Feeling like a Heel Tutorial

knitting with cat

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter/Passover or Chocolate day, whichever you celebrate.

Easter bunny

Ok, “His Socks” are to the point of Inserting the Heels.

In this case I am making Toe ups

First make the socks, sans heels…

Thought a short photo tutorial would show you how easy it is. 

I start out with an outline of the foot I am making the sock for. Mark a line across the heel directly across where the ankle bone meets the heel. 

The outline

The outline for a custom sock, in this case 7″ to the heel line.

First make your sock, top down or toe up doesn’t matter. Magic loop or 5 dpns, works either way. 

Ok, I want to pause and explain something before we get under way.

Anatomy ala the Vitruvian man: 

Image result for vitruvian man

You know how some sock just won’t stay up. They sag and drive you nuts.

Well if you follow this simple rule, your socks won’t do that.  Make your socks as long as the measurement from your toes to your ankle bone. Yup, then add your cuff. You see if you measure up from the floor, for example 7″ as for this custom sock, you will note that your calf starts to curve out and that is why your sock is sliding down. You can make socks longer, but past this point in order for them to stay up, they have to be above your calf muscle (to your knee) not to slide down. Thank you Leonardo! 

In this case I am making Toe ups

In this case I am making Toe ups

When knitting, I knit the whole sock cuff and all, inserting and knitting over the waste yarn at the ankle line. 

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

So I knit my socks, (usually both) then I insert the heels at the same time.

Optional: I often make my heels in a complimentary yarn colour. This makes repairing and re-knitting the heel so much easier. I’ve never had to replace the heels in my own socks, but my guys have needed many replacements over the years. 

Knit by the Dozen Socks. I started knitting these while I was ill socks.

I was lucky to find a nice Kermit green yarn for these beauties  :0)

Ok, we are going to pick out the waste yarn. At first it is a little like a battle with an octopus, but it gets easier as you go along. Start at one side with 2 dpns; pick up the top live stitch on the waste yarn on one dpn and the bottom live stitch on the waste yarn on the other dpn.

Using the 3rd dpn, gently unknit the waste yarn being very careful that each stitch is securely on the upper or lower needle before persuading the waste yarn out of the stitches.

When you reach the middle, you will have 15 st on the upper needle and 15st on the lower. Now flip the sock over and work from the other end to the middle with 2 more dpns, (one for the top row and one for the bottom row). 

This is what we're aiming for.

This is what we’re aiming for.

Oops you say, why do I have 61st instead of 60st? Technically the lower row is upside down and there is always one more stitch going the opposite direction. Therefore knitting upward, 60st, turn the knitting the other way up 61st. Weird but true!

We are going to reduce the stitches back to 60st by k2tog at the end closest to the ankle of the sock on the needle with 16st, on the first heel round. Clear as Mud?

How this works with whatever number of stitches your sock is. Use Half the number of stitches in your sock, (must work out to an even number) one stitch here or there is fine. 

Therefore if your sock is 72st, you would knit 36st on your waste yarn. Which would work out to be 18st on each of 4 dpns for a total of 72st for the heel opening. 

Note, that this method gives you only one tail to darn in at the ankle.

Inserted heel close up

Inserted heel close up

Instructions for 60st heel

  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: knit (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches) dpn 1: 2st,pm 2st, dpn 2: 26st dpn 3: 4st dpn 4: 26st) (on Magic loop) 30st either side.
  • Row 3: (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches 2,pm) pm *K2, ssk, k12, k12 k2tog, k2* (on Magic loop) pm *k2, ssk, k24, k2tog, k2*
  • Row 4: knit alternate rows
  • Continue reducing 4st every other row  to 24st. 
  • Now reduce 4st every row to 14st.
  • next row k1,*k2tog* (7st)
  • Thread tail through stitches. Darn in tail.

