Nano Flowers: my latest sock pattern is available!

Nano Flowers sock knitting pattern jriedeMy latest pattern Nano Flowers has just gone live on Ravelry and will be added to the website within the next days. Here’s the link to the pattern.

This socks are worked cuff-down and feature an easy lace pattern which extends down the foot. The cuff and the heel are worked in reverse rib, the sole is worked in stockinette stitch. The heel is a Dutch heel.

Nano Flowers is good TV knitting as the lace pattern consists of just one patterned row which can be remembered easily. The Dutch heel is especially suited for feet with small or normal instep size. This is a charted pattern.


Heel Week day five: the Hat Heel socks

Hat Heel socksSorry for the crappy picture – the light’s almost gone here in Northern Europe today.

In the Falll 2009 issue of Knitty magazine, Kathleen sperling presented her Hat Heel socks. Her motivation for the construction of this heel was the fact that most heels did not seem to fit her well. To overcome, she designed a heel that is actually round, worked from the lowest point of the heel in the round as a half sphere with two gussets which are then joined using kitchener stitch. from the edges, stitches are picked up for both the foot and the leg.

The shape is ideal for feet which need gussets and is fairly adjustable – you just work half a sphere until it’s big enough and then work your way up to the central point of the gusset on the top side of the foot. The schema is applicable for all sizes from newborns to huge men’s feet.

You can find the pattern in various sizes here. Enjoy!


Heel Week day four: the cuff-down flap sock heel Vanilla cuff-down flap heel socksDay four of Heel Week focuses on the standard cuff-down flap heel. It’s suitable especially for men’s socks as it features a large instep increase (usually about 15 stitches on both sides of the flap resulting in a total increase of 30 stitches). The construction schema is simple: work the flap, work a few short rows for the turn heel, pick up stitches along the edges of the flap, then decrease the flap stitches over the next 30 rounds. Et voila: a standard flap heel is born.

In the standard Vanilla flap heel socks you can see on the left, the flap is worked in a simple slipped stitch pattern to increase the heel’s durability. You can of course also just work theheel in plain stockinette stitch or use any other stitch pattern.

Pattern draft: the cuff-down flap heel

In the example (heel only) pattern below a total stitch count of 60 stitches in total is used. Assuming you have worked the cuff and the leg and are ready to start the heel, proceed as follows:

Heel flap
Flap row 1 (RS): (sl 1, 1) 15 times, turn work.
Flap row 2 (WS): sl1 wyf (with yarn in front), p28, ktbl. (Working a ktbl instead of purling the last stitch makes picking up stitches later easier as the edge stitches turn out more defined that way.)

Repeat the last two rows until you have worked 30 rows (15 edge stitches) in total.

Turn heel
Turn row 1 (RS): k21, turn work.
Turn row 2 (WS): mds (make double stitch – see German short row heel, Heel Week day one), p11, turn work.

Turn row 3 (RS): mds, k to next ds (double stitch), k2, turn work.
Turn row 4 (WS): mds, p to next ds, p2, turn.

Repeat the last two rows until ten double stitches have been worked on each side. You are facing the right side of your sock again.

Instep setup: K30 (heel), pick up and knit 15 sts along next edge of heel flap, pm (place marker), k30 (front), pm, pick up and knit 15 sts along the other edge of the heel flap, k30 (heel), k15 tbl.

Instep rnd 1: k30 (front), slm, ssk, k to 2 sts before next marker, k2tog, slm.
Instep rnd 2: knit.

Repeat the last two rows until all instep sts are eaten up and 60 sts remain, then continue in pattern for foot.

Any questions? Feel free to ask!

Heel Week day three: toe-up flap sock heels Strausserl stockingsIf you prefer to work your socks from toe-up but have a weakness for flap heels, this one might be for you. I created this toe-up flap heel a few years ago when I created my Strausserl kneeheights (shown left): my standard short row heel just did not seem to fit such an elegant pair of socks. Basically, it’s a reversed standard flap heel, but instead of increasing stitches by picking up stitches at the flap’s edges and decreasing, the instep increases are worked first and then decreased as you work up to the ankles.

Worked this way, the decrease lines (pick up lines at standard flap heels) are clearly visible, a feature which is considered to be a bug by others. It’s all a matter of personal preference, as always in knitting. There’s more than one way to do it!

