My First Toe-Ups Are Done!



Pattern: Instead of following one pattern, I referenced techniques from multiple tutorials/patterns:
Misocrafty’s Turkish Cast On Tutorial for Two-At-A-Time Toe-Up Socks with Magic Loop
My Fashionable Life’s Elfine Socks Short Row Heel
Misocrafy’s Short Row Heel Tutorial
Cosmicpluto’s Short Rowl Heel Tutorial
Wendy’s Toe-Up Sock Pattern
Grumperina’s Fancy Lil’ Bind-Off
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Colorway P419, 2 skeins
Needles: US #1 / 40″ Addi Turbos for Magic Loop
Thoughts: For a long time, I had been intimidated by toe-up socks. But the fear got old and I grew increasingly curious to see why many knitters like the toe-up approach. Learning the Turkish Cast On and short row heels wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated. Granted, I stumbled occasionally, but the excellent tutorials and patterns I linked above got me through. Photos truly can be worth many words.

The thing I like most about toe-ups is the short row heel. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think it’s so very nifty! It looks very tidy — unless there is a hole at the gusset. I ended up sewing up the one hole after I finished the sock, so it was no big deal. I still love the heel. Other than that, I didn’t particularly enjoy the other aspects of my toe-ups. The Turkish Cast On is wonderful, but I did a bunch of M1s in order to reach the total number of stitches for the foot. I hate doing M1s. Big time. I considered switching to k1fb, but it wasn’t any easier for me. It seemed to take for-ev-er to get to 56 stitches! Lots of people have also mentioned that knitting toe-up allows them to use up as much yarn as possible or to stop early if they are running low. Because I have narrow size 5 feet and I knit stockinette socks, yarn shortage has never been a problem. I always have plenty of leftovers, even when I make the legs 8″ long (ribbing included).

Lastly, I found that knitting two socks at once isn’t my thing. Yes, it’s wonderful to avoid second sock syndrome completely, but the project felt bulky to me. I know that doesn’t sound right because socks are small, but I just didn’t like dealing with two balls of yarn all the time and making sure they weren’t tangled. It discouraged me from bringing the socks out for public knitting.

Overall, I’m really glad that I knit toe-up socks successfully! This is the one “big” technique that I learned this year. I think I would knit toe-up again, but I foresee mostly top-down socks in my future. To me, it is easier to start socks top down, and I like knitting toe decreases much more than toe increases. I don’t even mind grafting the toes now. But you never know…I might change my mind with more experience! I realized that I have sworn off socks twice already, and look at what I’m knitting all the time now?! Yeah, things can change. So, these are just my current thoughts about toe-up versus top-down.


Some things that I am doing over the holidays:

Reading. I haven’t had this many new books at once in a very long time.


Knitting my Yarntini Gimlet socks. Why are self-striping socks so addicting? I keep wanting to knit “just a little bit more” so that I can see the next color change. Of course, five color changes later I’m still going.


Playing Scrabble. Recently, Hubby and I have gotten into playing once or twice a week. He usually wins by 80 to 100 points which tells you that I am pretty darn bad at Scrabble. But it’s still fun! Last time I finally beat him, though only by a mere eleven points. The neat thing is that our Scrabble set orignally belonged to my parents and is probably about 22 years old.


Happy holidays to you and your loved ones! May you experience much joy and peace in the coming year.


28 Comments on “My First Toe-Ups Are Done!”

  1. ruth says:

    ooh, love the socks! and i think i have to agree with you on your sock preferences. i prefer decreasing rather than increasing as well (thus top down is my preference). yay for short rows! and one sock at a time (more than one ball of dangling yarn – an annoyance for me too).

  2. gleek says:

    definitely love the socks! you did a great job for your first toe-ups. i haven’t conquered toe-ups yet but i’m not really sure it’s necessary. i may just keep doing top-downs until i find a pattern that’s toe-up that i HAVE to make.

    scrabble is the best. we play it here too.

    happy holidays!

  3. Veronique says:

    Size 5 feet?! Oh, you are so lucky!
    I have to admit that (perhaps due to the size of my feet), I prefer to knit toe up socks. I’m afraid of running out of yarn, just like Pinku and her Jaywalkers!
    Your Koigu socks look lovely and I totally understand your Yarntini addiction.

  4. jen says:

    ooooh they turned out so pretty and the gimlet socks are very cool too!

    i’m bad at scrabble too, but i can beat the snot out of my nat at uno or gin rummey or something!

  5. Angela says:

    Wow, you are such a fast sock knitter! They are gorgeous. πŸ™‚ I wanted to share with you my new favorite increase. It’s invisible, and way easier than M-1 or kfb. Credit goes to Barbara Walker and her book Knitting from the Top, in which she demonstrates *seven* different increases! Who knew there were so many? Anyhow, increase by knitting through the back of the purl bump of the previous row, then knit one. I love this one because it is invisible, and no needle acrobatics. I have used it on two sweaters so far. Try it!

    Merry Christmas!

  6. marie says:

    so many gorgeous socks!! just stopping in to wish you a great christmas weekend! happy holidays!!

  7. Beth says:

    Your socks are great! I can’t wait to start mine. Thanks for posting the helpful links!

    Congratulations on your Scrabble victory! I love playing Scrabble. A friend and I used to play a lot. She always beat me by tremendous amounts until I started learning her strategies. πŸ™‚

  8. Mintyfresh says:

    My Scrabble was also my parents’ and it’s ancient; the copyright line on the inside of the box says something like 1956! I don’t know which of them got it, or when. I love that set. My ex and i used to play Scrabble a lot; i kept our scores in a spreadsheet to be able to compare games, etc. Totally dorky. Read Word Freak, if you haven’t; it’s pretty awesome. nice socks, too! Always good to learn a new technique, even if it’s in order to say “ok, done that. enough.”

