I have posted a new sock pattern on my Beadknitter Patterns blog called the Happiness Socks. To go along with that pattern, I have created this tutorial on how I pick up stitches for the gusset when knitting socks on 2 circular needles.
The original instructions that go with this method strike me as being rather cumbersome. You have to transfer 9 sts of the turned heel to the second needle, then pick up stitches for the gusset with needle one, then knit the instep stitches, pick up the second half of the gusset stitches, then knit the 9 stitches you transferred at the start on the second needle. Now, this works all fine and dandy. However, when it comes time to shape the toe, again you have to mess around with transferring the stitches around in order to get them were you need them to finish your sock.
There's actually an easier and much less hassling way to do it. That's what this tutorial is about.
So, lets pretend you have just finished turning the heel of your sock. You have your heel stitches on needle one, and your instep stitches on needle two. We are ready to start picking up stitches for the gusset.
Along the side of your heel flap there are stitches-usually slipped ones to make it easier. But if you didn't do that, it's okay. This will still work. Here's kind of what it will look like.
Put your needle through underneath the first stitch.
Wrap the yarn around the needle, like you're going to knit the stitch.
Pull the wrapped yarn through the slipped stitch to the front. Voila! You've just "picked up and knit a stitch".
Repeat this all the way across for the required number of stitches.
You do not have to do this next step. I do it because it decreases the chance of a hole forming between the gusset and the instep.
Slip your left needle from front to back under the bar between the stitches of the instep and the heel flap, creating a loop on your left needle.
Knit through the back of the loop.
There, the first side of the gusset has been picked up.
It will look sort of lop sided because the other side hasn't been picked up yet. Now, knit across the instep stitches as instructed on needle two, then drop needle two and go back to knitting on needle one. It will look like this before you start the second gusset side. Notice how I'm returning to using needle one now. Yes, there will be a weird empty gap, but you are going to fill it up.
Now, with needle one, slip your left needle from front to back under the bar between the stitches of the instep and the heel flap, creating a loop on your left needle.
Knit through the back of the loop like you did for the first side.
Now, slip the right needle underneath the first stitch of side two of the heel flap.
Wrap the yarn around as if to knit it
Pull it back through to the front. You should now have 2 stitches on your right hand needle.
Continue picking up and knitting the stitches across the heel flap to the desired number.
Then knit the rest of the stitches on needle one.
Voila! Your gusset stitches are now ready for working.
You knit your gusset decreases and heel stitches all on one needle until you have the correct number for the bottom of the foot, and finish your sock. When it's time to decrease for the toe, your stitches will already be where you need them to be.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful.
Happy sock knitting.