Pattern draft
Here’s the pattern outline for my toe-up flap heel, assuming you have already worked the toes. The pattern draft uses 60 stitches as total sock stitches.

After toes have been worked, work in pattern until foot measures about 3 3⁄4″ (9.5 cm) less than desired length. (You will now increase one stitch at each side of the stockinette sole every other round.) Divide stitches as follows: instep 29 sts, sole 31 sts.

Increase rnd 1: work instep stitches, kfb, k29, kfb.
Increase rnd 2: knit.

Repeat increase rounds 1 and 2 nine times more (10 times total, 10 st increased on each side).

K39 and move 10 sts from needle 2 back to needle 1. Move 10 sts from the end of needle 3 to needle 1. (51, 16, 15 sts on needles 1 (sole), 2, 3)

Heel Short Row 1: k31, turn work.
Heel Short Row 2: p30, w&t.
Heel Short Row 3: k29, w&t.
Heel Short Row 4: p28, w&t.
Heel Short Row 5: k27, w&t.
Heel Short Row 6: p26, w&t.
Heel Short Row 7: k25, w&t.
Heel Short Row 8: p24, w&t.
Heel Short Row 9: k23, w&t.
Heel Short Row 10: p22, w&t.
Heel Short Row 11: k21, w&t.
Heel Short Row 12: p20, w&t.
Heel Short Row 13: k19, w&t.
Heel Short Row 14: p18, w&t.
Heel Short Row 15: k17, w&t.
Heel Short Row 16: p16, w&t.
Heel Short Row 17: k15, w&t.
Heel Short Row 18: p14, w&t.
Heel Short Row 19: k13, w&t.
Heel Short Row 20: p12, w&t.
Heel Short Row 21: k11, w&t.
Heel Short Row 22: p10, w&t.

(You are now facing the RS of your sock again.)

Heel decrease row 1: Knit until one stitch before the end of needle 3, k2tog (the second stitch is taken from needle 1). Turn work.
Heel decrease row 2: Purl until one stitch before the end of needle 2, p2tog (the second stitch is taken from needle 1). Turn work.

Repeat heel decrease rows 1 and 2 until all increased stitches are decreased again (9 times more, 10 times total). (29,16,15) stitches on needles (1, 2, 3); 60 sts total.

Now you can continue knitting the leg. Alpine Fuchsia socks

Heel week day two: the Dutch sock heel

Dutch sock heelAlso known as the square heel, the Dutch heel comes without short rows. The main feature are visible, straight lines at the bottom oh the heel and it’s square (well, what else) shape.

The Dutch heel incorporates additional circumference at the instep – but not as much as the standard heel flap for example – because the stitches of the heel flap are decreased and not short rowed (and therefor staying constant in stitch count). For example, a sock heel worked over 30 stitches on a 60 stitch sock has got nine stitches left after working a Dutch heel but 30 when working a standard flap heel. This means the instep of a flap heel is 15 stitches wide on each side but just nine stitches total on the Dutch heel.

Here is the schematic pattern for a Dutch heel for a 60 stitch sock. The heel is worked over 29 stitches.

Heel flap
Flap setup row 1 (RS): k29, turn work.
Flap setup row 2 (WS): sl1 wyf, p28.
Flap row 1 (RS): sl1 kw, k28, ktbl, turn work.
Flap row 2 (WS): sl1 wyf, p28.

Repeat flap rows 1-2 28 times more. You will have 15 chain sts at edge of heel flap.

Turn heel
Turn heel row 1 (RS): sl1 kw, k17, ssk, turn work.
Turn heel row 2 (WS): sl1 wyf, p7, p2tog, turn work.
Turn heel row 3-(RS): sl1 kw, k7, ssk, turn work.
Turn heel row 4 (WS): sl1 wyf, p7, p2tog, turn work.

Repeat turn heel rows 3 and 4 until all side sts are used up, 9 sts remain. (39 sts)

Work across 9 heel sts, then pick up and k 15 sts on RS of heel flap.
Work across instep sts keeping in pattern (stockinette), then pick up and k 15 sts down left side of heel flap. (69 sts)

Gusset setup: k9, k15 tbl, pm.
Gusset round 1: (work next row of main chart) two times, pm, k15 tbl, k24, slm.
Gusset round 2: (work next row of main chart) two times, slm, ssk, k to 2 sts before next marker, k2tog, slm.
Gusset round 3: (work next row of main chart) two times, slm, k to next marker, slm.

