Let's get started - Cuff & Leg

by Sharyn Anhalt October 31, 2014

Now that you've checked your gauge and practiced casting on loosely, we're ready to begin. If this is your first time using double pointed needles, they may seem a little awkward at first. Don't despair - it get's much easier with practice. Here's a couple tips:

  • Cast all stitches onto one needle, then distribute among the other needles. Be sure they are not twisted before joining to work in the round (just like you would when casting on for a hat).
  • See the blog post from Ann at Knitting Fever for a little trick for a seamless join. She explains it so well, so I won't repeat it here (see link at the end of this post). I use this for everything I knit in the round.

The pattern gives you two different stitch numbers to cast on. Take a moment to measure your calf where you want the top of your socks. The 56 st cast on will be 8" around, and the 60 st cast on will be 8.5" around - assuming you checked your gauge and you are getting 7 sts to the inch! The socks will stretch to fit - you don't want them to be the exact same size as your calf, but you don't want them to be too tight. Let us know if you need help with this.

The first thing you'll do is k2p2 ribbing (see pattern). The pattern instructs you to divide stitches evenly among your needles - DON'T DO THIS. It is much easier to knit on dpns when the first stitch of each needle is a knit stitch, not a purl stitch. For example, I cast on 60 and divided my stitches 16-16-16-12, so the first stitch of each needle will be knitted. Not only is this easier to knit, but it helps prevent the dreaded "laddering". After completing the ribbed cuff, redistribute your stitches so that you have an even number on each needle. This will be important when you get to the heel.

Laddering is when there is a gap in your knitting at the point where you switch between dpns. When knitting the first stitch of each needle, give a little tug to tighten up this stitch. A little laddering is expected - don't worry about it, since it will likely disappear after you block (wash!) your socks.

We had some discussion at last night's KAL about the number of dpns to work with - some knitters prefer 3, others say 4. In this case (and the case of many sock patterns) the pattern instructions refer to the number of stitches on each needle. You should use 4 dpns (knitting with the 5th) for this pattern so the instructions make sense.

After completing your cuff, knit in stockinette until the leg is the desired length. Ann gives some suggestions on fit and modifying your cuff or leg length, so be sure to read her blog posts too! Here are the links:



Sharyn Anhalt
Sharyn Anhalt


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