Friday, June 8, 2012

Method not Pattern: In Which Count Sockula Drops Back And Punts

Gather round the fire, my children, while I recount the horrrrifyyyinnng tale of….
Oh, skip it.
Do you like to experiment with different kinds of sock heels and toes? Me, too. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even have to think when knitting the double-wrap garter stitch heel, my fave. If I were to attempt a conventional flap heel I would HAVE TO LOOK AT A PATTERN.
The horror.
For patterns are to Count Sockula as sunlight is to a vampire. Once you know basic sock construction, and have played with different cuffs, heels and toes, you can just make it up as you go along.
Be that as it may, I will do anything to avoid having to pick up wraps, but if you don’t do something, you create the dreaded and ugly GAP. One pickless-upless method is the aforementioned garter stitch heel. You wrap twice, pick up no times.
Another such is the Japanese Pick method. The ‘pick’ here doesn’t mean picking up a wrap. There are no wraps. You pick up an extra stitch to close the gap, then knit it together with another stitch.
Do you have trouble with the Japanese Pick Heel?
No? So it’s just me, then. Figures.
Count Sockula recently attempted a JPH without looking up any reference at all, only a vague memory to guide me. Naturally. The heel just kept going and going and going, and finally I had enough and just finished it off any old how. It didn’t look good, but it was finished.
Then I did what I should have in the first place and LOOKED IT ALL UP. Doing so, I saw a very nice picture of an extremely colorful sock with a JPH and what appeared to be thousands of teeny gold safety pins hanging off every edge of the heel.
That’s a lot of pins.
The theory is, you use the pins to pick up an extra loop of yarn, which you then knit together with a loop already on your needles to close the gap. Then I read you can do the JPH without safety pins and just snag an extra loop with your knitting needle. Like you would any other make-a-stitch thingie.
I also found out you’re supposed to slip the first stitch. Which I forgot.
All this just to avoid wraps and pickups!
Then, since these were top-downs, I ended with a star toe. I just decreased evenly all around (the work was on four needles, knit with a fifth) and then cinched the remaining stitches off. It came out looking much better than the heel. So there.
Sock: Sort of anklet-y thingie
Yarn: Red Heart scraps
Stitches: 32
Needles: Big pink plastic comfort-y things in size 8
Cuff: Messed up. Started with 3x3 rib, switched to 1X1, then 2x2. Don’t even know what I ended up with.
Method: Top-down, trying two different heels and star toe.


  1. Enjoyed your heel story. You are not alone about an aversion to picking up stitches.

  2. I don't think I'll survive the normal stitching. 0-o Those socks look EPIC!

  3. Thanks! They ended up being fun to do.