Time for another installment of the Christmas Stocking Knit Along from the amazing guest blogger Rosemary. If you are just joining us, you’ll find links to the first lessons at the end of this post.
Christmas Stocking Lesson 4
Hi! Well….we’re down to the heel! This is probably what has kept folks away from knitting socks, but I hope to give you some ideas that will dispel the myth that it is impossible.
Today’s lesson will include: tweaking some of the pattern, pictures to help guide you and tips to make things a little easier.
Remember that the pattern came out in the 1940’s; please accept my suggestions for a couple of “rewrites”. Look at the section of the pattern “Begin Heel”. You are going to divide your 50 stitches onto 4 needles. Where it says “Now, slip the last 12 sts onto 1st needle” — this is confusing— I would say “slip the FIRST 12 sts onto 1st needle”. These are the same first 12 stitches that you knitted from your work, the total is still 50. Look at the first photo of the heel flap. You’ll see how the 50 stitches come together now in the round. Where the stocking now (newly) comes together, you will knit your flap, straight stockinette stitch with half of your stitches.
Now take a look at the section marked “Turn Heel”. The final sentence that says “Continue in this manner,…” could use a clarifier, so I’ll throw it in. You will knit or purl all stitches until the ‘gap’ (you’ll see it), THEN you will knit or purl the 2 together. You want to wind up with 16. If you need to take it out, do so. It’s a small section and can quickly be knitted again. I actually took mine out even though I’ve made it before as I made an error. End heel flap with your final row being purl, so you are ready for the next part starting on the right side. When you have finished, look at my second picture of the heel that is made. Does it look something like that?
Let’s look at the section called “Gusset”. This is the final hard part of this whole heel deal. Promise! We need to pick up some stitches. If your set of double-pointed needles came with 5 needles, (YES, Pam, FIVE) I suggest that where it says “with the second needle knit across the 26 instep stitches” you keep 13 stitches on each of 2 needles….just a little more comfortable to work with…won’t make a difference in the outcome. A 5 needle set allows you to divide stitches in the round onto 4 needles and have the 5th to start the knitting. Upon picking up your 12 stitches on each side, just catch some yarn, fairly evenly spaced. See my 3rd picture, picking up the stitches. You’ll see half of them knit, half of them not knit yet. Should look something like that.
I think that’s enough for this week! Christmas is getting closer, so we’ll want to finish up in perhaps two more lessons. We’ll finish the foot, then we’ll put the ‘heirloom treasure’ together. You’ll be so pleased!
Again, please post any questions or comments on the comment section. I’ll check and try to answer! See you next week! Rosemary