Here's my response to a call for help by a novice sock knitter on the Yahoo Socknitter Group. She wanted a generic sock pattern to her first pair of socks using magic loop. It helped me get my mind organized on how to do a toe down sock using magic loop. I want to use magic loop to make Nancy Bush's Conwy Socks (in Knitting on the Road) and Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern(in Knittin Vitage Socks). Of course I won't be able to knit socks until after I finish Frogalot's PIF socks and my Dad's Father's Day socks. Let me know what you think.
Note: I used the following as references for the pattern and techniques:
- www.knittinghelp.com/videos/advanced-techniques Amy’s videos on magic loop and heel/gusset of a sock.
- www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips Amy’s video on
- http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/FEATsocks101.html Kathy Atherly’s Sock 101
- Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks book
The number of stitches you cast on depends on your gauge and foot circumference. Gauge = 8 sts per inch. Foot circ = 8 inches. So you cast on stitches are 8 x 8 = 64 stitches. Cast on 64 stitches(using a loose long tail cast on) and join the ends. Begin knitting using the magic loop technique. You should have 32 stitches along the 1st half of the cable and 32 stitches along the 2nd half of the cable. After knitting a couple of rounds of the cuff, place stitch marker to note the beginning of the round
Using a circular needle that has a long, flexible cable(>= 40 inches), cast on the number of stitches you want to use to knit your sock. Example: 64 stitches. Divide the stitches in half (32 + 32 = 64). Place a stitch marker between the 32 and 33 stitches. Pinch and pull the cable between those two stitches.
Using a circular needle that has a long, flexible cable(>= 40 inches), cast on the number of stitches you want to use to knit your sock. Example: 64 stitches.Move those stitches to the middle of the cable.
Divide the stitches in half (32 + 32 = 64). Place a stitch marker between the 32 and 33 stitches. Pinch and pull the cable between those two stitches.Now you're ready to join the ends. Move the separated stitches back on the needles close the endpoints. Be careful to not to drop any stitches and twist the stitches. I join my ends by moving the first stitch to the opposite needle and moving the last stitch to the opposite needle. Now you're ready to knit the cuff.
K2p2 for 12 rounds. Approximately 1 inch.
To make things easy we’ll do a stockinette stitch leg(all knit stitches)
Knit around until your sock measures (cuff plus leg) measures 6 or 7 inches total.
Refer to Amy’s video(note the way I’m telling you to do the heel flap, heel turn and gusset are slightly different than Amy’s; no worries)
To make thing easier for you for your 1st sock, rest the instep stitches in a stitch holder. You can keep the stitches on the cable but it may be confusing since this is your 1st sock. It will be easier for you to pick up the instep stitches when decreasing the gusset if you use a plastic or metal stitch holder.
For simplicity sake, let’s consider the back of the sock that has the heel stitches the 32 stitches that you knit last; the part of the cable that has the last stitch you knit. The instep stitches(32) are the other side of the cable. You’ re making a stockinette heel with a German selvedge. The German selvedge is the slipped stitches at the edges of the row. With the instep stitches resting in a stitch holder, (1)turn your work, slip the 1st stitch(the last one you knit) then purl to the end of the row. (2)Turn your work, slip the 1st stitch then knit to the end of the row. Repeat 1 and 2 until you have 32 rows then turn your work. Remember you slipped the 1st stitch(32 of them) of every row of the heel flap so when have to pick up and knit stitches along the selvedge you’ll only have 16 to do.
You need to do this at one sitting. Its can be confusing if you put it down then pick it back up.
