Beginner sock knitting: Sockalong – anatomy of a sock

We’re on countdown now … this is the last pre-Sockalong post and there are only 4 more sleeps until the Sockalong!

Today, we’re going to take a look at the parts of a sock, how we’re going to go about creating our pair of socks and how the Sockalong itself is going to take shape.

There’s really not a great deal to how a sock is put together.  As we’re going to make a pair of top-down socks, we’re going to cast on for the cuff and work our way down the sock, turning the heel as we go and finishing at the toes.

The majority of the sock that we’re going to make is just plain knitting (as opposed to the patterned version pictured), and I’ll be posting lots of pictures with the tutorials so that you can see exactly how I’m doing everything as we go along.

I’m going to split the tutorials up over three weeks to give everybody plenty of time to work on their socks without feeling that they’re having to rush to fit it all in or are being left behind.  Don’t worry if something comes up and you have to put your knitting aside for a while; you can still continue to follow the posts as and when you can as they will all be available on the blog on this page.  Even if you’ve found the Sockalong way after the “official” start date, feel free to follow along anyway and ask questions – I’m always happy to answer them.

This is how we’re going to divide the tutorials:

Week 1 – casting on for the cuff, working the rib section and then knitting the leg

Week 2 – creating the heel flap, turning the heel and creating the gusset

Week 3 – working the foot section, creating the toes and grafting them with Kitchener stitch to make a seam-free toe.

My plan is that if you can knit this sock, you can knit pretty much any sock that takes your fancy because you’ll be confident with the basics.  At some point, you might even feel confident enough to design your own socks, and wouldn’t that be wonderful?  The sock pictured is my Neat Ripple sock and although it involves pattern stitches, it’s still created in exactly the same way as the basic sock pattern that we’re going to use for the Sockalong.

For those of you on Facebook, I’ve created a Winwick Mum Sockalong group to ask questions (although please do continue to ask questions through the blog as well) and share pictures – the great thing about the group is that everybody can share their experiences so don’t be shy about joining in.  It’s a closed group to try to stop spammers but feel free to add friends who want to knit socks as well – let’s get as many people knitting socks as we can!

There is now also a Ravelry group too so if you would like to join that one, then please do!

Don’t forget that it’s Yarn Shop Day (have I mentioned that before? 😉 ) so I’ll be at Black Sheep Wools if you’ve got any last-minute questions before our first tutorial Sockalong post on Sunday 3 May 2015.  I’ll be taking a few sock samples on different needles with me for people to try out so if you’ve still not decided which needles are for you, then come along and give them a go!

Right, I think that’s us done now until Sunday.  Any questions?  Ooh, I’m itching to get started now!


These Sockalong tutorials are free and will always remain so, but if you have enjoyed using them and would like to buy me a  brew, it will be much appreciated!  You can find the donation button on the sidebar on the left hand side.  Thank you! xx


Basic 4ply Socks pattern copyright © 2014 Winwick Mum All rights reserved.
Sockalong tutorials copyright © 2015 Winwick Mum All rights reserved.


More Sockalong posts:

Sockalong – yarns

Sockalong – needles

Sockalong – tension squares, casting on and stitch calculations

Sockalong – accessories and matching yarn

Sockalong – Week 1 – Cast on, cuff and leg

Sockalong – Week 2 – Heel flap, heel turn and gusset

Sockalong – Week 3 – Foot, toe and grafting the toes

Sockalong basic 4ply sock pattern

Sockalong successes

Facebook Sockalong group for help, advice and encouragement


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26 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    Checked my tension – glad I did! Just hope the smaller ones get here in time! Have fun at the craft barn on Saturday x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's worth doing it, even though it always feels like a chore! Fingers crossed your needles arrive OK, and thanks, I'm really looking forward to Saturday at the Craft Barn! xx

  2. Unknown says:

    Supplies ready, roll on Sunday. I have applied to join your Facebook group. Really looking forward to this. xx

  3. Unknown says:

    I really need to get on with my tension square tonight! X

  4. Unknown says:

    Loving reading your blogs about socks. Is there an easy 'print' button that i'm missing. I would love to print out the articles that pertain to the sock a long 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thanks Lynne! No, there isn't a print button I'm afraid. After the Sockalong I'm going to be turning all the articles into a book, the proceeds of which will be going towards my eldest daughter's social project trip to Peru next year, but at the moment there's just the information on the screen. The Sockalong posts will always stay on the blog, though, and they'll always be free xx

