Learn to Knit Toe-Up Magic Loop Socks

Uploaded by verypinkknits on 21.03.2012

In this tutorial weíre going to learn to knit magic loop, toe-up socks.
Which is really one of my favorite ways to knit socks.
Toe-up is definitely my favorite, and I go back and forth between double pointed needles
and using magic loop for my favorite.
Um, if you want to follow along with the pattern weíre using here, itís available for purchase
and download over on my website, and Iíve given you a link in the video description
just below the video.
The unique thing about this pattern is for the first time ever, I include sizes for the
whole family. Men, women and kids.
And these are the menís socks.
Um, one of the benefits ñ well, Iíll tell you the benefits to both toe-up and magic
The benefit to toe-up, that I like the most, is that you can use all of your yarn, no leftovers.
Because you start at the toe, you knit the most important part of the foot first, the
foot, and then you use up the rest of the yarn on the cuff, making it however long you
can with the amount of yarn you have.
And I like to not have leftovers [laughs], so thatís important to me.
And then magic loop, instead of using short, double pointed needles in a set of four or
five, you use one long circular needle.
And because youíre not using several needles, you donít have to readjust every third or
every quarter of the stitches.
Half the stitches are on one cord, and half are on the other, which makes it less fiddly.
So I think this is a really great way to knit socks, and Iím excited to teach it.
Please keep in mind that this is tutorial, weíre using worsted-weight yarn and much
bigger needles than you would normally use to knit socks.
Sock yarn is really fine, and we normally use really tiny needles to knit that.
Weíre using bigger yarn ñ not this big of needles! These are just my sample needles.
But this is so you can see what youíre doing really easily, you learn the techniques, and
then you can move on to other toe-up patterns and knit them magic loop style without any
Itís easy to adjust any toe-up sock pattern to magic loop method.
So, first up, weíre going to get started with the provisional cast on and the short
row toe.
Because these are toe-up socks, we are going to start at the toe, and itís really unique
the way this whole thing is put together.
We start with a provisional cast on. And that allows us to work normally like we do from
a cast on. We cast on and work one direction.
But then weíre also able to unzip the provisional cast on we stitched in to knit the other direction
as well.
And thatís going to be right at the center of the toes going this way.
You donít have to understand it to be able to work it, but thatís how itís going to
Um, everything that you need is listed on my webpage and in the pattern, but weíre
going to start with a crochet hook and some scrap yarn in a color different than what
youíre using for the socks.
So letís get started with the provisional cast on toe.
Here is a finished pair of the man sized socks.
Weíre going to start here with the provisional cast on, and work our way around this way,
and then knit the foot, and then pretty much work the same short rows that we did for the
toe here for the heel.
And then knit the cuff until weíre out of yarn.
Now for this example Iím using bulky yarn, and a much bigger crochet hook than I recommend
for the pattern.
This is just so you can really see what Iím doing.
The very first thing Iím going to do is to tie a knot in this yarn.
A knot that I can feel, thatís the whole purpose of it is so I can feel it.
Then Iíll tie a slip knot, a little ways up from there.
I want to be able to identify easily which side is the slip knot side.
Here Iím going to use my crochet hook, and weíre going to do some crochet chaining to
start the cast-on.
Um, if youíve never done this before, you want to have your left hand pincher fingers
always pinching low, close to the bottom of that last loop.
You grab it and pull it through, grab it and pull it through.
Up from under, like that.
This is just a basic crochet chain. And youíll follow your pattern for your size to tell
you how many you need to chain.
I have not been counting.
But a couple more should do me, and I need scissors.
Okay. Break the yarn, and pull that last loop through.
Now, a crochet chain, when you look at the front of it, it looks like a cast on row or
a bind off row. Itís a bunch of Vs.
But if you turn it over to the back, you have what most people call the ìspineî of the
crochet chain, or what I always call hyphens. [laughs] Thatís what they look like to me!
Little horizontal loops like this, that arenít touching each other, but you can see them
Now this is when you need your knitting needles, and your actual sock yarn.
Starting with the end where the slip knot is, and you know where that is because you
tied a little knot there, put your needle through one of the hyphens, and you want to
attach your yarn.
Just fold your yarn over making a loop, wrap it around the needle and pull it through.