WIP List = 11

  1. Dish Soap Poncho – for church craft sale
  2. Buttermere #2
  3. EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket – Fb/Kal
  4. Zuzu’s Petals
  5. His/Hers Socks
  6. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  7. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  8. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  9. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  10. My Fair Cardi 
  11. Simplicity Lace Scarf   Kal/feb2015 

FO’s 2015 = 9

WIPS 2015 = 9 + 2 = 11

Long-term Projects = 4

 Stash Used 2015 = 13

Yds of Handspun 2015 = 0

Sewing FO’s 2015 = O

Books 2015 = 5

cya next week :0)

I’m off on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

for my Literary blog, see Totally Austentatious.

Need a Project Bag?

knitting with cat

I was browsing youtube and found this lovely tutorial

Image result for slappystuff sewing Project bag

By SlappyStuff Sewing

How to make a Project Bag

It has an exterior pocket and box corners.

Looks very much like one I made in Junior High School sewing class, many years ago.

WIP Wednesday- grass toes

Fish – Lips!

because wool fixes everything

I hope you are all dry and warm right now. ‘Sprinter’/second winter has hit with a vengeance and we are getting slammed with wind and rain going sideways. Fun times waiting at the bus stop, let me tell you! In the midst of this, I’ve been plugging away at my socks. My anti-knitting block project 🙂


There were not many projects on ravelry using this colour way, so I wasn’t sure how it would knit up. I bought this skein in the fall at the KW knitters fair. Just fell head over heels in love with the colours and couldn’t walk away. Just looking at it all caked up makes me smile. I’m glad I finally cast on because the colours are still making me all warm and tingly inside. I chose a simple pattern so I could bring these everywhere. Tin can knits Rye sock pattern has been on…

View original post 103 more words

FO Friday: It was a dark and stormy night!


It was indeed a dark and stormy night, but the Canadian kids were up to the challenge. Trick or Treaters still showed up at our door. A good thing the diabetics in my house invested heavily in chocolate this year.

They even got some nut free candy :0)

They even got some nut free candy :0)

Well the Box is all packed to take to the St Georges Anglican Church Bazaar tomorrow. There will be lots of crafts, baking, and jewellry for sale and an excellent lunch, Coffee, tea, or Juice, assorted soups with sandwiches. It starts at 10am. The Church is at 250 Mill st, Newcastle Ontario, Cda. Everyone is welcome!


What I’ve been working on

Andy’s Capp 3

This one might be for DS if he plays his cards right!

This one might be for DS if he plays his cards right!

Cabled Hood with Pockets

Past the half way point!

Past the half way point!

What’z really scary!

As you are aware, I have startitis which adds up to a few WIP’s.

What you may not know about me is that I read numerous books at once too! Maybe a few too many at the moment?

and 16 on the Koboglow. I don't always feel like reading the same book and yes I can keep track! The rest of my life is more linear.

and 16 on the Koboglow.
I don’t always feel like reading the same book and yes I can keep track! The rest of my life is more linear.

The votes are in, the polls are closed :0(  

Is anyone interested in a Sports Bra, Ladies Underwear, or Unisex Boxer Shorts Tutorial? I am thinking of making some and will record the process. Please list which you are interested in. So far there has been one vote for a Sports Bra. Anyone else want to weigh in? I will probably be doing an example of each. So I am going to try a poll to determine which to plan first.

Unisex Boxer Shorts Tutorial won. Don’t worry I will get around to the other two! I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated all the participation with this. It is really nice to get feed back.

Current WIP List – 11

 FO’s 2013 = 97

WIPS 2013 = 9 + 2 = 11

 Stash Used 2013 = 86

Sewing FO’s = 4 

Books 2013 = 35

Thanks again for visiting,

cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

Find me at my Etsy shop: Willows Pocket and on Ravelry.com  

Psst! Only 8 more Saturdays till Christmas!

Sewing: Basic Bra Making Tutorial Part 1 of 2

This is my first Blog Tutorial, I hope you like it. I look forward to your comments, input and questions.

