Sock a Month Knitalong 3

Thursday, February 22, 2007

advice for a sock newbie

OK so the socks I posted the other day were not only my first pair for February, or my first pair for SAM3, but they were my first pair ever. And I'm finding that a lot of sock patterns aren't written for a wide range of sizes and, like a lot of patterns, don't come small enough for me. The toe-up formula is great, but I want to learn to do a heel flap, too, and that means top-down. So the questions:
What's your favorite cast-on method for a top-down sock? Is the tubular cast-on as stretchy as the tubular bind-off? I just learned (2 minutes ago, really) the Old Norwegian cast-on & the book (Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns) claims it's stretchy but how stretchy is it really? Does anyone have a free pattern or three handy for pretty cabled socks for small feet? I mean small. I mean size 7 womens, 6.9" circumference after calculating for negative ease. The Knitter's Handy Book is great in general, but it jumps in the circumference chart from 6.5" to 7.5" and yeah I could do math but if I'm going to write a pattern I'm going to write a pattern, not just tweak a few numbers. Besides, I don't understand sock construction well enough to make up my own just yet; give it another pair or two. I especially like cables, all my sock yarn is 7sts/in & I'm on a no-purchase commitment for Lent so I have to work with what I have. Anyone? Bueller?

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At 1:34 PM, Blogger Fabienne said...

hi jen, i'm a newbie sock knitter too, but i did my first pair top down and the long tail cast on was plenty stretchy when casting into ribbing on the top of the sock. my second pair i'm working toe up using a magic cast on (from knitty) and a modified rpm pattern that can be modified to many sizes, depending on needles, number of repeats, etc. not sure if that helped any! i'm having a really hard time deciphering baudelaire (also from knitty) but that's because i have no idea how to read a lace chart. best of luck!

At 1:51 PM, Blogger SJ said...

I have two methods I use for creating a stretchier cast on edge. One is to double the thickness of yarn. I started doing this when I was knitting a pattern that specifically called for it. Since I had my two balls of yarn (one for each sock), I just used a strand from each and then snipped the second strand after I finished the cast on.

The second method is to cast on over two needles. So, for instance, if I'm knitting the sock on US 1s, I'll use two needles, cast on all the stitches onto both, remove one of the needles, and then distribute stitches as usual.

I use the long-tail method for both, just because I like the look of it.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Opal said...

My favorite way to cast-on is to use a needle that 2 sizes larger then what I'll be knitting with. Then I'll do a cable cast on, which is where you slide the needle between the stitches. You can see what I mean here:

I hope this helps!

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Dharmafey said...

I wanted to direct you to Knitty's Widdershins pattern for a toe-up sock with a heel flap! I've made 2 and love them dearly. I also find a regular ol' long-tail cast-on to be fine for the top of socks. I think I might do it a bit loosely; I mean that I leave a bit of space between stitches when I'm casting on.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger wendy said...

try this pattern here
- as lace tends to be stretchy it will probably fit. Not sure on US sizes but I have very narrow feet and I find lacey patterns fit me well. Also on knitty -
cabled socks in a range of sizes

hope this helps - and I always cast on my socks the same way I cast on everything "knitting on" which is the only way I know how! Perfectly elastic enough for socks (well I've never had a problem!)


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