I like making toe-up socks. I like Judy's Magic Cast-on, but it always feels awkward to me, manipulating both the tail and the working yarn. So I invented my own. I believe the M1Rm and M1Lg are Cat Bordhi's (?) lifted increases. This could easily be adapted for any yarn thickness, just stop when you get the right number of stitches on each needle for your pattern. Notes: "as tightly as possible" means tight, but not so tight you break the yarn.
Yarn: Any fingering sock yarnNeedle: 2.25mm circular, or size to your gauge
M1Lm: (right leaning lifted incr) , knit thru the right leg of the stitch one row below the loop on needle (“mother”)(you may have to use your needle tip to give it a tug to open it up slightly), then knit next stitchM1Rg: (left leaning lifted incr) Knit next stitch, then knit thru the left leg of the stitch two rows below loop on needle (“grandmother”)
Toe:Make a slip knot and place loop around one of the needles as an anchor. This will not count as a stitch.
Hold needles parallel, slip knot on the right hand needle.
In a figure-eight pattern wrap (as tightly as possible) left needle, then right, alternating until you have 12 stitches on one needle (left) and 12 + 1 slip knot on the other (right).
Pull right needle so stitches rest on cable. Knit across (as tightly as possible) left needle. Push stitches to cable, move stitches into position. Slip the slip knot to right needle. Knit across (as tightly as possible) through the back loop. (Note: these stitches are sitting twisted, so through the back loop will untwist.)
Knit next round (Round 2) moving circular (not back and forth), dropping original slip stitch. At this point you should have an equal number of stitches on each needle, and two rows of knitting between them, with the ends slightly pulling in to form the tip of the toe. Total sts: 24
Round 3: K2, M1Lm, k to 2 sts before end, M1Rg, k2 – turn – rep on 2nd needle. Total sts: 28Round 4: K across, rep on 2nd needle
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have a total of 56 (60, 64) sts as per pattern/size requirement.
The increases should not interupt the smooth flow of the 2 start and end stitches - always increase on the third stitch in.
At this point you can use the tip of a needle to tighten up any loose stitches on the first round, by slowly tightening each leg, moving towards the tail end (turn work over to see which end is the tail end, if necessary.) This can be done at any point, but is easier when you have the toe “cup” open.
Continue with whichever pattern you plan to use for the rest of your sock!