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Knit Nerd - Seeking Advice for Better Fitting Socks

Knit Nerd - Seeking Advice for Better Fitting Socks


I'm reaching out for some advice on knitting a better fitting sock. Despite numerous attempts, I always struggle to get the length right, and have issues with fit due to having high arches. I was wondering if you could offer any guidance or tips to help improve the fit of my socks?
Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Best regards,
A Sock Knitter in Need


I’m going to offer advice for this in a slightly different way than I usually do by suggesting a few products that I think could help you get a better fitting sock.

My first suggestion, which is for getting a better sock length, is to get a sock ruler. Sock rulers are wide rulers that have a curved end on one or both sides. The curve is designed to fit into the heel (when knitting cuff down) or toe (when knitting toe up) of your in-progress sock so you can accurately determine the current length of your sock, so you know when to start your toe/heel. The caveat to this is that you need to know how much length your toe/heel will add. The pattern will usually tell you this by telling you to start your toe/heel a certain length before the desired length of your sock, but this is only accurate if your row gauge is the same as what the pattern calls for. Take some time to measure your row gauge in your partially completed sock and use that and the pattern instructions (which tell you how many rows the toe/heel will be) to estimate how long the toe/heel will be. One mistake people often make is to make the sock the same length as your foot, but in reality, you want the sock to be slightly smaller than your foot, so it stretches comfortably over your toes and doesn’t get baggy. For mostly adults, a ½ inch shorter than your actual foot length should work. However, keep in mind that if the width of the sock is incorrect, your foot might feel too long or too short even when using the ½ inch shorter rule. A sock that is too tight will use up some of the length when stretching to fit around your foot and will feel too short. A sock that is too loose won't use up any length when stretching around your foot and will feel too long. The book I mention below can also help you determine the correct width to make your sock.

My number one advice would be to check out the book Custom Socks By Kate Atherley. The first part of the book has a guide to determining the correct size for your socks, tips on gauge and several beautiful sock patterns, but the most helpful chapter is the last chapter. It is a detailed guide for getting your socks to fit just right. The book has you take measurements of your foot (in the first chapter) and then chapter 5 walks you through determining which modifications you might need based on various factors (such as the height of your instep). For example, if you have a high arch, the book suggests making your heel flap longer (which results in more stitches picked up for the instep) and gives you a formula for calculating how long to make your heel flap. In my case, I thought my problem was a high arch and that is why my sock was always so tight across my instep, but after reading this book I discovered my actual problem was that my heel and foot were disproportionately small compared to my ankle so when I attempted to make a sock that would fit my foot width, the ankle and instep ended up too tight. The book suggested casting on for my ankle size and then decreasing down to my foot stitches immediately before starting my heel flap (in the past I would decrease down to fewer stitches while working my instep decreases but that only gave me a baggy instep). I have found this book to be a fantastic resource for getting my socks to fit just right!

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Knit Nerd

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