Most of my life, I’ve been knitting my socks cuff-down but I’ve been interested in knitting them toe-up because I’m just a curious knitter. Last year, I knit myself a pair of vanilla toe-up socks based on my usual vanilla cuff-down formula that never leaves my brain. They were rainbow colored! For those socks, I tried a wedge-shaped heel, lifting it from a sock pattern I had. The heel, although (surprisingly) comfortable, wasn’t ideal for me, because it required knitting three stitches together, which left some tiny holes running up the false seam of the wedge shaping.
I’ve decided to return to my quest for a perfect toe-up formula to clack around in my brain because my Kalajokis didn’t work out and so my big circular sock needles were available to cast on some more socks. I must say that the toe-up construction and two-at-a-time method for knitting socks are a couple made in heaven. It’s very easy to cast on the two socks on the magic loop and just start knitting them. This time, I decided that I was going to try to imitate my cuff-down vanilla sock formula and make a heel flap. Heel flaps are best for my feet, anyway (wide and high arches). This was my progress on them before I started playing with the heel:
By the time I took the photo (yesterday) I felt a bit suspicious about the length of the feet, because I wasn’t sure when I wanted or needed to start my gussets. After consulting some sources, I judged I was correct, because just about every reference agreed: start increasing the gusset when your foot is about two inches shorter than the actual length you want.
The problem is that I need a bigger gusset, which means I need to knit more rounds to create the necessary big foot Sasquatch wide gusset. So, guess what? I have to frog, because I’ve tried on the socks and they are way too long for my foot. The good news is that I have some fun plans for the weekend: I’ll be knitting the perfect gusset and heel flap for my feet on my own special toe-up socks. That is cool.
What lesson might you learn from my frogging? Well, when you’re knitting a toe-up sock with a gusset and a heel flap for a person with rather wide feet, you need to start your gusset increase rounds well over two inches from the length you need the foot to be. Think, I don’t know, three or four inches. In the end, I think this is why so many toe-up patterns go for the short-row heel with no flap. It isn’t easy to figure out where your gusset needs to begin. Well, actually, it is easy: measure your row gauge and calculate how many increase rounds you need. That’s what I should have done, but I guess I was hoping for everything to just work itself out.
By the way, in case you’re wondering how many gusset stitches you’ll probably need: divide the number of stitches you cast on by 2. The resulting number is how many gusset stitches you need.