Notes for American Crew Socks
Prepared for April 8, 2015 Demo in Lincolnia, VA
This crew sock features a cuff in 2x2 half-pitch rib which is invisibly seamed on the inside of the leg, a sock body that is knit in the round, and a heel and toe that are done using short rows.
There are five parts to the sock: cuff, preheel, heel, foot, and toe. This sock starts out life as a flat piece of ribbing. When the cuff is knit, the sock setup is changed so that the rest of the sock is knitted in-the-round.
The example that I will knit is done at a gauge of 8 stitches and 11 rows to the inch. The gauge is measured on a swatch that is done in-the-round. You need to get the same gauge on both the ribber and the main bed.
This sock is 64 stitches, with a cuff that is 64 rows, a preheel that is 20 rounds, a heel and toe that are based on 32 stitches which is shortrowed down to 10 and back up to 32, and a foot section of 60 rounds.
Ribbing stitch size is 4.5 and stockinet stitch size is 5.
A 100 gm ball of sock yarn will be plenty for a sock up to size Men’s 11-12. I usually buy three 50 gm balls to make very tall, size 13 men’s socks.
(Japanese machines: review your ribber manual for “racked cast on”, “industrial rib”, and circular knitting.)
PART ! The CUFF
Set your ribber bed so that the ribber and main bed needle numbers line up.
Set your ribber bed for half-pitch- needles and posts are offset.
Pull forward on both beds all the needles between 32L and 32R.\
Put every 3rd needle back, starting on the left side on the back bed, and starting on the right side on the ribber.
Set both your carriages to KNIT, and make a pass or two to set up your needles, ending COR.
Set the row counter to 0.
Rack the ribber bed one number (left or right) to set the needles so you will get a zigzag when you cast on. Set your stitch size for the zigzag row- This is usually (on brother machines) 1 or 0.
Thread your carriage, tie the end of your yarn to your clamp, make sure that your carriages are set to ‘knit’, move the carriages to the left to make the zigzag row. Hang your cast on comb and weights.
RC = 1, COL
Now, set your carriages for circular knitting in a clockwise direction. Increase the stitch size to 3. Knit to the left (needles on the back bed knit), and then knit to the right (needles on the front bed knit. )
RC = 3, COL
Now, set your carriages to knit in back and forth. Rack the ribber back one number to the original position, so that when you knit, you will have a 2 x 2 rib, and increase the stitch size to your 4.5 (or a stitch size that will give you correct gauge).
Knit to the right. Check the knitting, and hand-knit any needles that did not knit.
Then knit until RC = 64. You will end with COR. The cuff is complete.
Transfer the ribber stitches to the main bed. Of each pair of stitches transferred, one will fill an empty needle, and one will double up with a main bed stitch.
Set stitch size on the main carriage to 5 (or size to get correct gauge). **Japanese machines: take off the ribber arm, and put your regular carriage arm on.**
Knit one row to the left.
RC = 65 , COL
Using either a 40 stitch transfer comb or garter bar, take off the sttiches from 0 - 32R.
On the ribber bed, put up the needles from 32L - 0. These are the new home for the stitches you have on the comb. (for the right sock, move the right side stitches, for the left sock, move the left side stitches. When you move stitches from the side that is the end of the row, make sure that the yarn coming from the mast is ON TOP of the needles. Put back into non-work position all needles that you empty. If you moved the end of the row, and not the beginning of the row, you will need to move your carriages to the other side without knitting.
Then, set RC to 0, set carriages to knit circular clockwise. Set stitch size to 5.
Part 2 PREHEEL
You are ready to knit the preheel. You want to knit 20 rounds of preheel, and the row counter will count 2 rows for each round, so you will knit until RC = 40.
Part 3 HEEL
Japanese machines: lower the ribber bed and take off the ribber arm and put on the regular mainbed arm. You will be knitting the heel (and toe) on the main bed only.
This heel uses self-wrap on the way down, and ‘2-down, 1-up’ self-wrap on the way up.
On the carriage side, pull the end needle all the way forward to hold position. Make sure carriage is set to ‘hold’. Knit across. Repeat until you have pulled 11 needles on one side, and 10 on the other.
The Turnaround row: COL, raise 11th needle on the left and put 11th and 10th needles on the right into upper work position, and knit to the right.
COR, put the 10th needle on the right back into hold, and put the 11th and 10th needles on the left into upper work position and knit across.
Repeat these two rows until you knit all the needles on the left. Then COL, put the 1rst needle on the left in hold position, and put any remaining needles on the right that are in hold in upper work position and knit across. Use a tool to put the left needle in hold back in regular work position with the stitch in the hook.
Set up carriages for circular knitting, and knit one round.
This completes the heel. Follow these directions for the toe, as well.
Part 4 FOOT
Set the RC to 0. Knit 60 rounds, which will be 120 on the row counter.
Part 5 TOE
Follow the directions for the heel
After you complete the ‘knit one round’ that ends the toe, do one round with ravel cord, then scrap off.
Graft the toe. Flat seam the cuff. Done.
A WORD ABOUT SIZES:
To make larger sizes, Each 4 stitches will add about half an inch to the sock circumference.
64 stitches makes a sock around 8 inches around. 68 will be 8 ½ inches. Your big guy socks will be on 72 stitches or 76 stitches.
Socks that are the right length from heel to toe are the socks that don’t walk down into your shoe. If a sock heel won’t stay where it belongs, the sock is probably too short. If a sock is too long, you generally see that in too much extra fabric at the toe.
If you know the foot length is, say 10 ¼ inches, multilply your row gauge (11 rows per inch) by 10.25 : to get 112.75. Round to the nearest whole number : 113. This is the total number of rows for the foot. The total foot rows that are knitted in the heel and toe is equal to ⅔ of the total stitches around. ⅔ of 64 is close to 42 (close is good). subtract 42 from 113, and you will knit 71 rounds in the section of the foot between the heel and the toe to get a total foot length of 10 ¼ inches.
Notice that if your gauge is only 10 rows per inch, the foot section will be only 60 rounds to get that same 10 ¼ inches length.
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Have Fun, Make SocksSharon Wuerschmidt