Sunday, September 16, 2007

No Sock Holes For You

Well, I have finished writing a new non-Harry fairy tale, but I have to wait for some strong sunshine to take the photos. Maybe tomorrow, if the weather cooperates.

In the meantime, I have a solution to a problem that has plagued me and like-minded footie folks since first the wad of algae crawled out of the primeval slime onto a snowbank and immediately began knitting warm socks for its pseudopodia.

The solution turned out to be so simple I whacked myself upside the head. So will you, after you finish reading this post.

This solution applies to my own Fleegle sock design, (worked on two circulars) but I imagine it can be applied to any heel that is knit back and forth, such as a short-row heel. I don't think the trick, if you can call it that, can be used for flap heels, but perhaps someone might be able to adapt the concept.

Basically, the reason you get holes when connecting the heel to the instep is because (in the case of the Fleegle sock) the completed heel is one row taller than the instep. So the solution is to omit the final turn for this type of heel. I shall demonstrate.

I start by knitting across the heel needle 2 stitches past the center stitch, then K2tog, K1, turn, and slip the first stitch. Then I purl back to 2 stitches past the center again, P2 tog tbl, P1, turn, slip 1. Now I knit to the gap, knit the stitches before and after the gap together, K1, turn, slip 1 etc etc. [I actually don't turn and purl back. I knit backwards. Easier, I think.]

The first row of the heel.

Here's a picture of the heel midway through so you can see where this is going.


And here's a picture of the almost-completed heel. I have one more row to finish.There are 2 stitches on each side that have not been incorporated into the heel.



If, at this point, I knit across the heel needle and do the K2tog, K1, turn, slip 1 thing, well, the heel will be one row taller than the instep, so after I finish the purl side decrease and knit back, hello, there will be a gap waiting to be filled by picking up stitches between the heel and the instep needle.

So, instead of turning, I finish the last row of the knit side with K2 together, K1, and then continue on to the instep needle.

Look! No hole!

On the right, is the completed heel needle.
In the center, you can see five stitches of the instep needle worked.


I knit across the instep needle, then, when I get back around to the heel needle, I begin with a K1, K2 Together/Left Slant. (I knit in the front of the first stitch and the back of the second stitch to slant a decrease to the left, but you can use any other variation that pleases you.)

Here I am doing the final heel decrease
at the beginning of the heel needle.


In the case of the Fleegle heel, there are two more stitches on the heel needle than I started with, so I knit across to the end of the heel needle, do a decrease, knit across the instep needle, and do a counterpart decrease at the beginning of the heel needle.

And I am now ready to motor onwards to the top of the sock without bringing any holes with me. Here's a picture of the finished heel as we proceed onwards and upwards to the finish line.



Whack! Whack! Whack!

34 comments:

loribird said...

Aha!
Simply brilliant - thanks for sharing it!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Look Ma, no holes! Beautiful heel! Thanks for posting. I will have to try this with my next pair...I hate the holes and even fudging by picking up extra loops shows up in my work. Thanks again!

Monika said...

Brilliant minds work alike. I found this solution recently in Cat Bordhi's new book and was as excited as you are. ;o)

Jaimi said...

Beautiful! Also, what yarn is that?

Kristen said...

You get a sitting ovation from me. Bravo!

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

What a smart knitter you are! I have always hated those holes on the few socks I have knit and now I know how to get rid of them! Don't whack yourself on the head whatever you do. You need that grey matter to keep coming up with great ideas like this!

Denise said...

You're right, I did smack myself upside the head! I can't wait to execute this on my next pair of socks.

LittleBerry said...

I will try this on my next pair of socks... thanks for sharing, I usually make stitches in the gap and knit together for a couple of rounds.....

fleegle said...

Dear Jaimi--
The yarn is a merino-cashmere blend from Posh Yarns. If there's any cashmere in it, I'll eat the label. It feels more like cotton than wool/cashmere. It's not a particularly pleasant knit, but the colors are lovely.

fleegle said...

