Today I offer up two simple little hacks to make your sock knitting go smoothly. If you are already familiar with them, I acknowledge your wisdom.
Materials Used in Today’s Hacks
SOCK HACK no.1: DPN Tubes
Socks are great projects because they are small and portable, but if you use DPNs (double pointed needles) the portability decreases. These pointy little sticks are vulnerable; they bump around in transit, poke holes in your project bag, and can slide out of the live stitches, and god forbid break.
Not to worry, you don’t have to give up your DPNs, but you might be interested in investing in a set of DPN Tubes. They’re light, cheap, and easy to use. Each set comes with 3 tubes: two with slits (presumably one for each sock) and one that is solid that holds your sock needles. They look like old fashioned cigar tubes, but with notches down the side.
How they Work
1. Each tube has an inside piece and an outside piece. Each piece has a long notch cut down one side.
2. Fold up your work so the needles are all parallel. Slide the work in the inner tube, the fabric hands down through the notch.
3. Push the work all the way down to the end of the notch, or as far as it will go.
4. Slide the outer tube oner the inner tube, lining the notches up.
Your work and needles will be secured inside the tubes and will be safe in your bag.
SOCK HACK no.2: Calabash Markers
I swear by locking stitch markers, they’re my absolute favourite knitting gadget, and I have crates and crates of the Clover Locking Markers (353) in my notions pouch. But micro yarns require micro markers. The only problem is that regular safety pins get caught in knit stitches.
Enter the Calabash Pin – made for sewing but perfect for knitting, these little pins have neither a coil at the tail nor a notch at the head, so they are much less likely to get caught in your work and botch it all up. YAY!
Mark Your Increases
But that’s not all folks! Sure markers are useful when knitting lace or cables, but vanilla socks can benefit too. Whenever I’m working on something that involves increase or decreases I place a locking marker (or in this case a Calabash Pin) *in* the stitch, as soon as I make it.
- Easily count rows between increases/decreases.
- Easily figure out how many rows have been work since the last increase/decrease.
- Having a visual reference is much more reliable than taking notes, especially if you forget to make a note/can’t read your own handwriting/forget where you are in the pattern.
- Easily duplicate increases/decreases on your second sock, sleeve, gauntlet, legwarmer, etc.
- Calabash Pins are cheap.
- You’ll see your LYS staff much less because you won’t be going in all the time to ask for help to figure out the last time you made an increase/decrease.
- You’ll have fewer (legitimate) reasons to complain about botching your work.
- You’ll want to find a special place to store your Calaabash Pins, like a little pouch or a notions box (file under “first world knitting problems”).