Monday, June 20, 2011

Double Heelix!

The day has arrived. Knitty is up!

(Photo: Lorilee Beltman)

If you visit this article from the latest issue of, you'll see a project that has been long in-the-making. The design in the article is a version designed for high contrast, semisolid yarns, but there's more than one way to wrap a helix around a foot!

(Photo: Eddie Carden)

You'll recognize the knitty socks here (I'll call them "Flavor 1"), along with another flavor, kindly modeled by my sister-in-law.

In Flavor 1, the 4 strands that make the heel reduce to 2 at the ankle, which then split off to work either the cuff or the toe. The helix knitting ends at the ankle and the rest of the sock is stockinette worked in the round.

In Flavor 2, all 4 strands used for the heel continue to make the rest of the sock, but the 4 strands split into 2 sets at the instep. 1 strand of each color is worked in either direction, which changes the bold helix into a pinstripe helix.

(Photo: Jeny Staiman)

Flavor 2 is made with Blue Moon lightweight sock yarn, in colors Bejewelled and Korppi. The gauge for this yarn is slightly larger than that of Shibui/Koigu (I get 7.5 st/inch with BMFA lightweight and 8 st/inch with Shibui/Koigu). But if you are knitting for a medium, large, or extra-large foot, all you have to do is follow the knitty instructions for the size below the one you're making. Size S using Blue Moon will yield a medium-sized sock, and likewise, size M made with Blue Moon will yield a large-sized sock.

Now here's another flavor...

(Photo: Jeff Staiman)

I affectionately call these socks "Double Heelix On Acid" because they are made with a Rockin' Sock Club yarn called "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (some readers may recognize it). The yarn was so bright, I thought it would benefit from some contrast with black, and this is where I ended up.

In this flavor (Flavor 3), after you finish working the heel, all 4 strands continue to make the next part of the sock. It doesn't matter whether you carry the 4 strands into the foot or the heel, so I made one of each!

Sizing with Flavor 3 is as with Flavor 2, since it also uses Blue Moon Yarn. Actually I'm not sure what I used for the black, it was something in my stash that matched the gauge. But if I were to pick a Blue Moon yarn it would definitely be Shadow.

There are yet more ways to explore this topic, and as I make my way through them, I will share them with you. Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh, so seriously fabulous! I'm just awed by this.

  2. I now want to make socks. Lots of socks. Spirally heels are just awesome. Thanks for all your hard work developing this.

  3. These are so fun! I can't wait to cast on!

  4. I am laughing so hard right now! I had subscribed to your blog some time ago and it goes to my google reader. I saw your post *after putting your awesome socks in my rav. queue* and I didn't realize that this blog and your awesome socks belong to one and the same knitter. Haha! Great job!!!!! I LOVE them!!!

  5. These are amazing! Love them and love your post. Thank you!

  6. LOVE these so much...ALL the flavors look delicious!

  7. This is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wow - these are mind-bending and magical. You've got such spiral-fu!

  9. I am sooo ready to try Flavor Three!

  10. I shall add these to my list of 'things to attempt when feeling an awful lot braver'. Until then I shall just gaze on them in rapt admiration.

  11. Hi Jeni,

    I'm very impressed...and in love with this new design. I can't wait to try it out, always up for a challenge.


  12. Heelix is amazing. Absolutely stunning!

  13. Thank you! I love the ingenuity of these socks and appreciate the effort. Just reading about them made made my day. Can not wait to start my own pair!!

  14. I’m looking at the Knitty Double Heelix and I’m not sure if I’m suffering from an illusion or not - is the spiral on the left sock expanding in the opposite direction as the one on the right sock? How the heck did you manage that??

  15. Can’t wait to start. They look sooo cute.