My First Toe-Ups Are Done!Posted: December 23, 2006
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.