Bunions can be sensitive and tender. They also artificially enlarge the circumference of a foot if the foot measurement includes the bunion which can result in a sock that fits the bunion well, but is loose and baggy on the rest of the foot. Here are some tips and tricks for knitting socks to fit feet with bunions:
Use very soft yarn. Bunions can be sensitive and tender and benefit from some extra softness and cushioning.
Use a thicker yarn to provide extra cushioning around the bunion. This can be a bit tricky because if the yarn is too thick the wearer’s shoes might not fit properly, so it will take some trial and error.
Work increases around the bunion. Warning: math ahead! If the foot circumference before the bunion is 8 inches and the foot circumference including the bunion is 9 inches and your stitch gauge is 8 stitches per inch, you can increase an extra 8 stitches (4 stitches on either side of the toe) leading up to the bunion and then decrease those extra stitches after the bunion. This becomes tricky if you’re working a stitch pattern and may mean either stopping the stitch pattern early (if you're knitting cuff down) or starting it a bit late (if you’re knitting toe up).
Create a small gusset for the bunion. This is my favourite option, because I love short rows, but it will result in anatomical socks (socks that have specific left and right feet that aren’t interchangeable). When you reach the bunion-part of the sock, you create a tiny short row heel where the bunion is to cushion and accommodate the bunion. Again, you’ll need to know the circumference of the foot with and without the bunion and again, this will disrupt any pattern stitch that you’re knitting on the sock.
Do you have experience knitting socks to accommodate bunions? I'd love to know what tips and tricks you use.