Saturday, July 14, 2012

Afterthought Sweet Tomatoes!

Thought I'd give "sweet tomato heels" a try.

Do watch the video if you've not tried this type of heel before. It is very good and I'm not going to repeat Cat Bordhi's instructions here.

But, because I don't like to do the heels 2/3 - 1/3 (as Cat suggests) - I don't like how this messes with my stitch patterns, and it is much harder to do 2AAT because of the planning involved - I will do them over 1/2 my sock sts. In this way, 2AAT is possible, and it's dirt-simple to keep track of the fancy patterns you pick for the top and leg of your sock.

But, because I know the resultant heel will be too tight over my instep, I will adapt them to my "afterthought heel with gussets".

To execute, I do my usual "improved" afterthought heel, right to the point where I've completed both short-row gussets in the "corners" of the heel slit. There are absolutely no changes up to this point - I've even put the heel in the same place as per usual (which I like, because I don't need to do any measuring - just fitting!).

[you can see the little gusset and the sweet-tomato-wedges]

Now come the changes. Here's an EZ-style summary:

Reposition the sts so that one needle contains all the sole sts, and the other all the "back of the heel" sts. You should have an EVEN number of sts on both needles, if you are going to do slipped-stitch reinforcement like I did. Make it so.

[reposition sts. You will be knitting the heel on the needle closest to you in this photo, towards the sole of the foot]

Now knit the sweet tomato heel onto the "back of the heel" sts. The sts on the other needle are left alone. I did 3 tomato wedges. I like the fact that you can do slipped-st reinforcement on this type of heel, and that very little thinking is required while knitting.

When you're done, graft the slit closed - about 30 sts worth. If you started the heel on the back of the leg sts, the grafting will be on the sole of the foot, where nobody will see it. You'll probably have gaps/holes at the 2 extreme sides of the heel - neatly close these with duplicate stitch after you've done grafting.


  1. Hi Reena, with this afterthought heel, what do you do between the wedges? With the regular Sweet Tomato, you knit 2 rounds around the whole sock after Wedge 1/before Wedge 2. Since that's not possible with an afterthought because we don't have any instep stitches on our needles, do you knit around both sets of stitches on each side of the slit?

  2. I didn't do anything between the wedges - just start right in on the next one. As I mention in the post, you will end up with gaps/holes at the two sides once you've grafted the heel and sock body together, which you'll need to sew closed. For that reason, I have never done this heel again. I prefer the Sweet Tomato Hybrid model, see my other blog post.

    Even then, though, the sweet tomato heel is not one of my favorites.