Lesson 7: The Toe

We are on page 2 of the sock pattern. Here are lesson notes about the toe.

The toe is shaped by working 4 decreases per round, every other round. The chart doesn’t show a symbol for these decreases — it just steps in on each side of the ladder stitches (A1 and A2) showing the loss of stitches. There are two ways you can work these decreases. You can hide the decreases in the purl stitches of A1 and A2 with p2tog. Or you can work ssk or k2tog on the stockinette stitches next to the purl stitches of the ladder pattern. Ssk will lean your decrease to the left and k2tog will lean your decrease to the right. To make the decreases look symmetrical, work ssk right after the ladder pattern and k2tog right before the ladder pattern.

When you have completed the last round of decreases, you are ready to weave the top-of-the-foot stitches together with the bottom-of-the-foot stitches as follows:

• Place 12 of the the top-of-the-foot stitches on one needle.
• Place the other 12 stitches on another needle.
• Cut your yarn leaving about 15″ and thread that through the eye of a blunt-nosed yarn needle
• Hold your work with the bottom of the foot facing you and the yarn to the right
• Insert the yarn needle into the first front-knitting-needle stitch as if to purl and pull the yarn through (keep the stitch on the knitting needle)
• Insert the yarn needle into the back-knitting needle stitch as if to purl and pull the yarn through (keep the stitch on the needle)

That gets you started. Repeat the following on across:

• On the front knitting needle, pick up the second leg of the first stitch (inserting your yarn needle from the front) and the first leg of the second stitch (inserting your yarn needle from the back as if to purl). Pull your yarn through and drop the first stitch off of your needle.
• On the back knitting needle, pick up the second leg of the first stitch (inserting your yarn needle from the front) and the first leg of the second stitch (inserting your yarn needle from the back as if to purl. Pull your yarn through and drop the first stitch off of your needle.

Repeat those two maneuvers on across. Here is a diagram of how the weave looks:

kitchner-stitches.jpg

This is called the Kitchner stitch. Once you have done it a few times, you will be able to work it so that your yarn tension is even as you weave. You can work it loosely then go back with the tip of your yarn needle and work the excess along to even out the stitches.

To finish your sock, work in the yarn ends on the wrong side of the fabric, wash your sock by hand and pat it out smoothly on a towel to dry. Woolen yarn is very forgiving. When you wet it, you can pull out a lot of the uneven places and, as it drys, the individual strands fix themselves into a bend to create a fabric — kind of like curling your hair.

I’d love to put pictures of your socks on this blog. Just send a digital file to me. Here’s an email LINK. If that doesn’t work for your computer setup, leave a response on the blog and I’ll email you directly.

1 thought on “Lesson 7: The Toe”

  1. Oh. My. Freaking. Voo-doo. Doll!!!

    I have NEVER seen a diagram of exactly WHAT the Kitchner stitch was really DOING. I never pictured in my mind what I was doing, so I’ve avoided doing it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one sure was. I don’t think I’ll ever have to look up how to Kitchner again! I just never realized all I was doing was using some yard to “knit” that row together. I was too caught up in thread it this way in a knit direction, thread it that way in a purl direction.

    Thank you so much!

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