3 Pairs - Toe Up Afterthought Heel and Toe Socks FO

Pattern: Toe Up Afterthought Heel and Toe Socks by Annie Modesitt
Colours: 100 (White) 204 (Light Blue) 013 (Lavender) 014 (Grape)
Needles: 3mm dpn's
Start: June 27th Finish: (3prs) July 25th, 2009
Modifications: Extra chunky cuff edge knit with yarn held double

These socks are my first attempts at knitting socks from the toe up. The afterthought heel and toe construction (Also a first for me) makes knitting the foot and leg super mindless - this was even more the case as I was knitting three pair in succession. I would cast on for the drive home and then finish the leg on the way back to the cottage.

When inserting all the heels and toes I did find picking out the provisional cast on stitches surprisingly difficult. I used the recommended cast on from the pattern which is cited as being easy to remove but since this was my first time using a provisional cast on it could very well be that I a) did the cast on incorrectly or b)took it out wrong and in so doing made it more difficult than it had to be or even c) had an unrealistic view of just how "easy" easy would be!

Picking up heel stitches from the 2x2 ribbing was also a bit fiddly. If I were to make these again I would work a round in stocking stitch after inserting the waste yarn for the afterthought heel before commencing the 2x2 ribbing that makes up the leg. This would mean I would avoid having to pick up the purls.

The heel of the first sock, originally worked in a fingering weight yarn looked kind of miserly and tight compared to the rest of the sport weight sock (that this would be the case of course should have been obvious to me before I used it!?) So I took it out and replaced it with Cashmerino. As the pattern suggests it was quite simple to cut out the heel and replace it.

This pattern was ideal for the loungy, stay at home (or stay in bed!) socks I envisioned when I bought this (blue and white) yarn with socks in mind. The ribbed legs are nice and loose and the feet - knit a wee bit on the long side (7.25" rather than 7") make the whole effect perfectly slouchy. The yarn is of course super soft and cozy in the 2x2 rib - an affect that was lacking with the predominantly stockinette patterns I had tried with this yarn in the past.

The purple version used remnants that have been languishing in the stash for at least 4 years so its great to have both new socks and new stash space as a result of those being done.

For me, these were a fun, (for me)novel and ideal start of summer project that I decided to do after reading "Knitting Heretic" following taking a class from Annie in June. I'm pretty sure I'm the only knitter left who had yet to try toe up construction but if there is anyone else out there thinking about giving this technique a try, Annie's approach really couldn't be an easier way to start. Thanks for the inspiration Annie!


Acorn to Oak said...

I think it's so cool to have three pairs of finished socks at the same time! They're so cute with the two colors. I especially love the white with the light blue. Pretty!

I've never heard of afterthought toe and heal construction. Sounds interesting.

You're not the last to do toe-up socks....I still haven't tried it...it's on my to-do list though. :-)

I'm working on an Annie Modesitt pattern now...the ruffled rose scarf...it's so fun and pretty. I love it!

Happy knitting

BarbS said...

Oh, those turned out great! I still haven't done toe-up socks - too many patterns for cuff-down that I still haven't gotten to, but I did download Yarnissima's "Brainless" pattern. I think her heel method looks cool (but tricky?), and I want to get one of her kits someday.

Julia said...

If it's any consolation, I feel like I've done a thousand provisional cast-ons and they never unzip like they're supposed two. One of these days I'll figure it out.

Jealous of your socks - they're so cute!

Sam said...

I'll second the suggestion to try 'Brainless'.. perhaps not aptly named, but her toe-up heel and gusset combination makes a great sock with a great fit, and is a fun knit!

fiddlewitch said...

i'm a recent convert to toe up, having knit top down for YEARS. i'm a fan of fleegle socks, but am using remnants and would like to do an afterthought heel this time, to get the contrasting toe and heel to match up better. my question is, how did you determine where to knit in the waste yarn on toe up? (p.s. your socks look great!)


Sel and Poivre said...

Hey Fiddlewitch! the heel stitches are inserted 7.5" from the provisional cast on at the base of the afterthought toe. (The distance between the base of my toes and the centre of my ankle bone.)