Friday, July 6, 2012

Sock Toes

I have been knitting socks for a while now and I have four pairs that I have been wearing consistently for at least a few months now. They have survived multiple washings in a college washing machine as well as taking a spin in our washer at home. They are all holding up beautifully except for the toe. There have been no holes, but they have all developed ladders on the right side of the toe.

The first thing I thought was that I might have been knitting the the feet a little bit too short for my foot. This is possible but I don't think that it would cause the socks to develop ladders like that. If anything, the pressure would cause the yarn to eventually snap or wear faster and develop a hole instead of a ladder. Then I thought of my decreases. I remembered back to some of the first socks I ever made and thought that I did a k2tog on the right side of the foot and a SSK on the left side of the foot. All of these socks have that decrease pattern on them.

I decided to double check one of my favorite sock books Sock Inspiration by Cookie A to see if I had remembered the decreasing right. According to Cookie, the sock toes should have the ssk on the right side of the foot and a k2tog on the left side of the foot.

I found this out while I was knitting my Vacation Car Socks. So I decided to run an experiment. Not only would I follow Cookie A's sock decrease instructions for the pair of socks, I would also decrease the toe down to 8 stitches on each side before kitchenering the toe together. I am hoping that this will improve the fit of my socks since the fit of my socks has been bothering me.

After I finished my first sock, I tried it on and I had so much more room at the end of my sock! I felt like my toes had more space to breathe and they did feel a little more comfortable than my older socks. I would consider the decreasing the toe down more a good thing to do from now on. I will have to wait until I finish the pair of socks to wear them around and see if the toes of this pair will develop the same ladders that my older socks did.

The heels are the next area that I will have to improve for fit.


  1. I tend to get ladders on the ssk side of my toes and gussets. I'm curious to see what you find with this new pair.

  2. Very interesting. I also notice that the toes open up a bit after washing, but maybe that's just normal.