Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sock Experiments

While I am procrastinating, and unable to get on to Ravelry, I thought I'd show you my sock experiment. It all started when I got absolutely sick of my handmade socks falling off whenever I kicked off my shoes. While I was knitting the right size (or even a smaller size) for my feet, it appears that my loose tension was allowing the fabric to stretch out ridiculously around the ankle when worn.
The green sock below is an example of this.

All my socks do this. (yes, internal rage!)
Too worn to be successfully pulled undone and reknit in a smaller size / tighter tension I decided a couple of darts might solve the problem. I know sewing darts in knitting after the fact is probably unusual, but these things were heading for the bin, So out came the sewing machine.

And I sewed me some darts.

I cut the seams and zig zagged the edges (I'm not daft!)

And the end result above!
Because I was sewing from the inside (and because I didn't care that much) I didn't successfully sew down a line of stitches (and this would have almost completely hid the seam for much of the dart). But that's ok - because now my socks stay ON! I was completely surprised - this must be what it feels like to knit socks that fit properly. .No more sock sliding half off when kicking off my shoes (seriously, I could have removed my socks just by rubbing my feet backwards on the carpet).
I would have removed at least 10 columns of stitches per sock

So, the things I learned from this experiment:
1. I need to cast on fewer stitches. My current sock is 60 sts.
2. I need to tighten up my tension, or go down to 2mm needles
3. Maybe I need to not throw them in the washing machine with some Persil.
4. Maybe I need to not knit with superwash yarn, which I find allows the fabric to stretch. This goal is probably impossible.
5. Maybe I will have more success knitting socks with a tightly spun yarn.
6. Maybe I need to knit a different kind of heel other than a traditional heel flap.
7. Ribbing?
8. Sewing darts in socks after the fact actually does work!

And in case you're wondering - no I can't feel the darts on the inside. I guess this means I'm not a princess.   :(

Now the thing to decide - do I reknit those other socks I haven't worn yet or do I just whack some darts in????


  1. For myself, I knit socks 56 sts around on 2.5 mm needles. I also make short-row heels, which makes them a little tighter around the ankle than a proper gusset and turned heel would. I just made a pair for my husband on 2.5 mm needles on 60 sts a round, and they were perfect. So, yeah. Experimentation is everything.