Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting the perfect fit

IMG_2120I’ve made a lot of socks since I started knitting. Like, a LOT – Ravelry tells me I’ve made 144 pairs. The first ones were kind of big and saggy, but now I made socks that fit very well. The trickiest part is getting the foot length right.

If I’m making a sock for someone besides myself, I measure their foot length by having them stand on a piece of paper and marking the toe tip (pencil held vertically) and heel (pencil angled in, where the heel turn will be):IMG_2189

This is Boy 1’s foot. It measures 9 5/8” today. I will make the sock 9 3/4” to give him a bit of grow room.

Then I measure my foot. Mine is 9 1/8”, a full half inch shorter than his. Noted.

After I’ve worked the gusset decreases and knit the straight cylinder part of the foot for a while, I try it on to check. I measure the distance from the sock edge to the tip of my toe, averaging the measurement from the top and bottom of my foot (they are never the same!). Then I measure my gauge on this sock in rows per inch, and figure out how many rows I have left to work from where I am until I want to close the toe.

The only other piece of information I need is the number of rows for the toe decrease. Lately I have been fond of using the rounded toe. If you start with 64 stitches, it goes like this:

*K2tog K6* for one round

knit 6 rounds

*K2tog K5* for one round

knit 5 rounds

etc until the last round is *K2tog*

My rounded toe on a 64-stitch sock takes 28 rounds to finish. But this sock is 68 stitches (due to GROWTH SPURT) so I had to add another decrease round with only 4 stitches decreased earlier.IMG_2191 crop

It is time to put the toe on this sock!

I like this method a lot because it only requires the recipient to be measured once. By comparing the recipient’s foot to my own, I can use my own foot to determine when to start the toe decrease. I like measuring that with the sock ON A FOOT, because the fabric is stretching some, just as it will when one wears it. If you measured it laying flat on a table, you would get a different length.

After I figure this out for sock #1, I count the number of straight rounds between the gusset decreases and the toe decreases. I note this on my pattern so I don’t have to measure anything on sock #2.

It works for me!IMG_5439

On a side note, I have been getting so many oooos and ahhhhhs about this cheerful yarn. It is Poste Yarn, Striping, a lovely house yarn from Simply Socks Yarn Company. Her colorways come and go, so if you don’t see your favorite right now it might come back later. This colorway is “Danxia Landform” and I don’t see it in the shop right now. This year Allison has a number of special holiday colorways. I am especially fond of Jollyville (currently out of stock), and Festival of Lights is pretty lovely, too. And J’adore. But – I don’t need any more sock yarn…….do I?


  1. This is brilliant, relatively simple and practical! I've never come up with a good way to insure that socks knit for others fit well, and I really like the idea of measuring on a foot. Thanks for sharing! And yes, you may need more sock yarn to start working on your second gross of socks.

  2. I'm going to be remembering this post. I rarely knit socks for others, but it might come up. And those striping yarns -- nice! Boy 1 is going to look super sharp in those.

  3. Oh my goodness, Bonny. Is it "gross" that I've knit a gross of socks?

  4. What a fabulous method for knitting socks for others! I knit them for others all the time and getting the foot length right is the hardest part. How might this method work, however, for people who's feet are longer than yours?