Socks: Afterthought Heels

Afterthought heels are heels that get knitted into a sock after the rest of the sock has been knitted. You can just knit a tube and then decide where to put the heel and cut out stitches and add a heel! I like doing what’s sometimes called ‘forethought’ heels. They’re afterthought heels, but you knit some waste yarn at the spot where the heel will be. Then when you’re done with the rest of the sock, you don’t need to cut any of your knitting in order to add your heel.

Here’s a video talking a bit about afterthought heels:

Afterthought heels are very much like knitting waste yarn for a thumb in mittens or gloves.  You have to know exactly where you want to place your heel when you use this method. Usually about 2 or 2.5 inches is allowed for the heel, so you would knit your toe-to-heel length to be about 2-2.5 inches short of your foot length.

Afterthought heels are great for self striping yarn,  and for ‘purse knitting’ projects, since you don’t have to fiddle with the heel while you are out and about – you can save the heel until you get home! 🙂

I hope this explains afterthought heels – you should give them a try – they’re fun!

Happy Knitting!

FO Posts

FO: Venezia Cardigan (and Forethought Pocket walkthrough!)

Here she is, all done!!

Finished Cardigan

Pattern: Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang (with major modifications, see below)
Needles: US 2.5, US2, US1.5
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in colors Cyan, Caribbean, Grizzly Heather, Bark, Bison
Size: the 39.75 size (I knew I wanted a loose fit)
Started: July 27, 2012 (during Olympic Opening Ceremonies)
Finished: Main body finished 8/12 during Closing Ceremonies, finishing work all done by 8/18
Modifications: Lots!! The basic big changes were that I converted it to a v-neck cardigan, altered the armhole shaping, and added pockets.

Here’s what I did, step by step:

  1.  I started with a provisional cast on for the bottom hem (I knew I wanted to do the hem and neckband all at the same time), and I started knitting at the chart directions.
  2. I added about an inch to the bottom – which entailed figuring out where to start on the chart to keep me lined up with the pattern notes (I ended up starting on Row 1 of the chart.)
  3. I added a center front steek for the v-neck cardigan.  I eliminated the center front stitch, and added 10 stitches for my center steek.
  4. After about 5 inches, I added placeholder stitches for pockets: pockets were placed at 18 stitches from center front, and were 28 stitches wide. (You simply switch to waste yarn and knit the stitches where you want your pocket with the waste yarn.  Then slip those stitches back to your working needle and knit the piece as usual with your working yarn.  You now have a section of stitches that will be easy to pick up afterwards!)

    Placeholder thread
    Placeholder stitches for pocket
  5. I began the v-neck shaping at around 13.5 inches from bottom. (Decrease one stitch each side of v-neck every 3rd row 15x, then every 4th row 10x.)
  6. I worked both sleeves in round separate, and then joined them to the body at the beginning of the armhole (to avoid steeks and seams on the sleeves and the body.)
    8/9 progress
  7. The armhole shaping on the sleeves and the body was altered to make it less bulky than the original pattern on the body side.  Armhole shaping was as follows: put center 21 stitches each underarm (body and sleeves) on waste yarn. Then 1 stitch decreases each side (sleeve and body) every row 6x, then every other row 6x, then every 4th row 3x. Work body straight, but work one more decrease every 4th row on sleeves. Then work decreases on sleeves every other row 5x, and every row 8x. Then 2 double decrease rows on sleeves – (back and forth) while steeking the remaining body rows.

    Top of sleeve cap - steeks on top of shoulder
    Steeks on top of shoulder – top of sleeve is bound off.
  8.  I bound off the shoulder stitches and seamed them – I wanted a sturdy shoulder seam.  Then the top of the sleeve cap was seamed to the shoulder.
  9. The neckline and hem were picked up all the way around.  I used a size 1.5 needle at the neckline and front, and a size 2 needle on the hem,  and I picked up pretty much every stitch on the front and neckline. I then switched to a size 2 needle for the whole thing after the first row. I mitered the bottom corners (increase one on each side of center 2 stitches of corner – every row) and at the back neck (only decreased once at each neck side and only every other row) and placed random increases every other row at the point of v-neck to make the v-neck pivot out. Then after I knitted about 10 rows, I reversed the process to get the foldover hem – decreasing at bottom corner miters and v-neck, and increasing at back neck pivots.

    Inside V-neck top
    Top of V-neck from (inside)
  10. The pockets were knitted: I picked up 28 stitches above the placeholder and knitted about an inch, then put these stitches on placeholder yarn.
    Picking up pocket stitches
    Picking up stitches above and below placeholder stitches
    Knitting top inside portion
    Knitting the top inside portion

    I picked up 28 stitches below the placeholder and knitted 15 rows for turnover hem – and knitted it together with the first row.

    Starting to knit front hem and inside of pocket
    Knitting the hem
    Top hem is sewn down
    Top hem is sewn down

    Top pocket hem

    Then I continued knitting the rest of pocket lining flat (65 rows – about 6.5 inches) and grafted the end to the top flap I did previously.
    Pocket flap

    grafting inside pocket
    Grafting the inside of pocket together

    Then I seamed the sides of the pocket and sewed down the hem.
    Side pocket seam

    Pocket from inside

    Pocket from front
    Finished pocket from front
  11. I then wove in all the ends (mostly on the sleeves) and blocked the sweater before sewing down the foldover neckline/hem.  And lastly I sewed on the clasps and duplicated stitched my name on the inside hem.  I plan on duplicate stitching ‘Olympics 2012’ as well, but haven’t gotten around to that yet. 🙂
Bottom mitered corner
Bottom mitered corner (inside)
One side of clasps
Clasps on one side

Now I can’t wait for the cooler weather to get here so I can wear it!!

Finished Cardigan

Happy Knitting!!


‘Tackling’ Circular Needles

I thought I’d share my circular needle storage/organization solution with you all. I don’t remember exactly where I got the idea (on the net somewhere!), but it seemed like a unique solution – and I love, love, love it!

Here’s my needlecase:

Do you know what it is IRL? A soft-sided Tackle-bag. That’s right, for worms! (Well, the plastic variety, anyway). Guess how much it cost. Go ahead, guess….. $5. At Wal-Mart. Came with 10 zipper pouches. I bought 10 more pouches at Outdoor World for $2, plus 10 smaller pouches (they fit as well) for another $2.

It has a zipper pocket in the front that holds my end caps, tightening screws, stitch markers, etc. Cramming the 20 extra pouches in was a little tricky, but now I have plenty of pouches for all of my circular needle components. (I splurged and got a ton of the Harmony interchangeable ones, btw!)

Anyway, I think it’s a nifty (and cheap!) way to conveniently store the circular needles. It even has a handle and it zips completely closed.

On another knitting note, I wanted something to measure my new (size unmarked!) Harmony needles, so I wouldn’t be lost as to what size they were. Of course, I could just get a little needle size thingamabob, but I don’t like those – some of them don’t have the half-sizes. The Engineer in me wanted a tool. A Caliper. I could have just spent 5 or 10 bucks on a plain old brass caliper. But no, I wanted the cool dial caliper. $30. To measure my knitting needles. Overkill? At least I’ll know to the hundredth of a millimeter the size of my needles. Need to know your needle size? Come to me. The Chemical Engineer will measure for you. ;-P