Saturday, 29 April 2017

Sock knitting with Magic Loop

My making this week has been dominated by sock knitting, in particular knitting socks for my little boy. I have resisted making him socks for so long that when he hit upon the idea of socks in the colours of his favourite NFL team I couldn't hold out much longer.
The main reason for not wanting to make him socks was that I would need to teach myself to knit magic loop (knitting with a long circular needle) which just looked tricky. However, inspired by Emma from Potter and Bloom who had made socks for her daughter recently, I embarked upon my new project last weekend.

R loves the Green Bay Packers NFL team so the socks 'had' to be yellow and green. Our first job was to agree which part of the socks would be green and which part would yellow and after a little thought, we settled on green cuffs, heels and toes.

I found getting started with magic loop tricky at first until I discovered a great blog post by Tin Can Knits which set me off in the right direction. I don't love using magic loop - I keep forgetting to tighten the first two stitches of each round - but I can really see how versatile it is and I'm pleased that I have been able to get to grips with it on a small project instead of learning when I needed to knit a sleeve!

In knitting these socks, I have been pulling together favourite features from other socks I've knitted and with lots of trying on (and a little frogging) I have managed to make a sock that fits my little boy's foot perfectly. I have made a start on sock number two which will (hopefully!) fly of the needles now I have the recipe sorted!

My little boy adores his socks already and I can't wait to see him wearing them both!

Wearing yellow and green hand-knit socks

I really hope this post has inspired you to give knitting children's socks a go and I thought sharing my 'sock recipe' with you all might help:

Green Bay Packer socks
to fit a five year old with size 10 and 1/2 (UK) sized feet

Green Bay Packers yellow and green hand-knit socks

I am using:
2.5mm (long) Hiya Hiya circular needles
Opal 'uni' or plain sock yarn

Magic Loop cast-on from Tin Can Knits
Eye of Partridge heel with garter edging from Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
Winwick Mum's basic 4ply sock pattern

Cast on 48 stitches
Knit 10 rows of 2x2 rib for the cuff
Knit 25 rows for the leg
Work an Eye of Partridge heel flap, with garter edge over half the stitches
 Gusset decreases: I reverted to Winwick Mum's Basic 4ply sock pattern
Knitting the foot seemed to take for forever but my notes say it was 41 rows before I started the decreases
I switched to the green yarn 7 rows before the toe decreases to that we would have a good 'chunk' of green toe.
I followed Winwick Mum's decrease method for the toes and I worked until I had 12 stitches left on each needle - before working Kitchener stitch using my favourite method; Kitchener toe with no ears by Suzanne Bryan

You can find more about my sock knitting in this post from my archive: Sock knitting journey


  1. Hi Helen, super article and a great collection of resources - thank you! The socks look super - you know R will want the reverse for his next pair. I wish I'd discovered sock knitting when my daughter had small feet! Emma x

    1. Thank you, so pleased you enjoyed it. I'm hoping R's feet will grow slowly!! x

  2. Brilliant article to read Helen! I think R will definitely be wanting a reverse for his next pair!! XX

    1. Thank you! In addition to the more socks, he's after a matching hat!! xx

  3. Ooh, I've not come across the no ears technique before. I'll definitely give that ago once I've got past my current fish lips heels. And the Hermione socks are already on my list to make but the heel looks lovely so might need to be my next socks. Fx

    1. Thanks Flic, the heel is brilliant and the pick up from the garter edge looks so neat! x

  4. Those socks look excellent Helen. Thank you for sharing all this info! Now I like Tin Can Knits even more!

    1. Aren't the great! Thanks so much...just need to finish the second now! x