Dear Monika--

I haven't bought a sock book in many years, but I will have to take a peek at that one the next time I am at my LYS. I do own one of Cat's other books and like the way she thinks...of course, she does think a bit like me :)

Soo said...

Clever! Will have to try that next time I attempt short row heels.

Kitty Kitty said...

Wow... That is really brilliant.. Thank you so much for sharing

fluffbuff said...

Holey smoly! You're a frickin' genius!

I'm going to start a list of annoying knitting problems to submit to your obviously superior brain. :)

Opal said...

So simple yet so ingenious! Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

Dave said...

Very clever! I don't do my heels that way, but I'll keep it in mind in case I change. Because who knows ... I might. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sheer genius. Many thanks for sharing.

cori in KS said...

Stop the whacking! This is a brilliant solution you've just shared.Thanx!

Leisel said...

That's kindof what I do. I just skip the last purl back row and continue around. When I get to the last wrapped stitch, I knit it together (maybe through the back loop... I can't remember) with it's wraps and continue on. No holes, no fuss.

Angeluna said...

Awesome! Neat trick.

Heather said...

I am just knitting my first pair of socks. They are coming out beautifully! I kept hearing how hard socks were. It does not seem to be so.

shansays said...

I just ran across your post. I got the link from the toe up group on Raverly. I love making toe up socks, but always struggle with the math for the heel turn (no short rows, please) and with the holes. I can't wait to try this.

shansays said...

I just ran across your post. I got the link from the toe up group on Raverly. I love making toe up socks, but always struggle with the math for the heel turn (no short rows, please) and with the holes. I can't wait to try this.

Anonymous said...

As a beginning sock knitter this is some of the best advice I've seen! Thanks for solveing a problem I didn't have the knowledge to solve for myself. This is a winner!
Rose

Bluebird49 said...

I've not done any kind of sock since I found yours! It just makes sense, and since I don't care too much for a lot of patterning in my socks (plain socks are more wearable to me), I love, love your heel with no holes.

I love the way you think! I know you've gone on to bigger and bigger things, but still, your sock has made my life much easier.

Janet said...

I finished my Fleegle's Sock and I love it. It is such a tidy sock.
The heel is beautiful although I think I did something wrong but I fudged a bit and it worked out just fine and NO HOLES!!!
Just because your other heel with the 20 stitches is there I had to try it and I love it too.
My only problem is how do I apply it to the Fleegle sock. In your twenty stitch heel you leave 10 sts in the centre and 5 sts. on the sides, how many stitches would I leave in the centre and on the sides of a 26 stitch heel/gusset heel? I just don't have that kind of mind. Jan
dj_atkinson@sympatico.ca

FelixAndAva said...

Fleegle, I love you. This works very nicely on my current sock, with gusset/flap construction. I'd ripped this thing out several times because of that hole, too. Now I'm happily powering up the ankle. :)

jaganshikenshin said...

I know this is an OLD post but how do you knit a gusset into this type of heel?

On the instep, say what?

I need my gussets, lol.

Kathie said...

I love the Fleegle Heel and it's brilliant simplicity. I'm confused about where the sock heel should fall on my foot. Should it start at the back of the heel similar to a heel flap sock or at the middle of the bottom of the heel as in a store-bought sock?

Brooke said...

You are the best. What an awesome tip! Thank you!

MaryMary86 said...

I'm so excited to have found this tip!

Debra Winchell said...

This looks nice. However I have absolutely NO idea what to do next. No one in my knitting group knits toe-up socks. I am completely stuck.

The Yarn Store & More said...

I have been doing wrapped stitch heels for years. Just started with this heal and can't wait to see the result. Your a smart cookie to make this look so easy.

The Yarn Store & More said...

Debra find a good visual on you tube. Don't give up. Once you learn you can teach at your local group. Good luck.

Jean Brassard said...

Your heel is absolutely beautiful! I wish that you could put that on YouTube. Could you?