When I read in Yarndogs' newsletter that they would host a Cat Bordhi class I was on it like yarn over a needle. The class would teach Cat's brand-new Sweet Tomato Heel developed in secret sock laboratories for months, and now revealed to the world. How could a sockaholic resist?
Before the class we students started our top-down socks and had them ready to begin the heel. Cat related the story of how she came up with the heel and its name, explained how it worked and drew a diagram. As we knitted she came around and helped each person individually so that no question was left unanswered. At the end of the day we showed off our wonderful heels and Cat gave an impromptu lecture on ways to make a sock durable. (Basically, tight is good: tightly twisted yarn, small needles, even twisted stitches. Heel stitch? Not so much.) It was a fun informative class, and if you get the opportunity to take one of Cat's classes, grab it.
About the STH - this is one sweet heel. It resembles a short-row heel, but there's no wrapping or picking up wraps involved. As usual with Cat's designs, it is intensely personal and tailored to the individual foot. The sock must be tried on many times as the heel progresses to get an exact fit. Like her earlier sockitectures in the Personal Footprint books, this is a recipe or formula rather than a pattern, and experimentation is encouraged.
So here's a picture of my first ST heel. (Sock was knit with Classic Elite Summer Sox on size 1.5/2.5mm circular needles.)
For the second sock I'm going to tweak the heel a wee bit. I think it needs a few more stitches around the widest part of my massive heel.
You can read about the Sweet Tomato Heel in Cat's blog and download her eBook. Go ahead, let the heeling begin!