Socks.. narrow? wide?

I turned the heel with great success and am knitting the body of my first ever sock…

here is my next question for when I am doing the decreases…

If the foot were wider or narrower than average would I decrease the gusset to be a little less or a little more than my original CO stitches?

or would ribbing hold in on a narrower foot better anyways without changing the stitch number or would be okay for a wider foot without changing the stitch number?


Well, as someone with fairly wide feet…I have never had to change an existing pattern that says it fit an ‘average woman’s foot’ to accomodate my wider than average feet. Knit socks have enough give and stretch that I’ve never had trouble with it.

You got it! Do fewer decreases for a wide foot, more for a narrow foot. For example, since I have a narrow foot, if I’m knitting a sock at 8 st/inch, I do two extra decrease rounds (a total of 4 sts or 1/2 inch) to make my socks fit better. Remember that you now have fewer (for narrow) or more (for wide) stitches on your instep needle than on your heel needles; you will need to redistribute them appropriately before you begin working your toe!

What do you mean ‘appropriately’?

I started with 44 stitches… and am knitting with 5 needles… so 11 st on each one.

Once I did my heel (started with 22 st) and got it turned, I had 12 stitches.

I picked up 13 for each gusset (I should have only picked up 11 but I was getting some extras to fill some holes) and I decreased down to 4 on each side…

I still had 22 for the top of my foot, plus the 12 on my heel and the 8 from the gussets, so down to 42 stitches…

I left 12 for the heel, and put 10 on the other 3 needles.

Is that ok?


In most socks, the pattern calls for you to work the gusset until you have the original number of stitches that you started with. If you started with 44 sts, you would usually work the gusset until you had 22 stitches on the heel needles and 22 stitches on the instep needle(s). If you’re working more or fewer decreases, you will no longer have the same number of stitches on both the “bottom” of the sock (the heel) and the “top” of the sock (the instep).

In your case, you now have 22 stitches on the top and 20 on the bottom; by redistributing stitches appropriately, I meant that you will need to move stitches so that you have the same number on the top and on the bottom. This needs to be done before you begin the toe decreases so that the top and bottom of the toe are the same width, important if you’re going to use the kitchener stitch to close your toe. Right now, the top of your sock is 2 stitches wider than the bottom. If you are going to be doing the kitchener stitch to close your toe, your stitches on the top and bottom won’t match up, either. (This will make more sense once you get to the toe.) I’m not sure if a couple of stitches will make much of a difference if you’re doing a different type of toe, though. I’m a kitchener stitch sort of gal, myself! :teehee:

I’ve found that decreasing down to a total number of stitches that is divisible by 4 is easiest to handle for me because it enables me to redistribute those stitches evenly on both sides.

Does what I said make sense, or did I just muddy the waters more! :oops:


no, that all makes sense. so what I will do is put another decrease in there to give me 40 stitches instead. i will have to frog back a few rows to put it at the end of the other decreases…but I will figure it out!


Thanks, I’m glad I didn’t make it more confusing!