How to knit socks for beginners – easy step by step tutorial [+video]

A step by step tutorial on knitting socks for beginners the traditional way on double-pointed needles and an easy striped pattern that fits everyone

So you are looking for a tutorial on how to knit socks ? You want a simpleton top township form suitable for beginners you can finish fast and without years of experience ? Well, then you came to the right field place !
I’ve been knitting socks for as long as I can remember. If you look around my web log you will find quite a set of ( free ) sock patterns ( like my bavarian Socks, my basic ribbed socks or socks with a lovely cable detail ) you might want to save for by and by. even as a child I constantly only wanted to wear hand-knitted socks – much to the joy ( and sometimes alarm ) of my grandma .
the knitted socks modeled on feet to show how the pattern knits up

These are the socks we are going to knit together
now, there are many ways to knit socks. Toe-up, two at a meter, even flat using two needles, and then of path using magic trick iteration. This tutorial shows you how to knit a pair of socks the traditional way. Why ? Because this is a time-proven method that will fit anyone – no count their shoe size or gender.

handknit socks following an easy knitting pattern for beginners on a wooden board with flowers in the background
late on, and once you are familiar with the process, I surely urge you to experiment a sting and find techniques that suit your style of knitting and your body tied better. But for nowadays, I think it ’ sulfur best to start with a super simple sock pattern suitable for promote beginners. And very don ’ triiodothyronine be scared of the double-pointed knit needles. All it takes is a bit of practice and some tips and you ’ ll never look back !
My design is with stripes but you can also knit it in just one color. I recently knit some plastic-free naturally dyed socks following the claim same traffic pattern .
so, let ’ s dive mighty into it ! And don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate forget to download these instructions in case you want them as a pdf .

1. Materials you need to knit a sock

the materials you need to knit socks all on a wooden board
note : I earn a humble commission for purchases made through links in this article .
Most sock patterns use identical slender thread and evenly thin needles. If you want to wear your sock every day ( and not just in winter ), then you actually have no other choice to produce a light and breathable fabric that doesn ’ thyroxine turn your shoes into a sauna. even, this windsock recipe will work out with DK weight thread as well ( and 3.00 millimeter needles ) fair as fine .
You ’ ll need :
kindly note that I will be knitting these socks using three different colors. I am doing this so I can show you how to knit the popular stripes. If you like the way that looks then you need one 100 grams skein and two 50 grams skeins of the same narration base ( don ’ metric ton mix brands ! ! ! ). But you can besides knit with just one color and it will actually be easier .
Tip: I used the scraps from this plan to knit my cable knit socks .

2. How many stitches to cast on for socks

The inaugural thing you need to do is figuring out how many stitches you need to cast on. And THE ONLY WAY to find your solution is knitting a swatch, and then do some easy calculations. While there are sock charts ( or patterns ), you will have to knit a swatch to verify your gauge ( and knit again if you were murder ). so, I think it ’ s much easier & authentic to do it yourself .
I have a very detail tutorial prove you how to figure out the mold on requirements for socks but here ’ s the brief version :
Step 1: Cast on 30 stitches and knit 30 rows in knit stockinet sew using the lapp thread and needles you want to knit your socks with. then bind off .
knitting the swatch to figure out your gauge and thereby the size for the socks
Step 2: Wash and block your finished swatch ( crucial ! )
blocking the finished swatch for your socks after it has been washed
Step 3: Count how many stitches you need to cover 5 curium / 2 in .
measuring the gauge of the swatch for your socks with a measuring tape
Step 4: Measure your feet at their widest point ( typically around the ankle/heel ) .
Step 5: Do some easy mathematics :

  • Divide the number of stitches you counted by the width you measured.
  • Multiply the resulting factor times the circumference of your foot.
  • Subtract ~15% to account for the negative ease of the st st.
  • Round to the nearest number divisible by 4.

And that ’ s how many stitches you need to cast on .
note : This is a simplified adaptation. normally, you would have to knit a proper swatch in the round, figure out the ease of your swatch, etc. As this is quite difficult to get correct, I feel it ’ randomness much easier to verify your results by trying on your socks in the make after round 30. As a founder, that ’ s still faster than trying to knit the perfective swatch .

3. Knitting the cuff

the cast on stitch for the socks distributed to 4 knitting needles
once you figured out how many stitches you need to cast on, pick up your double-pointed knit needles and you can start knitting the cuff. Check out this tutorial, If you don ’ thyroxine know how to knit in the round on double-pointed knit needles so far. And hera ’ s a post with 10 tips for neat results with dpns .

