Heel Workshop

Traditional Heel

The secret to a successful traditional heel lies in the heel flap. The heel flap selvages provide the foundation for future gusset stitches. Choose one of the following heel flap patterns to lay the perfect foundation for picking up your gusset stitches.

After completing final round of leg, turn to wrong side of stitches just worked to begin heel flap. Heel flap is generally knit over half the total number of leg stitches. In each option, repeat the two rows over an even number of stitches until heel flap reaches desired length ending after row 1.

#1 Slip Stitch Chain Selvage
The first stitch of each row is slipped. Selvage is loose and chain edge makes it simple to pick up gusset stitches.

1. (WS) Slip 1 purlwise with yarn if front, purl to end.
2. (RS) *Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back, k1; repeat from * to end of row.

#2 Wrapped Slip Stitch Selvage
The last stitch of each row is slipped and then immediately knit on next row. Selvage is a bit firmer than Option #1, but still maintains a chain edge.

1. (WS) K1, purl to last stitch, slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front.
2. (RS) *K1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn if front.

#3 Single Garter Stitch Selvage
First and last stitch of each row is knit. Selvage is tight with no chain edge. Stitches may be picked up in bumps or bars along edge.

1. (WS) K1, purl to last stitch, k1.
2. (RS) *K1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back to last 2 stitches, k2.

©2010 Michelle Hunter

7 thoughts on “Heel Workshop

  1. Hello. I am wondering if I can knit a heel flap on the first half of my stitches instead of the second half to get a “right” sock? So, my BOR is always on the medial side of the sock. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your VERY clear instructions. I was not getting tidy ‘V’ on one end of my heel flap.
    The pattern I am using is not as detailed & clear as your instructions which describe clearly which position the yarn should be in.
    RS S1 purlwise with yarn IN BACK is the key – made all the difference.
    Thank you!

  3. i use to knit my heel the traditional way, but now seeing the heel workshop you have provided, i can’t wait to try it…i always have a pair of socks going….thanks for info, great job

  4. You are correct. In a short row heel, a stitch is wrapped before turning. There are other slick methods out there to try as well. Happy knitting!

  5. When you turn the heel of a sock, do you always “wrap” the stitch before turning? I have always done this, but most patterns don’t mention to “wrap”. Is this something that really isn’t necessary? I always thought this prevented holes from forming…maybe I’m wrong???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *