Feb 1, 2014

Up or Down?

When I blogged recently about my love of toe-up socks, Ellen and Karen asked two very simple questions in the comments:  Why? and Which is my go-to pattern?  

I'm not the most experienced sock knitter.  I mean have you seen Andi's gorgeous socks?  or Gerry's? And there's no denying the delight of Susan's seemingly endless supply of hand-knitted socks.  But I'm pretty comfortable knitting on double-pointed needles ~ okay, I admit it, I actually love knitting with DPNs ~ and enjoy the rhythm that comes with sock knitting.  

So, to Ellen's question, I prefer the toe-up method for two reasons:  (1) because it allows for very little waste and (2) because once the sock is done, it's done. If a skein is split evenly in half, you can knit a pair of socks until the yarn is used up.  With no toe to kitchener or graft, I can bind off the cuff and literally wear my new socks fresh off the needles!   Pretty irresistible, don't you think?

To Karen's question, I like to use the method I shared in my Tubies pattern.  It's a little piddly at first but once you knit the first two rounds, it's lovely.  

As you can see from my photo above, I'm at the point to start the gusset and heel ... which one is the big question.  Any favorites to recommend?


  1. Pretty colors! Toe up fit me so much better. I am doing to try cuff down again on these double 0s I got though. I have Teach Yourself Sock Knitting by Laura Chau. Her toe up pattern I like the most.

  2. Lovely socks, excellent points. Almost enough to make me start knitting socks ... but I have enough knitting addictions already.

  3. Oddly enough, I prefer toe up but usually end up knitting cuff down. I guess I'm just too lazy to convert a cuff down pattern to toe up. I love your colors on these socks, what lovely stripes!

  4. The Biscotte and Cie is knitting up beautifully!

    My go to gusset and heel flap for toe up is Wendy's Toe Up Slip Stitch Heel http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wendy-knits-toe-up-slip-stitch-heel. I love it because there's no picking up of stitches!

    I'm trying a new one for me with my current pair though - an afterthought heel. fingers crossed* it fits well.

  5. I have to admit that I am a cuff-down sock knitter, only because the one toe-up sock I did knit turned out way too big. Your post is inspiring me to give toe-up another chance! When it comes to heels I am currently loving the Fish Lips Kiss heel :)

  6. I adore that yarn! Now that I am finally knitting my first ever pair of socks I am looking forward to trying different methods--but hope to stick with toe up for the reasons you mentioned. One heel I want to try is the Sweet Tomato Heel---

    Here's to socks!