On most of my recent patterns, the booties are started like a toe-up sock and knitted in the round. I knit them using the magic loop method. When you get to the instep, you’re knitting most of it flat, and it can be very awkward to do with the way the stitches are normally divided (half and half from the back & front center) in magic loop. Here’s what I do:
- Work in magic loop up to the instep section, as you normally would.
- Check ahead in the pattern to the last or second last round of the instep section (this will be the one that starts with “working in the round again“) and note the first direction – it will be to knit X amount of stitches before doing a k2tog.
- *Before* you start the first row of the instep, slide a stitch marker onto the right-hand (working) needle tip (or leave your beginning-of-round/end-of-round marker in place, if you’re using one):
- Knit the number of stitches from the last row/rnd of the instep section that you noted in the second step:
- Pull first the right-hand needle tip, then the left-hand needle tip, out – all your stitches are on the cable with your marker at center back:
- Count off the same number of stitches to the left of the stitch marker and pull out a section of cable – you’ve effectively re-divided your stitches with the instep stitches on one section of cable and the remainder (the back of the sole & foot) on the other section:
- Continue with that first row of the instep and work the instep rows back and forth on these stitches up until the 3rd last row of the instep section; you’ll have 1 stitch left either side of your 8 or 10 center (usually) instep stitches on one section of cable:
- Start working that 3rd last row, but stop halfway through the instep stitches and, once again, pull first the right-hand needle tip, then the left-hand needle tip, out – all your stitches are on the cable with your marker at center back:
- Pull the cable out at the center back, where your marker is – you’ve re-divided your stitches back to the original half & half division:
- Finish working your bootie.
I hope this helps with one of the fiddlier bits of making my booties! Let me know if you’d like to see more photo tutorials?