Come on, you know you want to make a pair of socks!

I’ve become addicted to knitting socks. I think the cabled sweater I’ve been making is the culprit. Sure, I’ve made lots of socks in my life, but never so obsessively. Last night I finished my green socks. Now I’m on to a pair of blue ones that I’ll be making for someone who saw my green ones and said, “Can you make me a blue pair?” Sure! Much obliged! Especially since this same person wants the cabled sweater I don’t feel like finishing right now.

I casted on and got on my way with an Italian fine merino wool.

The beginning of some blue socks (made with Rugiada Merino New by Alessandra Filati)
The last pair of socks I made, the lucky green ones, got photographed and hanged on Facebook. A friend of mine who knits commented that she would love to make socks but she’s afraid of using double pointed needles. 
The knitting newbie’s fear of double pointed needles is very common. I’d almost call it one of the first brave hoops of fire for beginners to jump through after they learn how to purl. It looks so complex but it’s very easy to catch on to it. For anyone interested in learning how to make a pair of socks on double-pointed needles I recommend the instructions on Sitch Diva which include a video tutorial that is only eight minutes long. Yup, that’s right, eight minutes is all the visual instruction one needs to understand how to use the dpns. The page also includes diagrams to guide beginners. I must admit that the first time using double-pointed needles feels a little awkward. The awkwardness soon fades once one develops a style that works best for holding the work, the yarn, and the needle that is doing the in and out movements on the stitches.
Using the good ol’ dpns are no longer a requirement for making socks although that’s the way I learned and what I feel comfortable with. Many beginners do not know that there are two other methods for knitting socks and other small items in the round such as mittens, small hats, etc. The magic loop method uses one big circular needle. Some instructions, with photos, can be found at the Knitting Daily web site. Another way to make socks without using double pointed needles is to use two circular needles. Some very nice instructions on how to do this can be found at the knitting.about web site. There are many knitters out there that swear by the Magic Loop or the two circular method.

Knitters addicted to sock making abound. I guess now I’m one of them. My hat and scarf addiction finally has been displaced!

If you’ve been saying to yourself “I really want to make a pair of socks” but you fear the double pointed needles, do not fear! Get going on your first pair and you’ll see that it’s not so hard. Just be sure to choose an easy pattern to help you become acquainted with the mechanics of it. Maybe you’ll even get hooked on socks like me. 🙂

Three very simple, elegant (and FREE) patterns can be found here (I’ve tried them all and they’re great!):

“Socks for Children, Women, and Men” by Barbara Breiter

“Basic Ribbed Socks” by Kate Atherly (requires free Ravelry.com registration)

“Basic Socks” by Joanne Hinmon

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