Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Two Socks, One Week: Make the Toe and Graft it Closed

Baseline: Sock 1, Day 4
Timeline: 105 minutes OR Steps 8 an 9 (minus blocking and weaving in ends)

Wait a second... Is it New Year's Eve?? What a great span of time in which to knit! Way to bid adieu to the old. Of course, if you're going to be partying hard, get this done now. And maybe even take tomorrow off - except for reading the next post, of course...

But on with the show:

Step 8 - Making the Toe brings us to the final decrease section, worked within the context of N1, N2 and N3. All of your markers remain in place so it's simply a matter of following the instructions...
  • Round 1, as always, is the decrease round. This time, however, you'll decrease 2 stitches in N2 (the top of the sock) just as you'll decrease 1 stitch each in N1 and N3. A total of 4 stitches will be decreased in every R1.
  • Round 2 is worked plain.
You'll start with 56 stitches and, over the 18 rounds you'll decrease 36 stitches. At the end, you'll be left with 20 stitches.

Here's how it looks when you've done a couple of rounds:

And here's how it looks when you're almost finished:


Step 9 - Graft The Toe

Grafting the toe simply means closing it via 2 rows of live stitches. The end result creates a fabric with no seam. While you're technically using this to seam the tip of the toe, it will look like a fluid fabric. It's like magic!
  • Cut a tail of approximately 11 inches. Yeah, you just severed your sock from the skein, but it's cool. You don't need it anymore!
  • Ensure that you have 10 stitches on each needle and that those stitches reflect the top and bottom of the toe. This means you'll have to remove the stitch markers and knit another 5 stitches on the needle you're working from, to get things correctly oriented. Otherwise, you will end up grafting such that the large and baby toe stitches touch - which is all wrong. Don't get scared about this. Just look at your sock. How do you need the final toe "seam" to run? Ensure you get your stitches on the needles to reflect that, 10 on each side. As always, needle tips point right and the tail is on the back needle.

  • Grafting is done with a regular needle (well, one of the thickness used for working on wool). So put that thread through the regular needle you've had in your notions bag till now.
  • Set up the grafting by doing this one time: Purl through the stitch closest to the tip of the front needle. Leave that stitch on the needle. Then knit through back stitch closest to the tip of the back needle. Leave that stitch on the needle. (Note: Video linked to below, shows this).
  • What you need to remember, so that you never run into problems with grafting, is that you must complete every 4-step sequence before stopping. I remember that sequence by saying, as I do it: Knit, slip, purl. Purl, slip, knit. (The woman in the video uses a mnemonic that seems overly complicated to me, but maybe it'll work for you.)
Here's a video to show you how it works...

I suggest you leave sock 1 at this point. We'll weave in the ends and block when both socks are complete.

But look at you! Once sock down in 4 days. Now you can either get going with sock 2 tomorrow, or take a day off and knit a bit longer over the two days following. I mean we did start early (and we also gave the week 8 days). Moreover, chances are you'll speed up on the second sock! Note to reader: Do not knit while drunk or hung over.

Today's Questions: How's it going?? Are you having fun? Does this grafting thing make sense to you? Leave questions in the comments. Or just comments! If you're knitting tonight, I wanna know.

BTW, here's my finished first sock, hanging out next to my second sock - remember, I had a head start as the hostess of the KAL! Both are unblocked which is why they look wonky.


  1. Okay, two socks done except for the grafting of the toes. I suppose I could do that tonight, but I heard a winecooler calling my name!! Nice pattern! Thanks so much for the KAL. Btw...Is it possible to post photos on here?

    1. Oh, listen to the siren's call! I will happily put up photos at the end, if you'd like, send me one (or link me to it).

  2. Oh dear ....I've just realised why the toe on my first sock looks a little odd - I stitched it up without knitting an extra five stitches to line them up correctly! On the plus side my second sock is almost finished and looking very nice:) ps Happy new year!

  3. Oh no! Let's just say, I can relate :-) You should be able to undo the kitchener stitch but it's fussy. You'll need to use your tapestry needle and your knitting needles at the ready. Let me know how it goes.