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Archive for May 8th, 2015

Once the shape of the foot is known, then comes the measurements. Take the first measurement around the ball of the foot; the padded area just below the toes.

ball of foot measurement

This figure is the circumference of the sock. For average feet and legs this measurement ensures a proper fit around both foot and leg. Jot the number down and subtract 1″ (2) cm from it. You want the sock to measure 1″ or (2) cm less than your full measurement. This smaller size helps the socks gently hug the feet and stay up on the legs and not bag around the ankles. My circumference number is 8″ (20) cm. Subtracting the 1″ (2) cm from the 8″ (20) cm gives me 7″ (18) cm. My adjusted circumference number is 7.

Socks knitted in stockinette stitch have about 4″ (10) cm of stretch in the fabric. This is how my socks go over the 11″ (28) cm that make up my heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area.

heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area

heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area

11-7= 4″ (18-28= 10) cm. If the heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area is greater than 4″ (10) cm from the adjusted circumference number make a note to add 2 or 4 stitches to the sock in the gusset area only and/or look to lengthen the heel flap. In the picture below, the gusset is the stockinette stitch area that looks like an upside down V.

gusset, heel turn, heel flap

gusset, heel turn, heel flap

The next measurement is foot length. Put a ruler or tape measure on the floor and measure your foot from the longest toe to the back of the heel. If your foot resembles the Greek tapered foot where the second toe is longer than the big toe, unless it is longer by an 1″ (2.5) cm or more start the measurement from the big toe to the heel. Remember the sock is going to stretch.

foot length sock

The last measurement is the leg length. Put on a sock that has the leg height you want. Measure from the base of the heel up the leg to where the cuff stops. This is your sock’s leg length.

Sock leg height

While you’re at it, measure your Achilles tendon area. This is where the heel flap on a sock goes. It should measure about 2 or 2.5″ (5 or 6.5) cm. If it is much longer than this (an inch (2) cm more) make a note that the heel flap needs to be longer.

achilles tendon

Finally, I put all the information on a drawing of my foot and put it in a folder in a file cabinet. Everyone who has ever had me make a sock for them has a folder with the drawing of his or her foot notated with sizes and alterations made. This makes it easier to knit socks that fit them again.

foot scan 3

foot scan 4

Now that the measurements are complete, next up is sock math.

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