View Full Version : Sock gauge problems?

07-11-2008, 10:11 AM
I was wondering, does anyone else's gauge on socks change *dramatically* when they get to the heel flap?

I am working on a pair of socks from "Getting Started Knitting Socks" ( the herringbone lace ones I think they're called) and was doing fine till I got to the heel. I think because I am nervous! My gauge got so tight, my heel flap is only like an inch and half or so wide!! My heel turn looks like it'd fit a baby (it sure doesn't fit me, I tried ;)).

This all starts when knitting the heel flap, picking up gusset stitches and decreasing the gusset. Now I'm back to the regular rounds and I've relaxed. :shrug:

Looks like I'll be ripping this one yet again! Does it get easier? This is only my second pair of socks, and I am using a yarn that contains elastic (Panda Bamboo and Cotton-don't know the exact name right off-hand). Should I put it away and start with something easier? I just got some KP Essential in the mail to make DH a pair of socks. Maybe I should try again with a sock that doesn't contain elastic.

what do y'all think? Is the heel supposed to be tighter? I know probably not *that* much tighter, but maybe a little? Its a standard type heel flap/turn I think.

Any opinions appreciated!

Lisa R.
07-11-2008, 10:17 AM
I haven't had that problem yet. I just knit the heel flap the same as I always knit. No need to tighten up--I think the gauge suggested in the pattern assumes it will be standard throughout the sock.

I'm knitting socks with a yarn with elastic ("fixation"), and do feel like I have to be careful not to stretch it tight...but basically, as long as I'm not tugging any extra, it seems to be working out just fine. :)

07-11-2008, 12:57 PM
I haven't really had this problem either. However, I have heard people talking about doing swatches back and forth on circular needles that meet the gauge requirements, then having the gauge change when they started working in the round. This may be what's happening to you!

If it were me, I would try to loosen up my tension when doing the heel flap -- easier said than done, I know! If that didn't work, I would do a test swatch with different sized needles until I found a set that gives me the right gauge, then switch to those needles to do the heel flap alone.

Good luck!

07-11-2008, 02:58 PM
Thank you both! I think I just need to lighten up. I figured it wasn't supposed to be tighter, but I thought maybe that was a feature of the heel flap :p Wishful thinking!!

Frog pond, here I come ;)

07-11-2008, 03:16 PM
I'm not familiar with the pattern so I don't know what kind of heel flap it is, but I know whenever I knit the heels flap where you slip 1, knit 1 then purl across- it makes sort of a ribbing and it is a little tighter than the rest of the sock.
Don't worry too much, I'm sure it will be fine!

07-11-2008, 04:08 PM
On most of the socks I have knitted I have used the s1,k1 stitches and it does create a denser fabric than the leg or the foot. I prefer that type of heel because the sock seems to last longer for me.
If you are doing that kind of heel that may be at least partly why it is so much tighter for you.

07-11-2008, 05:30 PM
Yes, Plantgoddess+, that's the kind of heel I'm doing. Thanks! I'm glad to know it's supposed to be denser. I will still have to rip-it back a ways (argh!) I do want to be able to wear it of course, not just look at it :lol:

Maybe I'll get out the LB Magic Stripe yarn I bought eons ago (on clearance, it was CHEAP) and try out a basic pair so I won't be nervous about messing it up. It might help me loosen up, and get in some practice before I use the prettier yarn. Can't hurt to gain some more experience, anyway!

07-12-2008, 07:52 AM
That happened to me when I knit the s1, k1 alternating with s1, p1 heel flap also. My heel flap tends to look very teeny and also it knits very tightly. I am making first first pair of socks right now and my sister asked if the socks I was making were for children... I have just knit the heel flap and turned the heel, but haven't gotten to the gusset yet.

07-14-2008, 11:58 PM
I'm fairly new at socks, too, just working on my 4th pair (and frogging my way through three different yarns, so far, because I can't seem to concentrate this week...what's so hard about a FIVE stitch pattern repeat??? Yeesh!!). Anyway, if you find yourself knitting far too tightly when working the heel flap, you might try swapping over to a larger needle size, maybe just one size up, and just for the heel flap itself. It's truly amazing how much difference just 1/4 of a mm in needle diameter actually makes in your knitted stitches!

Another tip, if your tight knitting extends to the gusset - on my first couple of socks, I found myself picking up the stitches on the flap sides so tightly that I couldn't knit them. So I started picking up one stitch at a time with a small crochet hook, and then lifting the loop on to the dpn, instead of picking up directly with the dpn.

07-16-2008, 12:05 AM
Thanks, Marla! Those are both great ideas. I haven't touched the socks since I posted, I'm afraid to rip ~ I only want to redo the heel flap, not the whole sock! :p

Maybe we can get this down pat together, KPG~lol! I hope so, mine really does look like (the heel anyway) it's for a baby ;)

In the meantime, I've started :knitting:a new pair :mrgreen:

I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess! Ha! This time I'm trying Silver's 2 toe up socks tutorial-so far so good! I've actually gotten all the way through the toe increases, and they look like socks! Hooray! She's done such a great service to the sock-knitting peoples of the world-her directions are so clear! Thanks Silver :hug:

07-18-2008, 11:06 AM
I hope we'll get it!! :) Here is a pic of my teeny socks! I hope my 3 yo can wear them.. they look a bit small for me. These are ankle socks - so you are seeing the ankle cuff, the heel flap, and the turning of the heel (haven't worked the gusset yet).

07-21-2008, 07:02 AM
those are really cute. KPG~I'll have to see if I can get hubby to help me load a pic of mine..I put it on the back burner (maybe I'm hoping the heel will spontaneaously get bigger?? LOL!) and started another pair of socks-this time toe up, 2 at a time magic loop (from Silver's Sock Class-its GREAT, btw!).