Monday, September 3, 2012

Basic, Toe-Up Socks

I learned last week while knitting my first sock that making socks is not for the faint-hearted.

1 skein of sock yarn per sock (I used Paton's Grace Sock yarn)
Double-point or circular needles, size appropriate for your yarn (I used US size 3 dpns)

Here is a pattern I put together from a couple different patterns. This is what I used to make my sock:

CO 20 sts using Judy's Magic Cast-On so there are 10 sts per needle.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: *K1, inc 1, K to w/in 1 st of end of needle, inc 1, K1* Repeat for sts on second needle.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2, increasing at the sides of the sock (will be 4 every full way around your needles), until the toe is wide enough to fit over the widest part of your foot.  For my foot it was wide enough at 64 total stitches, 32 on each needle.

This is the point at which I stopped increasing and knit in the round.

Knit in the round.
Stop a couple inches from the back of your foot, approx. where your heel meets the arch of your foot.

This is where I was at when I began my heel shaping. Try your sock on periodically as you work because everyone's feet are just a little different.

Heel Shaping:

On half the stitches, knit within the last stitch of the row every time you go back the other direction. Instead of wrapping the stitch when you change directions,  slip the stitch you just knit back to the needle you just knit it off and knit the rest of the row.  You basically are working a short rows in a triangular shape.

This portion of the row is about as long as when you began at the toe (for me this is 10 stitches, half the total number from CO). When it is at that length you will begin picking up the stitches you have been ignoring.
At the stitch you need to pick up again, K2tog, then pick up a stitch between the K2tog and the next stitch. Doing this will keep your heel seam even and you will still maintain the same amount of stitches you started with. Do this until you have knit the entire heel portion.

This is a really great video tutorial I used for the heel: Heel Shaping for Toe-Up Socks which I HIGHLY recommend you watch. It is the technique I attempted to explain for this pattern.

Once you've finished the heel, continue knitting in the round:

The Cuff:
You can make this in stockinette like the foot of the sock or make it with ribbing so it stretches. Knit to your favorite length of cuff.

Cast off using the Yarn-Over Cast off: I did not use this. I bound off very loosely, which is probably the reason why my cuff turned out wavy. The link I provided is for a tutorial I found most helpful. Gotta love YouTube.

So here is the finished product:
Try to knit your seam tightly right before you begin the heel so that it doesn't stretch too much. Otherwise you will end up with holes like in my seams.

Good luck! Happy knitting!

Look forward to sweaters for my next few posts. Fall is beginning and I will provide you with patterns and pattern resources for sweaters for the entire family.