The three cuff-down sock pairs now on my needles use two main types of heel: afterthought and flap-and-gusset heels.
Flap-and-gusset heel in one solid color & afterthought heel in two yarns — two ways to knit heels in colorwork socks
In “Riot of Color” on the left, the flap and heel turn in one color only stand out from the colorwork. I knit this heel when the leg length was long enough. Socks with this kind of heel look like socks right away, which an impatient knitter will appreciate. There’s a really good reason that this general type of heel is prevalent in sock design. It fits many people well. By varying the length of the flap and the angling of the heel flap, we can construct sock heels to fit a particular wearer.
“Classic Kilim” on the right uses an afterthought wedge heel instead. While knitting the sock, I put in a wide gap where the heel will later be knit. Leg stitches rest on a length of spare yarn. On the other side of the heel opening, I replaced those stitches with a provisional cast on, then kept knitting the color pattern along the length of the foot. When the toe is complete, I will come back to the heel, recover stitches from both sides of the opening, and knit the heel in the round in colorwork.
This particular afterthought heel has extra length built into it, and it fits better than many wedge heels. I appreciate the carefully designed patterning in the heel. In Zauberball, it helps the illusion of continuous color to unspool the remaining yarn to find a place where the color sequence looks like the colors at the heel opening. A little extra attention to amuse the sock knitter and sock wearer!
A sock too narrow to fit over the wearer’s instep and heel. No heel will fit, sadly.
Now for the sad news. The third pair of current socks is too narrow to put on and wear. Before reaching the heel, I tried to wear the fragment of sock. It will not go over my instep/arch and heel. Simply too narrow.
This has happened to me before. More than once. I expect it will happen again, too. Time to sigh, admit the reality of this sock and figure out what to do with it next.
The problem this time seems to be at the hem. I could probably get the leg to work, and I like the way this stitch pattern looks and feels at this gauge and the current 72 stitches. The hem itself is too tight to stretch the 12″ that my ankle needs.
This sock began with the hem and then the richly patterned chevron pattern. Taking out the hem alone and reknitting it, in the other direction, with looser tension is a mess to do. Not an option I would consider.
Option #1: Pull out the socklet right away, and with the same yarn and needles several sizes larger, start over again. After the hem and some of the chevroning, begin transitioning to the needle size that works best for the leg.
Option #2: Pull out the socklet right away. Rummage in the sock yarn bin for a heavier sock yarn and a slightly bigger needle, one suited to that yarn. Start over again with the same pattern, aiming to keep the hem loose. Before putting aside this ball of Tilli Tomas Artisan Sock, make a careful note about gauge in this socklet; notes like this are so helpful when this yarn again comes to the fore for a different pair of socks, and sometimes I forget to write things down.
I am thinking of Option #2. Make sense?