A knitted slipper sock is a sock that has a thicker sole. The knitting process is similar to that used to knit a sock, but since it's a sock made to be worn on the floor, not inside a shoe, there are some differences in the knitting process. The main difference is that a slipper sock has a more substantial sole than a regular sock, in order to provide better traction and grip. A handmade slipper sock has several advantages over a commercially made sock. They fit better, they can be customized to your preferences of width, size height and color, and, most importantly, they represent an artistry mostly lost in our culture.
To knit a slipper sock, you will need sock yarn, a pattern, and sock needles. Sock yarn is generally very thin yarn, because most people do not want a thick sock. The needles for knitting socks are sold in sets of four. You will also need a material for the sole. This can be a heavier yarn, or an outer leather covering that can be stitched on after the knitting is finished. Slipper sock kits its can be found that contain all the ingredients to knit a slipper sock.
Sock pattern books are numerous, so select a pattern that can be adapted for a slipper sock, if you do not buy a kit. First select your pattern. It is easier to find a yarn to match a pattern, but if you find a yarn you want to use, most yarn stores will help you find an appropriate pattern. Sock yarn is sold in most yarn shops, and these days there are many choices. You will find polyester yarn, cotton yarn, and many varieties of wool, from washable to the more specialty fibers that need to be hand washed. For a slipper sock, I suggest a cotton or polyester, or one of the new washable wool yarns. Alpaca yarn makes great socks because it is warm, lightweight and is hypoallergenic.
After selecting your pattern, yarn, you will need to find matching needles. The best way to select needles is to make a swatch with your yarn and make sure that you are getting the gauge that the pattern requires. It is possible to do this in a knitting shop before making your purchase. A good yarn shop will have samples of knitting needles for you to try before purchasing. Your swatch should ideally be washed before you use it for sizing, as the yarn might shrink or even stretch when washed. Needles made of bamboo are less slick than plastic or metal needles, and hold the yarn on best, I find. Bamboo needles are also warm to work with, which is a pleasant touch. Be sure to purchase end holders, so your project will not fall off the needles and unravel.
When you have your needles, yarn, pattern and swatch ready, you can begin the process of knitting. Check your gauge to make sure again that it matches your pattern. This is especially true if you are knitting a slipper sock children, because their feet are growing and knitting takes time, so be sure to start with a pattern size larger than the size of the child's foot at the moment. Cast on your stitches, and knit following the pattern. The difficult part of a sock is the heel, but if you follow the directions in the pattern, you will find it is not that tricky after all. It does take attention because you increase on each row, and then increase again to turn the heel.
Sock patterns are not hard to follow. You only need to be attentive to the increase and decrease directions. But socks do take time, and when you finish one, there is still another to go! Some sock patterns start at the toe and some at the cuff. Beginners might find it easier to start at the cuff, which is basic circular knitting, before getting to the more difficult heel knitting.When the knitting is finished attach the slipper portion. A simple overhand stitch will secure a piece of leather to the bottom of the sock. Keep the stitches on the outside, so as not to irritate tender feet.
Handmade slipper socks will keep you warm and comfortable and are fun and easy to knit.