Crochet Sock Reviews

img_0629-copy_medium2NOTE that I’m a US crocheter, so the stitches mentioned are using US terminology.

Recently, Andi from Andre Sue Knits podcast mentioned that she was interested in exploring Crochet Socks.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve seen some crochet socks that I’ve done.  The socks photographed here are a design that I made up – as are a number of the crochet socks that I’ve made.  I still wear most of my crochet socks and have darned them when needed. When I’m looking for warm socks, I love my crochet socks!

Crochet socks have different challenges in their construction.  Crochet stitches, for example, tend to be more textural (aka bumpy) than knit stitches – and the fabric stretches in different directions. In addition, crochet fabric is traditionally thicker than knit fabric with the same yarn – so they don’t work well in tight shoes.

I don’t have particularly sensitive feet, so the bumps on the soles don’t bother me.  If you are the kind of person who feels the purl bumps in knit socks, then I’d suggest that you only try the slip stitch style of crochet socks shown above.

For me, I like the slip stitch or extended single crochet stitches on the sole of the sock, with some kind of lace on the leg and top of the foot to help with sideways stretch.  I’ve tried a few different heels, and I find that so far that the the heel flap style works the best for me.  You can see an example on the Ultimate Crocheted Socks by Dorothy Hardy.

I haven’t made crochet socks in a while – I’ve been distracted with knitting socks, but thanks to Andi’s mention of crochet socks I think I’m going to try another pair again – and see how my improved understanding of sock construction, including heel construction, helps.

If you’re interested in creating your own crochet socks, I’ve created a bundle of my crochet socks and other interesting patterns to try on Ravelry.

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Afterthought Heels

Afterthought Heels

 

afterthought-heels

Undines sock pattern with the heel from Fork in the Road Socks

Socks … if you know me, you know that I love to make socks. My most recent pair of socks uses and afterthought heel.

I love the way the heel looks in these socks – the stripes bend around the heel instead of going across the heel.  For self-striping yarn, this is definitely my preferred heel!

The idea of an afterthought heel is to stitch the tube of the sock then insert the heel afterwards. Some people will put in some scrap yarn where they want to put the heel.  They rip out the scrap yarn and pick up the loose stitches to start building their heel off of. Other people will cut the sock where they want the heel, pick up the stitches and start the heel.

For me, one of the advantages of using an afterthought heel is that I don’t have to pay much attention to exactly how long my socks are – this does work better when you’re doing them two at a time! So I prefer the “cut your knitting” variety. It was a bit scary the first time, but now I have two pairs of socks with afterthought heels and it gets easier!

If you’d like to try an afterthought heel yourself, here’s some links to get you started:

  • Socknitters.com has a well illustrated tutorial on how to use scrap yarn for your afterthought heel.
  • Yarn Harlot has a tutorial on how to cut your socks to put your heels in.
  • Knitbettersocks.com has a page on how to adjust the afterthought heel for higher insteps, but I found that I didn’t need any adjustment with the heel from the Fork in the Road Socks.

Pattern Notes:

The socks shown are my Undines on Holiday with the heel from Fork in the Road Socks.

Darn those socks

img_3765 I spend all that time making handmade socks, it seems to be a shame to toss them out when they get holes in them.  I don’t wear store purchased socks anymore – so my handmade socks get a bit of a workout (and they go working out with me!)

Socks wear mostly on the toes and heels, so that’s where the holes come in.  You can see in these socks that I’ve patched them a few times!

I use a number of different techniques for darning depending on what the hole is like – and if it’s actually a hole yet.

The light patches in the photo are areas where I caught it before more than one or two stitches blew out – there I used duplicate stitch, or swiss darning, to reinforce the worn stitches.

The dark blue square use a technique that I got from the Twist Collective called “Reknit and Graft” where you knit a square over the hole and attach it to the sides as you go. This is great for flat areas with larger holes, but it’s a bit fiddly.

For larger holes, I prefer to use the woven darning method. In this method (not pictured) you weave a dense square over the hole with the warp and weft tied into the sock. It’s the easiest way that I know to darn larger holes. The tutorial from Twist collective talks about using sewing thread to stabilize the hole first, but I rarely do that.

However you do it, darning is a great way to extend the life of your handmade items!

Socks galore

Lately, I’ve been doing a fair amount of travel, including trips to Frankfurt and Seoul, with plane trips in the 11 – 13 hour range depending on where I’m going.  I’ve been knitting socks on the plane 🙂

Hedera Socks

One of my favorite patterns was the Hedrea socks by Cookie A.  I love it so much I’m making a second pair after switching the chart around to be toe up!

Transoceanic Socks

Transoceanic Socks

On my first trip of the year, I had the unfortunate luck to forget my socks on the plane … and after calling lost and found for 4 days, they never found my socks.  And it was my handspun too!

