Tricky Heels

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I've been knitting away at the gift socks lately, in hopes of finishing them in time to gift them. But I hit a major bump in the road when I got to the heel. The pattern called for a French heel, so I plugged away at it and hated the result. With the particular yarn I'm using it just didn't look good. So I seriously contemplated frogging the entire sock and starting again toe up with a short row heel.

Poking around the intarweb looking for short row heels I learned a few things. First, I could just rip back the heel and use the technique in the cuff down socks I'd already started, it was not a toe up only technique. Second, as best as I can tell, there are about three primary variations on the short row heel.

So I ripped the first heel out and went with the standard wrapped short rows I was familiar with. All I can say is yuck. Even doing everything right there was still too much space around the short rows. I just didn't like it. Then, poking around Knitty, I found Nona. She has a fabulous blog entry on the Japanese short row technique.

First I tried it from memory without her clever use of safety pins. Big mistake. So there went my third attempt at the heel. Then I tried it with pins and her blog up on my screen, but realized my modification to turn her short row technique into a short row heel was flawed. That was heel attempt number four. I realized where my error was and decided to correct it. Have I mentioned it was now 3 am on Friday? Attempt 5 was almost perfect, until I got to the end and realized I was one pin short. At that point I ripped out the heel again in frustration and went to bed.

Heel number 6, done after some sleep and at a much earlier hour Saturday evening resulted in success. The short rows heel looks so much better with this yarn, and this particular type of short row makes a lovely rounded heel cup. I may use it for the toe as well. I'll post pics after I gift the socks.

Should you decide to give this heel a try, or just use this short row technique anywhere short rows are called for (and I recommend you do), use the pins. It's weird having so many pins dangling on the back of your work, but it will help greatly to see which piece of yarn needs to be picked up. Also, take your time and try this with good light while well rested. This is not a technique to be used when distracted (you know, like if you were playing WoW at the time).



Ervin said:

Sorry to hear about your lfaoyf. If you get bored knitting alone you can always drop by for tea!

Mel said:

I liked them so much I wound up using the same technique on the toe. It turned out really well too, nice and rounded. Pics after they're gifted. :)

spinnity said:

Loved the heel you made with this technique. I'll try it on the watermelon socks for mom. Thanks for the pointers!

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 16, 2006 10:21 AM.

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