How to Add Crochet Elastic to Keep Socks Up

I love to knit socks. One of my favorite socks that I have knit is a pair of knee socks. However, I found that I initially couldn’t wear them because they didn’t stay up on my leg. It was quite frustrating and likely due to two factors – 1) I used yarn that had a significant amount of bamboo in it which is a fiber that does not stretch. 2) The ribbing is P1 K1tbl (knit one through back loop) which is a pretty stitch but much less stretchy than a standard P1 K1 rib. I solved the problem by adding crocheted elastic to the inside of the cuff. I recently had someone on Ravelry ask me how I did it, so I thought I would share.

slip knot of elastic on crochet hook

Start with a slip knot of elastic on a crochet hook. There are a lot of different options for what kind of elastic to use, and many should work. Any elastic that you would use to bead a necklace or use as a bobbin for sewing smocking will work fine. You should be able to find thin elastic at a craft store or fabric store or bead store.

insert crochet hook through rib

Put the crochet hook under a ribbed row.
crochet hook invisible on right side

You will not able to see the crochet hook on the right side if you have inserted it correctly.wrap elastic around hook

Wrap the elastic around the hook once.
pull elastic through stitch

Pull the elastic and the hook through the knit stitch.pull chain through elastic

Pull the elastic and the hook through the slip knot.pull first loop through second loop

Now you have a single crochet chain through one of your knit stitches and a single loop of elastic on your crochet hook. Repeat the process all the way around your sock.

several crochet chains of elastic in sockHere you can see in black three chains of black elastic. For the black elastic (and the white) I chained into every-other knit rib. You’ll want to experiment with how tightly to pull your stitches (not too tight!) and how frequently to make the chains as it will vary depending upon how tight you need the sock to be, how stretchy your elastic is, how large your crochet hook is, and how wide your ribbing is.

I recommend chaining more than one ring of elastic so that the pressure of the elastic is distributed onto more than one point on your calf.


Comments 9

  1. Wonderful idea! Can’t wait to try it out when I make my next pair of knee highs or try it out on a current too big pair.

  2. I’m glad you’ve provided this idea, I want to use this on a hat I crocheted.
    And I just have to say, your soft are so pretty!
    I can’t believe you made them!

  3. Great idea!
    I was just thinking today on how I could add elastic to a couple of sweaters sleeves. Another case of “What you are seeking, is seeking you”!

    Thanks for posting.

  4. My one question is how would you tie it off at the end of the round??

    1. Post
      1. Thank you, was just typing that question when I saw the answer about tying off. Thank you. This will be the finishing touch I needed for my Christmas project; Three pair crochet tube boot socks. Cannot yet do heels, thus the tube and have not perfected knitting thus crochet.Sarah

  5. Do you know the thickness of this thread. Was going to buy some but not sure if I should try .8mm or .5mm or less

    1. Post

      Sorry, I don’t know. I will say that I have used several different sizes, types, and brands of elastic at this point on several different pairs of socks and they all worked well enough. My only caveat is that different elastics do have different stretch and strength, so you may not get the tension perfect your first time around. I just went back to all of my knee socks and either added another row of elastic or took out a few stitches to make them fit even better, months or years after initially adding the elastic.

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