Dumb, dumb, dumb

So I've been working on a pair of socks for myself for months now. Two at a time on circs with yarn I dyed myself. I've been really happy with the way they're coming out. They're my take-everywhere-knit-a-row-when-I-have-a-minute project, and since my feet are size 14, and I'm knitting with size 2 needles, and I rarely have a minute, it's taken quite a while. No biggie, as they're just something to keep my hands busy.

And then I re-read the instructions. See, this is the first time I've ever dealt with the afterthought heel in a pattern. I've been knitting along and finally got them to the right foot length, only to discover I've been measuring against my whole foot. With afterthought heel, you're supposed to start measuring from a spot directly under your ankle, not the back of your foot, then once you finish the toe, you go back and add the heel on some provisional stitches you knitted back in the spring.

So I've now got a pair of socks that by the time I decrease and graft the toes, then add the heel, will be a good 1.5" to 2" too long even for my bozo feet. I counted last night, and that's about 24 rows of knitting to rip out on each sock.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Started threading in a needle so I can do the rip-back, but there's a little pattern across the top of the foot, so I'm not totally sure I've got them all picked up correctly. Should be interesting. This yarn may well become a whole bunch of hexapuffs. ;)


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I never knew about measuring from the ankle area...sounds logical. I'm also doing Afterthought Heel socks but knit to where I wanted the heel, put in a line of cotton, then knit a bit further before removing the cotton and knitting the heel. Then, I knit down to begin the toe. It all required lots of notes so the socks will match so we'll see how that works out.

However, for your socks - How about grafting together the current heel spot and then moving it to where you want the new heel to be? All you would need to do is snip a stitch and unravel to yoou reach the desired size. Or would that mess up your pattern placement?

Anyhow, lots of luck and I hope it all turns out okay.

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

bkeith's picture

Not a bad idea, thanks -- I may try that. I set them down to finish a pair of slippers. So I'll pick them up again in a day or two with fresh eyes, and maybe something will click.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You're welcome. I based my comment on the premise that you had provisional stitches. That is the more common way of doing afterthought heels anymore, especially when patterning is involved. I just finished the first of the pair last night and look forward to seeing if all my notes pay off on #2; I plan to knit through the toe, then pick up the heel stitches to complete the sock. BTW - Where did you find your pattern? I want to learn more about designing this type of sock but had to sort of wing it because the sources I found mainly dealt with inserting the heel rather than how to calculate how long the tube needed to be when you finished it so as to have a good fit. Sort of a moot point, since I'll have my notes from this pair to base any future socks on.

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

bkeith's picture

Oops -- sorry. Got busy with work and haven't checked in lately. The pattern I'm using is called Roof Ridge from Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott.

Working on the toes as I get a chance. I looked at the calendar and saw Christmas looming, so I've cast on a couple projects for gifts that I'm spending most of my knitting time on now. But the socks are always with me, so when I'm out and about and have a chance to add a row, I do it. Will post an update when I attack the heel.

Thanks again!

twistknit's picture

EEk! Have fun with that- you have my sympathy! lol!

scottly's picture

I've had to unravel back on socks before as well and I found that picking up the stitches wasn't that big of a deal. What I did do though, once I picked up and accounted for all the stitches, was to tink backwards for a row to make sure all the stitches were turned the right direction and to just even out any stitch that might have been stretched out of shape while picking them back up. Your blood preasure may go up a few points for a half hour or so but sock stitches are usually so tight that it's usually not so bad as you think it's going to be. Good luck - but I'm sure all will be well.

AKQGuy's picture

1. Stop publicly thrashing yourself. It happens to all of us. I swear. Myself, whenever i seem to get cocky The Knitting Gods smite my smugness with abominable stupidity

2. You now have a bit of hard earned knowledge regarding afterhought heels!

3. Good luck.

ronhuber's picture

I happens to all of us. I just ripped back a couple of inches on the sock I am knitting on.

Tallguy's picture

Stop Stop!

Wait -- you forgot what the concept of an "after-thought" heel means. It means that you knit the whole sock... a tube sock actually. And then -- this is the tricky part -- you go back, as an AFTER-THOUGHT -- and decide to put in a heel.

So finish your sock as you are doing. Fine. Then all you do is find the row where YOU want to put the heel, and snip (ouch!) one stitch in the middle of that row. And take out a few stitches in both directions. This will free up stitches on either side of that row you are taking out.

Pick up those now live stitches on a needle (could be dpns or circs), and continue until you have as many stitches removed as needed. BUT don't take out the last two on either end!!! (see Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztbI4T373PU&feature=related and for some ideas of how it is done)

Then just knit ANOTHER TOE (or star toe or a hat top) which will be the heel, and there you are. If you wanted, you can do a short row heel, and then graft the last row of the heel to the sock. Done!

There is NO need to have to knit any waste yarn to mark where the heel is. You can place it anywhere YOU like. Remember that: these are YOUR socks, and YOU are the one in contorl (yes, truly) and YOU decide where to put them. ~ a la EZ

bkeith's picture

Good thought, thanks. I've got a row of prosional stitches where the heel is supposed to go, so I guess grafting there, then snipping/picking up elsewhere makes sense. As I think about it, though, I'm not entirely sure that's less work than ripping back from the toes. ;)

Thanks for the link -- I'll watch and let Cat inspire me.

Spicemanknit's picture

Don't be hard on yourself keith, this can happen to anyone This same scenario happen to me on the first pair of socks I made. Fortunately, my 14 year old nephew, with a size 14 shoe could wear them. I have seen your method of using a circular needle and doing two socks at the same time on "Knitting Daily TV. Although I have never done this method, I can see why it would be beneficial as you would have two socks that match perfectly. Good luck with your project.

Welcome to the joys of sock-knitting. as you have read, we all have done some truly wonderful things while knitting a sock.