Monday, May 31, 2010

knit socks heel first

In the process of working out the heel instructions for my sock pattern, I knit a heel. Just that, all by itself, a sock heel. After I finished it, I should have ripped it out and put the yarn away for a future sock project. I hate to rip out my knitting, though.

I put it on my little 9" circular, thinking it would make a good stitch holder. I might knit a little more later, I thought.

As I did. I knit the entire foot.

Then I cut the yarn around the cast-on edge and put the loose stitches on needles.

Before too long, I had a sock, one that was knit heel first. I found it a little neater a method than knitting toe up. Toe up is not bad, except for two things. One, if I start the heel too soon, I have a heel to rip out. That's a lot harder than just adjusting the length of the toe as I knit. Two, casting on a toe can be troublesome.

I used a provisional cast on for the second sock. I crocheted 90 chain stitches, then picked up 40.
I realized after I got halfway through and was ready to pick up the stitches for the instep that I should have started in the middle and picked up to the end. Nonetheless, I was able to pick up at the other end and work toward the middle.

Since the only thoughtful part of this ribbed sock with a stockinette foot is the heel, it has been an excellent traveling project. I knit the heel first, then carried it around and knit the foot and leg at times when I needed something to occupy my hands and not my mind. I do think, however, that I will use this method again when I want to "knit until the yarn runs out".

(The sock yarn is JoAnn Sensations Soles and More, color 1138. Not the best, but it works up nicely on these little size 0s. I picked it up for the practice heel and never thought I'd actually finish a pair, but the simple knitting made it easy.)

The tutorial for this heel is available in my Burning Stripes Socks pattern.  See the link on the sidebar, or the pattern post a couple of posts earlier in this blog.

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