Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Toe-up Socks

Handmaker's Factory workshop - April 18th

The way one knits socks is a topic that often polarises knitters - people tend to be very passionate about their preferred methods!   
Many stick with the method they first learned, often through familiarity and sentimentality, which is perfectly fine.  However there is a lot to be said for utilising specific methods for specific results, rather than one–size-fits-all approach.
Both techniques can be knit using your preferred method - dpn’s, two circulars, or magic looping, and both have a vast array of variations to employ to customise to your preferences. 
Toe-up socks have some specific benefits that often make them very appealing to many sock knitters, if for nothing else but the fact that you can try them on as you go and make adjustments as required to ensure perfect fit.

Om Shanti from Socktopus by Alice Yu
There is also the benefit of “maximising your yardage”, something very close to the canny knitter’s heart.  Sock yarns can be expensive, and many people like to either use every last scrap or use up smaller skeins of yarn.  With toe-up socks, you can simply divide your yarn and knit each sock until you run out, instead of guesstimating how much is left as you approach the toes, as with the cuff-down method.
Climb from Journey, by Jane Richmond
Knitting socks from the toe-up is also a seamless method, requiring no Kitchener or “grafting” of stitches (unless you use an afterthought heel, of course!).  you often find the colour sequencing is kept in order better with this method too, which is especially appealing when working with self-striping or patterned yarns.
 I'm teaching a workshop this Saturday at the Handmaker's Factory in Melbourne, where we will be learning all sorts of lovely techniques and tips for making your socks toe-up, including Turkish cast-on, a short row heel that minimises the "gap", and a super-stretchy cast-off.  We'll also be working with the "Magic Loop" technique, a great one to have up your sleeve for not just socks but all sorts of things...including sleeves!

There are a few spots still available for this Saturday's workshop (April 18 - 10am-4.30pm), so if you're keen to have a go, head over to Handmaker's Factory to book in - we'd love to see you there!

1 comment:

Caffeine Girl said...

I wish I could take your class! I can't get the hang of toe-up socks, even though I see all the benefits!