Knitting socks with extra strength

Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

We’ve been having a wonderful time stitching projects from Jen Lucas’s gorgeous new book, Sock-Yarn Shawls II. It’s filled with great ideas for using those lovely yarns in your stash. But that doesn’t mean we’re not still knitting socks. We love sock-knitting and we know you do too! After all, isn’t that why you acquired that great stash of sock yarn in the first place?

From Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks
From Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks by Laura Farson

The thing about socks is, we wear them—a lot. Many of us wear socks every day, unlike a sweater or scarf that might be worn only occasionally. No matter how sturdy handknit socks are, eventually they’re going to start showing their age: a thin spot here, a little fraying there, maybe the start of a small hole. Does that mean the end of your socks’ useful life? Absolutely not!

Sock-knitting geniuses Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott share a wealth of expert instruction and advice in The Sock Knitter’s Handbook, including how to repair socks that have become worn. But then they take it a step further. Check out these suggestions for adding strength to those areas most likely to wear out first—and reinforce them right from the start while you’re knitting.

How to knit strong socks

Need some sock-knitting patterns to put all that knowledge into practice? You’ll find a range of techniques and designs in these popular books.

Knitting Scandanavian Slippers and Socks Knitting Circles around Socks Knitting More Circles around Socks
The Little Box of Socks Terrific Toe-Up Socks Sock Club


Rate your sock-knitting skills: finished lots of socks, finished two socks, or finished one sock? Tell us in the comments.


9 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I have got the book ‘Twist & Turn Bargello Quilts’ by Eileen Wright ISBN: 978-1-56477-943-4 and am making the Infinity quilt on pages 50-57. There is a mistake in the instructions on page 53 Row 1 (6) – fabric slices 11-20 should be stitched to fabric 20, not fabric 11. The chart and layout on pages 56 & 57 are correct.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will have our Editorial Department review this! ~Cornelia/Customer Service

    —Angela Hartle on May 1, 2015
  • I have knit a lot of socks in the last couple years.

    —Peggy on May 1, 2015
  • I have been knitting since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I always have something to knit nearby. In the evening while watching TV is when I usually knit. Through the years I have made sweaters, scarves, shawls, etc. About 6 years ago I started knitting socks and have made about 45 pairs. They make great gifts!!

    Leslie on May 1, 2015
  • Two!

    Barb Johnson on May 1, 2015
  • I’ve only completely knit 5 pairs, but total knitting on socks is about twice that since I’ve bailed on a couple of nearly complete pairs when it was apparent that they would not fit me (no one else in my family wants them enough to get a pair) or that the pattern was just not working. I’m still learning how to knit as well with sock yarn and tiny needles as I do with worsted and larger needles without splitting the yarn.

    My trick for longer lasting socks on the sole is to use a heel stitch throughout. It does mean the liberal use of short rows though so that the bottom and top line up with each other occasionally. That is adding to how long it is taking to knit them, but I hope the results will be worth it. Unfortunately, to get gauge for most socks I need to knit them on size 1’s or else using a smaller size needle for my two at a time toe up’s would be an easier and faster solution.

    —Laurel on May 1, 2015
  • Finished 3 pair, have yarn to make another 5 pair. I only started knitting socks two years ago; I’ve been knitting for 58 years. I’ve made lots of sweaters, booties, slippers, a pair of pants (wool yarn is itchy even after using cream rinse to soften!), a skirt or two, untold numbers of mittens and gloves, doll clothes and just about anything else that can be knit.

    —Patricia Johnston on May 1, 2015
  • Lots of socks! Love the portability and they make great gifts.

    —cecilia on May 2, 2015
  • Tons of socks. They tuck in purse to work on anytime, anywhere.

    —Mary Mekelburg on May 5, 2015
  • I love knitting socks!!!! such lovely yarn these days, and they are so appreciated by family and charities – and so quick to make. I LOVE THEM!

    —Carole-Jayne on May 29, 2015

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