The Ease of Knitting Straight, Single-point Needle Socks
It started with my mother's request for socks in a fingering-weight yarn. Personally, the more sock patterns I looked at, the more discouraged I was. My mother is an expert knitter, and I, frankly, am not. :) My needlework history includes more crochet and threadwork than knitting.
However, I am probably an "average" knitter. I like simple, basic patterns that flow easily through a project. Double-pointed needles seem to me, annoying to use. The size of the average sock needle (from size 0 through size 3) for fine-gauge yarn, makes the idea of juggling four of them, well, annoying. So, I began a search for a "simple" sock pattern, and ended up writing my own. (Please see my patterns on the Simply Art © Simple Basics © page.)
I found through my research that over the world there are different ways of making socks. Most reflect changes in the color patterns, and not in the structure of the sock. However, some European socks seemed to have a wonderful and easy heel, and they inspired me to write my flat-knitted sock pattern.
I have to say, I really love knitting with my own pattern for flat-knitted socks. I think almost all knitters make their own adjustments to patterns they use, and knitters who write their own patterns probably love them too. What I mean about using my own pattern, is that I consistently like knitting socks with this pattern, and almost always have a pair in progress.
If there is any "disadvantage" to knitting flat-knitted socks, it may be that they have seams. But in my research, I found that many more sock patterns than you would think have seams, especially in crocheting. I sew the seams with monofilament thread, or on my vintage sewing machine, so to me, the seams are not really a disadvantage. They do not affect how the sock fits or how comfortable it is to wear.
The main reason I wrote the pattern was so "anyone" would be able to make socks. I find the advantages are very simple - you start knitting, and with just a few simple changes in the stitches as you go, when you are done, you have a sock that only needs seams sewn. Considering that I "struggled" with double-pointed needles and the "ladders" in the joins, seams are nothing to me.
Something else I wanted to provide in this pattern was a way to teach and encourage young people or people who are new to knitting, that they too can knit socks. This pattern is a basic, truly a basic, "knowledge" that won't hurt anyone to have. :)
Please don't view this page as a blatant advertisement for my own pattern, although as I said, obviously, I like my own pattern- please use the idea of flat-knitted socks, and the basic knowledge of simple knit stitches in "new" but "traditional" ways to encourage someone to knit their own basic clothing items. Self-sufficiency is a wonderful concept to rely on.
And also, because I am more curious, perhaps, than the next knitter, my next sock pattern will be a very simple one written for one circular needle. Have you seen the circular needle sock patterns out there? I have - there has to be an easier way..............
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