Sock Cuffs – Is there a difference?

When starting or finishing my socks I do like a bit of a change in the cuff style.

Although there are some elements that I will always require from my cuffs, the way they are finished can be surprisingly varied.

My must haves for a cuff are:

  • a decent length, to comfortably sit above my ankle bone, rather than on it
  • not too tight.  I don’t want unsightly marks on my shins
  • not too loose, so the sock rides down, or worse falls off my toes inside my wellies!
  • stretches so I can actually fit my foot into the cuff

This last one may seem odd to add to this list, however I bought a pair of lined socks for winter last year and they are beautiful, with a furry cuff.  However I can’t put them on!

The cuff was too tight, with no stretch at all 🙁

I had to cut through the cuff to be able to out the sock on.  This was luckily hidden but such a simple thing to overlook.

A cuff needs to be big enough to let your entire foot through yet tight enough to hold in place on your shin.  The only way that can happen is with a certain amount of stretch or give.

This means the cast on or cast off methods are critical for a well fitted sock.

My favourites for a cuff are:

  • i-cord – a lovely professional rolled over cuff
  • cabled – this needs to be carefully thought out and swatched first as a cable can be very solid, rather than stretchy
  • a variety of rib stitches – 1×1, 2×2, 1×2, 3×3 etc using a regular knit and purl or for a more defined ribbing motif with knitting though the back of the stitch

My most frequently used cast on is a cable cast on, which you can seen in the video below.

Do you have a favourite style of cuff?  If so let me know in the comments below.

If you want to learn each of these cuff styles in more details, along with how to knit a sock both toe up and cuff down check out my new Sock Love Masterclass.




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Babs Rudlin

I play with colour in both fabric and fiber. Creating patterns, challenges and tutorials for beginners and those who wish to learn new skills. My youtube channel is I provide reviews, tutorials, how to and more as services for other creators and service providers. Get in touch to discuss how I can help you today!

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