(1) Slip the 1st stitch, purl 16 stitches then p2tog, purl 1 then turn your work(you’re creating a gap) look closely
(2) Slip the 1st stitch, knit 3 stitches then ssk, knit 1 then turn your work(your creating a gap) look closely
(3) Slip the 1st stitch, purl to the 1st stitch before the gap, p2tog(the stitches before and after the gap), purl 1 then turn your work
(4) Slip the 1st stitch knit to the 1st stitch before the gap, ssk(the stitches before and after the gap), knit 1 then turn your work
Repeat 3 and 4 until all the stitches on needle have been worked. You should have 18 stitches left after knitting the heel flap
The key to picking up and knitting the stitches along the selvedge(heel flap edges) is to count and identify them before you do it. Remember you made 32 rows for heel flap and slipped the 1st stitch at the beginning of each row. That means you have 16 stitches to pick up. You’ll start magic looping again now. Ok, pick up and knit 16 stitches along the heel flap edge. There can be a hole at the top of the gusset so pick up and knit 2 stitches between the last heel flap edge stitch and the instep. Place a stitch marker. Knit the 1st 16 stitches of the instep in pattern. You’re magic looping now so consider the 16 selvedge stitches, 2 extra stitches and 16 instep stitches along the first half of the cable. ( You’ll divide the heel turn stitches after you pick up the other side of the selvedge.) You’re magic looping now so we have to knit stitches on the 2nd half of the cable. Look at and identify the stitches you’ll pickup before knitting them. Knit the other 16 stitches of the instep. Place a stitch marker. Pick up and knit 2 stitches between the instep and the first stitch of the heel flap edge. Pick up and knit 16 stitches along the heel flap edge the knit the first 9 stitches of the heel turn. You should how have 2 rows of stitches along the halves of the cable. Each row should have 43 stitches. Along the 1st half of the cable, you should have 9 heel turn, 16 heel flap edge, 2 extra, and 16 instep stitches(9 + 16 + 2 + 16 = 43). Along the 2nd half of the cable, you should have 16 instep, 2 extra, 16 heel flap edge, and 9 heel turn stitches(16 + 2 + 16 + 9 = 43). You’ll decrease each half to 32 stitches(64 total stitches).
You need to pay close attention because the first couple rounds can be confusing. Along the 1st half of the cable, knit to 2 stitches before the stitch marker, ssk, slip the stitch marker then knit 16 instep stitches in pattern. Along the 2nd half of the cable, knit the 16 instep stitches, slip the stitch marker, k2tog then knit to the end of the row. You’ve closed the hole at the top of the gusset. Now its time to do the decreasing.
(1 a) Along the 1st half of the cable, knit to 3 stitches before the stitch marker, k2tog, knit 1, slip the stitch marker then knit 16 instep stitches in pattern.
(1 b) Along the 2nd half of the of the cable, knit the 16 instep stitches, slip the
stitch marker, k2tog then knit to the end of the row.
(2 a) knit to stitch marker, slip stitch marker, knit instep stitches in pattern
(2 b) knit instep stitches, slip stitch marker, and then knit to end of row
Repeat 1 and 2 until you have 32 stitches on each cable half. That’s 10 decreasing (1) rounds. It will help if you write down 1-10 and mark off each round. Looking at your ssk and k2tog stitches and their position will help if you don’t want to keep track on paper.
It’s easier to knit the foot if you keep the instep and sole stitches separate. Now after you’ve knit the last round of the gusset decrease, knit to the stitch marker. Remove the stitch marker. This marks the beginning of the instep stitches and the round. You’re doing magic loop here. Knit the instep stitches. Join both part of the instep here. Remove the stitch marker. This mark the beginning of the sole stitches. You should have the instep stitches on the 1st half of the cable and the sole stitches on the 2nd half the cable. Knit the foot to the desired length; heel to the base of the toe.
Now we’re almost done. Standard toe decrease has you decreasing 2 stitches per cable half then knitting around then next round until ½ the total stitches remain. Then decreasing every round until ½ those stitches remain.
(1) Instep: knit 1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before the end of 1st half of cable, k2tog, knit 1. Sole: knit 1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before the end o the 2nd half of the cable, k2tog, knit1.
(2) Knit around the instep and sole.
Repeat 1 and 2 until 32 total stitches remain then repeat 1 until 16 total stitches remain. Now you’re ready for the
Use Amy’s video to see how to do it. I’ve officially run out of steam