In this show I talk about knitting socks, and converting toe up socks to cuff down and vice versa.
The thing to keep in mind is that the design element lives only on the tube of the leg, the tupbe of the cuff, and the flat of the instep. You can plug it in (inverted of course) to a sock template.
For both templates, you need to know how many stitches you’ll need overall. Take your gauge in the round. Now measure around your leg just above the ankle bone. Subtract 2″ from that measurement. Now multiply your stitches to the inch by the number of inches and that’s your goal number for the tube. Adjust for pattern repeats.
For the cuff down sock, cast on your total number of stitches needed, do your cuff, do your leg. Now you want a heel. I like the eye of partridge with a garter stitch border so
Row 1: Slip 1 K2 *slip 1, K1. Rep from * to last 3 sts. K3
Row 2 (and all even rows): Skip 1 K2 Purl to last 3 K3
Row 3: Slip 1 K1 *K1 Slip 1 Rep from * to last 2 sts. K2
Keep this up for 2 inches.
Then a heel turn. I tend to use about an inches worth of stitches in the middle. So let’s say we’re doing 64 stitches cast on, 8 stitches to the inch. The heel is over 32 stitches. 32-8 = 24 Half of 12 is 12, so knit that and the eight after to get to the other side, aka knit 18, ssk, k1 turn. Slip 1, purl 9, P2tog, p1 turn, Next row slip 1 knit 10, ssk k1 turn, and so on, adding 1 stitch to each side until all the stitches are consumed. If you end on a purl row, which you should, knit across.
Cuff doen socks usually then pick up a gusset. Pick up and knit 1 stich for each slip stitch on the side of the heel flap. Work across the instep in pattern. Pick up and knit 1 stich for each slip stitch on the other side of the heel flap. Ideally, you pick up the same number on either side. If that doesn’t work out, fudge a decrease in on the next round. The gusset stitches are worked as part of the sole of the sock, which is typically plain.
Now decrease the gusset
Row 1, knit the sole plain, with the instep, or top of the foot, in pattern.
Row 2, at the start of the sole stitches, knit 1 SSK, knit to the last 3 sole stitches, k2tog k1. Again, keep the instep in pattern.
Repeat those two rows until you’re down to the cast on number.
Now you’re back to a tube, with the pattern on the instep and the sole plain, until your sock is about 2 inches shorter than your foot.
Decrease the toe by starting the sole stitches with a K1 SSK and ending with K2tog K1 and doing likewise with the instep stitches, which are often plain at this point, every other row until you’re down to 1/8 of your original cast on amount, then kitchener it closed.
For toe up, you provisionally cast on half the number of stitches you need, purl across the first row.
In the second row, knit until you have 2 stitches left, wrap and turn, purl until you have 2 stitches left, wrap and turn, knit until you have 3 stitches left, wrap and turn, you get the idea. Do this until you have 1/4 of your total cast on number between the wrapped stitches. Now knit until the first wrapped stitch. Put the wrapping onto the needle and knit it together with the stitch. Wrap and turn. Purl until the first wrapped stitch. Put the wrapping on the needle and purl it together with the stitch. Wrap and turn. Knit to the wrapped stitch. Put both wrappings onto the needle and knit them together with the stitch. Wrap and turn. Keep doing this, until you’ve consumed all the stitches.
Now, take out the provisional cast on, and make those stitches live, so that you’re facing that tube again, with the sole on the bottom and the instep on top. Go until you’re about an inch to two inches shorter than your foot. We don’t need to worry about a gusset.
Do the same wrap and turn trick with half the stitches to turn the heel, and we’re looking at that leg tube. Go straight up to the cuff, which is another tube. Knit the cuff.
To make the whole thing even easier, you can do an afterthough heel. For this, wherever you want the heel to go, you just knit across with scrap yarn to make a line comprising half the stitches of the sock, then continue as if the heel were there already.
When you’re done, you pull that scrap yarn out, putting the stitches onto a dpn as you go. You’ll have a stitch on either side of the line, from the row before and the row after. Each row goes on its own dpn. You’ll end up with an extra on one side.
Knit across the bottom needle. Pick up as many stitches as you need to be sure you won’t get a gap at the side of the heel. Knit across the top needle and again, pick up the stitches that will close the gap. The start of the sole stitches is your start of round. You want to divide onto three dpns. Knit across half the bottom stitches with one needle, and the other half with the other. Knit around, hiding a decrease somewhere on the needle that has the extra stitch.
Rnd 1: needle 1, K1 SSK K to end needle 2, K to last 3 stitches, K2 Tog, K1 needle 3, K1 SSK K to last 3 stitches K2 tog, K1
Rnd 2: knit plain.
Repeat these two rows until you have about 1/5 of the number of stitches you started with. Kitchener that closed. That keeps the heel from breaking up the pattern, and is great if you’re doing contrasting heels and toes.