I like the flexibility of knitting from the toe-up. I like to be able to use all of my yarn, and not worry about running out before the toe. I like to try on my socks as I go. But, I don't care for short row heels and I don't like picking up sts. And I like the traditional looking heel flap and gusset, especially for doing contrasting color heels and toes. I often do them two at a time, so when one ball of yarn runs out, that's the end!
So... this is the sock pattern that let's me have my toe up and an easy heel! If you have any comments, suggestions, or even try it, please let me know what you think! This pattern is still in beta - I have used it many times, but would like to know what others think.
Note: The last place in the pattern is for those who have already found a comfortable number of stitches that fit their foot and would like to use that number for this pattern.
40 (52, 64, X)
Fingering weight yarn
2 circular needles, US 3 (2, 1)
Toe: Cast on 4 sts on each needles using the figure 8 method. (Many good online tutorials - here's one).
Row 1 (both needles): Knit around
Row 2 (both needles): Kfb of the first sts, knit to the last 2 sts, kfb of the 2nd to last st, k the last st
Repeat row 2 until there are 10 (13, 16, X/4) sts per needle.
Switch to alternating rows 1 & 2 until there are 20 (26, 32, X/2) sts on each needle.
Foot: Work in the round until ~2" before the end of the heel.
Needle 1: kfb (place marker between these two sts), knit to two sts before the end, kfb of the 2nd to last st, pm, k the last st
Needle 2: knit across
Repeat the above row until the sts are arranged thus on Needle 1: 10 (13, 16, X/4) sts, marker, 20 (26, 32, X/2), marker, 10 (13, 16, X/4) sts
Notes: After the first row, all the increased sts stay on the outside of the markers, so there should always be 20 (26, 32, X/2) sts between the markers.
Shape Heel (short rows):
Note: If you want to add in a contrasting heel, join contrasting color at this step. You can leave the main color attached.
Short row 1: K to 1st marker, sl marker, k to 2 sts before marker. Wrap and turn.
Short row 2: P to 2 sts before marker. Wrap and turn.
Short row 3: K to the st just before the last wrapped st. Wrap and turn.
Short row 4: P to the st just before the last wrapped st. Wrap and turn.
Repeat short rows 3 and 4 until only four sts remain unwrapped in the middle.
Work all wraps as you come to them.
Flap row 1: Knit to one st before marker, move marker to this position (This st becomes the first gusset consuming st). Ssk. Turn.
Flap row 2: Sl st p wise, sl marker. Purl to one st before next marker and move marker to this position (this st is the other gusset consuming st). P2tog. Turn.
Flap row 3: Sl st p wise, sl marker, [k1, sl wyb] to 2nd marker, sl marker, ssk. Turn.
Flap row 4: Sl st p wise. sl marker, purl to 2nd marker, sk marker, p2tog. Turn.
Repeat flap rows 3 and 4 until only one st remains on the outside of the marker. Each needle should now have 20 (26, 32) sts once again.
Note: The heel is done. If you had a contrasting color, you can stop now and pick your main color back up.
At this point, you can add in a number of options:
Option 1: Continue on in stockinette until the sock is as long as you want, toss 2"/5 cm of k2, p2 rib on the top and call it good.
Option 2: k2, p2 until you are done.
Option 3: Broken Rib. My personal favorite for handpainted yarns, because the little purls make the color look like jewels.
Row 1: [k3, p1]
Row 2: [k2, p1, k1]
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until you are done.
Option 4+: Anything you want, really. I toss in patterns from Knitty, IK, Knitting on the road, any stitch dictionary, etc.
This is important. I always bind off too tightly, until I started using EZ's sewn bind off, which I learned here. It requires a darning needle, instead of just the knitting needles. The nice thing about that is that, when you're done, the end of your yarn is already on a needle and weaving in the end is just a few sts away!