Cailleach asked, Have you considered NOT doing heel stitch as ‘written’? I knit continental, and knitting is faster for me than purling.
I also knit continental, but I haven’t noticed a real difference in speed between knitting and purling. Then again, I have never seen anyone knit continental the way I do (though I’m sure someone must) – I wrap the working yarn around the needle with my left forefinger, rather than picking the working yarn up with the needle. Then the needle sort of ‘ducks’ out through the old stitch with the new stitch on it. The movement is the same whether I’m knitting or purling.
The Garter Rib Sock came from Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks. Because this is the first pattern I’ve knit out of the book, I decided to do it as written, with the garter stitch edging on the heel flap. It’s interesting, and it does go with the sock, but I’m not sure I’d like it all the time. The lack of a slipped stitch edge makes picking up the gusset stitches a little… well, a little picky, pardon the pun!
I think my problem with heel flaps is that I lose the rhythm that I get when I’m knitting in the round. Having to turn the work every 36 stitches or so means that I keep getting to ‘stopping points’ long before I’m actually ready to stop. Being slightly (okay, more than slightly) ADD makes it even easier to put the sock down at the end of a row. When I’m working in the round, my brain forgets that there might be an end of a row at which I could stop.
That said, I finished the heel flap and picked up the gusset stitches, and I’m cranking my way down towards the toe. I expect to get a lot of knitting done this weekend. Pirate-Husband and I are headed down to my parents’ for Passover. When we’re not cooking or eating, there will be lots of down time for knitting! I promised to show my mother how to do each of the stitches in the Ostrich Plumes pattern, too. They’re easy enough, but it’s been so long since she’s done lace work that she asked me for a refresher.