Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Help for My Friends

At Knitting yesterday I attempted to clarify some confusing sock instructions for my friend Sharon. I took pictures, but you know it all happens so fast that it is difficult to remember what goes where on the three or four needles. If you are not a knitter, this is enough to scare you into never knitting socks. But really it is SO SIMPLE once you've done it a few times.
The heel stitches are made up of a heel flap and then a cup shaped section which is the turned heel. Those stitches are divided and kept separate from the leg or instep stitches. One needs to decrease at the bottom of the two upright needles as follows: The left needle is always k1, k2tog and the right needle is always ssk, k1. Decrease on every other round.

I've knit about 50 pairs using those instructions, but NOW. . . I am much happier doing the Afterthought heel, a replaceable heel that doesn't take nearly as much time and trouble to achieve. It is my first choice now.

Knit a tube and decide where the heel needs to go.

 The place to make the heel is knitted with waste yarn, across half the stitches, and then PURLED back across the same waste yarn, leaving the ends dangling. Then the sock yarn is picked up again and the rest of the sock is knitted. Later or AFTERWARDS the waste yarn is unpicked and the live stitches are put on the needles to make the heel. Genius. I didn't invent this, but now I know how to do it and this will make all those future socks so much more durable.

In this photo I have slipped all the unpicked stitches onto waste yarn again to try on the sock for the fit. I will then distribute the stitches onto four needles, and then make my decreases at the side corners,  using the same directions as I use to make a sock toe. Got it?


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    When are you going to teach the Dawg how to knit so you can include pics of him in your knitting posts? :))

  2. Mechelle9:58 AM

    Or maybe the Dawg needs a sweater???? :o)

  3. Wow! I think I've got it but I will need to try it out on the next pair. It definitely looks easier than the usual heel, especially trying to evenly pick up all those stitches.

  4. I think the afterthought heel looks amazing but I can't quite wrap my mind around it. I just keep on with my normal heels. SSK and K2TOG! I love your pictures though. You give great instructions.

  5. Do you have directions for these socks from the beginning to the end? It looks much faster and easier than the one I'm using.

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