PSA: Adding "Monster Claws" to Socks

One of my patterns is for baby socks intended to look like clawed feet (Monster Socks). They are an amusing addition to any infant's wardrobe. However, that pattern doesn't scale up well, because the foot is very wide when you start the toes, making them impractical for those of us who can walk.  That said, you can add "monster toes" to any sock pattern if you want to wear them as slippers.

I prefer to add three toes to socks, because the width of a foot would make the toes too small if you made more than three of them.  Here are instructions for adding three "monster claws" to your socks, regardless of sock size or stitch count.

  1. Normal sock patterns have you begin toe shaping when the sock foot measures about 2 inches smaller than the length of your foot.  You aren't doing that here.  Make the foot of the sock as long as the foot it's intended to fit.
  2. You need your stitches to be a multiple of 6, but sock patterns work with multiples of 4.  If your number of stitches for the foot circumference is already a multiple of 6 (like 72 or 48), you can proceed to making toes.  If not, you'll want to increase or decrease your stitches to the nearest multiple of 6 in the second to last round of the foot.  In the socks I have pictured (worsted weight on size 5 needles and made for an 8yo), the foot was 40 sts around.  I increased to 42 sts in the second to last round.  If I had 56 sts, I would decrease to 54 sts. Place the increases or decreases at the sides of the feet, in the same place where you would normally do toe shaping for a regular sock.
  3. Divide your stitches between two needles: the stitches that go on top of the foot go on one needle, and the stitches for the bottom of the foot go on the other (if you are comfortable looking at your stitches, you can think through this step). With the sock shown, I had 42 stitches when I made the toes, which means I had 21 stitches on top and 21 on bottom.
  4. Mentally divide the stitches on each needle into thirds.  For my sock, that meant I thought of each needle in terms of three groups of 7 stitches.
  5. Move all stitches except the last third on one needle and the first third on the next needle onto a flexible holder or piece of yarn. In the picture, I'm using a circular needle I had handy. The remaining stitches are right next to each other.  You can knit straight across them without the holder getting in the way.
First Toe:
  1. Arrange those stitches on 4 dpns. If the yarn isn't where you can work straight on to these stitches, cut it, and reattach the yarn to these stitches at the side of the foot.  This is the new beginning of the round for the first monster toe.
  2. Knit across the first 2 needles, cast on 1 at the end of the second needle and 1 more on the beginning of the third needle (these 2 sts cross the gap between the top and bottom of the foot), and knit to the end of the round.
  3. Knit one round even.
  4. *K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts of second needle, k2tog, k1.  Rep from * across third and fourth needle.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until 8 or 10 stitches remain (it will be 8 or 10 depending on how many stitches you had to start with).
  6. If you have 8 sts, k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1.  If you have 10 sts, k1, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2, sl1, k2tog, psso, k1. Either way, you'll end this round with 6 sts.
  7. Cut yarn and draw tail through remaining sts to finish.
Second Toe:

  1. Move the first quarter of the stitches off one end of the stitch holder and onto 2 dpns.  Move the same number of stitches off the opposite end of the holder and onto the other 2 dpns.  This is the same number of stitches as you started out with on the first two before you cast on the extra two stitches. You should now have the same number of stitches on needles as you have on the holder.
  2. To attach the yarn, PU 1 on the gap sts from the previous toe, k across the first 2 needles, CO 1 on the end of the second needle, CO 1 more on the beginning of the third needle, k across the second 2 needles, PU 1 on the gap sts from the previous toe. You now have 4 more stitches than you picked up from the holder and 2 more stitches than you had at the beginning of the previous toe.
  3. Proceed as for steps 3-7 on the first toe.  This middle toe will be slightly longer than the first.
Third Toe:
  1. Arrange the remaining stitches from the holder on 4 dpns.
  2. To attach the yarn, PU 1 on the gap sts from the middle toe, k around, PU 1 more st on the gap sts from the middle toe.  This toe will be the same size as the first.
  3. Proceed as for steps 3-7 on the first toe.
Tuck in all loose ends (you'll have 2 for each toe), and enjoy!