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 Encouragement for socks please!!
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New Pal

20 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  07:35:13 AM  Show Profile Send dms-r1951 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had such a hard time with my first pair of socks. Though I kept reading and rereading the instructions, I thought I must be nuts because I couldn't seem to follow them. Then I decided to just carefully follow them one single instruction at a time. Voila!! Success!! Even though there are some patterns (and I have knit many, many different things) you really, really need to read to get the whole picture, for me just following the sock pattern faithfully gave me my first pair of socks. . . though I did have some ripping out to so, probably because I wanted to understand the whole pattern at once, and it was hard for me to just follow the individual parts. Since then, I have made many, many pairs of socks. I haven't even kept count, and I have used a wide variety of yarns. Love those socks!!!

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New Pal

34 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  08:17:21 AM  Show Profile Send iamknittycat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I say the most important thing is to enjoy! Maybe socks aren't going to be your "drug of choice" - that's OK - sooooo many items waiting to be knitted. Do what makes you relaxed and happy!
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:08:57 AM  Show Profile Send tat2edcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As everyone has said, frogging back is a way of knitting life. But you can enjoy your knitting or let it drive you crazy. I have knitted for more than 30 years and have finished more socks than I can count. Very seldom does it work out just right, and I don't care. I do love it when it does. But the socks look the same, wear like iron and give me many hours of pleasure along the way. Granted, if you are doing a very intricate pattern or lace you may have to un-knit if you have that "extra stitch." If you are a very new knitter you may want to back up just a little and become a little more familiar with the techniques used by knitting parts of the sock, (ie. heel, gusset, toe) on worsted weight yarn so it may be seen better. Just have patience. You didn't develop that tiny quilting stitch the first time you sat at a frame. It comes with practice and is so worth it!
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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  11:10:21 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Keep on trying. Everytime you rip, you learn something. I really believe we learn more by figuring out our mistakes and getting past them than by doing something right the first time. Once you figure out the heel turn & gussets you'll realize it's kinda magical how it works out & even amazing that someone a zillion years ago figured out how to do it. Keep on going--you can do it and don't listen to your husband. Socks are a wonderful thing, a portable project, many variations from really easy designs to really complicated patterns. And your foot just goes aaaahhhh when you put on a sock, warm and cozy that fits your foot just right!
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Sticks and String
Permanent Resident

1113 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  11:36:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sticks and String's Homepage Send Sticks and String a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is nothing more luxurious for feets than a pair of handknit socks. I've knit more than I can count and always have a pair or two on the needles. My best advice about knitting socks generally goes like this:

Back in the day, 5 year old children knit socks for their entire family, It was both their job and the way they learned to knit. Learning to knit is easier than learning to read and write. If 5 year olds can knit socks, anyone can. You learned to read and write, you can learn to knit socks.

That being said...I agree with the post above...knitting socks may not turn out to be your "drug of choice" and that's ok but learning to do it will only benefit the rest of your knitting. :) Do enjoy the process and be proud of your first pair of socks when you finish them!

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New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  11:39:11 AM  Show Profile Send JudyCat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh my gosh! I took a class (3 sessions). I did great until it came
to the heel. So I talked a friend into taking the class and I took
it a second time. She decided she needed another class so I took it
a third time. The third time was a charm.

Hang in there!!! I know you could buy a pr. of socks cheaper but
it is a great feeling to wear a pair you've knitted. I now have
a basket of just sock yarn. Plus I've knitted socks for the grand-
boys. I'm now working on a pair that has the stars and stripes

Good Luck.
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  12:10:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course there is hope for you! Socks don't make sense at first. I remember my first sock. Reading the directions and trying to visualize how it worked, and coming up blank and confused. It just doesn't seem like it should work!

By the time you've done a few heels, it begins to make sense, and afterward you wonder how you were ever that confused.

It's OK to fumble--it's happened to all of us. That means you're outside of your comfort zone; learning happens outside the comfort zone. So if you're uncomfortable, you're learning!

