Saturday, 24 May 2008

Winter Warmer - Woolly Socks

As part of our mission to cover up more and heat less over winter, I decided to make my partner some woolly socks to wear around the house at night. I contemplated knitting with the traditional three or four double-ended needles or crocheting in the round, but in the end I decided upon using one of the knitting looms I had bought the children. Here are the results!

The socks pictured are about Australian men's size 11-12. The loom is about 13cm (5.5") across and has 24 pegs on it. I used two strands of 8ply (DK) pure wool, making the yarn 16ply. The socks required about 300m of 8ply (150m 16ply), which is a smidgen over 150g. I didn't put any elastic in the tops, as my darling reckoned that his furry legs would hold them up! But you could thread a soft piece of 6mm (0.25") elastic through the top at the end if you wished.

To make socks:
Cast on by wrapping the yarn around each peg, then wrap a second row and with the hook supplied, pull the bottom row of loops up and over the top row. (This is like the "French knitting" we did as kids.) Continuing in this manner, knit 30 rows.

Next row: wrap half the pegs (12) and pull loops up as normal, then work back on the same 12 pegs to the start - this gives two half rows. Then work a full row. Repeat this process (2 half rows and 1 full row) five times. This forms a bit of a heel.

Knit another 30 rows, then cast off. Do this by lifting off the first stitch, placing it on a crochet hook (I used a 4mm one) and pulling a loop through. Pick up the second stitch in the same way, then pull a loop of yarn through both stitches, leaving one loop on the hook. Continue around the circle until all stitches have been removed from the loom, pulling the thread through the last loop to tie off. Casting off in this manner draws the knitting in a bit, to form the toe.

Turn sock inside out and sew up the toe. You may also need to stitch up the holes formed by the half rows when forming the heel. Thread through any loose ends and you're done!

To make a smaller adult size, just do fewer rows on the foot part. To make children's socks, you'd probably need a smaller loom.

I really enjoyed making the socks this way - it seemed like a bit of a game (appealed to the child within). Not sure if it was any quicker, but they were so easy, you could literally get the kids to make them.

love and light


Kez said...

Oooh thank you - I have one of those looms and have only managed to make a toy blanket for my son's toys so far!!

karenmc said...

Thank you! Socks have always looked far too intimidating for this novice knitter, but this I think I could do. Where do you get the looms?

Naturegirl said...

It is supossed to be Spring here but as of late we are expereincing low cold temperatures of 45 degrees F.!!
Pass those socks over to me feet are (((((freezing!))))
Great looking socks!

Cheryl said...

Great socks and I love the "furry leg" thing.
It is cold here at the moment and rain, and north winds forecast.....I think we might all me knitting these socks soon.

Erica said...

Those are lovely! Love them! I can not knit, it's something I've always wanted to learn how to do though :)

naturewitch said...

Hi Kez
Welcome - great to have you visit - I'll pop by your blog soon.

Hi Karenmc
I got the looms at Spotlight (a haberdashery/craft store for those of you not in Oz). The looms were in a set of four. The one I used for the socks is the smallest; the largest is about 29cm across. I can't remember exactly, but I think the set was about $20 or less about a year ago. I was hoping to tempt the children into trying them, but maybe it's not such a cool thing for teens or nearly teens to do!

Hi Naturegirl, Cheryl and Erica
I'm sure you could give the socks a try - I was surprised at how easy it was. Next attempt might be fingerless gloves or a beanie (on one of the bigger looms)

NW xx

Cheryl said...

Sorry to show my ignorance....what is a beanie????

naturewitch said...

a beanie is what we Aussies call a warm knitted woolly hat, kind of like a tea cosy, but without the holes for the handle and spout . .