Sunday, June 1, 2008

Toe-up Socks

Once again, I am TRYING to figure out how to knit toe-up socks. I have always knit my socks cuff-down on double-pointed needles and I really like that method. But, I keep finding toe-up patterns that I want to try. I have tried teaching myself toe-up cast-ons before with no luck.

Today, I sat down with the Tiptop toes article from knitty.com and once again attempted to learn to knit from the toe up. This is the first time I had tried using this particular article. It was written by Wendy D. Johnson and I enjoy reading her blog Wendy Knits. Most of her sock patterns are written as toe-up and that is one of the reasons I'd like to learn this. She writes some great sock patterns!!

First up was the Short Row Toe. This is a method of crocheting a chain with waste yarn and then knitting into to it to begin. Then you use short rows and a "wrap and turn" method of slipping stitches to form the toe. I used the Maizy yarn I had bought to knit mini items since it's not enough for a pair of socks. (You may remember my purple and green tiny snail from a prior post.) I crocheted a chain with the purple yarn and then knit into it with the green yarn. The directions were clear and easy to follow and I believe I knit a successful toe - hooray!

Side view:

And looking down at the end of the toe:
The only part I had trouble with was picking up the wraps and knitting them with the stitch. I didn't really understand why I was picking up the wrap and it was really tricky and I'm not sure if I was doing it correctly. But, the toe looks ok to me, so I think whatever I was doing worked - even if it wasn't exactly correct. It was especially fiddly to me when I got to the stitches that were double-wrapped and I was supposed to pick up both wraps.

Well, for practice purposes, I was pleased with my progress. This is the first time I have completed a toe-up toe section! I will probably end up just ripping this out since I'm not going to knit an entire sock, which is why I wanted photographic evidence!!

Next up in the article was the Figure-Eight Toe. In this method you just loop the yarn around two needles in a figure-eight and then start knitting into it. (It's not quite as easy as it sounds.) I had seen this method once on an episode of Knitty Gritty but I had never tried it successfully myself.

Here is what I have managed so far:
Yeah, it's not much yet. That is only the figure 8, then knitting across both needles twice, then knitting the first round which moves the stitches from 2 to 4 needles. You can't really tell from the picture, but the stitches are pretty messy in the middle right now. Supposedly you can tighten them up at some point after knitting a couple rounds. I also was not sure about the instructions that tell you that at the beginning, half your stitches are twisted and you need to knit into the back loop to correct them. I can never tell from looking at them if my stitches are twisted, so I just guessed and I'm not sure if I guessed right or wrong. I'll have to keep knitting to see how this toe progresses. But, if I can get the hang of it, I think I may like the figure-8 method better than the short-row method. I don't mind short rows, but I'm not crazy about picking up those wraps!!

The final method described in the article is the Easy Toe. I'm looking forward to this one and hope that it really is easy!!

1 comment:

Sock Knitter said...

Here's something that may help you -- I LOVE her tutorials -- she taught me to knit socks several years ago when I didn't even know how to KNIT (honest!) told me to learn the knit and purl stitches and she'd do the rest -- over the INTERNET no less!

If anyone can help, I am sure she can! Please visit Silver's blog here http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/ if you need more help!