Knitting socks is just one of those lovely things in life, well, for me it is anyway. It is the process of knitting them, the construction, that makes it so enjoyable.
I like to knit socks that are patterned and also those that are just plain stocking stitch (Vanilla socks), I love that I can pick up some needles and a ball of yarn and knit a sock. No pattern required, it's all in my head. It still gives me such satisfaction that I can do this and even after years of knitting socks, the process still makes me feel clever!
When you knit a plain vanilla sock there is still a lot of variety in your project, still plenty to keep you interested; there are a multitude of different ribbing styles you can use for the cuff (k1p1, k2p2, k2p1 whatever you like), then you choose the length of your leg and on to the heel. There are so many heels to choose from, my favourite at the moment is the Fish Lips Kiss Heel but there is the slip stitch heel, the eye of partridge, the dutch and many more. After the heel you are knitting the foot to the desired length and then you get to choose a toe style, do you want a traditional toe with a kitchener stitch to seal it? Or do you want the star toe or the toe with eight decreases around where the last eight stitches are gathered together (no kitchener).
I just want to add a side note here - if you have difficulty remembering Kitchener Stitch from memory go and watch this youTube video, I watched this once and I never have to check anymore, I can just do it :)
Choosing yarn for your sock is so exciting. We have the chose of a solid colour, a veriagated yarn, a stunning tweeded yarn, a tonal yarn, a beautifully soft merino yarn, sparkles, a hand dyed yarn, a yarn which knits itself in to a fair isle pattern like magic before your eyes! Also, I love contrasting colours for cuffs, heels and toes. It's endless and it's thrilling to us because we love socks.
Also, you can choose a method to knit your socks. Do you use DPN's (double pointed needles)? Are you a magic loop sock knitter or do you use two circular needles for your sock knitting? I have never yet tried the two circular needle method and although I know I am a DPN sock knitter, I still do magic loop sometimes and will definitely try two circular needles at some point. Of course, I will youTube how to do it because it is all on there if you just do a search :)
Last, but not least, do you toe up or do you cuff down? Do you make one at a time or two at a time on magic loop? Do you knit your socks in tandem; do the cuff of one and then the cuff of the second, do the leg of one and then the leg of the second etc so that you finish them together and eliminate the problem of not wanting to cast on the second sock because you already know what it looks like, right?
You see! Socks are so interesting and that is just the vanilla sock. Then we can choose from one of the thousands of pre-written and beautiful patterns available on Ravelry and in pattern books.
Even I have a little pattern on Ravelry, it's lacy but not difficult to do at all :) It is called the Girls' Night In Sock pattern and it is currently only £1. Click the picture above to take you to Ravelry to view the pattern page. Girls' Night In is a short sock but as with any pattern add in another pattern (or 2) repeat to make the leg longer (just make sure you finish on the designation pattern row).
There is a great book called Sock Architecture by Lara Neel which gives many different ways of making a sock. I have this book but have yet to look at it (I have been busy sorting my craft room but I am now almost finished - woohoo!), I can't wait to try out all the different sock elements and 'plug' them into my basic sock recipe.
My basic sock recipe is:
Cast on 64 stitches on 2.25 dpn's
Rib (2 x 2 or your favourite rib) for 16 rows
Knit the leg in the round for 65 rows
Use the Fish Lips Kiss Heel (pattern is $1.20 HERE or your favourite heel)
Knit the sock until it is about 1.5" shorter than my foot
Do a decreased and gathered toe as follows (or your favourite toe):
Knit 6 K2 tog around
Knit 5 rows
K5 K2 tog around
Knit 4 rows
K4 K2 together around
Knit 3 rows
K3 K2 together around
Knit 2 rows
K2 K2 together around
Knit 1 row
K1 K2 together around
K2 together around
Cut yarn and thread the end through the remaining 8 stitches to gather together (like the top of a hat).
Go knit a sock or two :)