Remember when I finished these socks last January?
I enjoyed the Diagonal Fixation pattern, but could not quite "wrap" my head around the whole short-row concept. I had only knit heel flaps before this sock, and have not attempted another short-row heel, although I have admired many-a-knitter's beautiful handiwork. Why no short-row love? Simply put, it is those unsightly holes!
Luckily, I had someone to turn to. Lisa Kartus is the author of Interweave Press's new book, Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters. The book is an amazing reference on how to fix everything from dropped stitches, twisted stitches, incorrect cables, wrong colors in colorwork, and everything you can think of in between. And yes, short rows are included. However, Lisa was kind enough to attack my little problem "head on" with a personal response! She is launching a new website, Knit Maven, where readers can submit problems and common mistakes; and Lisa will post how to fix the mistakes, as well as showing some pictures of the work.
You can read (and even listen to some podcasts!) about Lisa's career, her handy tips for fixing mistakes, and learn more about her future plans on the Knit Fix Blog Tour website.
So Lisa, how about it? Can you help me with these short-row woes?
Those diagonal holes might be from your short-rowing and might not.
The trick to short rows on a sock heel is to make sure you've closed the gap at the end of each row with either a K2tog or P2tog.The most common pattern for turning a heel asks you to do something like knit or purl to a couple of stitches past center, then either K2tog, K1 and turn work; or P2tog, P1 and turn work. The next row ends with either K2tog, K1 or P2tog, P1. Those decreases — K2tog or P2tog — create a little gap at the end of your rows. In all succeeding rows, slip the first stitch, knit or purl to one stitch before the gap, close the gap with a decrease (one of the K2tog stitches comes from the near side of the gap, the other from the far side of the gap), work the last stitch. Placing the decreases right on the gap closes those holes.
Now, I suspect that your problem isn't so much the short row as picking up the stitches on your gusset. When turning the heel, make sure to slip the first stitch of each row. Then when it comes time to pick up and knit for the gusset, there are these nice neat stitches to pick up — no purl bumps. See pages 61-63 of Knit Fix, which talks about (and shows through these wonderful photographs) not only pick up and knit but closing holes in your sock gusset.
Interweave always has those cute illustrations!
So, I think I am going to give the short-row heel another chance… perhaps for Socktoberfest? Lisa's tips are much appreciated, and I can't wait to use them on my next short-row encounter.
I highly recommend this book! It is not contain patterns, or the latest "trends" but it is a great reference guide for beginning and more advanced knitters. Personally, I think it is one of the best additions to my bookshelf – I know I will refer to it often as I progress in my knitting skills.
Thank you, Lisa, and I wish you the best of luck. You have put together a great book!
Kris and I are off to Tennessee for Nana's services. Thank you once again for the kind condolences that continue to fill my inbox. I have my bag packed with a lovely new stash addition. This is the Malabrigo for my International Scarf Exchange Pal… Do you think she will like it?
Have a good weekend, friends!