Last week I blogged a post asking what readers wanted to learn/get tips about on this blog. One reader asked for info on provisional cast-on socks that start at the ankle. I’ve never done it, but it certainly would be possible to do. Most sock patterns, with the notable exception of knee socks and a few specific designers, have the same number of stitches in the calf/ankle and the foot. To start, pick a top-down sock pattern (like my freebie DNA Marker socks) and cast on the recommended number of stitches using any provisional cast on. I have a tutorial here if you need one.
Then just skip over the entirety of the cuff directions and begin at the ankle. When you’re done knitting through the toes, remove your provisional cast on and work up the cuffs. This does solve the “will I have enough yarn for the cuffs?” dilemma, but…The main problem with this method is that you may need to flip or entirely rework your charts for the cuff to keep the pattern from coming out upside down on the cuff. If you’re worried about having enough yarn and not sure how long to make the cuffs, there’s a much, much simpler solution. Toe up socks (like my Brambleton).
Your foot is going to be the same size no matter how much yarn you have. There’s no getting around that one. It really doesn’t matter if you knit the foot from toe to ankle or ankle to toe. Knitting from toe to ankle, however, eliminates the complication of a provisional cast-on as well as the complication of your foot pattern going in the opposite direction of your leg pattern. You just keep knitting until you run out of yarn, period. Easy.