Go into the next hyphen, wrap it and pull it through.
This is like knitting with one needle.
And do your best not to split any stitches. Go cleanly in.
And wrap it and pull it through.
It will be harder to get the provisional cast on out if you split stitches.
Iím splitting this here, Iím going to do my best not to.
Sometimes I find that using a more blunt ended needle when Iím picking up this row is easier,
because sharp needles are more likely to split the stitch.
Now that Iíve picked those up, those look good, Iím just going to purl back across
these stitches before we start the short rows.
And weíre just using this circular needle for flat knitting right now, weíre not knitting
in the round yet.
Now weíre ready to start the short rows, and this is when the magic starts.
Knit across to the last stitch.
And Iím going to do whatís called a wrap and turn.
Itís a little different on this very last stitch to work it, or at least thatís how
I like to do it.
Pull the yarn forward between the two needles, slip that stitch from the left needle to the
right, turn the work, make sure your yarn is coming around to the front like this, slip
that stitch back, and then purl back across the rest of the stitches.
And when you pull that yarn around, youíll see it wraps the base of that stitch.
Thatís the wrap.
Then you purl back across to the last stitch.
Whoops, last stitch.
Then you pull the yarn back between the two needles, slip that stitch, turn your work,
and make sure the yarnís coming around from the outside like that, slip that stitch over
to the right needle, and knit across to the second stitch from the end.
Now this is more like how the rest of the wraps are going to go.
Forward between the two needles, slip that stitch, back between the two needles, slip
that stitch back over to the left needle.
Turn your work, purl back across to the second to the last stitch.
Back between the two needles with your working yarn, slip that stitch, forward between the
two needles, slip that stitch back, turn your work.
And Iíll show you that one more time.
Because Iím using this big, bulky yarn, Iím not following the numbers for the pattern.
Weíre only going to wrap three stitches on the outside.
So Iím three stitches from the end now.
Pull the working yarn forward between the two needles, slip that stitch, back between
the two needles, slip that stitch back over to the left needle, turn the work.
And weíll do the same thing on the purl side on the third stitch from the end.
Back between the two needles, slip that stitch, forward between the two needles, slip it back.
Your pattern will have you wrapping more stitches than this. But this is what weíre using here
for the sake of example.
And weíre already starting to get something that is acting kind of toe shaped!
Itís going to become much more clear now.
So now weíre going to pick up those wraps.
Iím going to knit over to the third stitch from the end, the last stitch that I wrapped.
And this is all clear in the pattern.
And if you take a close look at this stitch, there is a horizontal bar running just underneath
the base of the stitch, and thatís the wrap.
What I want to do is put my needle in there and pick it up, and put it up on the needle
with the stitch.
And then I want to knit those two together.
And then Iím going to wrap this next stitch, giving it a second wrap.
Forward, slip, back, slip, turn the work.
Now weíre going to pick up a stitch on the purl side.
I have a lot of cord flopping around here that Iím not using yet, we will be using
it soon, though.
This part is not even really magic loop yet.
Okay I want to pick up this first wrap on the purl side, but I really want to make it
look nice on the knit side.
So Iím going to turn the work like this and find the wrap, itís the horizontal bar that
doesnít match up with the rest of the stitches.
Pick it up, put it on the needle, and purl those two stitches together.
And Iím going to give the next stitch a second wrap, and turn the work.
And Iíll show you this one more time.
Hereís the second stitch from the end, it actually has two wraps.
Itís your choice if you want to pick up one or both of them.
Iím going to pick up both of them, so now I have three stitches there, Iím going to
knit three together.
And give the last stitch a second wrap.
Okay, here we are two stitches from the end on the purl side.
Turn the work like this so I can see both the wraps, pick one up and put it on the needle,
pick the other one up put it on the needle.
Purl those three loops together.
Whoops, Iím splitting it. Which is likely to happen with three stitches there.
And then give the last stitch a wrap.
And youíll need to do that until youíve picked up stitches all the way to the end,
following the pattern, of course.
Weíre getting something very toe shaped now!
Thatís how youíll finish up the wrap and turns on the toe, and next up weíre going
to talk about unzipping the provisional cast on, and starting to knit magic loop in the
Now that youíve finished the short rows on the toe, weíre ready to unzip the provisional
cast on and start knitting in the round.
