Tuesday, February 07, 2012

More about socks

I’ve added “Fleegle’s heel” to the list in my electronic Organiser.  Have I got the link right, Anita? Fleegle is the woman who figured out how to knit garter stitch in the round, a technique I used for the Mourning Shawl I knit for our niece last year. I stand in awe.

And I’ve also made a note there of where to find the advice on stretchy bind-offs (=in the comments for Sunday, 5/2/12). Thanks for that.

Barbara, I had the wit to search LibraryThing just now, before logging on to Amazon – I find I have the Gibson-Roberts “Simple Sock” book, and will certainly look at it today. The scan of my shelves on Sunday clearly wasn’t very thorough. Your very kind remark about the blog has produced a lasting glow, here in Drummond Place.

Janis, I agree utterly about the tedium of knitting the wrap with the wrapped stitch. It’s tolerable for a few rows when one is lifting the back of a sweater, but wouldn’t do in a heel.

But the short-row heel I knit (Patternworks $1 sometime in the ‘90’s) doesn’t involve wrapping:

n      Knit the heel flap.
n      Knit to the centre of it, k2, ssk, k1, turn.
n      Slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
n      Knit to 1 st before the gap, ssk, k1, turn.
n      Purl to 1 st before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn

And so forth. Each decrease, ssk and p2tog, takes in that extra k1 or p1 after the decrease from last time, plus the stitch from the other side of the gap which one might have expected to wrap, but didn’t. The unwrapped stitch from beyond the gap winds up on the bottom of the decrease, remembering our useful rule that the stitch the needle enters first, for any decrease, winds up on top. I am not clever enough to figure out if that’s why wrapping is unnecessary, but I wonder.

By now, I could easily devote the rest of 2012 to sock-knitting, to test all these ideas. And it’s a thought, once the two madelinetosh projects are done. People wear socks, there’s no doubt.

Speaking of Amazon, as I did above, we have just received the catalogue for the Leonardo show which we didn’t get to see in London. My husband was a bit cross at me for not holding out for the paperback edition – I don’t think Amazon had it. Whatever: even with postage, it cost less (and it’s a big book) than they are asking for “Cool Socks Warm Feet”. Most peculiar. Thanks for the tip about the Ravelry download of CSWF, Jenny – but I really don’t need it, now that I’ve got the pattern which includes the Neatby heel.


  1. If you change your mind about Lucy Neatby's book, Get Knitted (http://getknitted.com/acatalog/More_Books.html) stock it for £14.50 - post free I seem to remember!

  2. Yes - that's the correct link, Jean. She also has a blog post about avoiding the little holes when you move from the heel to knitting the leg (when toe-up), which I find absolutely invaluable.

    Best stretchy cast-off is Jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off. Works wonders and is pretty easy.

  3. Anonymous1:51 AM

    Hi Jean, with all this enthusiasm for different heels, you could test them in miniature, or make an ankle sock and knit just past the heel. Your curiousity would be satisfied without a great time investment. Just a thought. Marilyn in Minneapolis

  4. =Tamar6:25 AM

    Or you could just do provisional cast-ons and knit heels, to be kitchenered later, onto tubes made with afterthought spaces. I had this idea decades ago and one of these days I'll do it.