A while back I mentioned that I found a really cool knitting pattern for socks that don't have a heel (originally mentioned here). Well, I've been testing out the pattern and I'm ready to report on it! This sock pattern is from the book Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush - it's a pretty interesting book that includes sock patterns published 100 years ago with updated suggestions for yarns, gauges, and the like. When I saw a pattern for a sock that didn't require turning a heel I was very intrigued, but I wasn't sure exactly how it would work in real life. I've now finished one sock and I am soooo happy to report that this pattern actually works quite well! The patterned stitch sort of spirals around the foot, so a heel naturally forms wherever your heel falls in the sock without too much looseness in the foot.
So if you hate turning the heel on a pair of socks, you have reason to rejoice!
This pattern is for you : )
One thing I was worried about with a vintage pattern (as with any vintage pattern for knitting or sewing) is the sizing... older patterns and sizes don't always fit a modern person the way you would expect (in other words they are usually too small!). In knitting this pattern with sock yarn on the 2.75mm needles I always use for socks, I found that to be true with this pattern as well - I am a smallish person, and I think the leg of this sock is a little snug. I can definitely wear it, but I'd like to have a little more ease in the way it fits on my leg.
The solution is simple, though! Since the pattern repeats in multiples of 4 stitches I'm simply going to add 12 stitches to the cast on and work it as the pattern calls for, then add a few more decreases at the toe. Really easy, and I still don't have to turn a heel!
If you'd like to find this pattern in Knitting Vintage Socks, it's called a "Sleeping Sock" and it's on page 53. If you try it or take a look at the book I'd love to hear what you think!
Would you ever consider knitting a heel-less sock?