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Man Socks

For some reason, knitting socks for men is more complicated than knitting socks for women. Maybe because they are simply bigger...

This post constitutes (most) everything I have learned (so far) about knitting socks for men. It all comes down to this, which I realize is overstating the obvious: men have bigger feet than women. Be warned.

The Cast On

  • Knowing 52 stitches were just about perfect for Lady Socks, decide it is safe to assume a pattern requiring the cast on of 64 stitches will likely be perfect for Man Socks. Notice keyword: likely.
  • Cast on 64 stitches (Madelinetosh Sock in Plaid Blanket) using 9 inch (2.75 mm) circular needles. Immediately decide to switch to the magic loop method.
  • Overcome irritation about slight pooling of the emerald green color (it does improve after the ribbing) and generally try not to think disparaging thoughts about one of my favorite yarn suppliers, which would obviously result in bad Yarn Karma. (Yes, that’s a thing. I promise.)
  • Fret that the subtle stitch detail in the pattern is lost in the busy yarn. Further fret that the color might be too loud. Tell yourself that none of this would be an issue if you were knitting socks for a woman instead.
  • Decide all that fretting was for not. The stitch detail is apparent. The color is perfectly suitable. But yes, knitting socks for a woman would be preferable.

Everything you ever wanted to know about knitting man socks.


  • After several inches, fretting resumes. The socks are HUGE. While the intended future sock recipient (an uncle) is male, he is on the slighter side. Foot size unknown, but there is still time for investigative research to that regard. Insist husband try on the socks. They fit him, but husband surely has wider ankle diameter than uncle. Ponder and plot about best way to assess width of uncle’s calves and ankles. Come up with zilch.
  • Briefly contemplate frogging the project but decide to stick with it. If socks turn out too big for uncle, husband will just have to wear them. Or else.
  • Wonder how to maximize length of each sock without running out of yarn at toe of second socks. It would be just like me to run out of yarn just shy of toe of second sock. That is exactly the kid of luck I have in life. Yes, skein can be weighed and each sock can be weighed, but (a) I cannot remember where I hid my kitchen scale and (b) that won’t tell me when I should start the heal flap.
  • Conclude SCREW IT ALL and forgo weighing. If I run out of yarn, I will just buy another skein. New Year’s Resolution be damned. Confirm, yes, WEBS has more in stock. Just in case. Plus the hypothetical remainder of the hypothetical second skein could hypothetically be used to knit Reed another pair of socks. Hypothetically.
  • Note the socks are so big they could be a woman’s sweater sleeve. I just might need 400 m PER sock! One skein each! Everything you ever wanted to know about knitting man socks.

    The Future

  • Keep knitting. For eternity.
  • Decide future socks for the male specimen should be limited to children. They are cuter. And they have smaller feet. (They may have dirtier faces and hands, however.)

Super cute kid (with a dirty face) holding mom's yarn.

Joining Ginny. Still reading She Should Have Known. 

24 thoughts on “Man Socks

  1. you are funny! I using fingering weight sock yarn, size 2 needles and cast on 68 stitches, I knit eight inches for the leg and from heel flap edge folded to toe shaping I knit 8 1/2 inches to fit my husband’s foot 🙂

    Sounds like you had fun though while knitting for your husband!!

    1. I need to check my gage. It is surely the culprit. Along with my judgment!

  2. After making a sweater for my husband, I swore never knit anything for him again 🙂 He was so picky, it drove me crazy, but I’ll save this post just in case if I change my mind 🙂

  3. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew these were Hermoine’s Everyday Socks. It really should have a more unisex name!
    I continue to agonize over men’s socks. I don’t know why I can’t build up any confidence in them. Love the photo at the end!

    1. I agree…they could use a more unisex name!

  4. hehehe, i love this, you write like i think!! maybe slippers, slippers can be big??!! LOVE the yarn!!

    ps…every week, i pick you out, based on your thumbnail alone. i am drawn to you!!!

    1. Aw thanks. I am so glad you do! ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Love this post. I have, so far, knit two pair of men’s socks (one for my younger–22yo–son, and one for my father, both of whom have the same size feet). I searched ravelry for a MENS sock pattern I liked rather than being brave enough to wing it with my own adjustments. Both pair came out well and are loved. Now, however, I feel like I should make my elder–26yo–son a pair of socks, to be fair. Except he wears a men’s 13 or 14 shoe and I am totally intimidated by the thought of making socks that big!

    1. Thanks Kris. Let me know what becomes of the future socks for your eldest…

  6. This post is hilarious anyway, but for me the funniest point is your stitch count at the beginning. Self-deprecation is the best humor…and apparently I’m one REALLY bigfooted woman with my full 64-stitch requirement!

    (Or, is it just perspective…maybe you of the 52 stitches are a bit on the petite side?)

    (Or, maybe I’m an unforgivably, ridiculously tight knitter?)

    Anyhow, feet/socks aside, you’re completely right about sizing weirdness. I’m working on gloves for my husband and just can’t get my head around how stinkin’ huge these things are…even before they have full fingers.

    1. Thanks Annie. I am sure your feet are just perfect.

  7. Lucky you to get away with 64 stitches for a man’s sock…..I always have to cast on 72 for my hubby….and he’s now working toward FILLING his sock drawer with handmade socks (note: those hands are all mine not his!)

    1. Do they use more than one skein per pair? My gage must be loose…

  8. I use 64 stitches and 2.0mm needles for both my socks and my husbands. I think I must knit quite loosely because not had a problem! I love the colours of the yarn you’re using with that stitch pattern

  9. haha!!! I think I’ve had several of these thoughts cross my mind at points in my knitting too 😉

  10. Haha, too often I have a mucky little man too near my yarn! I knitted my first pair of socks for a man, but they were boot socks in aran weight yarn, for the sake of sanity. I highly recommend it!

  11. I’d cast on 64 stitches using sock yarn and 2.5mm needles for an average ladies pair of socks.

  12. Ha! Love this post. I have had the weirdest pooling with Madelinetosh sock that I bought years ago. I can’t really find an adult sock pattern that it works for without crazy pooling, so I’ve resigned to using it for other things.

    1. Ack. Just found your comment in my spam box! I am so incredibly honored that you were able to stop by and enjoy a post. Your blog has long been a favorite of mine. I very closely identified with your last post…it struck a chord with me. Happy knitting, my dear.

  13. oooooh that face!!!!!

  14. You have provided amazing information to make this amazing pair of socks. I will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing this super post.

  15. […] miss out. Win a skein of Quince Sparrow. See details here.  The Man Socks are done. Off the needles. Gifted. Slightly big for the recipient, I think. But all is well. They […]

  16. […] me, working on Size 2 US/2.75 mm needles, 64 stitches comes out WAY too big. I use 64 stitches for Man Socks only, or women I know to have particularly thick feet and […]

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