Sock Club Resources
Below, you'll find my best resources for knitting socks, whether you're brand-new to sock knitting or have knit 300 pairs, I've got something fun for you.
Remember - every sock club color announcement email includes my recommendation for each month's kit. I pick 3-5 patterns which I think work wonderfully with the color and weight of each individual month's selection. You'll find free and paid patterns - and of course, you are free to choose your own favorite pattern!
Katie's Basic Sock Resources
Basic Sock Pattern: Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson
- Smooth Operator basic sock pattern
This is a paid pattern, but offers a lot of guidance and options for new sock knitters - including information on using double pointed needles, magic loop, and kitchener (grafting) free socks. 4 different sizes are included; this is a great starting point for those who are new to socks or have trouble getting a good fit.
Though the description states it's for self-striping yarns, I've found it to be wonderful for any yarn!
- Basic Sock - a free pattern + tutorials
If you've never knit a sock before, this is another great option. A detailed pattern, plus instructional articles for every part of working up the pattern.
- Basic Sock - video guide
Though the pattern referenced in the video is for a worsted weight sock, all the other instructions apply. Choose a pattern above, and watch these videos to see how the instructions work in person. It's like having your own knitting coach!
Judy's Magic Cast On - my favorite cast on for toe-up socks.
Long Tail Cast On - my favorite cast on for cuff down socks and anything ribbed.
Long Tail Tubular Cast On - this is new to me and creates a ribbed start with no visible edge. It's the infinity pool of starting your ribbing. Highly recommended!
Circular Needle Recommendations
Needles are an incredibly personal decision. Choose the needle style and material that you enjoy most. If you gravitate towards wooden needles for larger projects, it's a good bet that you'll love wooden needles for sock knitting, too.
I am a really loose knitter, often going down two needle sizes below recommended. I gravitate to slick metal needles with really pointy tips, and only use circulars for sock knitting. I started out using two circular needles with smaller cables (16") and then moved onto using a single 32" circular needle and the Magic Loop technique. Magic Loop helps prevent you from needing double the number of needles & is the most portable needle style for me.
Since I am usually knitting on a size 0 (2 mm) or 00 (1.75mm), I only knit with metal needles. Wooden or acrylic/plastic needles break at such small sizes.
My recommendations reflect my own preference - if you're just starting out, try a needle style close to what you normally use. You can also get a couple styles and sizes to explore what you enjoy most.
ChiaoGoo 4" Mini Twist Set - I've had this set for years & it's the first thing I reach for when knitting socks. High quality, easy to use, and reliable. I adore that I can change the cable size easily - I Magic Loop with either a 32" or a 40" cable which is long enough to be comfy and not too long that it's annoying.
They are an investment, running $70+. I would wait to buy the full set unless you really love socks & shawl knitting.
- Overstock: $65 at the time I wrote this post.
ChiaGoo Fixed Circular Needles - same manufacturer and knitting experience as the interchangeable set, but a pair runs about $10. I would recommend starting with a size 1 with a 32" cable if you've never knit socks before.
HiyaHiya Sharp Needles: These are my other go-to needles. I have two interchangeable sets of these; plus a few fixed circulars. I highly recommend them - and really there isn't a noticeable difference between Hiya Hiya & ChiaoGoo.
DPN & Magic Loop Tutorials
Double Pointed Needles or DPNs - have been around for centuries! You will use a series of small needles, pointed on both ends to knit a small circumference.
- Video Gauge / needle size note - she is using a much larger yarn than fingering weight. I recommend going no higher than a size 2 for fingering weight socks.
Magic Loop With 1 Circular Needle - use a single circular knitting needle, with a relatively long cable to make your sock.
Two Handed, Two Color Knitting - This is how I knit with two colors at once. One note - read the tutorial on color dominance below when choose which color to hold in which hand. The color running below will appear more dominant in your final product (for me, that's the yarn I hold in my left hand).
Two handed, two color knitting can be super-awkward to learn because you are training yourself to knit all over again, using your other hand. However, if you practice and push through the initial frustration, your two color knitting will flow much faster, and I found it improved my final tension, too.
Color Dominance in 2 Color Knitting - Before you embark on even your first 2 color, stranded knitting project give this article a read! How you carry your colors affects how they appear in your knitting. Nail this before you switch halfway through you project!
Jogless Stripes: No more ugly jogs when you switch to a new color on a stripe.
- Video - She slips 3 sts; I've slipped as few as a single stitch on socks with good results.
- Tutorial - with two different methods.
I have two amazing Pinterest boards filled with the best sock patterns out there. They're perfect for visual browsing when you're on the hunt for your next great pair of socks.
By request - some resources for those who want to crochet their socks!
- Video - fingering weight & basic pattern children through adult sizes.
- Basic Crochet Sock Pattern
- Watson Waffle Crochet Socks