Technical Tuesday: Variety of Heels

Alrighty! I am continuing with the sock theme of this week…. And last week. As I have mentioned before it is one of the most feared, yet shockingly easy knits around. Thus I do feel the need to completely demystify it! I will do right by all that is warm, soft and meant for feet.

Turning the heel is one particularly challenging and frightening part of sock knitting. When it comes time to do the heel flap on a regular sock heel, people almost lose their minds (Alanna it’s not you, Carol, it’s not you either). I’ve had some especially entertaining reactions to people coming about on turning the heel. In order to save the explanation, I am posting the link below. It is a video tutorial on how to turn the heel after you’ve finished the heel flap.

I am going to add, that your heel flap should be approximately two inches in length before you start to turn the heel. I couple people have had the problem of counting rows and miscounting because of the slipped stitches on the edges.

Cat Bordhi Sweet Tomato Heel
I listened to podcasts regularly and they all say the same thing about Cat Bordhi, she is the queen of socks. Her Sweet Tomato heel is essentially a short row heel that has no gaps, spaces or wraps.

The Afterthought Heel
I’ve heard of this technique various times but never tried it myself. It is great for sock yarns that have a variegated pattern. You can continue to knit and not worry about messing up the pre-existing pattern.

This video is a little longer, but very detailed in it’s instructions and I would highly recommend bookmarking it on youtube, or this pages itself for future reference.

Okay, don’t freak out! I know there are many MANY people very weary of cutting their knitting. If it makes you really uncomfortable I would suggest practicing beforehand on a swatch to see how the yarn unravels, or going with a different heel. You have to weigh your own comfort level against the effect you wish to achieve. I will say that once you have steeked something or done any kind of technique where you are cutting your knitting, you feel very empowered after. It’s really a gateway drug to some very interesting knitting.

When everything is said and done, I tend to favour the heel flap because I do it the most often. The other two have their benefits for their own specific situations. I wish I had used the after thought heel on my socks I dyed in Chicago because the heels would have matched the rest of the sock. I won’t make that mistake again though!

Chicago Sock Heel Close

If anyone has ANY questions at all regarding sock, heels or anything you see in this post. Always feel free to email me! I am quite friendly and don’t bite… not that hard anyway.