Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Knitting Socks, a crash course

My Mom still thinks knitting socks is a sport for sissies.
I, on the other hand, haven't knitted socks since 5th grade.
No, that's a lie. When I went to nursery school and didn't have much money I knitted striped leftover yarn socks for the whole family.

Here's a crash course for beginners.
1. You need 5 double pointed knitting needles. 12 stitches on four needles, 48 in all, plus one extra to fold over the first needle to make a ring.
The rib is made by knitting 2 ordinary stitches and 2 purled
till the rib is as long as you like it.

My mother is holding the wool tread over her index finger.
This is the easiest and fastest way to knit. I have seen on videos that the Americans let the tread hang loose and use their right hand to cast the tread under or over the needle.
That is also a possibility.

2. The heel. Take half the stitches, 24, and put them on one needle.
Knit forwards and back, one row plain stitches and one row purled, so that the knitted fabric becomes "stockinette". Begin with plain stitches on the outside of the stocking. Repeat these two rows till the heel is as longs as your own heel. Then cast off two and two stitches together, begin with # 12 and #13 till you don't have any stitches left on the needle.
This is the easiest, but not necessarily the prettiest way to make a heel.
3. Knitting the foot.
Use one needle and pick up 12 stitches on the left side of the heel and the forth needle to pick up 12 stitches of the right side of the heel. Now you have 48 stitches and four needles again. Knit plain stitches till the work is as long as you want it. Preferably till it reaches the pinky toe.
As you can see this casting off leaves a distinct seam under the heel.
4. Casting off the sock. Knit every forth stitch together for a round, then knit 2 plain rounds. Knit every third stitch together for the forth round. Knit three plain rounds. Knit every second stitch together and two plain rounds. Then knit two and two together till there's no masks but one left. Cut off and pull the tread through the last mask.
You are watching my mother making a pair of socks for a dear friend of mine.

This casting off is called a round casting, opposite the casting off for mittens, which is callled pointed casting off.
Good luck and please let me know if you understood my oh, so plain recipe.
Here's an American You Tube version that actually may be easier to understand.


Becky said...

HI! just dropping in. i so like your post! i just started knitting. still on scarfs, though. when i finish them and wear them, the get given away. lol i enjoy it, keeps me busy.

Terry said...

dear felisol i was so disappointed to go back to the sister's blog and the knitting video was missing!...and i am so glad to see that you have it here with all of these great pictures!
i never could learn to knit but i am a mean know when you make a mistake in knitting, it really takes a long time to fix it but with crocheting it takes just a few seconds...
thanks for putting this in here!

i am going to write you a long email after prayer terry

mom ljung has such beautiful, gentle hands!

Saija said...

my mom knits so many beautiful things ... and i know how to knit, but i haven't for decades!!! i should really knit again - you got me thinking!

John Cowart said...

Hi Felisol, Although I look at your site just about every morning, and although the yarn is colorful, you still haven't convinced me to take up knitting.


Felisol said...

Dear John,
As long as you keep on writing and go treasure hunting in your library, I'm fine!

Amrita said...

Oh you so painstakingly described the whole method and process illustrated with fotos.

Alas, I am not a knitter. My Mom and aunt used to knit socks.I just admire this talent in others.

steveroni said...

My German uncles, and father said many times that I should "stick to my own knitting." (I did not!)

You won't believe this! Verification word is "restch" LOL


Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Oh how I wish I could learn this! I have never knitted in my life...and can barely crochet! I admire women with these talents!!

Crown of Beauty said...

Oh I just love hand knit socks and vests. Not much opportunity to wear them here, but they do come in handy (and beautifully) on January nights when it gets to be chilly around here!

Love the colors of the socks your mom is knitting.

Lidj said...

I think you are a teacher at heart Felisol This is wonderful, and how I wish I did a better job at knitting. I could do the knitting part, but not the casting on or finishing, so I never got very far. The socks are adorable!!


Trish said...

I can crochet a bit but like Terry never learned to knit.
I really love the colorful yarn! Your friend is blessed to receive such a gift!

Diane said...

I have always wanted to learn to knit, but never have. I now fear my hands are too riddled with arthritis to make it an enjoyable endeavor for me. I do love knited items and so admire anyone who has the ability!

Felisol said...

I'm sure most of you girls learned how to knit in school, at least if you have passed forty. even Serina knitted nice blue socks for her dad in school.
About the casting on; the easiest way is just to make a knot around the knitting needle. You then use the long thread and make a stitch, only not make it all the way through, but hook it up on the needle.
You now have two stitches. Make a new stitch, almost though , but hook it upon the left needle again,- voila , three stitches.

My mother used to be a very skilled knitter, she just could not resist the challenge of an intricate pattern.
After she had the severe brain stroke three years ago, nobody ever hoped she would be able to do some handicrafts again.
My mother didn't know about our low hopes, so she just took up knitting socks for Christmas like she always has done it.
" I love to work, I can manage anything, if I only am able to work," she says.
If she can, anyone can, I think.