Sock Knitting: About Knitting Sock Cuffs

Are you a sock knitter dying to learn how to design your own knitted socks? If your answer is “Yes!”, these sock design tutorials are the one-stop resource for you. Today, we’re going to talk about knitting sock cuffs.

Sock Knitting for Everybody: Table of Contents

Welcome to the next part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Design for Everybody! Today’s topic is all about sock cuffs: how can sock cuffs be worked both toe-up and top-down?

Knitting Sock Cuffs: Designed To Be Stretchy

There’s not many secrets in working sock cuffs – well, in theory. Practically speaking, a lot of things can possibly go wrong: the worst nightmare is a sock cuff that doesn’t let you step into your lovely pair of knitted socks, or socks that keep sliding down your leg.

So first of all: sock cuffs need to be stretchy enough to step in while having a snuggly fit to ensure they stay up at the same time.

The most convenient way of working really stretchy, but snuggly fitting knits is ribbing: if in doubt, go for a k2, p2 rib. Any variants of ribbing work fine, as long as the ribbing stitches fit into your total stitch count: a k1, p1 rib works fine for all even number of stitches.

Personally, I like the feel of ktbl, p1 ribbing best, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.

Toe-Up: The Binding Off Method Makes All The Difference

Working toe-up, the bind off is a hassle sometimes: many knitters complain about their bind-offs to be too tight.

When binding off, I make sure to keep it as stretch as possible. If you keep having problems (and don’t mind a kind of lacy border), the picot bind off method might be a possible solution for you.

How To Make Really Stretchy Cuffs

Lots of people asked me for advice on how to make their sock cuffs stretchier. Some have problems with their bind off method resulting in tight cuffs, others have similar issues when casting on. Yes, there are solutions.

The Picot Bind Off Method

If your bind off method is resulting in cuffs being too tight, consider using a stretchier bind off, the picot bind off for instance. It works like a charm and is easy to knit: instead of your normal bind off method, repeat (CO 2 sts with cable cast on, bind off 4 sts using your usual method) until all sts have been bound off.

Knit sock cuffs: bindong off
Picot Bind Off (1): Cable Cast On, Part One: Knit one stitch …


Knitting sock cuffs
Picot Bind Off (2): Cable Cast On, Part Two: … and put it back onto the left needle.


Knitting sock cuffs: Picot bind off
Picot Bind Off (3): Cable Cast On, Repeat once again – we need to cable cast on two stitches.


Knitting sock cuffs: Picot bind off
Picot Bind Off (4): K4tog (As shown here), or bind off 4 stitches using your usual bind off method.

Stretchy Cast On: Use Double Needles When Casting On

The standard trick for a stretchier casting on is to use two needles instead of one during cast on.

Knitting sock cuffs: stretchy cast on

What About Your Preferred Sock Cuff Knitting Method?

Which way of knitting sock cuffs is your number one and why? I’m curious to hear your story – please leave a comment below!





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