Socks knit on a flat bed knitting machine, well, they are going to have seams, and they need flat seams.....
(see complete illustrated seam techniques in the new Sock Options For Machine Knitters)
Flatness takes precedence over invisibility when seaming up a sock, as you want the seam to comfortable in the shoe for the wearer.
Here are a few seaming methods that have worked best for me for flatness.
Both of the methods below make a much flatter seam if you use a matching color of heavy button thread, or doubled sewing thread to do the seam, rather than the yarn that the sock was knit from
- Turn the sock inside out. Pinch the two edges together. This makes the two edge rows come together and look like two columns of knitting. Take your darning needle and stitch up this column, catching <only> the outside loops of the two columns of knitting
- Butt the two edges together, right side out, using a darning needle, sew up the seam catching the outside edge loop of each knit stitch by inserting the darning needle into the ladder area, pull snug but not enough to pucker.
NOTE: (I have discovered that both of the methods above make a much flatter seam if you use a matching color of heavy button thread, or doubled sewing thread to do the seam, rather than the yarn that the sock was knit from)
Another NEW TIP! (ed. note, ok, this was new in 1998) Here is my latest method for seaming up socks, that I call.....
"Enlarged edge stitch latch-up" it requires planning before you knit the sock but it makes a very flat feeling seam.
© Catherine Goodwin 2002 (www.knittinganyway.com)
1) After the first row of the sock is knit, (shown above on waste yarn, edge will be bound off afterwards) put the first stitch in from the edge stitch of the sock onto the adjacent needle, and push the needle into NWP. Repeat on other edge. Knit sock leg, heel and foot sections, leaving these needles out of work.
2) On last row of sock foot (before the toe section) Pick up purl bar from adjacent stitch and replace it on to the needle, putting needle back into WP. Repeat on other side. Knit Toe.
3) By keeping the this needle out of work, you have effectively made the actual edge stitches bigger. On the edge, you will see that the shape of the stitch alternates with each row as either a tight or loose loop. Insert the latch tool into the first loose edge loop and reach across to the other edge and pull the first loose edge loop through the loop on the latch.
4) Reach back across to the other edge with the latch tool, and pull the next loose edge loop through the loop on the latch tool. Continue latching up in this manner till you have seamed the sock and reached the toe area. Thread a darning needle with the yarn tail from grafting the toe (or other yarn) and secure the last loop into the knitting.