What a heel!

I began this post a week or so ago when I was struggling with a knitting project or two.

To begin with, I was not in love with this wool, despite so many other sock knitters loving it. What was wrong with me? I'd knitted DH a pair in this yarn and it had taken me the longest time ever. For some ridiculous reason I had bought two skeins and had another one to use up. Since I cannot store yarn indefinitely (a year at the most), I wanted to knit it up and be done with the guilt.

The first attempt was not successful.

This is another reason I disliked this yarn. It felted together as I knit it and was almost impossible to undo. However, inspiration struck and I decided to combine it with another yarn in a slip stitch pattern. I loved how this looked but, alas, it was too small for DH, and therefore most likely for any male in my family, so it appears I may have scored myself a pair of socks in shades varying from green to blue to black on a dark green background (when I get around to finishing them).

I also found myself not at all in love with the colour combination I was knitting up for Son#5. There is no joy in knitting a pair of socks that you hate. However, they do look better on and I have told him to wear these ones out first!


Sadly (to prove how fickle I can be), I found myself falling out of love with the Fish Lips Kiss heel. Like the yarn above, I seem to be alone in this, and I can readily admit it may be all my fault. But the latest use of this particular heel left me less than satisfied. It didn't fit nicely and I didn't like the look of it. Perhaps I began it a fraction too soon, or perhaps it works better on sock yarn than heavier yarns, but whatever the reason, the honeymoon period was over, so much so that I ripped out rows and rows of a complicated pattern to redo the heel on a pair that have been languishing for the past year.

As I said, the problem is most likely me because this heel has found a lot of favour amongst sock knitters, even those who are not fans of short row heels. This is where the mathematical side of my brain gets all jumbled. To my mind, the Fish Lips Kiss heel employs the same principles as a short row heel which many sock knitters dislike with a passion due to poor fitting and stuff like that, so how is the FLK heel any different?

To try and solve this for myself (when I'm confused like this I need to see the proof with my own eyes), I compared a FLK heel and a short row heel. Now I might wear glasses at times, but it seems to me that the short row heel (left) seems slightly bigger, and therefore roomier than the FLK heel (right). And when the complaint I was hearing from my sock-wearers was that the heel was too tight, well a girl has to find a new heel.

I also have to say seeing them side by side, that I prefer the more rounded look of the short row heel and feels it sits better when off the foot (which we know is also an important consideration if you are going to post photos of socks online - especially if you lack reliable sock models). But that's just me.

However, I love the idea of templates introduced in the pattern notes and wonder why I never thought of that before. And I did learn a new technique which was fun and unique. Perhaps I'll come back to it one day when I've sorted this muddle in my brain.

But it seems that the quest is on again for the perfect heel. Whether I will find it in this pattern is debatable, but I do love the gusset increases. However, I am not so in love with the way the slip stitch pattern 'shrinks' resulting in the sole being obviously longer than the insole. I tried using two different sized needles at the same time (smaller for the sole stitches and the larger ones for the slip stitch pattern) but it quickly became obvious that if I wasn't careful I was going to do myself a serious injury juggling two sets of circular needles!

I'm only just at the gusset increases, so will see how it goes and whether the difference in size 'rights' itself by the time I get to the leg. Meanwhile, I have an idea for another slip stitch pattern where the difference in row gauge will be minimised (I hope).

Let's hope my fickleness with regards to yarn and heels is short lived and I once again fall in love!


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