I spent my time in Canada knitting a shawl for my niece but will block it and gift it in the fall. In between time I knit three pairs of socks. The ones on the left are knit with Zauberball from Germany, the middle with Patons, and the ones on the right with a yarn I bought in Germany a few years ago. All are 80% wool and the rest nylon. Those in the middle are interesting because the first sock of the pair was knit about 5 times. My heroine, Jean, from Scotland has been experimenting with socks and this has fostered quite a discussion on her blog. I had already tried knitting one and two socks on two circulars and on one long circular and found that my dpn's were much faster and much more relaxing for me. Of course, these things are so personal. This time I tried different heels - Lucy Neatby's garter stitch heel, Ms. Strong's heel, Elizabeth Zimmermann's afterthought heel, Cat Bordhi's Sweet tomato heel, and the yo-yo (or jo-jo) heel. None of them was as comfortable as the flap and gusset that I usually knit. In fact, some of them were very uncomfortable for me. I guess I agree with many of the people who made comments on Jean's blog that we probably like the method of sock knitting that we first used. Perhaps it is because it has become part of us. I have no regrets and am really glad that I learned some new tricks and I was glad that I was able to help a neigbour who couldn't understand the sweet tomato heel. I was able to show her how to do them and they fit her beautifully.

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The picture reminds me of how my socks come out of the dryer. Where's the other one? I know I put both in . . . I think I may give up knitting pairs of socks and just knit singles.

ronhuber's picture

They actually each have a partner already knit. I know someone who knits only one sock in two sizes - men and women's. She puts them in drawers where her family pull out two random ones when they need them. I imagine they are used to the comments and stares by now.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very lovely socks, Ron. I have a few balls of Zauberball in my sock stash and will eventually knit them up. [Along with all the other sock yarns patiently waiting.] I agree that we often stick to what becomes comfortable for sock knitting...I always experiment around with new techniques - and have integrated a few into my standard sock - but pretty much follow the formula I originally learned.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Kerry's picture

Nice socks Ron.

bobinthebul's picture

Nice looking socks! The self-striping yarn really is hit or miss...I love all of these but have gotten some that look like the're going to be great and then turn out to be sort of a flop.

I'm curious about which heels were uncomfortable for you.

I haven't tried the tomato heel; I sort of want to but at the same time I really like the flap-and-turn heel the best. I even started a pair of toe-ups for a change (or out of a sense of duty?) but ended up dreading the back-and-forth on the heel, so I frogged the first one after about 3 inches and am now happily doing a nice pair of skyp rib socks (Adrienne Ku).

ronhuber's picture

They were all uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. Short row heels seem too tight on my instep even if I do them on 60 or 66% of the stitches. I think it was the heel by Strong that gripped my ankle too tightly but sagged in other areas. My feet are probably at fault but every so often I go off on a tangent thinking I should try something new and go back to my old way of doing it. I like the skyp rib as well and they always turn out nicely. I have made a couple of pairs for my nephew. I also like k2p2 for one round and then k one round. Repeat.

bobinthebul's picture

Hmm. You might have a thicker/higher instep and arch. Depending on where the tightness is, since these are top-downs, you might try a couple of different things:

1) If the tightness is right where the gusset is, try doing a longer heel flap. The "standard recipe" is half the stitches in the round, and and an equal number of rows. Try adding a couple extra rows - you'll just do an extra couple of decrease rows on the gusset;

2) If the tightness is more toward the middle of the foot, you could just try reducing a little less on the gusset, and finish your increases farther along. Toe-up socks are often praised because you can try them on as you go, but I do the same thing with top-downs, especially if you're using magic loop.

3) A combination of both, depending on the shape of your foot.

Hope that helps!

ronhuber's picture

Thanks for the info. In fact I have been doing what you suggested. My flap and gusset socks are really comfortable and that is all I wear. It is the short row heels that do not fit my well. I try on my socks as I go as well - especially if I am knitting a new pattern.

chipsir's picture

Great looking socks Ron, the next time we are on the island I will mention to Lucy that you tried her heel, I guess you didn't make it down east while in Canada.

ronhuber's picture

I didn't but it is still on my wish list. Have a wonderful summer, Dennis.