Welcome to part 2! If you’ve followed the first step you’ve knit your first toe and you’ve knit the foot part until you’ve reached point B. If you’re not ready, or if you’ve missed the first post you can find it HERE.
Before we continue I’d like to refer you Fleegle’s pattern. Please note: I’m only using her heel for this sock tutorial, you can follow her pattern too if you prefer, but it’s different than mine 🙂 I also use Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind off method, and I’ll explain how it’s done with GIFs in the next post
Now back to the tutorial: we’v arrived at point B and we’re going to make and turn the heel. First we’ll need to choose which yarn will be the sole needle and which will be the top needle. Place a marker in the center of the stitches in on the sole needle. In our case that’s after 12 stitches since we have 24 stitches on each needle. Now we continue in the round but we’ll increase stitches at the ends of the sole needle.
The Fleegle heel is made in two steps. Step one is increasing for the gusset and step two is shaping the heel with short rows and decreases.
The increases are made the same way as they were in the toe, the only difference being that you knit 2 stitches before an increase, and you’ll knit until the last two stitches before making an increase and then knit the final two stitches. You can find the explanation on the increases in part 1.
Step two is where the heel and gusset are “folded” in a three dimensional shape by knitting short rows ver the backside of the heel, knitting together the stitches on the sides of the gusset (I’ll explain this with GIFs).
When you go to Fleegles pattern and scroll down, you’ll see a table with stitch numbers. The first column is the total amount of stitches and the second column is the amount of stitches you should have on either side of the sole marker. I’m not going to copy paste this table because of copyright, so I encourage you to go and check it out for yourselves 🙂 For this tutorial it’s important to note that we started with a total (and by started we mean the foot stitches, not the toe stitches) of 48 stitches.
In our case this means that on either side of the marker we’ll need to increase until we have 23 stitches (46 on the whole needle). This means 11 increase rows and 11 straight rows after reaching point B.
If you’ve done this correctly your sock should look like the sock shown above.
Now we’re ready for the short rows and decreases to close and turn the heel. The picture above shows what your sock will look like after this step. You can see the increases form and you can see the stitches from the top needle curve neatly over my foot because of the increases in the gusset. In the back of the heel you can see the stitches going the other way, which is the point of the short rows in this tutorial.
Short rows are called short rows because they’re incomplete rows. A normal row will include every stitch on all needles. A short row means you knit a number of stitches and then you turn your work and continue knitting on the wrong side (even when knitting in the round) before you’ve reached the end of your row. For this step we’ll only use the sole needle, the top stitches remain untouched.
Knit until middle marker, slip marker, K2tog (knit 2, knit 2 together), knit 1, turn your work.
Slip the first stitch as if to purl, purl until marker, slip marker, purl 2, then SSP (SSP: slip two stitches knitwise one by one, put them back on left hand needle and purl them together through the back loop), purl 1, turn work.
Slip first stitch knitwise, knit to marker, remove middle marker, knit to last stitch before “the hole”. K2tog, knit 1, turn work.
Slip first stitch purlwise, purl until “the hole”, SSP, purl 1, turn work.
After rows you can already see the stitches forming and you can see how the heel is beginning to shape up. By using SSP instead of just purl 2 together, the shape of the decreases in the heel will be symmetrical. It’s a bit more effort but the result is worth it if you ask me. If you don’t mind one side being different, then you’re of course free to use which ever decrease you prefer.
Keep going until you’ve reached the end and you’ve incorporated all stitches. NOTE: you’ll end up with 2 more stitches than you started, so 26 instead of 24. I personally chose to decrease those on the next row so I could do a 2×2 rib. I also choose to do a few rows of stockinette before adding the ribbing because I don’t like the ribbing to be too close to the heel. But that’s a personal preference.
I chose to make fraternal socks but I like to have them go towards the same color in the cuff. So while I started on the outside of the balls, I chose to take the inner ends out and knit the other sock from there without cutting the yarn. This way you can finish all the yarn and you make sure they both have the same color in the cuff. You can see how it’s done on the picture shown above. The most important thing is to take the yarns from the outside of the ball when working on your first sock and then picking the yarn from the inside of the ball for your second pair. This way the ball of yarn doesn’t have to move while being attached to the first sock and your yarn won’t become a huge tangled mess!
When you’re done with your first sock you can choose to just cut the yarn and move onto the next one of course. This is all up to you!
Next week we’ll do the EZ sewn stretchy bind off and we’ll go through weaving in the yarns for socks 🙂