Repeat gusset rounds 2 and 3 until you have 60 sts total again.

It’s really square and the lines of the decreases on the bottom of the heel are quite dominant. But if you see this as a design feature, the Dutch heel is a nice one, especially if you don’t need a really large instep.

Nano Flowers: Dutch sock heel

Heel Week day one: German short row sock heels (a.k.a. the Kylie Heel)

German Short Row HeelWelcome to Heel Week! For the next five days, we’ll focus on sock heels and jump right into it with the German short row heel. Locally, it is called Bumerangferse (boomerang heel), I like to call it the Kylie heel.

Main features: it can be worked as an afterthought heel (more on these on Wednesday), has a snuggle fit and is easy to knit if you know how to work short rows. It does not provide additional stitches at the instep which is the mainreason I mainly use it in female sock patterns. It can be worked on any number of stitches.

The double stitch. The Kylie heel uses the German method for working short rows – with a special stitch referred to as “double stitch”. To make a double stitch, insert needle as if to purl with yarn in front. Slip stitch off the needle, pull working yarn strongly to back, so the slipped st falls to the back and the stitch in the row below is pulled up over the right hand needle.

Abbreviations. mds: make double stitch. ds: double stitch.

How to work the Kylie heel

The first number you need is the number of total stitches your sock is worked with. Divide this number by two (eventually round to the lower) and call it H ( = number of heel stitches). This heel stitches are going to be divided into three sections: two outer sections, over the short rows (double stitches) are worked, and the center stitches. The number of stitches in these sections are called O (outer stitches) and C (center stitches) below.

Divide H by three and determine the remainder of the division.

If the remainder is zero: O = C = H/3.
If the reminder is 1: O = (H-1) / 3; C = O+1.
If the remainder is 2: C = (H-2) / 3, O = C+1.

As soon as you know the numbers O and C you can start right away.

First half of heel:

  • knit O+C+1 sts, turn (you’re now on the WS).
  • mds, purl C+1 sts, turn (you’re now on the RS).
  • mds, k to next double stitch (ds), turn. Do not work the double stitch!
  • mds, p to next ds, turn.
  • repeat the last two rows until you have completed O double stitches on each side of the heel.
  • knit to end of heel (working each ds as one st), then knit H stitches.

The yarn is positioned at the beginning of the heel again.

Second half of heel:

  • sts, turn.
  • mds, knit to next ds, knit ds (as one), k1 – this is your turning point – turn.
  • mds, purl to next ds, purl ds (as one), p1 – this is your turning point – turn.
  • repeat the last two rows until you are at the end of both sides (O ds at each side again).

That’s it, basically. Give it a try!

Another picture of the Kylie sock heel

The Heel Week is near: all about sock heels in seven days

jriede: Anton's socksThis coming week, from August 26th to September 1st, will be devoted to sock heels here on my blog.

Every sock knitter has got it’s own favorite when it comes to knitting socks. Toe-up or top-down? Long, short or even calf shaped legs? Round toes, band toes or simple V toes? And what about the heel?

The variants of heel construction methods for handknit socks seem endless. There are standard flap heels, Dutch heels, boomerang heels, round heels, the hat heel, afterthought heels, toe-up flap heels and many more. This coming week, every day one heel will be presented in detail in its technique and look.

What is your favorite heel?

See you next week!

Recipe: a new kind of heel for toe-up socks

I always wanted to have a kind of heel which allows for seamless flowing of lace or color work patterns around the heel in toe-up socks. After trying around a little bit this is the result: a traditional toe-up design is divided at the center of the instep to allow increases to evolve from this point. After a few increases (7 to 11, depending on foot circumference, gauge and personal preferences) the increased stitches are put aside and the patterned part is worked back and forth until they meet at the back of the heel. (Additionally, the sole stitches are decreased fast at the almost end of the heel.) The remaining stitches are grafted together at the back of the heel.

At this point, you can try on your sock (in fact you could finish at this point as you’ve got a pretty ankle socklet). The increased stitches are put live again and a convenient amount of stitches are picked up around the edge. Work a leg/cuff section as you please and you’re done.

The socks shown are my latest pattern, Herzicolor. They are currently being test knitted and being published soon – stay tuned :)