Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sock Knitting 101 - Sock Knit Along Part II

It's been a week since I posted Part I of this sock knit along.  Are you having fun knitting socks?  Today, we're going to continue forming our sock and the next part is....

Heel Flap:
Count the number of stitches on your needles.  Divide that number in half.  (I have 44 stitches on my needles; 11 stitches on each needle).

1.  Your live yarn is at the end of needle 4.
2.  Transfer the stitches from needle 2 to needle 1 (I now have 22 stitches on needle 1)
3.  Just leave needle 3 and needle 4 alone at this point (don't worry about them for now)
4.  You now will be working on the stitches on needle 1 (needle 2 is no more for now....)
In the photo above, needle 1 is in the front of the photo with needles 3 & 4 crossed behind.  You are going to ignore needles 3 & 4 and only work on needle 1.

The first rows of the heel flap will be worked as follows:
1.  K1, *K1, S1*, repeat between * * to end of row, turn
2.  S1, P to end, turn
3.  S1, *K1, S1*, repeat between * * to end of row, turn
In the photo above, I have completed the heel flap and did 1 row of straight knit.

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until heel flap is approximately 2" to 2 1/4" long.  (I had 11 repeats of rows 2 & 3).  At this point, end with a completed row 2 (purl row) Then do 1 row of straight knit stitch across needle 1.
 We are now ready to start turning the heel.  This begins with the wrong side of the sock.

Turn Heel:
You should have ended up with your work now on the wrong side (purl side).  We are going to "turn the heel".  Basically, you are going to work a set number of stitches in the middle.  One of these stitches will be combined with a stitch on the side by either K2tog or P2tog, until all stitches are used up on the needle.

To better explain what I just's a photo of Row 1 of Turning the Heel.  You can count the slip 1, purl 12 stitches on the right needle.  Can you see the white yarn markers in the middle?  There are 4 stitches between the white markers.  And on the left needle, there are 9 stitches and on the right needle there are 9 stitches to the right of the right side markerThis photo was taken before I completed the  P2tog,P1 of row 1.

Row 1.  S1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn (this is based on 22 stitches on needle)*See Notes below
Row 2.  S1, k5, k2tog, k1, turn (6 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 3.  S1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn (4 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 4.  S1, k7, k2tog, k1, turn (4 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 5.  S1, p8, p2tog, p1, turn (2 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 6.  S1, k9, k2tog, k1, turn (2 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 7.  S1, p10, p2tog, p1, turn (0 stitches at end of needle before turning)
Row 8.  S1, k11, k2tog, k1, turn (0 stitches at end of needle before turning)

 This photo shows how your stitches should look at the end of Row 2.  Do you see the pattern of 6 stitches to the left and 6 stitches to the right?  You will continue purling two stitches together or knitting two stitches together until there are no stitches left.  You will end up with all the rows completed and if you started with 22 stitches, you will have 14 stitches left at the end of row 8.

Here's a photo of the completed heel.  You should have a nice little "cup" shape for the heel.  If it doesn't look OK, feel free to unravel your stitches to the beginning of this segment and start again.  I've done that many times....
Notes:  When you are slipping stitches, be sure to keep the tension tight on the slipped stitch.  You don't want "gaps" in the heel.  Also, these numbers listed above were using 6 ply yarn or worsted weight yarn.  You may have more stitches.  If so, your "middle group" of heel stitches may be increased one or more stitches.  Just be sure your stitches are evenly grouped so that your heel will be even and not lopsided.

This is a fun part of the sock to compete.  Don't be worried....we are going to be working with stitches placed over 3 needles....but we will adjust the stitches to the appropriate needle.  But, first we have to pick up some stitches.

 You are going to be picking up stitches from the edge of the heel flap.  I usually pick up the stitch towards the "outside" of the stitch.  I picked up 13 stitches but it depends on what size your heel flap is.
Here is the needle showing the 13 stitches that have been picked up.

