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Lost in a sea of yarn and needles. Lusting after handmade socks and all things lacy


Round Toe

Round toe uses decreases over a lot over rows, to create a gently rounded shape. To do this successfully you need to know your row gauge. The decreases are usually worked over a number divided by 8, but can be a number divided by 10 or any number I guess.
I measure from the base of my big to to the tip of the toe. Then divide the inches by my row gauge. You can work less knit rounds if you need a shorter toe. Or start the toe part earlier.
Round toe is part of a family of toes that slowly decrease and end up with a number of stitches that are then drawn closed as opposed to grafting. The decreases can be worked to create a pattern as in the Star toe (toe used so beautifully in the Embossed Leaves sock) Swirl toe creates a decrease that seems to move to the right across the toe. The best source of information for these different toes is either Nancy Bush's Vintage Socks or Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.
If the number you are working isn't divisible by 8 or 10, do a decrease to get to the correct number and then go onto the Round toe action.
To work round toe over a number divided by eight
Knit 6 K2tog repeat around the sock
Knit 6 rows
Knit 5 K2tog repeat around the sock
Knit 5 rows
Knit 4 K2tog repeat around the sock
Knit 4 rows
repeat with one less stitch on each decrease round and one less row on the plain rounds
Until you have just 16 stitches left. cut yarn and run through the stitches on the needles. Draw up and run needle through the stitches again to close up the hole.
The shape produced fits my feet perfectly very tapered. When I grafted toes closed they always looked to blocky and the squared off shape never went away no matter how many times I wore them.
If you have toes that are in more of a straight line across, then the grafted toe is probably perfect for you.
You can see the blocky effect with the grafted toe on these socks I made my daughter.
I have tried all the tricks that are supposed to get rid of the sharp corners, and they haven't worked for me

I have the same problem with toe up socks. They are too wide across the very tip of the sock. And there is a lot of excess fabric over with would be your smallest toe.
Not to mention that I do crap short row heels :-}

Star Toe from Embossed Leaves Socks


for this post

Blogger Les Says:

This is very timely. I was going to ask you about "toes". I am going to have to give this a try - the rounded toe. The squared off toe is a little odd looking but it isn't too bad when I put it on my foot. I have only just noticed that some sock patterns have you decrease every other row until you kitchner the toe together and some have you do the every other row for several rows and then every row for the rest of the rows.

Blogger Lisa W. Says:

thanks for the "toe info"....i do a fairly round toe until 10 stitches left on top and bottom...then kirchener...if seems too wide..i go down to 6-7 stitches. I LOVE the Star Toe and can't wait to try those embossed leaves socks and try it out...i don't do toe up socks and really dislike short row heels. do you think there are really people out there with boxy fred flintstone feet that some of those designs really fit? do you think that they (or we ...gasp) are descended from aliens?

Blogger Suzann Says:

LOL aliens to be sure. If you look here you will see one of Wendy Johnson's toe up toes. Notice how wide the tip of the toe is. On my foot there is a lot of excess fabric over the small toe. So maybe we have weird feet. But I think most people's feet taper to a more rounded elongated shape toes.

Les, most toe decreases have you do the decreases at each end of the row. The round toe has you do them spread around the foot.
At the end of the round toe decreases you are directed to k2 tog all around. All those decreases can leave you with a rather open ending to the toe. I try to skip that if I can.

Blogger benne Says:

Suzann, I don't know how to knit toes, but I have to say that the toes you knit for my socks are PERFECT! Absolutely perfect! My second toe is longer than my big toe and I have loooong toes. Yeah, I know it's weird. I can actually hold a pen in my toes and write my name. Pipe down in the corner, y'all. I LOVE my socks!

Blogger Joan Says:

Way too much math involved in figuring out toes which is why it's been a year since I knit a sock that is supposed to fit someone I know. It seems futile anyway. My sock toes all look the same whether toe up or cuff down, whether I graft 10 sts or 6, whether I slip the 4 edge sts over their neighbors to eliminate donkey ears, etc., etc. Everyone I know has real toes that fan down and neither kitchener nor round toes address that issue. It's either too much fabric at the toe or that ugly straight kitchener line hitting the wrong spot. Getting back to my shawl now....LOL.

Blogger junior_goddess Says:

Some toes instructions have you decrease so frequently that I end up with Grinch toes. I like this idea better.

Blogger Suzann Says:

Early in my sock knitting career I came across directions for three needle bind off for sock toes. I tried on some CIC socks. Awful, I just found them in the bottom of a basket :-}
Hey Bets, those Grinch toes always remind me of Aladdin slippers.
Joan there are directions for anatomical correct toes. I have found that with round toe, the closed up hole ends up over the large toe when you wear them, and the rest of the sock, just stretches over the rest of the toes.
I haven't had any excess fabric in the toe area. But no toe is perfect for all feet.

Blogger jayne Says:

You have several excellent posts to help paloozers along too. I've bookmarked these toes-tips for later reference.

I don't mind the usual squared off toes thing too much for myself. I have a wide foot.

Blogger LibbyKnitKins Says:


I'm gonna have to try the round toe as I'm always looking for ways to have a better knitted sock.


Blogger Karin Says:

Love the "Evening" socks! I think your mods worked out very well. I like the round toe, although I most often use the wedge-style. The round toes seem to fit better, not just on the feet, but inside the shoes as well, less bulky :).

Blogger Debi Says:

Speaking as one of the Flintstone-footed, yes we are out there :)

Thanks for the compliment on my tank. It's for my niece in San Francisco so she'll have no problem wearing it!

If you really want to make it cool, how about Linen or Hemp?


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