My goal of writing a toe-up sock pattern was almost thwarted when I had some trouble deciding on a cast-on method. The Knitty article on the subject
, while very informative, didn't really have what I was looking for. I was uncomfortable with the crochet cast on method since I wanted the pattern to be simple for all knitters, not just those who had ventured out far enough to buy a crochet hook. The figure 8 cast-on method looks good on the sock, but isn't very practical for those with fewer than 3 hands. By the time I figured out which stitch to knit into, it had fallen of my needle already.
So I came up with the ultimate cheat: I'm calling it the Zig-Zag
cast-on method. (For all I know, this technique may have a name already, but since I quasi-invented it, I'm quasi-naming it, too.) Sock-knitting purists wanting an invisible seam may not like this technique, since it leaves a pretty obvious "braid" of stitches across the top, but it's nothing that will negatively affect the comfort level of your toes once the sock is worn. STEP 1:
Start by casting on as many toe-tip stitches as your pattern calls for, all on one needle. For this example, I am casting on 16 stitches, but if you are using tiny sock yarn & needles, you'll likely need many more.STEP 2:
Take 2 needles, held together side by side, and begin slipping your stitches as if to purl. Every other stitch goes on every other needle. Shown here halfway done:
...and fully transferred:Step 3:
Begin knitting in the round as usual. On your first round, knit the stitches onto your preferred needles (3 dpns, 4 dpns, 2 circulars, etc.) and increase as your pattern instructs. Here's my toe after a few rows of increases: