Cuff too tight

I am making my uncle some hunting socks. He wants them wool and very thick. I showed him some socks I made with worsted weight yarn and he thought they were close but not quite thick enough. Anyway, I found a pattern for very warm thick wool socks that has you using two strands of worsted weight yarn. I was a bit concerned they’d be TOO thick, but so far (I’ve done about 4 inches of the cuff) they seem to be good. My biggest problem is the cast on. I’ve cast on three or four times trying to get it looser but it still seems too tight to me. These are going to be quite high on the calf, they need to go over the top of his boots and fold down. In fact it’s okay if they are a bit too loose because the boots will hold them up. They are going to be taller than the ones the pattern makes which is probably the issue. The pattern had me cast on 32 stitches. Looking at other sock patterns they always cast on AT LEAST 50 sts, but those are worsted weight yarn patterns, this one is chunkier, and it’s using size 7 needles which is larger than other sock patterns.

What would you do in this situation? I’m pretty new to knitting so fudging with patterns too much isn’t really my forte. Would you cast on more sts (how many?). Then would you decrease back to 32 after the cast on or stick with the cast on number for the whole leg (as they do in the pattern)?

A large part of me is tempted to go with a new pattern altogether (namely this one: ) except that he did want them thicker than worsted weight. But they are hunting socks so the height should be where he wants them so they are likely large enough around for that part of the calf. Is there anyway to easily modify this pattern for the double stranded worsted weight yarn?


Twisted German casts on is a good one if you’re going top down. I’ve always found it stretchy enough. You can also use bigger needles for the cast on which makes it looser.

Really I think the cast on is as loose as it’s going to get. I did the twisted German cast on and I did over two needles to ensure it was as loose as I could get it (and it was quite loose). But it’s still not a big enough hole. So I think it’s an issue with the number of stitches. Unfortunately this was a pattern I bought on etsy so I can’t find anything about it on ravelry to see how it might need to be changed.

What’s the name of your pattern?

How many stitches did you cast on?

This is where I bought the pattern (can’t actually show you the pattern for copyright reasons). They are labelled Warm and Toasty—my Dad’s Socks! 2-STRAND WOOL-EASE SOCKS

I cast on 32 stitches.

Those do look nice and toasty! Okay so based on another pattern in worsted weight 32 does seem small. This pattern that I often give the link to for beginners uses 40 stitches for worsted weight. My experience with Wool-Ease is that it’s a lighter weight worsted which isn’t helping.

Once you have cast on and knit there’s no way to make it bigger so you’d have to start over yet again.

Oh yes, I know I need to start again, I just want to start correctly this time, I’m tired of frogging! The pattern calls for TWO strands worsted weight…not sure if that’s equivalent to bulky weight yarn or what. I am not using wool ease myself, I’m using Patons Classic Wool.

Oh okay! I’m not sure if two strands of PCW would equal bulky. You’d really need to do a swatch to find out. As for altering the pattern…I think you really need to find a pattern with the yarn you want to use then. The pattern would essentially have to be rewritten with no guarantees it would work.

Using bigger needles for the cast on only works for cast-ons that are made with a single strand (like knitted cast on or cable cast on), not for any long tail cast on. It’s the tail strand that’s too tight on long tail cast ons, and using a bigger needle does nothing to correct this.

The twisted German cast-on is excellent because it has an extra twist in the tail yarn, which automatically makes it add more tail length in the cast on.

But what makes it even better is if you cast on and leave some space between cast-on stitches as you tighten them up. If you leave a space between each cast on stitch and the last one that’s about enough space for an extra stitch to fit on the needle, it will use extra length of the tail yarn and make the cast on much stretchier.

You’ll need almost twice the length of tail yarn for the combination of the twisted German cast on and the extra space between as you will for a standard long tail cast on. Be sure to allow a lot of tail length.

So I went ahead and cast on 40 sts instead of 32 and I think that will work. Still too tight for my leg but I’m told my uncle has very skinny calves (and I do not lol). Now I just need to figure out when (or if) to decrease back to 32.

Seems like you could decrease gradually as you get nearer the ankle. Of course, you’ll have to keep the pattern in mind. Is this still ribbing or have you changed to another stitch pattern.

If the cuffs are going to be rolled over the edge of boots, I’d cast on double the number of stitches you need and knit the cuff. On the last round before starting the leg, etc, just knit 2 together all the way around and your back to the number you need for the sock itself.

So I was wrong and 40 sts is not enough, even without being folded over, couldn’t get it up my calf. Plus it turns out he wears the socks over two pairs of pants as well. Boo. So I need to try again with more stitches, lots more stitches.

If you’re a tight knitter that will affect gauge, too.

I used this cast-on for a pair of leg warmers. I found it to be the stretchiest one that wasn’t too difficult.

I did as sunshine’s mom suggested and cast on double the number I was supposed to, so 64 sts. This seems like it’ll work. I just have to figure out when to decrease and if I should end up back at 32 or if that is going to be too small.