This post is specifically written for the Mirth Feather Lace Socks, but it will help you with any toe-up sock with a plain toe.
The Feather Lace Socks call for one of three CO methods--the figure-eight, the Turkish, and Judy's Magic CO. The last one is my favorite, and makes a very fine beginning to any toe-up sock. I thought I'd show you some tips. If my "tips" get muddy, you can always refer back to the link for the original "Judy's Magic" above.
Because I don't like the bump caused by a slip knot at the toe of my socks, I usually start this CO with the tail toward the back, and just lay the yarn over the needle.
Then, holding the tips of two 16" circular needles together, I wrap the yarn over the top needle, keeping the tail toward the back. I slip my pointer around the front strand with the back strand laying over it. Yes, I am about to twist it once to secure the yarn over that needle.
I then grab the two yarn strands and poke my pointer and thumb between them with the tail over my thumb and the working yarn over my pointer while twisting the tail toward the front. This secures the tail so that it does not get loose while I cast on the rest of the stitches. It also makes it stay in place when it's time to work the toe increases without having to make a slip knot.
We already have one stitch on the top needle, so it's time to cast on a stitch to the bottom needle to match. At this point, I take the working yarn on my pointer finger toward the front under the bottom needle and then over it and between needles. Then I give it a pull to secure it, but not TOO tightly that I cannot work into it later.
Tada! One stitch on each needle.
Time for more! I take the tail that's over my thumb toward the back, over the top needle, and through the two needles to cast on the second stitch to the top needle.
Second stitch on top needle secured! After this, my pointer goes back in place to wrap the yarn under the lower needle and up and between the needles again to cast a second stitch on the lower needle.
I keep doing these two motions until there are 12 sts on each needle (or however many your pattern requires).
The Feather Lace is worked with superfine sock yarn, so it begins with 12 stitches on each needle and increases to 32 stitches on each.
I am eternally grateful to Judy Becker for "unventing" the Magic CO! It's my absolute favorite.
Next post I will show you how to set up for and work the toe increases.
Bye for now!