Generic Sock - Part 4
OK, so you've knit down to where you need to start toe decreases, how do you do those? Easy. Remember your first cast on number of stitches? In my sample sock I cast on 64 stitches. I will work a toe decrease round (I'll give details in a minute) every other round until I have half the original number of stitches (32), then I'll work the decrease round every round until I have one quarter of the original stitches (16) left. Then I Kitchener Stitch the toe closed and admire my sock! If you get an odd number when you are figuring the last number, you can either round up or down. Use your foot type as a guide. My feet tend to be narrow so I always round down, but if you know you have wide feet, or just like toe wiggle room, round up.
Now that you know when and how many times you're going to decrease, how do you do it? Easy, the decrease round looks like this:Needle 1-K1, SSk, knit to end of needle, Needle 2-Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1, Needle 3- work as for Needle 1, Needle 4- work as for Needle 2. This only works if Needles 1 and 2 are your instep stitches and Needles 3 and 4 are your sole stitches. So once I have my socks at the correct length to start toe decreases I would work this round every other round (working even for the alternate rounds) until each of my 4 needles has 8 stitches (32 stitches), then I would work only the decrease round until each needle has 4 stitches (16 stitches). Then I Kitchener Stitch the whole thing together.
Kitchener Stitch is something that used to give me fits so I learned a way to Kitchener Without Knowing How To Kitchener and you're welcome to do this technique as well. I got into trouble when I decided to make socks for the Knitting Olympics - cheating at Kitchener takes more time and I needed that time to start another sock. Yes, I've learned to Kitchener Stitch, and after making 18 1/2 pairs of socks this year, I've learned to do it without looking up the directions. I learned from the book Sensational Knitted Socks. It has written directions for what you are supposed to do as well as really good pictures and for the first time in my life I was able to get something that looked like what Kitchener is supposed to look like. If you have trouble with Kitchener, take a look at this book and see if it will help you.
Congratulations! You just finished a sock - now knit another one for your other foot. Tomorrow I'll share some tips, tricks, and highly obsessive compulsive things I do when I knit socks.