Making your own golf socks at a time when you can buy packs of them for a handful of dollars may seem like a lot of effort for little payoff. Some of the best socks for golf come with double-layer reinforced heels and are made out of polyester, acrylic and spandex nylon. Depending on the quality of sock you buy, you may wind up spending more to knit or crochet your own socks than buy them.
Anushka Tay of The Crimson Stitchery makes a strong case for designing and developing your own foot warmers. For starters, if you’re thoughtful in your choice of sock yarn, you should be able to create a high quality project that will align with your taste and last for years. Knitters and crocheters who are looking for an easy, relatively quick project with low stakes can learn a lot of stitches and techniques while making socks. Of course if the project goes off the rails and you want to start again, you probably haven’t invested that much time or yarn into it.
While plenty of people talk about golf spikes and hats, socks also play an important, uncelebrated role in the sport. Players who stand on their feet for few hours, walking several miles over an 18-hole course, are going to want a sock that keeps their feet cushioned and dry.
If your golf club has a dress code or you just consider yourself style conscious, you’ll want to design socks that adhere to tradition or make a statement, even if that statement is “Check out these socks I made.”
Ennis Vintage Golf Sock Pattern
Golfers typically wear ankle-length socks with shorts or calf-length socks with pants. Plenty of golf sock patterns can be found for these lengths as well as the shorter "no show" style that look like you’re wearing no sock at all. Some companies contend that thicker socks help protect against blisters, but in reality, a thinner sock that allows your foot to move a little within your shoe will cushion your feet from a shoe’s wear and tear.
Most people who think of handmade socks probably imagine them made out of heavy, 100 percent wool yarn. Those are fine for the winter, but most sports sock are made out superfine or fingering weight yarn. This material is often a combination of merino wool and nylon blend to create threads that are durable and elastic. You’ll want a wool that is at least 20 percent nylon and possibly more for sport socks.
For people whose skin is sensitive to wool, there are some comfortable cotton and acrylic sock yarns, although wool traditionally does a better job of wicking away moisture. Crafters interested in using cotton should keep in mind that it can pill and wool tends to last longer. You probably also want to check that whatever material you plan to use is machine washable — unless you want to regularly hand wash your booties. Before you start making the socks, knit a swatch with the sock yarn and wash it to check how the material will react to detergent and drying. This test will help with accurately sizing the socks.
The skills you’ll need to know for knitting socks include a stretchy cast-on, ribbing and knitting in the round. For the heel, which is the toughest part of the sock for many, you’ll need to know how to do short rows, pick-up stitches, and increasing and decreasing. For the bottom of the toe, you’ll need to know how to graft stitches together using the kitchener stitch.
The Nimble Needles video explains how you measure your feet and count stitches to accurately adjust the sock pattern you’re using. The Crimson Stitchery details how you can knit a sock from the top down or the bottom up, plus explains in detail how to make the heel, which is often the most difficult part of making a sock.
While knitting patterns are often used for sports socks, it's also possible to create stretchy ribbing with crochet stitches. In the above video, Deanne Shoyer demonstrates how.
Even if you don't want to make all of your golf socks, there are many fun and functional options to knit and crochet. Plus they make great gifts for the golfer in your life.