So tomorrow (Thursday) we’ll be starting our sock KAL, but before we actually cast o the first stitch, I thought it would be a good idea to see what we’re actually getting ourselves into. I have found that the better your understanding of something, the better your results when trying to create it. With this in mind, we’ll dissect a sock, okay, maybe just look at it, and find out what makes a sock a sock. For the purpose of this KAL and discussions, we’ll be looking at shaped socks – not those tube types. If you take a sock from your drawer and examine it, you’ll be able to follow along quite easily. If you don’t have one handy, I want to move where you are because it means the climate is nice and warm and wearing socks is not necessary.
So looking at a sock, it is really two tubes at a right angle to each other. Yes, this angle decreases as the sock is worn and gets used to the wearer’s feet, but essentially, that’s what we’re talking about. Now that is obviously a simplistic way of looking at a sock, but in reality, if you can visualize it this way, its construction becomes a little easier. In order to create that in knitting, we need to cast on for the first tube (we’re knitting this first sock from cuff to toe), knit it, work the right angle necessary to change the direction of our stitch, then knit the second tube. Once the second tube is long enough, we decrease down to close it up and cast off. Easy, right? Actually, while socks require the learning of more basic skills than most things in knitting, they are actually rather easy. The great thing about learning how to make a sock is than once you can, you’ll have the confidence to tackle just about anything thrown at your needles.
Okay, now let’s look at an actual sock, define the parts of it, and relate it to the simplified instructions above. Here is a picture I found on the internet that’s color coded, making it perfect for this little exercise.
Here are the parts of the sock: 1. Cuff 2. Heel Flap 3. Heel Turn 4. Gusset 5. Foot 6. Toe
More or less, these are the essential parts of your standard shaped sock. Yes, you may have other names for the parts, but hopefully they’ll be located in the same spots! If we go back to the instructions above and rewrite them, this is what it would sound like:
We’ll start by casting on the stitches for the cuff (1) and knit it to the desired length. At that point, we’ll work half those stitches into the heel flap (2). We’ll then turn the heel (3), and pick up the stitches across the ankle. Then we’ll decrease down using a gusset (4) to get the right amount of stitches for the foot(5). We’ll knit the foot to the length we want, and then finish by decreasing and working the toe (6). Still easy, right? Great, glad you agree. Here’s a great video put up by Kelley of KnitPicks that also describes this process …
Now that you’re prepared, tomorrow we’ll get started!