Stick with it, and pretty soon you'll be one of those who flies through the directions with no trouble.
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Chatty Knitter

300 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  1:24:31 PM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I went to a sock class with two colleagues, both experienced knitters. My first class sock, after a knitting hiatus of 20 years was frogged and fixed so many times that it wasn't funny. One of my colleagues called me a perfectionist; I didn't think I was one, I just wanted to do it right. That same colleague pointed me out to my son as an ideal learner--someone who was willing to try again to make it right. Sometimes it takes awhile. Keep trying. I'm on my 8th pair.
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New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  1:54:42 PM  Show Profile Send Beverly0316 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Socks! Hang in there! Socks are cheap, fun, & portable. And it blows people's minds that you're "making a SOCK!!!" ("See, they don't always come three pair to a plastic bag.")

The heel/gusset is definitely the most complicated part. Read all the instructions thoroughly with the firm understanding that you'll still go "HUH???" on that part until you actually do it. The first time, or actually couple of times, I just couldn't visualize the whole "heel/gusset concept". Just work through it row by row (using a row counter) & watch it unfold as it happens. (After I was experienced & confident with heels, I tried toe-up socks. Once again, I was totally mystified by that new kind of heel until I did it, and to my surprise, it actually did make a heel.)

BTW, excellent advice from Suzann about the "Lifeline". It's something to remember for any part of any project about which you feel uncertain. Just knowing you have a Lifeline in place lets you relax and face the tricky bits with more confidence. If it stills goes wrong, rip that sucker back & try it again.

Just remember -- though you can't "quilt it out", you can always call it a "design option".

Beverly from Texas

Veni, Vidi, Socchi -- I came, I saw, I knit a sock!
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Seriously Hooked

838 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  7:08:08 PM  Show Profile Send knittingrunner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First, welcome to the KR sock forums!
There is a ton of good advice here, just in response to your query!

FWIW, I took my heel turning advice from about 3 sources:
The pattern on knitting plain and simple,
Clara's sock tutorial on this website,
and from

Additionally I had insights from The Knitting Lounge in Richmond, VA as well as Wonderful Things in Great Barrington, MA.

Suffice to say; it took me 3 socks to create my first pair. Socks @ 2 and 3 made the cut,but sock one didn't.
Wishing you all the best in your knitting endeavours....Ev

Naps can always be improved by adding a cat.
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2009 :  08:53:13 AM  Show Profile Send tantan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am so impressed with all the great advice on knitting socks. I didn't see anything about the problem I encountered. I knitted my first pair slowly but they went along without problems until they were finished, I had cast on too tightly and couldn't get them on my feet. I have sinced learned ways to cast on loosely. I still have to master getting the right gauge to get the size I want. Thanks everyone who is so helpful.
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New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2009 :  11:42:00 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Keep telling yourself, "It's a sock. It's going to be on a foot. Way down near the floor." Small problems, like an extra stitch or one too few can be compensated for in the next row.

You will be the only person who will ever know your sock isn't exactly the same as the one in the pattern.

And, the one in the pattern is perhaps a stitch or two different than the one the designer first knit. (I speak from experience.)

Socks were knit long before we started printing patterns. The original pattern was probably "cast on some stitches, knit around until it's long enough. Set aside about half the stitches for the top of the foot. Make a heel flap by knitting back and forth on half the stitches. Turn the heel. Pick up stitches along the heel flap. Go back to knitting in the round by continuing across the set aside stitches. Decrease the extra stitches until you have as many as you started with. Make the foot long enough. Knit a toe."

The only time that a sock has to be ripped out, IMHO, is when the gauge is really off -- so that the sock would be too big and the fabric too loose for any foot you know.

I think a lot of the patterns make this process seem much more complicated and scary than it needs to be. Socks are wonderful -- small and portable, flexible in sizing, warm, comfortable -- and fun.
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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2009 :  07:17:51 AM  Show Profile Send jmh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's a link to the easiest sock you'll ever knit. They are knit toe up.

However, I do not use the lifted increase, I use Make 1.

I used this pattern for my 4th pair of socks and it is the first one I had no trouble with.

Good luck!
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