Monday, July 23, 2007

The "Just Start Knitting" Sock Method

I'm on disc 7 of Deathly Hallows, and making good progress on the sock. Updates can be found on my Flickr pages, which I've started keeping up because of Ravelry. Ravelry is cool, almost exactly what I had wanted. I expect it will cut down on the amount of tedious sock exposition here. But not quite yet.

I've been having great success lately with my "Just Start Knitting" toe-up sock method. Here's how it works:

I take a circular needle, 40 inches or longer for working Magic Loop, in the size indicated on the yarn band. (I knit pretty tightly, so others might want to go down a needle size. Use your intuition). Then I use Turkish cast-on:
  • Hold your circular needle so that both ends are together, pointed to the right.
  • Pull the bottom needle to the right, so your top needle is held together with the bottom cord.
  • Start your yarn in back of the needles, leaving a 12" tail hanging.
  • Wrap the yarn down toward you, down across the front and up the back of the needles.
Wrap until you have the same number of loops as the yarn label says there are stitches in an inch. Then you'll begin making a lovely round toe, inspired by the Queen Kahuna method.
  • Knit half a round, across the stitches on one needle.
  • Hold working yarn and tail together, and work 1 round. This doubles the number of loops on each side.
  • Drop the tail, and knit one round, working a stitch in each loop.
See? If you start by casting on 6 stitches, you increase to 24 almost immediately. If you start with 9 cast-on loops (as I did with the "Deathly Hallows" socks), you quickly get to 36 stitches.

Then I begin increasing for the toe. And by the time I'm approaching the desired circumference for the size I intend to make (usually about 8.5 inches), I have enough worked that I can check the gauge and whether I like the resulting fabric. Not much time invested, so it's easy to start over, but if it's good, then you didn't waste that time doing a gauge swatch.

One note, though: I typically overshoot the increases by one set. I can't tell until I've worked an inch or two, and often I have to frog back (or in the case of the "Deathly Hallows" socks, improvise by adding ribbing and some cable twists). Then I keep knitting, and wait for inspiration about how to do the heel.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I've just been knitting socks for a little over a yr. now & have just recently attempted my very first toe-up sock. I cannot for the life of me get the hang of the provisional CO, so I've been researching other methods of CO for toe-up socks. This method that you described in "Just Start Knitting Sock Method" is the best! I did 1 sock w/a different CO, then I tried the method you blogged about. As soon as I finish w/this sock, I'm going to frog the original sock & re-do it w/the Just Start Knitting way. Thanks so much! I'm going to blog about as soon as I'm finished & I'm going to mention your blog.