous patterns out there - or that there would be so much help.  I joined a knitting forum, discovered Ravelry and the couple of pairs of socks turned into something of an obsession.  Now, it seems incredible to think that I ever thought there was anything difficult about knitting socks, but anything new takes some thinking about and certainly anything new that involves four or five double-pointed needles and 4ply yarn!

I know there are many sock patterns and tutorials on the internet aimed at beginners, but sometimes you just need one basic pattern that you can use to get started, increase your confidence and then adapt to suit your own feet.  I'd like to share mine with you - not the free one I originally got but an amalgamation of a few versions, altered over many pairs to get it just the way that I like to wear my socks, and still being adapted to suit other members of the family.  

This pattern is now the basis of the Winwick Mum Sockalong tutorials and you can find detailed instructions with lots of pictures here.


Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock heel

Now, before we get started, a quick word about needles.  I use both double-pointed needles (DPNs) and a small circular.  Mine's a 30cm Addi but Hiya Hiya also make them although in a 23cm length.  It's simply a matter of preference as to which one you'd choose.  I always cast on using my DPNs as trying to cast on with a tiny circular is a disaster - it just doesn't work.  


Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - casting on

Then, after a couple of rows of rib, I transfer my stitches to my circular and off I go.  I find it so much easier than knitting a whole sock on 5 needles and you don't get join lines down the socks either.  Some people like the magic loop method using a longer circular and I have used that, particularly for knitting two socks at a time, but it's not my favourite method.


Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - changing to circular needle

Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - knitting in the round

Another thing that you'll need for knitting socks is stitch markers.  Apart from my lovely Herdy ones, mine were all free gifts from magazines but you can buy them from yarn stores, online (these are some available from Black Sheep Wools) or you can simply make your own from a knotted piece of yarn.  All a stitch marker needs to do is show you where your round starts and finishes, and the start and finish of any pattern section you may have so they can be as fancy or plain as you like.


Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - stitch markers

What else?  Oh yes, yarn!  It's best to use yarn that's specifically for knitting socks because it will usually have a proportion of nylon in the yarn which helps to hold the socks' shape and make them more hard-wearing.  Some of the gorgeous hand-dyed skeins that you can buy don't have any nylon in their content but that doesn't mean you can't use it, just that your socks might wear out a bit sooner, especially if they get a lot of use.  Most sock yarn is 4ply but you can also buy 8ply (and thicker) which is great for boot socks.  

Just in case you're interested, my new stripy socks are knitted in Regia Design Line "Random Stripe" shade 02904 Delphinium and the red socks for illustrating this tutorial are knitted in Regia Galaxy shade 1559 Jupiter Red.

A quick word about gauge before you get started - the tension required for sock yarn varies from ball to ball, even with the same manufacturer, but I usually find that knitting on a 2.5mm needle gives me the size of sock that I require and the tension is pretty much what it states on the ball band.  I haven't given a gauge on the pattern for the simple reason that it will vary from yarn to yarn, but if you're knitting to the tension stated on the ball band then this pattern should work for you, even if you need to go up or down a needle size to get the required tension.  

Basic sock pattern - you can download a PDF copy of the sock pattern here

This is the pattern that's being used for the Winwick Mum Sockalong.  You can find more detailed step-by-step tutorials for knitting this sock here and you can join the accompanying Facebook group for help, support and showing off socks here, our knit n natter group here and the Ravelry group here

These socks are constructed as top down socks with a gusset heel.  The heel is knitted in heel stitch which creates a durable, cushioned heel.  This pattern will create a medium-sized sock.  If you want to make the pattern bigger or smaller, simply increase or decrease the number of cast-on stitches by 4, but remember that you will need to make adjustments when you turn the heel.  If you need help working out how many to cast on, have a look at this tutorial from the Sockalong.

Materials

2.5mm needles – I use a 30cm circular needle but DPNs or magic loop will also work
1 x 100g ball of 4ply sock yarn (or 2 x 50g depending on brand)
1 pair DPNs size 3.0mm
1pair DPNs size 2.5mm
stitch markers
tapestry needle

Note: I cast on using DPNs then change to my circular needle  –  it’s not possible to cast on using the circular as it’s too small.  If you want to use magic loop you will be able to cast on with the larger circular needle.  If you use DPNs, you might find it easiest to cast on and work 2 rows before dividing the stitches across the needles.

To adjust the size for this sock, just add or remove stitches in blocks of 4 from the cast on total.  For example, if knitting a man's sock I would cast on 64 or 68 stitches.  Remember that you will need to make adjustments when turning the heel if you use extra stitches.  There's a calculation for working out the number of stitches you need here.

Pattern

Cast on 60 stitches using 3.0mm needle. 
1st row:            K2, P2, repeat to end, turn
2nd row:          K2, P2, repeat to end, turn

Change to 2.5mm needles.  At this point, change to a small circular, magic loop or divide the stitches across DPNs and join into a circle, place marker.

Continue in K2, P2 rib for 14 more rounds or until desired length of rib (I knit 16 rounds of rib).

Continue to knit each round until desired length before start of heel (for me, this is about 75 rounds in total including the rib).

Heel flap

Change to 2.5mm DPNs.  You are going to create the heel flap from half the number of stitches that you cast on, so if you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches, remember to adjust the number of stitches when you start the heel flap.    
                       
