So armed with Tash's advice, last night at Monday night Knitting Circle I owned that heel turn.
Okay so maybe I panicked at the end when I had too many stitches left on my needle and knit them together only to find I should have left them because I actually ended up having to pick up a couple of extra ones in the gusset (although the pattern said I should be left with 18 at the end of the heel turn and I had more than that, so who knows? Following a pattern is hard). And maybe somehow I forgot how to knit sometimes and started knitting through the back loop of stitches until I thought, 'Hold on, is this right?', got really confused, and started knitting through the front loop again. These things didn't actually matter, because in the end I got there! I was so proud! Also, turns out I was just preparing myself for when the pattern actually asked me to knit through the back loop during the gusset. I'm obviously ahead of my time.
So here it is, in all it's glory. My first heel turn:
Looks kind of boring and flat here (but exactly like the picture on page 2 of the pattern, hurrah!)...
Oh wait, it's not flat, it's AMAZING.
Just in case you need more illustration of the 3D-ness of it. The day this cradles my heel is going to be cause for celebration - I'm thinking street parade complete with brass band and ticker tape and me on a float shaped like a giant sock.
I wouldn't have made it through without the help of Ellen, who patiently explained how to pick up the 15 slipped stitches along the side of the heel flap (and even gave me a tip to make it easier) and helped me realise how it all worked in terms of joining it back up into a round again. She also gave me advice on how to pick up some extra stitches when I realised I didn't have enough - by the exact number I'd decreased in my earlier panic, as Anita helpfully pointed out.
I think Anita was just rebelling against the lack of attention I was giving her. She'd tried to tell me a story about how her faith in humanity and social networking (i.e. Facebook) was restored after she lost her wallet on the weekend and the guy who found it then looked her up on Facebook and arranged to give it back, but I was intensely concentrating on my heel turn at the time so I just tried to make noises of commiseration and enthusiasm at the appropriate times, although apparently it was clear my heart wasn't in it.
Later on her arm warmer called for similar intense concentration and she even began singing the pattern to herself...exactly like my character did at the start of Tea for Toot. Ironically, that is the part of the show I disliked most, yet it is the part of the show that people who saw it repeat back to me most often...knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two...
Anyway, I realise that I am not safe yet. There is still quite a bit of sock to go; part of which involves me measuring my foot to work out how long the foot part of the sock needs to be, minus 2 inches for the toe. But I am excited. All day at work I just wanted to come home and knit, which is annoying because sometimes you are at home and have time and you really don't feel like knitting. But, you know, clearly life isn't fair.