How many needles do you need for your socks?
The number of needles required for knitting socks will depend on several factors, including the size of the sock, the gauge of the yarn, and the desired stitch pattern.
Difference between flat knitting machines and circular knitting machines
Flat knitting machines have a fixed number of needles arranged in a straight line, while circular knitting machines have a continuous loop of needles arranged in a cylinder.
Circular knitting machines are the most common type used for sock production. The number of needles on a circular knitting machine can range from as few as 84 to as many as 240 or more. The number of needles is determined by the gauge of the machine, which refers to the number of needles per inch.
Number of needles
The number of needles on a circular knitting machine affects the diameter of the cylinder and the circumference of the socks being produced. Machines with a larger number of needles produce socks with a smaller circumference, while machines with fewer needles produce socks with a larger circumference. Additionally, machines with higher numbers of needles can produce finer gauge socks with more intricate designs, while machines with fewer needles are used for coarser gauge socks.
120 needles is used for producing standard-weight socks and is the most common gauge used in sock production. This gauge is considered a standard and is suitable for producing a wide range of sock styles, including sports socks and fashion socks. The 120-gauge machines are versatile and can produce a range of patterns, including basic stripes and geometric designs.
Work socks often require a higher gauge than other types of socks in order to provide the necessary cushioning and support.