This post is a big shout-out to my gal Nicki, who is a very accomplished knitter but who for some reason had as much trouble as I did figuring out the heel of her very first sock. So great was her consternation, in fact, that I think the lady attempted like six pairs or something before she finally got a pair of Crazy Monkeys nailed down, and then proceeded to make the whole free world try one on.
I mention this because Leyburn, you will not keep me down.
I finally figured out the short-row heel. It's not rocket science by any means, but my confusion stemmed from the stranded stitch pattern on the instep and stockinette on the sole.
See what happens? Every fourth row of the lattice stitch is full of floats, not stitches. That means that every fourth row on top is not knit, but it is knit on the bottom. Therefore, you have 33 percent more rows on the sole than on the instep. I had no idea how that would affect my heel.
Finally I just said darn the torpedoes and went for it. I used Wendy's Toe-Up Sock tutorial, and simply worked it out to have fewer short rows placed just so, and by all appearances, I've got it.
I brought these socks with me to work on in the lobby before seeing Tongue and Groove's Red Balloon (my as-yet-to-be-written review, eep, will appear in the Chronicle on Thursday). While waiting, a nice couple next to me asked after the sock. Like any of us knitters who have passed the crazy point and stamped our passports, I was pleased to tell all.
"Gosh," the woman said after a bit. "That's kind of a lost art, isn't it?"
Lost? Well, I did spend six months trying to figure out a short-row heel, but I'm not lost anymore, thankyouverymuch.
I politely informed her of the great knitting movement, and of the popularity of sock knitting in particular. But goodness me. It's like when I was knitting during a rehearsal break last December and a fellow actor said, "Geez, I didn't know you were eighty."
What's your favorite response to comments like that?