Knee highs take a lot of work to knit. I’ve made several pairs and most of them work their way down my calf throughout the day.
You have several options available to you:
- Work in a yarn with lycra to create a tighter fit.
- Work a folded band at the top to create a casing. Thread through 1/4-3/8″ sewing elastic.
- Work a row of eyelets toward the top and thread through a ribbon or elastic lacing.
- Insert clear elastic thread along the top
Each of these methods have their place.
The lycra yarn works well if you have a yarn you want to use.
The folded band and eyelet row work nicely if you’re going for that aesthetic.
The clear elastic works well when you have a stitch pattern that allows you to sew around it. A ribbing works very nicely.
Step 1: Wind off approximately 1 yard of elastic thread. Using a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the needle.
Step 2: Turn the sock inside out.
Step 3: Workng downwards from the top, insert the needle under the right leg of a single knit stitch and pull it through. Do the same with the remaining knit stitches in the column. In the photo above we have 2 knit stitches.
Step 4: Look at the front of the work and make sure your elastic doesn’t show. As you can see above, even clear elastic can show a bit.
Step 5: Pass over the purl stitches and repeat Step 3 all the way around the sock. Tug the thread so it pulls the columns of knit stitches closer together. Don’t be afraid to pull it taut – you need the thread to tighten around your calf and support the weight of your sock. Elastic thread is very stretchy!
Step 6: When you complete one round, go to the next round. I typically skip a round and work the thread every other round.
When you run out of thread, wind off another yard and knot it to the tail from the previous thread. This is one of those rare times when it’s OK to knot your knitting.
Finishing: Take the tail from the start of the work and knot it to a section of the thread that is passing over the purl stitches.
How Many Rows Should I Work?
This depends on several factors – the shape of your calf, the length of the cuff, and how tightly your pulled the elastic.
Typically you’ll need between 2 and 3 inches of elastic. Nothing beats trying the sock on to see how it feels. Wear it around the house for a while to make sure you’ve done enough. And if not, add a few more rounds.
Caring For Your Socks
As with any elastic, you should avoid drying your socks in the dryer. It can dry out the elastic and make it brittle.
Instead, wash them and lay them out to dry on a drying rack (it’s better for the yarn anyway!)
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