Whether you’re new to socks or a veteran sock knitter, it’s good to have a basic sock pattern. As this year begins, we’re launching a sock of the month series, beginning with some general information and a basic pattern!
Learning to knit socks is like falling in love, there will be highs and lows, but once you start, you won’t want to stop! Socks are the perfect portable project, and over the next few months we’ll be finding you some delectable sock patterns and yarns to try! If you can knit and purl, you can knit a sock! Our brilliant Amy Kaspar wrote a great introduction last year on the construction of a sock, which will give you a good start if you’re new to sock knitting!
Double pointed needles
Working with DPNs is a great adventure – most sock patterns call for four needles; you cast on the total number of stitches and then divide the stitches between three needles, the fourth becomes your “working needle” – the one that you use to actively knit. For beginners, wooden or bamboo DPNs are easiest because they slip less – we love these Addi Bamboo needle sets (below left), and these beautiful Knit Pro Symphonie rosewood double pointed needles. Both are perfect for a first foray into sock knitting!
Most sock patterns are knit in 4ply yarn on 2.5 -3.5mm needles, and there is a kaleidoscope of sock yarn to explore! There are blends of just about every kind of fibre but there are factors to consider when choosing: socks need to be washable and you will want them to keep their shape, so some added acrylic is a good idea. If you have sensitive toes, choose a cotton or bamboo blend; for luxury socks, indulge in some merino, alpaca or silk, and if you want some every day socks, choose a good superwash wool, like Cascade 220 Superwash Sport.
Self striping and self patterning yarns are a sock knitter’s dream come true – you can create wonderful effects with colour and print by doing nothing more than stocking stitch! We love Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic, which comes in 23 delicious shades – below 0005, 0066 and 0079. When you choose a multi-coloured variegated yarn for socks, remember to make a note of the colour you start knitting with at the beginning of the first sock, and start the second the same way, so that your socks match!
Regia is a very well known brand for sock yarn (read Amy Kaspar’s review of My First Regia 4ply) and we love Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet, for both gorgeous variegated and solid shades – we have a whole range of sock yarn for you to explore!
A basic top-down sock pattern is a good place to start before you explore something more complicated. We love Louise Tilbrook’s beginner adult sock pattern, for its clear instructions and straight forward approach, and our sock guru Elizabeth Bagwell’s “how to knit your first sock” post will give you a good introduction to the process in general before you begin!
Click on the image below to download this FREE basic sock pattern. Add the pattern to your basket, and select ‘Go to Checkout’ – this requires you to create an account with LoveKnitting. If you’ve already shopped with us, then you will already have an account and can simply sign in. Follow the checkout process (you will not be charged!) to receive the download. Learn more here.
We have some fantastic Sock patterns for every skill level just waiting to be made – and each month we will be showcasing a pattern and yarn for you to knit!
Have you got a favourite sock pattern or sock story to share with us? Tell us in the comments!
Last updated: January 8th, 2015.