Friday, May 21, 2010

Knitting Top-Down Socks, Part 3.1 - Gusset decreases

Ok, I realize I have not finished my sock knitting instruction posts! I got side-tracked with baby stuff and dyeing and sewing and so forth. So we got as far as picking up stitches for the gusset. You should now have a triangular set up going on. Now we have to decrease some stitches. The gusset is the wide part and your foot gets smaller from here, so you need less stitches. We are going to decrease until we again have 64, which is the number we originally started with. Right now, you should have about 80, if you picked up the same amount as I did (see the last post for more details!).

Starting at the heel, where we left off, you're going to knit all the stitches on the first needle up to the last 3. So if you have 24, like I have, knit 21. Then K2tog, to decrease one stitch, and K the last stitch. Basically, in pattern form: K to last 3 st, K2tog, K1

The next needle you don't have to decrease, just knit straight across.

On the third needle, K1, SSK (I explained that here), and K to end.

Now you have decreased one stitch on needle 1 and one stitch on needle 3.

The next round, just knit the whole round without decreasing. Every other round will be a decrease round, followed by a knit round. So:

Round 1: (Needle 1 - K to last 3, K2tog, K1); (needle 2 - K); (needle 3 - K1, SSK, K to end)
Round 2: K all stitches

Repeat these two rounds until you have 16 stitches on needles 1 and 3. You will have a total of 64 stitches (there should be 32 on needle 2).

From here, you just have to knit around and around without doing anything fancy, until your sock is about 2 inches less than the length you want it. Try it on as you go and check the length, and when you are about 2 inches short of the final length, it is time to do the toe! That will be the next sock post!

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