Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Estonian Heel Socks

Unfortunately I could not really retain the voice of the author when I used google translate to try to figure out the pattern instructions. Some things I just flat out guessed on. Other things I changed because of my experience with a very similar pattern, skew.

In terms of construction, you start at the heel, knit in the round until the diagonal points of the square can touch when you put the heel on. You knit the foot until the bottom reaches your toe, then you decrease like a hat. Break the yarn, knit the leg, optionally do shortrows to level the sock, knit some ribbing, and start the next sock.

In terms of adjustment, if any part of this sock fits, it should be perfect in the heel/ankle region. Don't stop knitting until you have a good fit there, even if it is way more stitches that you think is reasonable. The measurement on my sock was literally 4.5 inches from the center to the diagonal point, which is the 9 inches around my foot from ankle to heel, no negative ease.

If the right number of stitches for the heel, is the wrong number for your leg and.or foot, employ an every 4 round strategy to increase or decrease.

I had too many, so I would do
r1: k1, k2tog, k to 1 before middle, m1, k1, k1, m1, k to 3 before beginning, ssk, k1
r2: knit all
r3: k1, k2tog, k to 3 before beginning ssk k1.
r4: knit all

If you had too few stitches:
r1: k1, k2tog, k to 1 before middle, m1, k1, k1, m1, k to 3 before beginning, ssk, k1
r2: knit all
r3: k to 1 before middle  m1, k1, k1 m1 k to the beginning
r4: knit all

The 4 rounds keeps the sock in the bias pattern while giving you the the control you want on stitch count.

I had 78-82 stitches after the heel, and I decreased to 72 for the foot and leg, which was what skew called for and fit my leg and foot really well.
Maybe you've made a star toe before, I hadn't and certainly not on a bias knit sock. My foot is 9 in long, and I started the toe decreases at 8 inches. It fits good. That was the big unknown because the translation was really badly garbled at the toe part.

1.) I used Judy's Magic cast on for 12, and put 3 stitches on each of my DPN's this is one pattern where the divide by 4 scheme works perfectly, but you could use markers and circular needles if you prefer. The original author did long tail cast on, then seamed the hole at the end. (Original pattern predates JMCO, just saying)

2.) I knit a row to get everything started, then I started following the chart. It might actually be easier to follow written out though.
increase row, plain row, 3 times
increase row, 2 plain rows, 3 times
increase row, 3 plain rows, 4 times
increase row, 2 plain rows, 3 times
increase row, plain row, until it is big enough.

In an increase row, I did k1, m1, k to one before the end of the needle/marker, m1 k1. The original author did left leaning YO at the beginning, and right leaning YO at the end, and knit those through the back of the loop on the plain row after. Either should be fine. I never thought ktbl really closed YO well enough for me.

3.) Leave the live stitches for the leg alone, and start knitting in the round. See the notes about increases or decreases. At this point I switched to 2 circs, because I only own 2 circs and 4 DPNs in size 1. If you find you have the perfect number of stitches, then the pattern is just a 2 row repeat of row 1 and row 2. Measure and try on frequently. Repeat until the bottom of the foot edge, to the cast on measures 1 inch less than your foot (big toe to heel).

4.) For all you hat knitters, this is your standard decrease. Divide stitches by 10, if you have a remainder, decrease them away in the first round. Round 1 *K8, k2tog*, Round 2, k, then *k7 k2tog*, then knit all, *k6 k2tog*,  then knit all. I got antsy at this point, and then had all rounds be decrease rounds. Perhaps an over reaction. basically you knit until 1 before the decrease, then knit them together. Once you have 4-5 stitches left, break yarn, take a needle, and pass it through the live stitches. Pull it tight, and you should have a neat finish.

5.) Now, go back to the leg stitches, join the yarn at the top of the foot, with enough of a tail to close the inevitable hole from the join. Do sets of increase rounds or decrease rounds until you are happy with your stitch count, then repeat rows 1 and 2 until you feel the sock is long enough for you in the back.

6.) Short rows:
Knit to the 2 stitches before the back of the sock, turn work. With wrong side facing, slip the last worked stitch, purl back toward the beginning. 3 before the beginning, p2tog, p1.
Continue on wrong side, purling to 2 before the back. Turn work, with right side facing slip last worked stitch, k3 to 3 before the beginning, ssk k1.

From here, a pattern will emerge. 2 stitches before the gap from slipping, turn work, slip the last worked stitch and head back toward the beginning. 3 before the beginning, work a decrease. Every round you exclude 4 stitches, and reduce the remainder by 2. Eventually you will run out of room to decrease. If you want more hand holding, skew has a row by row breakdown.

To bring the stitch count back up to your preferred number, k2, then make 1 out of the slipped stitch, depending on whether it is the right side or the left side of the sock you will change what direction the stitch leans. Repeat this until you are back to the beginning of the round.

7.)  From here you can start your favorite ribbing. I used k2p2, the original author did ktbl p1. I did 1 1/2 inches of ribbing, then bound off using the super stretchy bind off in pattern. If you like a standard bindoff, pick up some needles 2 sizes larger than normal and bind off with those.

8.) Weave in your ends, using the extra tail to close the hole on the top of the ankle. Cast on for the next sock : )

->Do shortrows on foot. Instead of step 4, start shortrow section (6) where you would normally start the toe, and do a normal toe after re-increasing the stitch count.
-> Don't do shortrows on leg, skip step 6, and do ribbing directly from slanted leg and then bind off.

"Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced." -Leo Tolstoy

Take care guys,

Molly : )


  1. Hi, I found your comment in my blog just today. And I don't mind you translating the pattern, cause I'm too lazy to do it myself and my English may be not good enough, also. ;)

    (tuulepluus on Ravelry)

  2. Beautiful pattern!