toe up socks

I can petty much knit a sock in my sleep now so I'm wondering if I should challange myself with toe up socks. Are there any advantages to doing a toe up pattern? I have some cool patterns but they start out with provisional cast ons and I'm a little intimidated.


waterback74's picture

The only advantages that I have heard of with toe up socks is that the knitter doesn't have to worry about running out of yarn at a critical point in the knitting. Also depending on the length of yarn in your ball/skein, you have the option of using the yarn completely up by lengthening the sock cuff and not having odd bits of yarn leftover.
Next month I'm taking a class on two-at-a-time, toe up socks made with the magic loop method using only one 40" circular needle. Not only will the pair of socks be completed at the same time, supposedly they will be identical in size and shape. I'm excited.

Thomasknits's picture

I too was intimidated by the provisional cast-on when I first tried toe-up socks, but now I like knitting them toe-up way more. Last year, I was obsessed knitting socks. Here's my view on the two methods: I like the look of toe-up socks much better...the short-row toe and heel have a clean look to them...very continuous. Also, I like the look of a cast-off at the top of the leg as opposed to a cast-on edge. I also don't like grafting at all...though I did it fine, for some reason the grafting at the end always bothered me. I found that I enjoy doing a crochet provisional cast-on much more.

As far as running out of yarn, that never factored in for me, but it is nice to knit the length of the leg just until you get tired making the sock sometimes.

If the provisional cast on bothers you, I think there are some other ways to cast on a toe-up sock... Something like a figure 8 on two of the needles. Here's a link to something similar to this idea:


mrossnyc's picture

I hate grafting as well, especially when it's grafting loops off a size 2 needle. I have a pair of socks I've been working on for over 2 years, the delay was primarily because I had to graft the finished sock to free up the #2 needles to work on the other. I opted for a zigzag bindoff (purl off the back needle and knit off the front needle, then pass one stitch over the other to bind off). Much easier and the little ridge will flatten with wear.

montanason's picture

I've only knitted top down socks but that works great for me. I have a rather small foot, size 7, so I haven't had to worry about running out of yarn. I also don't mind grafting, maybe that's weird, but I find it a fun challenge. I knit my socks on a size 0 so those needles are really small. I've probably made about 15 pairs so far and am planning to make more. I do knit other items. Hoping to get on a sweater soon.
Phillip rolfe

scottly's picture

Thanks guys. I'll just get over my fear of provisional cast ons and try it. How hard can it be -I don't think we're talking rocket science. I do actually like to do the Kirchner stitch though. I like it a lot better then binding off 60 or so stitches so that's one for the minus column but I like the idea of stopping or continuing on with the leg or cuff if I want. I'll make one pair and see what I think.

Thanks everyone for your input - it was very helpful

Thomasknits's picture

One quick piece of advice...when it comes to the cast-off at the top of the leg, make sure you do it loosely, or find a cast-off that is stretchy.


scottly's picture

You forget, I knit contenintal, everthing is loose. But I've also knit the last row with a needle size that's two sizes bigger just to ensure a loose bind off. Thanks for the advice though.

It makes me wonder if there are any patterns that end with "bind off tightly".

MMario's picture

A couple of toy patterns I've seen.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation