If you've ever wanted to try knitting socks from the toe up but weren't sure how to start, Toe-Up Techniques for Hand-Knit Socks by Janet Rehfeldt offers a bunch of options.
It covers all the basics, from cast on methods to ways of working the heel, as well as providing seven patterns to try out your new skills.
Learning New Methods
Toe-Up Techniques covers the basics knitters need to know in order to be able to knit from the toe up, including three cast on methods, a variety of increases and decreases, two heels (short row and a backwards heel flap and gusset) and four different bind offs.
All these techniques can feel a little intimidating when you're just reading through the book, and there aren't a lot of illustrations to make it less daunting. But if you just skim through the front of the book before looking at the patterns, you'll probably find these instructions much more useful and less confusing when you actually have a sock in front of you than when you're trying to visualize what's happening on your own.
This introduction also includes a few tips and basics on sock knitting in general in case you aren't familiar with other methods.
The book includes seven patterns and one variation (a Reverse Stockinette sock) to get you started knitting socks from the toe up. There's the basic Stockinette sock, one combining Seed Stitch and lace, another with gathered slip stitches on the leg and one with a lacy panel on the leg.
The other patterns combine a variety of stitch patterns that change with the colors in a self-striping yarn, a sock with a lace fan pattern down the leg and a pair of pedicure "socks" that really just cover from behind the ball of the feet to the beginning of the toes.
The patterns are appropriate for a range of skill levels, though none of them are too difficult. They should help knitters understand and feel comfortable with the concepts of toe-up knitting so that they can either write their own patterns or look at a top-down pattern and understand how to change it to make it a toe-up design, should they want to.
Toe-Up Techniques is a good primer for people who haven't made toe-up socks before. It should help you see if this is a method you're going to like and can serve as a reference in your future toe-up sock knitting adventures.
Publication date: November 2008.