The Best Yarns For Socks

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How the socks you are making will be worn should help determine what type of yarn to use. If you are knitting socks to be worn with shoes, choose yarn that is not too thick but very durable. Yarns specifically manufactured and labeled as sock yarns are good for this purpose because these yarns are usually thin and spun with wool that has been reinforced with nylon. If you are making socks for lounging, look for yarns that are soft to the touch and provide warmth. In all cases, choose yarns that have elasticity because the socks will stretch with wear; yarns that have no elasticity will produce socks that stretch out and never regain their original shape.

TYPES OF NEEDLES FOR SOCK KNITTING

The socks in this chapter are knit on sets of four double-pointed needles. Some knitters like metal double-pointed needles because the slippery metal enables them to knit faster; others prefer wood or bamboo because the needles don't slide and fall out of the work when it is turned or stored. Plastic double-pointed needles are usually lightweight and less expensive than the other two types.

SOCK SIZES

The master sock pattern in this chapter covers the range of sizes shown in Table 1. You measure both the circumference and length of the foot of the wearer to determine which set of instructions to follow. You can adjust the length to suit the wearer.

Table 1. Sock Sizes

Sock Size

Approximate Foot Circumference (at Widest Point)

Approximate Foot Length

(From Tip of Big Toe Diagonally to End of Heel)

XS

5 in.

4 to 6Y2 in.

S

6 in.

6Y2 to 7Y> in.

M

7 in.

7Y2 to 8Y2 in.

L

8 in.

8Y2 to 10 in.

XL

9 in.

10 to ir/2 in.

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Faux Fair Isle Socks

You don't have be an expert knitter to create vibrant socks in eye-catching stripes and color patterns. You can knit any of the sock styles that follow in self-patterning yarn. This is yarn that has been dyed in several colors at measured intervals along the strand. Knitting with self-patterning yarn produces these fun stripes and almost Fair Isle-looking color patterns. The added element of surprise makes knitting with these yarns exciting.

You can turn out countless pairs of socks with this master pattern. The sizes range from toddler to men's XL, and the gauges run from 4 stitches per inch to 7 stitches per inch.

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