Sunday, April 27, 2008

The many faces of toes...

Although I haven't knit alot of socks (relative to others I know), I have managed to try a different technique each time I knit a pair. My first pair were top down, as were a couple of others, but I've done the 2socks on 2 circular needles (and found it was great for doing felted slippers because it avoided the boredom of doing the 2nd slipper); I've done toe up and this is where I find there are more techniques out there. Now I don't have any issue with grafting toes (a requirement if knitting socks top down), but the toe-up versions intrigue me mainly to be able to use up the WHOLE ball of yarn without 'running out before finishing'.

Anyway, my first 'toe-up' socks were Twinkletoes for my neice's Christmas gift in 2005. It used the provisional cast-on which I found in the techniques page on Knitty. Pretty cool, no holes and the gift was well received.

Next toe-up socks were for me - I wanted to try the Sherman Heel, but I did get somewhat confused and ended up doing Judy's magic cast-on for the toes instead. The toes were great, my heel, a little loose unfortunately. In reading posts on the Sockknitter's Forum I figured I was not pulling my yarn overs enough and/or this was a common issue, but hard to explain what people were doing wrong - basically "practice makes perfect" heels was the advice.

Now we are at today - I received PGR's book "Simple Socks" and although was apprehensive (the instructions for the Sherman socks commented the PGR method was more complicated!). I just completed the toes for some socks for lil k, and it astounds me why people don't just use Judy's Magic Cast-on - all the stitches are there, and you start knitting in the round immediately instead of knitting the cap and picking up stitches :S. Anyhow, I've done the PGR technique for the toes, it was more complicated than necessary (compared to Judy's), BUT the instructions were more clear on what I was doing wrong with my yarnover stitches! I have no holes in these toes and now know why my Sherman Heel socks had loose side stitches. It was how I did the wrap AND how I slipped and purled the stitches (I didn't purl the 3 together from the back left to right!!!)

So long story to say, although there are millions of techniques, one can learn a bit from each one and come up with what works for you! I'm sticking to Judy's toes, but with reminders from PGR on how to do those decreases!

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