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Holey Toes, Batman!

Q. What do the hand-knitted socks in this pile have in common?

Pile of hand-knitted socks

A. One or both of each pair suffers from this:

Hand-knitted socks with holes

I have been knitting socks for some years, and have been using s standard wedge toe shape, which feels nice and comfy and is easy to do. But I have a prominent big toe, and lovely healthy strong toe nails. Hence many of my socks ending up with a hole in the toe 🙁 They then sit there in the darning pile, waiting for me to organise myself to find yarn, and needle, and time and patience to fix them. I’m perfectly capable of darning them… but it would be so much better f I didn’t have to, right?

Now that my Christmas Lights Shawls are finished, I’ve picked up again a sock that I started knitting back in May. I need to do some serious writing in the next two months, and socks are great writing knitting – they’re easy, and the rows are short, so it’s a simple matter to drop the sock and type whenever the words come to me. Plus, with all those socks stuck in the darning pile, I need more socks!

As I approached the toe on this sock, I became determined to knit it differently, hoping to avoid the holey toes problem. This morning I flicked through my sock books, but no alternate toe shapes leapt out at me. So off I went (naturally) to Ravelry, and took a look at the Sock Knitters Group – and there was a current discussion about different approaches to toes, and a link to the blog Under Dutch Skies, and a great post about Anatomically correct toes. It was a simple solution to my problem – print some custom graph paper to match your knitting gauge, trace around the top part of your foot, and work out the decreases from that template. Easy!

And here’s the result for my sock – a toe shaped for my feet:

Hand-knitted sock with shaped toe

Now I just have to cast on and knit the second sock, with a mirror of that toe, and then I can see how well they wear!

ETA: The yarn is gorgeous, although a little more muted than the photo – it’s Amara sock yarn from Saffron Dyeworks. The rib pattern is from the Charade Socks (Rav link) by Sandra Park.

4 Responses to Holey Toes, Batman!

  • bells says:

    ooh funny – i have a post JUST like this planned for this week only my socks wear about in an entirely different place so i have another solution to deal with entirely!

    Glad you found a solution to your problem!

  • Bronwyn says:

    Well, the solution is yet to be tested – but fingers (or toes!) crossed it will work! I’ll look forward to reading your post. I’m thinking about knitting my sister another pair of socks, but she wears through her socks under the ball of her foot, so I’ll have to come up with a plan for that!

  • Moorecat says:

    If you knit cuff down socks, can you just frog the toes and re-knit them? It could be an interesting exercise to try to match the yarn to the original.

    I know I would rather (re)knit than darn, any day…

  • Bronwyn says:

    I suppose I could reknit the toes, Catherine, but darning doesn’t take as long 🙂 (Assuming I actually get around to it!)