Recently I finished a pair of socks.

They are based on a pattern designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen.  The pattern is called Arch-Shaped Stockings.  And they are.

The socks have an arch shape, and snugly fit the sole of your foot.

 What are the rules of how to knit socks?

I have a high arch.  And despite what the so-called experts say about knitting socks, just adding extra length to the arch is not nearly as comfortable as the curved arch in these socks.  So the socks I knit from this pattern are among my favorites.

I like a ribbed sock, because it hugs my leg and foot better.  And yes, you can alter patterns for socks too.

Personally I’m not fond of the saddle heel turn to wear.  A Christmas stocking is a different matter.  I did put saddle heels in my Christmas Stocking Patterns, which are not worn.  It makes a nice heel if you want a different color for the heel.  And knit Christmas stockings are not meant to be worn!

For the saddle heel, basically you knit a square, and then turn the heel near the bottom of the foot.  You end up picking up 12 or more stitches along two sides of the square.  I found a heel from a book in the 1940s that only requires picking up 3 or 4.  The turn begins higher, and makes more of a mitered heel.  

I like the way it fits my foot.  You may like a different heel.  And that’s perfectly fine…

So, what are my “Rules For How To Knit Socks”?

  1. The right way to knit is your way.  This goes for anything you knit! 🙂
  2. Choosing 2 circular needles or double-pointed ones is a personal preference.  I have some bamboo double-pointed needles I like to use for knitting socks.  The wooden needles seem to hold the yarn better.  And I find 2 circular needles require more concentration to remember which needle to use when. 
  3. If you’re just starting to knit socks, very dark colors like navy blue, dark chocolate brown, black and dark forest green are very hard to knit.  My most recent socks were enough for me.  I started with 2 skeins of sock yarn, so probably will use the rest for a shawl or scarf.  Something I can knit on larger needles!
  4. Enjoy yourself.  Knitting should be FUN!
  5. Rules 2 and 3 are optional and can be broken. 😉

Ever wonder how knitting rules started?

Mostly they were passed down by mouth from teacher to student.  And probably worked well for most, but not necessarily all knitters. 

It’s fine to have knitting “rules” when they help you knit easier, faster or with more fun.  When they become burdensome and take the pleasure out of knitting, it’s time to break the rules or make new ones!

Have you lost the joy in your knitting?  

Maybe you need to rediscover the power of FUN!  “The Laugh Doctor” is ready to show you how.   Click here right now to download this book now to put FUN back into your life – quickly, easily and almost effortlessly. 

What are the rules in how to knit socks? 

To your healthy and happy knitting & caregiving,

Dr. InaThe Knitting Dr Logo
Ina Gilmore, M.D. (Retired)
“The Knitting Dr.”

Founder, and
Ambassador of Elder Care at





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