A Sock on Four Double Pointed Needles
A sock knitting tutorial
by Kristin - www.cometosilver.com/socks

Please note: Photos have been edited to remove the excess black to make them more printer friendly. As a result, some of the edges are jagged or fuzzy. Please refer to the photos on the website if anything is unclear.

This tutorial is intended for the NEW knitter who is adventurous enough and willing to try knitting socks. The instructions are written to help the new knitter understand what is involved with each step. It's not your typical knitting instructions. Each step is detailed, and all abbreviations are explained for you.
Socks can be intimidating for the new knitter, but I'm asking you to give it a try. They're NOT as hard as they look. Many NEWBIES have tried this tutorial, and successfully knitted socks, when previously, they had only knitted scarves!
Your only prerequisite is that you must know how to cast on, knit and purl. Everything else is explained with photos!

Have fun!
~Silver

To make it easier for you to find your directions, if you're using
sock weight or fingering weight, your directions will be in purple
for sport or double knitting wieght, #6699cc
and for worsted weight, #669966.



Here's what you need. If you're using:
-Sock weight or Fingering weight yarn - approx 420 yards, and either size 2 or size 3 Double Pointed Needles
-Sport or Double Knitting weight yarn - approx 350 yards, and either size 4 or size 5 Double Pointed Needles
-Worsted weight yarn - approx 285 yards, and either size 6 or size 7 Double Pointed Needles.


You will also need a tapestry or yarn needle, a ruler or measuring tape, and PATIENCE.

Step One

On ONE needle, cast on 64 48 40 stitches LOOSELY. If you can not cast on loosely, cast on to a larger needle, OR hold two dpns together and cast on to them as one.


(my yarn is multicolor, this is all one strand of yarn, even though it looks like a strand of white and a strand of purple. Also, I've cast on using the long tail method, but you can cast on any way you want to.)

Help casting on:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/index.php
http://www.stitchguide.com/stitches/knitting/stitch_pages/kn_cast_on.html

 

 

Step Two

Now divide the cast on stitches evenly between three needles, by slipping each stitch purlwise:
DO NOT KNIT OR PURL THEM.. only slip (or move them) from one needle to another.

For 64 stitches, divide to 22, 20, 22 stitches.
For 48 stitches, divide to 16, 16, 16 stitches.
For 40 stitches, divide to 14, 12, 14 stitches.


Step three

Once you've cast on and divided your stitches between three needles, now it's time to join and begin working in the round.

Join by taking your working yarn and knitting into the first stitch you cast on. BE VERY CAREFUL THAT NONE OF THE STICHES ARE TWISTED AROUND A NEEDLE.
To verify, lay the needles flat to check for twists:

Now, that you're CERTAIN there are no twists, begin a knit 2 purl 2 ribbing using your FOURTH needle as your working needle. Your first few stitches will be the most awkward on DPNS, especially the FIRST join stitch. Please, hang in there. You can do it!

Joining the round:


Join detail:


Beginning the K2P2 ribbing:

When you have knitted all the stitches on a needle, that needle now becomes your working needle. When knitting the first stitch on a needle, be sure to pull your stitch tight to minimize any gaps between the needles.

Moving to the next needle. I find it easiest if the next needle's tip rests on top of the last needle, then I bring my working needle up from under the last needle.


Continue your K2P2 ribbing for a length of 8 inches. (Or less if desired. This is the ankle or cuff potion of your sock. Knit it to your own preference. Be careful about knitting it too long. You will most likely not have enough yarn for the second sock.

IMPORTANT:
While working your ribbing, be careful not to create yarn overs on accident by not moving the working yarn between your needles in between a knit and purl stitch. Also you must be careful not to create a yarn over when moving from one needle to the next. (A yarn over is when you accidentally create an extra loop on the needle.) Count your stitches periodically to be sure you still have what you started with.

