My favourite cast on for toe up socks is a Turkish Cast On. It’s as simple as winding the yarn around your needles and there’s no long tail or scrap yarn to contend with. The photo tuturial that follows walks you through it, step by step. (Heh, heh, see what I did there?)
You’ll need a circular knitting needle at least 24″ (60 cm) long, but it’s easier with a 32″ (80 cm) cable. This technique may also be worked on two circular needles; however, the tutorial assumes you’re doing the Magic Loop technique with one circular needle.
Make a slip knot leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail and place the slip knot on one of the needles.
Hold both tips of the needles parallel and pointing to the right, with the slip knot on the lower needle.
Wrap the yarn around the needles by first winding yarn away from yourself and behind the needles in an upward direction …
… then towards yourself and down in front of the needles.
Wrap around needles until there are half as many wraps as the number of cast-on sts required, not counting the initial slip knot. (16 stitches have been cast on in this photo.)
Hold the working yarn at the back with the left hand, making sure it completes the full wrap around the lower needle/cable. This works for both English and Continental methods.
Pull the lower circular needle through the stitches until the wraps rest on the cable part of the needle so the end can dangle free.
Knit across the top needle.
After all the sts on the first needle are worked, rotate the needles so the stitches to be worked are now above those just worked and the working yarn is hanging on the right side.
#proknittip Remember, you’re working in the round and you always want the knit stitches (the right side) facing you.
This is what the RS (right side) looks like. ↓
Don’t turn your knitting around like at the end of a row because then the purl pumps will be facing you.
This is what the WS (wrong side) looks like. See the little purl bumps? ↓
Slide the needle tip out of the lower stitches until they’re resting on the cable and adjust the upper stitches so they are ready on the needle tip …
… and drop the slip knot off the end of the top needle.
With yarn in back, knit the second half of the stitches of the first round.
One round completed. Both needles must be worked to complete one full round.
Don’t worry if it looks like a flat rectangle for the first few rounds; you’re not doing anything wrong. This is what it looks like after three full rounds. ↓ I’ve increased at each end of each needle in the second round.
After a few more rounds it will look like the beginning of a toe. ↓
And here’s a little peak inside. ↓
Now that you know how to do a Turkish Cast On, I bet you need a pattern that uses it! Grab my Tip Toe Up pattern. It’s a toe up sock workshop in a pattern with lots of great techniques.