08 April 2007

Teabird's sure-fire method of knitting socks

This is a mess.

a mess

This mess consists of every sock book, sock pattern, sock pamphlet, sock printout, and scribbled note about socks in the house. I ought to be ashamed. However, if you look really really really closely, you'll see this:


It's one-half inch of cuff. Sock cuff. Out of sock yarn.

It took 2 hours, and the following steps:

1. Look at every sock book (etc.) and decide that I want to use 5 DPNs and a basic pattern I found online.
2. Cast 60 stitches onto one DPN and divide onto 4 needles.
3. Proceed to knit. Forget that you're supposed to use the 5th DPN to knit onto. Wonder why you are knitting a spiral.
4. Rip.
5. Cast onto one straight needle (a hint from a website), knit/purl onto 4 DPNs, begin to knit with 5th, get confused and knit back on the same DPN. Wonder why you're knitting a flap.
5. Rip.
6. Choose another pattern because it's the first pattern's fault. Decide that 4 DPNs are better than 5.
7. Repeat 3 and 5, rip and rip.
8. Remember that Bridget has used this pattern and has produced actual socks. Take a deep breath.
9. Repeat 6.
10. Cast on.
11. Begin to knit, and wonder why your left leg is becoming numb.
12. Wonder if this is a common sock-knitting phenomenon.
13. Realize that the yarn has wound itself around your thigh and is cutting off your circulation.
14. Drop the needles.
15. Repeat 10.
16. Begin to knit, continue to knit, and produce the beginning of a cuff.
17. Take a picture, because no one will believe it.

So there you are.


Emma said...

Hee! Sounds like fun. Hang in there, because it really gets easier. The first part is the fiddly part.

Jennifer said...

Courage! It gets easier with practice.

KnitNana said...

Except that you forgot one step: email Knitnana to see if it's better to use 4 or 5 dpns...

(OH, right. And then place your order for a Posy Sock Sack - SEE...you're a believer already, even if you haven't gotten the concept down - you know you will, or you wouldn't have ordered one! lolol!)
You'll get there!

Stephanie said...

Well - You've done the hardest part. Those firs few rows are so fiddly. After you get a few rows on the needles it seems to stabilize and get easier.

Becky said...

Keep on keeping on! With perseverence like that you'll have a sock in no time!

Bells said...


I have had similar processes.

I look forward to seeing the outcome!

Paula said...

That was great!
See, you are knitting a sock!
The hard part is done and soon the cuff will be done too!
And you will be ready for the heel flap which totally easy, as you just knit 30 stitches back and forth on 2 needles.

You should have seen my first sock! I will have to hunt it down and show it.
LOL! It could have fit a 3 toed sloth if it had a giant heel! LOL!

I keep it around to remind myself that each sock that I knit that is a failure is far better than that first sock.
I always found it easier to cast on all my stitches on to a straight needle too!
That is 2 or 3 sizes bigger than the dpns I am going to use, than divide them all onto the 3 dpns, Then join them by knitting the first stitch with the main yarn and the tail together using the 4 dpns to knit with (this helps anchor the stitch and eliminates the starting gap), then after the ribbing (or pattern for the cuff is done I switch to 5 dpns and knit the rest of the sock.
Using the 5 dpns as your sock grows helps to eliminate the gap "laddering" that happens when you change needles. Even when pulling tight the first 2 stitches after changing to the next dpn, you will get a little bit laddering from working with a triangle instead of a square.

KSD said...

This is precisely why I don't do DPNs.

Bridget said...

Good for you! Especially since I didn't e-mail an answer to your question(sorry, my excuse is too much company for the holiday) ...

They are looking really great. I use 4 dpns and knit with the 5th, but just because that is how I was taught. And God forbid I vary my technique!

I hope you'll post your progress, I think you'll do a great job.

Robyn said...

I used Silver's Sock class online to help-good instructions and pictures. the most awkward part IS the beginning.


pixie girl said...

You know, I do believe you've gone further with your cuff than I have with my toe, so brava:)! Stephanie has it exactly right - it is FIDDLY to start out on a sock, no matter which end you start with:)!

Khadijha Caitlin said...

You poor dear! Your hands just need to learn the feel of it. Its like learning how to knit all over again. But you'll pick it up much quicker!

Khadijha Caitlin said...

Oh and the yarn looks too cute! - I love it! It has that spring feeling too it. Maybe it will bring on the sunny weather.

Carrie K said...

Photographic evidence that it IS possible to knit a cuff of a sock!

Who knew?

And lol at your troubles! 5 dpn's are better.

Khadijha Caitlin said...

I've found that I like to use 4 while doing the cuff and then I add the 5th after the heel.

amy said...

My first-ever knit project was a stocking on #10 dpns, which made it a snap to use dpns from then on, but biased me against eensy teensy needles. My first foot sock, I got about as far as you did, then put it away for a year or so. But I've recently begun knitting socks, and it's SO much fun once you get past the toothpicks you're knitting on...

Isaac said...

Hang in there - not long ago I was having the same problems. Socks get much easier once you get the hang of that first part. Just don't get intimidated by DPN's. I'm trying to learn Magic Loop...it's going well...but I'm still not sure.