Socktoberfest: 4 Ways to Cast-on Toe-Up Socks

Maybe you like to use every yard of sock yarn. Perhaps you want to try on your socks as you go. Or it could be that Kitchener stitch gives you hives. There are plenty of reasons to knit toe-up socks. Try one of these four methods and find your favorite fit.

Turkish/Eastern Toe

This super-simple invisible method can double as a provisional cast-on.

toe-up socks

1. Hold two needles (dpns, 2 cir needles, or both ends of 1 cir) parallel. Leaving a 6″ (12.5 cm) tail in front, bring yarn from front to back between needles. *Wrap working yarn over top of both needles, around front, and under needles to back. Rep from * until number of wraps over top needle equals half the number of stitches needed. Make sure that you have the same number of wraps on bottom needle (Figure 1).

2. Work stitches on top needle; stitches should be seated so that right leg is in front (Figure 2). Note that last stitch is anchored only by the tail; be careful not to pull free (Figure 3).

3. Work stitches on bottom needle (Figures 4 + 5).

4. Continue working in the round, increas¬ing as called for in pattern until full circumference is achieved.

Variation: Figure-eight Cast-on

Begin as for Turkish cast-on, with needles held together and tail at the front. *Bring yarn over top needle, then between the needles to the back, behind and under bottom needle to front, and again between needles to back. Rep from * until the num¬ber of wraps over the top needle equals half the number of stitches needed. Make sure that you have the same number of wraps on bottom needle; yarn is at back (Figure 6).

Work across top needle as for Turkish cast-on. When you rotate needles to work across bottom stitches, left legs of stitches will be seated in front of needle. Work through back loops to correct mount.

Square Toe

An unusual cast-on that wraps around the toes from side to side. Adjust the number of stitches to meet your needs.

toe-up socks

1. Provisionally cast on four stitches. Beginning with a RS row, work eight rows in stockinette stitch (Figure 1).

2. Knit one row; do not turn. Rotate work 90° clockwise. With a spare needle, pick up and knit six stitches along left edge (Figure 2).

3. Rotate work 90° clockwise, then knit one row across provisionally cast-on stitches. Rotate work 90° clockwise again and pick up and knit six stitches along right edge (Figure 3)—twenty stitches.

4. To shape toe, increase one stitch from each end of the needle of top and bot¬tom of square; round begins at center top of square (between third and fourth stitches of Needle 1). Rearrange stitches as needed.

Short-Row Toe

This cast-on is worked just like its cousin, the short-row heel. On a garter-stitch toe, skip the step of picking up wraps.

toe-up socks

1. Provisionally cast on half the number of stitches needed for foot circumference.

2. Short-row on RS: Work to one stitch be¬fore end. Slip next stitch to right needle purlwise (Figure 1). Bring yarn to RS, slip stitch back to left needle, and bring yarn to WS (Figure 2). Turn work.

3. Short-row on WS: Work to one stitch before end. Bring yarn to RS (Figure 3). Slip stitch back to left needle and bring yarn to WS (Figure 4). Turn work.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, wrapping one stitch be¬fore wrapped stitch from last row, until about one-third of stitches are unwrapped with about one-third of stitches wrapped on each side (Figure 5). End after working short-row on WS.

5. Double-wrap row on RS: Work to first stitch wrapped on last RS row. With right needle, scoop RS portion of wrap(s) onto left needle and knit it together with its stitch (Figure 6). Slip next stitch to right needle purlwise, wrap and turn.

6. Double-wrap row on WS: Work to first stitch wrapped on last WS row. With right needle, scoop RS portion of wrap(s) onto left needle (Figure 7) and purl it to-gether with its stitch. Slip next stitch to right needle purlwise, wrap and turn.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, picking up double-wrapped stitch from last row and double-wrapping next stitch, until one double-wrapped stitch remains at each end of row. End after double-wrapping last stitch of WS row.

8. Work to last stitch of RS row. Scoop wraps onto needle and work them with last stitch. Work across all provisionally cast-on stitches. On next round, first stitch will be double-wrapped from last WS row. With right needle, scoop up RS portion of wraps and slip wrapped stitch to right needle along with wraps. Knit wraps together with stitch through back loops, knit (Figure 8). Work foot in pattern.

Circular Toe-Up Socks

A rosebud closure worked in reverse, this cast-on is the perfect way to start a star or three-pointed toe.

toe-up socks

1. Holding tail between ring and pinkie fingers, wrap working yarn counter-clockwise around thumb and grasp work¬ing yarn between forefinger and ring finger (Figure 1).

2. Dip needle down into loop around thumb, up and over working yarn, and back out of thumb loop, drawing up a stitch on needle (Figure 2).

3. Wrap working yarn around needle to make a yarnover (Figure 3).

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have cast on one fewer stitch than you need, then repeat step 2 once more (Figure 4).

5. Distribute stitches over dpns and work in the round, increasing as directed in pat-tern. Pull tail tight to snug center ring and weave in tail.

Tip: This cast-on creates an odd number of stitches; for an even number, either cast on one fewer stitch and increase in the first round or cast on one stitch more and decrease in the first round.

Ready to start your toe-up socks? Check out these free sock patterns!


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