In September, two new frontiers opened up in the sock knitting world: Hat Heel and Personal Footprints. I'm certain that, for two months, you've been dying to know what I think of them.
Naturally, I was intrigued by both. Creative construction has always fascinated me. Mom taught me to knit so I could make a ski band, but a simple, wide loop would not do -- I wanted something with character and shape, something that got wider and narrower as needed. And duh: no sewing allowed.
These two sock-making methods are right up my alley. "Hat Heel" starts with the heel and builds the sock outwards from unusual gusset constructions. "Personal Footprints" is a brilliant departure from common sense, instructing you to knit the foot of the sock as a closed tube which is then cut and opened to knit the cuff.
I've tried both, and my world is unchanged. Probably. There may be something to "Personal Footprints," but more on that later. First up: the Hat Heel.
The pattern is wicked clever, and it starts off fun: you knit a round cup-shape for the heel, then make long, wing-like triangles that will wrap around your foot and join at the top. That's where things began to go badly for me. I had trouble making a smooth join with so few stitches at the points of the triangles. But then the next step was a nightmare. Picking up stitches isn't usually a deal-breaker for me, but it’s not my favorite knitting activity, and this requires you to be pretty good at it, picking up all around both sides of the loop you've made. I made a dog’s breakfast out of it.
In the end, I won the battle but surrendered the campaign (the war goes on). No matter how skilled you might be at neatly picking up stitches, you're creating inflexible seams in your sock, right at the point that your foot needs the most flexibility. A lot of hard, messy work for a sock you're destined to hate wearing.
Tomorrow: Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters.
PS: Click the picture to embiggen, and check out that gorgeous yarn. It's "Tesla" from Gaslight Dyeworks.