In my post First Socks, then Heels, I discussed a bit about the how of afterthought heels, but I didn’t really address the why of them, other than to admire that ability to put them in after the rest of the sock is knit.
There’s a couple more excellent reasons to choose an afterthought heel:
- When using patterned or self striping yarn, the pattern isn’t interrupted by a gusset or short row heel, which gives a very pleasing result.
- You can knit your heel in a different yarn if you wish. I’ve seen many socks with a contrasting heel and toe, which allows you to stretch smaller amounts of yarn into socks.
- An afterthought heel is easily removed and reknit so the heel, an area of wear for many people, can be replaced without having to darn or throw away the entire sock.
There’s several types of heels you can insert into your little tubes of stockinette. The one usually included in most afterthought heel sock patterns is the peasant heel. There’s two more heels I recently found in the Three Sets of Sock Heels pattern by Laura Neel, the host of the very informative Math4Knitters; Crafty Living podcast.
My favorite of the two was the Thumbjoint Hat Heel, which makes a nice roomy and pretty heel, which I especially like in variegated yarns.
The Flat Top Thumb Joint Heel, though very similar to the Peasant Heel, gives a little deeper heel, which seems to fit my foot better since it allows a little more room for a high instep.
I had no idea there was such a variety of afterthought heels! If you happen to give them a try, let me know which is your favorite…