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Old 01-29-2005, 03:30 PM   #1
Ann in NH
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"Toe-Up" knitting socks
There are two different sock knitting classes in my area. One is "Toe-Up" the other is the "traditional" way (I guess you call it)

Is it a matter of preference to do the "Toe-Up" knitting method. I've never knitted socks before.

Thanks for reading,
Ann
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:02 PM   #2
salsa
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Hi Ann in NH,

Yes, it's just a matter of preference.

Cuff-down socks are traditionally knit in the west, whereas toe-up socks are popularly knit in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

However, there are many western sock knitters who have converted to knitting toe-up and swear that they like it better than cuff down. If you do a google search, there are quite a few sock patterns out there on the internet for toe-up socks. There are also many patterns for cuff-down socks. Some patterns use heel/gusset constructions, and others use short row heel/toes.

After you learn to knit a sock one way, you will get the general idea of how a sock is constructed. Then you can try out a pattern for knitting a socks in the other direction to that which you learned, and compare to see which way you liked best!
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:54 PM   #3
yellowness
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Everything in knitting is preferance, or so I think :) Even though I'm rabid about certain "preferances".

I'm curious about toe-up socks. Almost all the paterns I have available, and all the ones I've tried, are cuff down.

I'm curious mostly about the heel turning/gusset part of toe-up and how that works... Personally, turning the heel is my favorite part of sock knitting, seconded by the gusset pickups/decreases (knit - knit - knit - knit - weird stuff - weird stuff - weird stuff - weird stuff - BLAMO! SOCK SHAPE! - knit - knit - knit - knit).

So, the whole heel turning/gusset thing on toe-up is of interest to me, as I'm curious if I'd find it as neato (or more so :} ).
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:33 PM   #4
beldaraan
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I'm curious too. But I;m curious about a lot of knitting techniques. Oh, if only these fingers could knit as fast as they type....
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:22 AM   #5
salsa
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Quote:
I'm curious mostly about the heel turning/gusset part of toe-up and how that works... Personally, turning the heel is my favorite part of sock knitting, seconded by the gusset pickups/decreases (knit - knit - knit - knit - weird stuff - weird stuff - weird stuff - weird stuff - BLAMO! SOCK SHAPE! - knit - knit - knit - knit).
Yellowness, the heel/gusset construction is pretty much a "cuff-down" thing (although I think I saw a pattern somewhere out there in cyberspace for a toe-up sock with gusset?).

Usually the toe-up socks use a different heel and toe construction called a "short row" heel and toe. With this method there is no heel flap, no picking up gusset stitches, and there is no need to kitchener stitch the toe.

If you learn to do short row heel & toes, you can knit a sock either way (from the toe up to cuff OR from the cuff down to toe).

In the pics below, the red sock was a toe-up sock. The blue-ish sock is a cuff down sock. Both socks use short row heels and toes. The other sock which has the familiar gusset, is a cuff-down sock.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:09 AM   #6
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One more post (for yellowness and beldaaran)!!!

In the pics below (my practice knitting with scrap yarn), you're seeing the toe of a sock as formed by the "short row" technique. It looks like a cup. This is the bit that your toes slip into. When you look at the picture on the right, you could also imagine how your heel could fit into a cup like that.

So basically what is happening with those toe-up socks is that you knit "a cup" for your toes. Then you keep knitting in the round (with your needles around the rim of "the cup"). That gives you a tube for your foot (+ cup for toes at the end of the sock).

When the tube for your foot gets to where your ankles are, you knit another "cup". This cup is for the heel of your foot. Then you resume knitting a tube, which is for your ankle and leg. And you end off at the cuff with a stretchy bind-off.

I hope that kind of helps with imagining what happens with those toe-up type socks (I wish I could explain it better).
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:43 AM   #7
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Thank you Salsa! I shall remember this when I attempt to knit socks this way.
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:46 PM   #8
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Great pictures Salsa!

Welcome Ann! I agree, it's just a preference. Most patterns are top-down, so you may want to learn that first, just to get the basics town. The main advantage, in my mind anyway, to toe-up, is that if you run out of yarn, you can easily unravel it and borrow yarn from one sock for the other; and it's also a great place to insert a band of another color, if you think you're going to run out of yarn. There's lots of options, here, for using up exactly the amount of yarn you have.

The main disadvantage of toe-up, is that binding off loosely for the cuff is much more challenging than casting on loosely. But once you find a good method that works for you, then you're all set here, and it's not really a disadvantage after-all. I'm not experience with this toe-up socks, although I look forward to doing a pair the next time I'm not sure if I'll have enough yarn!

Amy
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