Among one of the most difficult knitting tasks I have attempted to undertake is the heel. I dabble with different heels from time to time but I still tend to gravitate toward the familiar, simple or tried and true patterns. That is why the afterthought heel has always been my go-to heel for the majority of my knitting years. Yet there was always a problem I dealt with using the afterthought heel – the same problem I ran into knitting socks cuff down…. the Kitchener stitch. I have tried sewn Kitchener stitch and knit Kitchener stitch, I have even attempted to go at it with a tiny steel crochet hook! Nothing gets the results I want!
Let us travel back a couple of years to December 2015. I had knit 22 complete pairs of socks that year, with pair 23 on the needles at the end of December. I was a sock knitting machine with a desperate need to find a new, easy heel that fit well and did not require me to carry around a pattern that I needed to constantly refer back to. I was introduced to the FLK heel, otherwise known as the Fish Lips Kiss heel (by Patty Joy aka the Sox Therapist) by a follower on Instagram but could not follow the instructions properly. The pattern is not difficult, I just did not understand the directions so I gave up on it.
Fast forward through a few failed attempts since that time – to last week. I decided to try it again and I figured it out successfully on the first try… WITHOUT a life line! (A life line is a strand of thinner yarn or thread you use to keep the row in tact that you started your heel at – or any other tricky technique- so you do not lose stitches when you have to rip it out – or unravel said stitches) Here is a video example of how to use a life line when knitting lace, a notoriously tricky technique to master.
I must share this completed heel and sock with you now because I am so thrilled and proud of overcoming this struggle over the past few years.