Kimberly has taught knitting, crochet, and loom knitting classes. She also tests patterns for designers and designs her own patterns.
Socks I Have Knit
Why Knit Socks? Quality and Fit!
Sure, you can buy packages of cheap socks at a discount store. But are they made with wool? With lovingly crafted stitches? Custom fit for your foot? No, for that you need hand-knit socks!
Socks provide plenty of knitting pleasure in a small package. While you may not be able to afford enough alpaca or cashmere for a sweater, a ball or two of luxury sock yarn may be in your budget. As sock knitting has become more popular, sock yarn is now on the shelves at major craft chains such as JoAnn and Michael's--although you still need a yarn specialty store for the high-end sock yarns.
Free sock knitting patterns leave you more money for yarn, so let's get going!
No-Brainer Tube Socks
Perhaps "no-brainer" is not the right term, but these socks will be almost as relaxing as plain knitting. No heel to turn means just relaxing, circular knitting for the carpool line or watching telelvision.
Tube socks are easy to knit because there is no need to turn the heel.
The most popular tube sock patterns are knit in the round in spiral ribbing. Make spiral ribbing by shifting a ribbing pattern every few rounds, causing the ribbing to make diagonal lines instead of straight vertical lines. This stitch pattern hugs the foot comfortably and springs back into shape easily. Try this simple technique on a small scale with the Spiral Tube Socks for Toddlers.
Since there is no need to know exact foot length, tube socks are wonderful for gift giving and for charity knitting. Knit several pair in a generic adult's or children's size and know they will fit your chosen recipient.
Variation: Leg Warmers
Here are some wonderful ballet legwarmers from a fellow hubber: Free Pattern for Legwarmers for Ballet. No heel or toe means nothing but relaxing knitting in the round.
Traditional Socks with Heels
An advantage to knitting socks from the toe up to the top is that the sock may be tried on as it is being knit. If sock yarn is limited, the knitter can wind the yarn into two equal balls, one for each sock, and simply knit until the yarn runs out-far better than starting at the top and then running out of yarn before reaching the toe! Try Wendy's Toe-up Sock Pattern or Easy Toe-up Socks.
Just Plain Socks
The conventional sock, knit from the top down, is still knit all over the world. The basic sock consists of top ribbing, leg, heel/gusset, foot, and toe, knit in that order. For socks like great-grandmother used to make, try Joanne Hinmon's Socks or K2P2 Ribbed Socks. Like our forbears, you can find a favorite sock pattern, memorize it, and knit countless pairs of socks for precious feet in your own household.
For the adventurous knitter with mad skills, the Toe Socks pattern is a worthy project. This sock would certainly not be good for beginners, but would make an interesting technical exercise for the advanced knitter. One must be adept at using double-pointed needles in a small size.
A beginning knitter can certainly handle Arizona Flip-Flop Socks. Catherine J. Hall designed these open-toe socks after moving to Arizona and finding that sometimes a little extra warmth is needed on desert nights. These socks provide some cozy cushioning for the balls of the feet. The toeless design is also great for those who enjoy pedicures.
Try knitting some socks today. Socks are portable projects and require small amounts of yarn, so you can get hours of knitting enjoyment without spending too much money.
Caught Knitting in Public
One of many reasons I enjoy knitting socks is the look of amazement I often get from passers-by when I knit in public. I have had small children stand entranced in a doctors' waiting room watching me with my dpn's knitting a tube. They say "Mommy, what is she doing?" Sometimes the mommy knows what I'm doing, sometimes not. Older folks may tell me they remember their granny knitting like that. At any rate, sock knitting can be a real conversation starter.