Knitting Socks for the humble toes

My simple-toed socks

Ah, the sock. So simple and necessary; it’s part of our daily wardrobe. But sock knitting is full of so many ways to customize socks to fit your feet perfectly, which is one of the many joys of handknit socks, right?

Today’s discussion is going to be about toe customization. The two constructions are the Round Toe and the Star Toe. Both make roomy toes, perfect for people with diabetes or wide feet.

Neither toe uses Kitchener stitch, which is what drew me to them, frankly. Kitchener has its place but I can never seem to memorize the steps and I almost always miss one and have a little hole.

I have knit a couple of pairs of socks where I just decrease to eight stitches and draw the yarn through the stitches to finish the toe. One of these pairs is at left. You can see, especially on the bottom sock, that this method causes the very tip of the sock to draw in a bit, but once you have them on your feet, you can’t tell the difference between this finishing method and the Kitchener stitch.

Round Toe, from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush
Star Toe, from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush

Nancy Bush recently updated her fantastic book Folk Socks, and she included the Round and Star toe knitting directions. Here they are.

Round Toe
To produce a rounded shape, this type of toe is formed by working the decreases evenly spaced around the entire circumference, rather than just at the sides. This toe is worked over a number of stitches divisible by eight.

Work until the foot measures the desired total length less the toe shaping, ending at the seam line.
Shape the toe as follows:
Dec Round 1: *K6, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 6 rounds.
Dec Round 2: *K5, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 5 rounds.
Dec Round 3: *K4, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 4 rounds.
Continue in this manner, working one less stitch between each decrease and knitting one less round between decrease rounds until you work only one plain round.
Next Round: *K2tog; rep from *.
To finish, cut the yarn, leaving a 10″ (25.5 cm) tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through rem sts, pull tight to close hole, and fasten off on WS.

Star Toe
This toe shaping is worked with the stitches divided evenly onto four needles with a fifth needle as a working needle. The shaping can be lengthened by adding more plain rounds between the decrease rounds or shortened by working the decreases on every round.

Work until the foot measures the desired total length less the toe shaping, ending at the seam line.
Shape the toe as follows:
Round 1: *Knit to last 2 sts of needle, k2tog; rep from * 3 more times-4 stitches decreased.
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 a total of 6 times, then rep Round 1 (decrease every round) until about 8 stitches remain.
To finish, cut the yarn, leaving a 10″ (25.5 cm) tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through rem sts, pull tight to close hole, and fasten off on WS.

Get yourself a copy of the updated Folk Socks—there are many, many different ways to customize your socks, and Nancy Bush is the perfect person to teach you how.

Cheers,

P.S. Do you have a toe tip for us? Share it in the comments!

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