Sunday, November 22, 2009

4 Monstrous Heels

I really am a fan of the Bordhi heel from New Pathways. I think it's an exercise in excess, but I love the construction. For my dad's socks, I decided to do the Bordhi heel but, like I've often done, only increase every other row. This meant I could use her charts, but needed to construct my own formulas for when to start the increases. I calculated very carefully, and came up with a good number. By Friday I was done with the increases and Saturday I started the heels. After doing the short row heel base, I measured the sock and it came up a quarter inch short of what I'd expected. I went ahead and turned the heel, but even after turning the heel it was still a quarter inch short (surprise surprise). I kept convincing myself this was okay for a number of reasons, like it's just the slipped stitches pulling it in, with a big foot there's more room for error, and such. Mostly I was loathe to rip back all those increases just to add three rows before they started. But I had already built in a half inch negative ease in the length, and this shortage meant that now there was three quarters of an inch of negative ease in the length, and I knew this could mean the sock would be too short and fit weird.

I pig-headedly proceeded, despite my doubts, until I was nearly finished with the second heel. At that point, I was sitting in a cold car parked downtown, enjoying the seat-heaters (my family calls them heat-seaters), listening to S&G, waiting for a carpool of ballerinas to finish rehearsal, and knitting on heels. I started texting Ember about my worries, and as usual, talking it over with some one else helped me figure it out for myself. I knew exactly what to do, and it didn't involve ripping out a third of each sock to redo the increases, although it did involve ripping out two heels.

By evening, I was feeling like I'd been knitting heels all day. Which was totally accurate. After ripping out the heels and getting all 216 stitches back on the needles, I added three rounds of plain knitting after the increases and before the heel stitches. Then I did the heel as before. At the end of one completed heel, I measured, and got exactly my target length. I finished the second heel around 11pm last night, snuggled up in bed, watching The Colbert Report through Hulu on my husband's laptop.

Thee heels are done! From here on out, it's all easy knitting. I just hope that my best efforts with measurements will result in a properly fitted sock. Please fit, sock!

two unfinished socks, back to back, focused on the heels and increase section

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