Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

*Clears throat* Hello class, and this week we will be discussing the anatomy of a sock. Examine this picture(from off t’internet, as I can’t figure out how to add writing to my own pictures):

Anatomy-of-a-knitted-sockThis sock is actually knit cuff-down, rather than toe-up, as is my general method, but that doesn’t make any difference.

The toe section

The pink bit of this sock is the toe. You start my casting on some stitches(there are various special cast ons for this, and I will discuss my favorite one next week), and increase until you have enough stitches to go around your foot.

The instep

The dark grey stripy part of the sock is the instep. This is just quite a lot of stocking stitch mostly. If you’re using a pattern, only work it on the top of the sock- you want to have nice squishy stocking stitch layer of sock between your foot and the floor.

The gusset

Here you start increasing on each side to get more stitches so the sock continues to fit as your foot increases as you get towards the ankle. The increasing is done on the underside of the sock

Heel turn

This is some short rows, done because the heel flap needs to curve around. Have a picture to see what I mean

anatomyThe green and yellow bit at the bottom of the picture (under the blue stripe) are the short rows. It curves the end of the sock. Again, do it on the bottom of the sock!

Heel flap

This is how you get rid of the extra stitches you got for the gusset. Knit straight, you knit the last stitch of each row with the gusset stitches. (If you’re knitting top down you pick up stitches either side for the gusset.)


The light blue part of the sock picture at the top of the post. If you’re using a pattern, do it all over this time, not just on the front of the sock this time.


And finally, we reach the cuff of the sock(the orange bit in the photo). Usually done in rib of some kind, to ensure the sock stays up all day, and doesn’t get saggy because the fabric stretches all day. Don’t skimp on this- I generally do about an inch and a half, and I definitely notice the difference with my earlier socks when I didn’t do that much rib.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the tour of a sock. Next week we will be casting on for a sock, and so, if you want to join in, there is a bit of homework:

1) Measure around the ball of your foot, like this

2) Procure 100g of sock yarn (fingering weight, usually wool/nylon blend, but others work too. Just avoid anything like cotton which doesn’t have any natural stretch.) and needles (either dpns or a cable for magic loop. However you like knitting in the round)

3) Gauge swatch. I don’t bother nowadays, because I know my sock yarn tension. If you’ve knit lots of socks before, grab a sock and use that. Otherwise, the pattern has different sizes depending on gauge. Go do it 😛

4) Print out ‘All the math‘, and figure out what size sock you need to make, based on your foot size and gauge.

That’s it!

So I will see you all next week, when we discuss casting on and increasing for the toe!



Comments on: "Sock Saturday- anatomy of a sock" (3)

  1. Just a tip: It’s easy to add text to a photo with pic monkey. The basic photo editing is free.

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