Use a Toe-up Sock Cast-on to Work Hems

Have you ever worked toe-up socks? There are a few methods to cast on for a seamless toe in these "backwards" beauties–methods such as the figure 8 cast-on, which requires winding yarn in figure 8's around two double-pointed needles to create parallel sets of stitches on two needles. A different method was developed by Judy Becker; a method that also requires winding the yarn onto parallel needles but improves on the figure 8–a method we call "Judy's Magic Cast-on." It's a great technique for casting on, creating a seamless toe, and setting up stitches to be worked in the round. 

Judy's Magic Cast-on

But there are other uses for this handy knitted cast-on! In a brand new video class, designer Lorilee Beltman explores using the magic cast-on to create double fabric for instant hems on sleeve cuffs. I imagine you could expand this usage to working the bottom hem of a garment, or, with some clever manipulation, front cardigan bands and more. A hemmed sleeve cuff makes a nice alternative to the traditional ribbed cuff, which naturally contracts to hug your wrist. A hem looks nice on both right and wrong sides, and offers a spot for subtle touches–such as a monogram! I once worked my initials and the year into a facing on the inside of a Fair Isle sweater–you could do this with a hemmed cuff. Or work the inside of the cuff in a contrast color. 

Learn to work Judy's Magic Cast-on with this great video, and then learn tubular cast-ons for both 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing, so your ribbed cuffs will have a smooth and professional look along the cast-on edge.

Check out the video preview here and get started using this sock technique in non-socks!


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