A few years ago I took a Bra and Corsetry making course with a friend.

Few of my friends know I make a good many of my own undergarments, things wear out and I needed to make some replacements. It has been suggested that this would make an interesting post. Normally I can make a pretty fancy Bra in a few hours.  I usually make a couple at a time. Truthfully, it’s not rocket science. If you can sew, you can do it too. Parts can be ordered on-line, purchased at your local fabric store or hardware can be scavenged off old bras. 

   However I have discovered, it takes a lot longer when you are trying to explain what you are doing and photographing the process at the same time… I hadn’t anticipated that.

So here we go 

  Basic Bra Making Part 1

Yes it is a good idea to start with basic sewing skills before you take this on.

Having said this, really it’s not difficult. Most general fabric stores carry the patterns and supplies you will need. You can also order fabric and notions from a supply house like Bra-makers supply.

What you will need to make your own Bra.

1) Measurements!  Most people get this terribly wrong.

Read this Article: Bra fitting: Finding your perfect size

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not entirely the cup and straps that stabilize your bust. The band below your bust and the back structure are integral in the support system. The cups reduce bounce and the straps should be carrying a minimum load. Kind of like a bridge, if the foundation cannot support the structure things go horribly wrong.

I sold foundation garments in a specialty store years ago. The difference between a Bra that fits and one that barely fits is night and day!

2) A Pattern: There are lots of patterns out there. However like the off the shelf bra, they don’t all fit the same. Decision time, Wire or no Wire?

I suggest that we start with a simple pattern and compare it to a bra you wear and fits your measurements. You may need a sacrificial victim.

Eventually with practice you will be able to draft, make adjustments and produce your own pattern, once you get the general idea.

 We are going to start with a simple wireless bra.

Not sure this one is still available, it was in my pattern stash.

Not sure this one is still available, it was in my pattern stash.

Kwik Sew 2375 I have used this one before. It’s simple and works up fast.

If you are buying a pattern, look for one with your size, and simple construction with simple lines, to start.

 I always redraft the pattern in tissue. The pattern pieces are small and edges of the small pieces can become even smaller after cutting, so the size on the pattern changes. A trick I learned when I started making for myself.

I reuse good patterns, so I'm more careful with them.

I reuse good patterns, so I’m more careful with them.

There are actually only small amounts of fabric involved in making a bra.

3) Supplies: You could go out a purchase all the hardware to make your first Bra, or take and old worn our bra and selvage the bits and pieces you will need. This is your first effort…

I needed: Thread, back bra hook and eye fastener, (2) rings, (2) Sliders, shoulder strapping , 4.5 yds-3/8″ wide plush lingerie elastic, I buy a 1/3rd of a yard of fabric,  you can get a couple of bras out of it. You will also want a ballpoint sewing needle for your machine. (Use your own pattern for your list, This was the list for my pattern)

4) Fabric and Elastic: This is important! Use a firm knit material, look closely at your pattern. There will be several types of elastic required to make your bra. If you get the wrong stuff your bra will not fit properly and be uncomfortable.

Fabrics: Fabrics made for Bra making are not the only ones you can use. Tricot, lace, stretch satin, cotton/Lycra, and all-cotton knits and wovens. When making bras, you have the freedom to choose bright colors, jacquards, or plaids, if you like. It’s good to start with a stretch fabric like two-way stretch nylon/Lycra satin, which makes fitting easier and is more forgiving. Use your best judgement and suggestions on your pattern to guide you.

Note on stretch fabrics: DOGS = Direction of greatest stretch. When testing for bra fabric stretch a 10″ length of fabric along a ruler till it resists.

10″ stretched to 13″ = 30% stretch / 10″ to 14″ = 40%

Don’t use more than 40% stretch – less stretch firmer bra cups, better for larger sizes. I prefer 30% stretch for more support.

