Following on from Part One, Mary Beth Temple is back with her second Simple Knitted Sock tutorial.
Last time we worked on the cuff and leg, today it’s time for the heel – a heel flap, a heel turn, and then the
gusset shaping that makes the sock fit nicely.
The heel flap is traditionally worked over half the stitches in the leg – 24 for this sock. Those 24 stitches should be centered over the beginning of the round so to set up the heel flap, knit 12 sts off of Needle 1, then turn the work. The WS row is sl 1, p23.
There will be 4 remaining stitches left on Needles 1 and 3. Place them on Needle 2 for a total of 24 stitches, that you will use later for the instep.
The heel flap is knit with alternating knit stitches and slip stitches. You can also make a heel flap in plain stocking stitch (stockinette stitch) but this one, with the slip stitches throughout, wears better. It also looks a little more interesting, especially in a plain sock like we are making now.
Make sure when you are slipping stitches that you keep the yarn on the wrong side of the work.
And also remember to slip the first stitch of every WS/purl row. The slipped stitches on the edges of the heel flap provide the basis for the gusset and we will need them later on.
When the heel flap is finished (it’s usually as many rows as you have stitches) it’s time to make the short row heel turn.
Follow the first two rows of the Heel Turn on the pattern.
Moving on, the instructions will tell you to knit or purl to one stitch before the gap. You can easily see the gap once those first two rows have been worked – all of the subsequent ssks or p2togs will incorporate one stitch before the gap and one stitch after the gap – thus closing the gaps so you don’t have holes in your work.
Continue on as instructed until all Heel Flap stitches have been worked – you will have 14 stitches left.
The heel flap is finished! Now it’s time to pick up stitches for the gusset. The gusset is an angled piece of fabric that helps the sock fit nicely.
First, knit across all of the Heel Flap stitches. Then pick up 1 stitch in each of the slipped stitches along the edge of the Heel Flap. There should be 12 slipped stitches, and they are very easy to see.
Knit across the instep stitches with Needle 2, then with Needle 3, pick up another 12 stitches across the other edge of the heel flap.
Then knit 7 stitches (Half of the Heel Flap remaining stitches) and place your marker if you are using one – this is the new start of the round. Or more to the point, the old start of the round, but we had to get there!
Now you are going to shape the gusset by alternating a decrease round that has one decrease near the end of Needle 1, and one decrease at the beginning of Needle 3, with a work even round in which you knit all stitches.
Note that the Needle 1 decreases are all k2togs while the Needle 3 decs are all ssks. This is because k2tog is right-leaning and ssk is left-leaning, and you want the decreases to lay in a perfect line.
Keep following the instructions until you get back to 48 stitches, which is the number we started with.
Come back and see us next time for the final installation of the sock series, in which we explore knitting the foot, and knitting the toe.
Thanks for stopping by!
Find part three here.