My Broken Heart

A while back, I purchased a sock pattern through Ravelry called Breaking Hearts Socks by turtlegirl76. My main reason for buying the pattern was to get the instructions for knitting a heel with the gusset decreases on the sole instead of along the sides of the instep. I could have figured it out for myself, by why do all that work when someone else has already done it for me, right? Besides, the stitch pattern used for the sock is awesome, and I’m helping to support a talented designer, so it was a win/win/win proposition.

Anyway, I gave the heel recipe a try when I was knitting the Reversible Ribs Socks, and I loved how it turned out. The heel curves perfectly to hug the foot just right. The Reversible Ribs Socks found a home with the boy’s sock-worthy GF, so I was eager to knit a pair of socks for myself using this technique. And what better way could to use this technique than by knitting the original? It was time to cast on the Breaking Hearts Socks.

The first step in knitting up this pattern was choosing the yarn. I had gone through my sock yarn stash at the beginning of the year and pulled out a bunch of balls of Trekking XXL, which is one of my very favorite sock yarns, so I decided to use Trekking XXL. I settled on a lovely mostly blue colorway that knits up with subtle stripes.

I had a big problem right off the bat. The pattern is written for 64 stitches. If I had chosen a sport-weight yarn for this pattern, 64 stitches would be fine. But I knit socks almost exclusively in fingering weight yarn, and if I knit socks for myself on 64 stitches, I have to knit at a really horrendous gauge–7.5-8 stitches per inch–in order for the socks to fit. I hate socks knitted at that large a gauge. The stitches are too lose and the socks don’t wear well. I like to knit my socks at a gauge between 8.5 and 9.5 stitches per inch.

I had to adjust the pattern to 72 stitches, which resulted in modification #1. I increased the stitch count to 72 by adding an extra stitch between stitches 6 and 7 and between stitches 10 and 11 on the chart. The pattern is repeated a total of four times, so I added eight stitches (64 + 8 = 72 ). Seventy-two stitches is my Goldilocks number for socks knitted in fingering weight yarn on 2.5mm needles. (I got 9 stitches per inch with this yarn.)

After casting on 72 stitches, I began knitting the twisted garter edging. For some reason that still baffles me, I couldn’t get the twisted garter edging to work. I knitted it at least five times over the course of two days, and every time it turned out wrong. I don’t know why I couldn’t get it to work. I’ve knitted this edging before with no trouble. I even watched and followed the designer’s on-line tutorial. But I obviously kept doing something wrong because every time I started to knit the first round of the P1, K1 rib, the garter edging was wrong-side out. So I did what any knitter who is frustrated with being such a bonehead would do, I modified the pattern. Enter modification #2. I knitted a ribbed cuff to match the now-modified Breaking Hearts stitch pattern–*K3, (P2, K3) twice, K3  repeat from * 3 more times. I knitted the ribbing for one inch (13 rounds), then started the leg.

After knitting a couple of pattern repeats on the leg, I decided that I didn’t like how the purls on stitches 6-7 and 10-11 in round 3 of the pattern looked with the yarn I’m using, so modification #3 was born. I changed the purl stitches to knit on round 3, but I left the purls in round 6. This removes some of the textured effect of the pattern, but I think the yarn I chose looks better with those purls changed to knit.

I knitted 12 pattern repeats, then started the heel flap. I worked the heel flap as directed except that since I started with 72 stitches instead of 64,  I was working the heel flap on 36 stitches instead of 32.

The pattern calls for a heel flap that is 2.5 inches long, but I knit heel flaps to be 2.75 inches long. We are now at modification #4; I repeated the stitch pattern on the heel 6 times instead of 5 because I need a 2.75-inch heel flap instead of a 2.5-inch heel flap.

I turned the heel, purling 22 stitches instead of 20, and after all the short rows were completed, I had 24 stitches remaining instead of 22. I picked up 20 stitches along each side of the heel flap, then adjusted the instructions to accommodate the extra gusset stitches. I counted 17 stitches from the instep to the heel on each side and placed my heel markers. The gusset decreases were worked every other round on the heel stitches, and when there were only two heel stitches left, I knew I had decreases the gusset stitches down to 36 stitches.

The gusset decreases on the foot instead of the instep

The gusset decreases are on the foot instead of the instep.


I continued knitting the foot with the instep in pattern and the foot in stocking stitch for 14 pattern repeats. It was time to start the toe. The pattern has a toe that continues the Breaking Hearts stitch pattern all the way to the end. It’s a gorgeous design feature, but I could tell from looking at the chart that this toe would be too pointy for my feet. So I decided on modification #5. I knitted a modified round toe as follows:

K7, K2tog
Knit 3 rounds plain
K6, K2tog
Knit 3 rounds plain
K5, K2tog
Knit 3 rounds plain
K4, K2tog
Knit 3 rounds plain
K3, K2tog
Knit 2 rounds plain
K2, K2tog
Knit 1 round plain
K1, K2tog

The toe looks great, don’t you think?

modified round toe

modified round toe

And it fits just the way I like, as does the heel.


The curve of the gusset hugs my heel.


A perfect fit!



Sock #1 turned out great and fits beautifully. And I made good notes so that sock #2 should be a good match.


6 thoughts on “My Broken Heart

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