Having finished my first pair of toe-up socks, I needed another sitting-in-meetings project, and decided to do another toe-up. This one would be stockinette all around for the bulk of the toe and leg, but I figured, hey, what the heck, why not make them footed. (I've included directions for a non-footed version that I think will work, but I haven't tried them. Caveat tricotor!)
I also decided to try to make a toe that would be actually invisible (like the graft on the end of a cuff-down sock), and wasn't such a pain to work with. I used a provisional cast-on and a sort of short-rowing that may or may not be the same as "Japanese short-rowing". I've called it the "easy short-row" because you don't have to wrap stitches going in to it.
CO 28 sts in waste yarn (provisional cast-on is ideal, I guess, but it doesn't really matter) and knit one full row.
With regular sock yarn (and including reinforcement yarn, if any), knitting back and forth:
- Row 1: k28, turn.
- Row 2: s1 wyif, p26, turn.
- Row 3: s1 wyib, k25, turn.
- Row 4: s1, p24, turn.
- ... continue working one less st per row until ...
- Row 12: s1, p16, turn.
- Row 13: s1, k14, turn.
- Row 14: s1, p12, turn.
You are now at the tip of the toe and about to come around to the top.
- Row 15: s1, k10, s1, k1, psso. Turn.
- Row 16: s1, p10, p2tog. Turn.
- Rows 17-28: Repeat rows 15-16.
Note that the s1, k1, psso is technically equivalent to a ssk, but this way seems to close the hole better.
Also note that the rows on the top of the toe are remaining at twelve sts each! That's because each time we pick up a short-rowed stitch, we're using a decrease. If you wanted to use this technique more like a traditional short row, you'd want to throw in an increase every row (or two increases every other row).
With two spare dpns, pick up 27 sts from the loops where the sock yarn joins the waste yarn. (They were 28 loops when we were going the other way, but they're upside-down now!) Relative to where the yarn is now, the first needle (N1), the one you've been knitting on, should have 12 sts, the one after that (N2) 14, and the third needle (N3) 13. Knitting circularly, use the first round to close up any holes from the join, and the second to set up for the upcoming increases:
- Round 1: N1: s1, k10, k1b; N2: k1b, k13; N3: k12, k1b
- Round 2: k1b, k11; k3, SMR, k11; k10, SML, k3
If you are doing a right-footed sock, you'll set a marker at SMR; a left-footed sock will set a marker at SML; and a non-footed sock will need to set a marker at both.
The increase round (IR) will be odd-numbered rounds (3, 5, 7, ...) if you are doing a footed sock, or rounds divisible by 4 (4, 8, 12, ...) if you are doing a non-footed sock. (And in a non-footed sock, the IR will have two pairs of increases.) All other rounds are non-increase rounds (NIR).
- IR: k around to within 2 sts of marker; kif&b, k1, MM, k1, kif&b, k around.
- NIR: k around.
Continue until round 20, at which point you should have 55 stitches. Cut the reinforcement thread (leaving enough extra to weave in later) and continue working with just the sock yarn.
Knit around for four inches, or about 36 rows. At this point the toe part can lay flat and you should have two clear side-seamlines; make sure these line up with a gap between two needles and that the stitches are equally divided over four needles (the second needle will have one less). Finish a round at the right side seamline, about to continue around to the bottom of the foot.
- Round 1: k1, kif&b, k to end of needle; k to within 3 sts of end, kif&b, k2; k14, k14.
- Round 2: k around.
- Rounds 3--?: Repeat rounds 1 and 2.
Five bamboo US-1 dpns. The yarn is JaWoll wool/cotton superwash, which comes with a spool of reinforcement thread (which I guess is all-cotton; at any rate it has no nylon). I believe the colour number is 88.0080.
Don Blaheta / email@example.com