Sock Needle Size

Just recently I’ve been knitting my first ‘real’ pair of knitted socks in the round (the previous pairs were knitted flat and sewn together).
I’ve enjoyed the challenge and finished the first one with the second one 2/3 of the way done. When trying on the first sock (knitted top down) I discovered that I don’t care for the ‘feel’ of the sock. I like the yarn (merino & silk), but I think perhaps a size 3 needle was too large to make the sock comfortable.

What size needle do most of you use when knitting socks? On my next pair, I think I will go down a size, or more, depending on the responses from you who have more experience than I do in sock knitting. Thanks for any suggestions you may have. :knitting:

The size of needle you use depends on the fabric you want to create…

When i get some yarn i want to make socks out of, i get my needles out and start swatching and when i get to the fabric i want, thats the needle i use…

When I first started knitting socks, (been a day or two ago…LOL) It was told to start swatching with a needle 1 or 2 sizes smaller than the yarn lable suggests.

I have knit a WHOLE lot of socks and by now know what fabric i want. Look at the socks you have made before that feel good to your feet and take a good look at the fabric.


Depends on the yarn, but for finger weight sock yarn I usually use a size 1.

I usually use a two, or whichever size the pattern suggests (usually a 2 or 3 for the kids’ socks). I have some new yarn in from Holland that may require a 4.

I just finished my first pair of socks last week. Used Berroco and size 1’s casting on 64 stitches (instructions from sock class). Next time I’m going to try 0’s and cast on 60 because they are a bit too loose. I can still wear them, but they could be tighter.

I seem to only use size 2s (2.75 or 3.00) or 3s (3.25). I can’t for the life of me ever seeing me be able to knit a sock with size 0s or 1s. I must knit tightly.

I knit all my socks on size 1, they fit me the best that way.

For fingering weight I always use 2.25 mm, for DK weight, 3.25mm

I must knit very loose because I did my last sock on size 1 needles and the socks are too big around. I bought size 0, and that’s what I’m trying next.

For those of you who are having socks fit too loosely after they are done, you may consider going a size smaller and using a sock guide for the length of the foot tube. This is purely from observation with no real data to back it up, just an idea, really.

Thanks. This makes good sense to create the fabric that feels good. Maybe I should start trying on the swatch? :teehee:
After so much effort was put into knitting the sock to its completion, I was really disappointed that it didn’t ‘feel’ good on my foot. I will definitely take your advice and just experiment with the needles/yarn to see which sock fabric I would like best. Just because a yarn label says the fingering weight would work to be knit on size 3 doesn’t mean it will feel right for me.
Thanks to everyone who replied. :hug:

I am using size 0 on fingering weight yarn. I knit super loose though so next time I may try 00…

I think my loose knitting may have to do with continental knitting…

I tend to use anything between 0-3 on socks.

3 is kind of big though.I’d only really recommend it for worsted weight socks to wear around the house and such.

A 3 w/worsted feels great for convertible mittens or any other glove Mmmm…

I would try one or the other not both because they may be too tight. If you like the feel of the socks knit on 1’s just lessen the stitch count. If they feel pebbly then just go down a needle size.

There is no exact formula to fix all problems. If you are knitting toe up, you will be adding stitches in multiples of four to form the toe. Making the sock smaller: if four stitches are enough to resolve the issue, leave off one decrease row. If that adjustment is not enough, see if then going down one size on knitting needles works, if then too tight, knit the row you left off and the socks should fit. Try on the sock knitted toe up when you are trouble shooting. Keep track of what works for future reference. Changing any element such as the yarn, changes the formula a bit too.

If you go down on needle size, use a needle of the same material as when I switch from wood to metal on the same size needle, I knit tighter to adjust for the more slippery needles. I like bamboo needles but when making increases, needles with sharper tips work better when knitting on smaller needles.

Everyone’s foot is unique and heel placement can make the sock or ruin it. When you don’t know, try an after thought heel.