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Crafting socks have long been considered the sole domain of knitters. Luckily, thanks to new yarns and well-crafted sock patterns, you can now crochet socks that are both stylish and warm.
However, whereas the overall construction of a knit and crochet sock is the same, there are some differences. For instance, it is important to note that crocheted socks do not have the same stretch as knitted socks do.
5 Tips for Making the Perfect Pair of Crocheted Socks
Tip #1: Choose the Correct Yarn
When choosing the yarn for your sock project, you will need to decide on the yarn weight and fiber content you would like to use. Let us take a closer look at these two elements.
You will be able to find patterns for crocheted socks in most yarn weights, ranging from chunky socks that are more like slippers, to socks made of fingering weight yarn.
So which yarn weight should you choose? Start by determining how the socks will be worn. Will they be worn in extremely cold conditions or while skiing or hiking? If that is the case, then you should probably choose a pattern that uses a heavy yarn weight, i.e., a chunky yarn.
On the other hand, if the socks are meant to be worn in ordinary shoes, you would probably want to go for a fingering weight yarn.
Another thing that can make a big difference to your crocheted socks is the fiber content of your yarn.
A wool yarn with a nylon blend is probably the best choice for crochet socks. The wool will keep your feet nice and warm as well as dry. It also has a natural stretch that makes the socks more comfortable to wear.
The added nylon give the socks durability and strength and help them withstand the wear and tear that occurs during wearing. Whereas socks crocheted from 100% wool will be lovely and warm to wear around the house, they may not wear as well if you go for a hike.
What if you are allergic to wool?
If you find wool itchy or if you have an allergic reaction to wool, acrylic yarns could be a good choice from a longevity point of view. However, depending on the brand, it might not always be the softest against your feet.
Personally, in order to get the softness, I would probably go for yarn with some kind of bamboo blend.
Tip #2: Choose the Correct Stitch
It is a fact that crochet stitches do not have the same stretch as knitted stitches. You would want your crochet socks to pull up easily, snap into place and stay put. To achieve this, you need to pick the correct stitch(es).
There needs to be enough stretch in the crocheted fabric for it to fit around the widest part of your ankle and heel. You also do not want them to sag once you have pulled up the socks.
Tip #3: Choose the Correct Direction
Just like with knitted socks, you can crochet socks either from the toe up or from the cuff down. Both techniques have their pros and cons.
Knitted socks will typically have a ribbed cuff that is really stretchy. Unfortunately, you cannot recreate the same kind of stretch when crocheting. Crocheting a cuff-down sock has the advantage of having a more stretchy ribbing.
Tip #4: Choose the Correct Heel
More important than the direction you crochet in, is the type of heel you choose for your socks.
As mentioned, crochet socks and crochet stitches are not as stretchy as knitted ones. So, to ensure that your socks fit your feet, you would want to ensure you use the right kind of heel with enough of a stretch.
A traditional heel flap or heel turn is a good choice if you want some more room. I also like using the afterthought heel in my crocheted socks. However, you should be aware that this makes for a less roomy sock around the heel area.
Tip #5: Choose the Correct Size
Most crochet sock patterns give you instructions for different sizes. However, it is advisable to actually measure your feet to make sure that you get the perfect fit for your socks.
You may find that you will need to change your hook size or modify the stitch count to achieve the perfect fit.
Crocheted fabric does not stretch sideways very well. However, it will have a lot of stretch along the body of the sock. So, in order to make your sock fit perfectly, try it on as you crochet. Once you are about ½ inch (approx. 1.3 cm) from your toes, start crocheting the toe section.
Once the sock is finished and you try it on, you will find that it will fit well. That is because of something called negative ease. The ½ inch that was shorter than your foot will stretch to fit your foot. So, even if the finished socks may look like they are too small, they will end up fitting you perfectly
Looking for a roadmap through the different US and UK terms used in crochet patterns? Check this out: Crochet Terms: The Differences Between US and UK Crochet Terms Explained.