A word about DPNS.
Try not to become discouraged when you feel like all the needles are doing is threatening to poke you in the eye, nose or hand. While knitting, concentrate on only two needles, the needle holding the stitches, and your working needle. Ignore the other two, and try not to worry about them. The longer you work with them, the easier it becomes. Just like when you first started knitting at all. The two needles felt awkward and your hands didn't know how to control them. But with patience and practice, you figured it out.

***TIP***
Here's a tip for those of you working with a self striping or multi colored yarn: Take note of how the strand of yarn starts off... what color and how much of it does it start with. This way, when you start the second sock, you can cut the yarn and start it with the same color so both socks will start with the same pattern.

***TIP***
When joining, the LAST stitch is the stitch with the working yarn coming out of it. The stitch on the far end of the furthest needle is the FIRST stitch. Join the last and first stiches to complete the circle.
If you used the long tail cast on method, the yarn tail will be next to the last stitch. If you used the knitting on cast on method, the yarn tail will be next to the first stich.

 

Step Four
Starting the Heel


Ok, so by now you should have your desired length of ribbing completed. Now you're ready to start the heel. First, you must divide the stitches for the heel. You currently have your stitches evenly divided between the needles. We must now move more stitches to one needle than the other two.
*When moving stitches, always slip as if to purl. Just like you did after casting on. DO NOT PURL the stitches, only insert the working needle AS IF you were going to purl.

On your next needle, (working yarn coming from last stitch of last needle), you need 32 24 20 stitches. This is needle #1. *KEEP the working yarn before the first stitch on needle #1.


On your the other two needles, you need
16 12 10 stitches. These are needles #2 and #3.

Divided for the heel:

 

Step Five

Now we'll be working ONLY ON NEEDLE #1 for a while. Ignore the other two needles, but make sure no stitches fall off.

Work back and forth on needle #1.
Row 1 (on the right side of your work): *Slip 1, Knit 1* Repeat between * across, turn work. (
32 24 20 stitches)
Row 2 (wrong side): Slip one, purl across. (Slip ONLY the first stitch, purl the rest including the slipped stitches from row 1.)


*Again, SLIP AS IF TO PURL


Repeat rows 1 & 2 until you have worked a total of 31 23 19 rows ending with a right side row. You can count rows easily by counting the slipped stitches on the end of the row. There will be 16 12 10 elongated slipped stitches. (You will use these later to pick up stitches for the gusset.)


Slip, knit, slip, knit, slip, knitting:


Back of row one:


Slipping the first stitch of row two (wrong side):


Step Six

Turning the heel


PLEASE PAY ATTENTION CAREFULLY TO ALL INSTRUCTION AND PHOTOS!!! There is a lot of instruction here, try not to be intimidated. Take one step at a time. It's worth it! This is where the magic starts...

So now you have your finished heel flap. You should have last knitted a right side row (slip 1 knit 1 row), and you're ready to purl the next.

Row 1:
With your empty working needle, purl to 2 stitches beyond center. (purl
18 14 12 stitches.)
Next, purl 2 stitches together as one (see pic and instructions below).
Purl one more stitch and turn your work.. (yes, even though you havent purled all the stitches on your needle.)


Purled 18 stitches:



Purling 2 together as one (insert your working needle into TWO stitches and purl them together as one.):


Row 2:
Slip the first stitch (from the stitches you just purled, not the stitches left on the right needle).
Knit 5 stitches.
Knit the next 2 together. (See pic and instructions below.)
Knit one more stitch.
Turn your work.


Knitting 2 together. Insert the working needle into the next two stitches and knit them togehter as one.



Row 3:
Slip one stitch.
Purl to within one stitch of last turn (see photo and instructions below).
Purl two together.
Purl one more.
Turn your work.

Purling two together.
Within one stitch of last turn is easy to see because there will be a very obvious gap. Purl the two stitches on either side of the gap together as one. Then purl one more and turn your work.



Row 4:
Slip one stitch.
Knit to within one stitch of last turn (see photo and instructions below).
Knit two together.
Knit one more.
Turn your work.