  9. vanessa says:

    Congrats on your first toes up! Mine is still sitting in the wips since I joined the KAL. Happy holidays, warm wishes to you and your family πŸ™‚

  10. Julia says:

    Man, I still have yet to knit my first pair of socks; must make this a New Year’s resolution! I always find other things I want to knit first…so I keep putting it off. Yours look great! Enjoy your books…they look like good ones.

  11. I bet your Scrabble pieces are actually made out of real wood! Keep that set in good condition! The new sets are made out of some weird feeling plastic and aren’t nearly as nice.

    And the socks (both the toe-ups and the Yarntini ones) look fabulous! I especially like the blue colors of the Koigu socks. You did a great job!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  12. Tonia says:

    The socks look really good. I love the self striping/patterning yarns. They keep my interest much longer than a single color.

    Merry Christmas.

  13. Dipsy D. says:

    Awww, these socks are absolutely gorgeous, and I really love the colour!
    Happy Holidays, and all the best to you and your family!

  14. Lolly says:

    What lovely socks! and that is great that you tried a new technique, even if you realized it was not for you. I am hoping to expand my horizons this year into some new techniques as well. The striping socks you started are so fun!

    We love to play Scrabble around here! πŸ˜‰ and great books too – enjoy reading! I have been on a big reading kick lately, and Kite Runner was one of the best books I have ever read. Hope you enjoy it too.

    Best wishes, C!

  15. jessie says:

    Congrats on the toe-up success! They look great! I used that color of Koigu for some anklets and really loved how they turned out.

    I’m having a New Years/anniversary party this weekend and I think we’re gonna have to break out the Scrabble now. Always good for a laugh πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your reading! I’m definitely jealous, I’ve barely cracked open a new book since I started knitting. So sad!

  16. Stephanie says:

    Great socks. I like top-down better too, but toe-up is still a good thing to learn. Just to say you know how. I love the yarntini socks. I have some Cosmopolitan in my stash I really need to use.

  17. Kelly says:

    ohhh that sock is YUMMY! Look at those gorgeous stripes!
    And that pile of books, don’t you just love new books. Kite Runner is supposed to be a good one. Let us know how it is!

  18. Kate says:

    Those are such cute socks. I’m checking out knitting blogs and loving what I see. I may have to graduate from scarves soon. I’m just learning. πŸ™‚

  19. Leslie says:

    First off, Happy Holidays!! I hope it was a lot of fun for you!

    I LOVE this yarn you’re using . . . I came thisclose to buying it when you posted the pic of the skein a bit ago, and now I’m most definitely buying it.

    Your knitting is so perfect. I’m glad you’re back in the swing of things. *hugs*

  20. jay says:

    I just stumbled on your site while looking for an image of the Boogie vest from Knitty. Wow! Consider yourself bookmarked. Your work is an inspiration.

  21. deborah says:

    thanks for the tutorials with the socks. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at sock knitting again using your helpful tips.

    I read Kite Runner and attended the author’s talk. It reads so well. However, as a history buff, I was sad that he chose not to include more historical explanations. He agreed that it would have been better but his publisher didn’t approve from a marketing standpoint.

    I suggest you read, Charlie Wilson’s War, as a historical companion to the book. This book also reads well and is chock full of detail about some of the “whys”.

  22. Leslie says:

    I forgot to say . . . I just finished “The Thirteenth Tale.” Eh, I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I’d be. The book doesn’t really seem to live up to its hype.

    I’m currently reading “The Other Boleyn Girl.” It’s pretty good! I’m looking forward to the coming releases:

    Alexandria Link by Steve Berry

    Sweet Potato Queens 1st Big Ass Novel by Jill Conner Browne, Karin Gillespie

    Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella

    Nineteen Minutes: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

    Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (no relation)

    Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

  23. Jenn says:

    I’m loving the socks! I wish I could finish my freaking Jaywalkers so I could have a pair for myself. Socks just take entirely too long to knit!

    I really love the self-striping yarn your are using! It’s fabulous!

    Hope the holidays treated you well!

  24. Heather says:

    The socks turned out great and I agree with you about toe-up socks. I made my first pair toe-up with 2 circs and I haven’t made another pair like that since. I love the DPNs for some reason and I just like top-down better.

    Those links are great tho if I ever find the need to make some toe-up socks!

  25. Lynnell says:

    Your socks are wonderful! I love the long length! I’ve knit 2 pair of socks so far with the knit 2 at once method, and I have to agree that having 2 balls of yarn hanging only to get tangled is a pain. Now I’ll just knit both on separate needles, changing to the other sock after I knit a few inches. Gets the job done and no second sock syndrome!

  26. heather says:

    Love all the socks!! I have been told you either loveor hate doing two at once. You should try doing two at once top down and see if that is better for you before you give up altogether. It does make things go faster but speed sock knitting doesn’t sound very relaxing wither!!! Keep Knitting!!

  27. Gracie says:

    The socks look so great! I’ve used that colorway before, I love it.

    I’m not a fan of the 2 socks at one time either. I really like taking socks with me, and it gets to be too much.

  28. Leslie says:

    If you haven’t started it yet, I highly recommend “The Kite Runner.” Best book I read all year. Your socks are great, too, BTW.:)