Introducing the Banded Expanded Short Row Heel

I like to have a plain vanilla pair of socks on my needles as a ready-to-carry project.  Toe up.  Judy’s Magic Cast On.  2-at-a-time Magic Loop.  Fit as you go.  Tubular bind off.  Boom!

My latest go-to heel has been Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel — smooth, easy to remember and execute, no gaps or weak spots. What’s not to love!  But because this heel is very rounded, without modification it may be too snug on those with a high instep or prominent heel.  My latest pair of socks in progress was intended for someone with just this problem  trait, so I postponed a final decision on the heel as I knit up the foot (-er, feet).

Inspiration works in mysterious ways!  I awoke one morning with a bad case of vertigo, the room spinning around and around me.   As I waited for the appropriate medication to kick in, I braced myself upright in a chair as rigidly as possible to help the swirling to settle down, which is how I came to be staring at the side of my ankle for forty-five minutes.  And without consciously thinking about knitting or sock heels, I realized somewhere along the way that I had figured out just what I needed to do to make a heel that fits perfectly.

My Banded Expanded Short Row Heel starts just like the first wedge of a Sweet Tomato Heel, but adds pairs of increases along the bottom of the foot, thus expanding the heel the exact amount needed.  Then several rounds are worked even to create a diagonal band around the heel where the foot bends.  After that, ever longer short rows are worked to make a wedge that is the reverse of the first (just like any traditional short row heel), while decreasing off the stitches which were added previously.

I now have a new go-to heel!  (And you can, too, as soon as I get the instructions written up.  Stay tuned….)

socks 0731

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