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Toe Up Sock (aka The Sherman Sock)

Knitting
September 1999
Sport / 5 ply (12 wpi) ?
24 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
US 4 - 3.5 mm
350 - 400 yards (320 - 366 m)
women's medium
This pattern is available for free.

From the pattern notes: The Sherman Sock, or ‘How did you do that?’

Mary Sherman Lycan, 9/3/99:

The Sherman Sock is named for my late father, Rallston Sherman, an inventor. He always said an inventor is someone who is too lazy to do things the right way. The Sherman sock is knit from one side of the base of the toe cap, around the toe tip, and up. It is worked flat on two needles for the double-mitered toe and heel, and in the round for instep and leg.

Its advantages:

  1. As with peasant heels, the identical toe and heel are structurally independent, with no need for gussets or other awkward foot shaping. Use a contrasting color for toe and heel, for a very nice effect. Leg and instep are straight tubes, allowing for maximum freedom in stitch and pattern design.

  2. The mitered toe and heel, based on Montse Stanley’s suggestions for mitering, are easier to work than wrapped short rows. The decreases and increases are smooth, without holes or long carries inside.

  3. Toe-up construction allows for best use of yarn: if you start to run out, make tennis anklets; if you have extra, make long socks.

  4. Toe-up construction of identical toe and heel eliminate guesswork on the length of the foot. The depth of the toe cap is the same as the depth of the heel, so you can try on and measure as you go. Just poke your toes into the toe.

  5. Toe-up construction allows Fair Isle, lace, and Aran patterns to be knit right side up, except on the first half of the toe cap. If you want your multi-row patterns to come out even, toe-up construction allows you to fit the foot exactly, and fudge the leg length, to accomplish that.

  6. Worn-out heels and toes can be reknit as peasant heels.

  7. No more toe grafting!

  8. Sherman socks are fun to fold flat into little torpedo shapes.

  9. The invisible cast-on at the base of the toe cap makes it impossible to tell where you started knitting.
    Mystify your friends. ‘How did you do that?’