Turkish Cast on for Toe-Up Socks

  • 01 of 05

    Setting Up

    The slip knot on the bottom needle means you're ready to start the Turkish cast on
    The Spruce Crafts / Sarah E. White

    Just as with any other kind of knitting, there are numerous ways to cast on stitches for toe-up sock knitting. The best method for you is going to be found after trying a variety of options, but we like one that's known as the Turkish cast-on, mostly because it is relatively easy and doesn't require the use of waste yarn as some provisional methods of casting on for toe-up socks do.

    You'll probably want to practice a couple of times before you use it on a real sock because you're working into loops so the tension can come out pretty uneven. But it's quick and easy to cast on this way, so you won't mind too much if you have to rip it out and try again.

    This method can be done with two circular needles as shown, or start with two double-pointed needles and distribute the stitches onto one or two more as you go, depending on your preference for how many needles to work with. To begin, align your needles with the points facing to the right and put a slip knot on the lower needle.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Casting on Stitches

    Ten loops on each needle mean you've "cast on" 20 stitches
    The Spruce Crafts / Sarah E. White

    "Cast on" feels like the wrong term for what's happening with the Turkish cast-on because you're just wrapping the yarn around the needle. Even as we say this it will feel like you're doing something wrong because you're doing so little, but that's all you do.

    Take the yarn from under the needles around the back and over top of the needles and back to the front of the needles and so on, looping around both needles as you go each time.

    Repeat until you've made enough loops to account for half your needed stitches, minus one. In this example, we were going for 20 stitches, which means we needed nine loops.

    Wrap the yarn around the top needle one more time and bring the yarn between the needles. Now there are 10 "loops" on each needle (counting the slip knot on the bottom needle).

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Starting to Knit

    Knitting the top stitches from the Turkish cast on
    The Spruce Crafts / Sarah E. White

    Pull gently on the bottom needle so the loops (or stitches) that were on that needle hang on the cable. Using the point of the other end of the top needle, knit the "stitches" on the top needle.

    Yes, this will be awkward. As we mentioned, keeping even tension will be difficult. It will get easier with practice.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Completing the First Round

    Knitting the second half of the stitches after working a Turkish cast on
    The Spruce Crafts / Sarah E. White

    Once you've worked the first needle's worth of stitches, slide them onto the cable needle and move the bottom stitches onto the end of the needle closest to where the working yarn now is so that you can knit those stitches using the other end of the same needle.

    The first stitch you will work on this side, then, is the slip knot. Be extra careful to knit with the working yarn rather than the tail end.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Continuing the Sock

    You can already see the beginnings of a toe shape just a few rounds after the Turkish Cast on
    The Spruce Crafts / Sarah E. White

    To practice this cast-on method, work a few more rounds of straight knitting just to see what it looks like. In this picture, we've worked three rounds, and you can already start to see the toe shape happening.

    Most toe-up sock knitting patterns have you start increasing for the foot right away, so if you're following a pattern you'll want to pay attention and start your shaping when the pattern tells you to.