10 Tips on How to Knit Your First Pair of Socks

Hilke Knitting

Knitting your first pair of socks can be quite challenging. Not only does knitting socks take a bit of practice, you also need to keep your motivation up so that you don’t feel tossing your yarn in the trash everytime you’re lost or confused.

But here is the good news! Knitting your first pair of socks can also be really fun and rewarding if you prepare wisely and get in the right mind set.

Here are my 10 tips for sock knitting newbies:

1. Choose the right yarn

If you want to stay really motivated throughout the knitting progress you should definitely choose a yarn that you LOVE ♥ looking at! Nothing is more inspiring than the thought of “What will my socks look like once they are done?”.

For my first pair of socks I chose a hot pink yarn with some darker tones in it and years later I still love them! (You can see them in the photo on the left)
Another thing that you can do is use bulkier yarn. Knitting with bulky yarn is great since it is much quicker. So if you are impatient the instant gratification of that might be a way to keep you invested.

2. Take your time

Don’t rush yourself! Sit down, get comfortable and get rid of distractions. If you are already stressed out you are much more likely to throw in the towel if you make a mistake or don’t get the instructions. This is especially nice in the fall or winter, when you can just lit some candles and grab a warm blanket or some tea to get you in knitting mode.

3. Choose a basic yet cute pattern

As with the yarn definitely choose a pattern that interests you. BUT! Don’t overwhelm yourself with a complicated pattern like a lace or braid pattern. That is especially true for knitting beginners.

You want to choose something that is quick to knit like simple knit stitches. You definitely want to concentrate on getting the heel and the toes right and not worry about if the stitch pattern on your leg or foot is off.

4. Practice knitting stitches beforehand

If you have never knitted before take some time to learn the basics before you jump into sock knitting. Holding the yarn and the needles will feel odd at first.

Practice the cast on and knit / purl a few rounds until you get comfortable because as I just said you don’t want to worry about how to make a purl stitch while you are trying to find out how to decrease for the heel cap.

5. Use Video Instructions

This is something that has been incredibly useful for me! I am a visual learner and I usually have to read knitting instructions ten times before I get them so video tutorials have helped me a great deal!

Look for a tutorial that you enjoy watching (pleasant voice and music, nice background) but make sure that the different steps are shown clearly and that the tutorial isn’t too fast. The best thing is: you can always replay it if you need to! If you want to check out my basic socks video series, you can watch it here:

6. Ask someone to help you when you’re stuck

Get yourself a knitting buddy! If you are really stuck and you don’t know what to do or you have no idea why your sock doesn’t look right it is important to have someone you can ask for help. That can be friend who is a also a knitter or someone on the Internet.

Instagram is a great place to meet other knitters but there are tons of other communities and boards where you can post your crafts and get help if needed.

7. Knit a Short Leg

Knitting a looong leg can get pretty boring! And since we are knitting our first sock we want some instant gratification and we also want to keep the frustration of knitting the same thing for rounds on end at bay. So the shorter the leg the better!

8. Try different needles

There are so many needles to choose from! First there are DPNs (double pointed knitting needles) and circular needles and then there are needles made of wood, plastic, aluminium and more! Try to get your hands on various types of needles to decide what is right for you.

I am a big fan of aluminium DPNs but many people find them too noisy. Others enjoy wooden needles while I tend to break them (or at least bend them!). The same goes for DPNs vs circular needles. So give all of them a try!

9. Cuff Down Patterns

Toe Up Socks are fun but getting the length of your foot right can be tough for a beginner. And frogging the heel because you didn’t get the foot length right hurts much more than frogging the toes so knitting cuff down is definitely more beginner friendly.

10. Take Notes

That is a big one! Take notes while knitting! Remember: you need to knit TWO socks, not just one! So whenever you are having an ‘aha’-moment write some instructions down to help you remember those parts for the second sock.

BONUS TIP: Get yourself an Instagram account!

There are SO many fellow knitters out there so take pictures of your socks and post them online. There is nothing better than having people cheer you on and support you when you are a newbie.

But make sure to add a few popular hashtags so that other people can actually find your post! 🙂

Happy Knitting!