Archive for the “sweet tomato heel” Category

After I finished the rainbow socks, this skein of Cascade Heritage Paints in the "Thunder" colourway was the next sockweight yarn in my stash that was meant for mindless stockinette during knit nights and football games. It seemed fitting to knit Thunder socks right next to Rainbow socks, so here we are :)

I used Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel for these - I love how this heel looks in a contrast colour!

A pair of handknit socks. A blue streak spirals down the gray legs and feet. The cuffs, toes, and heels are a dark navy blue.

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New socks, new socks! I really had hoped to have these done in time for Pride Month, but hey - there'll be another one next year. Yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in the "Rum Raisin" colourway, which I bought in Lake Tahoe in 2019. Pattern is... just a plain ol' 64 stitch sock. I kind of wish I'd thought of knitting these toe-up so that the toes would have started (or ended) at the beginning of the rainbow, but it's not that big a deal :) I did break the yarn after turning the heel, skipping ahead to the next red stripe so that the rainbow wouldn't be interrupted over the ankle, and that was a good decision - even if it did mean having a few more ends to weave in.

A pair of rainbow-striped socks. The colours are more like jewel tones than actual primary rainbow shades, but the effect is still that of a rainbow.

The same day that I finished these, I immediately started on the next pair, this time using Cascade Heritage Paints. The colourway I'm using is called "Thunder," which seems sort of appropriate to go next to a pair of rainbows. This past weekend I turned the first heel and am working my way down the foot. It'll be another plain stockinette pair (it's good knit-night work!) but with a navy contrast yarn in the cuffs/toes/heels. Also, I'm putting a Sweet Tomato Heel on these socks in hopes of not disturbing the spiral pooling of the yarn. I really like how it looks in the contrasting colour.

A partially knit sock. The cuff and heel is dark navy blue, and the leg of the sock is a spiral of grays and blues. The foot isn't yet knit.

Maybe there's something about the whiff of fall in the air that's gotten me re-invigorated to work on my knitting projects. This morning when I sat down at my desk I saw the yarn for the second of my Aviation socks (the third in the Twisted Trilogy that I've been procrastinating on for a while) - and instead of just nodding at it, like, "yeah, I see you," I picked it up and knit for a while. Once this sock is done I'll write up all three patterns in a nice way and then get them published, finally! I'm trying not to give myself a hard time for not finishing this project sooner, because what good would that do now? Instead I'm going to try to remember how much I actually do enjoy knitting this pattern, even if I'm a little intimidated by the thought of writing up patterns for publication :)

The very beginning of a purpley-pink sock. The ribbed cuff transitions into a twisted stitch pattern that makes an interesting texture of columns.

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These socks have been an absolute journey. My first attempt was too small, and I didn't realize it until after I'd knit down past the heel. My second attempt, after recharting the skull and crossbones section to have eight more stitches in it, was upside down - and I still wasn't happy with my fine gauge colourwork on DPNs. (Uneven. Puckery. Not nice.)

I gave up, put the chart into Designaknit, sent it to the knitting machine, and cranked out the cuffs in no time at all. The rest of the socks I knit by hand, because miles of stockinette is perfect for knit nights, car rides, and hanging out with Mom.

The pattern is Buccaneer's Booty and the red and blue yarns are both Lang Jawoll, a gift from my friend Ky. I love the subtle shading in them. Thanks, Ky!

A pair of red socks with blue toes and heels, and a band of skulls and crossbones at the cuff.

I subbed in Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel for the short-row heel in the original pattern. I like how it fits and I adore the look of the dark blue wedges on the red sock. I also added an extra bit of striping at the toe to more closely match the stripe at the cuff.

The heel is made up of three wedges of blue on the red background of the sock.

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I've had the Buccaneer's Booty Socks pattern in my queue since, no joke, 2008. That is a long, long time to want to knit a pair of socks without actually knitting them. So...

The cuff of a handknit sock, with a skull-and-crossbones motif in white on a blue background. There are red and white stripes setting off the section with the skulls.

There's just one problem: The colourwork section is too tight to get over my ankle. And I've already knit down to well past the heel. (I swapped in a Sweet Tomato Heel for the short-row heel as written, but that's not relevant if I can't get the sock over my foot!)

I'm thinking I'll pick up stitches just below the skulls-and-crossbones, snip off the cuff that I knit, and work it again from the bottom up... with more stitches in the colourwork than before.

Hrmph.

