Thursday, October 13, 2005

About Face

And now, we turn the heel! Using "short rows", we're going to knit that little wedge that helps a sock form an "L" and makes it fit a foot!

For lots of people, this is the hardest part, not because it's actually hard but because if you attempt to "work it out in your mind," it makes absolutely no sense. So bear with me and follow blindly!

RS: Knit across 11 stitches (2 stitches past the center of the heel flap), skp (This means: "slip the first stitch as if to purl, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over the one you just knit"), k1. TURN. (This means, "turn your work around so that the wrong side is facing you." Yes, I know that there are stitches left unworked. There should be 4 of them. LEAVE THEM UNWORKED!

WS: Slip the first stitch, p 5, p 2 tog, p1. TURN. There should be 4 unworked stitches left on this side too.

Next Row (RS): Slip the first stitch. K across to the stitch before the little gap where you turned before( 6 stitches knit) , skp, k1. TURN. (2 stitches remain unworked)

WS: Slip the first stitch. Purl across to the stitch before that little gap (7 purl stitches), p 2 tog, p 1. TURN. (2 stitches remain unworked)

RS: Slip the first stitch. Knit across 8 stitches to the stitch before the gap, skp, k1. TURN (no stitches remain).

WS: Slip the first stitch, purl across 9 stitches, p 2 tog, p 1. (no stitches left here either!)

You should have 12 stitches and a nifty little half circle (your heel). You should be so proud!

Next, find your spare needle (the one you put aside). We are going to form the gusset (the triangles on each side of the heel).

Knit across the shaped heel. With the same needle, pick up 13 stitches along the side of the heel flap, one stitch in each slipped stitch, 12 for the flap, one for the heel turn (needle 1 now has 23 stitches). You have arrived at the needle that was holding your other 18 stitches (this is the "instep").

HINT: to pick up each stitch, insert the tip of your needle between the slipped stitch's "chain" and the firm knitting next to it. Loop your working yarn over the needle tip, pull the yarn loop through so that a stitch is formed on your needle. picture here

With another needle: pick up a stitch between the last one on needle 1 and the first one on the needle facing you (the "holding" needle), knit across, pick up one stitch after the last stitch you knit and before the stitches of the heel flap (needle 2 now has 20 stitches). If you twist these 2 “added stitches” they’ll be less floppy.

With your spare needle, pick up 13 stitches along the other side of the heel flap, k across the first 6 stitches on needle 1 (needle 3 now has 19 stitches).

The stitches on your needles should look like: 19-20-19

First round: Knit across to the end of needle 1, then k2 together, k16, k 2 together on needle 2 (the two extra stitches you picked up are now gone), then k across needle 3. (Note: the k 2 together of those extra picked up stitches on needle 2 will help prevent the hole that sometimes appears at that spot in hand knit socks.)

Put everything aside carefully.

Tomorrow is another day.



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