Custom Sock Modifications

Dear Readers,

Today I wanted to share with you about my recent experiments with sock modifications!

I was recently inspired after watching this video by Roxanne Richardson. She gives tips on how to measure and knit a custom sock.

So I have measured and written up a custom sock pattern for my husband and I will share with you once we try the sock on in comparison to another sock.

Photo of socks knit in 2020

In the mean time I want to briefly go over what we did.

The first thing is to get your measurements. You need the person to have no socks on and when you trace the foot they must be standing on it because pressure changes the shape of your foot.

You need :
A foot to measure
measuring tape
paper for tracing
paper for notes

First trace the persons foot while they are standing on the paper.

  1. Trace the foot on the paper and mark where the toes start by inserting the pen between the big toe and second toe at the base.
  2. Measure the ball of foot circumference. Place the measuring tape down and get the person to stand on it so that you can wrap the tape around the ball of their foot and measure.
  3. Measure the leg calf at the point that the ribbing cuff is supposed to sit.
  4. Measure the ankle or the narrowest part of the leg circumference
  5. Measure the heel depth. You do this by starting from the middle of the outside ankle bone and measure down to the floor.
  6. Measure the foot length excluding toes, you can take your measurements from the trace you made.
  7. Measure the toe length, you can take your measurements from the trace you made.

Next you need to do your calculations. Inorder to do this you will need a gauge swatch, I just used a previous pair of socks that I had knit recently. My gauge was 8 stitches per 2.5cm.

I used 10% negative ease as suggested by Roxanne in her video. This means that I multiplied all my ciurcumferences by 0.9.

I found it very useful to keep track of all my measurements in a spreadsheet, that way I wont lose them and can always refer back to them in the future.

You then need to multiply your new circumference by your stitch gauge to figure out how many stitches you need. Here is an example

Leg – 23.5 cm x 0.9 = 21.15cm 

(21.15 / 2.5) x 8 =  67.68 stitches

I then rewrote my usual sock knitting pattern to use these new measurements, so husbands sock now looks something like this:

Cast on 64 stitches and knit 15 rounds or 2×2 ribbing
Then knit stockinette, after 15 rounds decrease 4 stitches (60 stitches total)
After 60 rounds stockinette begin heel flap
Heel flap is 2.7 inches or 46 rows
Turn heel and pick up stitches along sides of heel.
Decrease 2 stitches every alternate row on bottom of foot down to 68 stitches total.
Knit until foot is 20.5 cm long
Start toe decreases and work until toe is 5cm long, for me this was decreased down to 28 stitches total.

A note on the toes:
For my husband i took the toes as starting at the base of his big toe as his toe box is quite square. My toes are quite long and pointy so I take my toes as starting from the base of my baby toe as this gives a longer amount of space to decrease over.

The sock shapes are just for show they are not to scale at all!

I hope that you found this interesting and potentially useful. I will report back with photos when we do a comparison of socks. I want to compare this new sock with another new sock but knit with the old pattern because after a few wears I am sure that socks change their structure some what.

I hope that you are all keeping well and crafty!
Peace and Love

5 thoughts on “Custom Sock Modifications

  1. Very interesting! I do have a digital book called Big Foot Knits that does a similar thing, walking you through how to best fit your socks. I usually knit a 68 in sock, which is generally not standard, but don’t really do much editing of toes or cuffs other than to make them work for that 68 stitch count.

    Liked by 1 person

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