Around and back
Turning the heel is without a doubt the most satisfying part of a sock for me. I almost can’t bear to do anything else while that heel is in midturn. So for the past two days I’ve been sneaking in as much knitting as possible in order to try to get to the end of the two parts of my ‘Vog On heels — the turn and the flap.
I don’t know enough about sock architecture to know whether the heels on these toe-up socks are standard or innovative. Upon rereading the pattern intro, I find that they are a version of “eye-of-partridge” heels, which I’ve read about but had no idea how they looked or worked. But I’m always full of trepidation when I get to this point, because (again not knowing how socks are likely to work) I can’t picture at all what’s going to happen.
Okay, I’ve learned enough to know that a gusset is the section where the sock widens to accommodate the sharpening incline of the foot as it approaches the ankle. And I’m pretty clear about the short-row section done at the heel to actually create the cup in which the heel sits.
But the way the heel flap — which is a standard top-down sock is literally a flap, a rectangular piece that hangs down from the leg tube like a mullet — gets attached to the gusset stitches that waited unknit while the short rows were turning, that’s a mystery to me. No amount of poring over the pattern ahead of time gave me any insight about what was likely to happen. (And that makes me nervous — how can I tell if I’m doing it right, if I don’t know what’s supposed to happen? Much second-guessing, counting, recounting, and anxious decisions to forge ahead ensue.)
So it gave me great pleasure to see the flap growing row by row from the bottom, in a sl1k1 checkerboard pattern, picking up one gusset stitch per row, first on the left, then on the right, by knitting or purling them together with that row’s heel flap stitch. I’d much rather pick up the gusset stitches that way than rely on my ability to create the right number of selvedge stitches down both sides of the flap, then pick them all up.
Still loving the yarn. In the middle of the gusset increases I encountered my very first pooling issue. Pooling is the term for blobs of color that appear when variegated yarns are knit up. Instead of the color being randomly distributed around the work, sometimes the same color will start to appear at the same place in the pattern, creating a pool. Some people don’t mind it, some people will not abide it. But since I knew I was still increasing (and since one of the pools was on the sole of the sock, out of sight), I had confidence the pools would soon disappear. Sure enough, those two pools were all I saw. Now more than halfway through the pickups and their concurrent decreases, the pooling has not recurred, and I don’t expect to see it again in the leg when I’m back to my original 56 stitches.
I find to my surprise that I am the first person to use this yarn among the thousands of Ravelers — so when somebody asked what it was like, I was able to give the only authoritative opinion on the site. Now I’m casting about for the perfect pair of shoes to show off the eventual finished pair. I always did have a way of getting ahead of myself.
(Yes, that’s a misplaced hole you can see in the full picture — don’t know what happened there. I encountered a few places where I ended up with extra yarn-overs and had to decrease out of pattern, but I don’t remember any in the stockingette …)