Knitting by Blind Faith

I Am Tickled Pink!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 5:00 am
Filed under: Knitting,Patterns Tips and Tutorials

My first toe-up socks are finished!

Picture of socks with my feet apart.

Picture of socks with my feet apart.

Picture of socks with my feet together.

Picture of socks with my feet together.

And here is a close-up of my first short row heels.

Socks side by side with a close-up of the heels.

Socks side by side with a close-up of the heels.

To knit the short row heels, I used Priscilla Wild’s short row technique, as documented in Charisa Martin Cairn’s Lifestyle Socks.

Here is my pattern, with thanks to Two Circs Girl for her pattern stitch idea. Note: I am writing this from the perspective of the Magic Loop:

Cast on 16 stitches(8 wraps) using the Turkish cast-on. When I did this using Magic Loop, I wrapped the yarn around the top needle and the bottom cable (as opposed to holding the tips of the needles parallel). This made the stitches a bit tighter and eliminated a potential gap between the two sets of stitches when I knit the first round.

Once you complete the cast-on by knitting the wraps, increase as follows:

Round 1: On Needle 1, K1, M1R (with your right needle, lift the strand that runs between the stitch you just knit and the next stitch on the left needle. Place it on the left needle by inserting the left needle from back to front. Knit this new stitch as usual, which will cause it to twist.), K to last stitch, M1L (lift the strand of yarn that runs between the stitch you just knit and the remaining stitch on the left needle. Place it on the left needle from front to back, and knit this new stitch through the back loop, which will cause it to twist.), K1. Repeat for Needle two.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat these two rounds until the toe fits over your big toe through your ring toe, with just a little wiggle room, ending with round 2. (The total number of stitches should be divisible by eight.) Then begin the foot:

Round 1: Needle 1: Knit. Needle 2: * K1, P1 across.
Rounds 2 and 3: Knit all stitches.

Repeat rounds 1-3 until the foot meets the leg, or just shy thereof, ending with round 3. Then, knit your favorite short row heel on Needle 1. Leave half the number of stitches you started with on the toe live, then begin closing the gaps. (If you started with 16 total stitches–8 wraps–you would knit until there were 8 live stitches in the middle, then begin closing the gaps.) If you use the short row heel referred to above, you can avoid holes and extra decreases between the sole and the instep by doing the following:

When one stitch remains unworked at each end, and you are on a right-side (knit) row, knit to the gap, and close the gap by knitting the two stitches together as usual. Then, pick up a stitch and resume knitting in the round, continuing with round 1 of pattern stitch. At the beginning of the next round, pick up the strand between the last stitch on Needle 2 and the first stitch on Needle 1. This is a long strand, so twist it when you knit it (I did an M1R). Close the final gap in your short row heel with a K2tog and continue knitting as established, knitting all stitches on Needle 1 in stockinette and keeping Needle 2 in pattern.

When the leg reaches the ankle bone, or when desired, begin knitting the entire leg in pattern. Repeat rounds 1-3 on both needles until the leg is the desired length, ending with round 3.

Cuff: *k2, p2 across. Make cuff as long as dessired.

To avoid gaps in ribbing: as you transition between knit and purl stitches, insert the needle into the next stitch, and give the yarn a gentle tug. When you bring the yarn between the needles to transition, you use 1/3 more yarn than usual when you make a stitch, and taking up the slack will help keep your stitches looking even. However, since you are taking up extra slack, you may be tempted to knit or purl your stitches too tightly. Remember: be gentle with your yarn, and be careful to knit/purl the stitches at your usual tension.


Bind off using EZ’s sewn bind-off:

1. Break yarn, leaving a tail at least three times the circumference of the sock.

2. Thread a thin darning needle with this tail.

3. As if you were beginning a new round, insert the darning needle through first two stitches as if to purl. Pull yarn snug, BUT NOT TIGHT. Leave these stitches on the knitting needle.

4. Insert needle through first stitch, again, as if to knit and slip it off the knitting needle. Pull yarn snug, BUT NOT TIGHT.

Repeat steps three and four all the way around. When you get to the last stitch, insert the needle as if to purl through this stitch and the first stitch you bound off as if to purl. Then, insert the needle through the last stitch again as if to knit, pulling the yarn snug with each pass.

Remember not to pull the yarn too tight, or your bind-off will not be stretchy. I strongly recommend that you take my advice and not learn this the hard way (which is pretty much the way I learn everything)! :)

Weave in ends, wash your socks according to manufacturer’s instructions, and you’re all done!

3 Comments so far
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They look amazing! Congrats!

Comment by leah

They are beautiful. So proud of you and love your pattern. Thanks. See you in a few and keep those ‘sticks’ smoking. Luv ya

Comment by Judah

[...] I Am Tickled Pink! [...]

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