New Weight Loss Secrets for Knitters: How Many Miles are in a Sock?

 Or, if you live in the rest of the (saner) world: how many kilometers are in a sock?

Good news knitters: you can make progress on your knitting and pursue your physical fitness goals At the Same Time!!!

These socks have been through the rounds the past several months. I started them as my “walking socks,” determined to calculate how far I would have to walk to finish the pair. In the end, they were my walking socks and more, as all socks tend to be.

They went with me to Oregon, where my grandma took them over, making respectable progress on the first. (I was touched by the outpouring of awesome comments on my Instagram post, perhaps my photo with the highest level of engagement of all time. Ya’all are suckers for old ladies knitting.)

And, of course, they went with to the river on more than one occasion.

There were also rounds I snuck in during those little blips of waiting that make knitting socks so worthwhile: long waits in road construction, the doctor’s office, and during Bathtime Supervision in the bathroom (Reed has been a wee bit overly splashy lately, apparently in an attempt to convert the tub into a floating houseboat.)

Mostly, however, these were my walking socks. I would set out alone, catch up on phone calls or a podcast, walk, and knit. Like all knitting projects, these socks kept me company during some hard walks and gloriously sunny, couldn’t-be-happier strolls.

For some time now, I have used my small Go Knit Pouch and STILL love it. It goes around my wrist and can even hold my car key since my yoga capris are all pocket-less. I used stitch markers to keep track of how much I knit on each walk and the free Map my Run app (there are many similar versions available) to keep track of my distance and time.

When walking, I only worked on the simple stockinette sections of the sock. No heels. No toe decreases. Just around and around and around. (I saved the trickier bits for when I was sitting at the river and am proud to say I CAN participate in a conversation and turn a heal without screwing up too badly.)

On average, I knit one inch per mile (2.54 centimeters per 1.6 kilometers) over the course of a 20-minute mile on even, mostly flat ground. I do walk a bit slower when I knit and walk compared to if I was just cruising, but I covered some good distances all the same.

I usually work my socks eight inches to the heel, and then another five and a half stitches until it’s time to decrease for the toe. (I have small feet). Accounting for the ribbing at the top of the sock, that’s about 12 ½ inches of walkable stockinette knitting (nearly 32 centimeters).

Decreases your gussets while walking if you dare. I did and lived to tell the tale!

If I had ONLY knitted these socks (excluding casting on, ribbing, heels, and toes) while knitting, I would have walked 12.5 miles per sock (24 miles per pair). That’s eight hours of walking for a pair of socks. Walking burns 120 to 140 calories per hour, for the average person at a moderate pace. My sock-walking thus earned me about 1,000 calories, which converts to two or three brownies.

I wish I could say walking and knitting these socks resulted in a slimmer, toner me.

They didn’t.

Apparently I overcompensated on the brownies.

But I KNOW the potential is there.

So, if you are time limited like me and forever faced with that tragic dilemma of choosing between relaxing with your knitting and getting out to move your body—well, you don’t have to make that hard decision after all. Do both.

Your body and mind will thank you.

Even if your pants are still too tight the next morning.

*Yarn for these socks was a random Etsy purchase in support of my commitment to supporting Indie Yarn Dyers this year (and always) from the Iria Yarn Company in their Great Pumpkin Colorway.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

Welcome knitters itching to try walking and knitting socks at the same time. It CAN be done, and YOU can do it. Satisfy your knitting and exercise ambitious AT THE SAME TIME! Read all about it here. I have all the stats ready for you.

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