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!