My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Do Your Kneesocks Fall Down When You Attempt to Move?

(Sung to the tune of “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bed Post Overnight?”)

An interesting question, and one for the ages: do you have trouble keeping your kneesocks up?

Do you have problems with your kneesocks falling down?

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I for one do not have problems with kneesocks staying up. I think this has a lot to do with fit.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom bought you cotton or cotton-blend kneesocks? And after a few washings they would shrink? Then they would never stay up properly because they were a bit too small. Sure, you could tug them into place but as soon as you took 3 steps they were inching down your leg.

When you knit your own kneesocks, you really have to pay close attention to fit. You want the socks’ circumference to be a bit less than the circumference of your leg at all the crucial points for a snug fit, and (very important) you want them tall enough.

To knit ’em tall enough, you really need to try them on several times as you knit. Case in point: my kneesocks.


Lying flat, these socks measure about 21 inches from the bottom of the foot to the top of the cuff. My leg, from just below the knee to the bottom of my foot, measured along the “in-seam,” is 18 inches. Why the extra three inches? Because I have fat shapely calves. Some of that length is taken up in width as I put the socks on.

As I knit these bad boys I kept trying them on to make sure my rate on increase was working, and that they were going to be long enough. They are.


I had not really planned on writing up this pattern, as the lace is very simple and similar to other stuff I’ve done, but now I’m thinking I will, and make it a “how to knit a pair of kneesocks that fit” pattern. What do you think? Are you interested?


Lucy seems thrilled with all this kneesocks talk, no?



  1. I love the socks. I hace some wonderful white lace weight yarn that had planned to do some very delicate socks to wear with my winter capris and I never got to it because of a new grandbaby coming!

    You must knot very fast! It would take me much longer to complete these, but I would love to have the pattern.

  2. Patterns that show how to do fit are always wonderful! πŸ™‚

    LittleWits last blog post..Busy Busy Busy

  3. yep

  4. I’m so glad you are writing up the pattern. I’m so loving your knee socks lately!!! I feel a knee sock cycle coming on… πŸ™‚

  5. I would love to know how to make knee socks that don’t fall down, as I have never ever owned any. I think if I had knee socks that stayed up I would see the point in making/wearing them.

  6. Yes, please!

    Jens last blog post..Friends Don’t Let Friends Knit Drunk

  7. Totally – if you can write me a recipe for making knee socks that stay up on me, I’m there. My knee socks always fall down. I have a few commercial pairs that stay up, but my only hand knit pair of knee socks required that I pick up at the top and create a casing and put in elastic.
    And yes, Daylight Saving Time is a farce. Why can’t we just live in the world as it is instead of trying to bend it to our little will??

    CarolineFs last blog post..Flax!

  8. Ann in Montreal says:

    There seem to be few well written, good fitting knee sock patterns about these days. So, yes a knee sock pattern from you would be great. My knee socks don’t fall, actually my winter socks are over the knee socks due to the fact that I live in an absurdly cold climate and I hate it when my knees freeze.

  9. Yes, write up the pattern! I love knee socks! I have knit my own wool knee socks and love them. I have been very disappointed with the selection of commercial socks for the last 20-25 years. I can’t find cotton knee socks, only crew height. I still wish I could find light weight cotton knee socks for the warmer seasons. Oh well!

  10. Wendy- I had to choose “I don’t wear knee socks” merely because I don’t wear hand knit knee socks. I don’t have the patience to keep going on the cuff that long, nor the knowledge to do the increases. I often wear store bought knee socks, which do not fall down, but are also generally too large for my feet (hence, the love of knitting my own socks.)

    I’d love to see a “how to make knee socks fit” pattern. And those socks are beautiful, nice job!

  11. Belinda Giliberti says:

    Yes, I would be interested in a kneesock pattern. I have a similiar shapely calf problem and I have small feet and small ankles. Whenever I try to make knee socks, I always have to increase quickly when I get up towards the calf area and then I try to decrease enough and make them long enough so that they hit just past the upper part of the calf (almost to the knee) ribbing and ribbing with a smaller stitch count so that they will not fall down. Unfortunately, I only made one pair of knee socks and my mother took them for herself so I must start again! πŸ™‚

  12. hmm i voted a no for the kneesocks poll but I have to admit, I depend on my sock glue. If that sounds weird, it’s a Japanese product that helps prevent your knee socks from falling. It looks like this. I love your knee socks though. Would love to knit a pair for myself sometime. πŸ™‚

    ayumis last blog do you give them away?

