Help me avoid reknitting 11.5 inches of sock
September 10, 2011 6:19 AM   Subscribe

[SockKnittingFilter] I'm knitting socks from the toe-up for size 12.5 feet, and I'm currently at the short-row heel. When I had the recipient try them on, he said that the top of the foot was a little tight. (He's used to top-down, gusset heeled socks, if that matters) How do I fix this--change to a gusset heel, knit more foot?
posted by Stephanie Duy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My wife, who's a constant sock knitter, wants to know whether you're doing the heel over 50% of your stitches. If you are, you should try doing the heel over 60% of the stitches, which should add depth to the heel and allow more room for the instep. She also recommends Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks Warm Feet, which includes several patterns detailing that technique.
posted by jon1270 at 6:31 AM on September 10, 2011

I've got a guy who has this issue and big ol' ankles, too. Mucho sadness for all.

Some suggestions: Cat Bordhi's sweet tomato heel is rumored to be bigger. I've not tried it, but I hear good reports and her youtube videos have a full explanation of how to do it.

I've had some luck with adapting the Fleegle heel, as well.

Another suggestion is to put increases where the gusset decs would be in a top-down sock, and decrease them away after the heel turn. I have heard varying amounts of success with this method.

Unfortunately for me, top-down socks just fit my dude better, and I fit better in toe-ups.
posted by Hwin at 6:35 AM on September 10, 2011

For any kind of gusset heel, you would have to rip back a pretty considerable amount in order to increase the stitches for the gusset - keep that in mind. I have a high instep and I like to do a mini-gusset for all my short-row heel socks. I add between 5 to 10 stitches on each side while I'm working the foot, then do the short row heel normally, then do a mini heel flap to decrease the extra stitches away.

The forked heel and sweet tomato heel also give added heel room.
posted by Gordafarin at 8:18 AM on September 10, 2011

Top of the foot across the arch, or in the angle where top-of-foot becomes lower-shin? I've got a very high arch and I sometimes add a few stitches on the two non-sole needles; for the other type, changing your heel should work, since it's being caused by the wearer's heel not matching the shape of the short-row heel pocket.

A Dutch or French heel might help if the issue is a human heel that's wider and squarer than the short-row.
posted by catlet at 12:32 PM on September 10, 2011

Yes, I have catlet's question - where is it tight? If it's tight across the whole foot, then you'll need to rip all the way back to the toe and increase more before you start the plain knitting for the foot. If it's only tight across the foot near the needles, then you need to rip back about halfway, start the gusset increases sooner, and do more of them.

For what it's worth, I have big blocky feet, and a traditional short row heel has never worked for me. Too shallow, or something. These days I knit toe-up socks using the heel from the Baudelaire sock pattern. It's a simple short row heel that mimics a top-down heel flap in both looks and fit. LOVE IT.

There is no miracle cure that will save you having to rip back. But congratulate yourself for having asked him to try them on now! Many knitters would have knit at least one entire sock before finding out it didn't fit.

And let me take this opportunity to invite you to join the Metafilter Ravelry group, where dozens of incredibly talented and kind Mefites will happily give you a hand!
posted by ErikaB at 5:56 PM on September 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you for all the helpful responses!

@ErikaB, catlet: the sock's tight at the very top of the foot (I had him try it on right after I finished the heel). He says that it fits fine without the heel.

I joined the Metafilter group on ravelry a while ago--I just didn't think to post this question there, dang.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 6:04 AM on September 11, 2011

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