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So… I Have a Sock Question

I’ve started a pair of socks.

Ok, now that you’ve recovered from that bit of shocking news, let me tell you about my sock knitting experience so far. If I’m gonna knit socks, they’re probably going to be a big ol’ pile of the craziest socks you could imagine. But I didn’t quite know what that meant. Then I saw a YouTube video of Brian Kohler knitting a week’s worth of socks all at once, and I “had” to find the yarn for the American flag socks he was making. The yarn is Schoeller Fortissima/Socka in colorway 1776 Stars & Stripes. Crazy socks? here I come. See? This is what I have so far:

The beginnings of my toe-up sock
The beginnings of my toe-up sock

Actually this photo was from two days ago. Today, it looks like this:

Sock toe in progess
Sock toe in progess

Which leads me to my question. I did a figure-8 cast on and I’m doing toe up on Magic Loop. I do four increases every other round, one stitch in from the edge stitch on each edge. Try as I might to pull the edge stitches tight, they look all big and loose and wonky. How do I avoid this so that they look all nice and even? I’d appreciate the practical tips from all you who have knitted a thousand pairs before.

Thanks for the help! I eagerly wait your wisdom.

Yours in Knitting,

The Sock Knitting Knoob.

10 responses to “So… I Have a Sock Question”

  1. Jadielady Avatar

    I asked on plurk but I’ll say here too 🙂 If you’re concerned about holes between your stitches you might consider a smaller needle size. But if you’re referring just to the ones on the edges, they tend to work themselves out over time, especially after their first wash & wear.

  2. Aimee Avatar

    Try snugging both the first and second stitches on each side – it looks a little wonky because you have to tighten those stitches up. For what it is worth, I prefer Judy’s Magic CO – I think it gives a consistently even toe every time and the Figure 8 you often have to winkle (to steal Wendy’s word for it – it def is the best word for it I have heard) the stitches in the Figure 8 in order to get it to look great all the way across the toe.

    Also – do you have really narrow pointy feet? If not, I suggest casting on a few more stitches to begin with and then increase as you are doing now – I usually CO 14 for my size 9 (8 1/2 foot circumference) foot. You don’t have quite as pointy of a toe then – if you need a pointy toe you can always increase every row.

  3. Jen Avatar

    Wish I could help, but I’m a 2 circ knitter (and have no complete sock experience). I have found that when knitting in the round on 2 circs, the key is to tug the yarn quite snug after the first stitch on the new needle. It took practice to figure out how to pull it snug enough to avoid ladders or sloppy stitches but not so tight I couldn’t get the stitches back on the needle from the cord. If it’s a little too snug, it evens out after I’ve been knitting awhile.

  4. Hattie Avatar

    How are you doing those increases? Are you doing kfb or m1? I magicloop too and I always pull the edge stitches tight, even if they look too tight, they never are. I’d rather it be a little tight than too loose.

  5. balletmommy Avatar

    One way to “tighten” loose increases, is to twist your stitches, i.e., knit through the back loop. If you’re using a M1 increase you can do this.

  6. Mo Avatar

    I agree with a lot of points before me!
    – cast on more stitches. I even start with 20 and I have narrow feet;
    – my first thought when I saw your toe pic was your needles size is too big;
    – how are you doing your increases? Knit FB is easiest but it is really noticeable. Try M1 if you are not doing so already;
    – pull all stitches tight, not just your increases.

    Keep us posted!

  7. kerrie Avatar

    First question is which size needle are you using? And I agree with others… those joining sts must be tight and what type of increase are you using? I use M1L (2 sts in) and M1R (2 sts to EOR). I like my increases to be a tad further from the joining point, I find this helps to avoid holes and ladders. HTH

  8. Ida Walker Avatar

    I’ve knit many socks thanks to ML. The edge stitches can look a bit large, but they do seem to even out if you pull the second stitch–not the first. Most MLers also find that this prevents the dreaded laddering. Keep in mind, though, not to pull them too tight, as that will make them hard to slip back up onto the needle for the next round (ask me how I know).

    Incidentally, I have duck feet: kind of short and very wide thanks to bunions. I always use the Figure 8, but I often cast on more than what is called for in the pattern, so I don’t have such a pointy toe. Just personal preference.

  9. fairytalefrog Avatar

    Not sure if this workd for anyone but myself, but to keep the edge tight I find that it’s best to knit the first stitch and then once you have inserted the right needle into the second stitch, pull the working yarn tight before you wrap it around for the second stitch. That way you tighten up the slack in the first stitch and around the join. Hope that helps!

    Good luck with your first socks 🙂

  10. Jane Avatar

    Hi Trish!
    I use Magic Loop for my socks too. I CO using Judy Becker’s Magic CO for toe-up socks. I DO have pointy toes so I go for 10sts on each needle and then increase on every alternate row. I use a US 1 needle with my sock yarn and the stitches come out great. When I increase, I generally knit the first stitch and increase kfb into the second stitch. This way I can pull the working yarn tight on the first knit stitch to avoid ladders.
    Good luck with the socks. I’ve been following Brian’s project too. It’s fascinating.

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