1st  row:          K2, *Sl1, K1* until you have 30 stitches on your needle, turn
2nd row:         Sl1, P  to end, turn
3rd row:          Sl1, *K1, sl1* to end, turn

Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - heel flap

At this point, I usually tuck the ends of my circular needle down inside my sock so that it doesn't get in the way.  If you are using DPNs for the entire sock, you may prefer to put the spare stitches onto a stitch holder whilst you work the heel.  


Repeat rows 2 and 3 until heel measures approximately 2 inches, finishing on row 3 (approx 35 rows) .  If you want to make the heel flap longer, continuing knitting rows 2 and 3 until you reach the desired length, but remember that you will need to pick up more stitches to create the gusset.

This is what the heel flap looks like when it's finished.  Slipping every other stitch gives a raised texture that is thicker than just knit and purl which is ideal for a sock heel.

Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - heel flap outside

This is what it looks like on the purl (wrong) side.

Beginner sock knitting - basic 4ply sock - heel flap inside
                
Turn heel

Now, this is the fun part and the one that puts a lot of people off, but it's quite easy as long as you take it slowly.  

*For a larger or smaller sock, you will need to alter the number of purl stitches in the first row of the heel (marked in bold below), increasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches extra that you cast on, or decreasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches less than 60 stitches.  For example, if you cast on 64 stitches, your first row would be Sl1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn*

Row 1:             Sl1, P16, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 2:             Sl1, K5, SSK, K1, turn
Row 3:             Sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4:             Sl1, K7, SSK, K1, turn

Continue in this way, increasing one stitch between slip stitch and SSK or P2tog on each row until all of the heel stitches are used.

As you work these rows, you'll notice that there's a gap between the end of your knit or purl stitches in the middle and the remaining stitches to be worked into the heel.  This will help you to work out where you're up to.


When you work the SSK or P2tog stitches at the end of each row, you take one stitch from each side of the gap and that's what pulls the heel round into the right shape.


This picture illustrates the SSK stitch - slip the first stitch as if to knit, the second stitch as if to purl, slip them both back onto the left hand needle and knit through the back of the stitches.  This gives you a much neater decrease stitch than K2tog.


This is what the SSK looks like on the right side of the sock ...


and this is what the P2tog looks like.  It gives a nice neat finish to your heel with no gappy holes.


Knit across heel stitches if required to bring you to the left hand side of the heel ready to pick up 19 stitches.  Remember that if you made the heel flap bigger, you will need to pick up more stitches. 

The reason that you used a slip stitch in the heel flap is to make it easier to pick up the gusset stitches.  You can see in this picture the slipped stitches are the row of larger stitches lying flat against the flap.  I pick up the inside loop to create my new stitch.


This picture shows how the row of slip stitches looks once you've picked up all the gusset stitches.


Once you have picked up the stitches, place marker.  Knit across the top of the foot (I usually knit back onto my circular needle at this point), place marker, then pick up 19 stitches (or more if required) up the other side of the heel.  Knit across the top of the heel and then shape gusset as below.

Note: If you are using DPNs and/or have placed your stitches on a stitch holder, you can arrange the needles as follows:  Needle 1 for stitches across heel, Needle 2 for picked-up stitches down side of foot, Needle 3 for stitches across top of foot (knit stitches off stitch holder if required), Needle 4 for picked-up stitches on other side of foot.  You may find that stitch markers are not required at first.

Shape gusset

Round  1:      K to 3 sts before the marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, knit to next 
                          marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.
Round 2:       Slip marker, knit to next next marker, slip marker, knit to 3 sts before
                          marker.
Round 3:       K2tog, K1, slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 to shape the gusset and continue in this way, decreasing by two stitches at the gusset on every other row until there are 60 stitches on the needle.

You can see the line where the decreases create the gusset quite clearly in this picture.


Once you have 60 stitches again, continue to knit each round until you reach approximately 5cm before the desired length ready to start the toes.  For my size 5 feet, this is about 45 rounds.  Don't be afraid to try your sock on before decreasing for the toes!

Toes

At some point whilst decreasing for the toes, if you are using a small circular you will need to change back to DPNs as the number of stitches becomes too small for the circular.   It's up to you when you choose to do that, and how you distribute the stitches across the needles; just keep following the pattern as set below.  Create the toes as follows:

Round 1:       K1, SSK, K24 sts, K2tog, K1, place marker, K1, SSK, K24 sts, 
                          K2tog, K1
Round 2:       Knit one round, slipping markers as you come to them
Round 3:       K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, 
                          SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until you have 28 stitches left and divide these between two needles so that front and back of socks match (14 stitches on each needle).


Graft toes using Kitchener stitch.  This is another part of the sock-creation that some people aren't so keen on, but again it's not too bad if you take it slowly.  Cut a long length of yarn and thread it onto a wool needle.  I'm giving you right-handed instructions here.

1  Hold the two DPNs with your left hand.  Insert the wool needle purl-wise into the first stitch on the front DPN and pull the yarn through.  Don't take the stitch off the DPN.  


Next, insert the wool needle knit-wise into the first stitch on the back DPN. Don't take the stitch off.



2  Insert the wool needle knit-wise into the first stitch on the front DPN and slip it off. 



Insert the wool needle purl-wise into the second stitch on the front DPN and don't slip it off.



