written by: Megan Coogle•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/6/2015
One of the easiest projects that a beginning loom knitter can complete is a pair of winter tube socks. These socks are warm, comfortable, and will teach the beginning loom knitter three basic stitches used in every loom knitting project.
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What Loom Is Best?
Knitting socks on a loom is a simple two to three hour project that will allow you to learn the three basic stitches used in almost all loom knitting projects. The first step with any loom knitting project is to find the right loom for the job. There are several sizes and shapes available depending on the project and the project size. Each style of loom is color coded and you may see many projects refer to looms by their color. For example, many sock projects and hat projects refer to a blue loom or red loom.
For socks and hats a circular loom is needed. There are a few circular looms to choose from. The sizes range from small circular looms that are made for creating tubes and ropes to large hat looms. In general the best loom for beginner sock projects is the standard blue round loom which contains 24 pegs. These looms can be purchased in sets or as single loom purchases online and at many craft stores. As you grow accustom to the sock pattern and the knitting loom you can then adjust to a smaller or larger circular loom as needed.
When purchasing a loom make sure that the loom kit or the single loom comes with a darning needle and a knitting hook. Both of these will be needed in order to complete any knitting project. The darning needle looks like a platic or metal child's needle, is usually large, and is designed for knitting with yarn and larger gauge fibers. The knitting hook is a simple, usually rubber handled, hook that is used to move and work the stitches during the project. The picture above shows the standard blue loom and the hook that will be necessary for the project.
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Starting the Project: Tips, Tricks, and Preparing to Knit
24 peg circular loom
2 Red Heart Super Saver Yarn Skeens (any color)
There are a few tips to keep in mind that will make your first pair of socks beautiful, warm, and an enjoyable project. The first tip is to use a double strand method. This method will mean that instead of using one length of yarn from one skeen you will be using two skeens at the same time. It will give you double thickness and a less open sock pattern. With the circular looms the pegs can sometimes be a bit far apart which makes for a looser stitch. By using two threads you will ensure that you have a tighter stitch and closer weave. If you find, after a few lines of stitching, that the weave is to loose then you can easily start over and use a third or fourth strand.
If at anytime you feel like the stitching is not turning out right or you simply want to start over then just remove the current pegged thread with the knitting hook and unravel the knitted yarn. The yarn will unravel easily and leave you with your thread and beginning hook stitch.
This project is for heel-less socks.
Before you begin you will need to take your thread strands and make a simply slip knot to attach them together and begin your project. You will notice that the circular loom has one small peg extending outward from the outer rim of the loom. Use this peg as your marker for the starting point. If you are right handed you will want to hook your slip knot over the peg to the immediate left of the "marking peg." If you are left handed then you will want to use the peg to the immediate right. Place the slip knot over the desired peg and secure the knot.
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The Frist Stitch: Casting On and the E-Stitch
To start your first line of stitching you will need to perform a stitch called casting on. Casting on usually refers to the first line of stitching. To do the cast on stitch start with the slip knot you attached on the first peg. You'll notice you have a shorter end of thread and a longer end of thread. Take the longer end of thread into your left hand if you are right handed and your right hand if you are left handed. Now, there are several ways to do this next step, however, I have found the easiest way is to turn the loom on it's side so that the open ends are facing out. If you are right handed the pegs should be facing to the left and vice versa if you are left handed.
Now, starting with the first empty peg you are going to take your thread and put the thread under the peg, bring it around the peg so that it wraps one time, and back under the beg. You will have created a loop around the first empty peg. With your thumb move the loop about halfway down the peg while holding firm to the yarn strand. Now, repeat that loom on each peg all the way around until you come to the last peg (the peg just before the slip knot starter peg). Remember to move the loop halfway down the peg each time before moving to the next peg. You'll notice that you have created a line around the loom.
Repeat this stitch around the loom once more so that you have two loops on each peg. You will be stopping on the peg next to your starter peg. This will give two lines per peg.
With both lines complete continue to hold to the thread. Take the knitting hook into your opposite hand and remove the top thread line by bringing it over the second line and off of the peg. The thread is now secure and you can let it go. Repeat this all around the loom until you have one line on each peg.
Now repeat the steps you used to create the e-stitch around the loom making another second line. When the second line (two loops on each peg) then repeat the steps to hook the second loop over the first loop. Repeat these steps until you have four inches of knitting.
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Creating a Cuff
This is probably the easiest step in the process of making your basic tube socks.
After you have created 4 inches of knitting you will need to create the cuff. You do this by hooking the first set of holes (one for each peg) from the bottom of the knitting to the corresponding beg. If you have difficulty with this then there is an easy way to get started. If you look directly below the starter peg you will see a straight line pattern of small holes. Follow them down to the bottom of the knitting area. Take the last hole and bring it up to the starter peg. Using your fingers or the knitting hook place the hole over the starter peg. Repeat this for each hole and corresponding peg until you have connected the bottom of the knitting area to the pegs and essentially halved your knitting area.
To secure the cuff in place repeat your e-stitch as you have been doing. This will secure the cuff in place and begin your next line.
After you have secured the cuff with the E-stitch then simply continue on your way around the loom creating more E-stitches until you have reached the desired length you want for your socks.
****If you are not sure what the desired length for your socks then measure from your toes to your heel and then from your heel up to the point you would like your socks to end. Do not count the cuff as part of this measurement.****
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The Second Stitch: Casting Off
Now that you have completed the knitting for the desired length of your socks it's time to take the knitting off the loom and finish up the project. To do this you will be using a stitch called Casting Off. Casting off can be very quick once you understand the steps. It is similar to the E-stitch in it's method.
To cast off you will want to start with the peg located to the direct right of the starter peg. Remove the line that is on that peg and move it, using your knitting hook, to the starter peg. With the loop in place on the starter peg use the knitting hook to remove the original loop from the peg just as you would with a normal e-stitch. Repeat this method all the way around until the knitting area is removed from the loom.
The casting off stitch allows for the removal of the project while securely stitching off the project so that it will not unravel.
Do not cut off the thread when you have removed the project from the loom.
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The Third Stitch: Using the Darning Needle
With the project successfully cast off of the loom it is time to finish up the tube socks.
Measure out twelve to twenty inches of the thread line connecting the project to the yarn skeens. Cut the thread at this point. Thread the yarn connected to the project through the darning needles. Using a loop stitch simply start at one end of the sock and stitch across the bottom to secure the opening. You may want to do two passes to ensure the end is secure.
Knot off the last stitch and snip the remaining thread.
Turn the sock inside out and slip it on your foot. Roll the cuff down to the desired length and you are done.
Now create the matching sock for a great pair of warm tube socks.
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Final Thoughts and How to Add Length
If you find that you have created the socks to short then you can easily add length.
Take the top of the cuff area of the sock and loop it, just as you did to create the cuff in the first place, to each corresponding peg. With the sock back on the loom start a cast on stitch to create the second line around the loom. (The first line having being created by connecting the cuff loops to the loom.) Now, with the second line in place use the E-stitch and hook method to add on additional sock length. Cast off when you have finished the additional length.
To create a sock with multiple colors you can either use a strand of each color for the double, triple, or four strand method or you can stitch in one color then add another color connecting the two different colored E-stitch lines with a simple E-stitch just as you did to add more length.
If the first pair of socks come out to big or feel to loose it may be the loom. If you have reached three strands and the socks still feel loose then try a smaller circular loom in the next size down to get a comfy fit personalized for your feet.
Remember that you can also view projects online at places like Youtube.com.