How I Knit My Socks (A Recipe)

Preview of sawkkThe yarn I bought the other day has inspired me.

There’s not much I like more than crispy, hard-wearing sock yarn. There’s something about the texture that makes me so happy even if it’s not the softest thing ever and in the space of two days the combination of colour and texture spurred me into this sock.

I am halfway down the calf of the other sock and realised I know my leg and skinny ankles so well that I can throw out a sock without thinking too hard. This is how I knit this sock (which is high enough to wear with my Doc Martens):


400ish yards pretty sock yarn

2.75mm needles (preferably wood)


Darning needle

A foot on which to put the sock

  1. Cast on a multiple of 4 – for me I usually do 60, but as this sock is longer I’m doing 64.
  2. Do two-ish inches your ribbing of choice. I like 2×2 but 1×1 is fine and even 3×1 if you’re feeling adventurous.
  3. Switch to stockinette. Forget you’re doing stockinette halfway through the row and go back to ribbing. Curse enthusiastically. Tink and return to stockinette.
  4. Knit about two inches plain stockinette, then decrease at the beginning of the row every three rows until you’re down to 60.
  5. Admire the shapely calf curve.
  6. Knit until you’re about as long as you want it, then remember how skinny your ankles are and decrease another two for luck.
  7. Do a heel flap in eye of partridge until it looks roughly square, then pick up the side stitches and curse because despite years of experience you still forgot to turn the heel.
  8. Go back and turn the heel. Do the dance of joy.
  9. Pick up the stitches on the sides of the heel flap, realise it’s uneven in numbers, shrug and decrease an extra stitch.
  10. Decrease the gusset stitches every two rows until you’re back to 60.
  11. Knit until it reaches the bottom of your long monkey toes. Do another couple of rows for good luck.
  12. Decrease the toe stitches – first every other row (3 times), then every row until there’s either ten or eight stitches left.
  13. Kitchener the last stitches with sweat on your brow.
  14. Weave in the ends. Triumph!

Then you have to repeat all of that again, hoping against hope that the sock ends up roughly the same length as the other one. Somehow I never succeed in this, not even when the pattern repeats say there should be exactly the same stitches in each leg. I’m pretty sure it’s magic. Dark, bad magic.

Is your sock process anything like the above?


25 thoughts on “How I Knit My Socks (A Recipe)

  1. My sock formula is similar, but because I have sensory issues which make it necessary to avoid any hint of a seam, bump or ridge at the toe I do toe up. Hence:
    Using Jenny’s wonderful, amazing perfectly smooth miraculous cast on, the cast on a multiple of four to my favorite extra long cabled sock needle. Do this twice so I can knit both socks at once. Knit a round or two. Start increasing a stitch or two in from each side of the toes on each side of my needle (4 increases per toe per every other round) until toes will almost fit over all but my little toe. Start design on top of foot and plain stockinette on bottom… and so it goes, roughly the inverse of what you described.
    The swearing and tinking is largely dependent on whether or not my husband and/or grandchildren are blathering at me at each transition and/or how much sleep I’ve gotten at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds very much like mine, just in the opposite direction. My swearing is often dependent on whether or not I’m at work, or whether my swearing will disturb the sleeping cat under my knitting. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sleeping cats! Ah yes, we have four of them who like to sleep in, on and under my knitting…when they’re not busy dragging it around the house while caterwauling as if they’d just killed the giant rat that ate the North American continent.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t made that many socks, but hubby wants some to wear around the house. So as soon as I figure out a formula for him- I’ll churn out a few pairs.


  3. Okay so I just discovered you blog and I am in loooove. Totally want to try this now. Would be amazing if you could check out my blog tooo xxx


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