My recent knitting project polygamy is slowly getting reined in as I get projects out of the way. This week, I returned to the Chocolate Spiral Socks that I started several months back.
I’m using a new technique (for me) on these – the afterthought heel. Not exactly an appropriate name, since, as executed, it does require some planning ahead. In theory, I think you could whip out your scissors à la Elizabeth Zimmerman and just whack out a row of knitting, but I like this method better. I chose this way because some of the original yarn was eaten by one of our resident basenjis, and I thought I’d use a contrasting yarn (Cascade Heritage Silk) at the heels to make sure I had enough of the main yarn. If I’d really thought about it, I might have made the toes in contrasting yarn, too.
The pink line of yarn you see in the photo above is where the afterthought heel is going to be inserted. I used some excellent videos posted at YouTube as a guide, created by my good friend Janelle. They’re quite clear, and very helpful.
In a nutshell, you put in a half-round of waste yarn along the sole of the foot where the heel is to go, and then just keep knitting what amounts to a tube sock. You can do this either cuff down, or toe-up. I’m doing this toe-up. Then, when you’re ready, just take out the waste yarn while picking up the stitches on either side, and then make like you’re decreasing and grafting a toe on a sock. In a typical sock for me, I’m usually grafting around 10 or 12 stitches across the toe, but since a heel is wider, I grafted 16.
Unfortunately, when I tried this on, I found that I’d made the foot of the sock about 2 inches too long. When I put my heel where the heel was in the sock, my foot was swimming around in the rest of the sock. So I ripped back. A little annoying, but at least I’ll have more yarn for the cuff.