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July 2011 - Slip Stitch Reinforced Toe For Socks

As with so many good ideas this one came from a customer of ours, Avis Gray who was puzzling over how to further reinforce socks for her husband at the toe. We talked about it and decided that it would be simple to do the same slip stitch pattern on the toe as is done one the heel, instead of purling every other row (heel being knitted flat) you would simply knit every other row. It worked!
Here is the basic method for doing the reinforced toe
5 rounds before you are ready to start the toe decreases, begin the slip st pattern:
Round 1: slip 1, knit one repeat over all stitches (note slip as if to purl)
Round 2: knit
So this for 5 rounds, that means that you will end up on Round 1, ready to knit the next rnd.

Here is the basic toe decrease pattern from our basic sock pattern, but if you use some other (such as the star toe –see SOM archive March, 2008) you can incorporate it just as easily. Work the decrease round and continue to do the slip stitch pattern every other round – this means that you must “line up” the slipped st rounds as the sts decrease in number, but if you look carefully at your knitting, this isn’t really hard to do. The more accentuated knit sts are the slip ones, or you can look at the wrong side of the knitting to see where the yarn was slipped.

Toe: Decrease round:
Needle 1: work to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
Needle 2: K1, ssk, knit to end.
Needle 3: Work to last 3 stitches K2tog, K1
Needle 4: K1, ssk, knit to end
Work 3 rounds even keeping the slip stitch pattern going
*Work decrease round; work 2 rows without decreasing* repeat from * to * 2 times
*work decrease round, work 1 round even* work from * to * 3 times
Work decrease round each round until 8 stitches remain on needles. (2 on each needle, or 3 if you prefer a blunter toe.)
Graft stitches together to close.

Grafting:
Line up the toe stitches back to back on 2 needles, same number of stitches on each needle.
Cut yarn and thread onto a blunt darning needle.
Insert darning needle purlwise through first st on front needle. Pull yarn through, leaving stitch on needle.
Insert daring needle knitwise through first stitch on back needle, pull yarn through, leaving stitch on needle.
Insert darning needle knitwise through first stitch on front needle, lslip stitch off needle and insert darning needle purlwise through next stitch on front needle. Pull yarn through, leving this stitch on needle.
Insert darning needle purlwise through first stitch on back needle. Slip stitch off needle and insert darning needle knitwise through next stitch on back needle. Pull yarn through, leaving this stitch on needle.
Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all stitches on both front and back needles have been grafted, darn end in securely on wrong side.