Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sock Heels - Trying Something New

I recently received an order from my favorite yarn store, Twisted!  I purchased 3 skeins of Hazel Knits sock yarn, one I'd not used before, but was extremely excited to try out.  

This is the colorway "Stick-O-Butter" getting wound into loveliness...  It is so bright and cheerful - the perfect yarn to knit spring socks with!

My sock club is working our way through the sock book "Knitted Socks East and West" by Judy Sumner.  This month's pattern is Tatami.  I decided to knit both socks at the same time, so that what happened to my last sock project wouldn't be repeated. 

Did you know that it is possible to knit two socks from one skein?  The sock on the left is pulling yarn from the center of the ball, and the sock on the right is pulling yarn from the outside.  These cuffs are done!

I had a little bit too much fun stacking the socks for this picture...

These photos were taken over a period of a few days.  I would work 8 rows on each sock (one full pattern repeat), then work several rows on other projects. 

The socks were now ready for heels.  I decided to be adventurous, however, and forgo the standard short row heel in place of an "after-thought" heel.

Basically, I knit 1/2 of the stitches with a piece of waste yarn (leaving the working yarn at the beginning of the row).  Then I went back to that working yarn, and started knitting in stockinette.  I guessed - yes guessed - where the toe should go, but left them open so I could go back and increase or decrease depending on need after trying them on.  

The next step was to rip out the waste yarn, and place the loose stitches back on needles.  There were 30 loose stitches above the waste yarn and 30 stitches below, so I placed them evenly on 4 needles (15 sts per needle), then proceeded to bind off exactly the same way as the toe.  Once there were 4 sts/needle left, I grafted them the same as I would a toe.  I tried it on, declared the toe to be correct (whew!!!) and grafted the toe.  Voila!

The heel "seam" is a little thicker than I would have liked.  It's the exact same on the toe, but up there it looks better.  So I may play around with it more.  However, not having to do a short row heel, pick up a ton of extra stitches, and then decrease all those extra stitches is sure a time saver!  I did miss turning the heel though.  That's one of my favorite parts.  

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the socks!  Finally a pair that actually fits me well.  :)  I've taken notes so that I can repeat this success again and again.   


Jeanne said...

Having not made too many pairs of socks, I didn't quite follow what you said you did, but I had to comment because that color of yarn is gorgeous! I'm glad you've got a pair that fits decently, too. You certainly deserve it!

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