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I have never knit a pair of socks. I have bought a book but most of the patterns are for size M and I need size L. Would changing to larger needles work for this? I am disapppointed that there are only one size for each of the socks. Also, if I measure around my leg is that the circumference I should have or would they fall down? Thanks so much for any help. Anne
 

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Switching to sport weight yarn and a US size 3 needle gives me large socks (fitting a women's 11 to a man's 12) using a pattern designed for a women's medium. It's a thicker sock, but not so thick that it can't be worn just fine in tennis shoes. If this is your first pair to knit it would probably be easier in sport weight than fingering weight yarn anyhow.

Simply switching to a larger needle while still using fingering weight yarn will not work, as that will make the fabric too loose for your liking. Socks need to be knitted rather densely to be sturdy enough (unless your pattern is for something lacy and delicate).
 

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Hi auntaanne, I am sorry to hear that you are going to have to modify all your sock patterns.

It's not that hard, if you've already made a sock or two, to add some stitches and fudge some numbers. But since you haven't knit a sock before, it can be quite confusing.

Do you need more length, more width, or both?

For a wider foot, you get a more comfortable sock if you cast on a few extra stitches rather than go up a needle size. (Going up a needle size means you will feel every purl bump under your sole.) If the extra stitches don't fit into the stitch pattern repeat, you can work them in plain stockinette.

For a wider ankle, you can go up a needle size (looser fabric on the leg won't affect comfort and wear the way a larger gauge on the foot would). In fact you can go up a needle size every few inches to shape your calf.

For more foot length, add rows between the toe and the gusset.

Socks will stay up if they have about 10% negative ease in the ankle and leg. (Another cause of socks creeping down is a too short foot, or a toe box that's too narrow.)

Also, if you can start with a toe-up pattern, you can fiddle the stitch count for a perfect fit as you go ... for example you can stop increasing the toe when it fits over all but your smallest toe, which gives you just the right amount of negative ease.

And use one long circular needle if you can, because you can try the sock on your foot at any time without having to move the stitches to a length of string.

Knitting socks is fun and rewarding and I hope you have a good experience with your first pair.
 

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I make socks for a sister with a size 7 shoe, myself with a size 9 shoe and a child with a size 11 shoe. I start from the toe up using sock yarn and size 1 needles and do 56, 60, or 64 stitches. I have a footprint for each of us (stand on cardboard, draw around both feet, cut them out and glue them together, then trim to even out) and rib across the instep for 1 to 2 inches, work to the place to start a short row heel, and make the leg longer for sister and shorter for kid and me, our personal preferences. The socks stretch fine and you don't need to be too fiddly with them. I knit loosely, and a friend who knits tightly uses size 2 needles. We get the same gauge.
 

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auntaanne said:
I have never knit a pair of socks. I have bought a book but most of the patterns are for size M and I need size L. Would changing to larger needles work for this? I am disapppointed that there are only one size for each of the socks. Also, if I measure around my leg is that the circumference I should have or would they fall down? Thanks so much for any help. Anne
I explain all how to do this type of custom fit in the sock workshop that I taught. All the information is there and I would recommend the book by Ann Budd titled Getting Started Knitting Socks. Also you could go and check out this pattern I like from Ravelry, it is the basic sock pattern in 8 different sizes.

The sock workshop.
http://www.knittingparadise.com/t-108548-1.html

Sock pattern:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-sock-pattern-in-8-sizes-archived
 
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