Toe up socks

(These are instructions for a size 38 [UK 5, US 7.5] toe up socks using fingering weight yarn. If you wish to use heavier yarn or knit your sock cuff down, there are some hints for modifying the pattern at the bottom of this page.)

You can find the pattern in Ravelry behind this link.

  • Heaps of fingering weight (400m/100g, 437yards/100g) scrap yarns in different colors.
  • Two sets of needles (either dpns or circular needles for magic loop) in size 2.5 mm or the size you need to obtain the gauge.

  • St st 32sts = 10 cm, 32sts=4".

  • For casting the sts, you can find instructions for Judy's magic cast-on here and here.
  • Drops has nice tutorial for weaving in the ends when knitting stripes. This way the endless ends won't keep you from finishing your socks. Notice that using this technique you will end up with a little sawtooth at the point where you change colors. You should have long enough ends to travel along for half of the stitches (that is, the sole) to make a neat edge. To make the sawtooth as small as possible, take first just the tail of your new stripe color and weave in the previous stripe's tail on the next round.

Hold the ends of the previous stripe and the new stripe together.

Take the working yarn in turns below and above the ends.

This way the ends will travel along and you won't have to weave them in at the end.

You will end up with a teeny weeny sawtooth.
  • For binding off, you can use Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.
  • For the heels, you will need to do kitchener stitch. One tutorial video can be found here.
  • m1r = right leaning increase. Pick up the yarn between the sts by inserting the left needle under it from behind and knit it.
Pick up the yarn by inserting the left needle under it from behind.

Knit it regularly through the front loop.
  • m1l = left leaning increase. Pick up the yarn between the sts by inserting the left needle under it from the front and knit it through the back loop.
Pick up the yarn by inserting the left needle under it from the front.

Knit it through the back loop.


Cast on 16 sts using Judy's magic cast-on and divide them evenly on two needles (8sts each).

Knit one round.

Increase round: [k1, m1r, knit until there's 1 st left on the needle, m1l, k1] x2.

Repeat the increases on every round 3 more times and then on every other round until you have 60 sts (30 sts on each needle). If this feels too tight, you can continue increasing until the fit feels right. If you are using dpns, divide the sts evenly on four needles. If you are planning on doing the stranded knitting stripes in the advent calendar sock, we suggest to have at least 68 sts.

Foot and leg:

Knit st st in the round without increases until the sock is 6.75 cm (2.65") less than the desired foot length. With or size 38 sock, this is about 17 cm (6.7").

Do not break the yarn. Take a different color waste yarn and k30 (or half of the sts if you made more increases) and break this contrast yarn. Move the sts on the needle so that you are back at the beginning of the round and continue knitting with your working yarn. The contrast yarn will be unraveled later to make the afterthought heel.

When the sock measures 13 cm (5.1") from the contrast yarn, you should start the calf increases.

Increase round: k14, m1r, k2, m1l, knit to the end of the round.

Repeat the increases on both sides of the two middle sts of the calf on every 4th row until you have 76 sts.


When you are done with the stripes, knit 8 rounds in (ktbl 1, p1) ribbing.

Bind off loosely using Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.


Pick up 30 sts above and 30 sts below the contrast yarn for the heel. Unravel the conrtast yarn and divide the sts evenly on four dpns. To avoid holes, you can pick up some extra sts between needles 1&4 and needles 2&3 and decrease those extra sts on the first round.

The beginning of round is now at the right bottom corner (toes down, cuff up). Knit 6 rounds in the round.

Decrease round: k2tog at the end of each needle.

Repeat the decrease round on every 4th round 3 more times, then on every other round 3 times and on every round 3 times. You should have 20 sts left. Move the sts on the 2nd needle onto the 1st needle and the sts on the 4th needle onto the 3rd needle. Break yarn leaving a 20 cm (8") tail and graft together using kitchener stitch. The heel is from Crystal socks.

Weave in the remaining ends and go head over heel crazy for your new socks. :)


Cuff down:
If you prefer knitting your socks cuff down, it can be done. Then you will have to do some math to calculate the right point for the heel. Both socks will have 150 rounds of stripes, 8 round of cuff and 20 rounds for the toe. All together that makes 178 rounds. So, if your gauge is for example 36rnds=10cm(4"), and your foot measures 20 cm (8") from toe to ankle (pictured below), you should leave 72 rounds for the foot. That would mean that knitting cuff down, you should knit the contrast yarn for the heel when you have 178-72=106 rounds done. The afterthought heel works for cuff down socks as well.

How to measure how many rows you must leave for the foot.

Larger/smaller socks:
The pattern is easily modified to make larger or smaller socks by modifying the number of increases in the toe.

Heavier yarn:
The great thing with toe up socks is that you can try them on as often as you like. If you are using a thicker yarn but would like to do size 38 socks, you will need to make less increase rounds in the toe. Below are some measurements from our example socks that you can aim for. We recommend that you try on the sock when knitting the toe to get the right amount of sts. As long as the circumference is correct, the sock will turn out just fine. When using a heavier yarn, you need to make the decreases in the heel more often than in the instructions.

Measurements for the socks (size 38 [UK 5, US 7,5]):
  • Toe width (cast on): 2,5 cm [1"] (8 sts)
  • Toe length: 4 cm [1.6"] (20 rnds)
  • Foot circumference: 19 cm [7.5"] (60 sts)
  • Foot length (toe to heel): 24 cm [9.5"] (101 rnds)
  • Leg length (sole to cuff): 30,5 cm [12"] (129 rnds)
  • Leg length (heel to cuff): 24 cm [9.5"] (101 rnds)
  • Cuff circumference: 25 cm [9.8"] (76 sts)

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