Today is the official start of our first ever Knit-A-Long: the Alpaca Direct Sockalong! It's not too late to join us! You can learn more about what a KAL is, how to participate, and our special yarn sales for the KAL here. We've heard from a few knitters in the Sockalong Thread on Ravelry that they are worried about the toe construction on the Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula so today we've taken some photos of a work in progress toe to show you just how easy it is! The sock starts with a provisional cast on. Then short rows are worked to create one side of the toe. In this toe construction you actually knit back and forth, and then later join to knit in the round and work the foot of the sock. Following the numbers according to your gauge and sock size as outlined in the pattern you'll continue working short rows until your knitting is triangular in shape. It'll start looking like the toe of a sock! Once you've finished your first set of short rows you'll start working the other side of the toe with double wrapped stitches. You'll keep double wrapping until you've completed the other side of the toe. At this point you'll remove your provisional cast on and begin knitting in the round to work the foot of the sock. What are short rows? A short row is just that--a row that's short because not all of the stitches on the needle are worked. There are many different ways to work short rows, and the Wrap & Turn is a common technique. There is also the yarn over short row, make one short row, Japanese short rows, and German short rows. Why the short row toe? The short row toe is easier for some people who have never knit socks. You can also knit socks starting at the tip of the toe by casting on both the top and bottom of the toe at once using either Judy's Magic Cast On or the Turkish Cast On, but these can be tricky the first time you do them. It's also a little awkward to work with so few stitches, fine yarn, and small needles. If you have knit socks before we encourage you to try the short row toe in this pattern anyways! It's always great to learn new techniques and challenge yourself. Can I work a different toe? Of course! If you'd like to work a toe that begins at the tip of the toe you can cast on Ex2 stitches, with E stitches on one needle for the front and E stitches on another needle for the bottom, then increase until you have C stitches.
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