You know I've never actually gotten past the toe of a toe-up sock on circular needles (one of the many resolutions for 2011), but I did learn how to make a seamless toe-up toe. What does this have to do with the soap sock, you ask? Well, that's my sidebar inspiration to the following pattern (which took me less than an hour, multiple interruptions to see Rocket's impromptu ballet performances in her bedroom included):
My Cute Soap Sock Pattern:
I used a US 9 pair of circular needles on a 16" cable--you can use a 24" cable too. Any size smaller than a US9 needle will require a lighter-weight yarn.
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton 4-ply. This pattern is for the thicker cotton yarn, not the Sugar 'n Cream Twists.) I think I used much less than 50 yards--I probably have enough for one more and an entire washcloth left in the 70.9 gram skein.
Gauge: 5 stitches x 6 rows = 1 inch
Final measurements: 3 inches wide x 5 inches long
Using Judy Becker's "Magic Cast-On For Toe-Up Socks"--thank you Persistent Illusion for the directions--, (you will have to click if you don't already know how to do this (there's a cast-on video below, too, but it's just for the confusing cast-on part, not for the knitting/increasing part), CO 10 pairs of stitches.
Round 1: Drop the tail and turn the needles so that needle 1 is on top and needle 2 is on the bottom. Pull the cable through the needle 2 stitches. Knit the stitches on needle one (just leave the tail dangle--you can tighten the end stitches after you've knit the entire circle of stitches), then turn the work and knit the stitches on needle 2. This takes a little practice if you haven't done it before, and my best recommendation is that you pull the yarn tight every time you turn the needles to go around the "end" of the circle--really tight. The stitches will even out later--you'll see. You want to avoid that ladder look on the edges of the circle.
Round 2: * K1, Kftb, K to last two stitches of the row, Kftb, K1. Turn the work. Repeat from * down second needle.
Round 3: K all stitches.
Round 4: Repeat Round 2.
Round 5: Repeat Round 3.
Rounds 6 to 35: Knit all stitches.
Round 36: BO if knitted stitch.
Finishing: I tied off the top so that there was no opening between the beginning BO and the ending BO. Then, I wove the remaining tail into the KNITTED SIDE OF THE FABRIC. I did the same for the original tail. THE KNITTED SIDE IS THE WRONG SIDE FOR THIS PATTERN.
* Flip the sock inside-out so that the purled rows show. I wanted a rougher surface for this item so that it was a little scrubby, a little exfoliating.
* Braid three strands of the same yarn used for the sock and weave them into the fabric of the sock about 1 to 1 1/4 inches from the BO row. Pull tight and tie in a bow. This way, you can remove the soap to wash your sock in the washing machine AND, when the soap gets down to a chip, you can replace it. So many sock patterns want you to sew the soap into the sock. I like things to be re-usable, you know?
And, with that, happy knitting Friday everyone!