There is yet another way to do socks using "short rows" and beginning at toe. I stumbled across this method when practicing other methods and practicing short rows methods.
Determine the total number of stitches necessary for sock; divide this number by two. Co on this amount of sts. Example: If the total number of sts is 48, CO 24 sts. Begin doing short rows immediately and begin with a purl row. The method I use for doing short rows is a bit different---it is backward. In other words, I work to the point to do it, move the yarn before slipping the stitch, slip the stitch and turn. .
When I begin to work the wrapped stitches back into the fabric, I work the wrapped stitch and wrap the stitch adjacent to it and turn. I DO NOT LIFT THE WRAPS TO WORK THEM WITH THE STITCH THEY WRAP! I LEAVE IT ALONE.. When the toe (or heel) is finished, these wrapped stitches form a nice detail. It is so, so much easier and I prefer the appearance.
To determine the number of stitches to wrap for shaping the toe, divide the number by three, in other words, if using the number 24 stitches as I indicated above, you would have 8 wrapped stitches each side of center 8 stitches. At this time, you would begin to work the wrapped stitches back into fabric. When ALL wrapped stitches are worked---24 sts on needle, rearrange sts on double pointed needles of choice---a set of 4 , or 2 circularly----or one 40" circular for the "magic loop" style.
Pick up 24 sts from the cast on edge, [yes the edge where you began] to obtain a total of 48 sts. Work to heel placement. Shape the heel using the same numbers and method. Place half the stitches on a holder while shaping the heel with the remaining stitches. If working ribbing from this point, I like doing about an inch and 1/2 before beginnng the ribbing.
The numbers given here for explanation purposes would do for a women's medium size ---- sport weight yarn with size 5 needles. If needing numbers for sock weight, email me for the numbers. . The pattern is---FREE! Tilly Perry firstname.lastname@example.org