Sock Design: How To Knit Sock Cuffs

Sock Design for Everybody: 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.

Sock Design 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?

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.

Here’s an excellent tutorial about binding off including the picot bind off.

Are You a Sock Knitter?

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

Happy knitting,


PS. The extended version of this series is available in book form and called Sock Knitting in Plain English – I’m sure you’ll like it!

Sock Knitting in Plain English

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    • Jriede Knitwear Design says:

      Nancy, make sure your cast on method is as stretchy as possible! An alternative is to use a very stretchy ribbing pattern, cast on a few more stitches than usual and decrease them during heel knitting.

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