Monday, 9 June 2014

Coming to a foot near you....?

Over the last few years, I've experienced that, in broad terms, sock-knitting evokes one of two responses amongst knitters. Either (1) they love knitting socks and do so regularly, or (2) they haven't tried yet. Of course that's not to say that everyone who has made a sock is immediately addicted, but it seems to me that once people find a method of sock-knitting that suits them, they become a staple project. 

It's surely because socks tick so many boxes - they are small, quick, incredibly portable, can vary in complexity from absolute beginner level to super-complex, and can be made within any budget (my socks vary from £2.40 per pair made from Drops Fabel to £18 a pair made from hand dyed yarn). There are also numerous ways to knit them, from the cast on, to the heel and toe methods, to two-at-a-time. They can be knit on double pointed needles, two circulars or a long circular needle using the magic loop method. There really is something for everyone. 
Following recent discussions with friends, and then a thread on my Facebook page, it seems that toe-up socks are something that a lot of knitters want to try but are not confident to get started with. It's such a straight-forward method, I am surprised that so many people said they feel this way, and as I'm currently writing a toe-up afterthought-heel sock pattern, it seemed a good time to post a series of step-by-step tutorials. 

The first instalment will be posted later this week - in it,  I'll show you my favourite toe-up cast on and how to knit the toe. I'll be using the magic-loop method which is the way I learned to knit socks - I think it's really simple and that anyone who can knit can do it. As well as plenty of photos, I'll be including useful links. If you'd like to follow along with me, here's what you will need to get ready: 
- Sock / fingering weight yarn* of your choice 
- 2mm / 2.5mm circular needle, at least 80cm in length 
- Measuring tape

*If you don't have any sock yarn in your stash, don't worry - you can use any yarn (with appropriate needles) for the purposes of the tutorials if you just want to practice knitting along. 


  1. Awesome, count me in. Despite that I have been knitting for 35 years I have only ever knit one pair of socks. I used DPN's and was pretty happy with them, they walked out the door with one of my daughters a few weeks back so I need another pair. Would love to try this method.

  2. Fun. You're the right person to get these observers to do into toe up sock knitting.

  3. I have yarn, will have to check the circs box (might need a trip to LYS!) Two at a time, toe up, magic loop & I will learn 3 new techniques - but I will be happy with just toe up!

  4. I have to try this! I knit socks but on dpns cuff down.

  5. Sounds great. Will you be doing Two at a time?

  6. I have been desperate to have a go at knitting a pair of socks. So much so I have started to dream about it, crazy I know. So off I go to buy a needle and yarn, Any excuse to buy some yarn :) Looking forward to the tutorial.
    Ali xx

  7. I tried toe up a few times and had a hard time getting the fit right on the foot, I always seemed to start the heel too early or too late, and I don't have those issues with top down. Looking forward to your tutorials!


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