Knitting two together.
At the gap, knit the two stitches together on either side of the gap. Then knit one more and turn your work.



Repeat rows 3 & 4 until all stitches are worked, ending with a knit row. Each time you work a row, you are working more stitches that the row before. Continue until all stiches are worked, when the last two stitches (on both sides) are knit or purled together.

Once finished, you will have
18 14 12 stitches left on needle #1.
And you have worked the magic that turned your flat heel flap into a turned heel!


 

Step Seven
The Gusset, part one


So you have your heel flap and turned heel, but now there's two sides which have no workable stitches, nor any needles. In this step, we'll pick up stitches along those sides, and manipulate everything until we have 3 needles, again ready to knit in the round.

Hold your heel flap like this.. note that the ribbing is to the left, and your working yarn is ready to be used at the right:



Now, take a good look at the slipped stitches (abbreviated as SS) along the edge. (SS's are the elongated V's.)


Find the first SS closest to the needle on your right.
Insert your working needle through BOTH sides of the V from bottom to top.



Wrap your working yarn around the working needle just like a knit stitch, and bring the tip through the SS so you are actually knitting it. You'll have a new stitch on your working needle. This is called picking up and knitting, because you pick up a "pseudo stitch" and knit it.



Continue this along the edge until you have picked up and knitted 16 12 10 stitches. If you find you have one or two extra, evenly space the last few so that the last stitch is right next to the needle on the left holding the ribbing. This doesn't have to be *perfect* but you do have to end up with ONLY the required stitches, and they should all be somewhat evenly spaced apart.


Now we're up to the two original needles that hold the ribbing.
Combine these stitches onto one needle, and then knit across.

Slipping stitches to one needle:

Combined:


Knitting across:


Now pick up and knit 16 12 10 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.


And now you have used four needles, and it kinda looks neat, huh?


Moving to the needle that holds your turned heel, knit exactly half to the needle on the right (using the right needle already holding stitches), slip the other half to the needle on the left.


IMPORTANT!!: When slipping the other half, slip as if to knit! NOT PURL. Insert the LEFT needle into each stitch as if you were knitting it, and slip it off.


Now you have all stitches on 3 needles.
There will be
25 19 16 stitches on needles #1 & #3
There will be
32 24 20 stitches on needle #2. Please count them for accuracy.

Now, we're ready to move on to the gusset shaping.

 

Step Eight
The Gusset, part two


Now that we're back on three needles, we're ready to knit in the round again (around all three needles).

Remember the needle numbers, I will be referring to needles by their numbers during this step:

Starting with needle #1, using your empty needle:

Round 1:
Knit all stitches. (knit all the way around all three needles.)

Round 2: (Read all instructions, between the photos too)
On needle #1: Knit to the last three stitches. Knit 2 together as one. Knit the last stitch.

Needle #2: Knit all stitches across.

Needle #3: Knit one stitch

Then slip TWO stitches KNIT WISE (insert your needle as if you were going to knit the stitch, and slip it to the working needle).

Then knit the two slipped stitches together by inserting the left needle as shown below, wrap the yarn around the right needle and pull the new stitch through. (You can insert the left needle from the right or left, depending on preference).

Knit the remaining stitches on needle #3.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until there are
16 12 10 stitches on needles #1 & #3. (64 48 40 total stitches including needle #2)

If you put your work down and forget if you're on a decrease row (knitting 2 together) or knit row (all knit), here's a tip:
Look at the second stitch from the end (closest to needle #2) of needle #1 or #3 from the inside. If you see two stitches together as one stitch, your next row is a knit row. If you only see one stitch, your next row is a decreasing row.


As you continue knitting these rounds, you'll start to see the shaping happening:

After all decreasing is finished, and you're at the required number of stitches mentioned above, stop and measure the bottom of your foot from heel to toe.
Then knit ALL stitches around and around (no more decreasing) until 2" less than the length of your foot, or until 7" for an average woman's foot.

