I finished my pair of crochet socks, using some lovely New Zealand wool. I found that crocheting socks is easier than knitting socks. I do really struggle to get knitting started on three needles and I didn't have to worry about dropping stitches. Here's my knitted sock pattern in case you prefer knitting
. For the crochet socks I used this pattern
, and I mostly followed the instructions. I hate having to follow them and not really knowing what will happen. Turning the heal was a wild ride on the first sock, I just had to trust the pattern and I had no idea what would happen!
Step 1: the ankle
To make things a bit easier for myself next time I want to crochet some socks (and for anyone else who wants to follow that pattern), I made another sock with different coloured wool for each section so you can see how the pattern forms into socks. It reminds me of an Ugly rugby jersey
with all the different colours.
This is crocheted as a rectangle that is later folded in half and sewn together to form the top of the sock. Chain as many stitches as you need to get the length of the sock from your angle upwards. Then crochet back and forwards until the rectangle wraps around your ankle. The key is to keep your crochet neat and square. My first attempt was not a rectangle, so I had to unravel and try again, otherwise it won't sew up neatly. The pattern says to sew the seam together at the end, but I hate sewing things at the end, it seemed quicker and easier to just crochet it up when I was ready, I used single crochets to join the seam. It does for a bulky seam, but these are bed socks, so it doesn't matter, then the seam is done and you can keep going without cutting the yarn or having to come back to it later.
|Start with a chain as long as the sock ankle needs to be|
|try to form a neat rectangle|
|sew the ends together when it fits around your ankle|
Step 2: the heel flap
For this part you start working around the sock in each of the gaps left between stitches in the ankle. I think this part is easier if you've already sewed up your seam. When sewing around you are supposed to do a chain at the end of the row to step up to the next row, but I always forget where my rows are, its much easier to just keep going around and for a sock it does't really matter. The pattern says to go around twice, I think I went around a few more times, the main thing is to remember what you did one the first sock if you want the second sock to look the same (mine are different!).
When you've gone around enough times you want to start crocheting a flap at the back of the sock. Assuming you want that seam at the back, I just fold it in half with the seam at the back and judge where the flap needs to start, then instead of going around, you crochet back and forth for a while. The pattern says 12 rows, but I always lose count, so best to try on the sock and make sure that the flap reaches the length of your heel.
|starting the heel flap|
|the heel flap|
Step 3: Turning the heel
This is when things get a bit wild, but stay with me, its not hard, its just weird and it works. I should have taken more photos here. Basically you just crochet across 15 stitches and then turn and crochet 6 stitches, so you send up in the middle of the heel flap with only a few stitches. Now you are going to go back and forth over those middle stitches and at the end of each row you pick up (by crocheting together) a stitch from the first two rows of the turning part. This means that you are creating a cup. The first time you do this you might just have to follow the pattern exactly, but then you will see how it works and it won't seem so weird. (Sorry I didn't take more photos for this step!)
|turning the heel|
Step 4: The gusset and foot
When you finish turning the heel you will have way too many stitches for the foot, so you have to gradually decrease the number of stitches. First do a row right around the foot, where you will be picking up up all the stitches you left behind to do the heel. Now you keep going round and decrease on both sides of the foot at the corner where the heel flap separated from the heel rounds (in this case where the blue wool forms a corner). Keep going around and decreasing until you have only 58 stitches or the sock fits your foot. Then you can stop decreasing and just keep crocheting around until the sock is long enough to start the toes (usually when it hits the base of my little toe).
Step 5: Toe shaping
To shape the toe you need to decrease on both sides of the sock at top and bottom (4 decreases in each round) every second row. I use old twisty tags as markers and decrease each side of the tags as I go around. Keep trying on the sock so you know how long it needs to be. I reckon you could even go two rows between decreases for a nicer shape. At the end I just crochet the top, again its a bulky seam, but its quick and easy.
|one completed ugly sock|
What do you think? Have you ever crocheted a sock? Did you think it was easier than knitting? Are you going to give it a try?