Tools of the Trade

Knitting a pair of socks is the next level of knitting project once you have completed some scarves and hats.

There's lots of tools to use to make socks, and knowing your preference is important for knowing how to advise you, because a lot of patterns are written specifically for one set of tools.

It can get confusing reading about "needle 1: Knit. Needles 2 and 3: work in ribbed pattern" (which is a pattern for dpn's) when you're doing magic loop.

DPN's work, but they're fiddly.

Magic loop is popular, and it's worth learning because you only need one long circular needle to do all of the sock.

You can use two circular needles in the same size, and some say it's easier to visualize learning it, as compared to learning magic loop. Downside is that you need two circs, so the expense of your tools is a bit more.

And then there's the itty bitty 9 inch fixed circulars, but I get aches in my hands from using them for too long at a time.

So, if you tell us what sort of needle and what sort of yarn you'll use, we can steer you towards some good patterns. Remember that socks are best made from about 75% washable wool and 25% nylon, for stretch and a good fit.

After my first sorry attempts Silver's sock class was my first real success story. It was a fantastic first sock course. It walked me through each step and I chose to do it in worsted weight so I could knit it quickly and just understand the techniques. I don't wear my first practice ones, but I got tremendous value out of them regardless.

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