3  Insert the wool needle purl-wise  into the first stitch on the back DPN and slip it off.  Insert the wool needle knit-wise into the second stitch on the back DPN and don't slip it off.



4  Repeat 2 and 3 until you get to the last two stitches on the DPNs.  You will already have taken the yarn through the front stitch so after you have taken the yarn through the back stitch, you can slip both stitches off the DPN.  The single yarn thread through the first stitch will be strong enough to hold it and it will sit flatter when you weave the end back into your sock.




5  Weave the end securely into the sock and cut the yarn.



And that's it - you're done!  Make two socks if you don't want to hop everywhere and wear them with pride!  If you're on Ravelry, please consider linking to the pattern here so that I can see your socks - I always love seeing new pairs of socks! 


This sock pattern is free and will always remain so, but if you have enjoyed using it and would like to make a donation towards future projects, it will be gratefully received!  You can find the donation button on the sidebar on the left hand side.
  Thank you! xx


119 comments:

  1. Hello there, I've just called over from Beetles, Bikes & Books blog and wanted to say how much I like your blog. I'm your newest follower. Barbara
    marchhousebookscom.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hello Barbara, it's so nice to meet you, and thank you for your comments! I've visited your blog before and it's lovely - certainly an inspiration! xx

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  2. Wow... I really should learn to knit... the socks look so warm and comfy. #weekendbloghop

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    1. Thanks - and yes, you should! :-) xx

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  3. I'm currently banned from knitting as my mum refuses to rescue me and my disastrous projects anymore. I do find it relaxing though. think i'll stick to scarves!

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    1. Oh, that did make me laugh and thanks for visiting! The only reason I seriously got into knitting things to wear was because my Mum refused to make me what I thought was the most amazing jumper in the world. Think 80s, think colour, think completely over the top ... it was wonderful! xx

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    2. Your message made me smile as my mum recently tried to ban me and my disasters too! Starting to get the hang of it though.

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    3. That's great, Vicky! You know your Mum is going to want a pair of socks for herself soon ;) xx

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    4. Wow! I am a show me person. I don't do well with knitting how to books. Your pictures are spot on amazing. Now I feel confident to knit socks. I am a novice knitter. But I'm excited. Thank you so much. I will surprise my daughter, who says I will not get past wash cloths.

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    5. I'm so glad you think the tutorials are going to help you, Jacque! I think it will be fun to surprise your daughter - I'd love to see her face when she sees your new socks! You'll find some videos on my YouTube channel now too - at the moment, I've only got videos for my new Easy Cable Socks but they cover the basics of casting on, the heel flap and turn, picking up gusset stitches and Kitchener stitch which will still be relevant. During this year, I'm intending to add videos for the Sockalong tutorials so do keep checking my YouTube channel if you get stuck! xx

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  4. Wow - this is SOOOO clear! Thank you so much for taking detailed photos of all the little steps - that's what I'm always longing for with an unfamiliar pattern to see if mine looks ok. I think I will be able to kitchener stitch successfully with this to refer to. Now I just need new sock yarn - I'm going to hold out and get some at Yarndale! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Jen, glad you think it's OK! Hopefully the pictures will help to show that socks aren't as scary or fiddly as people might think - and I'll look forward to seeing your next pair of Yarndale socks! xx

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  5. Oh, that is so impressive, you are a real professional when it comes to sock knitting. I can't get over the picture of your picked up stitches, I have never seen any so neat! Oh dear, I'll NEVER meet this standard. I just need to measure my Addi knitting needle which looks similar to yours, however I found it didn't seem to stretch around enough, because of the length of points. Maybe you could 'point' me in the right direction to buy one like yours, as it looks perfect.

    Love the colour yarn by the way - and you could do classes in sock knitting!

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    1. Oh my goodness, what lovely comments, thank you! I find that slipping the stitch on the heel flap makes picking up the stitches much easier, so if you don't do that already then give it a go. My DPNs are 20cm Addi ones, I've put a link in higher up the page (just after the second picture from the top where I talk about needles) so that you can see them on Amazon although you might also find them elsewhere as well. I look forward to seeing pictures of your next pair very soon! xx

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  6. Thank you so much, my grams has been knitting my socks on 4 needles forever but now she can no longer see to do it, I have had to make my one, I have been using two needles (hangs head in shame) but I brought a hiyahiya circular and your instructions for using a circular needle are perfect - thank you so much for sharing xoxox

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    1. Wow, you've made my day with your comments, thank you! I'm so pleased you found the sock pattern helpful, and I'm sure your grams will be delighted that you're able to continue the tradition of "proper" socks! xx

      PS Isn't it easy on a tiny circular? :-)

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  7. I have just come across your delightful blog. Socks! I would love to learn to knit a pair. After I have
    knitted a hat I will have a go. A great project for 2015.

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    1. Hello Sarah, it's lovely to see you! Do let me know how you get on with your socks - although be warned, they can be very addictive! :-) xx

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  8. Popped over via Attic24. Love your blog! Loads more lovely things to see & do! Thanks!

    I like to knit my socks 2 at a time (magic loop) to avoid 'second sock syndrome'. I've only ever knitted them 'toe up' though! I'm worried that I'll knit them 'top down' & they won't fit! :o/ Any tips'tricks for avoiding that??

