Saturday, May 26, 2007

A new kind of heel

One of the things I love about knitting is that you learn something new on every project, no matter how small. Here are the stripy cotton Fortissima socks I'm working on at the moment (the perfect travelling sock for humid weather).

I knit the leg and as I watched the stripes emerge, I thought about the copy of Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks, Warm Feet sitting on my bookshelf. Ms Neatby's book is full of great patterns for variegated yarns, including some very sexy sock heels where the stripes in the yarn are used to create a bulls-eye effect. I found a heel pattern in her book that I liked the look of, and tried to follow the instructions. The heel is not as difficult as I thought, but still quite tricky. It's in garter stitch and is basically a lot of short rows, with lots of 'wrap and turn'.

I usually like a heel flap & I've only attempted a heel like this once before, when I knit some toe-up socks from Charlene Schurch's immortal Sensational Knitted Socks. It was difficult. I kept losing count of where I was up to, and I definitely wasn't sure what to do with all the wraps. I'm still not sure I'm knitting them correctly. Anyway, I tried the heel from Lucy Neatby's instructions first, and screwed it up. Then I ripped it all back and consulted Charlene Schurch. Then I had another go, and I succeeded in producing a decent-looking short-row, garter stitch heel, even though I didn't end up with the bulls-eye effect I first envisaged. It is still a pretty nice heel. Next pair of stripy socks I do, I'll go back to Lucy's instructions and see if I can interpret them properly. Here's the heel that finally emerged from my efforts. It used 36 of 60 sts (leaving 24 sts as the instep).

That looks OK, doesn't it. We'll go for the bulls-eye effect next time.

In other news, Perugino is making healthy progress. It will be spectacular when it's blocked and I can't wait to see it. In the meantime, it's keeping its real beauty hidden, as this pretty but crumpled river of fabric flows from the needles:

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