Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 New Videos: Knitting Socks on Standard Machine

You can knit excellent socks on the standard gauge machine. There are lots of wonderful books on the market with patterns and instructions on machine knitting socks. Over the years I've tried a whole bunch of different methods. Lately, I puzzled over what kind of socks would be best for video lessons. I considered making a simplified sock that would be easier to teach and knit, but I decided to teach the best possible socks, even though this video is more difficult. I'll have to wait and see how knitters managed (I answer knitters' questions by email every day).

Should I go flat, main bed only, and have you seam them? Should I go toes-down, and put two seams in the cuff, like my fave Passap sock? Or toes-up and put one seam in the cuff? I finally decided to do toes-up with one seam. I think it's the best possible sock if you don't have a circular sock knitting machine because it has the fewest seams.

This is a little more difficult than some projects, but so what? It's a series of straightforward steps, and a little practice will conquer them. As you knit a few socks, you will master a whole bunch of useful MK techniques.

The overarching principle in knitting is quality. Just as I strive hard for quality in the video project, which is my current stiff learning curve, you're striving for a quality product, for something to delight the recipient. If you're going to all that trouble to learn machine knitting, to pay for terrific equipment and supplies, then whether you're making a sock or a designer sweater knock-off, you want a quality finished result.

There's no point in making socks with crummy yarn. Use a good superwash wool yarn with some nylon content for socks that last. You can wear holes in an all-acrylic sock in nothing flat, maybe even in one wearing. I have homemade wool/nylon socks in my sock drawer that are years old.

Here is the latest about the DVD project. A lot of folks have asked me to make DVDs of the lessons available for purchase. This week, I was on vacation and I was able to spend time learning the new camera and the new editing software. The DVDs we've recorded and played back on our TV are amazing. Even on the standard machine with itsy sock yarn, you can see the tiny stitches and all my goofs and fumbles in almost painful detail. Soon, I hope to have the sock DVDs and a companion book with all the sizes available for sale.

I jump off on the DVD project with this one; it's a start to see how they are received.

Go up to find the sock videos!


  1. Diana, Thank you for this wonderful series on knitting socks on the flatbed machine. I have done Passap socks, but not on the Japanese machines.

    It's very clear, easy to understand and see what you're doing. I wish they didn't have the background music, though. I've found your previous videos very soothing, as they are largely in "real" time, with just the sound of the machine, and/or your voice. I find the music distracting.

    I'm looking forward to being able to purchase your DVD.

    Madison, WI

  2. I got a ribber about 2 weeks ago and the first thing I wanted to try was socks, I looked high and low, got some great advice and patterns from machine knitters on ravelry. And this afternoon when I jumped online, here were you new videos, I was only saying the other day that I wished you had a sock knitting video and here it is!!!! You may as well get a set ready for me, I will be the first to order your dvd and instruction book. That is if you are willing to post to Australia. I love your videos and they inspire me to try new things, I have only been machine knitting for maybe 3 months. Thank you so much for your time and effort you put in, I certainly appreciate it.

  3. oh my....

    You are one terrific lady! I have been watching your videos and they have helped me very very much.

    Thank you for you patience and kindness in making these videos.

    Now...on to knitting.

    Cathryn in Ontario, Can

  4. Absolutely fabulous videos! I love everything, the filming, of course your excellent teaching (the best teacher I have ever seen on MKing), the lighting, music etc. It's all fabulous!!

  5. Thanks! It's a harder video and I was very nervous about this one.

    I am still having a great time and suspect that I'm addicted to teaching knitting.

    I am not going to put music up again. I love the Bach but in small doses. When I actually watch the video and try to hear the words, it's annoying. Sorry. My husband told me not to, and I should have listened.

    Guess what, I have successfully build a DVD with a scene index this morning! You will not believe the visibility, you can probably see lint on my machine. I am finishing up the patterns and will have to get printing advice.

  6. Makes me wish I had a standard machine. Love the choice of music. Excellent videos. Thank you for doing this.

  7. I have knit many socks with 'flat leg' and circular foot. Your way of transferring the cuff to the ribber and then picking up the main bed stitches is a lot easier and faster. Thank you! As for the music it drove me nuts! I am glad to see you will not be using it again. Even if its Bach I think you can not play music that is not yours on public videos, less if they are for sale.

  8. The music was legal, but it's off now. It is very distracting.