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    1. Hi Sarah, it's lovely to see you! I suggest that you have a look at the "tension squares" post as there's some information on there about working out the number of stitches for your socks based on your knitting gauge. You can still try your sock on whilst you're working on it as you would for a toe up, so I'd recommend that you do that when you can as well to make sure you're happy with the size xx

      http://winwickmum.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/sockalong-tension-squares.html

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    2. Thanks SO much! I'll look at that now! xXx

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  9. Is it o.k. to use just four needles as that is all I have? Already frustrated as when I was counting my stitches I forgot there was no knob at one to keep the stitches on the needle and off they came. I did this three times. Grrrr. I'm determined to make a pair of socks though.
    Anne

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    1. Yes, it's absolutely fine to use four needles. I'll be talking about that in the first post on Sunday so don't worry, your socks will turn out perfectly! xx

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    2. Already underway here with 12 rows ribbing (k2p2) and 12 rows knit on 4 square needles (US #3)! Your blog and project came up while searching Ravelry for instruction on the heel. This is my very first sock.

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    3. It's lovely to see you, and to hear that the sock is progressing so well! :-)

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this sock pattern....inspires me to continue :)

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  11. Great instructions - easy to follow :)

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  12. Hello there--just a quick question for you. I usually knit my socks toe up so I can get the most out of my yarn, but I find I get a more satisfying sock working cuff down. How is the best way to determine your yarn usage? I don't want a ton left over, but I'd really like to not run out. Any suggestions to that point?

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    1. That's a really good question, Bethany! I've never worried too much about it as the largest socks I knit are about a UK size 8 and I know that I'll get those out of a 100g ball of yarn, and I use up my leftovers for blanket squares. I'd like to know the answer myself now, though, so I've had a look around on the internet and found this calculator which might solve your problem:
      http://www.thedietdiary.com/knittingfiend/tools/EstimatingYardageSock.html
      Hope that helps! xx

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    2. Oo, that does, thank you!!! Although I never considered blanket squares and am thinking that would be a wicked fun project, so now I don't know if I mind my leftovers :)

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    3. Some people also choose to knit their leftovers into new socks, mixing the yarns to get unique colourways. There's always something you can do with it, it's never wasted! xx

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  13. HI got here via Lucy's Attic........do not usually use the evil pointy things, but am going to give it a try tonight. Living in rural Spain halfway up a mountain, it gets cold here in the winter http://lifeinextremadura.blogspot.com.es/

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    1. Hello Tanya, it's lovely to see you! You might prefer the circular needles to the DPNs - which actually aren't that evil once you get to grips with them :) xx

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  14. can I use stylecraft DK have loads left from blankets

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    1. It's better to use sock yarn with a percentage of nylon in it and wool or another fibre if you're making everyday socks to wear as they will be more hard-wearing and won't make your feet sweaty as acrylic yarn might do, but if you just want slouch or bed socks it would be OK, and certainly for practicing it would be fine xx

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  15. Hi from Holland!!!
    wow you have put so much time into this!!!thank you sooooooo much for sharing!! I never knitted socks for myself before ( I have knitted baby socks with a heel in the past)because I was sort of dreading it but now I have read through all the posts and i think I have built up enough courage to get started! thank you for giving me that courage to push myself and learn new skills! hugs from Holland xo Dees

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    1. Hello Dees, it's lovely to hear from you! I'm so pleased that you feel you can tackle socks now - you'll be surprised how easy they are! Do let me know how you get on, and of course shout if you get stuck! xx

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  16. Absolutely love your blog! Great pattern! Oh yes, hi from Ky. USA!!! Will read this regular. Thank you so much!!!
    Love and hugs, Pat B.

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    1. Thank you, Pat, and thanks for visiting! xx

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  17. Hi. Can you tell me why I am having such a problem sourcing 2.5mm 30cm circular needles? The lady in the wool shop I visited today looked at me agog when I asked her if she had any, and all my usual online sources don't seem to sell them or they are sold out. I struggle with the magic loop and I'm itching to get going! Thank you for any helpful advice.

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    1. I think we've depleted the world's resources of 30cm needles, Kate! You could try using a 25cm KnitPro circular needle which will feel very similar in your hands as it has the same 7cm tips. Try www.blacksheepwools.com as I know they did have some, and you can use our Sockalong code WINWICK10 until Christmas for a 10% discount too :-) So glad you're joining in with the Sockalong! xx

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  18. Hi and thanks for the great instructions. I am a knitter and love sock yarn but have never understood the mumbo jumbo of the heels etc. just too hard. Your instructions and photos are awesome and I have ordered a short circular - as I have signature needle arts ones and they don't come that small. I cannot wait to get started and have clicked to follow on facebook etc. again thank you for you generous time and effort and thanks the Lucy at Attic 24 for the link to find you......here we go.... funtatic.....hugs from me in sunny western Australia....

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    1. Hello, and thanks for visiting! You're going to love knitting socks, and the heels really aren't that difficult. Well done on managing to order a short circular - they seem to be in short supply at the moment! :-) xx

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  19. I've been so fearful of doing socks and the term "turn the heel" invokes anxiety just looking at the words, but we are entering a new year so new adventures are in order. I will at least try! Thank you so much for sharing your story and pattern... I feel a bit braver than I did before reading your blog :-) thank you again.

