Sunday, April 08, 2007

Widdershins question

I had a question posted on an old post about the Widdershins pattern. I'm so honored someone finds me expert enough to ask advice from me. So I'll give it a shot.

The question from Jeri was:

I'm exploring blogs looking for widdershins and it looks like you use the pattern and variations a lot. And they sure do look good.

I hope you can help me with a question that has me scratching my head: What did you think about the m1 and m1p during the heel turn (in the widdershins pattern)? What are those m1รข€™s (sic) doing for the heel?

Thanks in advance

I trust she is referring to the portion of the Widdershins pattern below:

Turn Heel:
Work in patt to end of Needle 2. Heel will be worked over sts on Needle 3 and Needle 4, starting on Row 1, below.

Row 1 [RS]: K31, m1, k1, w&t.
Row 2 [WS]: P17, m1p, p1, w&t. . . etc.

This portion of the pattern creates the heel cup shaping in this sock pattern. It gives a little additional rounding to the short row shaping that is already taking place and makes for a very neatly fitted heel that actually cups around the heel. Unfortunately, I don't have a pair of socks at the right stage to demonstrate but if you look closely, you can see the short row transition between the sole of the sock and the heel flap in the area outlined by the block on this sock.

In reality, this is the reverse of what happens when you make a traditional heel flap from the cuff down. Normally, you would knit your heel flap, then shape the heel by:

Row 1: (WS) Sl 1, p 14, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 2: (RS) Sl 1, k3, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 3: (WS) Sl 1, purl to 1 st before gap formed on previous row, p2tog, p1, turn. Etc. (Excerpted from the Go With the Flow Socks pattern by Evelyn A. Clark - IK Summer 2005)

The cuff down shaping creates the same pouch for the heel. The toe-up version is merely done in reverse by increasing instead of decreasing.

The other clever thing I love about the toe-up version of the heel flap is there are no stitches to pick up along the heel flap. That step is eliminated completely in the toe-up version.

I've made at least 9 pairs of socks using variations of the Widdershins pattern (10 and 11 are on the needles as I type) and I absolutely love it. This is once case where you just follow the pattern as written and trust the numbers and everything works out beautifully. Brooke did a fabulous job designing this toe-up heel flap and it's worth learning how to do. She actually has notes on her blog on how to further adapt this heel flap for socks in other gauges. I'm using them to adapt the Pomatomas socks to a toe-up pattern.

Also, if m1/m1p aren't your cup of tea, Brooke suggests that you use any mirrored increase you prefer. That's what makes this pattern so adaptable. Once you've learned the basic structure, you can use it to design your own one-of-a-kind toe-up socks. Hope this helps you, Jeri.

1 comment:

Sheepish Annie said...

Very well explained! I've never tried that heel before, but I think I could see the way to do it based on your tutorial.