Sock Serenity 6: The Toe-up Sock – Toe to Heel

I am using Jacob 2 ply. My yarn is a bit uneven, so I used a yarn gauge and sampled the yarn in several places in order to get an average WPI of 8.

8 wraps per inch – averaged across the yarn

As previously mentioned I started my sock using Judy’s magic cast on. I cast on 8 stitches and knitted one round. I doubled the number of stitches by knitting every one front and back. I prefer a round toe to one with side ‘seams’ so I then increased on every third row, the first time round increasing in every other stitch; on the next increase, increasing every third stitch and so on, until, at 56 stitches, I decided that it was about the right size for my foot.

I am using the Magic Loop, long circular needle method – which works wonderfully well with the toe-up sock as it is so easy to try the sock on as you go and make shaping decisions easily.

At 56 stitches, ready to knit the foot.

Once the width is correct, knit straight up the foot until about 1½-2″ before the back of the heel.

Ready to start making the heel

With a gauge of 8 sts and 8 rows (roughly) to the inch, this sock has grown quickly and I’m now shaping the heel.

I’ve chosen to do a short-row heel, what my old pattern book calls an Auto heel. This involves parking half the stitches (the top of the foot) on one side of the circular needle and making the heel with the other half. So, I’m therefore working on 28 sts.

To work the heel

With the wrong side facing:

Slipping the first stitch of every row, first purl across all the (28, in my case) heel stitches. Then turn, and knit up to (but not including) the last stitch, turn the work again and purl up to (but not including) the last stitch.  Repeat these two rows, always working one stitch less in each row, until approximately one third of the stitches remain live in the middle, finishing with a purl row. I worked down to 10 stitches for my sock. Approximately one third of the stitches will be left on either side (in my case, 9 on each side)

The heel at the half-way stage.

For clarity, I worked a demonstration heel over 21 stitches:

Demo heel over 21 stitches

Seven stitches are live in the centre. There is a group of seven stitches on the right hand needle and another seven on the left hand needle – these are separated from the live stitches by an obvious gap.

Three groups of stitches

To be continued…

NEXT: Toe-up Sock – completing that heel