Friday, June 4, 2010

Tofutsies Toe Socks

What exactly is a toe sock you ask? Well, that's easy. It's a sock that only covers your toes. :-)

It's not a very good picture, but here are a couple of my examples of toe socks. I like to wear them with my little slip on sneakers and mary jane type of shoes during the summer. Sometimes the inside of the shoe rubs the top of my toes causing blisters so I decided to try making some toe socks to prevent that from happening. :-)

Plus, since I am so out of practice on the dreaded Kitchener's stitch, I can practice all I want at the end of these little guys. I've practiced all of the toe options for socks - thanks to my handy dandy copy of Socks a la Carte by Jonelle Raffino and Katherine Cade. I've found that my favorite is the standard, everyday toe shaping and I still can't figure out why my oragami decrease seems to looks like it's swirling. :-) My Kitchener's stitch is still not very good, but I'm getting there. I don't have to look at the instructions (conveniently located in the front of the book) nearly as much, but I still don't understand the logic behind it. I will eventually click - it took me years to finally master the mitered square - and even then, I still don't think I've really mastered it all that well. :-)

For those that know dancers - I've tested a few of my toe socks with a dear friend of mine that still have close ties to the dance community and a few of the dancers that swore by the classic 'toe pad' have switched to my humble little toe sock. :-) :-) She said that it's not as thick as the toe pad, offering a better fit to the point shoes, but still protects from rubbing and blisters. Plus, she said that after a few washings, the sock gets really soft and comfy. :-)

Okay, so here is what I do to make my toe sock:

Cast on 64 stitches - or whatever you are used to - and knit for 1". Then just choose your favorite sock toe shaping and you're done! :-) :-) Really difficult, eh? :-) :-)

If you are knitting for a dancer, you may want to skip the 1" if the point shoe has a low vamp. Sometimes it may be necessary to put the toe sock on where there is more sock under the foot but enough to cover the toes so that you don't have any sock poking through the top. :-) Just remember that your dancer may need to be re-sized with the toe sock if they were using gel or toe pads. :-) If I could find my old point shoes, I'd have a picture but I have a feeling that they are all put away where I can't reach. :-)

For shoes, I like to use some type of ribbing for the 1" band... sometimes I keep working the ribbing even through the toe shaping just to have a little more elasticity. Some shoes will require a bit of experimentation on the proportion of sock under the foot vs. covering the toes so that the sock will not poke through. You may also need to hold on to your toe sock while you slip on your shoe the first time until the sock has relaxed or been washed a few times.
So far I've been using up my left over Tofutsies sock yarn, but I'm sure it will work with any sock yarn you like. Just keep in mind that the thicker sock yarns, just like when you make regular socks, may change the fit of your shoe because of the thicker sock. :-)
I'd love to hear from anyone that gives this a try - especially dancers! Feel free to email me or send me links to your blogs. :-)
Take care,

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