Ok, first of all- a disclaimer. I’m a PhD student, not a photography whiz. Also, I only have two hands. It is very difficult for me to take pretty pictures, but I’ve tried my best.
Needle- if I tell you to knit a needle, I mean all the stitches on one needle. Two needles make a round.
Round- the circular version of a row, you get back to where you started, but a row above.
TAAT- knitting Two At A Time.
That said, let’s get on with the show!
The first thing you need to do is cast on. I use the figure 8 cast on. This isn’t the only one, but I particularly like it because you don’t need to guess the amount of yarn you’ll need at the beginning.
You start off with a slip knot, as usual.
Then you need to arrange your needles- put the one with the knot on below the one without the knot. The aim is to have them neatly lined up next to each other, but that generally takes a few stitches.
Begin winding the ball end of yarn around the two needles in a figure of 8(hence the name of this particular cast on). You start with the top needle, bring the yarn over the top and down between the two needles. Then do the same thing for the bottom needle, and so on.
Here you can see the slip knot on the bottom needle, and two stitches, one on each needle (the slip knot doesn’t count as a stitch). Continue in this manner until you have the required number of stitches (check both needles, I’ve somehow lost stitches before).
I knit the largest size of sock, so I need to have 11 stitches top and bottom.
I knit two socks a time (called TAAT), and so now I cast on another 11 stitches top and bottom for another sock.
Now it’s time to start knitting your sock! For the first round, we won’t be increasing at all, just knitting around. Before we can do that, we needle to free the bottom needle by sliding it out. The cable will hold the stitches.
This picture shows what the cable loops will look like.
And what the needle tips will look like. So, begin by knitting straight across the needle (both socks, if you are doing TAAT). You’ll find as you get further along the needle that your stitches get looser, this is completely normal and fine.
When you’ve finished one needle, turn and prepare the work the next row, but we need to do a few things first.
First thing is to take the slip knot off the top needle. I weave in ends as I knit, rather than wait until the end and darn, but that’s up to you.
You also need to tighten the top stitches, so they don’t get looser in the same way as they did on the first needle. Beginning with the left-end stitch, insert your needle into each stitch and tug gently. There’s a surprising amount of slack to be taken up.
This is after about half the stitches have been tugged. When they’ve all been tugged, and the remaining slack has been added into the tail, knit through the back loop of each stitch. After the first one, it’s natural and easy to knit into the back loop, ad it untwists the stitches from when they became twisted as you cast on.
When they’ve all been knitted, you’ll be ready to start increasing for the toe. Rather than kf&b, I do M1r and M1l, as I feel it gives a neater line. Unfortunately, my camera is refusing to take photos now so I can’t make a tutorial for these right now. I’ll try to have this problem sorted by next week, in the meantime there are plenty of tutorials online! Simply replace round A with
Round A: k1, M1R, knit to 1 stitch from end of needle 1, M1L, k1; k1, M1R, knit to 1 stitch from end of needle 2, M1L, k1.
After all the increases, it’s time to move onto the instep. This is simply knit every round until you reach a certain number of inches from the back of the foot. The easiest way to check this is to put the sock on, and measure with a tape-measure, like this
It can be slightly awkward, but it doesn’t need to be exact. I need 3.25 inches, and have about 3 here. I ended up frogging .25 inches off my sock, to get this right, but that’s because my row gauge can be slightly dodgy, and I want to figure it out properly. When you’ve got it right, you can measure your sock so you don’t need to keep measuring against your foot every sock (guess how many socks it took me to figure that one?)
Next week we’ll be turning the heel, so have fun with your knitting up till this point :) I’ll try to fix my camera for next week too :/