Toe-up or top-down? Socks your way
I recently received an email asking whether Sockupied includes toe-up sock knitting patterns. Why yes, we do! But how many, I wondered?
I took a look at all three Sockupied issues from last year, which are available together as a Kit of the Month until the end of April 2013. Of the 17 sock patterns, there are 13 pairs to be knitted top-down and 6 toe-up. (If you’re wondering how 13 + 6 = 17, it’s because two of the designs, Cat Bordhi’s Flutterby Socks and my Up + Down Socks, have included directions for knitting toe-up and top-down.)
Some knitters prefer toe-up knitting because they’d prefer not to do the Kitchener stitch to graft their toes. Others prefer to avoid short-row heels. But designers sometimes mix and match these elements in different ways, and there are more new toe-up sock techniques that make knitting and wearing them more fun.
Lorilee Beltman’s toe-up Our Paths Cross Socks include a clever flap-and-gusset heel, usually a top-down element, with the decreases placed at the back of the leg. Kate Atherley added a gusset to short-row heels to make her toe-up (A)Symmetry Socks fit better. And Candace Eisner-Strick even figured out how to knit short-row heels and toes without a single wrap and turn in her Semaphore Socks pattern.
Some knitters and designers have strong preferences on knitting direction. Ann Budd has been known to design toe-up socks, but if you put needles and yarn in her hands she almost always turns to a top-down sock pattern that she shared with us in Simply Sockupied as Ann’s Go-To Socks.
Knit All the Socks
At last count I had enough sock yarn to make over 70 pairs of socks. (But who’s counting?) With all that yarn, I don’t want to limit myself to knitting only toe-up or top-down. Besides the patterns, the 2012 issues of Sockupied include lots of techniques from toe-up and top-down toes to design elements that work in any sock. Until the end of April 2013, these three issues are on sale together as a bundle for $11.99, so you can knit in every direction to your heart’s content. (All right, so we haven’t done any side-to-side socks. Yet.)
Do you prefer knitting toe-up or top-down? Tell us why in the comments.