I have finished my first sock of 2012!

And what I have decided is I’m working on my own version of a generic sock.  Right now it’s knit cuff down, because the arch shape seems to work best that way.

The arch shape is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen’s “Arch-Shaped Stockings” pattern, available from Schoolhouse Press.

Hand knit sock from post "How To Knit Socks Or Not?"

My current interest in socks started while caring for my mother.

In her later years, it was often hard to keep her warm.  And her feet in particular would get cold.  The socks available in the stores were seldom what she wanted, so I decided to knit her a pair of socks.

I knit the first pair cuff down.  Some knitters say to fit precisely you need to start at the toe and work up. I wanted to be sure these fit as well as I could.  So, I slipped them carefully over her foot to frequently check the fit.  I wanted to be sure there was no problem with too tight socks cutting off her circulation or too loose socks causing wrinkles  and maybe sores.

Could they easily be slipped on and off?

Yes!  While I knit the socks with double pointed needles, initially I slipped the stitches onto circular needles to check the fit.  After the practice of a few fittings, leaving the stitches on four double pointed needles worked fine.

Ribbing tends to fit more snugly than other patterns, and seems more forgiving for three dimensional projects like socks.

I ended up using a spiral ribbing pattern on the leg and top of her foot, which worked out very well. They socks fit, and she enjoyed wearing them.  Even if they were turquoise blue!

My current socks are for myself, and they are also knit from the cuff down. 

And, yes, once again I altered the pattern.  I like the arch shape.  The other options, not so much. 

Wondering how many ways I deviated from the how to knit socks instructions?  Here are three ways…

  1. The cast on.  Might as well start altering the pattern immediately!  Actually, I discovered this when knitting socks for my mother.  Using a provisional cast on and then when the sock is off the needles, going back and binding off with an elastic bind off makes a great cuff edge for someone with concerns about leg swelling. Or just a different shaped calf (larger or smaller than usual). The bind off expands nicely yet snugly fits.
  2. 1 x 1 ribbing in the leg and foot instead of the pattern.  I still like ribbing, and feel the socks stay up better with it than with stockinette stitch.  For beginners, stockinette stitch is often easier because in the round the stitches are all knit.
  3. The heel is a mitered heel instead of a saddle heel.

Do you see how important knitting was to my caregiving?

Not only did it help relieve the stress of caregiving giving me a much-needed few minutes respite, it also provided some great projects!

Without knitting, I probably would not have come out of caregiving whole and happy.  Even with my family’s help and my professional caregiving experiences. 

Of course it’s not just knitting that helped me survive.  It was much more.  It seemed at times like traveling along roads without a map.

Easy to get lost and off track if you don’t know the route.

You know what I mean?

It takes a road map to successfully navigate caregiving, to more than survive – to thrive – emerging happy and whole.

Now you can download your own road map.  Just click here right now to download!


To your healthy and happy knitting & caregiving,

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

Founder, www.CaregivingWithPurpose.com and www.TheKnittingYarn.com
Ambassador of Elder Care at www.HowToLiveOnPurpose.com




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