One of my favourite things to do is to come up with unexpected ways to use yarn in my daily life. A few years ago my mother-in-law asked me to make something for her that she had seen on Pinterest: a set of chair socks for her dining room. I had seen them before, usually done in lots of fun bright stripes, but hadn’t made any before. They seemed simple enough, it was basically like making a really tiny hat, but what I didn’t account for was the stretch. I measured the legs on her chairs, chose a durable worsted weight yarn, and set about making a test sock. It was good thinking on my part because despite measuring beforehand the sock came out way too big. We all know that yarn will stretch a bit. When you’re making something like a hat you count on this stretch to give a snug fit to your hat. But when it comes to chair socks, the amount of stretch in such a little object really surprised me. It took some trial and error, but it’s been a few years and the chair socks are holding up well. I’m now working on a set for my aunt and they’re going much more smoothly with the few tricks I learned from the first set.
First, make sure you measure the front and the back legs of the chairs. I’ve found that they’re often different and when you’re making such a small item, a quarter inch can make a big difference. Measure around the base of the chair leg as well as further up where you intend for the top of your sock to end. If the legs are tapered you may have to adjust to ensure a snug fit.
Second, pay attention to how much your sock stretches as you begin to make it. I found it easiest to try the sock on the chair after I had crocheted about three or four rows past the last increase. That way if the sock is too large (or too small for that matter), you won’t have wasted too much time.
Third, it’s really important to select the correct fibre for this project. These are going to be on the bottom of your kitchen chairs and if you have small children, like I do, they are going to get dirty. Really dirty. You need to choose something washable as well as something durable to ensure they don’t wear out from constantly moving your chairs.
Finally, think of this project like you are making an amigurumi: you want really tight, close stitches. This will ensure that the edges of the chair legs don’t start sticking through the holes in the stitches and scratch up your floor.