Heels, Toes, and Short Rows

First let me say that I am thrilled with this color combination. The Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Tuscany is just a gorgeous colorway, and I love, love, love it. The deep chocolate brown is also simply beautiful. They go together really well, in my estimation, even though there isn’t really any chocolate brown in the Tuscany variegations.

So in my last post about these socks, I mentioned that I was going to do the cuff and toe in the brown. Rachel commented that I might even want to do a short row heel in the brown as well. I was in love with the idea, whose incarnations I have already drooled over here and here (next-to-last pic). The problem? I had never done a short row heel.

Of course that meant I simply had to try it. I love a challenge – and any excuse to cruise knitting-related blogs and websites. After much reading and looking at pics (and KH videos), I proceeded, specifically following these instructions, though in retrospect I think I could’ve done without the double wraps (which were a pain!).

Like most novice short rowers, I’ve had problems.

a hole here

a bump on this side

The thing is, I’m done with this first sock now and I really, really don’t want to do it over. So I’m going to try to mend the hole and do something about the bump. But is it possible to correct my problems in the second sock without them looking mismatched? I’m thinking of trying a Sherman heel, and I wonder how different it might look from a regular short row one.

Of course the heel isn’t my only problem. I didn’t do a short row toe, but my usual wedge one. Which meant I had my usual &*$% kitchener problems.

See that little gap at the very tip of the toe?

What the heck am I doing wrong? No matter how many times I watch the KH kitchener video, or look at pics and instructions, or chant to myself “knit, off, purl; purl, off, knit” I still find away to muck up the seam.

Still, I am so into this yarn and this color combo that I am overall happy with the sock. Even My Old Man, not usually one to comment on a WIP (unless I’m holding it right in his face demanding an opinion), told me it was cute. I’m going to have to order some more of this yarn, because now I seriously want a pair myself. I’m thinking toe-up next time. You know, because I love a challenge. And a way to avoid the kitchener!

12 thoughts on “Heels, Toes, and Short Rows

  1. You are right – the color combination is just stunning! I love that brown. I wish I had advice for the kitchiner stitch, I just use Silver’s directions on her sock tutorial and that has helped greatly. I hope the next one goes smoothly for you.

  2. Hmm. Two questions on the Kitchener stitch: How many stitches are you doing it across, and how tight are you pulling them as you’re seaming? The reason I ask is that none of my sock toes are nearly that pointy- they round out to be pretty flat at the seam. If you’re pulling too tight, it would probably cause holes on the sides. I usually end up with one hole at the end of the seam, but that I can pull shut when I weave in the tail.

  3. I’m doing it on 8 sts total – 4 on front needle, 4 on back. I don’t think I’m pulling them too tight – in fact, I usually have to tighten after I’ve seamed b/c my tendency is to leave it too loose. The gap in the front is between the two sts that were on one needle and the two that were on another. I don’t have any holes on the sides, just that sort of gap in the middle.

    How many sts do you do across?

  4. The sock looks great — I love the colors!

    You should definitely give the Sherman Heel a try. It’s super easy and I think the end result is very nice.

  5. They’re looking great! The kitchener directions that I use are from SnB and are slightly different than Amy’s I think–maybe you can look up some alternate explanations?

  6. For women’s socks, I usually do 8 or 10 stitches across (on each needle), depending on my gauge. 4 seems really small to me, unless you’re knitting chunky weight socks or something. I figure I want the grafted part to be the width of my big toe, since that’s where it falls on my foot.

    If you want, I can bring some waste yarn and we can compare techniques, whenever we see each other.

  7. Congrats on the short row heel. I think that you can repair the hole with duplicate st or darning from the inside. I don’t think that the Sherman heel is going to be that noticably different, give it a go and if you don’t like the look you can always redo it, right?! I love the Sherman method. I don’t like wrapping my short row socks, I prefer PGR’s yo method, way easier!
    I think the sock looks stunning!!!!

  8. I must say I can’t really see your hole or your bump…they look great to me! I’m glad you went ahead and tried the short-row heel, because I think the effect of the solid brown is great.

    If it were me, I would probably leave whatever mistakes you perceive as long as the sock seems structurally sound. They’re socks — once they’re on no one can see the details that well.

  9. loving these colors too!!! i think I see the bump, but can’t find the hole. If the bump is what I think it is, I wonder if it would maybe settle with a little wash/block? i’ve only done kitchener once over 12 stitches and i *think* it came out ok… regardless of what you decide, I think this sock is absolutely beautiful and I think any option will give you a close enough match. I LOVE THAT COLOR!!!!

  10. I think your sock is cute. I love the Sherman heel. I have done toe-up socks using a Sherman heel for the toe and heel. Very comfortable socks. In fact, I’m wearing them now! The Sherman heel is a short row heel. Instead of yo’s or wraps, it uses stitches that are already on the needles. Let me know if you need any web addresses that might help you. I’m a huge advocate of the Sherman heel.

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