Comparative Analysis of Knitting Socks

Whether you are new to sock knitting or you’ve knit a hundred plus pairs, there are a variety of knitting needles, methods and types of yarn that need to be decided upon.  Last week when I ran out of yarn on a big project (that was almost complete), I had to order yarn on ebay to finish.  The days that I waited I thought, what to knit, what to knit what to knit, while I waited for the package to be delivered.

Just the week before I’d been knitting at one of my LYS (Local Yarn Stores) McWalker Yarns in Millvale.  We were talking socks.   Although I had several projects started (WIP- Works in Progress) some were on hold, I had just the one pair of socks I was knitting.

Amy, the store’s owner, was talking about having multiple pairs on the go, some for the Sock Club who meet at the store.

Plenty of sock yarn right in my house,  some gifted to me, some purchased in my travels and so I dug around in my stash.

I gathered all the knitting needles I use to knit socks (2.25mm Size 1), and cast on several pairs to knit and compare the different methods. I wanted to find my preferred method, my favorite knitting needles and try out some different yarns.  Plus, I thought I would start Christmas socks for gifts and a pair for myself. I did not cast on the 9″ circular needle I have as I have tried it and my hands seem to big to manage it efficiently.  I am sure there are knitters who love this size needle.

Here are my experiments and thoughts on each.

You will find which method and knitting needles you prefer after you make a few socks.  I thought I’d complete all the cuffs first but I stuck with a couple pairs into the legs.  It was supposed to be sequential-  then knit all the legs once the cuffs were completed, and then I will do the heels, the foot and the toe.

More choices to be made as I knit on but I decided all vanilla socks and let the yarn be shown off whether it was speckled or self-striping.  Knitting in circles is soothing and relaxing to me.

Yes, there are heel flaps and gusset, short row heels, afterthought heels, Fish Lips Kiss Heel and here’s a terrific blog post on the pros and cons of different heels with tutorial link.

I’ll look for one on options for  toes- rounded toes, wedge toes.  Many choices. My socks are Top Down but many prefer Toe Up method. A few links at the end of the post for additional information. 72DDD34A-BD4A-4B01-B858-9684A7F60127The Gingerbread Stripe Yarn by Artistic Yarn by Abi

Knit on size1  32″ long Signature Needle Arts made in the USA.   Magic Loop method, two at a time.  Love the stiletto needle points, but not keen on the cable as it is never relaxed. I have knit the most on these as I have someone definite in mind to receive this pair as a Christmas gift. Motivational to knit this pair.  Worried about yarn getting tangled up watch Knit Freedom Video on YouTube.  I use two little bags one for each ball of yarn, too. There was a time when I wouldn’t take my Two at a Time Magic Loop Method socks out of the house, only worked on them at home.  It can be done.  Some people HATE the Magic Loop Method. It is my “go to”

 Mina Philipp Mina’s Two at a Time Socks pattern on Ravelry she explains how she knits the cuffs of the sock on DPNs and then transfers to a long cable needle to do Magic Loop

West Yorkshire Spinners Holly Berry Yarn purchased from McWalker Yarns in Millvale PA

Two at a time,Magic Loop method, knit on a single addi Turbo Rocket needle Size 1 32″ long, a super slick finish and nice point. Fast knitting. Can you guess that I have been a Single Sock Syndrome knitter in the past?  Hence the intense study and watching Youtube videos when I retired to master the Two at at Time Magic Loop Method. addi knitting needles Made in Germany.

This single sock just got cast on to Signature Arts 5″ long Stiletto point (they are SHARP)  Double Point Needles (DPNs) (size 1) The yarn is from CSDye and the colorful DPN holder is pieced and sewn by Renee at Lowland Originals Etsy (Netherlands)

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A friend gave me these addi FlexiFlips she puchased and she lost one so I have FIVEsince she bought another whole set of 3. They are a 2.5mm size instead of my preferred 2.25 mm needle.  There is a pointy end and a less pointy end.  They have a flexible cord connecting the two metal needle points.  Some people are wild about FlexiFlips.  Definitely less cable to deal with.

 

Pairfect Yarn by Arne and Carlos.  Christmasy self striping. Has yellow guide yarn to get the perfect pair. One at a time sock on TWO CIRCULAR 16″ needles. My friend Ann’s favorite method.   I used one addi Lace needle with a brass finish and one ChiaoGoo needle with a silvery nickel finish.  That way you don’t end up with ALL the stitches on one needle, you can keep it straight.

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Oh, how I love thee ChiaoGoo Lace cable.  Why can’t you be on the Signature Arts needles?

Piratenwolle hand dyed sock yarn from my wonderful Woolswap partner Sylvia in Germany

Knitting tutorials that have been helpful in making socks.

•Where I learned most of what I know about sock knitting  How I Make My Socks by Susan B Anderson.

•Avoid Tangles with knitting Two at a Time 

*Very Pink Knits Library of Sock Knitting for more options and clear professional instruction,