Auntie Ann Knits

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sock heel question

I calculated the number of stitches for 10% negative ease (based on recommendations from Wendy, from Lucia, and from Autumn Breeze (podcast 20), ripped back the sock and recommenced the foot part -- and somehow while I was doing this it didn't occur to me that I was doing this for the sake of 4 lousy stitches. Ahem.

But it's a good thing, perhaps, that I had not realized that, becuase I am actually still glad I did it. Somehow that wee bit more than 1/2" of negative ease added (despite appearances, the former sock foot had a tiny bit of negative ease, a bit more than 1/4", or about 3%), makes the difference between a sloppy sock I was not going to be happy with, and one that I think I will be happy with. What's a bit of re-knitting when this is something we do for fun, right? And this is a learning experience, my "trial" sock, after all. Here is Sock the First, version 2:

Sock the first(2)

Better, yes?

Now, a question for my loyal readers (both of you). The free sock pattern for this yarn provided by KnitPicks, which I have been using, has what sounds to me like a very weird after-thought heel. It's knit like a heel-sized hat. And a hat always has that little circle of stitches at the top, fine for a hat, but for a heel? I don't think so. Also, I just don't like the idea of an after-thought heel, because when I get to the cuff I will want to be done, darn it (no pun intended!). But it seems to me that the after-thought heel is used so as not to interrupt the lovely stripe pattern, and this seems to me to be a worthy goal.

So here's the question -- do you think that when I come to the heel, I can join another ball of the same yarn, knit the heel, and then when the heel is done, re-commence knitting with the original ball? Wouldn't that do the trick?

And do you have a favorite heel that I could work toe-up? If so, please do share it with me.


  • That's a clever trick, methinks. Except maybe for having to weave in ends in the heel section.

    I've not yet knit toe-up but I keep my ears trained on knitters' opinions on techniques. The alternatives are the short row heel and the heel flap.

    Check this short row heel pattern.

    Lara Neel describes how to knit a 'thumb-gusset' after-thought heel. I haven't actively compared this method against the knitpicks pattern but you might want to listen to her episode 11 podcast where she talks about the math involved.

    Brenda Dayne of Cast-on podcast claims to never have liked how the short row heel fits (episode 30). Knitty's Widdershins according to her, has the perfect toe-up techniques for toes and heels.

    By Blogger Deepa, at Friday, July 28, 2006 6:14:00 PM  

  • Psst: I just realized that the link I have suggested for short-row heel is the same as 'from Wendy' link in your post!

    I personally like the heel flap. Especially how the flap hugs the foot.

    Oh, the fit looks so much better now with the -ve ease built in!

    By Blogger Deepa, at Friday, July 28, 2006 6:23:00 PM  

  • I just have chanced upon a new sock pattern and you might like this: toe-up with split toes. If you're subscribed to Interweave Knits, it's in the 'subscriber only' content on the web. If not, you might want to buy the Fall 2006 edition and access this pattern.

    By Blogger Deepa, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 5:05:00 PM  

  • Beautiful! Thanks to you, I now know what negative ease is...I sound smart!


    By Blogger Angela, at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:18:00 PM  

  • Deepa (one of my many -- well, 2 -- loyal readers) suggested this helpful podcast on ease:

    Basically, according to my notes, you want 10% negative ease for a sock or any garment you want "very snug" (a camisole or snug tank, perhaps), 5% negative ease for a tight but not form-fitting tee, 5% positive ease for a "fitted" garment, and 15% ease for something loose and flowing, such as a loose cardigan.

    Look at this pattern by Grumperina, a stickler for fit:
    It says in the notes:
    "Note: This pattern is for a close-fitting garment – about 2 inches smaller around the bust than the wearer’s actual bust measurement. The negative ease produces a streamlined silhouette while compensating for cotton’s tendency to stretch during wear."

    Also see this very informative post by Bonne Marie Burns on fit and ease:
    Although the charts she uses don't use percentages, they use inches of ease -- the percentage ala Autumn Breeze seems to me to make a little more sense, it would depend on the size of the garment how much ease to add, yes?

    I think that I read about knitting too much and knit too little, but I find this interesting and hopefully when I make my Rogue (that's still a long-term goal for me) it will fit me!

    By Blogger AuntieAnn, at Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:21:00 PM  

  • The Autumn Breeze podcast URL keeps getting cut off, so I've deliberately cut it in half so the end will display -- it's podcast #20.

    By Blogger AuntieAnn, at Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:23:00 PM  

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