Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Socks Education Part 4.3: Taking Your Socks Life in a New Direction

Was turning the heel good for you?  It was good for me.  Now, let’s move on to gusseting.

The Gusset.
Click to enlarge.

The gusset can be as confusing as the turn, but I got you through that and now I will get you through this.  The gusset is, by definition, a triangular piece insert to make a garment fit better.  It’s the opposite of a dart which is a triangle that is taken out of a garment to make it fit better. 

Imagine measuring around your foot starting at the back bottom of your heel, going up diagonally crossing your ankle then over the top of the foot where it meets you leg and back down the other side to where you started.  This measurement is wider that the circumference of your foot at the widest part or your leg circumference.  That means we need a gusset to make it fit better or else the sock would be super tight across the measurement area.

Side A is the longest side of the gusset.  We make this side of our gusset triangle by picking up stitches along the edges of the heel flap (now you know why I was hounding you to slip the first stitch of each row!).  These picked up stitches are what are going to give us the length we need to make the sock fit around the heel.  So, we need to take in that extra length so we can get back to the right number of stitches to match our leg circumference.  Side B in the photo is formed by decreasing stitches every other row until we get back to our original number of cast on stitches.

So, let’s get knitting!  When you ended the turn on the purl row.  Knit until you are in the center of the row and you have half the stitches on the right needle and half on the left needle.  For now, we'll ignore the stitches on right needle (at least until the end of the round).

We are also returning to knitting in the round so you will need all four of your DPNs.  Using a new needle, knit across the stitches on the left needle then, using the same needle, pick up 1 stitch for every slipped stitch along left side of the heel flap.  This is now your Needle #1.
This is the edge of the heel flap with the line of slipped stitches.  You'll pick up on stitch for every slipped stitch.

Remember those stitches we left sitting on a needle when we started this whole heel business?  It’s time to use them again.  Using a new needle, knit across the reserved stitches.  This is now your Needle #2.

Finally, using a new needle, pick up 1 stitch for every slipped stitch on the right side of the heel flap, then knit across the stitches on your fourth needle.  This will be Needle #3.  At this point, Round Two, knit one round even.
Here is a profile shot of our sock so far. 

Now we’ll begin decreasing on Round 3.  The decreases are worked at the end of Needle #1 and the beginning of Needle #3.  On Needle #1, knit until you have three stitches left on Needle #1.  On these three stitches, decrease by knitting 2 together and knitting 1 stitch.  Knit even across Needle #2.  On Needle #3 start by knitting 1 stitch, then slip one stitch, knit 1 stitch and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch.  Knit to the end of Needle #3.
I'm about to decrease.  I've slipped one stitch and am about to knit the next stitch.  I'll then pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch.  Then, I'll knit one stitch.
When you pick up stitches for the gusset, you may end up with a different number of stitches on Needles #1 and #2.  Don’t panic!  This is no big deal and it happens to me all the time.  All you need to do is decrease in even round (Round 2, Round 4) as you are doing in Round 3 on the side with too many stitches until you even out.  If you have more than 2 or 3 extra stitches, you may want to rip out and try Round 1 of the gusset over.

You’ll now repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you are back to the number of stitches you originally cast on.  When you finish, you should have one quarter of your stitches on Needle #1, one half your stitches on Needle #2 and one quarter of your stitches on Needle #3.

The Foot.

Click to enlarge.

The foot is knit just like the leg.  Knit around and around and around until you hit the right length.  You want to measure the foot of the sock starting at the back of the heel.  Knit until you sock foot measures your foot length less 1.5 inches. 

We’ll address the toe on Friday, February 18.  Woo-hoo!  Almost done...  at least with our first sock. 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll ever make socks. I'll let you ladies have this one. :) JoyH

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