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e_moon60

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Socks, Heels, Birthday [Mar. 8th, 2012|12:14 am]
e_moon60
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As a present to myself, I wanted to turn the heels of the socks today.   I had read YarnHarlot's sock instructions in her Knitting Rules repeatedly.  I had stared at and fingered the moth-eaten sock left of my mother's work.  I had looked at some YouTube videos.   That's when I discovered that in making my heel flap (using half the stitches, as recommended)  I had not correctly slipped a stitch at the beginning of each row.  Hm.  Oh, well, I said to myself.  And this morning, I pulled out SockOne, looked at two more videos, and began.   SockOne's short-rows proceeded with only a few...um...minor errors, like forgetting to knit (or purl) a stitch after doing the decrease, but...oh well.  So it wasn't perfectly symmetrical.  SockTwo would be better.

This is SockOne's finished heel rows draped over the end of its yarn ball.  The right-angle turn is definitely there.   The below is SockOne on my foot, over a plain black sock so it would show up well.
Full of confidence after the success of SockOne's heel turn, I picked up SockTwo and started again, this time widening the back of the heel and being more careful about the details of the procedure.   Until, that is, I managed to purl a knit row, and then managed to not notice it until several rows later.  (Given the distinctly different look of the front and back of stockinette, I can't explain this except to say that counting stitches must've blinded me to the obvious.) 

                   
L:  SockTwo's shape is more symmetrical and the decreases smoother, but that ridge of purl across the smooth stockinette knit stitches was not in the plan.   R: SockTwo on my foot, same as with SockOne.  Hard to see the turn of the heel with flash, but it's there, and it fits a little better than Sock One.

Panic ensued, but was later assuaged by a phone conversation with Knitting Goddess Melanie who shrugged off the effect of one different row on a heel.  "Just tell them this is how you do your socks."  Unsaid, but clearly heard, was "And next time, sweetie, don't make that mistake."   In the meantime, I'd had to rush off to the city for voice lesson and choir practice.   When I got home, I finished SockTwo's short rows.  The pictures aren't great, as it's hard to get good knitting pictures at night--the flash washes out the details.  But SockTwo's wider heel looks better to me. 

Both socks now have their heels.  Gussets begin in the next day or so, depending on weather. 
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: karalianne
2012-03-08 07:47 am (UTC)
Congrats on the heels! This knitting two at a time thing was a very smart move on your part. I have a complete sock and most of a leg right now. I think I will take a cue from you and make both socks at once from now on. Then I might actually get to wear my socks!

The best part is that once you've finished these, you'll know how to make socks that fit your feet perfectly. The cuffs will always be the right circumference, the heels will always be the right width, and the feet will always be long enough and wide enough. (I have C width feet, which very few shoe manufacturers make anymore; coupled with my large calves, this makes most store-bought socks very tight and prone to falling down. I often find the heels have slipped down under my foot inside my boots.)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 03:56 pm (UTC)
Knitting two at once was someone else's suggestion, to avoid Single Sock Syndrome. It made sense to me, esp. for the trickier bits, that doing those back-to-back would lead to better learning.

It may take me a few pairs to get the shaping exactly right, though I'm happy with these so far.
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[User Picture]From: gifted
2012-03-08 10:36 am (UTC)
Lookin good! I hope that pearl row isn't uncomfortable to walk on. Otherwise, I find it rather charming.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 03:58 pm (UTC)
I usually turn the rag wool commercial hiking socks inside out so the very harsh toe seam doesn't dig into my big toe...so I'm used to having the purl stitches outside. (Learned this inside-out trick from our autistic son who--until he went to tube socks--always wanted his socks inside out.) Although I can't tell much just be lightly walking a few steps on that heel, I couldn't feel it (I could feel the needle!)
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[User Picture]From: gifted
2012-03-08 04:57 pm (UTC)
Good stuff.
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2012-03-08 11:25 am (UTC)
Woo hoo! Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: seitherin
2012-03-08 02:08 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on mastering heal turning!

The beautiful thing about handmade items is that each has something unique about it that is missing from factory made things. I don't think I've ever made anything that didn't have a unique spot or two to complement it.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 03:59 pm (UTC)
"Unique" is one way to describe these socks, for sure!
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[User Picture]From: xrian
2012-03-09 01:48 am (UTC)
I suspect "unique" socks were more common in history than we would like to imagine.

I have a friend who specifically collects photos of sloppy medieval embroidery, just so that we don't feel like everything from the past was perfect. It's so liberating to be able to say, "Heck, *I* could do better than that!"

Congrats on conquering Heel Fear!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-13 03:37 am (UTC)
Since my mother was a perfectionist in all needlework--having been taught by her grandmother who was the same--I didn't have any bad socks to cheer me up. Now I do (or will, when I finish them) and it can only get better from there. I'll bet the photos of bad medieval handwork do make it easier to try it and not collapse in misery when something looks...imperfect.
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From: 6_penny
2012-03-08 03:13 pm (UTC)
So you have marked right and left socks!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 04:00 pm (UTC)
It will be easy to remember to alternate feet to even the wear, definitely.
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[User Picture]From: farmgirl1146
2012-03-08 03:51 pm (UTC)
I never knew how heels were done. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-08 04:03 pm (UTC)
There are some really good videos on YouTube...a wonderful resource when you don't have an expert knitter living in the same house or even town. This is the one I found most useful yesterday:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCpI2CL2vuo&feature=relmfu

It's part of a series on sock knitting.
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2012-03-13 02:12 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a heel of a good birthday then. Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-03-13 03:34 am (UTC)
(snarf!) Yes, I did. I'm now past the heels and gussets and into the "straight" part of the foot.
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[User Picture]From: filkferengi
2012-03-13 03:41 am (UTC)
So, I'm guessing soon you'll be all gussied up in your gussets?
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[User Picture]From: cricketb
2012-03-13 09:56 pm (UTC)
Look at the socks on Ravelry, especially unfinished ones. Yours will fit in nicely. Also look at pics from the Yarn Harlot's travels. She takes pics of first socks.

For the heel turn and gusset decreases, learn the pattern, place markers, and trust yourself. The heel turn probably had you decreasing across the gap -- one old and one new stitch combine. The top loop points away from the middle. (I say probably because knitters are champion cat-skinners.) The gusset decreases are just before (or after) a new needle (or marker), and the top loop points towards the heel. They form a nice line.

The purl ridge might wear faster. In that case, check out the Publishers Weekly review for the Yarn Harlot's book.
http://www.amazon.com/At-Knits-End-Meditations-Women/dp/1580175899
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