  1. Cast on as many stitches as you need plus one using two needles to create a really stretchy edge using a standard long tail cast on. Then distribute these stitches to four needles.
    For reference: I am casting on 68 stitches for a men’s size 8.5 (U.S.)
  2. Join in the round by slipping the first stitch on the first needle to the last needle. Then pass the (now) second stitch on the last needle over the first (a bit like a bind-off). Slip the remaining stitch back to your first needle (and tug on the tails). (check out this tutorial on how I join knitting in the round for more details)
  3. Knit across in a 2×2 rib for around 5 cm/2 in. The repeat is: *k2, p2* across all rows and stitches.
    For reference: I am knitting 24 rows of ribbing.

Depending on your shoe size, you may want to knit a unretentive or longer manacle .
Note: The first base 1-4 rounds on double-pointed needles will constantly feel extremely precarious. That ’ sulfur convention ( even for me ), and I urge you to persevere. Once you covered a centimeter or so, things will stabilize enormously !

4. Knit the leg

starting to knit the leg of the sock with stripes
once you are satisfied with your manacle, you can move onwards to the leg. While you can pick any early knit sew traffic pattern vitamin a well, stockinet stitch is a very simple and effective stitch for the leg .
You may want to switch colors here but either means, the instructions for the stage remain the lapp :

  • Knit across all rows and stitches

IMPORTANT: After 30 rows or then, you should try on your sock in the making. You can either slip all stitches to a spare circular needle or thread a bit of scrap yarn on a tapestry acerate leaf and pull it through all stitches ( to create a makeshift stitch holder ) .
That way, you can check if your cuff fits the way it should, and whether you can get it past your heel or not. If things don ’ metric ton fit ( it feels taut or slips down by itself ), try to figure out how much more ( or less ) fabric you would need, ravel and adjust your cast-on consequently .
Don ’ t try on your socks after entirely 10 rows. Ribbing behaves quite differently before you covered a significant extend. From here, I urge you to frequently try on your socks after each major step to verify the fit .

4.1 How long should you knit the leg?

knitting the leg of the sock and measuring tape showing you where to measure for the length
Remember the measurements of your feet at their widest charge ? You need that number again. therefore, pick up your measure videotape, put it around your calf, and go up to the point where you have the accurate same circumference. And then, measure the distance towards the ankle knuckle .
now, obviously, you already covered 5 centimeter for the cuff ( or however many rows you knit ). then, you have to subtract that number .
In my subject, I measured 20 centimeter which means I have to knit 15 centimeter in stockinet stitch .
note : If you have very strong calves ( or a very specialize ankle ) your socks might end up preferably short. To combat that, you would have to cast on more stitches and then decrease to the original calculation as you go down .

4.2 How to add stripes

Stripes can be a very playfulness direction to make your sock appear less plain without adding a lot of knitting complexity. Basically, you alone have to join in a new narration every couple of rows. There are, however, some rules you need to observe :

  • If your stripes are only 4 rows or less, then you can carry the yarn on the backside.
  • If your stripes are above 5 but below 10, then you can carry the yarn on the backside but you need to create floats on the backside every 2 or 3 rows by crossing the yarn (like in Fair Isle; or watch the video in this post).
  • If your stripes are more than 10 rows, I recommend cutting off the yarn after you finished each stripe. You will end up with a lot of tails to weave in but it’s the neatest and most secure option.

Knitting stripes can be quite visible if you do it wrong. so, decidedly read my guidebook on knitting jogless stripes in the round .
One important note: Don ’ thymine identify the “ jog ” /where you change narration at the begin or end of a needle. That runs the risk of creating a ladder. alternatively, constantly do it somewhere in the middle of your needle. Use a sew marker to mark the new begin of your round .

5. How to knit a sock heel

once you are quenched with your leg, it ’ randomness clock time to move ahead and knit the heel. A classic sock heel consists of three parts: The heel beat, the cad itself, and the voider .
While there are other methods to knit a list ( like the actually simple german short-row heel, etc ), the classical heel-flap & gusset technique allows you to adjust the fit according to your size & preferences. Some people have identical high ( or flat ) insteps, and this is by far the easiest way to make socks fit – even if it requires you to pick up stitches .
Let ’ s show you how to knit a sock heel the traditional means, eh ?

