Widdershins Heel, x2
I finished my 2nd Widdershins-type heel on my brother's 2nd sock. Woo-hoo! No pix, though -- luckily, it looks just like the other one!
I want to write up how I did it, mostly for my own reference, since I suffer from the dreaded disease CRS (can't remember shit) but possibly this will help someone else doing this type of heel construction over a 72-stitch sock.
Brooke, the designer of this lovely sock, was very gracious in trying to help further illuminate her formula. However, I have to admit that I did not struggle with the formula any more, having already worked out a set of numbers that seemed to work for me, using simple arithmetic and staring at her sock pattern a lot.
It goes like this (I am not intending to write a full pattern here, just notes on the heel construction -- beware, a certain amount of fudging is involved):
Gusset increases: starting about 2-1/2 inches before desired length (at 7" for me, since I want a 9-1/2" sock for my brother), start doing paired gusset increases every other row, 1 stitch in from the divide between the heel and instep stitches, until you have increased 13 stitches on each side, for 62 heel stitches.
Heel turn: the idea is to take the 27 center heel stitches and increase them to 37 stitches, using short rows. I have 62 heel stitches. An odd number might be better to perfectly center that heel turn, but 1 stitch off, at 9 st./in.? I can't be bothered. I used stitch markers to mark off the 27 center stitches, and the approximate center of the heel. (Openable stitch markers were very useful to me here, due to my many mis-steps.) Knit across to 2 stitches from the left side of the heel turn stitches, M1, K1, w&t. Purl across to 2 stitches from the right side of the heel turn stitches, M1, P1, w&t. Knit across to 3 stitches from the last wrapped stitch -- the idea is to wrap the 1st stitch, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th stitches from each side. At each side, K1 or P1, M1, w&t. This takes 10 rows, and you should have 37 stitches.
Work 1 round over all stitches (99 -- 36 instep, 37 heel, 26 gusset stitches), ending at center heel. As Brooke said, "When you encounter a wrapped stitch, pick up the wrap and place it on your left needle, then knit it together with the stitch which it had wrapped."
Heel flap: Now we are going to knit the heel flap back and forth between the gusset stitches. Start your heel stitch or eye-of-partridge stitch here if you want. At each edge of the flap, a decrease (either p2tog or SSK) (actually, I use slip 1, K1, PSSO, but it takes too much longer to type) joins flap to gusset and decreases away the gusset stitches.
Knit to 2 stitches before your marker indicating the left edge of the heel turn stitches, and SSK. Turn without wrapping. Purl across to the other edge, and 2 before the marker on that edge, P2tog, turn without wrapping. Repeat (you'll have to remove the markers), but each subsequent decrease is done across, and closes up, the gap left by the turn on the previous row. When I've decreased all my gusset stitches away, I have 34 heel stitches. Re-commence knitting in the round, but pick up an extra stitch on each side of the heel stitches.
And there you are! What could be easier? Someday I'll figure out the whys and wherefores of heel construction, but meantime I'm blindly groping through some of these different types of heels.
In other knit news -- I had a great time at Eweforia on Friday night, and will post pix on that blog when I get a chance. We have to hustle to finish up the baby log cabin blanket that DD and I are making, the baby's shower is Sunday! 10 out of 12 blocks are completed, DD has finished the center of the 11th block, and I have started doing the joining. I'm doing it in a manner of my own unvention -- using a crochet hook, make a single stitch first in the bind-off row of one square, and then in the other square, continuing alternating between the two until you get to the end. I think the backing will be done by tying it at the intersections of the squares like a tied quilt, starting in the middle, to allow me to hide the knots between the layers, working my way out, and then stitching all around the edge, somehow. Is that vague enough for you? I don't think the baby will make an appearance at the shower, he is still in the hospital after arriving 7 weeks before his due date (which is still a month off). However, he is nursing, gaining weight, and otherwise making good progress.
After the baby quilt, it will be time to start the Xmas project that must be shipped to Vermont! It's going to be a close thing as to whether I make my Xmas list goals that I've set for myself. Dad might have to sacrifice himself and wait for his hat, since I already knit him a scarf, so that others who have not received any hand-knits yet may get some this Xmas. How noble of him! If only he knew the noble sacrifice that he might be making.