  13. Yes, I’m interested. I’m just taking up socks and, after YEARS of being certain I couldn’t, read you and Stephanie and others and realized if you could, I probably could. So I did. I don’t buy knee socks but I’d wear handknit ones!

  14. please write this pattern up. I have very, very shapely(!!??) calves. so if I try your way and add some carefully I might get a pair of knees socks that stay up and don’t stop my blood circulation. the bought socks do the latter and I even cut the ribbing (with elastic) in strips (lenghtwise– as they do the carpal tunnel op) It works, but looks terible.

  15. You should defininetly write up the pattern. I wouldn’t mind a good pattern for a pair of kneesocks. My legs aren’t really shapely, but I’m sure I could do something to make it work.

  16. You know what – I better explain the carpal tunnel opp that I do on my too tight socks. The rib was doubled up into a seam. I cut the outside part vertically, about six times and in between these cuts I cut the inside the same way. works better than cutting of the elastic, but neat? No!!!

  17. newjerseylaura says:

    Those are gorgeous! I love kneesocks. The pattern wound be lovely.

  18. Delurking to put in my two cents. Yes, please write up a how-to on knee socks. It would be most appreciated. Beautiful socks, as always.

  19. I’d love to see your pattern/guidelines for knitting knee socks. They are my favorite thing to wear in winter and make such a difference to my comfort level. I have skinny calves, so that may be why mine usually don’t fall down, but, of course, sometimes they do, and understanding more about fit and shaping always helps!

    Kathleens last blog post..Shaping

  20. Oh I would be absolutely interested!! I am trying very hard working on my first pair of socks πŸ™‚ However, I believe I already need to go back to basics of practicing my stitches before continuing. I just knit tooooooo doggone tight! Anyway, I LOVE reading your blog and looking at your socks (and of course, LUCY!!)

  21. Shapely calves. Snork. I love that! Yes, I would be very interested in how to knit and fit knee high socks. I’m anxiously awaiting your book to begin knitting socks from the toe up. Then I could really make knee socks that fit, trying them on as I go. Thanks for all your wonderful inspirations.

  22. Wendy,

    A “how to” for knitted knee socks would be awesome!!!! I gotta tell you, I have just completely the heel plus about 10 rows up the ankle on my very first Wendy toe-up sock, and it is truly remarkable. No more oddly shaped sock feet from knitting top down. It fits my foot! It is the perfect size! It looks mahvelous! All because of the wonderfully generous Wendy who shares her gift with all of us. THANK YOU!!!

  23. I was actually planning on knitting your Mini Mochi pattern as kneesocks but have not gotten around to it. So in response to your question, yes, I would love to have your expertise when it comes to knitting kneesocks.

  24. I so want a good knee sock pattern. I’ll admit to not wearing them since hockey games when I was in high school (13-16yrs old).

    I love the idea of wearing my own socks with a nice skirt and some heels, though I might have to get a bigger size shoe…

  25. Those socks are great! I’d totally be interested in teh pattern.

  26. you must post a tutorial on kneesocks with this lovely pattern cause well your patterns rock my dear

    Sarah O Gs last blog post..TSG Big Swap Reveal

  27. I would definitely be interested as I am just now undertaking my first pair of knee socks and, with longer legs that are kinda narrow, I’m nervous about fit πŸ™‚

  28. I have muscular calves and skinny ankles. I don’t wear knee socks because if they fit the calf, they don’t fit the ankle, and if they fit the ankle, the top of the sock cuts off the circulation to my foot. I’d love to see a pattern.

  29. I’d certainly like to learn how to make well fitting knee socks! Please share!

    Pandorasslaves last blog post..Even When Standing Still

  30. Yes I am interested! Please write up the pattern. Thanks!

    Beckys last blog post..Blogger Meet-up

  31. You need one more option on your survey: I don’t wear knee socks now, but I’m craving them! I would love a good fitting knee socks pattern.

    Also, hailing back to previous posts, I LOVE daylight savings time. I love the extra hour of light in the evenings for outdoor activities. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination so perhaps there in lies the difference.

