Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A word about TOES. Sock. Toes. Really.

A Sock For Helen

Sock Toes. Who'd think this topic would generate interest? Not me. But I was wrong. Especially after talking about socks with knitters in Adelaide this week.

As a dedicated sock knitter, the importance of toes, and heels, does not escape me. The topic first caught my attention around 5 years ago, when I was knitting Sister Socks by yes, my sister, Bitsy. The subject came up then as we discussed the virtues of round vs standard toes, as only sock designers are want to do.

Anyway, I fell in love with the round toe and made many a pair with it. But then, I decided I needed to knit it from the toe up. I hunted around both in books and online, but could find no reference to it at the time.

Then, later on, I found a reference to it in another sock knitting quest, in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. Alas, she didn't elaborate, (just a few lines!) but it added a nice weight to my obsession. We knitters, for the most part, understand that knitting is a communal craft and that innovation is a risky word. I like to err on the side of caution and use the Elizabeth Zimmermann assumption that it's unvention. Thanks to Ms. Schurch, I wasn't the only knitter who thinks it's a good toe.

Anyway, years later and I'm still extolling the virtues of the toe up round toe. Why?
  1. It's easy to get started – no fancy, special cast ons necessary
  2. It's forgiving – only a few sts to get started and off you go. You can adjust the stitch numbers further up the toe if it gives you trouble
  3. Because it's symetrical, you can choose where to insert a heel further down the line – very nice if you are a procrastinator and can't decide where you want your heel to go
  4. It's teachable – for people who are scared off by casting on 64 sts for a sock from the top, it is easy to manage the limited number of sts for new users of dpns
 Baby Beantoes

I'm sure there are more reasons than those above, but suffice to say, I'll keep knitting socks with this toe. And yes, there are some limitations to it, but hey, I'm sure we'll figure those out too, or just embrace them as an excuse to try something else that's new.

 Dark Rainbow Socks

Melissa, where it's summer and that means sock knitting season

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