Ugly Sock #1
I have already knit 3 pairs of socks out of this self striping yarn, and since I hate the colors, I figured I needed to try something a little different. At first I tried a wavy, or chevron pattern, but then I had this fear that I'd run out of yarn. I only have 1 ball of yarn for 2 socks and there's no way I'm buying more. So, what's a girl to do?
I recently bought Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I really love this book. It has a lot of different ribbed patterns to chose from and 3 or 4 different heels. It also breaks down the instructions for 4 dpn, 5dpn and 2 circs. No magic loop, which is my method of choice for toe up socks. I think she's biased. No matter, magic loop is a lot like 2 circs. One of the heels is a toe up heal flap, but it looks different from the one I had been using from the knitting friend. The heel I had been using has you work gusset increases, turn the heel, then work across the heel flap stitches, while knitting one of the gusset stitches together with the flap at each edge. This make a heel that looked EXACTLY as if it was worked cuff down. It requires a little bit of mental mathematical gymnastics, though.
The heel described in my new book, has you work the heel exactly the same as you would if you were doing it cuff down. You work a heel flap, turn the heel, then pick up stitches along the flap and do gusset decreases until you're back down to your correct number of stitches. This creates a little triangle on the heel and has the gusset stitches running vertically instead of horizontally. Get it? No? Ok, here's a comparison:
Notice how it stripes differently? That's because the ugly sock has a heel flap UNDER your heel.
The book says that this is good if you need to add reinforcing to the heel because you are only working that section instead of knitting in the round. "Oooo! I though. Good point!" I have noticed that my mom tends to wear big holes in this part of the sock, so I figured maybe this would be good for her. It suggests using smaller needles for added strength. I though "Hmm, well if heel stitch adds strength to the back of the heal, why not to the bottom?" So, I worked both the back of the heal and the bottom in heal stitch. I'm not sure how this will wear, or if it'll annoy my mom. It's an experiment, we'll find out. Let's just hope that it doesn't turn out bad and I have to knit the ugly socks twice!