Letís get right to it.
Here is the toe, and again, Iím using really bulky yarn here so I can demonstrate this
to you quickly.
Um, were you surprised that those short rows ended up coming out like this?
[laughs] And it looks like a toe?!
And the red yarn here is my provisional cast on, the crochet chain I started with.
Now to get started with unzipping the cast on, set your work like this, and if you feel
on your yarn, youíll feel the knot we tied in the slip knot end over here on the left.
We want the non slip knot side over here on the right.
And the cord should be coming out of, the needle cord should be coming out of the stitches
on the back.
So take this needle [coughs], excuse me.
Take this needle over here on the right side, this is the one weíre going to be using.
And undo this crochet chain.
All you did was pull that last thread through the last loop, so if you undo that, it will
start unzipping.
Get yourself down to the first stitch.
And, itís going to start you out with a problem here, because the first stitch is going to
be wonky.
And wouldnít you know it? I split the yarn in the first stitch.
Hereís my first stitch right here.
The yarn actually, the provisional cast on actually runs through it.
Can you see that?
So Iím going to put my yarn in there ñ Iím sorry. Put my NEEDLE in there and then pull
that yarn out.
Now thatís the only really wonky one. The rest of them are going to be easier.
You see, thereís the provisional cast on. Right under it, we see a V.
Thatís the stitch we want to pick up.
And if you put your needle behind and through the right leg of that V, youíve got it.
And then you can unzip that stitch.
Put your needle behind the V of the next one, unzip that stitch.
Or if youíre like me, I like to go through several at once.
Again Iím just picking up the right leg of that stitch.
And then unzip the provisional cast on, several at a time.
Now I was hoping this wouldnít happen, but Iím kind of glad it did.
I must have split a stitch, because this isnít going any further.
And if you look, youíll find some yarn in the color of your crochet chain that you can
snip, and itís funny to think that itís usually just barely one little fiber of yarn
thatís holding the whole thing up.
But if you snip it, then you can get the rest of the chain undone.
So go back across all of these, picking them up.
I canít quite see where my last one is.
But I just counted.
This is freaking me out ñ there should be one more.
Oh! I see it!
There we go ñ Iím glad I was able to see it! This bulky yarn does have itís benefits
So now weíre ready to start knitting in the round.
If you turn your work, youíll see that your working yarn is coming from this side over
here, I just flipped it.
And this is where the fun starts. The fun TV knitting, magic loop knitting.
So your working yarn is coming from this stitch here. When we get started, itís a little
bit different in subsequent rows.
Your tail end is coming from the back.
Line up your needles like this, and pull the back needle long.
This is the one weíre going to hold in our right hand to knit with.
And weíre going to be knitting off the left needle just like normal.
So you knit across these stitches.
Okay, and weíve reached the end here. So, Iím going to turn the work.
Line up the needles again.
Whoops ñ I need to explain it as I do it! My hands are on auto pilot here!
Line up the needles, pull the back needle long, and knit across the stitches on the
front needle.
And thatís it!
Iíll show you one more time.
This is the beauty of magic loop.
Turn your work.
Line up your needles.
Pull the back needle long, and knit across the stitches on the front needle.
And thatís going to get you through the whole foot of the sock.
Youíll want to follow the pattern to know how long of a foot to knit for the different
sizes, and then next up weíre going to talk about doing the same wrap and turns to create
the heel of the sock.
If youíve finished knitting the foot of your sock, and probably watched at least one good
movie while you were doing that, weíre ready to start the same short row heel turns ñ
same short row turns as we did for the toe, for the heel.
Letís take a look.
Now Iíve switched to not only an itty bitty sample, but Iím now using the correct weight
of yarn and needles that we use, that I give you in the pattern.
Now, youíve knit the whole sock, the length you need it, and weíre ready to start doing
the same wrap and turns on the heel.
So I have my needles lined up, Iíll pull the back one long.
And this is a really simple concept Iím going to show you, which is why Iím using this
smaller size.
You are going to do the exact same thing you did with the toe on the heel.
Itís amazing that the same technique works to turn the heel.
But instead of having a provisional cast on, you have these stitches hanging out here on
this cord, which is going to act just like the provisional cast on did in the toe.