Measure like this:

Step Nine
The Toes


Now you have a sock that's 2" less than your finished length. We're almost finished!!
*Please refer to the instructions for knitting 2 together, and slipping 2 and knitting together in the gusset shaping.

Round 1:
Needle #1: Knit to last 3 stitches, knit 2 together (K2tog), knit last stitch.
Needle #2: Knit one, slip next 2 and knit together (SSK), knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, knit one.
Needle #3: Knit one, SSK, knit across.
(Refer to the diagram below.)

Round 2:
Knit all stitches.




Repeat these two rounds until you have a total of 24 20 16 stitches.
(Needle 1 & 3:
6 5 4 stitches, Needle 2: 12 10 8 stitches)



Knit the stitches from needle 1 onto needle 3:


Now we're ready to graft the toe. WE'RE ALMOST FINISHED!!!

 

Step Ten
Grafting the Toes

aka "The Kitchener Stitch"

Grafting the toes is not like just sewing a seam. The finished graft leaves the toe ends looking as if it's one continuous knit stitch, and there is no discernable seam! (Very cool, if you ask me.) However, it can be very intimidating to learn. Here I will walk you through each step, and hopefully you'll finish with some neatly grafted toes.

First, have your tapestry or yarn needle ready. (Actually any needle will do that has a rather blunt tip and the eye is large enough to accommodate the yarn.)
Cut your yarn leaving about 18 inches and thread your needle.



Hold the needles so that the working yarn comes from the right, and slide the stitches towards the right ends of the needles.


PLEASE READ ALL DIRECTIONS BEFORE STARTING
Remember:
Knitwise - insert the needle in the direction as if you're going to knit the stitch
Purlwise - insert the needle in the direction as if you're going to purl the stitch.


STEP ONE:
Insert the needle PURLWISE into the first stitch on the front needle, draw the yarn through.
I'm sorry for the blurry pic. :?



NOTE: Whenever you draw the yarn through for this entire grafting session, always pull rather tightly. Not extremely tight, but tightly none the less.
ALSO, always keep the working yarn under your knitting needles and under the tapestry needle.

Next, with the yarn needle UNDER the first knitting needle, insert it though the first stitch on the back needle KNITWISE, and draw through.



STEP TWO:
Insert the needle KNITWISE through the first stitch on the front needle, and at the same time, slip that stitch off of the knitting needle and onto the tapestry needle.



Insert the needle PURLWISE through the next stitch on the front needle, draw the yarn through, leaving that stitch on the knitting needle.


STEP THREE:
Insert the needle PURLWISE through the first stitch on the back needle, and at the same time, slip that stitch off of the knitting needle and onto the tapestry needle.


Insert the needle KNITWISE into the next stitch on the back needle, draw the yarn through, leaving that stitch on the knitting needle.

Pull the yarn snug.


REPEAT STEPS 2 & 3 to the end, pulling the yarn snug each time you draw it though stitches.

It helps to chant:
KNIT, PURL, PURL, KNIT
Meaning knitwise, purlwise (on the front needle), purlwise, knitwise (on the back needle), then draw the yarn snug.



On the last two stitches, go through the front stitch knitwise, the back stitch purlwise, and draw the yarn snug.


If you notice that the grafted stitches aren't very neat, you can tighten them up one by one across, starting on the right.
Afterwards, loop the yarn through itself to secure it, poke the needle through at the corner and pull to the inside of the sock. Weave in the end securly on the inside of the sock, and cut the end.

When finished, the toes will be grafted! How cool?



And there you have it, your finished sock! No matter how wonky it may have turned out, no matter how many mistakes you made, you have successfully knitted your first sock. Be proud of your work! You've learned the basics of how to shape a sock. Ribbing, slipping stitches, shaping the heel, the gusset and the toes. As well as how to knit on DPNs in the round! All IMPORTANT skills for the knitter to learn.

Go on, make more socks.. they'll only get nicer from here on out!

This yarn is Marks & Kattens Clown Sock Yarn in colorway #1722