5.1 Heel Flap

knitting socks with double-pointed needles and various tools in the background
I constantly recommend knitting a reinforced heel with slipped stitches. typically the heel is a region that sees the most wear & pluck, and this helps to prevent holes. You can besides knit the heel holding a second yarn ( like a flimsy nylon thread ) together for even more lastingness .
Either manner, no matter how many stitches you cast on, you always knit the heel flap across half the number of stitches rounded down to the next number divisible by 4 ( in my case, 32 stitches ). You ’ ll knit it compressed. typically across the first, and second gear acerate leaf, and then you turn around. here ’ s the recur :
note : If you are knitting stripes, plainly join in the modern discolor at the begin of the heel flap ( but keep the early yarns attached ). For a clean transition, you may consider knitting the foremost row. besides, consider knitting the heel for the irregular windsock across the 3rd and 4th acerate leaf. That way, you can hide the “ trot ” on the at heart of your calves where it ’ mho less visible .

How high should the heel flap be?

a picture showing you how to figure out the length you need to knit the heel flap with a measuring tape
The ideal heel flap is american samoa long as the distance from your ankle knuckle to your exclusive. In my case, that ’ s around 5.5 centimeters. so, take up your measurement tape again, and check how retentive you need to knit .

5.2 Turning the heel

turning the heel of the sock with short rows
After you finished the heel-flap, you need to turn the heel. This is done using a very simpleton short-row technique. hera are the instructions :

  • Preparation: Knit to the exact center of your heel (in my case 16 stitches) continuing the slipped stitch pattern (*Sl1, k1*)
  • Row 1: K1, SSK, k1
  • Row 2: SL1p wyif, p3, p2tog, p1

From hera, continue you like this until you used up all stitches :

  • RS: SL1p wyib, knit up until 1 stitch before the gap, SSK, k1
  • WS: SL1p wyif, purl up until 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1

5.3 PIcking up stitches for the gusset

The voider is credibly the entirely rightfully unmanageable part of knitting a sock. That ’ s because you have to pick up stitches, and a distribute of beginners shy aside from that ( it sounds therefore complicated, right ? ). The process is pretty straight-forward, though. Let ’ s show you how to knit a gusset :
Note : The instructions are slenderly different if you are knitting with only one color ( see below ) ; basically you have to follow the steps in a different decree .
Step 1: Cut the narration for the heel, pick up the color you knit your last stripe with, place a stitch marker, and pick up one stitch from the gap between the heel flap & your ( old ) 4th needle with a crochet addict. This will prevent a hole from forming here at the top of your gusset .
The stitch marker marks your new begining of your round.
picking up one stitch from the gap to prevent holes around the gusset of your sock
Step 2: And then, pick up one stitch from every edge stitch. Try to tighten up the stitches always so much .
picking up a stitch with a crochet hook from the heel flap
Step 3: Knit across the heel ( I always join in a modern needle in the middle ) .
Step 4: Pick up stitches from the early side of the heel flap. One stitch through every ( slipped ) sew of the edge.

Step 5: Pick up one more sew from the gap, and place a stitch marker. Check if you picked up an equal number of stitches on both side, and that you didn ’ thymine incidentally skip a stitch .
Step 6: Knit across the remaining stitches on your ( previous ) 3rd and 4th acerate leaf, and join in the circle again .
all stitches were picked up from the gusset and distributed evenly
If you are only knitting in one color, then just follow these steps in a different arrange. Start at gradation 3 ( indeed, just knit across the heel one more meter ), and after step 6, eat up with tone 1, and 3 .

5.4 Knitting the gusset

the finished gusset of the sock
once you picked up all stitches, you can start knitting the gusset. Basically, it boils down to decreasing back to your original number of stitches .

  • Round 1: SSK, knit across until 2 stitches before the second stitch marker, k2tog, slip the marker, and finish knitting the round.
  • Round 2: knit

Repeat these two rounds until you are back to your original number of stitches .
If you are knitting in one color, your round starts at the exceed of the heel. In this case, you have to knit up to 2 stitches before your first marker, k2tog, knit to the adjacent marker, chemise it, ssk, and finish the circle .
note : Avoid knitting an SSK or K2tog as the last or beginning stitch on a modern needle. This will create holes/ladders. Shuffle stitches around alternatively .
Adjusting the fit: once you finished knitting the voider of your socks, I recommend trying them on one more time. Some people have identical flat feet. If you notice the framework is still a piece excessively loose across your instep, you may consider decreasing for 1 or evening 3 more rounds until it fits ( if it ’ sulfur excessively close, merely unravel a cycle or two ) .

6. Knitting the leg

working on the foot of a sock
right after the gusset, you can simply continue knitting in stockinet sew. If you added stripes, then continue your blueprint. You don ’ t need to do any decrease, etc .

