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Sock Tips 1-tube socks, circular socks on a flat bed machine with a ribber, ipso- facto ribbing.  (go here for seaming tips)


Tube Socks aka Sock "Blanks" Pattern   or...a machine knit sock with a "Peasant" or "Afterthought" Heel and toe. ©Catherine Goodwin 1998 (seeŠnotice below)

Sock blanks are just a rectangle (or a tube if you have a ribber on your knitting machine, or a circular sock knitting machine) knitted with ribbing on one end, long enough to be a sock, and wide enough to fit around your foot, you seam up the side (unless you have knitted a tube) and then add the heel and toe afterwards. These are not the best nor the most elegant socks (see the New Sock Options For Machine Knitters for lots illustrated sock patterns, tips, techniques and ideas!)  however they are quick and easy, and if you enjoy a "take along" project to combine your hand and machine knitting, they are especially handy. Or you may whip them up entirely on your machine, by adding a simple heel and toe with side seams.
1) The Sock Blank- Determine gauge of yarn (sts/inch and rows/inch)
Measure circumference of ankle, multiply this by st/in to get your number of CO sts.
CO and K a rectangle twice as long as your foot, you may begin with some ribbing or add it on later (by hand, if you like, spiral knitted ribbing is kind of a nice change!) 
The Toe- On the machine : Knit the toe in the following manner:
#Put 1/2 sts in HP(holding position) and 1/2 stitches in WP (working position)
#On WP sts repeat the instructions (between the two *'s) until 1/3 of total sts are left,
#*decrease one stitch on each end of the of row, then K2 row (K3 rows for a fuller toe)*
#Slip these sts onto a knitting needle or knit off onto waste yarn for grafting later.
#Move HP sts into WP, repeat above procedure.
#Graft ends of toe together, and seam up sides of toe. Then seam up sides of sock (at this point, your sock will be a rectangle with a toe-a tube sock!)
The toe-By hand-knitting:
#After you have knit your rectangle, slip sts off of machine bed and onto 4 double pointed needles.  Seam up side.
#Knit toe by repeat  the following rounds between the *.* until 1/3 of total sts are left. You may knit 2 rounds between the decrease round if you want a rounder, fuller toe.
#knit 1 round, on the next round (beginning at seam) K1, SSK, K across to 3 sts before toe edge (opposite side from seam) K2tog, K1. * graft (kitchener st) the end of the toe together.

 The Heel- Try the sock on its foot and mark the center where the heel should be. Take a deep breath and clip a strand of yarn at this point, carefully unravel this row in both directions until you have a slit that is half of the total stitches ( slit should be in line with the toe) this hole (slit) is where you will insert the heel. For safety sake, thread these "live" sts onto a knitting needle or waste yarn as you work. This slit will look like a mouth.
On the machine-
#hang one half of the live sts (the top of the mouth) on needle bed.
#Repeat the following instructions between the two *'s  until 1/3 of total sts are left.
#*ffd on each side of row, then K2 rows (K3 rows for a fuller heel) *
#Slip these sts onto a knitting needle or knit off onto waste yarn for grafting later.
# Hang live sts on other side of slit (the bottom of the mouth)onto needle bed, repeat above procedure.
#Graft ends of heel together, and seam up sides of heel.
By hand-knitting-
#Slip the live sts onto 4 double pointed knitting needles, and beginning at the side of the foot (corresponding to the side of the toe) using the fifth needle  *Knit 1 round. On the next round , K1, SSK, K across to 3 sts before toe edge (opposite side from seam) K2tog, K1. *  Repeat until 1/3 of total sts are left graft (kitchener st) together. You may knit 2 rounds between the decrease round if you want a rounder, fuller heel.
 
  


 Ipso-Facto Ribbing-if you  knit your sock on a flat bed,  or circular knitting machine, you may want to slip the stitches on to hand knitting needles and hand knit the ribbing afterward.  If you do this, it is important to bind off your ribbing with a bind-off that is loose enough to stretch over the calf.  One way to acheive this is to move up to a bigger needle size on the last ribbing row and then crochet, latch tool, or a very loose back stitch bind off.

Instructions for adapting the Magic Knitting Machine Sock Formula (or any flatbed sock pattern) to Circular (Tubular) Knitting on a Flat Bed Machine with a Ribber

Cast on and knit your ribbing in the usual way. You may rib the entire leg of the sock, or rib a few inches and make a decorative (fair isle or whatever) leg before you switch to tubular knitting. For expediency, you can knit the entire leg flat, and shape the heel on 1/2 of the sts while they are still on the main bed before you switch to tubular knitting for the foot only. 
However, some people think it looks nicer to have some tubular knitting before the heel, as described below.
How to switch to tubular knitting;  Move all stitches from the ribber bed to the knitter bed. Put half of the sts into HP, on the other half, knit a few rows of waste yarn and remove these sts from the bed. Remove the CO comb and fold these scrapped off sts over and rehang them onto the ribber bed opposite the sts in HP (the waste yarn makes this easier) Remove WY.
Weight the knitting with lots of claw weights, or with a knitting needle run through the knitting with weights hanging from it. 
Another neat trick is to grasp the sock below the bed and encircle it with a strong rubber band, you can then hang heavy weights from this rubber band without snagging stitches and it will give an even pull on the knitting from both beds.
Set your KM to knit tubular. When you are ready to begin shaping the heel, drop the ribber down and replace the ribber carriage arm with the main carriage arm, as you will be shaping the heel on the main bed. This may seem like extra hassle, and is not imperative, but it saves you aggravation and dropped sts in the long run. It also gives you more room to get in there and hang the necessary extra weights.
If you are knitting the "hand-knit-like heel" from the Magic Knitting Machine Sock Formula, it is helpful to use the weaving brushes when shaping the heel. Use lots of weights! When picking back up the gusset sts, be sure not to leave any gaps at the junction of the ribber and main bed sts.
Put back the ribber arm, move the ribber back up and knit the foot tubular.
Select whatever toe you want, and kitchener stitch to finish, Wow! what a sock!