Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Making socks that fit

One of the reasons I love knitting socks is because it's fairly easy to make them fit. You just need two important measurements: the circumference (C) of the widest part of the ball of the foot, and the length (L) from the tip of the longest toe to the center of the ankle. I sometimes have a hard time explaining to people the L measurement, so here's the illustration from the sock scriptures, Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy.

To get the L measurement, the author says, "I place a ruler on the floor at the inside edge of the foot, with the person seated and their foot resting lightly on the floor." It can be handy to know the circumference of the ankle, but that's usually somewhere close to the C measurement.

I also like making socks because nearly everyone likes them and can stand to have many pairs. How many hats, scarves, and mittens does one person really need? Sweaters take too long. And don't even talk to me about afghans, shawls, and lace.

And you don't really need to have a recipient in mind when you start a new sock. You can let the pattern and the yarn take you where it wants, and you end up with what I call "Cinderella Socks" -- whomever they fit, gets them.


Tallguy said...

hehe Don, I like your approach to socks! Yes, indeed, they can be your little practice pieces; you can do all sorts of patterns in a sock, and it will still be alright. Even lace! And you don't have to commit to a large piece. Perfect.

I love socks too. And everyone wears socks!

Ken said...

Thanks for the heads up on the "L" measurement technique. I'll have to check out the book that it came from.

yarmando said...

Tallguy -- yes, I have done a few lace socks. They make a nice change from K2P2 rib.

Ken -- I do recommend Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy. Detailed, step-by-step instructions for top-down and toe-up socks using Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' short-row method for the heel and toe. Most of the socks I make are variations on this.

rcclive said...

"Cinderella" socks - what a good description. I used to be able to make socks for my mother that would fit Harry if he fell in love with the yarn before my mom saw them. Now that she's gone I can knit socks for Harry, or for Dr G in Cleveland if I want to. And if I knit socks for myself but need to give a present to my sister-in-law I can do that too. Yes, everyone needs socks ...

Unknown said...

All those lucky sock recipients! I wish someone in my family took up knitting.
I make quilts, which are not much sought after by family members. My sister in law is the only person I have made a quilt for that actually said she wanted another one! One gift quilt never even earned me a "thank you."
But...they go in juried shows and sometimes win awards.
So There!