I never meant to knit toe-up socks. I started knitting cuff-down and thought I would always knit socks that way. It started when I bought some Lyon Brand Magic Stripes yarn. Several people on the sock list said they were running out of yarn, so I split my skein in half at the beginning of a color repeat, and struggled through a toe-up sock. I didn’t need to worry, I had plenty left over, but I enjoyed the change of pace.
I taught myself toe-up socks by working through Denise's Toe-up sock
lesson on the Sockknitter’s site. I ran into a problem right away, I didn’t like her toe, so I poked around, and tried this Simple Rectangle Toe
. It worked the first time, and I planned to learn the ‘right’ way later on. Well, I never tried another toe, the rectangle one looks and fits just right for me.
I did read about increases from the sock knitter’s lesson, and chose to do the yarn-over increases. They look good to me and I can always ‘read’ my sock and know if I should yo or knit in the front/back of the yo.
It is still difficult for me to know just how far to knit before I begin my gussets. If they are my socks, I just try them on and knit till I get to the spot where the top of my foot begins to bend and become my ankle/leg.
If the socks are for my kids, I have to do a few calculations. I need to calculate my gusset sts first. I have found I like the fit of socks when I take the total # of stitches for the sock and divide it by 6, the same proportion in a cuff-down sock. This gives me the number of gusset stitches for each side. (Since my kids have high arches, I round up and then add another stitch or two.) The current socks for my DS have 80 stitches for the foot. 80/6 = 13+2 = 15. I knit my socks on 5 dpns, so when I’m done increasing for my gussets, I will have 35 on each sole needle and 20 sts on each instep needle.
Now I calculate the length of the gussets, which will be 30 rounds long. (Increase EOR, 15*2=30) I’m getting about 12 rpi, so 30/12 = 2.5” for the length of the gusset.
Finally! I’m ready to calculate how many rows to knit before I start my gussets. I take the total length of the foot, subtract the heel flap, toe, and length of the gusset. (11- 1.5-2-2.5 = 5”) 5*12=60, so I should knit about 60 rounds before I begin my gussets. I subtracted a few rounds for a snug fit, and actually knitted 55 rounds.
I know it sounds cumbersome, but I only need to do it once and save it on an index card or my sock spreadsheet. I always ask the kids how the socks fit, and make notes on my card. I have to double check my calculations when I change brands of sock yarn, but once I have my gauge, I’m ready to go.
My son’s socks are ready for the heel to be turned, and then I'll knit the heel flap. I've moved 20 stitches to each instep needle, separated from the instep stitches by a marker. My two sole needles have 15 stitches each, 30 total stitches for turning my heel. That’s another long story, if any one is interested.