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Back in May, I started a pair of toe-up socks using some chain-plied merino yarn that I'd spun up about five years ago. I had eight ounces but I wasn't sure how far it would go, so I wound it into two cakes and started knitting. As the sock grew up my leg, it looked like I'd be able to make knee-highs - and since the yarn was on the thicker side, that seemed like a really good idea. These were gonna be some warm socks.

I worked in calf increases through a series of trying on the sock, measuring, adding more stitches, and taking careful notes so that I could duplicate it for the second sock.

Despite some inconsistency in my spinning (I do feel like I've gotten better since then!) and some nervousness towards the end of the second sock when I was playing yarn chicken (I won!) I am super pleased with the way these came out.

A striped pair of handspun, handknit knee socks with calf shaping.

So now I've got a pair of fraternal twin stripy socks with Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato heel (which I learned from this YouTube video). Here's their project page on Ravelry, with some notes that may or may not be useful to you if you're curious about the calf increases.

And then, of course, I had the fun of trying to take pictures of my own legs and feet from an angle that showed off the socks but didn't look super awkward! Eventually I accomplished it after discovering that my phone's camera will take a picture if I shout "cheese" at it. It should be easier next time, as I got a remote control for the camera as a winterholiday gift!

I also got a lighting kit with those inside-out umbrellas for properly illuminating my subjects, and I'm hoping to get the chance to try that out soon. It's been so dreary and gray, I've had trouble getting good photos - but this should solve that problem nicely.

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These two socks have been stuck at the heels for a few weeks already, and they were holding me up. I like to turn heels when I'm by myself and can keep track of where I am in the process, or inevitably something goes wrong and I have to rip back. I decided that I'd just buckle down and get them both back to the point where I can work on them and hold a conversation at the same time.

The second of the handspun knee socks had some adjustments from the first one so that it will fit better. Fortunately, I'd left comprehensive notes for myself so that I'd know what to do. On this sock, the third wedge of the Sweet Tomato Heel ends with 16 stitches unworked in the centre, rather than eight, and I can tell that this will be a better fit already. I finished the heel and the inch or so of stockinette that comes after it, and got started on the ribbing for the leg. It will be another six inches of knitting before I have to think about increasing for the calf.

These are way too tall for my sock blockers and the ribbing on the leg really makes them look funny when they're lying flat on the table! Once the second sock is finished, I'll get proper photos of them on my feet/legs to show off the heel and leg shaping.

One and a half knee socks in burgundy stripes, and half a ball of yarn.

I also made it past the heel and gusset decreases on the first of my Twisted Stitch Trilogy socks, which is still unnamed, so I've just been calling it Twisted ONE. This will be my next published sock pattern! I'm really happy with everything about them - the yarn, the colour, the texture, the feel and fit. I'll cast on for Twisted TWO with the yarn I bought at Mom's LYS just as soon as this pair is off the needles!

One and a half amber socks, and half a ball of sock yarn, displayed on blue sock blockers.

Right now the handknits are sharing space in a dresser drawer with the storebought socks, but they're all starting to feel a little squished in there. Not that I have a sock addiction problem or anything, but... pretty soon I'm going to need to give the handknits their own drawer.

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As I made progress on the handspun sock, I started to think (as you do) about heels. What kind of heel would I use? Would it be deep enough? A typical short-row heel would definitely not fit, unless I did some increases first. So I did some research and decided to try the Banded Expanded Heel technique, which is a modification of Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel. I measured my foot, checked my gauge, did some maths, and knit the heel...

No. (I didn't even take any pictures.) It's not that the heel was poorly designed; it's actually great. It's that my calculations were off in pretty much every way. I'd started too late, so the foot of the sock was too big. And I'd increased to too many stitches, so it was also baggy. I ripped back to just after my initial increases and did some more research.

Eventually I decided to try the straight-up Sweet Tomato Heel without modifications. I don't have the book with all the sock patterns, but Cat was kind enough to upload a detailed tutorial video for just the heel itself, which I was able to follow well enough to knit the heel without wondering if I was doing it right. (I was.)

It's difficult to try on a sock at this point but I did wriggle it onto my foot, and it seems to fit just right. It's *impossible* to take a photo of a half-knit sock with DPNs sticking out everywhere while it's on your own foot, so I slid it onto one of the blockers for a photo op.

A half-knit toe-up sock on a blocker, with half a ball of yarn next to it.

So far I like the Sweet Tomato Heel *way* better than the standard short-row sock heel, and I definitely want to use it in more socks! I'm going to have to try it with regular sock yarn to see if it still needs the pre-heel increases, at least. One thing I *really* like about the Sweet Tomato Heel is that I'd feel comfortable just knitting it from memory, which is a lot of points in its favour for whatever sock-in-progress is traveling around with me.

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