Monday, March 8, 2010

Question for Sock Knitters

All right all you sock-knitting pros: I have a question for you.

I have not made a lot of pairs of socks, so this may be a stupid question, but bear with me: I have a fit problem with all of my socks that I cannot seem to conquer. My socks are always extremely difficult to get on over the heel, and they are always quite tight across the ankle once I get the socks on. What gives?

I am knitting to gauge. I do not have giant ankles. I am tall (5'10") and I do have long feet (size 10), so I'm wondering if I just have a wider heel/ankle space than other people? I recently discovered that tall people generally need longer arm holes than others (Such a DUH moment when I read that in a sewing book! So that's why t-shirts are always tight there, despite my skinny arms!) so it's not outside the realm of possibility.

But if that's the case, then how do I go about compensating for it? My ankles and feet are skinny and long, so adding stitches will just make for a baggy sock. I have tried using more or fewer stitches in the heel flaps, and I have tried making longer heel flaps. I'm not sure what else to try and I was hoping someone might have a suggestion for me.

Is there anyone out there who can offer up some much-appreciated advice? :)

13 comments:

dolendae said...

If you are knitting socks with heel flaps, I would guess that you're not making your flap long enough, thus not picking up enough stitches for the gusset.

leann said...

I have that problem too. I'm tall, 5'9", but I just have fat ankles. :-) I never thought about the heel flaps being too short - that's a good idea.

Andrea said...

I haven't tried it, but I wonder if adding an extra row in between the decrease rows on the gusset would give you more room. For instance if you do your decrease row, than knit 2 rows before doing the next decrease for some of the rounds, if that wouldn't buy you a little more room where you need it.

Jacey said...

I've had the same problem, and I have big feet as well. I think the advice Andrea gives will fix the prooblem, and really, that's what you suggested in your original post.
Good question!

pacalaga said...

short row heels over 60% or more of the stitches on the sock. you prolly know how to do them but Cookie has a tutorial if you don't.

Yarndude said...

I got nothin', I just wanted to comment.

Dana KBS said...

I'm no sock-knitting expert, but I can say that in Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitting, she has you use that measurement for one of her "key numbers" and adjusts the heel/instep area accordingly... I've made a couple of pairs from that book and they fit like--well, I was going to say like a glove, but I guess they fit like socks. :-)

Kjirsten said...

The heel flaps are probably too short for you...or you're using short row heels which I think fit a little tighter...
Socks with heel flaps will probably be the easiest to adjust, so experiment with a top-down heel flap pattern. Make the heel flap longer than the pattern calls for, or longer than you normally make. Add an inch or so. Then when you pick up the stitches on the sides of the heel flap, pick up extra to compensate for each extra row. That will make the sock bigger around. from the heel to the top of the foot, but not bigger anywhere else. (So the sock will still fit in the foot and ankle.) Good luck!

Cheryl said...

I have that same problem, with size 7.5 feet. But I did read on one of Cookie's pattern's that she had a modification for people with high arches. So I tried that, and it worked, but I also need to make my cast on edge really loose. The pattern may have been Beaudelaire?

Free Range Chick said...

The only thing I can think of is to make your heel flap in a 1x1 rib. It might give it a little more stretch.

Knitrageous said...

i dont have "giant ankles" (perhaps implying that i cant help it) i just have fat ankles (due to my uni being near a tesco and on account of me being lazy) and i found that with top down socks i had to add on a couple of extra rows to the heel flaps, but with toe-up socks, im stumped. now i just tend to stay away from toe-up socks.

alison said...

late to the party, but I ssee no one mentioned Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book--contains recipes for fitting socks to all shapes of foot. I used it to fit my tall son exactly--his feet needed ease in a similar location to yours. And his socks were toe up--her ideas work for toe-up or -down, and have many variations. Goos luck!

CrookedKnitter said...

I know I'm a late comer to this post, but I'm catching up on blog reading and just knit my first complete adult sock last week...and I'm having the opposite problem. I do have big feet, but there's so much extra fabric on the heel of my sock! And it was short rows. Not looking forward to ripping that one out