Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Heel—Flapped, Turned and Gusseted

I like the way a flapped, turned and gusset heel fits—especially because there are so many options. The ability to make a shorter than average or longer than average flap, in a number of different slip stitch patterns, means you can (and I do) customize the flap.

There are plenty more options for the turning.. Heels by Number is a good resource for turnings... And that site just includes conventional turnings... There are unconventionally ones as well-- It also just included even numbered turnings—and I often do odd numbered ones.. So the flap is another customizable element to the heel.

Lastly,  the gusset-- I did pretty conventional ones.. on the sides of the socks, but I have, at other times, done inverted gussets on the instep, and hidden ones on the sole, One of these days, I will do an asymmetrical one---

One disadvantage is the basic formula:
Knit a flap with ½ of total stitches—my socks are being worked on size 1's (2.25mm) with 72 stitches—so a 36 stitch flap.
Step 2—make the flap as long as it wide—36 rows, with half of them slipped to change the gauge.
Step 3—work the turn
Step 4—pick up stitches, one every other row, on each side of the flap—and here again is a place for customizing—I picked up 19--(not 18) because my flap was 38 rows, not 36, and then I picked up a pair of bonus stitches, in the corner, for a neat hole free join as I once again began to knit in the round.

So 40 stitches picked up, plus the 18 left from the turning, and the sole of the sock is 58—not 36. This works out to 22 decreases over 44 rows.. It takes a long time till the sole of the sock starts feeling “normal” (and 36 is a big normal for me—Most often I knit socks with 60 to 64 stitches, not 72!
This style of shaping the heel results in a lot more stitches! And because the heel flap and turning have few stitches, and the gussets a lot more—its pretty normal for  hand dyed, or self striping yarns to have a change in pattern.. Sometimes with huge pools of color. This yarn is exceptional—there is a little pooling –but not much, and center front—the pattern is almost unchanged!

Of course the flap is another story, and the turning is too, but this yarn knit up remarkably.

Another thing about sock yarns, besides pooling and patterning, is the wide range of sizes--that is yarn sizes... Some sock yarns (I think of Kroy 4 ply) is almost a sports weight yarn—This yarn is the other end of the spectrum—a lace weight! 
The socks are very thin, and still very soft even with a tighter gauge--(72 stitches in  a 7 inch sock, so I am working at about 10 stitches per inch) not my usual 8 stitches per inch. That makes a difference—these socks are more work than average. They are also thinner/finer than average. I have a few other pairs make with yarns as fine, (and similar gauges) and amazing enough, they hold up very well. I could have gone down to size zero needles—and had an even tighter gauge—and firmer fabric for the sock, (but I am lazy).

With the end of the gusset, the sole is 3 inches long. I need a total of 9.5, but I will pick up speed now that the gusset is done. Plain knitting on the sole, and the wide rib on the instep are easy knitting.  There really looking like socks now. 

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