Toe-Up Socks: Developing the Foot (Increases)

This will be one of the shortest segments in the toe-up socks course.

Here is where you should be at this point:

  • Cast on and worked the toe of your sock
  • Have the correct number of stitches on your needles for the foot, based on your pattern?
  • Your stitches should look uniform
  • The toe section should match the gauge for the pattern.
  • The toe should fit the wearer snugly but not too tightly.

Before starting to work on the foot, double check your measurements. Instead of saying that the toe should be X number of inches long, some patterns will say that the toe should be X number of inches less than the length of the foot. This is the point where you need to remember that your desired foot length should be 10% shorter than the actual foot measurement.

One other important thing about the foot section of the sock is that you want the sole of the sock to be smooth against the foot, otherwise, it will be uncomfortable and unpleasant to walk on.

For most patterns, knitting the foot is where you will regularly increase the number of stitches to develop the instep and foot section.Your pattern should tell you how to make the increases for the foot section of the sock. It may, or may not, but the same method of increasing that was used in the toe section. There are many different ways to create increases. Some are better suited to some situations than others. As you develop your knitting skills, taking some time to learn about the different types of increases and decreases will help prepare you for more complex and advanced knitting projects.

Depending on your pattern, these increases could take place anywhere around the foot and as you explore more sock patterns you will find designs with increases in the foot in a number of different places. For a great study in the may different places the increases in the foot can be worked, check out Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One for a mind-boggling study of just how versatile those increase placements can be.

When you get to the end of the foot, you want to check for these things

  • Do you have the correct number of stitches that your pattern calls for?
  • Does your sock look like the foot of the sock in your pattern (increase lines are going the right direction, etc.)?
  • Try the sock on. Does it still fit?
  • Check your math again. Are you on track to have a sock that is about 10% shorter than the actual measured foot length?

Next up is one of the what can be the confusing part of sock knitting the first time you do it – heels. But fear not, you are with friends here and we’re going to get through it together.

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