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Another Sock Tip

Every now and then I do something that seems like just a common sense little thing to me, but other people notice it and think it is a great idea, and I realize I do something that others do not do, and that they find useful to discover. Like, for example, one of my previous posts, a knitting tip on counting Heel Flap Rows.

So the other day I was at work, knitting socks from lovely Spunky Eclectic sock yarn from the spa, in a great color called "Thunderstorm",  when  a dear friend came in with her husband, and he asked what was with the safety pins hanging off my sock:


I have decided after knitting a billion socks, that when I am knitting plain stockinette socks for myself, on size two needles with sock weight yarn, I just always do 15 rows of ribbing followed by 80 rows of stockinette. That might come to anywhere from a 7 inch top to a 8 inch top or even  little more, but I don't really care EXACTLY how high the top is. Eighty rows is always a goodly amount for me. After I start my sock I pin 8 coilless safety pins to the bottom of my sock ribbing, linked together like little monkeys. Every tenth row, I pin a pin on that row. That way there is no counting and no measuring. When I get to the 8th pin, I make the heel flap, turn the heel, pick up the gusset stitches and knit the gusset.

As I knit, I pin a safety pin every tenth row from where I picked up stitches along the edge of the heel flap. (I use the pins that I put in to count the rows of the leg). I knit along until I feel like I have to start measuring the length of the foot. Usually my foot is between sixty-something and eighty-something rows in length, depending on yarn size and needle size, so I knit merrily along til I have placed the 6th safety pin. At that point I do have to measure every 5 or 10 rows or so until the foot is exactly the length it needs to be. Then I finish the toe. 


I knit the second sock the same way, but with the added help that when I start the foot, I know  exactly how many rows the foot will need to be. (It helps if you write that number down and keep it with the yarn for your second sock.) I just use the same 8 pins for all my row counting, because I can never usually find all the billions of pins I actually own. But if you have lots of pins on hand and don't have to take any of them out to keep re-marking the next stage of your pair of socks, you wouldn't have to write the number down. 

I prefer knitting the same exact number of rows when I knit my sock legs and feet, because it saves on constantly measuring and worrying about if you measured the same way exactly on the second sock. By counting rows, I know my socks are a perfect match. :)



A brilliant technique that I plan to try! Thanks Beth. I love how you dive right into your new spa purchases. I was making myself wait until I finished spinning what I started. I came right home after seeing yours and spun a little of my new spa fluff. No more waiting until I eat my veggies for dessert! Life is to short. Kelley


This is a great idea! I also just read the heal flap tip which is genius! Maybe I won't waste so much time counting rows 3 or 4 times because I think I'm missing some.

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