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Topic: Sock help! Stuck on the Widdershins heel....  (Read 604 times)
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Aunt Suzi
« on: February 01, 2008 12:58:05 PM »

I'm pretty good at figuring out knitting problems, but am not an experienced sock knitter and I got myself in a minor puzzle with the heel on widdershins http://www.knitty.com/issuesummer06/PATTwiddershins.html.

Thing is, I didnt make gauge for these socks, but I didnt worry about it. I just made toe increases till it fit and generally adjusted as I went.

Now Im at the turning of the heel, though, and Im lost because my stitch counts are off and I dont really know what hers mean, so dont know how to make adjustments. I've only ever done one pair of toe-up socks before (and never cuff-down), but they had a short row heel, and I need some help with the concept of the toe-up gusseted heel.  Can you help?

At the end of the Gusset section, it says 74 stitches. I assume thats total, on all four needles, but not clear how they should be distributed. I have 80, with 29 on the cably part (needles 1 & 2) and 51 on the heel gusset part (needles 3 & 4) theyre uneven because of the recent gusset increases.

So then in the pattern you knit 31, m1, k1 w&t - should that be all the way across the back of the heel? Doesnt seem like it, since there would have to be much more than 37 st there (that is, by her count, not mine). If not all the way across, then, how far?

And then the # of stitches you purl on the next row jumps down to 17 and Im not sure why.

If I understood how it was supposed to work, I could probably make up the numbers, or fudge them. Can someone explain, or point me to an explanation somewhere?

Alternately, is there a mathematical way to convert this heel formula to my sock?

Thanks so much if you can help!
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redwitch
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008 07:42:33 PM »

Try to think about what you are doing rather than each individual stitch.

E.g. in a top-down sock when you reach the toe, you begin to decrease in the FRONT and BACK at each side (so four decreases per round) every second round. That makes much more sense to me than an instruction that says "Knit x stitches, k2tog, ks, ssk, k x stitches, k2tog, k2, ssk...

Try to think of this pattern in the same way. Specifically, you might prefer to think of distances rather than stitch counts (because a stitch is a unit length across a row, so is a measurement like 1.5 cm).

So where she says for the first line of the heel turn it's something like knit 31, m1, w & t? In the tension provided, what distance is 31 st.? etc.

Alternatively, knitted fabric made with wool has a lot of give so you could fudge it or use the instructions provided (or just add/subtract one stitch if you consider it appropriate). The difference between 74 stitches and 80 stitches is close enough to one-eighth.

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creepyhugger
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008 11:40:16 AM »

i use this pattern as my go-to heel for toe up socks, since short row heels don't fit me.

the reason you only knit across 31 stitches is because you're trying to isolate the center back stitches for the heel.  so you knit across 31 stitches, then come back only 17 stitches, because you don't want your heel on the side of the foot, you want it centered in the back.

i, too, did not have gauge when i used these heels and it was confusing as all get out until i had my epiphany!
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Aunt Suzi
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2008 12:38:54 PM »

Thank you both for your advice!  Sorry to be so slow in responding - guess socks have not been my priority this month  Embarrassed (Ok, there's been some valid competition, like dissertation, grants, and a sweater for a growing boy.)

But I think I get it now!  So what you're saying, creepyhugger, is that I should count it out so that the heel flap is centered on the heel and is approximately 17 stitches wide?  And then just leave the extra stitches on the sides until it's time to pick them up again?  Is that right? 

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creepyhugger
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2008 02:17:08 PM »

yep!  it's only eight rows.  then you start moving on to knitting the "flap" part over the same general number of stitches.  it sounds really confusing, but once you just start doing it, it makes perfect sense. and you don't have to pick up stitches along the edge of the flap!
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Aunt Suzi
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2008 08:08:15 AM »

Ooooh, I see. 

Would you believe, in all this time, I *still* haven't gotten around to picking up that sock and trying it out??  It's been kind of a crazy month.  But I think I've got it figured out in my head now.  Thank you!
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