Monday, August 8, 2011

Adding elastic to socks

I love these socks...




...but the elastic in them has seen better days.  In fact, when I put the socks on, I can feel the brittle elastic snap and crumble.

For the past few years, I've been using rubber bands as make shift garters to keep them up.  This weekend, I found a great knitting blog that showed me a better way. I used the second of the four techniques she describes on her post on how to add elastic to socks. In the comments to her post (which I only read after fixing my socks), she talks about how to neatly secure the ends of the elastic (i.e. not with knots as I do below). But for my intents and purposes, securing the ends with knots does the job just fine.

Anyways, here's what I did:

First, I cut enough elastic thread to go around the the sock about 5 times.  I used my hand to approximate the circumference of the sock.  It wasn't too far off.  The amount of elastic that I cut was enough to go around the sock 4.5 times.


Then, I threaded the elastic thread through a needle with a big eye. I used the sail and canvas needle from this assortment of repair needles that I have, but I'm sure other needles will work too. Rather than threading the end of the thread through the eye, I found it easier to fold the thread first and thread the fold through.


Turn the sock inside out.  Then, pull the thread through one of the loops at the top of the sock.  Tie a knot around that loop to secure the end of the elastic thread. 


Pull the elastic thread through all the loops along the top of the sock.


I'm going to quote TECHknitter on this one because I can't really explain it better than her.  Work the elastic thread "around and around the inside of the sock ribbing in a spiral.  The easiest way I know is to catch the elastic under ONE arm of a knit column on the inside."  She's got a great diagram on this page that explains it really well.


Here's what it looks like after doing several rows:


When you get to the end of the thread, tie a knot around one of the loops of the sock as you did at the beginning.


Here are the finished socks.  Good as new!

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