Showing posts with label swatching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label swatching. Show all posts

8 Paired Decreases for Knit Sock Toes

Over the last couple years I have developed a bit of an addiction to sock knitting. I love solid socks, striped socks, cabled socks, wool socks, cotton socks, acrylic socks, mismatched socks...

For the most part, I prefer to knit my socks from the leg down to the toe. Three of the most common methods for shaping the toe in leg down socks are short row toes, star toes (my favorite for socks using slightly heavier yarn) and paired decrease toes.

The basic idea for paired decrease toes is that the shape is created by decreasing two stitches (hence the name "paired") on each side of the foot. Usually the paired decreases occur every other round until half of the original number of stitches remain and then every round until 8-12 stitches remain. Finally, you close the toe with the Kitchener stitch.

Here are four examples of paired decreases. A decrease stitch is made on each side of the center of the swatch.

4 paired decreases for knit sock toes using k2tog, ssk, skpo, ksno

Some knitters prefer a banded, paired decrease, especially when knitting socks for thicker feet. Adding two stitches between the decreases creates a nicely defined band.

4 banded, paired decreases for knit sock toes using k2tog, ssk, skpo, ksno

Now let's take a closer look at the different types of decreases you can use. There are four decrease stitches you should be familiar with.

k2tog (slants right) - that simply means knit 2 stitches together

ssk (slants left) - slip two stitches individually knitwise, insert the left needle through the front of both stitches and knit them together

skpo (slants left) - slip one stitch knitwise, knit one stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch

ksno (slants right) - knit one stitch, return the stitch to the left needle, pass the next stitch over the knit stitch, slip the knit stitch back to the right needle

Combining the different decreases creates a slightly different effect. For each of my swatches I made a paired decrease on the right side rows and worked the wrong side rows even (with no decreases) The swatches on the right of each example are banded, so there are two stitches between the decreases.

For more prominent shaping, the pair of decreased stitches slant away from the each other.

For more subtle shaping, the pair of decrease stitches slant towards each other.

What type of toe are you going to use for your next pair of socks?

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Stitch of the Month: Twisted Seed Stitch

How to knit the Twisted Seed Stitch or Beehive Waffle Stitch

I love knitting stitches that are just as pretty on the wrong side as the right side. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to discover these gems because most stitch dictionaries only show the right side of the pattern. So, I'd like to start sharing some of my favorite stitches that don't really have a "wrong" side.

To get things started, here's the Twisted Seed Stitch, aka the Beehive Waffle Stitch. The pattern is very similar to the Garter Stitch with just a little twist that adds a cushiony texture.


k - knit
k1b - knit 1 below by inserting the right needle into the center of the stitch one row below the stitch on the left needle and knit into it.


This pattern is worked across an odd number of stitches.

Row 1 (Wrong Side): K all sts.
Row 2 (Right Side): [K1, k1b] repeat across to last st, k1.
Row 3: K all sts.
Row 4: [K1b, k1] repeat across to last st, k1b.

Repeat Row 1-4

The picture above is technically the right side of the work, but don't you think the wrong side (below) is lovely as well?

How to knit the Twisted Seed Stitch or Beehive Waffle Stitch

Happy knitting!

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