I've made quite a few pairs of socks over the last year and a bit (my very first pair were in April '15) but asides from my first attempt, they have all been for gifts. So this year I have decided to be a bit selfish and make more pairs just for little old me. I also wanted to make some more challenging pairs as the last few sock patterns have been very basic ones. So for my first pair I have tried out some self-striping yarn, and of course this called for some afterthought heels.
I used the 'afterthought heels' pattern by Laura Linneman which of course I sourced on Ravelry, and decided to trust the pattern and make them up in the smaller size (there are only two specified on the pattern). Most of this involved just knitting a tube... Very straightforward. I used Regia 4 Fadig sock yarn in a lovely Aqua colour, with Grundl 'Hot Socks' super wash for the contrast in navy.
So after knitting a K2P2 cuff and swapping to the self-colouring stuff it's all plain sailing until the heel, then with a strip of waste yarn knit across half of the stitches... Then go back to where you left off with the colour and knit over the waste yarn... There are you-tube tutorials, this instruction just didn't make sense to me but is really easy when you watch someone else do it. You can see mine above, it's the random navy stripe. Then once again it's plain sailing until the toe... Which I also did in the navy contrast.
The tricky bit was picking up stitches either side of the waste yarn and then removing said waste yarn. Once that's done and you've got a whopping great hole in your sock, you can then fill it with said heel.
The advantage of this kind of heel in a self-striping yarn is that the pattern doesn't get broken up, no one wants that do they? And speaking of the yarn, this is the first time I've used a self stripe, and I must say I've got mixed feelings about it. It's great to keep the interest going, looking forward to the next step of the pattern is actually really satisfying. What is not is how unreliable the stripes are... Some are varying thickness, and others come out as blotches rather that vertical stripes. The little obsessive compulsive in me really didn't like that. But I actually really like the finished sock.
Now, on to that difference between the two... And no it's not the stripes starting in different places, can you spot it? Cos I didn't until I was halfway down sock 2...
Yep... One sock has a K2P2 cuff, as per the pattern... The other sock is K1P1... Gah!!! But you know, once I got over the stripes being mis-matched and crooked, I kinda got over the cuffs. Plus they're so dark you can't really tell.