I’ve been playing with Cat Bordhi‘s Sweet Tomato Heel construction.
Skulking around Youtube, I found this csm rendition of the heel posted by ‘gobbism.’ I wanted to explore further so picked up a copy of Cat Bordhi’s eBook of Ravelry.
My first pair, above (knit with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – colour Skyway) I knit more or less using gobbism’s video. I extrapolated from her 54 stitch demo to use my own 72 cylinder.
In the middle picture above I am trying to illustrate that you make three triangles for this heel construction, with two full rows of knitting between the pairs of triangles. (This, instead of the standard two-triangle short row heel).
And instead of the standard short row – one triangle made by decreases, then another made by increases, this method has three triangles that are all decreases only. In the video she knit toe up socks, using increasing triangles. I knit my sample cuff down, but also using increasing triangles.
In the picture of my sock knitter: the red and yellow marks are the standard heel markings – ie knit decreases from the red marks to the yellow marks, then increases back to the reds.
For this construction, the heel is done dividing the stitches into thirds. On the 72 cylinder that gives me a group of 24 at the 6 o’clock position and another group of 24 at the 12 o’clock postion. – indicated by the green marks. Half of the remaining third is on the left side, and half on the ride side = 12 and 12.
In the pair above, because I was doing INCREASING triangles, I took the top 24 plus the two side groups of 12 out of work, and then knit my short row increases by raising and wrapping one needle on the side closest to the yarn carrier, while also pushing down three needles on the opposite side – so net gain of two stitches per row. And doing this back and forth until I get to the top green marks. Then, push all needles down, knit 2 rows and begin the second triangle.
In the middle photo you can see that my triangles are increasing rather than decreasing if you look at the top right corner of each triangle – as you move down from each top right corner you can see there are more stitches in each subsequent row.
On the outer edge of that photo, you can see I’ve drawn what these triangles would have looked like if I had done DECREASING short rows instead of INCREASING.
When I bought Cat’s eBook, I saw that she works in decreases instead of increases, so for my second pair I gave that a shot:
This second pair is knit with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock colour The L.
The triangles are knit, basically, in reverse to the above, which is to say I raise only the top 24 needles, and then take two out of work each pass. So in this case you look at the top LEFT of each triangle, and you can see each row grows shorter.
Overall, the triangles look pretty much the same, but they are not. If I had shot the photos before blocking, it would be more clear that the top edge of the first triangle is more perpendicular to the leg in the DECREASE version than in the INCREASE version.
In this second example, instead of raising one needle and pushing down 3 for each pass, I wrapped the last already-raised needle on the yarn carrier side, and raised two needles on the far side – net decrease of two stitches. The purpose of wrapping that single needle to to give a cleaner join later when knitting the two rounds between triangles.
I prefer the look of the second even though the differences are few. I find there is less ‘stretching’ after blocking along the top edge of the first triangles.
However! The second version was a LOT more work, what with wrapping stitches on ever short row.
This third sample is knit with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – colour Grant Park.
I’ve knit DECREASING triangles, as in the second pair and as in Cat’s pattern, but I’ve fiddled how I bring that all about.
I start, as in second example, with top 24 needles raised (= 48 in work).
With the yarn carrier at 12 o’clock, I wrap the last raised needle at 2 o’clock and knit around clockwise to the left.
Then I raise one needle on each side – at each end of the remaining in-work needles and knit across. I repeat this back and forth until I’ve completed the short rows, which will finish me with the yarn carrier at the left side.
I wrap last raised needle (about 7 o’clock), push all the needles down – including the wrapped one, and knit around two rows before beginning all again.
So the key labour difference is wrapping only one stitch at the beginning of the heel and one at the end of the heel, instead of one on every pass.The wrapping of the other stitches is accomplished when that first needle on each pass is raised.
All in all,
each triangle on the 72 cylinder takes 14 short rows. So, three triangles = 42 short rows. And there are two rows knit around between each pair of triangles, so 4 more rows for a total of 46 rows or on the heel. Standard short row heel on the 72 would be 20 decreases plus 20 increases for a total of 40. So rows knit for the foot need to be reduced by 5 or 6.
Those full rows between triangles add some dimension to the top of the instep and I think this gives almost a gusset type of effect – in any event the heel is wider – so I think this heel would be good for high instep, tree trunk heels like mine, etc.
And esthetically, Cat’s construction virtually eliminates short-row holes.
In her eBook she gives some tips for adapting to larger or smaller ankles.