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Crafternoon Treats: Perfect Fit Crochet Socks

Crafternoon Treats: Perfect Fit Crochet Socks
Welcome our guest author Kathryn Senior from the fabulous Crafternoon Treats, who will be taking us through the stages of how to crochet the perfect fit sock in weekly tutorial instalments.

Do you love the look of hand-knitted socks but prefer to crochet? 
It is possible to make socks with a hook but finding a pattern to make socks that stay up and that look as good as knitted ones is tricky. 

In this guide, Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats shares some tips on how to approach crocheted socks, and takes you through her own sock pattern, step-by-step.
Before we get going, it is important to realise that there is a challenge with crocheted socks. 
Crochet stitches just don’t have as much stretch as knitted ones, even using the ‘stretchy’ stitch pattern and the yarn I’ve chosen. 

You therefore have to make your crochet socks fit your feet quite accurately, so it can take a bit of trial and error.
The first thing you need to do is to measure your foot: 

• Length from toe to heel
• Circumference of your ankle
• Circumference of your foot around the instep 

This pattern is designed to fit my UK size 5 foot which is 23cm from toe to heel, 23cm around the ankle and 23cm around the instep. If your foot is wider, longer, thinner or differs in any other way, you may need to make small adjustments to get a perfect fit.

To end up with a pair of crocheted socks that don’t look too much like bed socks or slippers, use a good quality 4ply sock yarn that is 75% wool and 25% nylon. The nylon helps the socks keep their shape and makes them more robust. Socks that are made from 100% wool tend to develop holes quite quickly… 

I chose a 4ply sock yarn because it’s robust, a little bit stretchy and it comes in some lovely variegated sock colours. There are also some lovely plain coordinating colours to use for the cuff, heel and toe. You can just use the patterned yarn for the entire sock if you want. I added coordinating cuffs, heels and toes here as it works better for the tutorial. Its also true that patterned sock yarn is specifically designed for knitting and crochet uses much more yarn per stitch, so that pattern repeats don’t always look as good in a crocheted cuff and heel flap.
The next bit of preparation is to check out your crochet tension by making a sample square using UK dc stitches and your 3mm hook. 

Work a foundation chain of 21, turn your work and make the first dc into the second chain from the hook. Work 19 more dc, which will take you to the end of the chain. 

Turn your work and ch1 (the turning chain). Work your first dc of row 2 into the first dc stitch of the row below (NOT the second stitch). Work 19 more dc to the end. Repeat until you have 20 rows of dc stitches. 

Your required tension using a 3mm hook is: 12 dc stitches per 5cm and 15 rows per 5cm. 

Adjust your hook sizes as necessary to achieve tension (see below)
You will need the hook size for the main body of your sock (I used a 3mm) and a second hook that is half a size smaller (I used a 2.5mm). This smaller hook is used for the cuff, heel flap and turned heel. 

If your tension is tighter than the recommended tension (see above), you may need to go up to a 3.25mm hook, or even a 3.5mm hook. If your tension is looser, you may need to go down to a 2.75mm hook or even a 2.5mm hook. I will refer in the pattern to a 3mm and a 2.5mm; you will need to substitute with the hook sizes relevant to your tension each time. 

The main body of the sock uses a dc, ch1 pattern, which adds some stretch both widthways and lengthways but your tension still needs to be very close to the above for the sock to fit over your ankle but then to stay up once its on!
The first time you work through this pattern, make one sock at a time and try it on frequently, noting down any adjustments you make. 
Use these adjustments to make the second sock and then you have your own bespoke sock pattern.
Yarn A 
Row 1: Using the 3mm hook make a foundation chain of 16 chains. Change to the 2.5mm hook turn, making your first dc into the second chain from the hook and then work another 14 dc along the chain. 

Row 2: Turn your work, make one turning chain and then work the next dc into the back loop only of the first dc of the row below. Work 14 more dc into the back loops of each stitch. 

Rows 3-46: Repeat row 2. Your completed cuff will look like this:

Fold the cuff so that the right side is on the inside. Slip stitch into the edges, matching stitch for stitch and working through both loops of both stitches.
This will produce a join that blends in with the dc ribbing you have made. 

At this point it’s a good idea to try the cuff on to make sure you can get it over your ankle. The dc worked into the back loops is a very stretchy stitch and it should fit quite tightly. If its too tight, add a row, then try on again. If its too loose, frog back one row at a time until you are happy.

Turn the finished cuff to the right side and choose which edge will form the top of your sock. I find that one side tends to look ‘tidier’ than the other, so I use the best side for the top and crochet into the other side when I work the leg of the sock.
Change to Yarn B and the 3mm hook. 

Work on the right side and join the yarn into one of the valleys between the ribbing. 
You will work dc stitches, each one separated by a chain stitch. 

Foundation round: Work 28 [dc, ch1] evenly around the base of the cuff. You may want to use 4 stitch markers to divide the cuff into four and work 7 [dc, ch1] into each section to make it easier to get your stitches evenly spaced. [56 stitches] 

At the end of the round, do not join with a slip stitch, work your first dc of round 2 straight into the first chain space. Mark this stitch so that you know it is the start of the round.

Round 1: Work [dc, ch1] into each chain space. 

Rounds 2-17: Repeat round 2 

Note you can work your leg section as long as you like. 
I prefer quite short socks so I did 18 rows to give a leg that measures approximately 6 cm. 

If you want to add rows, try your sock on after every two rows to check you are happy with the length. 

Last leg round: Repeat round 2 but at the end join to the first dc of the previous round with a slip stitch. 
Check again that your sock fits well and then fasten off Yarn B.
Use your 2.5mm hook and Yarn A. 

Use stitch markers to mark a gap of 25 stitches; this will be the start of your heel flap. 

If you have a very wide foot, you can divide of 27 stitches at this point and adjust the turned heel by starting with 20 stitches rather than 18 and then following the pattern as is.

Row 1: Working on the right side, work 25 dc into each stitch across, until you reach the marker. 
This stitch and the rest of the stitches around the foot remain unworked. 

Row 2: Turn your work and work this row on the wrong side. Ch1 then dc into the first stitch below, then into the next 24 stitches, when you should reach the next marker. 

Rows 3-11: Repeat row 2. You should end at the end of a right side row. 

Try on your sock. The bottom of the heel flap should rest at the base of your heel. If it is too short, you can add rows but try the sock on every row to make sure it fits you perfectly. You will need to make your last row a right side row.

Phew, I hope you’ve made it so far – next time we’ll tackle turning the heel using crochet short rows, and the gusset decreases…