Here's what you are going do:
1.  With a new needle, pick up 13 stitches (or how many you need) from the heel flap.
2.  With a new needle knit across the 22 stitches from the instep of the foot.
3.  With a new needle, pick up 13  stitches (or how many you need from the heel flap, and knit 7 stitches from the heel.  Place a marker at this point since this will now be the ending of each row.
4.  You are now going to do 1 row of knit all the way around but there is one more needle to adjust the stiches on....
5.  You are now going to begin a new row (count this row as Row 1 - see below), knitting all the way around.  With a needle, knit the 7 stitches from the heel and with the same needle, knit the 13 pick up stitches from the instep.  This now completes stitches for needle 1.  With needle 2, knit the stitches across the instep of the foot. With needle 3, knit the pick up stitches from the instep and the 7 stitches from the heel.

This is how your work should look now.  You should have 3 needles; Needle 1 with 1/2 the heel stitches and the pick up stitches, Needle 2 with the instep stitches and, Needle 3 with the pick up stitches and the remaining heel stitches.

I now have the following stitches on my needles:
Needle 1 = 20
Needle 2 = 22
Needle 3 = 20

That a total of 62 stitches and I need to decrease down to 44 stitches.  Again, you will be knitting in the round and doing the decreases at the end of needle 1 and beginning of needle 3. Below is the pattern for the gusset  decrease rounds. You will now do Row 2 (aka decrease row) shown below.

The photo above shows needle 1 of Row 2 before the decrease.  These last three stitches on needle 1 will be worked as:  k2tog, k1.

Row 1.  Knit all stitches
Row 2.  Needle 1: Knit to the last three stitches, k2 tog, k1
             Needle 2: Knit all stitches on Needle 2
             Needle 3: Knit 1 stitch, SSK, knit to the end
Repeat these two rows until there are 11 stitches* on both Needle 1 and Needle 3, for a total count of 44 stitches*.
*Note*  I started with a total of 44 stitches.  I have 22 stitches on the instep (Needle 2).  So I am going to work these decreases until I have 11 stitches on Needle 1 and 11 stitches on Needle 3 for a total of 44 stitches = the same amount of stitches I originally started with.  Your pattern may have 48 stitches, or 40 stitches, so adjust accordingly.

In this photo, you will see the gusset taking shape after doing a few rows of knit one row, decrease one row....

Until finally you have reached the end of the gusset and you have the correct number of stitches on your needle.

If you don't want to wait until next week's post, you can go ahead and start the instep and knit every row until the length is approximately 2" less than what you need.....

Next week I will post the info for Instep, Toe Decrease and Kitchener Stitch.  Please don't be shy - feel free to comment.  I love to hear from you.

Happy knitting,

I'm linking up at a fun, new party over at Lucy Blossom Crafts 
and also at Frontier Dreams 
and today you can find me at Yarn Along


  1. Your sock's looking really good! I love the heel turn as that's when it starts to look like a proper sock and not a very small sleeve! xx

  2. Oh I am so impressed with your sock tutorial. I am not brave enough to join in yet. But as I read through it, it sounded really easy to follow. I liked the fact you referred to the yarn as 'live'.
    Ali xx

  3. I love the random thread you have chosen, still not convinced I would end up inside and backwards with 4 needled, lol

  4. Thanks for your comment on my Zipper pouch. I, on the other hand, envy your knitting skills, I haven't knitted since school but one of these days I will give it another go! Xx

  5. Your tutorial is so detailed, not brave enough to have a go myself, but I've bookmarked it for later.

  6. This is another of those things on my 'to do' list. Your tutorial looks very detailed and easy to follow, so when I do get around to my first pair of socks I shall definitely use your expertise to help me :)

  7. I have not joined in but this is the year I want to knit my first pair of socks. Your tutorials look so clear. When I am ready in a few months. I'll come back to these posts. Thanks so much for sharing x

  8. lovely and detailed- glad to have pics to refer to as some tutorials dont :) x

  9. What a well thought out tutorial, thanks for taking the time to share it.

  10. Wow!! I'm so impressed you can knit socks! The most I could do I think it some basic knitting (if someone started me off) on the way to the shops to buy socks! xxx

  11. Such an easy to follow tutorial - I REALLY must get around to making that pair of socks! Love the yarn too. x


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