  5. Unknown says:

    I always have a pair of socks in a travel bag for journeys. Such a portable project and so therapeutic. I am a DPN girl myself but will be watching your sockalong for short circular instructions. [came via Attic24 who inspired me to take up crochet] Liz

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Lucy's an inspirational kind of person! You never know, you might feel similarly inspired to have a change from your DPNs! 🙂 xx

  6. Jo@awholeplotoflove says:

    Drat I thought I posted, I've never used dpn's before but I have used circular needles to knit in a circle. Still should be good fun though. I hope you have a super day tomorrow at Black Sheep Wools x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it! It doesn't matter which needles you use for your socks, and if your comfortable with a circular needle then stick with that one. Looking forward to seeing your socks! xx

  7. Lilly's Mom says:

    This is a wonderful tutorial you have prepared. I wish I could join you at the Black Sheep Wools. It sounds like a fun day. Enjoy your weekend! Hugs, Pat

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thanks, Pat, it would be great if you could be here – although a long walk for you! 🙂 Have a lovely weekend too xx

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ooh! I'm so excited to have found your blog. I've been wanting to have a try at knitting socks for ages but have been too reluctant with no one to show me how. I'm off into town to get some needles and wool. I hope I will be able to keep up. X

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hello, it's lovely to see you! You'll keep up just fine – the posts will be staying on the blog so if it takes you a bit longer then that's no problem. It's not a race or a competition, the plan is just to have a fantastic pair of socks at the end – whenever that is! xx

  9. Wainwright and Wright.Co says:

    I admire your patience with your detailed instructions. Hope you all enjoy the sockalong – I have been knitting socks for quite a few years and find them so addictive, if I don't feel like crafting I can normally manage some sock knitting and they are so portable.I've recently started using a 20cm circular needle and love it!
    Hope you are having a great day
    Caz xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm still waiting for my 9" circular to arrive so that I can try it. Someone showed me one today and it looks super-tiny so it'll be interesting to see how it works! Socks are just the best on-the-go project 🙂 xx

  10. Alison says:

    Hi Christine, your enthusiasm for knitting socks has convinced me to join in the sock-along! I've never knitted them before. I've got me some yarn, dpns and a short circular too, my question is this: little daughter is jumping up and down saying "Me! Me! Knit them for me!" She has small feet size infant 12, being only 6yrs old. I am wondering whether it would be too fiddly for a first time pair and should I stick to an adult size sock for ease. What would you suggest?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ooh, a tricky question Alison – as the mum of daughters I know that we like our girls to be happy! What I would suggest you do is read the tension squares post again and work out how many stitches you'll need to cast on for your daughter's feet. If it's less than about 56 you'll need to knit on DPNs as the short circular will be just a bit tight so it's up to you how you feel about your first pair on DPNs. Having said that, a small pair will grow more quickly which you might find encouraging. You'll have to adapt the number of heel flap pick-up stitches but I'll talk about that at the time. It really doesn't matter which you choose, but do ask questions if you get stuck! xx

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey there, Christine. I was checking out KNIT PICKY PATTERNS from ALLFREEKNITTING and I saw your pattern for socks, which led me to your blog. I have wanted to knit socks but had no one to help me with gusset, Kitchener stitch, etc. I am ecstatic to find you! I have applied to join up, even though it is 2016. Thank you so much for sharing your talent. I think I have everything already on hand to start. LUV! P.S. Don't know what a URL is so I am posting as ANOMYMOUS, lol. Paula

    • Winwick Mum says:

      The Sockalong is ongoing, Paula, so you can jump in at any time! Good luck with your socks! xx

  12. Jacki says:

    Hi I am from WI,USA I found you on Pinterest and just wanted to say I am very interested in your blog. I have been knitting for 2years and have always wanted to make socks but I have moved and I don't have any one to show me how. I am so grateful that I found you now I'm excited to try my first pair with your help.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hello Jacki, it's lovely to see you! I hope you'll find that socks are really easy to knit now that you've found the Sockalong tutorials – and don't forget that we've got a great Facebook group if you're on there and you need real-time help; thanks to time zones there's always someone around! 🙂 xx

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi I haven't knitted socks since I was at school almost 50 years ago. I am sure they had short row heels. Is there a reason you don't use short row? Wool and needles ready to go!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      There are short rows in the heel turn so maybe that's what you're thinking of. The other alternative is wrap and turn but I prefer to use a heel flap-type heel as I think that's easier for beginners to learn 🙂

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