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I have been knitting for a few years but have only made afghans, scarves, dishcloths, and a few sweaters.
I'd love to make some socks but I've always thought the heels of hand knitted socks look clunky and ruins the look of the whole sock, so I've never bothered to make any, since I knew I wouldn't be happy.

Is there a 'smoother' and a nicer looking heel pattern? One that looks like it wasn't a pattern mistake (to me)?

Edited---I just re-googled and found info for a spiral tube sock. That certainly sounds like it would be better looking to me.
Has anyone tried that? Did it wear well?
 

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been using this since i was a kid, one of the first things i learned to knit from a French Canadian woman who had been making them since she was a kid....she said her mother had 14 children and that she had a sock on her needles and walked around with it in her apron pocket all the time, knitting a few stitches whenever she could...the socks are unisex and unisize so it didn't mattern who got what sox in the morning...she says they wear longer, too, as the heel is in a different place all the time....
I found this online .... no need to type up...i haven't had a written pattern for years....so i have included all her 'credit' lines...remember the spiral in the name....the pattern is not supposed to line up...just so you don't think you're doing something wrong...

Pamel Johnson-Welsh
MAGIC SPIRAL TUBE SOCKS

I love this pattern it is one that you don't have to make a heel for so it is sorta like an almost one size fits most pattern. I have knitted this for years. I have used this pattern to make socks for various charities along with family and friends and myself. The socks are not only fun to make but very warm too. Teens especially love the style and colors that are created when making this type of sock. Teens can also knit this sock too.

It is actually from a children's knitting book called "Kids Knitting" by Melanie Falick

You have a few options as far as your color scheme for the socks goes because they spiral you can choose a solid or variegated yarn or make your own variegated yarn by using up your own scraps. To make your own variegated yarn you will do the following: Keeping all the yarns the same weight & thickness; You will need a total of 285 yards for one pair of socks; Decide on the color scheme ahead of time ( you can try this out by wrapping 12 inch strands of yarn several times around the short side of a long narrow piece of cardboard and rearranging it until you are pleased with the color scheme).

Materials:

285 yds of worsted weight yarn
4 size 6 double-pointed needles (wood ones are better as they stitches slide easier)
Stitch marker
Yarn needle
(*note for beginners: don't forget you'll need 8 point protectors - I tend to keep the point protectors on the needles I am not using so the stitches don't slip off until I come to that needle. Especially if you have to lay down your work frequently.)

SOCK BODY:

1)Cast on 42 stitches on 1 of the double-pointed needles. Divide the 42 stitches onto 3 needles (14 stitches per needle) and place a marker between the last and second-to-last stitch on the needle.

2)Start the first round by knitting the first cast-on stitch with the fourth needle, pulling tightly on the yarn coming from the third needle so that you do not end up with a large gap where the stitches from 1 needle meet the stitches from the next needle.

Work in a Knit 3, Purl 3 Rib for 12 Rounds.

*OR if you are having trouble joining the stitches so that you can knit in the round cast on 42 stitches and work back and forth in the knit 3, purl 3 for about rib for about 12 rounds, then divide the stitches unto the 3 double-pointed needles. It should be easier to join the stitches now that you have a few inches of knitted fabric to hold.

3)Begin the spiral pattern by knitting the first 2 stitches. Next, increase 1 stitch into the third stitch
 

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Also try knitpurlhunter.com She currently has a knit along going. Click on the KAL square on the left. The KAL #1 was a cabled sock with a short-row heel. She has videos (very good ones, at that) to take you through each step (no pun intended) of the sock. The heel looks more like a store-bought heel.
 

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The first pair of socks I ever made I did with the "magic loop", a long length circular needle. I, too, did not like the look of the flap heel, so I researched until I found a pattern for a short row heel sock. After a bit of trial and error, I really liked the finished product....just like "store bought". I hope this helps you.

Auntiecarol
 

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Thanks for the knitpurlhunter reference. As you said, great videos and the KAL1 sock instructions are helpful. I have thought of trying an after-thought heel that is essentially a toe. It isn't as nice a heel as the short-row heel, but it's not bad looking at all. Cat Bordhi has another nice-looking heel in her book Personal Footprints. I'm not sure I like the rest of the sock, but I'm going to try one. Maybe I can adapt some of the the techniques in it.
 

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Dear Jogs4201,

The method you want is called Magic Loop. Go to knitpurlhunter.com. She has an instruction video on her blog sight. Her videos are very good and easy to understand.
 

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the main reason people like this is that both sox come out the same size...in my case, i tried it as i really like lots of color, striped and patterned in my sox and it is simply easier to keep track as you do it on one sock and then do it on the other....whatever 'it' is ... color, shaping, heel, or toe...the sox more along together and definitely match much better...what i liked was the ease of matching, what i didn't like was the strain put on the sox at the side...i worked hard to learn how to knit my dpn sox with no stress anywhere on the circle and here is this huge loop pulling my stitches apart...

i did try it several times but frankly i like the dpns better and i like the product better....i have plenty of needles so i just put 4 in one sock, 4 in the other sock and with one in my hand, that's 9.....all basically doing the 2 socks at a time method, just working on one and then the other as i move down the sox....

different strokes, ladies....i don't even know any two knitters who pick up their yarn and make stitches the same....we all get there and hopefully, we all have fun....
 
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