I don’t like the provisional cast on for toe up socks. It’s a lot of extra work. You end up with holes on the sides and it’s an ugly wedge shape. Judy’s magic cast on leaves the toes looking gappy and ugly. I’ve developed my own cast on that works great for toe up socks.
A sock is a tube which is closed at one end and turned at the heel. You can use any yarn, any needle size. A pattern will tell you the total number of stitches you’ll need, like when you knit straight on the foot or cuff. It will tell you the type of yarn and needle size. You will adjust this stitch total so it’s in multiples of 4.
I use circular needles and magic loop. With a long tail cast on, I cast on 4 stitches. I divide the stitches with two on each needle. On the first round, I join the round and kfb on each of the four stitches. After this, you pull the tail as tightly as you can to close up the hole. On every round after this, I kfb on the first stitch, knit across to the last stitch, kfb. I do this on each needle. You’ll increase by four stitches each time. You keep doing this until you’ve reached the total number of stitches you need, then knit straight for the foot until you get to the heel turn. This makes a beautiful, professional looking, rounded toe with no holes.
Since I use circulars, I put half the stitches at rest on the cable and work the other half back and forth for the heel turn. I use wrap and turn. I found a great site that shows how to do this without holes. I do three wrap and turns on each side for a more rounded looking heel. After the heel turn is finished, before you join it back with the unworked stitches for the cuff, you have to pick up one or two stitches in the gap between them to eliminate a hole there. You will decrease these stitches on the next round so you’re back to your original stitch count.
I knit one or two inches (depending on if the sock is for babies, children, or adults) in straight stockinette stitch and begin the ribbing for the cuff. At the end, I use Jenny’s stretchy cast off. Hope this helps.
One of these days I should post the toe up cast on in a blog. It’s a beautiful looking toe.