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Sande Helps Us Make Socks That Fit

It should be simple enough - measure the distance from the point of your ankle bone to the floor while standing up. That is the length your heel should be. :) that distance really hasn't much to do with how wide your heel flap is - once we get out of our teens our feet seem to start to spread and our toes curl under from wearing high heels and so on. :) us lil ol' sock makers can have perfectly fitting sock, though. Conventional patterns have the heel flap square, worked on 1/2 the total number of sts, and about twice
as many rows as sts before starting to turn the heel. that generally makes a heel flap on lady's socks of about 2-1/2 to 2-3/4" and that's not long enough for some of us taller folk. Interestingly enough, the height of the heel bone above the floor hasn't any direct correlation to the length of the foot. Another place the ready made patterns leave us in the lurch.

So, to make your socks fit your foot, you need to measure the circumference of the leg above the ankle, the distance from ankle bone to floor, the circumference of the foot at the instep and the length of the foot from back of heel to end of longest toe. The best way to measure the length of your foot is to put the end of a ruler against the wall and stand on it with your heel against the wall. Putting weight on your foot will cause it to spread out, both sideways and longways. It is best to measure this spread out foot.
Your foot and leg may be the same circumference or they may not. No matter, as long as you know what each measurement is and your gauge, you can adjust your sock to fit perfectly, remembering, of course, that the sock cuff and leg must be large enough to go over the ankle.

Socks that squirm down inside shoes are telling us that they are not long enough - either in the foot or in the heel area. If your socks don't bind over the ankle when you pull them on, they are probably not too short in the heel. If you can feel the sock pulling against your toes, I would say the sock length is too short. Analyze the way your socks fit now and decide how they can be improved. Is there wear on the tops of your feet where the edge of the clog comes? Is the inside of the shoe suede so it grabs the socks and drags them down? Do nylons (like knee highs, maybe) crawl down? Do the socks in question crawl down in all your shoes? Do all your socks crawl down in your clogs? Do all your socks crawl down in all your shoes? I make my wool socks as long as my feet. When I put the socks on, there is no pressure on the ends of my toes. There are lots of folk who swear that your socks need to be shorter than your feet, but I don't agree. I wear men's shoes exclusively and have no problems with the socks bunching up. I think the bunching up could come from being too large around, too. Anyway, since
the ball of your foot is less then the instep, you don't have to stop your gusset decreases when you get back to the original number of sts. I often decrease further cuz my instep is larger than the ball of my foot, too.

I started out making socks from non-superwash wool. I learned to make them a tad big cuz they always shrunk just a bit. After a while they shrink till they are too small and I have to give them away. Since I have big feet, there are plenty of people who want my cast-offs! Now that I've been using real sock yarn (superwash) and they don't shrink, my socks are all just a tiny bit loose. but it doesn't seem to cause any problems. I don't have wrinkle marks on my feet when I take the socks off -I would think I would have them if the socks were bunching up in my shoes.

It sounds like you have decided how to tackle your next socks, eh? I like to make socks in worsted wt - they make up faster so you can see if your theories are working out. Do you use 5 needles so you can try the sock on as you go? I always try them on after the gusset to see if I need to keep on decreasing. And when I get to the toe to start those decreases and at the very end to see if the sock is long enough and ready to weave together. I also keep notes so I don't have to try on the 2nd sock so much. :)

And more information from Sande on fitting socks:

If you don't want the ribbing looking "stretched out" around the larger part of your leg you need to cast on enough stitches to fit there. Then you need to decrease  to the number of sts required to fit your ankle.  then you need to make your heel flap long enough to give you a long gusset that you can
get your foot into before you start the foot of the sock.

To calculate the leg decreases you will need to know your row gauge as well as your stitch gauge. You will need to decrease away 11 minus 8.25 for a total of 2.75 inches. You would want to spread those decreases through the leg part, not decrease all at once just before the heel flap. So with a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch, you would need to dec a total of 12 sts. You would have cast on 45 sts at this gauge. you might want to do decreases of 2 sts 6 times (this could be done on a back "seam" to be less obvious), or decrease 3 sts 4 times or dec 4 sts 3 times - it depends on how fast your leg gets "skinny."  once you decide how to decrease, you should have 33 sts when you divide for the heel. Since that is an uneven number of sts, you may dec 1 st more or less  so you have an even number of sts left to do the
heel on. Now you need to measure your foot (standing upright) from the bump of your ankle bone to the floor. That should be your heel flap length.  I make my heel flaps about 1/8" longer than the measurement, that way I can get my foot into my sock without stretching it unduly.


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