However I have used Chinese silk brocade in peacock colours, tricky but awesome!Looked something like this, required some bias cutting, a little more advanced sewing.

For our purposes I am using A (40%) stretch floral Jacquard a small amount of net, a stretch lace about 6″ wide and a (30%) stable tricot.

The tricot came from Fabricland, the foral jacquard was from Bra makers supply. Both were in my stash.

The tricot came from Fabricland, the foral jacquard was from Bra makers supply. Both were in my stash.

The lace was leftover from a project, made as a bridal gift.

I am applying soft netting behind this stretch lace to reduce the amount of stretch.


Sewing Tip #1: When I am using a new pattern, I do a dry run of one cup in the intended fabric. Both breasts are not the same, you will need to try both sides flipping the cup inside out for one side. Mark any alterations that maybe necessary to get a good fit on this sample cup.

Pattern layout:  Ok, stretch fabrics tend to stretch more one way than the other. So getting the pieces in the right directions is key here. Pins must be sharp for satins, dull for knits and they will not go in easily cross grain or against the grain. Test pins to see if they leave holes in the fabric. I usually pin along the 1/4″ selvage edge.

Warning: things are going to slide around. If this is a problem cut the pieces separately, one at a time. This is not like dressmaking, pieces are small and fiddly. Be careful to match fabric pattern in mirror image exactly. The tissue allows you to draw outlines of detail points to match pieces for both halves.

Cutting: These are small fiddly pieces, that slide around. I use a rotary cutter and a mat. For satins, I sandwich between tissue paper and cut one piece at a time, with pins in the selvages. I often line my cups with soft knit cotton for more comfort. With stretch fabrics, special care is needed to have the fabric totally relaxed when cutting.


Ok I’m going to stop here, so you can catch up. A simple pattern some fabric and fixins, and we will meet here next friday and sew this baby together!

If you order your stuff from Bra-makers supply you can have it midweek and be ready for Friday. They do a bundle with fabrics, elastic, Hook/eye tape, sliders and shoulder strap in a variety of colours for $28.00 Cdn. (pattern not included) I highly recommend this as this option gives you the right materials so you know what to look for when shopping for supplies elsewhere.  Patterns are also available from your local fabric store just look for something with only a few pieces for your first bra.

I am really looking forward to posting pictures of your lovely creations! 

Some great on-line advice about Bra Making.

Bra Making Basics PDF (fantastic advice!)

How to sew Bras that fit (You need to read this)

Sewing Lingerie fabrics

Free Soft comfort fit pattern for small sizes

Free Satin Bra pattern in 3 sizes

Sewing support.com

Threads: The Bra Dilemma solved

Kwik Sew Bra patterns

Butterick #B5662 Corset/Busk 

The reference book I use – Making Beautiful Bras by Lee-Ann Burgess you can get it through Bra Makers Supply.

FO’s 2013 = 90  

WIPS 2013 = 10

Used of 38 purchased patterns from Rav = 9 (29 to go)

Stash Used 2013 = 77

Sewing FO’s = 3

Books 2013 = 28 + 1 = 29

Thanks again for visiting,

cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

Find me on Ravelry.com and also my Etsy shop

Oh and FYI I have 50% off Back to School Sale at my Ravelry Shop, now we all have so much time with the kids in school. Sale lasts to the end of the month. 3 months till Christmas people!


21st Century Progressive Christian Pastor


My Life Off and On the Mat


Prevously known as Kittens with Mittens


Indulging in the delights of spinning, dyeing and weaving, soap making and gardening

Work Even

An American Knitter in Bulgaria

Moments of Peace

Enjoying the little things in life.


Fashion and Hand Knits


Knitting, crochet, food, motherhood, and other general musings in my Likely Life.

Mlissabeth's Musings

six word stories, small stones, haiku, and other poems


ReWOOLutionary Knits

Terras Kreativecke

Alles selbstgemacht