I'm Gonna Lose My Marbles!

Gaaahhh! I’m gonna lose my mind over this thing! It’s obvious that I’ve never done socks before, and I’d really like to get this right since my son will probably be using this stocking for many Christmases to come.
How the [I]crap[/I] do you do the heel and heel gusset? Should I switch my knitting over to double-pointed needles for the time being? And then, when you’re doing the heel flap, do you leave instep alone - meaning you don’t knit it while you’re doing the flap, or do you keep knitting it right along with the heel flap, and how the heck do you do that?
I can’t seem to get this stupid thing!
Someone help me, please?

Ok, first, relax.

secondly what pattern are you following and can we see. That can help explain things better. If you are not currently using DPNs what method are you using?

When you divide for the heel flap, you divide the stitches more or less in half. You ignore half of them for now( which become the gusset) and concentrate just on the heel flap working this bit back and forth to create a fla piece which is currently looks al ittle silly. Once you have finished the heel flap instructions you will pick up stitches along the sides of the flap and then start working the gusset, using all of the stitches (the ones for the heel flap and the ones that where being ignored).

be brave, trust the pattern even if it seems ridiculous!

I’m using a pattern called the Glendalough Christmas Stocking pattern, it’s on paper. I’ve improvised on the pattern, and using two circulars.
The pattern explains how to work the leg with two circulars, but doesn’t explain how to do it with the heel. I basically have the stitches divided, so would I just abandon one set of circulars and concentrate on the one I designate for the heel?
Okay, so I WAS doing that right! Whew! I was working that stupid flap, and looking at it, then thinking [I]how the crap is this gonna work?[/I] So I’d rip it out and make the leg longer.
Now I’m back to the heel flap dilemma. After I make the gusset, do I pick up the instep stitches and keep going? Or…would the instep and gusset all ty in together?
Oi vey…I’m never gonna get this!

Grab a cuppa and watch the video here on turning the heel, it’s about half way down that page.

If your pattern is very clear, then follow it, but I find some stocking patterns expect you know how to knit a sock already.

I second the cuppa and the video! :slight_smile: But to answer your questions- yes, you work the heel flap and turn the heel on just half of the stitches, ignoring the other half (instep) until you’re done turning the heel. Then you pick up the gusset stitches along the side that has no stitches- the side that is right next to your working yarn. Then you knit across those instep stitches you’ve been ignoring, then you pick up stitches on the other gusset, and then at that point you’re back to working in the round.

1–knitting socks (with out having ever seen it done, or with out ever having a pair of socks to 'look at closely" is hard.

2–Its NOT incredible hard, but you do need some landmarks

1–when I knit socks (on 2 circs) i always position the stitches so that
Needle 1 is back stitches (back, heel and sole of sock)
Needle 2 is front stitches (front and instep of sock

there are other options, but they are less convenient for 2 socks on 2 circs.

NOTE: my beginning of round is at the ‘side’, not center back.

When it comes time to knit a flap, i stop working in the round, and just knit from needle 1…(all the stitches!) I work both flaps at the same time.

To complete the sock I first turn 1st heel (and start to pick up stitches for gussset,) THEN i turn the 2nd heel (and start to pick up stitches for gusset)

OK so you have a flap, and each edge of the flap has 'chain stitch selvages.

Step 1–"turn the heel"
mark the middle of flap
Row 1 of turning:Knit to middle, [B]k2[/B] , K2tog, K1, wrap and turn.

Row 2 of turning.
Slip first stitch, then Purl to middle of row (marker!) [B]P2[/B], P2tog, P1, Wrap and turn.

Row 3 of turning
slip first stich, Knit to middle of row, [B]K3[/B], K2tog, K1

Row 4 of turning
slip first stitch, Purl to middle of row (marker!) [B]P3[/B],
P2tog, P1

Continue in this manner–Knit (or purl) to center(marker) and then K X (ever row, K increases by 1, (first X was 2, then 3, then it will be 4, and then 5…)
the P increases, too, (P2, P3, P4…)

do this till there are no more stitches after the K2tog!

heel is turned.

the flat flap is now 'turned" (the short rows have made it into a sort of half barrel shape (a scoop? the back of wheel barrow?–I don’t know exactly how to describe… (except maybe its turned the flap into a heel!)

you’ll be able to see the turning! the top of the flap (row 1) is flat… after you work the turning, the flap is curved!

Its magical!

and that is the hard part!

now, you need return to knitting in the round.

UH-oh… the yarn is in the last stitch of turning… at the end of the flap… and the front stitches are inches away

OK when you finish the turning, Knit (all stitches.)
and then, the last stitch is at the edge of the (turned) flap.

now, pick up stitches along the flap edge. (1 stitch in each chain…–
careful now, make sure your picked up stitches don’t get to loose (its really easy to let that happen!)

and now, the yarn is close to the stitches on the second needle. (the front stitches.)

there is a small gap… (and this is where lots of knitters get a hole!)
you’ll want to pick up an extra stitch here.
[I](the best directions for this are in Knitting Sensational Socks, by Charlotte Schurch…) but any old way to bridge the gap is better than nothing!)[/I]

OK that sock is done…
turn the heel on sock 2, and pick up stitches on sock 2

turn work.

use Needle 2 and work the front (instep) of sock(s)

Turn work.
Yarn is in last stitch of instep, and there is a huge gap (the side of the flap ) between that stitch and first stitch of Needle 2
Pick up stitches allong the flap (again!–second side)
–Wait–put in a extra stitch to close up the little gap between the last stitch on needle2 (instep) and the first chain stitch of flap…

OK now pick up stitches long flap edge. (1 per chain)

the next stitch… (the first stitch of heel) its going to be awkward to knit (this row, and for the next 2 or 3 rows.

This is because your knitting makes a sharp right turn–

but it can be done!

Finally, as you come to the end of this “row” (the stitches of sock one, on needle 1–you’ll want to decrease.

(after all you had X stitches (about 14) after the turning was complete) and you picked up 15, +the extra one, on one flap side, and then you picked up a +1 and 15 on the other flap side, and you now have 44? 46 (some number way bigger than it was before you started the heel!)

and you need to decrease–one stitch, on each side of the flap, (end of ‘row’, then beginning of row) every other row… till you once again have the correct number (30? well that is my guess… its a good guess. but you might have had more, (or fewer) stitches… doesn’t matter–decrease till you once again have that number!

Wow that is a lot of info…

but its easier to do, than to read…

some it doesn’t make sense till you sit with needles in hand, and DO IT.
then you read, and look and say “d"oh!”–

there are lots of reference books, and lots of video’s, and lots of help on line…

but mostly, you need to just sit and do it…

I get it now! All I had to do was see the video! And, of course, all of you girls’ wonderful help! Thank you so much! Now I can avoid givng Adam a shapeless tube! (I was starting to chicken out there and just BO the leg!)
Thank you, thank you, thank you! :woot: :yay: :happydance:

YAY! I knew you could do it! :slight_smile:

I can’t believe it! I’m finished!! But my camera battery died, and I only have the almost-finished pictures. Aarrgghh! But I did it! Thank you all for your wonderful help!
Eep! I can’t believe I did it! My first stocking!!