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    1. That's great, Marie! Socks aren't scary once you get into knitting them, it's all about trusting that the pattern will turn out as it should do - and it will :-) xx

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  20. I received your book for Christmas. On page 20 paragraph 2 it says to multiply the width of your foot in inches by the number of stitches per inch. O.K. got that. Next paragraph says in your case it would be 8inches (foot measurement x 8) equals 64. Is your foot really 8 inches wide. It must surely be the length of your foot. Could you confirm this for me please.

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    1. Hi Kate, thanks for getting in touch. You need to measure around the ball of your foot which is the widest part and that will give you the measurement that you need for the calculation. I'd recommend that whatever that figure is, you take off about 10% to allow for negative ease (stretch) and choose whatever the closest figure is that which is a multiple of 4. Hope that helps! xx

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  21. Thank you for this pattern. I decided just before Christmas to make socks for my mother who doesn't like a seam under her toes. I gave one sock with an IOU in Christmas Day and have just finished the other.
    Now back to the jersey and blanket I was doing.
    I've made a small donation to the Peru fund and wish your daughter well on this expedition.

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    1. Thank you so much, that's very kind of you and we're very grateful for every donation! I hope your Mum loves her socks (my Dad thought it was hilarious the year he got one sock and an IOU) and maybe it's a pair for you after your jersey and blanket? :-) xx

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  22. Thanks for the pattern and tutorials. My socks are improving but so slowly! I'm also having a go at the mittens.
    I've made a small donation for Peru. My daughter did this one nearly 17 years ago! She was the only Spanish speaker in the group and boy did she learn some new words! Hope your daughter enjoys it!

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    1. Thank you so much for your donation, we really appreciate it! I'm so glad that you're finding the patterns and tutorials helpful, both warm socks and mittens are useful for the weather right now, wherever you are in the world! Learning Spanish is still on the to-do list, but as the date gets closer the incentive to get on with it grows. I think it's so important to have least have a grasp on the basics when you go to somewhere like this - and I'll look out for the new words when she comes home! :-) xx

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  23. Hello Christine, I found your Facebook group and joined a few weeks ago. I finally sorted out all my knitting needles and yarn. I remembered I had started some cabled socks a while ago, one is finished and the other is to start so I'll get on with that one. I also found some beautiful wool that I had forgotten I'd bought! They will make a lovely pair. I'm so inspired to get sock knitting again, I can't wait. I'm going to have a look at your free pattern and I seem to think you have a book as well? I must get hold of it.
    We went to Peru a few years ago and I loved looking at all the wool over there, your daughter will love it. I hope she will visit Machu Picchu, it is incredible especially if you go up at dawn.
    Thank you xx

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    1. Hello Sheila, it's lovely to see you! I think you'll really enjoy getting back into sock knitting, there are so many wonderful yarns and patterns that you could quite conceivably never knit anything else! Yes, Machu Picchu is on the itinerary with an intention to see it at dawn - I'm very envious and hope she takes plenty of photos! I've dropped hints about the yarn as well, or perhaps just leaving her clothes behind and bringing home a baby alpaca in her rucksack. Or perhaps not! :-) xx

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  24. Hello Christine, I just found your facebook page today and love it. Thank you so much for these wonderfully clear instructions. I'm new to knitting and looking forward to doing socks. Following your tutorial, I may not be quite so intimidated. Thanks again, Mary G.

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  25. Greetings! Found this on Ravelry, as I was searching for a basic sock tutorial. I've been knitting for about 6 months, and thought it time to try my first socks, so here I am.

    I've made it through the heel flap and turning the heel, but I'm a bit lost on the next step of picking up the stitches. Maybe I'm not quite understanding _which_ stitches to pick up, or maybe it's because (I think) your numbers don't quite sound right -- 19 sts and 19 sts = 38 sts, which is 8 more than half (assuming a CO of 60 sts), but I have half on the working needle (to make the flap) and half on a stitch holder. In my case, I cast on 72 sts, so I left 36 sts on my needle (I'm doing magic loop) and transferred the other 36 to a stitch holder.

    Can you please tell me what I'm (probably) misunderstanding or not getting quite right? I really appreciate this great tutorial. Just got stuck in this one teeny spot! Thanks!

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    1. Hello, it's lovely to see you! Don't worry, the heel and gusset work out just right with the numbers - if you cast on 72 then you'll have 36 for the heel flap and 36 for the top of the foot so you're just right. You work your heel flap on the first 36 stitches of your round (always keep going in the direction you've been knitting) and then you pick up one stitch for every two rows of heel flap - this is easy to work out as you just pick up the big slipped stitch at the end of each heel flap row. It doesn't matter if you have a few more or a few less picked up stitches as the number of heel flap rows you did may be different to me, but you will have considerably more stitches on your needle as that's what's creating the gusset down the side of your foot. As you complete the gusset, you decrease down to the number of stitches you started with (in your case 72) and carry on down your foot. Does that help?

