Directions to Knit Toe Up Socks on Circular Needles

Written by lizzie brooks
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Directions to Knit Toe Up Socks on Circular Needles
It's hard to stop after learning how to knit socks. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Socks that are knitted from the toe up, instead of in the traditional cuff-down method, means that you will never have to worry about running out of yarn with one inch of the toe remaining. You can simply keep knitting until your yarn is gone. You can also try on the sock as you knit. Knitting on two circular needles results in fewer places between needles, which is a benefit to knitters who are concerned about loose "ladders" of stitches when working with a set of five double-pointed needles. These directions are for a woman's sock to fit shoe size 7 to 8.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 99.2gr/100 grams sock yarn, gauge 32 stitches to 4 inches
  • Two circular knitting needles, U.S. size 1/ 2.25mm
  • Darning needle
  • Ruler or measuring tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cast on 30 stitches, using a seamless, two-sided cast on a figure-eight cast-on, Turkish cast-on or Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On. Alternatively, you can use a provisional cast-on and graft your stitches later. Confirm that you have 15 stitches on each circular needle (CN).

  2. 2

    Identify your circular needles. They will be referred to as circular needle A (CNA) and circular needle B (CNB). Find the last stitch that you cast on. This stitch is on circular needle B (CNB).

  3. 3

    Find both ends of CNA. Knit the 15 stitches of CNA, using these two ends. Drop CNA and find both ends of CNB. Knit the 15 stitches of CNB. One complete round has just been knit.

  4. 4

    Increase as follows: Find both ends of CNA. Using these two ends, knit one stitch, make one stitch, knit across to the last stitch on CNA, make one stitch, and knit the last stitch on CNA. Drop CNA and find both ends of CNB. Using these ends, knit one stitch, make one stitch, knit across to the last stitch on CNB, make one stitch, and knit the last stitch on CNB. One increase round has just been completed.

  5. 5

    Repeat the last two rows -- work one round even, work one increase round -- until there are 30 stitches on each CN for a total of 60 stitches.

  6. 6

    Knit the foot of the sock by working every row even until the sock measures 7.5 inches from the cast on edge, or 1.75 inches less than the desired total foot length.

  7. 7

    Begin the short-row heel. You will only be using the stitches on CNA to make the heel. Knit across to the last stitch on CNA. Wrap the yarn around the stitch by moving the yarn to the front of the work, slipping the stitch to the right needle, moving the yarn to the back of the work and slipping the stitch back onto the left needle.

    Turn your work so that the wrong side is facing and purl across to the last stitch. Wrap the stitch as before and turn your work so that the right side is facing. Knit across to the second last stitch, wrap and turn, then purl across to the second-last stitch, wrap and turn. Continue knitting one less stitch and wrapping and turning until there are ten live, or unwrapped, stitches remaining. With the right side facing, knit across to the first wrapped stitch. Pick up the wrap with your right needle and knit it together with the first stitch. Wrap the next stitch -- there will now be two wraps around this stitch -- and turn. Purl across to the first wrapped stitch on this side, pick it up and purl it with the stitch, wrap the next stitch and turn your work.

    Knit across to the next wrapped stitch you encounter, pick up and knit both wraps, turn your work, purl across to the next wrapped stitch, pick up and purl both wraps and turn your work. Continue in this manner until all wrapped stitches have been knit once more.

  8. 8

    Knit in the round again. Continue until the leg of the sock measures 8 inches or 2.5 inches less than the desired length. Knit the cuff of the sock by knitting in knit-one-purl-one rib for 2.5 inches.

  9. 9

    Cast off very loosely or use a sewn cast-off as follows: break yarn, leaving at least 24 inches of yarn to sew with, and thread yarn onto a darning needle. Insert the darning needle into the first two stitches purlwise and pull through. Reinsert the needle into the first stitch knitwise and pull through, then slip the first stitch off the needle. Repeat until no stitches remain.

Tips and warnings

  • Make your sock wider by increasing the toe to 64 or 68 stitches and, in the case of a 68-stitch sock, working short rows until 12 live stitches remain.
  • If altering the pattern, make note of your changes so that you can repeat them on the second sock.

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