This third sock tutorial is all about the heel, and there are three sections to it:
- The heel flap
- The heel turn
- Picking up stitches and beginning the decreases
The heel flaps are worked back and forth across half the total stitches – across one half of each sock.
On purl rows, slip the first stitch and purl the rest.
On knit rows, slip the first stitch and knit the next, and then repeat the ‘slip, knit’ pattern to the end. You should end on a knit stitch – your heel flap should be worked across an even number of stitches.
Your heel flap is long enough when it covers the length of your heel. Hold it up to your foot until it measures from the bottom of your foot to where your leg begins – where you ended the ‘leg’ part of your sock.
This is worked on each sock separately.
To begin your heel turn, work out roughly how much 2/3 of your heel stitches is. If you cast on 64 stitches for your sock, then your heel is worked across 32, and 2/3 of that is just under 22 – I always like to go with an uneven number, so 21 will do nicely.
Slip the first stitch, and knit 20 (this makes up the 21 stitches). Knit the next two stitches together in a ‘SSK’ – slip them both so that they are twisted, then knit them together. This will ensure that your decreases lean the right way. Knit the next stitch.
Turn your work, and count the stitches on your right needles (the ones you did not work on this last row). When you get to the stitches that you did work, slip the first of these (the last one that you knitted in the previous row), and purl all following stitches until you count to 20 (this count includes the stitches you did not work and the slipped stitch). Purl the next two stitches together, and purl the stitch after that.
Turn your work. Slip the first stitch, and knit until you see a gap between two stitches. Work the two stitches either side of this gap together, in SSK as before. Knit the next stitch.
Turn your work. Slip the first stitch, purl until you see the gap, and purl the two stitches either side of the gap together. Purl the next stitch.
Continue in this way – slipping the first stitch, purling/knitting to the gap, working the two stitches either side of the gap together, purling/knitting the final stitches, turning the work – until you have used up all stitches.
If you finish on a knit row, you’re set to move on the next section. If you finish on a purl row, simply turn your work, slip the first stitch, and knit across every stitch of the heel, and continue to the next section.
Pick up stitches and begin decreases.
Before you work the heel turn on the second sock, pick up the stitches on the side of the heel flap. The number of stitches depends on how the length of your heel flap – the longer the flap, the more stitches there are to pick up. The stitches you’re looking to pick up should look like a ‘V’ – they are made up of the stitches that you slipped at the beginning of each row.
Once you have picked up the stitches at the end of the first heel flap, move on to the second sock and work the heel turn, then pick up the stitches there as well. If you’re looking at the your work with the heel flaps at the top, the stitches you’re picking up should be on the left of each heel flap. You will pick up the ones on the right next.
Knit across the front of your socks – this brings your work back to a circle/round. You’re done with the heels and the back-and-forth part! Once you have knitted across the front, pick up the stitches on the right of the heel flap – look for the big ‘V’s and pick them all up, then knit across the top of your first heel flap and the stitches on the left of your first heel flap (which you have already picked up.
It is time to begin your decreases! On the left-hand side of the heel flap – the stitches you picked up earlier – knit to the last three stitches. Then K2tog the first two of these, and knit the last stitch as normal.
Move on to the other sock and pick up the stitches on the right side of its heel flap. Knit across the heel flap and down the left-hand picked up stitches, and decrease in the same way when you get to the last three stitches.
Click on this image to progress to the next tutorial: