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Question about knitting socks

Knitters Inc.

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Jan 10, 2008, 10:56am Top

I am knitting my second pair of socks. I pretty much have the basics figured out, but I still have two problems that I can't figure out. Any help would be appreciated.

1. Using dpns, I cast on and distribute the stitches among the three needles. However, when I start knitting, I am knitting my tube inside out. Knitting every stitch, the stockinette side is inside. I looked in my Stitch N Bitch book and, she describes it this way. She says to begin with the middle needle furtherest from you and the needle with the first cast-on stitch on the left-hand needle and the last cast-on stitch on the right-hand needle. Makes sense, but not when I go to begin knitting. Can anyone explain this to me?

2. I also have trouble when picking up stitches for the gusset. Turning the heel is no problem for me. But picking up stitches to begin knitting is always a problem. It doesn't seem to work the way the directions say it should.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jan 10, 2008, 1:37pm Top

In answer to #1, it's probably in how you set up at the beginning. The easiest way to avoid this and certain other problems is to cast on your stitches, and work the first 2 rows BACK AND FORTH, not in the round; then join and work in the round, continuing to work from right to left, around and around counter-clockwise. Your right side should be on the outside.

For #2, some people find using a crochet hook helps if they have trouble. Also, if your problem is spacing and not the actual mechanics of picking up and creating stitches, just pick up the number that comes naturally to you, don't worry about getting exactly the number of stitches the author recommends.

Books with good schematics and graphics include Knit Socks! and Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy. Alternatively you may prefer working Magic Loop or some other method, and you definitely might want to try working with 5 rather than 4 dpns.

I know it's a lot to think about, but making up socks is a lot of fun!

Jan 10, 2008, 2:40pm Top

Another good trick for picking up stitches is to first pick them up with a needle a size or two smaller, then knit them off with the regular needles. It won't affect your gauge, as long as you knit from those stitches with the correct needle size.

Jan 10, 2008, 3:29pm Top

Thank you so much LeesyLou and oregonobsessionz. I will definitely try the tips. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jan 11, 2008, 10:19am Top

I've tried LeesyLou's answer to #1. Works great, but then I realized I really didn't care if the tube was inside out. It'll turn out OK either way.

Also concur with oregonetc.'s advice not to worry too much about the number of stitches you pick up. I usually pick up an extra stitch at either side of the flap so there isn't a little hole at the junction.

However, make sure you pick up the SAME number of stitches on each side of the flap (or your sock will be kittywhompus), and jot down that number so you pick up the same number on the other sock (or they won't feel the same on both feet).

Jan 11, 2008, 10:26am Top

I often have that "little hole at the junction" and I will try your suggestion about the extra stitch(es), too, nort4me. I also prefer 5 double point needles to 4. And I keep a size D crochet hook in with my knitting, very handy for picking up dropped stitches, too.

Jan 11, 2008, 5:08pm Top

I'd also say that sometimes patterns can be wrong or it not wrong then just not the best way. If you see a better way to do something do it.

The worst that can happen is you have to pick back a bit and try it again.

Jan 17, 2008, 10:44am Top

I'm coming along with my socks. I appreciate all the advice. It's so nice to have somewhere to go and ask questions and share tips!

Jan 19, 2008, 7:42am Top

Speaking of Magic Loop socks, I just made my first pair of socks this way using 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. This book is very easy to follow and has some great patterns. I love finishing both socks at once; they are exactly the same size!

Feb 27, 2008, 4:46pm Top

When I first started using dpns, I was doing the same thing that you're describing: the stockinette was on the inside of the garment. I realized (after much cursing and ripping) that I was actually using the dpns incorrectly, and was doing my work on the inside stitches instead of the outside. If you're still having this problem, you may want to double check and ensure that you're performing the knit stitch on the outside of the sock and not the inside. Does that make sense?

Mar 7, 2008, 3:44pm Top

fasciknitting, thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try. That sounds like what I may be doing.

Mar 20, 2008, 12:21pm Top

I've had the all the same problems....and I still knit my socks inside out. Anyways, I found this site where I could both see and read someone start a pair of socks, and knit them through to the end. (not a movie just great pictures) The site address is: http://www.royea.net/sockdemo1.html
I found this to be a great help to me. I hope it helps you and anyone else who (like me) 'learns by seeing'.

Happy knitting

Mar 20, 2008, 12:29pm Top

LaDawna, thank you. Those are great pics

Mar 20, 2008, 1:04pm Top

You are very welcome :-)

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