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  26. Thanks for the timely reply! This does clear up a few things, so I'll try it again tomorrow and see how it goes from here. Overall, your directions have been very easy to follow, so I think I just needed a breather. :) I've got a couple other spots that I could improve on, so thankfully I decided to make a "prototype" first. Thanks again :)

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    1. That's great to hear! Yes, sometimes you need to look with fresh eyes and it all becomes clear. If you're on Facebook and haven't joined our Sockalong group, it might be something you'd like to do as there's always someone around to help and it's easy to post pictures of where you're up to if you're stuck. You'll be amazed at how easy your second sock is! ;-) xx

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    2. Yes, I'm really looking forward to the second sock. :-) Unfortunately I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't use FB. Another quick question: When using a long tail-type cast on, should I count 2 rows worked flat at the beginning in addition to the CO, or including the CO row? Incidentally, I'm using the Channel Island cast on, but what do you usually use for these? Thanks once again for the help!

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    3. Any stretchy cast on will work fine for socks - as long as you can get the cuff over your foot then the choice is yours! I don't know if it really matters where you start counting either as long as you do the same for both socks; an extra round here and there really isn't going to make much difference!

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  27. Thank you ever so much for this pattern. I'm usually seen crocheting blankets but you have inspired me to take up the pins. One (silly) question though, when shaping the gusset, do you repeat rounds 2 and 3 until you have decreased to the required amount, or is it rounds 1 and 2? Also, if decreasing using rounds 2 and 3, when at round 2 it says at the end knit to marker, does it mean knit to marker and then do round 3, or does it mean at the end knit to marker however 3 sts before that marker do the decrease (ie the end of round 2 incorporates the start of round 3) sorry confused!

    Also (sorry) at what stage do you take the marker out which denotes the start of the round - inserted at round 3 of the ribbing?

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    1. Hello Emma! I'm glad you've been tempted to try out the pointy sticks! No question is a silly question, so don't worry about asking. For the gusset, you repeat rounds 2 and 3 until you are back to your original number of stitches. Rounds 2 and 3 merge into each other so perhaps it's easier to consider it as Round 2: slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, knit to 3 stitches before end of round, k2tog, K1 Round 3: slip marker, knit to next marker, K1, SSK, knit to marker. On your decrease round which is every other round, you are decrease before and after the top of the foot markers to create your gusset. You'll need to take out your original marker from the ribbing when you come to do the heel flap - it will fall off your needle then anyway so there's no need to try to keep it on. Hope that helps! xx

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    2. Thank you very much for your help!

      I am Pleased to say I have made it ready to shape the toe! However I have a problem. At this stage I have two markers in my socks. (FYI I originally cast on 52 sts). (Small feet).



      My first marker marks the start, however, my second marker, working anti clockwise, is only a few sts away from the first. (Each marker representing where the shaping of the gussets happened).
      If I follow your instructions and k1 ssk, k24 sts etc, and place a marker, this will result in my toe shaping being top to bottom rather than either side of the toes. What have I done wrong?

      I started off shaping the toes and when I realised the seams were going to be vertical rather than horizontal, I have removed the second marker and frogged back to the first marker. Was I supposed to remove the second marker when I started doing the foot length? Even so, had I have removed the second marker, my toe shaping would still be vertical rather than horizontal. Not sure where I have gone wrong. However I am now sat at the first marker, in the top of the foot, wondering what to do now.


      Feeling a bit silly now, I must have gone wrong somewhere because your instructions are wonderful. Sorry.

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    3. Don't worry, Emma, we'll sort it! If your markers are so close together then it sounds like something might have gone wrong with your gusset decreases. Did you keep the number of the top of the foot stitches the same (in your case it would have been 26) and decrease on either side of them or do you think you might have decreased across the top of the foot instead? That would explain the markers in the wrong place. If that's the case, you've got two choices now: either frog it right back to the gusset and re-knit it from there (which I will agree feels rather soul-destroying) or if you sock fits you just fine, then treat this one as a practice sock with unique design elements and leave it as it is (you might even want to make the other one to match!). To get your toe shaping from where you are, then work from the first marker if you are sure that is in the right place. Just count 26 stitches from that marker and that's where your next marker will go, so in between you'll have K1, SSK, K20, K2tog, K1 on both sides of your foot (you have a decrease either side of each marker). Does that help?

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  28. Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure what went wrong either! As I had a marker at the start of the round (just about to toe shape), I worked out where the toe shape decreases should be (well equal spots both sides) and placed a marker, and duplicated the same on the other side so the decreases would be equal in both sides. It ended up ok! I'm afraid I'm not a frogger - all those stitches to drop and pick up (Thats the reason I crochet and not knit lol!)

    It's not put me off though - on to sock two!!

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    1. If your sock has worked out OK then it's a success! And you'll find that number two will be much easier. Well done on working it out! :-) xx

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  29. on shaping the toes, the pattern only tells you to place one marker in round one so I don't know where to place the second marker what have I missed this is my first time knitting socks please help

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    1. Hello! You should already have one marker in place showing where your round starts, and you place the second marker after your decreases and knitting across the toes. If you've cast on 60 sts, the second marker should be between the 30th and 31st st - ie, exactly half way round your round. Hope that helps! Don't forget that there are lots of pictures in the Sockalong tutorials although it sounds like you're pretty much there with your first sock! :-) xx

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  30. This is a fantastic tutorial and pattern, so easy to follow. Thank you for making it freely available - now on the sixth pair of socks and totally addicted!