  32. I’d like that a lot. I don’t wear knee socks because I can never find any that fit with my shapely (love that description) calves. It sure would be nice to have at least one pair that fit correctly!

  33. I would LOVE a how to knit kneesocks pattern – I have been wanting to make kneesocks but have been intimidated about the fit! Thanks Wendy!

  34. Theresa in Italy says:

    Oh yes please. Pretty please with sugar on top! Those of us with shapely calves have been waiting for this!

  35. I haven’t made any knee socks yet, but all of the purchased ones have not been true knee socks but about 2-3 inches shy of knees. I don’t have the thinnest stems, just somewhere in the middle. I like the idea of knitting knee socks just to use up all of my yarn in the process. Otherwise I have enough for a pair of socks and a pair of anklets.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..Seen: around Watchmen

  36. I’m interested. I too have “shapely” calves (my dad calls them “Irish peasant calves”) so while commercial kneesocks don’t really fit well (so I don’t wear them) maybe I would wear ones that were knit-to-fit. My daughters love their kneesocks -why should they have all the fun!

  37. interested!

  38. I am interested in the kneesocks instructions!

    Tans last blog post..Mega Camnesia!

  39. SelkiSkin says:

    I would love to have a “Kneesocks That Fit” pattern from you! I adore kneesocks as I wear a lot of tall boots and while I haven’t knitted any for myself yet, I’m worried that when I do they won’t stay up properly and then I wouldn’t wear them as much.

  40. Is that like “Do your socks hang low. Do they wobble to and fro. Do they hide around your ankles. Do they flop all about. Do they slide into your shoes in a puddle when they’re wet. Do your socks hang low.”

  41. I am DYING to know how to make kneesocks that fit “shapely” calves. πŸ™‚

    Kates last blog post..You People Must Hate Me

  42. I remember in high school one of the girls went on an exchange to Japan where she found a wonderful invention – sock glue! It was to be applied to the leg at the top of the sock and would keep stubborn (or loose) socks up all day πŸ™‚

  43. As the victim of a Catholic school upbringing, we lived in knee socks. As fluffy as my body is, I have skinny stick legs. I am definitely interested in the “how to knit knee socks” pattern!! My legs are always cold and it would be wonderful if they could be toasty!

  44. Yay knee socks! Please write the pattern.

    Danas last blog post..A real update…

  45. Absolutely want a tutorial! It’s odd how differently parts are sized when we really stop and look

    Elysbeths last blog post..First on the March

  46. I’ll add my “YES” to the list–I just bought your Catriona (sp) kneesock pattern from the Loopy Ewe, and was planning to knit them for my cousin who has shapely calves. However, she’s since told me she likes a smaller pattern repeat, plus I don’t know enough to adapt the pattern. Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  47. Yes, please. I would very much like that as I have thick ankles and totally huge calves. I haven’t dared to knit knee high socks because of it.

    KnitCaves last blog post..Weirdness, Cholera and Bellowhead

  48. Just popping in to say I would *love* a write up on how to fit knee socks. I’ve got some pretty sizable calves but your Catriona pics put the temptation to knit knee socks into my head. Starting on a more basic level would likely help the patterned socks turn out better.

    Cindy (blackmoondog)s last blog post..Oh Hai

  49. Good heavens! Many yesses!

    I have wanted to knit kneesocks, but have been put off by the patterns which I see with ribbons around the top — I’m extremely suspicious that those aren’t there just for looks. And I hate pulling up my socks. Love knee socks, though, if they fit. Thanks for considering it, you busy person, you!

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Gothlet Gauntlets

  50. I for one would really appreciate it as I have calves of steel and generally have issues fitting knee socks at the best of times.

    Sadies last blog post..pre-purple, poe club, hats and the exploding plastic enevitable

  51. Totally interested. I have lovely muscular calves that are just begging for knee socks. The husband would love them.

  52. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

  53. I would love love LOVE to have some knee socks that actually STAY UP WHEN I WALK! πŸ˜€

    Kristens last blog post..The Lazy Blogger Returns

  54. I own exactly two pairs of knee socks, both extra-thick and woolly. One pair was purchased in Scotland, the other in Canada, and both are well over 10 years old. But I have been thinking about using some of my [multitudinous] sock yarn stash for knee socks, so I am very interested in anything you have to say on the subject. Thanks!

    kmkats last blog post..Saturday stuff.