How to Knit Socks on a Knitting Machine For Beginners

There are 3 main ways to knit socks on a flat knitting machine. You can knit the long way from the cuff to the toe and back to the cuff again, giving you a seam on each side of the sock, unless you use the sew-as-you-go technique. The 2nd way to machine knit socks is flat with one seam along the side and a Kitchener stitch along the toe. The 3rd way is to machine knit in the round, starting with the cuff.

Machine Knit Socks Knitted Flat

My favorite way to machine-knit socks is to knit them flat. You usually start with the cuff, but you can start at the toe, knit to the heel, short row the heel, then knit to the toe, and short row the toe. Then you take the socks off of the machine and Kitchener stitch the toe seam and mattress stitch the side seam.

You can get my pattern spreadsheet for these socks so that you can make them in any size, with any machine, and with any yarn. We all know that we have too much yarn so we need to be busting through that stash instead of buying more, hahaha.

pattern on Ravelry

If you learn best by watching, this video will show you how to knit this type of sock.

Machine Knit Socks the Long Way

The long way to knit socks gives you a long bit of fabric with toe and heel shaping. You then can mattress stitch the sides for a beautiful invisible seam on each side. This is definitely the most time-consuming way to knit socks but is great for a beginner. It also allows for some creative patterning, even having separate stitch patterns on the sole and top of the sock.

You can choose to sew them up as you go, which just means that for every 2 rows you knit, you will loop a stitch that you’ve already knit back onto the sock sides.

This video will show you how to knit the long way without a ribber using mock rib for the cuff.

Here is another video on knitting socks the long way, this time with a rolled edge.

Machine Knit Socks in the Round

It’s not difficult to knit socks in the round on a flatbed machine however there are multiple steps especially if you want ribbing on the cuff. Not to mention, short-rowing the toe and heel is just a little more difficult so definitely not something for a beginner that is just learning to short-row.

The basic concept is to knit the ribbing flat first. Then using waste yarn or a garter bar you take the sock off the machine and then put half back on the main bed and half on the ribber bed so that you can knit in the round.

You can see a video here of how this would be constructed.

What socks are you going to make today?

Get our sock pattern on Ravelry now and choose your size, yarn, and machine!

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