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Knitting A Foot, Toe, and Finishing the Sock

Karen Baumer shares sock knitting tips for creating a pair of women's-size medium socks.

After completing the gusset decreases, continue working in stockinette in rounds until the foot of the sock is about seven inches (measured from the back of the heel), or about two inches shorter than your desired finished length. If you're making the sock for yourself, you can try it on while it's still on the needles. Just make sure the stitches are pushed in far enough from the needle tips so they won’t fall off as you carefully pull the sock onto your foot. The toe shaping will use the same two decreases you used for the heel — you just do more of them.

Figure A

Toe Decreases
Round one: Needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, knit 2 together, knit 1; Needle 2, knit 1, SSK, knit to end; Needle 3, knit to last 3 sts, knit 2 together, knit 1; Needle 4, knit 1, SSK, knit to end.
Round 2: Knit

Repeat these two rounds until you are down to 12 sts total, then K across Needle 1 only and stop (figure A). Adjust the remaining sts onto two needles, so that the top and bottom (of the foot) rows of stitches are parallel and the yarn is hanging at the end of the needle holding the sole sts. Cut yarn, leaving about a 10" to 12" tail. Graft the toe together using Kitchener stitch, as follows:

1. Hold the two needles one in front of the other, with the tail of the yarn attached to the back needle (it should be hanging from the right end of the line of stitches from your current point of view).

Figure B

2. With a tapestry needle, feed the tail purlwise through the rightmost st on the front needle (figure B). Pull yarn through and leave the st on the needle.

3. Insert needle knitwise through the rightmost st on the back needle. Pull yarn through and leave the st on the needle. (Make sure you are feeding the yarn from front to back and vice versa underneath your needles and not lifting the yarn over the tops of the needles or otherwise creating extra loops.)

3. Insert needle knitwise through the rightmost st on the front needle and then slip that st off the needle. Insert needle purlwise through the next st on the front needle. Pull yarn through and leave st on needle.

4. Insert needle purlwise through rightmost st on back needle and then slip that st off the needle. Insert needle knitwise through the next stitch on back needle. Pull yarn through and leave st on needle.

5. Repeat rows 3 and 4 only until all sts on both needles have been grafted together and slipped off the needles. Feed yarn through the last loop, then through to the inside of the sock and weave in the end.

Your toe should look completely seamless, but don’t despair if it doesn’t. Most people need some practice before "getting" Kitchener stitch.

Figure C

If you don’t want to graft your toe, you can decrease your toe sts down to 8 total, then cut your yarn, feed it through those 8 sts while removing the needles, then pull the yarn tight like a drawstring bag (figure C). Feed yarn to inside of toe and weave in end securely.

Weave in any remaining ends and you’re done. Well, except that now you have to make the matching sock.

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