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Wow, what a couple of weeks! First I got knocked off my feet by a truly evil chest infection (normally I soldier on through any illness), then I had scout camp, then I had to travel to the north of England for training for work (I got a cold), tomorrow I’, working away from home for a week. The second I get back I’m moving house! Anyway, here is the long awaited heel section.
There are about a hundred different ways of knitting a heel, this one is bar far the simplest and it’s the one I tend to use when I’m knitting socks on my travels. It’s nice and easy to memorize what you have to do and has a nice neat finish. It wears well too. All you need to do is re arrange your stitches so that half of them (that should be 32) are on one needle and the other half of the stitches are split between two other needles. You’ll only be working on the 32 stitches on the single needle, the others will come into use again when you start knitting the foot. Done that? (The moving the stitches bit, not the knitting the foot bit!) Then take a deep breath and we’ll begin. Follow this link here (it opens in a new window). The tutorial she’s written is excellent, very clear and with great pictures. Read it through a couple of times before getting started and don’t panic! As long as you do exactly what you’re told, nice and slowly and steadily all will be well! At first you’re asked to knit to 1 stitch before the end, then 2 etc. Keep going until you’re knitting to 10 stitches before the end which means you have 12 ‘live’ stitches then work on through the rest of the sock. (This is the point where I change colour when I’m making ‘odd socks’ like the ones in the picture) At first it can be a bit confusing looking for the ‘bar’ between the stitches, especially on the purl rows. Take your time and don’t be afraid to be a bit evil with your knitting, give the stitches a little sideways tug, the most obvious horizontal strand of yarn is the ‘bar’ you want.
Don’t worry too much about little holes, they’ll settle with wear. There are two holes that you will need to deal with though! When you’ve finished the heel you’ll need to knit the foot, in the round, just as you were doing with the leg. As you start to do that you’ll notice that a small hole forms at each side of the heel when you restart knitting in the round. This is normal and happens with pretty much every type of heel (I haven’t found one yet where it doesn’t!). It’s easy to deal with though, on the first round, treat those areas just as you did the turns on the second half of the heel (but without the actual turning!), locate and pick up the ‘bar’ (which is usually a lot easier to find!) and knit it and the next stitch together, that will help to close the hole. Then just carry on down the foot. If this sock is for you then sizing is super simple (if it’s for someone else then it’s still pretty simple), your foot is as long as your arm from the inner part of your elbow to your wrist. To check if the foot section is long enough rest the edge of the heel in that inner crease of your elbow (does that thing have a name? I feel silly calling it an ‘inside elbow’!) and see how far down your forearm it reaches. You need to stop about an inch short of it reaching your wrist. The final inch will be the toe of the sock which you’ll learn to do next session.
As ever, if you get stuck yell for help! I’ll have limited internet access next week in Cambridge but I will be online every day so I will be able to get back to you quite quickly.