illusion knitting, a photo by ZaftigWendy on Flickr.
This is probably the simplest and most classic heel flap of all. First I’ll give you the pluses and minuses and then the how-to.
For me the pros definitely outweigh the cons. This is the sock heel that I use THE MOST (at least on top-down socks). It feels good in my shoes, it looks good, it’s easy. Trifecta.
Row 1: To get started, knit across the stitches (1/2 of the total stitches in the sock) that you’ve designated for the heel. DO NOT GO ON IN THE ROUND! You’re going to go back and forth now, so TURN so that the purl side is facing you.
Row 2: With the purl side facing you and working back across the stitches just knit, slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in front, then purl to the end of the heel. Turn to the knit side.
Row 3: Slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in back, then knit to the end of the heel. Turn.
Row 4: Slip the first stitch purlwise, with the yarn in front, then purl to the end of the heel. Turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have as many rows in the heel as you have stitches in the heel. In other words, if you have 28 stitches across your heel flap, then you want to make it 28 rows tall. Usually.
What do I mean “usually?” Well, here’s the very best place to customize the fit of your sock. The flap of the heel should reach from the place where your ankle bends in back to the very bottom “corner” of your heel. Some of us have tall heels and high insteps and some of us have low heels and a lower instep. What is your foot like? To find out, do the heel flap as written – an equal number of stitches and rows. This is sometimes referred to as a “square” heel. Then try it on (yes, with the needles in there!) and see if the flap begins and ends at the right place.
Remember, the top of the heel flap (where you divided it from the leg) should be right at the place where your ankle bends. The bottom of the heel flap should be almost exactly at the bottom “corner” of your heel (on my foot, that’s right where the. You want to slightly stretch the flap when you’re checking.
If it’s too short, work another couple of rows. If it’s too long, rip out a few. You do want to make sure that the last row of your heel flap is a purled row.
Next, we’ll talk about the Slip Stitch Heel Flap. It may be a few days, as I’ll be away in Wyoming over the weekend, and I need tomorrow to pack. And to finish the mittens I’m knitting because it’s COLD in Northern Wyoming, and I don’t own any gloves that have fingers. I never needed ’em here in Hot Antonio and fingerless gloves are SO MUCH faster to knit!
Don’t you just love the word “flap?” I can almost see things flapping along when I hear it! Today we’re going to talk about my favorite kind of flap – a heel flap!
The heel flap is a squarish/rectangular bit that’s knit across (usually) half of the total sock stitches. It extends the back of the sock from the bottom of the ankle all the way to the floor. And yes, this will look really weird! The heel flap is also, in my opinion, the most crucial part of the sock for fitting.
Before beginning the heel flap, we want to separate the top-of-foot (instep) stitches those that will become the bottom-of-foot (sole) stitches. If you’re using double-pointed needles, you can simply work in pattern to the place where you want the heel flap to start, and then, while working the first heel flap row, work the heel flap stitches all onto one needle. If you’re using one of the circular needle methods, you will want to rearrange your stitches, if necessary, so that all the heel flap stitches are together.
When dividing instep from sole, it’s nice to try to center it nicely. For example, if your sock leg is in k2-p2 rib, you probably want to stop after doing just one knit of the two-stitch knit rib so that the split between instep and sole is pleasantly symmetrical (k1, p2,k2…k2, p2, k1). If this is too confusing, don’t worry. No one will ever know but you unless they are WAY too close to your feet.
So. You have all your stitches divided up and ready to go? You’re almost ready! You still have to decide what type of flap you want: a plain stockinette flap, a cushy heel-stitch flap, or a fancier flap.
Tomorrow (and yes, I do mean TOMORROW): The stockinette flap.
I would very much like to thank Dr. Dain Franks at the Texas MedClinic, who I truly believe saved my life. I encourage all of you to seek medical attention when you have symptoms that don’t make sense. In my case, it was severe back pain, flu-like joint & muscle aches, fatigue, and fever. I thought that I had a weird flu that didn’t involve respiratory symptoms. I wish I had gone to the doctor sooner than I did. If I’d waited another day or so, I might’ve had to be hospitalized.
Don’t be me. If you have a fever over 101°F, and you’re older than 20, GO TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY! Grown-ups don’t get fevers like that, unless they’re seriously ill.
I wish you all a long LONG healthy life full of much yarny joy!
I meant to continue the sock posting after NaBloPoMo, but I just couldn’t find the energy. I didn’t discover the reason until after Christmas, when (after a 103+ fever on Christmas day), I was diagnosed with a severe kidney infection, that the doctor thinks had probably been developing for months.
Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, I am fully recovered! All systems are go! This means that, starting tomorrow, we’ll continue our sock series with the first HEEL post! Aren’t you excited?
It’s been fun. I haven’t succeeded 100% at posting every day, but I’ve posted more than ever before, for SURE!
I’m going to try now to settle in to a 3 times a week posting schedule. And I think I shall be having some sort of comment contest soon…
Linda‘s Little Birds are SO ADDICTIVE! I finished 6 more today.
I haven’t forgotten you, dear blog, just been busy with Thanksgiving and enjoying some post-Thanksgiving sloth.
I have gotten several new crocheted birdies done. I’m so addicted to these!
Anyway, tomorrow, the top-down sock series will continue, with heels!
Would you like a way to cook your turkey quickly, leaving more time for knitting on the holiday? Try this!
And Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!
It’s been a long day! It started with almost 4 hours at Yarnivore getting everything ready for the big sale that starts on Black Friday (lots of really FANTASTIC yarns will be on sale at 20% off!). Then I came home and have been working my BRAIN typing up a fantastic new sock pattern! I’m really excited about this one, but I’m keeping it SECRET for now.
Anyway, after all this, my brain is tired. Very tired. Wiped out. Fortunately, Wren Ross has a cure.
The cure? Her delightful CD, Wren Ross’s Greatest Knits.
I have a weakness for the silly and sweet and this CD is both. It has everything from a very bluesy Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, to a sentimental tear-jerker about a sister who spins and weaves, to a sad spoof of Greensleeves that addresses all our fears about fit. It even has an adorable parody of 76 Trombones, made into an actual, workable pattern for a basic knitted hat!
It’s just the balm I need to soothe and relieve my tired brain! Get a bit of brain-cure yourself, with this free (shortened) mp3 version of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.
Off I go to slip the disc into the machine (and perhaps to order a copy for my giftee at our local knitting groups’ Secret Santa).
on February 9, 2012