Experiments with Knitting Toe Up Sock Toes

When I started my second pair of toe-up knit socks, I knit them in fingering-weight yarn, using leftovers from my Creme Brulee Socks and my Tiramisu socks. I broke up the stripes with some white, undyed, targhee sock yarn that I bought from this shop on Etsy. Along with some new stripe styles, I decided to experiment with changing my toe up sock toes.


As part of my learning process, I thought I’d try a new-to-me toe technique that Louise Tilbrook recently shared on her Instagram account. It involves using a different kind of increases on the toes for your toe-up socks. This technique makes it easier to keep track of where you are.

Why My Earlier Toe Up Sock Toes Didn’t Work Well

The last time I knit a pair of toe up socks, I used a very traditional toe increase. In that technique, you knit one, kfb, knit to two stitches before the end of the first half of the toe, kfb, knit one, and then repeat for the second half of the stitches in the toe. That’s a very effective and tight increase. It makes for a sturdy, neat toe.

There’s just one problem. When you knit toe up, it’s hard to keep track of the yarn on the end of the round. That’s because it’s inside the toe instead of dangling down from the cuff. This also means it’s a little harder to remember whether you are on an increase round or a plain round. The kfb can be kind of hard to see, too, especially in darker yarn. All of this meant that there were a couple points on my first pair of socks where I should have increased and didn’t. There were also some where I didn’t need to increase but did anyway.

Louise’s Toe Innovation

When I saw Louise’s post, I knew this was the technique I had been looking for. Instead of using kfb, Louise uses a yarn over. Then, on the next round, she knits that yarn over through the back loop, which tightens it up and prevents it from leaving a hole in the toe. I’ve used this increase method on round-yoke sweaters before, but I had never tried it on a sock.

The advantage the yarn over has over the kfb method is that it’s very easy to see whether you have worked an increase. That way, you are not terribly likely to work an increase on a plain round or fail to increase on an increase around. While this increase method is not as snug and tight as a kfb, it is sturdy enough that I think it will do the trick.

My Results

I’m pretty pleased with the results I get with this method! It’s very tidy, and I like the pretty ridges along the increase edge. Unless I find something I like better, I think I will use this method going forward. If I’m honest, I still generally prefer cuff-down socks. But there are a few more combinations of leftover sock yarn that are calling my name for stripe-y toe up socks.

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper into toe up sock knitting? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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