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    1. That's brilliant to hear, I'm so glad you've got a drawer full of "proper" socks now! :-) xx

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  31. Hello Christine,

    Today I mentioned to my mum I'd love to get into sock knitting (we mainly crochet and I also quilt), she mentioned she'd heard of you over at the attic24 instagram, so I popped over here to take a look. Just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to write up all of your wisdom and patterns, and for you generosity in making them freely available! I've found this post inspiring and reassuring and now I'm even more excited to get some needles and pretty wool and start my first pair! Beth xxx

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    1. Hello Beth, it's lovely to see you! There are so many fabulous sock yarns you're going to be spoilt for choice and the self-striping ones are one of the reasons that sock knitting is so addictive! Good luck with your socks, and do shout if you get stuck! xx

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  32. I'm on my 2nd sock with dpns, and apart from grappling a bit with the Kitchener stitch, loving it. Must try a circular needle. I've tried a long circular before for sweaters etc, but found the knitting got too heavy, but socks are a different thing. Already planning my next pair. Thank you for posting this easy to follow pattern.

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    1. Socks are much easier on a long circular as they're not as heavy so you find that you can go much faster. It sounds like the sock bug has got you already! ;-) xx

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  33. Hi from New Zealand! I'm about to knit a pair of socks in men's sizing by casting on 68 stitches. When picking up the gusset stitches, instead of the 19, would I have to pick up 21? Thanks for a great pattern :)

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    1. Hello! The number of stitches that you pick up for the gusset is dependent on the number of rows you have in your heel flap. Your heel flap should be about 2" long (you can measure it against the foot to check if it needs to be longer) and you pick up one stitch for every two rows. Where you will have to change the numbers is on the heel turn - your set up row will be p1, p18, p2tog, p1. Hope that helps! xx

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  34. Hi, thanks for your lovely pattern, I have been determined to master sock knitting for a while but I am completely stuck :( I just don't understand the turn heel part. Do I just repeat rows 1-4 until all the stitches are used or am I being completely dense? :( Thanks in advance :).

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    1. Hi Jane, what you're doing is creating a V-shaped heel and row 1 is your set up row to get you to the middle of your heel flap. Rows 2 onwards are your decrease rows which decrease one stitch on every alternate row, pulling the sides of the flap around to make the V shape. After row 4, row 5 will be Sl1, P8, P2tog, P1 and then K9, then P10, then K11 etc so that you're increasing the size of the heel flap and decreasing the number of stitches at the ends of your needle with each row. Does that make sense? xx

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  35. Dear Mum, just wanted to tell you that I did as you said and I was able to turn the heel successfully. Doing 2 socks at one time and it will help greatly when I tackle the second one. Thank you again so much.
    Faye from CA

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    1. Hooray! I knew you would get there in the end! :-) xx

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  36. Hi There Thanks for sharing the pattern. This is my first attempt at knitting socks so here goes my first question; after I have knitted the 16 rounds of rib, you say on to leg part now 'knit each round' isn't the leg part knitted in stocking stitch therefore 1 row knit and 1 row purl ??

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    1. Hi Maree, because you're knitting in the round you're always going in the same direction so you only need to knit to produce the stocking stitch. Trust me, it works! Have you found the Sockalong tutorials to help you along as well? Xx

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  37. Hi there, i'm a crocheter and spied attic 24's blog posts about learning to knit socks, i'd love to learn but i find it difficult to learn new things with written patterns and pictures alone and wondered if there was a video tutorial for your pattern at all? Thank you

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    1. Hi Gwinni, it's lovely to see you! I don't have any video tutorials at the moment, although I think that's something I should definitely consider to go along with the Sockalong tutorials. If you're on Facebook you could join our Winwick Mum Sockalong group so that you'd get real-time help if you get stuck xx

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    2. Hi Gwinni, it's lovely to see you! I don't have any video tutorials at the moment, although I think that's something I should definitely consider to go along with the Sockalong tutorials. If you're on Facebook you could join our Winwick Mum Sockalong group so that you'd get real-time help if you get stuck xx

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  38. Hi, Christine,
    Just wanted to say thank you so much for your blow-by-blow instructions here. I followed them to the letter for the first pair of socks I've ever made (and the first time I've used circular needles and DPNs!) and it was much easier than I anticipated. The worst part was the grafting at the end!

    Plan now to make several more pairs.

    Best wishes,

    Linda

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    1. That's great to hear, thanks Linda! xx

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  39. Another one from NZ - this time the South Island. Fantastic pattern, have made a first sample so I know it works. Will pull it apart and complete a proper version.

    Suggestions - turn heel - specify to repeat rows 3 and 4, state how many stitches there should be at a couple more stages. but these are just ideas. The pattern is intuitively correct, easy to follow. Nice shape to the sock. My go to pattern for socks now and I tried quite a few before yours.

    The part I got lost in was after the pick up stitches for the gusset but this was because it was just a sample, will use a pencil and paper I'm sure it will be fine. I also tried it on DPNs, which weren't long enough for the number of stitches. Lesson learnt. Do you find that the circular needles come apart at the join? Oh well they're still the best bet.

    Thanks for the pattern. Much appreciated.

