Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Afterthought

I got my second Outside In sock knit down to the toe the other day, and today could add the afterthought heel. "Afterthought" because while knitting the sock itself, you simply prepare the location of the heel and then when the rest of the sock is knit, you can add the heel.

"Why?" you ask. Well for one thing it makes it easy to continue a fancy lace or cable pattern from the leg to the foot. For another, it may just be a way to put off to later what you don't feel like doing now. I did it for the first time in this sock because the pattern told me too! But I liked it.

The preparation is very simple. When you get to the right place, you knit half the stitches with a piece of scrap yarn. Then go back to the working yarn and knit over the scrap yarn.
It's best if the scrap yarn is kind of slippery and not fuzzy. Just a tip.

Then when you're ready to do the heel, you take out the scrap yarn and pick up the stitches that are released above and below it:
I prefer to pick up the stitches first and then pull out the scrap yarn, but do it in whatever order works for you.

When all the stitches are removed from the scrap yarn, you get a nice gaping hole like this:
This is the start of the heel.

Then you just start knitting around and around, decreasing stitches so that it gets smaller and smaller around as it gets taller.
The decreases are done on both sides--they form the diagonal line that extends up and to the right of the needles in the picture above.

When you get the heel long enough, you Kitchener together the stitches that are left:
If you really didn't like Kitchener, you could do a three-needle bind off, but then you'll get a seam across the bottom of your heel. This might not be comfortable, but that'll depend on how sensitive your feet are.

Et voila, I give you a heel:
(Remember! The sock is still inside out. Proper viewing will be given in the final post.)

Have you been wondering about all the extra loose ends you've seen on this sock?
I almost hate to get myself going, but there were 9--nine!--weak or broken spots in this ball!! I started to wonder if I had moths, but saw no other indications, and didn't think moths would carefully eat the yarn one ply at a time.

I was getting so frustrated with the yarn. I guess I know now why it was on clearance! I'm not sure it was worth it.

All for now. I have a lot of ends to work in tonight before I can call these socks done and show you what they're supposed to look like...Outside out!

Til then, keep the needles clicking!

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