Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two Socks, One Week: Getting Started Cuff to the Ankle

Baseline: Sock 1, Day 1
Timeline: 105 minutes OR Steps 1 and 2

Of course, it only occurred to me 5 seconds ago that I'm going to have to publish the posts for this KAL in 4 days - not 1 week - given that you need to make 2 socks and all of the meaningful info applies to the first sock.


So that's why I'm starting a day early. (I will put up a post or 2 while you're making sock 2, but obvs, you need the instructive deets before then...)

Now, in order to ensure that there's distinction between the steps, and so as not to make one post overly complex, my goal is to more than once per day, when relevant.  I will indicate, in the first post of the day, if you should check back later for more. Hopefully this system will work optimally for everyone.

But enough preamble, let's talk about today's plan: Starting the first sock!
  1. First up, cast on with your method of choice... 
  2. Then, as required, I suggest that you check back over my video tutorial post if you need a reminder about how to get into the swing of magic loop. It just occurred to me that I forgot to link you to Gail's post having a terrific video which describes how to fix, super easily, a twist in the stitches after the first row. It's so simple when you see it - why didn't I ever think of it before?? You really must check it out!
  3. Of course, your primary working document is the pattern, which you can always access here.
Today, you're going to work either a) for 105 minutes or b) till you finish the cuff and leg of the sock. At the top of each post, you'll see a baseline reference with suggested timelines and daily "step completion". I hope it will help to keep you on track! Feel free to ignore it, natch, if you're working to a different schedule.

Presuming you get through the cuff and leg of sock 1, by the end of Day 1, you'll have knit 6 inches - 2 inches of rib and 4 inches of stockinette.

A few pointers:
  • Don't forget to place the green marker at the beginning of the round (where the tail is), once you get your magic loop going. For this part of the sock, we require only one marker - the green one.
  • If you go down a needle size for the rib portion (not instructed, but potentially desirable) do ensure that you knit onto the "sock body" size needle you'll use on the first row of knitting (after the rib). If you find it tricky to decrease AND move from one needle to another on the same row, decrease on the first knit row - on the smaller needles first. Then move to the new needle on the second row of knitting.
  • If you're using self-striping socks with long stripe repeats, I suggest you consider how you want those stripes to start. If there's a top colour you prefer, maybe separate the skein of yarn into 2 separate skeins. Or at very least remember that you may need to sacrifice a few yards of yarn when you start the second spot, to ensure you get the same striping.
  • Don't forget - and I have done this before! - to decrease 4 stitches on the first row of the leg of the sock (Step 2). How you do this is up to you, though I do give a suggested method in the pattern. I find this gives an additional snugness to the sock leg that I really miss if it's not there. (Note: I have fairly skinny ankles and calves.)
BTW: At 6 inches, just before beginning to work the heel flap, this is what my sock looks like:

Arguably, between the magic loop tutorial and the relatively simple nature of this phase of the sock construction, this will be (hopefully) a fairly simple couple of steps. But pls. leave questions in the comments. Or, if not questions, please let me know how it's going for y'all. Do you find this amount of knitting easily doable in a day? Is it a breeze? Kind of challenging? I only have my own experience to go by so I'd love to know your perspective.

Total aside: I can see, by the view of my 8000 photos (wait for them), that I will have to do my rib on smaller needles in projects going forward. And maybe move to 2x2 rib. I'm just not loving my loose stitches - even if they get prettier after blocking...

Next post, which will look at Step 3, the working the heel flap, up tomorrow...


  1. I've always use double points for knitting socks, but I just purchased some clover 9" circulars that I'm anxious to try. Your sock is looking great!

  2. Thanks Linda! Those 9" ones are for knitting socks without magic loop, right? I've got a pair - but I'm frankly too scared to try them. They look too tiny to work! :-) I'm so intrigued to hear about your experience using them...

    1. Yes, the circulars in lieu of the dpns; I've never tried magic loop - maybe some day.

  3. So far, so good. I am questioning though if maybe Step 2 should list the IMPORTANT R1 before the first line stating to work in stockinette stitch for 4 inches. A beginner might understand it as saying to work 4", then do the decrease of 4 sts. My suggestion would be to list the *Work in stockinette stitch for 4 inches or desired length- the leg and cuff will be 6" total* after the other three bulleted lines. Does my idea make sense to you? Just thought I would mention it.

    1. Very smart suggestion and it does make perfect sense. That's another thing I'll modify in the pattern when I make the revisions... Thanks for your comment!

  4. I am clearly a very slow knitter. No way could I do 6" of knitting in 105 minutes! I am plodding on.

    1. You know, I couldn't either, at first. But now that I've done it a few times, I've picked up speed. You'll have to try this again after you make this pair and see if you get any faster...