Fat Knitting Superhero, disguised as Mild Mannered Yarn Shop Employee.

Posts tagged ‘stitches’

Top-Down Socks – Heel Flap 2

The Stockinette Flap

Stockinette Heel Flap

This is probably the simplest and most classic heel flap of all.  First I’ll give you the pluses and minuses and then the how-to.

The Pros:

  1. It’s easy.  Really easy.
  2. It’s the easiest of all heels to repair if it gets a hole.
  3. It feels smooth and looks smooth and classic.

The Cons:

  1. It can actually be kind of boring.
  2. It’s the most likely to need repair.

For me the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  This is the sock heel that I use THE MOST (at least on top-down socks).  It feels good in my shoes, it looks good, it’s easy.  Trifecta.

The How:

Row 1: To get started, knit across the stitches (1/2 of the total stitches in the sock) that you’ve designated for the heel.  DO NOT GO ON IN THE ROUND!  You’re going to go back and forth now, so TURN so that the purl side is facing you.

Row 2: With the purl side facing you and working back across the stitches just knit, slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in front, then purl to the end of the heel. Turn to the knit side.

Row 3: Slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in back, then knit to the end of the heel.  Turn.

Row 4: Slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in front, then purl to the end of the heel.  Turn.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have as many rows in the heel as you have stitches in the heel.  In other words, if you have 28 stitches across your heel flap, then you want to make it 28 rows tall.  Usually.

What do I mean “usually?”  Well, here’s the very best place to customize the fit of your sock.  The flap of the heel should reach from the place where your ankle bends in back to the very bottom “corner” of your heel.  Some of us have tall heels and high insteps and some of us have low heels and a lower instep.  What is your foot like?  To find out, do the heel flap as written – an equal number of stitches and rows.  This is sometimes referred to as a “square” heel.  Then try it on (yes, with the needles in there!) and see if the flap begins and ends at the right place.

Remember, the top of the heel flap (where you divided it from the leg) should be right at the place where your ankle bends.  The bottom of the heel flap should be almost exactly at the bottom “corner” of your heel (on my foot, that’s right where the.  You want to slightly stretch the flap when you’re checking.

If it’s too short, work another couple of rows.  If it’s too long, rip out a few.  You do want to make sure that the last row of your heel flap is a purled row.

Next, we’ll talk about the Slip Stitch Heel Flap.  It may be a few days, as I’ll be away in Wyoming over the weekend, and I need tomorrow to pack.  And to finish the mittens I’m knitting because it’s COLD in Northern Wyoming, and I don’t own any gloves that have fingers.  I never needed ’em here in Hot Antonio and fingerless gloves are SO MUCH faster to knit!

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Top-Down Socks – Heel Flap 1

Don’t you just love the word “flap?”  I can almost see things flapping along when I hear it!  Today we’re going to talk about my favorite kind of flap – a heel flap!

The heel flap is a squarish/rectangular bit that’s knit across (usually) half of the total sock stitches.  It extends the back of the sock from the bottom of the ankle all the way to the floor.  And yes, this will look really weird!  The heel flap is also, in my opinion, the most crucial part of the sock for fitting.

Before beginning the heel flap, we want to separate the top-of-foot (instep) stitches those that will become the bottom-of-foot (sole) stitches.  If you’re using double-pointed needles, you can simply work in pattern to the place where you want the heel flap to start, and then, while working the first heel flap row, work the heel flap stitches all onto one needle.  If you’re using one of the circular needle methods, you will want to rearrange your stitches, if necessary, so that all the heel flap stitches are together.

When dividing instep from sole, it’s nice to try to center it nicely.  For example, if your sock leg is in k2-p2 rib, you probably want to stop after doing  just one knit of the two-stitch knit rib so that the split between instep and sole is pleasantly symmetrical  (k1, p2,k2…k2, p2, k1).  If this is too confusing, don’t worry.  No one will ever know but you unless they are WAY too close to your feet.

So.  You have all your stitches divided up and ready to go?  You’re almost ready!  You still have to decide what type of flap you want: a plain stockinette flap, a cushy heel-stitch flap, or a fancier flap.

Tomorrow (and yes, I do mean TOMORROW):  The stockinette flap.

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