How long should you knit the foot of your sock?

trying on the work in progress to check if the foot of the socks reaches up to the pinky toe
This depends on your size. The shoe size will tell you exactly how long your total foot should be. however, you need to subtract the length of the gusset & heel ( should be easy ), and the toebox. And the latter is the problem as you haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate knitted it so far .
now, I could tell you that my leg ( starting from the gusset ) is 11 molarity long, and the toebox 5 centimeter. But depending on your size & thread these measurements WILL be different. One method, that almost always works is to stop knitting the leg once you reach the middle of your pinky toe.
bill : If you have rather long toes, then start once you reach the tip of your little finger toe. here ’ second my degree fahrenheit ull tutorial on when to start decreasing the toes .

7. Knitting the toes

knitting the toes of a sock - halfway through with only 16 stitches remaining
The begin of the toe box marks the concluding stretch before you cross the coating line. then, take a deep breath, from here, each round is going to get shorter and shorter. here ’ s how to knit the toes of a sock :

  • Preparation: Make sure you have an equal number of stitches on the top two and the bottom two needles. The gaps should align with the decrease lines from your gusset.

    Place your sock in front of yourself the way you would wear them, and so the toes are pointing away from you. There are two needles on top, and two at the bottom. And you have to decrease always one stitch before and one stitch after the gap between the bottom and the top. There are NO decreases in the middle.
    I always start the toebox on the left bottom needle. You may consider placing a stitch marker here.

  • Round 1-3: Change color (optional) knit
  • Round 4: K1, SSK, knit across until 3 stitches before the end of your second needle, k2tog, k2, SSK, knit across until 3 stitches before the end of your fourth needle, k2tog, k1.
  • Round 5: knit
  • Continue repeating rounds 4+5 until you halved your number of stitches.
  • And then decrease in every round until you halved your number of stitches one more time.

8. Kitchener stitch & weaving in the tails

finishing the socks with the kitchener stitch grafting method
once you merely have 16 or 20 stitches left, it ’ mho prison term to finish your socks with a kitchener stitch. thus, cut the working narration leaving a tail of 10 inches or so, and follow the instructions ( snap on the connection ) .
theoretically speaking, you could besides decrease until you have only 8 stitches left, and pull the thread through these last stitches. This will, however, create a very pointy toe that doesn ’ t have the ideal fit. so, I don ’ t truly recommend it .
And then you have to weave in the tails. Before you do that, I have to mention two things. First of all, I want to congratulate on finishing your first sock! You can be superintendent proud on yourself !
And then, you should instantly try them on. I mean, you were credibly going to do that anyhow, but I think it ’ s significant. If you notice that your toebox is excessively big or needs to be a moment roomier, you would have to unravel and adjust consequently ( by starting the toes earlier or later ) .
weaving in the tails of the kitchener stitch graft at the toes with a tapestry needle
once you are satisfied, you only have to weave in your tails. I constantly do it with a sharp tapestry needle. Read my full tutorial on how to weave in ends hera .

8. Blocking (optional)

the socks before and after blocking to see the difference and how much more even (the top) sock gets

The sock before (below) and after (above) blocking
Okay, I lied, there is one more thing we need to talk about : To block or not to block? Blocking refers to the process of gently washing your finished project in lukewarm water, pinning it to a soft airfoil ( without overstretching ), and letting it dry. This will block the shape and neaten up your stitches .
therefore, do you need to block socks ? If you look around Etsy, you will find tons of windsock block boards. And they are very great for shooting pictures of your end socks. But other than that, I very have to say it ’ s not compulsory ( like when you are knitting lace ) .
You will wash your socks frequently anyhow, and your feet are warm and always a bit damp anyway. so, the appearance of your socks will change over time no matter what. But, if it ’ s a endowment or you want to shoot a nice picture, blocking can be an choice .
besides, some yarns contain spinning oils, etc, so I personally think that washing your socks once before them the first clock it can be a smart thing anyhow .

Last thoughts on knitting socks

a easy stripped sock knitting pattern for beginners
indeed, let ’ s wrap things up. I hope you figured out yourself that you need to follow the exact same instructions for your second sock. other than possibly moving around the heel to hide the jog, there is no dispute. Start right away, else you will develop second windsock syndrome .
however, you might notice how your first sock doesn’t have the perfect fit. Most founder socks end up a moment excessively big or reasonably askew. And that ’ s normal and nothing that should diminish your accomplishment. placid, you can adjust these bantam little things for your irregular sock already .
possibly you can cast on 4 more stitches, or knit the heel a centimeter higher, etc. And for your next pair of socks, use the exact same pattern and the exact same yarn. Because if you mix things up, you need to start all all over again !

