Shepherdess is a cosy sock design featured in Issue 1.
Advice for a custom fit
Some crafters have a love/hate relationship with crochet socks. Love, because they are fast to work up and hate because of the fit. What makes crochet socks so finicky? They are very, very, gauge and yarn specific.
For example, the Shepherdess socks were designed for Tukuwool Sock Yarn. If you use a different yarn you may have to alter stitch count and sock length to have a sock that fits your foot.
That being said, here are some things to keep in mind when working your crochet sock.
- Foot measurements – As with many patterns these socks were designed using a “standard” sizing chart which provides the circumference and length. However you can adjust stitches and length to get a sock that fits your foot.
- Let’s say you have a very narrow but long foot. You may choose the 36 stitch count for the circumference but the 10” length.
- You may be between sizes, in which case, keep in mind that crochet will stretch lengthwise and not widthwise.
- Perhaps you have very thin ankles? Decrease stitches after you complete your heel turn.
- Yarn choice – As mentioned above a crochet sock pattern is very yarn specific. Be very conscious of this when you are substituting. Common issues when substituting yarn:
- You may have to increase stitch counts
- Decrease hook sizes
- Add length
- Gauge – Gauge is very personal. It can be affected by your mood, the hook brand, hook hold, among other things. If you are using the same yarn but cannot match the row gauge, add as many rows as you need to get your sock to approximately 2”/5cm before your heel.
- Caution: don’t use such a small hook size that your foot is too narrow from the very beginning. We need the sock to be a bit loose before the heel because it will tighten once the heel is in. Also, if we make the socks too tight we won’t be able to fit them over the widest part of our foot.
I like to refer to crochet socks as an intuitive make. You make changes as needed to fit your foot/comfort. This is especially true for the cuff. You need the cuff to come in a little to better fit around your leg but still be able to put it on. Of course you can always choose to knit your cuff. No harm in that. In fact, on occasion, I employ the use of 9” circular needles to knit a 1x1 knit rib on my crochet socks.
One last piece of advice, crochet socks aren’t the most attractive off your feet or a sock blocker. This is because we crochet socks to be the width that we need for our feet. Remember crochet stretches more lengthwise than widthwise. In particular, the slip stitches in Shepherdess are very stretchy lengthwise, and when stretching over your foot, the lengthwise stretch will pull the sock to a smaller circumference than when unworn.