I have been conducting a bit of a sock experiment. In addition to repairing and darning socks, I thought it was about time I systematically find out what styles of heels, ribs, ect. that I like in socks.
I wanted a very "scientific" experiment, so I am using the same size needle (some will be done on DPNs and others Circs. I wanted to test out both for speed and finished socks) and the same yarn for each pair of socks (Knitpicks Memories was discontinued last year, I bought tons in various colors). The first pair I made was a rather boring sock with 2x2 rib and a traditional sturdy heel.
These were done on 5 DPNs. I hadn't used DPNs in a while, and it was a comfort to get back to this style of knitting. I have the Knitpicks DPN set, and these needles are lovely. I used to snap wood and bend metal, but the Knitpicks needles are a pleasure to work with.
Some notes on the actual sock. I find 2x2 more functional than attractive or necessary. So, I will be knitting several different tops on the socks. 2x2 is nice, but limited and not so attractive.
Next, the traditional study heel. Elizabeth Zimmermann said that this is a poor stitch for heels. It is strong, but it savagely pulls the heel in. This pulling creates stress on the sock and leads to the dreaded hole.
For the next sock, I did a 1x1 twisted rib (the knits are done in the back). This a pretty rib, and it is not only stretchy, but elastic as well. It wants to pull back into its original shape. I like this, so this rib will be a "keeper."
I did the eye of the partridge heel on this sock. I noticed right away that this type of heel is as strong as the sturdy heel, but it pulls in less. It is also pretty. So, another fine option for an attractive and study sock.
Last, I have decided to take out all my short row heels and repair them with "toe" heels. Basically, after the sock is done, rip out half a round, pick up the stitches and knit a toe. Short row heels will not be a part of my sock experiment since all I have ever made developed HUGE holes.
I will be doing some real darning this weekend. Thanks to Jen for the video of how to darn!
I will keep you posted on the sock experiment.