Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Heel experiments

List-sib John pointed out this pattern for basic ribbed socks using the Sherman heel. I've tried the Sherman heel before; the concept appeals to me, but I've never felt like I quite "got it." I knit one trial sock to see if I liked these directions better.

Took me 6 hours, 40 minutes to knit, a little less than I expected. I think it might be faster to knit one sock at a time. It's beautiful, isn't it? The yarn is Trekking XXL, which Brenda says is like knitter's crack-cocaine. I only picked it up because my aunt said she needed brown socks, and the plain brown was just too boring to contemplate. I thought I could use this yarn for accent stripes, but it cried out to be made into a sock of its own.

The heel isn't bad, but it just didn't feel elegant to me. I decided to try it on a light, sport weight cotton so I could really study the structure and analyze the results.

Then once I started, I couldn't stop, and I kept knitting experimental short-row heels:
  • Sherman heel, meticulously following directions
  • Sherman heel, twisting the lifted stitches
  • PGR heel, with yarn-overs
  • Short-row heel with wraps
  • Catch method (from the article in Interweave Knits)
  • Japanese method
Mike says the picture looks like 6 condom tips.

I think the Japanese method yields the best results. It looks exactly like the PGR heel, with its clean exterior. But fiddling with all the stitch markers was a pain, and I don't see myself making a habit of that technique. I've got a few more experiments I'd like to try, but my prediction is that I'll stick with the PGR heel.

I woke up this morning thinking of a couple other experiments to try.


Anonymous said...

I was going to say the same thing as Mike. I'm glad that I know someone who has the attention to detail gene and does this kind of experiment from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Okay, my mind must be in other places, I stopped in to read this morning and the first thing I thought of when I saw the heels was--- diaphragms!

From your favorite quilter...

Jason said...

I thought they were weird looking tea bags until I read what you wrote! Is there a website describing all the heel techniques you listed?

Cat Herself said...

It doesn't surprise me at all that I thought the same as Mike . . . and I'm still laughing (quietly, inside) about it. I don't think knitted condoms are going to catch on any time soon, though.

You figure it all out - what is the best, easiest way to do the heels, and then tell me. I just don't have the patience! LOL

I do like that sock, though. Looks swell.

Wendy said...

The sock is beautiful. As for the heels...before I read your description, I thought you lined up all your favorite Chinese dumplings on the floor for all to see. :) It must have been close to my dinner time.

penandra said...

Combine Don's page with this page http://knittinggeek.com/howto/chooseheels.htm from the knitting geek, and you have full coverage of heels!