Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Toe Up vs Top Down

Now that I've actually completed a pair of toe up socks (on double pointed needles) I think I can compare them to top down.

I like both methods, but I think toe up edges out top down in that, when you're finished, all you need to do is hide two yarn ends. I'm not a fan of the figure eight cast on, probably because I haven't practiced it enough. Really, since I like the looks of the short row toe, there's no need to master the figure eight unless it's for ego purposes to say "I can do it."

Anyway, in my opinion, any sock pattern can be converted from top down to toe up, the pattern will just run upside down, unless it's something symmetrical like a diamond pattern. I don't see much problem with that. If it's a case of stranded knitting, then following the color chart upside down should fix that.

So, yes, I like toe up socks, the short row toes and heels look very neat. The biggest plus to toe up socks is that it appears to me that they're also faster to knit, and to a slow knitter like me, that's a big plus.

So, if you're not a fan of doing kitchener stitch, and it's kept you from giving socks a try, then I say look up some toe up sock patterns and give them a try.

If you're not doing socks because you're leery of trying knitting in the round on double pointed needles, then look up some tutorials on using magic loop or two circulars. With two circulars, you can drop the project onto the cables and not worry about losing stitches. I can do either, but since I haven't completed anything using magic loop, comparing the two methods is something that will have to wait for another day. However, making socks using two circulars means that I can make the entire pair at the same time by using two balls of yarn. I wouldn't say it's any faster than making them one at a time, but when you're finished, well, you're finished.

Now, someone will probably ask me how would I do two toe up socks on two circular needles. Well, the answer is simple. Since I do short row toes, which requires a provisional cast on, I would do one toe on one circular and the other toe on the other circular needle and then, very carefully, transfer both sets of live stitches to one circular (making sure the working yarn ends are both pointing in the same direction. Then I would unzip the crochet chains (that's the provisional method I prefer) and place those live stitches on the empty circular needle. Voila! I can then do both socks at the same time up to the heel. Then you would do one heel at a time (Placing the other sock on the cable until you're finished with the first one. Once you're finished with the heels, you then do both legs at the same time. Doing socks this way makes sure that your gauge will be the same on both socks.

Boy, I start off comparing two sock methods and end up talking about four. Go me.

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