Just spent half a day at JoAnn's, chatting with other knitters and crocheters. I actually taught one lady how to crochet in 5 minutes.
It was pretty amazing.
I worked on the vanilla socks. The heels are done. I used a little different style of short row heel this time, learned from another pattern used for some sort of potholder with a hole for the thumb...but I digress. A short row heel, where all you do is knit along the back of your sock to the last stitch, turn and slip 1 purl back up to the last stitch, turn, slip 1 knitwise, knit across to the slipped purl, turn and so on until you get to slip 1, purl 9.
Here's were it gets a little spooky (Halloween theme, right?). When you knit back across, knit the slipped stitch, and then pick up the grandmother in the gap, slip knitwise, slip the next stitch purlwise, then knit those 2 together--aka an SSK, turn, slip 1, purl across to the gap, pick up the grandmother purl and purl 2 together, turn, and repeat in that way, until all the stitches are used up.
My BFF in California told me about the mystery pattern in Holiday Knitting Group on Yahoo...and I knew immediately that one could adapt it to a sock heel. No idea how well it wears at the stress points, and I may have to add a bit of stitching there, but so far, so good.
The only thing I can't figure out, is that after knitting the heels, my color repeat is off by nearly an entire row, and I'm not certain how it happened! I'll get the colors back in line, even if I have to fudge it, but you know, it's on the foot part, and no one but me is going to see it anyway, so I'm thinking I'll just leave it alone, and allow the yarn to knit up any which way it would like.
The beauty of this short row, is that there are NO WRAPS. It's practically mistake proof--well, except for the yarn repeat being off, but that could be gauge--so I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. It's possible that I made a mistake on the first sock, and didn't on the second, but that's entirely my fault for trying to turn a heel in the middle of a store! I'm surprised I didn't put a purl row in where it shouldn't be!
So I'm going to chalk it up to gauge and keep going until I can try the sock on to see if the stress points are able to deal without making huge holes. Then I might just rip out the whole darn thing and try again with a different heel.
You see, I'm really trying hard to find a heel that I can make without having to always have a pattern at my side--something I can do from MEMORY that works every time, without fail, no matter how many stitches I am using and how big a needle I have. Before you say it....already have that book. It's a good book, no doubt, but it's not what I'm hunting.
The elusive sock heel-easy to make, easy to memorize, and mistake proof--meaning you can't go wrong. This one is close...but it may need a little modification--we shall see.