How to knit socks

knitting socks with double-pointed needles and various tools in the background
These are the demand bit-by-bit instructions for a men ‘s size 8.5 as an example using a feel weight narration and needles size 2.5 millimeter. If you need it in a unlike size, here ‘s how many stitches to cast on for socks .
Prep Time

30 minutes

Active Time

12 hours

Total Time

12 hours

30 minutes


  • Any fingering or dk sock yarn works. I am using a nylon blend by Samelin Dyworks


  • Double-pointed knitting needles (15 cm) matching the weight of your yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Crochet hook
  • Measuring tape
  • Stitch markers


Step 1: Start with the cuff & leg

  1. Cast on 68 stitches (or however many stitches you need) in color A and knit around 5 cm in a 2×2 rib
  2. Round 1-24: *k2, p2*
  3. Round 25-33: Join in color B and knit across
  4. Round 34-36: Join in color C and knit across

Repeat rounds 25-36 five more times ; transport yarn across on the rear and produce floats every three rows where appropriate. To leg should be arsenic long as the distance from mid-calf ( the compass point where the circumference is the same as around the heel/ankle ) to your ankle knuckle. Round 97-100: knit in color barn

Step 2: Knit the heel

Start with the heel-flap like this:

  1. Round 101: Join in color A and knit across half of your stitches (rounded down to the next number dividable by 4; 32 in my case), turn the work around without finishing that round to start the heel flap, and put the remaining stitches on hold.
  2. Row 1: *SL1, k1*
  3. Row 2: *Sl1, p1*
  4. Repeat rows 1+2 19 more times or however many you need to cover the distance from your ankle knuckle to your sole (5.5 cm in my case).

To turn the heel, knit to the claim center of your heel-flap continuing the skid stitch design. And then

  1. Row 1: K1, SSK, K1
  2. Row 2: SL1p wyif, p3, p2tog, p1
  3. Every right side: SL1p wyib, knit up until 1 stitch before the gap, SSK, k1
  4. Every wrong side: SL1p wyif, purl up until 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1

From here, pick up color B again ( and cut color A ), place a sew marker, pick up one sew from the gap between the last needle and the heel-flap, and then pick up one stitch through every edge stitch of the heel flap ( 20 in my case ) using a crochet bait. Knit across the list, then pick up stitches from the early slope of the heel-flap edge vitamin a well. Pick up one extra stitch from the col, set a sew marker, and then knit across the remaining stitches you put on bear before you started the heel beat. To knit the gusset of your sock:

  1. Row 1: Slip the stitch marker, SSK, knit across up until 2 stitches before the next stitch marker, k2tog, knit the remaining stitches
  2. Row 2: knit
  3. Repeat rows 1+2 until you are back to the original number of stitches (68 in my case)

Step 3: Knit the Leg

For the leg, continue knitting in plain stockinet stitch changing colors every 9/3 rows respectively. You can stop knitting the leg once it reaches the center of your little finger toe. You may consider carrying the stitch markers along, as they mark the places where you need to decrease the toes ( but possibly attach them one quarrel below so you do n’t have to slip them all the time ) .

Step 4: Knit the toes

Join in color a again ( and cut color bacillus & carbon ). Make certain you have an equal number of stitches on the top and bottom two needles ( 34 in my font ; I need to shuffle around 2 stitches ).

  1. Row 1-3: Knit
  2. Row 4: K1, SSK, knit across the first and second needle until there are only 3 stitches left, k2tog, k2, SSK, knit up until 3 stitches before the end of the fourth needle, k2tog, k1
  3. Row 5: knit
  4. Repeat rows 4+5 until you halved the number of stitches (17 in my case), then decrease in every row until you halved the number of stitches again (8 in my case).
  5. Finish the socks with a Kitchener stitch.

Step 5: Weave in all tails on the inside


If you decide to knit these socks in alone one color, the instructions are precisely the lapp ( except you do n’t switch colors ). only the heel is unlike. here you have to pick up stitches in a unlike order and get down by knitting across the heel flap one more time. And remember that you need to move the start of your beat a couple of stitches for the toes .

Anyway, I hope I was able to show you how to knit socks for beginners and you were able to knit along. Comment below in case you have any questions.

how to knit socks for beginners - step by step tutorial

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