Sock Talk: The parts of a hand-knit sock

For a self-taught knitter in the early stages of the craft like me, there is truly something miraculous about discovering that not all knitting happens ‘flat,’ in 2 dimensions. After knitting scarf after scarf, I wanted to push myself to tackle a new technical challenge: knitting in the round. This method produces circular tubes instead of flat planes of fabric (and is the earliest form of knitting, it turns out). Whether using a circular needle, or multiple double-pointed needles, I find that knitting in the round challenges me to develop new skills.

With autumn slowly making its way in, I decided, over the last few weeks, to tackle knitting on double-pointed needles by making my first pair of socks. Socks were among the first knitted garments (!), with the earliest knitted socks found in the Middle East, dated between the 13th and 16th centuries (thanks, Vogue Knitting).

I’m grateful that sock-making traditions and knowledge are easily available for curious knitters. While helpful online tutorials on the topic abound, I found Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks a clear and useful guide to the terrain. It begins by introducing one basic all-around sock pattern, adapted to multiple yarn weights and gauges so that knitters can get started with whatever materials they have on hand.

What follows is not a detailed sock-making tutorial, but more of a very rough guide to the steps I followed to make my first pair of socks, a kind of sock anatomy 101. Goofy pictures included (advance apologies for the inconsistent colours). Continue reading “Sock Talk: The parts of a hand-knit sock”