Foot, Toe, and Finishing
Continue to work in Stockinette stitch until the foot of the sock, measured from the end of the heel flap, measures 2 inches less than the length of your foot.
An easy way to measure your foot is to stand on a piece of paper and draw a line behind your heel and in front of your toe. Add ½ inch, and that is your foot measurement.
Decrease For Toe
Following the pattern, decrease on each side of the sock on each needle, every other round, until the specified number of stitches remain.
Bind Off In Kitchener Stitch
This is an advanced sewn bind-off that is completely flat and invisible. It is slow but it gets faster as you get better at it.
Not only is this a fabulous way to invisibly join two pieces of knitting, this technique is used in a lot of other advanced bind-offs, making it an investment in your future knitting happiness.
I would consider it “required reading” for intermediate knitters.
This is the amazing bind-off that the invisible ribbed bind-off is based on, and it’s a little easier, too. Download Kitchener Stitch Illustration here.
Cut your yarn, leaving a foot and a half of tail. Thread a tapestry needle and follow the steps in the illustration and the video below to bind off your socks.
To Do the Kitchener Stitch:
Even if you’ve run into a lot of frustration with this bind-off before, I want you to put that aside and try this with a fresh, new outlook.
I promise you can do it, because I’m going to show you everything slowly and carefully.
Keeping it simple: There are only two basic movement groups that make up this bind-off, and you say them like a mantra in your mind as you work.
The moves are “knit-off purl” and “purl-off knit,” and I explain them in the video and the photo tutorial below.
1. Cut yarn, leaving 3x the width of the sts to be bound off, + 6 in. for weaving in later.
2. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle.
3. With tapestry needle, go purlwise into 1st st on front needle.
4. Pull yarn through.
5. Go knitwise into 1st st on back needle.
6. Pull yarn through.
7. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
8. Go purlwise into next st on front needle. Pull yarn through.
9. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
10. Go knitwise into next st on back needle. Pull yarn through.
Repeat steps 7-10 to last 2 sts.
11. Go knitwise into 1st st on front needle. Take st off needle.
12. Go purlwise into 1st st on back needle. Take st off needle.
13. Pull yarn through.
14. Poke tapestry needle down through inside of work and pull snug.
15. Stretch and shape to neaten the corner.
About sewn bind-offs and delicate yarn: Any time that you’re using a delicate yarn on a sewn bind-off, you’ll want to be careful not to pull too fast or too tight, because the yarn could break. Just go slow.
To undo this bind-off if you mess up, take the tapestry needle and follow the path of yarn back through the stitches the way you came, putting the stitches back on the needles as you go.
If your bind-off ends up being too loose, use your tapestry needle to pick through the stitches one by one and pull them tighter down the seam to tighten them up. If it’s too tight the best thing would be to take the bind-off out and start over.
Weave In Ends
Here’s how to weave in your ends on ribbing and inside the toe.
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The final touch for most knitting projects is blocking.
Soaking your project in warm water with a little soap and then laying it out to dry is all it takes to make your edges and stitches more even and to cover up any inconsistencies in your tension.
You may want to block your socks – here’s a photo comparison to show how much nicer a blocked sock looks and fits.
Especially if you are giving these socks as a gift, blocking adds the final touch by letting the sock relax into its new shape as it dries.
If you’d like to watch a video to see how to block your socks, here’s how to block your knitting.
To Do the Blocking Knitting – How to Block Your Work:
- Soak for 20 minutes in water with Soak or Eucalan.
- Gently squeeze out water.
- Lay flat to dry, stretching and pinning if desired.
Blocking is more important on some projects than on others. It tends to flatten out the knitted piece, so if your project depends on the stitches being very three-dimensional (ribbed scarves being a prime example), you may want to avoid blocking.
Because it flattens out knitted fabric and limits the tendency of Stockinette stitch to curl, blocking is very helpful on any project where you plan to seam or sew the edges. It’s easier to see what’s going on if the edge is flat and straight. To flatten, widen, or straighten the edges of your project even more aggressively, use T-pins to hold the corners and sides of your knitting in place as it dries.
You can pin your piece to anything you want – a couch cushion, the mattress in the spare bedroom, etc. You can also get a blocking kit with specialized interlocking foam pieces that dry quickly and can be arranged in any shape.
To block something lightly, after you soak it, squeeze out as much water as you can before laying it flat. Then, when you lay it flat, be careful not to stretch it out. Just use your fingers to straighten the edges and make the whole thing look even and neat.
To block something aggressively, leave the knitted piece quite damp, stretch it aggressively into the shape that you want, and use T-pins to hold it in that shape until it dries.
You can buy sock blockers at your local yarn store; they are made of plastic or wood and shaped like a foot.
If worse comes to worst, you can always put them on your own feet and order your family around for a few hours. “Honey, can you get that? I can’t get up, my socks are blocking.”
You’re done! Congratulations – you’ve just created a pair of socks in almost the same amount of time it would have taken you to knit just one.
I know this way isn’t as easy or straightforward as toe-up socks, but you’ve learned many new techniques along the way. I hope you are delighted with the color patterns your socks reveal.
Enjoy your new socks – you’ve done a fabulous job.