I’m drawn to the lure of sock knitting in the fall and find myself on a quest to purchase the best sock yarn for the patterns I find that have tempted me to knit them. I’ve learned to knit my socks using two circular needles but still have to struggle on measuring the length so my socks aren’t too short or too long. It has taken practice and many sock knitters might find this a bit humorous, but how does one determine the proper sock size?
When knitting socks, remember that the length of the sock should not correspond with a shoe size. For socks to fit comfortably, make sure to measure your foot to know exactly when to start decreasing for the toe. Socks should not be sloppy or loose, but should fit snug on the foot.
To determine the length of the foot, simply place a ruler on the floor with your foot next to it and measure from the heel to the tip of the longest toe. By doing so, you will determine the exactly length of your foot and know how long your finished sock should be. For example, if you typically wear an US size 7 shoe, your foot length should be between 9 and 9 1/2 inches. When you are knitting your sock and ready to start on the toe, measure the sock from the point of the heel turn. You want to start the toe decrease about 2 or 2 1/2 inches short of the actual foot length. Remember you want to be a little short so the sock can stretch to fit properly without being too loose.
Catherine Goodwin of Knitting Anyway has created the following chart for knitters to have an idea on foot length. This chart is fairly accurate and would be a handy tool to keep in your knitting bag.
Socks are very addictive and so is the yarn used for knitting them. You can find gorgeous sock yarns in a variety of colors and companies, along with a terrific selection of books, online at the Yarn Market. For those of you who prefer Indy Dyers for your sock yarn, be sure to visit the Zen Yarn Garden, UrbanGypz, NH Knitting Mama, Liberty’s Yarn and Woolen Mill St Yarns.