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    1. Hello, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I'm glad your socks have turned out OK, don't forget that there is more information and more photos in the Sockalong tutorials if there are places where you get stuck :-) xx

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  40. Great instructions!
    Thank you so much
    Teresa

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  41. I love your sock tutorial. I am a "show me how" person. Your pictures are worth a thousand words. I am working on my first pair of socks. Thank you, thank you. Jacque Dooley

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    1. That's great to hear, I'm so glad they're helping, Jacque! xx

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  42. I am enjoying you blog so much. I feel fortunate I found it. Especially love the socks tutorial. Thank you, thank you

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  43. You say to knit 2 rows of rib before transferring to circular needles. Is that to say that you will join the round on the third "row"? I'm imagining 2 rows of rib not connected and then joined in the round only when you start with the circular needles. How do you get it connected all the way to the top of the sock? Thanks!

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    1. Yes, that's quite right, Trish, you join at the end of the third row after you have transferred your stitches to your circular needle. Yes, there is a gap, but you've got a tail end to sew in so you can just sew up the small gap with your tail end and no one will ever know. You can join into the round straight from the cast on if you like, but I have found with beginners that it's easier to rib two rows first so that your stitches are less likely to twist xx

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  44. Hi, I learned of you and your sock tutorial on Attic24 with Lucy. She has given me the confidence to try! I ordered my sock yarn and was just about to get my needles out when I came to find that here in the U.S. we don't have 2.5mm & 3.0mm equivalents. What do you suggest I use? I so wanted to start these over the Christmas holiday but I don't know what to use. Can you help me please?

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    1. Hi Lori, it's lovely to see you! I suggest you try either a US1 (which is equivalent to our 2.25mm) or a US2 (which is equivalent to our 2.75mm) depending on whether you are a tighter or looser knitter. When you cast on, just choose a size bigger to make sure that your edge isn't too tight to get your foot through. Hope that helps - and have a lovely Christmas! xx

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    2. Hi, I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. Christmas was busy! :) Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it. I wasn't able to cast on as planned, I had to order the needles. Hopefully it will be a New Years cast on. Happy New Year! Kind regards, Lori

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  45. My New Year's resolution for 2017 was to learn to knit. I can now cast on, knit and purl stitch, It looks messy but I'm staying with it. My goal is to make tons of beautiful socks and hats and maybe, just maybe a sweater or too. I'm an intermediate crocheter and I must say it's apples and oranges right now, lol

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    1. Stick with it, Peggy, and it will all get better - you were a beginner crocheter once too! Once you can knit socks you can knit anything, so that sweater isn't out of your grasp at all :-) xx

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  46. I've just completed my first pair of socks and I've only had two very small sections that had to be unpicked. This was such an easy pattern to follow. My children now want their own pairs. Will it be possible to use a 30mm short circular. They have small feet so I'm sure I won't need too many stitches. ( I've not worked out how many to cast on yet). I have a feeling the 30mm circular will be too long.

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    1. Hello Susan, it's lovely to see you! You've done really well to only have to unpick twice on your first socks - you should be super-proud of yourself! I would suggest that for children's socks you go down to a 25cm needle or smaller - I can't use the smaller ones as they make my hands hurt but the 25cm needle doesn't feel that much different to the 30cm one but you can get less than 60 sts on comfortably. I cast on about 56 for my youngest daughter's socks and they stretch just a bit too much on a 30cm needle. The 25cm one is made by KnitPro so you should be able to track it down quite easily online if not at a local store that sells KnitPro needles. I have a range of needle lengths in my sock knitting kit - they're never wasted! xx

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  47. Hi I am getting to the scary bit ,turning the heel 16 stitches ,first row looks like I can follow but 2,3,4 rows it says turn and I will not have used the 16 I know I am just being dim ....Thanks for the lovely tutorial x

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    1. Hi Linda, your first row is the set up row to get you into the middle of your stitches and then after that you're just working on the middle stitches, leaving the others on your needle. I've got a YouTube channel now with videos to help - I'm still working on the Sockalong ones but this video from my latest tutorial might show you more easily how to turn the heel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocovtFAY0B0 Hope that helps! xx

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    2. Ha just watched it going to go back to it again and have another look but now I know where I am thank you this is my first ever sock x

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  48. Love this...my first sock ever and thats why i do have a question...as to where exactly tre the markers? coming from teh heel, picking up the stitches...place the marker...and then before i pick up the stitches? a bit forlorn here....

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    1. Yes, that's exactly right. You want one stitch marker on either side of the top of the foot stitches, although you'll probably find that you need to put the one on the K2tog side on last otherwise it will fall off your needle whilst you're picking up the stitches on the other side. If you're using DPNs you may not need stitch markers at all to begin with if you split your stitches across the needles so that your decreases are always at the start/end of a needle. If you are using stitch markers, you only need two for your decreases, you don't need to mark the start and end of the round any more. Hope that helps! xx

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  49. thanks loads, now i am close to the toe part, i have 68 stitches on my needles ( did the sole with 1 round of slip one, knit one ) now on which side did you start with the decreasing instructions?

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    1. Hi Sila, I always decrease from the right hand side of the top of the foot stitches which, if you consider the first gusset decrease to be the start and end of your round, is actually the start of the next round. You can decide whether to continue the heel stitch up the toes if you want :-) xx

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  50. Thanks again for your quick reply! with the next pair ( yarn given as a present is plenty for 3 pairs ) it will be much easier! yours was the best instruction i could find! much love and happy easter!

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    1. I'm so glad it all helped! I hope you have a lovely Easter too xx

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