So Iím going to knit up to the last stitch and start my wraps and turns.
And then turn the work, and youíre working from the wrong side, and this cord is just
hanging there.
Youíre not really knitting magic loop anymore.
Going from those bulky needles to these smaller needles is so nice for me! I can knit so much
better on smaller needles! [laughs]
You see there, Iím just turning the work and working back and forth while those other
stitches are hanging out there on the cord.
And Iíll go through and get all my wraps finished, and then Iíll go back through again
and pick up those wraps, the exact same way I did on the toe.
And when youíre finished with that, when youíre finished turning the heel, your work
will look like this.
And I want to show you how to go from knitting the heel to working in the round again.
I give you some instructions in the pattern, but just in case.
Before you start knitting the two by two rib, I tell you to knit a couple of rows plain,
before you go into the rib.
And one reason is because itís nice to have the ribbing up out of the back of your shoe
or whatever, but also we can use those extra couple of plain knitting rounds to pick up
stitches where there might be holes, just in case.
Now after you knit the heel, turn the heel on this side, you can end up with gaps here.
And thatís kind of a normal part of toe-up sock knitting. But theyíre so easy to fix.
And thatís what I want to show you.
Iím going to pull the back needle long, and knit across these stitches, weíre actually
going to start knitting in the round again.
And when I get to the end of this, Iím in a spot where I can potentially have a hole
in my sock.
So Iím going to pick up an extra stitch here, just to help close the gap.
And to do that, Iíll find a spot where I donít think itís going to pull to much,
and test it out, and go under a couple of threads there, of yarn, there that looks good.
Wrap it and pull it through, just like when you were picking up stitches in the provisional
cast on.
And give it a tug, and it should look good, it shouldnít pull and make a different looking
hole, it should actually fill up that hole.
Line up my needles again, pull that back needle long, and just keep going, weíre knitting
in the round now.
And on this first round, Iím going to pick up stitches like that, and then on the next
round, when I get to the end here, Iíll knit two together, get to the end here, knit two
together, to eliminate those extra stitches that I picked up.
So that I have the correct number.
And one thing that I didnít mention, that I always like to do, is I use one of these
little diaper pin clippie markers, and clip it to the sock at the spot between the needles
that is the beginning of my round.
And thatís how I will remember itís the beginning of my round.
Next up weíre going to talk about knitting in two by two rib for the cuff, and the special
bind off that we use to make sure itís really stretchy on the calf.
Weíve got one last little bit of instruction to help you with questions you might have
in knitting the cuff.
Letís take a quick look.
Hereís the sock, and weíre using two by two rib, which is a really nice, stretchy
cuff on the sock.
And youíll follow your pattern to get up to that spot.
But here I am on my teeny tiny little sample.
Ready to work the two by two rib.
Just like with the rest of the sock weíve been knitting, Iíll pull the back needle
And Iíll start with two knit stitches, which you should be very good at by now.
And then to go into the purl stitches, I pull the yarn forward between the two needles,
and purl two, and then back between the two needles to knit two.
Back to knit two, forward to purl two.
And you may need to rearrange the stitches on the needle. I like to always end with purl
Depending on your size, you might need to slide two of the stitches over to the other
If you end with knit two, that means you have to start with purl two on the other side,
and that is too much to think about if youíre trying to watch tv.
Okay, thatís working the ribbing. Now I want to show you how to do this really stretchy
bind off.
You donít want a tight bind off, because youíll never get it over your foot, and you
donít want something that is so loose that it ends up being kind of fluted.
So I have what I called a modified YOBO, yarn over bind off. Because itís not a straight
yarn over bind off, itís actually two regular bind offs and then a yarn over bind off.
And this is what it looks like.
Start by knitting two, bind off one. Knit one, bind off one.
And then yarn over. Pull the yarn forward between the two needles, bind off over that
yarn over, and thatís the sequence.
So knit one, bind off one. Knit one, bind off a second one. Yarn over, bind off.
Itís giving us an extra stitch every two stitches.
Knit one, bind off, knit two, bind off, yarn over, bind off.
I hope you understand! [laughs] Iím NOT ready to bind off on this sock, that was just to
show you how to do it.
Anyway, good luck with your toe-up magic loop socks.