Honey Badger Socks

I ended up knitting another pair of the Transoceanic Socks, as well as the Honey Badger, and finished off another pair of crochet socks made out of leftover sock yarn!

I think I’m well on my way to having enough hand made socks that I can use just hand made socks!  I do need some more cotton anklets for working out, and I think I can get 2 for each 100g ball of sock yarn, so it shouldn’t be too bad .. just to get the yarn!

Oh! and I’m doing some spinning between all the knitting and crochet too!

Handspinning in action!

Hexagons Galore!

Hexagon Socks Sometimes I’ll get a project that just seems to take forever .. but they can finish!

I started these socks over a year ago, by taking a class from Kirsten Hall at Purlescense Yarns in Sunnyvale, CA. The class was great and I left all stoked to keep going!  I’m glad that I was finally able to make the socks 🙂

The socks are comfortable, but I’m concerned about the longevity of the fabric due to the size of needles that I used.  If I ever make these socks again, I think I’ll use smaller size needles (I used 2.75mm needles), and adjust the number and size of the hexes to accomodate.  The pattern does include instructions to make the hexes bigger and smaller, so it shouldn’t be difficult.

Hexagon SocksThe pattern is really well written, with lots of photos to show you how to put the hexes together.  I only did 2 rows of hexes for the legs as I like shorter socks.  I used approximately 100g of yarn, so you might have trouble getting the full socks made if you have a standard 100g hank of sock yarn.

If you have a desire to try out some fun and funky socks … this could be the pattern for you!

Pattern info:
 Hexagons
 by Kirsten Hall
 from Think Outside the Sox

Yarn info:
Paca-Peds H-T
by The Alpaca Yarn Co.
Fingering / 4 ply
65% Wool, 20% Alpaca, 15% Nylon

Evergreen Socks for Winter

I’ve really been enjoying crocheting the Evergreen Trellis Socks by Karen Ratto-Whooley.  I received the pattern as part of her Crochet sock club.  If you crochet and are looking for a sock club, I recommend it!

I’ve done two socks from the club so far, and they’re both top down with a heal flap and gusset.  I’ve only done crochet socks with afterthought or short row heals and I am really enjoying the different construction.

For me, I find that the extended single crochet soles are not quite as comfortable as the linked double crochet that I’ve used before, so I made that adjustment.  The heal flap is still single crochet, and the gusset and sole are all double crochet.  I also have a high arch, so I lengthened the gusset by alternating decrease and non-decrease rows for the first 4 decreases.  I’m really happy with the changes and how the socks look on my foot.

The wonderful world of crochet socks

Crochet Socks in ShoesI love making socks.  There’s just something special about wearing hand made socks.

I both knit and crochet socks, but I crochet socks significantly faster than I knit them (about 3x as fast!). Crochet socks are faster for me because the stitches are a little bigger and I crochet much faster than I knit … Due mostly to the fact that I’ve been crocheting for a lot linger than I’ve been knitting.

I like both types of handmade socks, but I’d like to take the next few blog posts to talk about crochet socks.

There are a lot of people who didn’t know that you could crochet socks!  Many of the socks that you used to see crocheted were using worsted weight yarn and, while they made great house socks, didn’t fit in most shoes.  With today’s wonderful sock yarns, the socks fit!

Crocheting socks is a little different from knitting socks.  The way the fabric is created, and the properties of the fabric, are different so crocheters have to take that into consideration.  All of these statements are generalities and will vary with yarn and tools used.

  • Crochet is, in general, a little less stretchy than stockinette or ribbed knitting.
  • Crochet stitches are generally larger than knit stitches, so the bumps created by the stitches are further apart and more noticeable.
  • Crochet cables are, in general, thicker than knit cables
  • Crochet stitches are, in general, larger and thicker than knit stitches (slip stitch crochet is the most obvious exception)

Understanding these differences is key to making a good crochet sock!

The “less stretchy” factor can be addressed by adjusting the number of stitches in your sock.  You can still get a snug fit that’s not stretched too tight.  The noticeable bumps can be a good thing if you like them, or can be avoided by using a number of different stitches that minimize the “bumpy feel”.  Linked double and half-double crochet stitches are my favorite smooth stitches. Karen Whooley uses the extended single crochet, others use single crochet or slip stitch.  The thickness of the stitches is great if you want warm cushy socks made with sport weight yarn, or you can use some of the thinner fingering weight yarn and make lovely socks that you can put in your shoes!

If you are a crocheter and have never tried socks, I highly recommend them!  Crochet socks are becoming more and more popular, and patterns are getting easier to get.  Check out Karen’s books, and the free crochet socks on Ravelry!

Here’s some of my favorite patterns and pattern books for crochet socks:

Happy Crocheting!