A few posts back I blogged about mid-calf socks I knit for DW with Patons Cotton Stretch.
She was happy with them (so she said) but I thought there was a little more fabric in the toe than I like to see. Also, she tried them on right after I made them and the leg did size down almost an inch in the first wash.
For the toe – recall that I would normally knit Size Small (Ladies 5.5 – 8ish) on the 54 cylinder, but I knit these on the 72, with a rib, to all for the wider part of the calf.
Usually, when exiting a rib in preparation for a toe, I stop the ribbing 5 rows before the end of the foot – whether in true ribbing or mock ribbing – and go to full stockinette, knit 5 rows, then knit the toe. Part of switching to full stockinette is to make an easier job of kitchener stitch on closing, although I have done kitchener into a rib and its not really that much more complicated.
The change I made to narrow the toe in this pair – I kept on ribbing right up to the point of starting the toe . Instead of quitting 5 rows earlier, I quit only 4 rows earlier and then started my toe. When I stopped the yarn carrier in the 6 o’clock position to prepare for knitting the toe I switched out the ribbing needles remaining on the instep onto cylinder needles, BEFORE raising the back needles in prep of knitting the short rows.
So my foot is 4 rows shorter than ‘normal’ and I begin the short rows. BUT when I get to the yellow marks on the cylinder that signal the end of the decrease rows, I keep decreasing for 4 more rows – so I end up with 2 more needles raised on both the left and right side.
By decreasing 4 extra rows my foot is actually now the ‘normal’ length, and the toe comes to a narrower end – 12 stitches wide instead of the 16 stitches between the yellow marks.
My increases then are done as usual, with the exception that there are 4 extra passes, ending up at the red marks where a toe would normally finish.
When I lower the back needles for the final pass, I’m in effect doing one row of stockinette for my finishing round, which then sets me up for an easy kitchener session.
So finished pattern for size Small, Cotton Stretch on 72 cylinder with tension set for ~12 rows per inch:
- Topper – 1 x 1 rib for 20 rows (then switch needles to 3 x 1)
- Leg – 90 rows 3 x 1 rib (then switch out rib needles on instep)
- Pre-heel – 20 rows
- Heel – regular short row
- Foot – 56 rows (bottom is stockinette, instep continues in 3 x 1)
- Switch out remaining rib needles.
- Narrow Toe – with short rows decreasing until 12 stitches remaining)
I haven’t tried this with mock rib instead of rib yet, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work – I’d do the topper in 3 x 1, 40 rows,hang hem and than carry on. And remembering to pick up stitches when switching out a stitch from mock rib to stockinette.