Feeling like a Heel Tutorial

knitting with cat

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter/Passover or Chocolate day, whichever you celebrate.

Easter bunny

Ok, “His Socks” are to the point of Inserting the Heels.

In this case I am making Toe ups

First make the socks, sans heels…

Thought a short photo tutorial would show you how easy it is. 

I start out with an outline of the foot I am making the sock for. Mark a line across the heel directly across where the ankle bone meets the heel. 

The outline

The outline for a custom sock, in this case 7″ to the heel line.

First make your sock, top down or toe up doesn’t matter. Magic loop or 5 dpns, works either way. 

Ok, I want to pause and explain something before we get under way.

Anatomy ala the Vitruvian man: 

Image result for vitruvian man

You know how some sock just won’t stay up. They sag and drive you nuts.

Well if you follow this simple rule, your socks won’t do that.  Make your socks as long as the measurement from your toes to your ankle bone. Yup, then add your cuff. You see if you measure up from the floor, for example 7″ as for this custom sock, you will note that your calf starts to curve out and that is why your sock is sliding down. You can make socks longer, but past this point in order for them to stay up, they have to be above your calf muscle (to your knee) not to slide down. Thank you Leonardo! 

In this case I am making Toe ups

In this case I am making Toe ups

When knitting, I knit the whole sock cuff and all, inserting and knitting over the waste yarn at the ankle line. 

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

So I knit my socks, (usually both) then I insert the heels at the same time.

Optional: I often make my heels in a complimentary yarn colour. This makes repairing and re-knitting the heel so much easier. I’ve never had to replace the heels in my own socks, but my guys have needed many replacements over the years. 

Knit by the Dozen Socks. I started knitting these while I was ill socks.

I was lucky to find a nice Kermit green yarn for these beauties  :0)

Ok, we are going to pick out the waste yarn. At first it is a little like a battle with an octopus, but it gets easier as you go along. Start at one side with 2 dpns; pick up the top live stitch on the waste yarn on one dpn and the bottom live stitch on the waste yarn on the other dpn.

Using the 3rd dpn, gently unknit the waste yarn being very careful that each stitch is securely on the upper or lower needle before persuading the waste yarn out of the stitches.

When you reach the middle, you will have 15 st on the upper needle and 15st on the lower. Now flip the sock over and work from the other end to the middle with 2 more dpns, (one for the top row and one for the bottom row). 

This is what we're aiming for.

This is what we’re aiming for.

Oops you say, why do I have 61st instead of 60st? Technically the lower row is upside down and there is always one more stitch going the opposite direction. Therefore knitting upward, 60st, turn the knitting the other way up 61st. Weird but true!

We are going to reduce the stitches back to 60st by k2tog at the end closest to the ankle of the sock on the needle with 16st, on the first heel round. Clear as Mud?

How this works with whatever number of stitches your sock is. Use Half the number of stitches in your sock, (must work out to an even number) one stitch here or there is fine. 

Therefore if your sock is 72st, you would knit 36st on your waste yarn. Which would work out to be 18st on each of 4 dpns for a total of 72st for the heel opening. 

Note, that this method gives you only one tail to darn in at the ankle.

Inserted heel close up

Inserted heel close up

Instructions for 60st heel

  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: knit (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches) dpn 1: 2st,pm 2st, dpn 2: 26st dpn 3: 4st dpn 4: 26st) (on Magic loop) 30st either side.
  • Row 3: (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches 2,pm) pm *K2, ssk, k12, k12 k2tog, k2* (on Magic loop) pm *k2, ssk, k24, k2tog, k2*
  • Row 4: knit alternate rows
  • Continue reducing 4st every other row  to 24st. 
  • Now reduce 4st every row to 14st.
  • next row k1,*k2tog* (7st)
  • Thread tail through stitches. Darn in tail.

WIP List = 11

  1. Dish Soap Poncho – for church craft sale
  2. Buttermere #2
  3. EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket – Fb/Kal
  4. Zuzu’s Petals
  5. His/Hers Socks
  6. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  7. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  8. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  9. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  10. My Fair Cardi 
  11. Simplicity Lace Scarf   Kal/feb2015 

FO’s 2015 = 9

WIPS 2015 = 9 + 2 = 11

Long-term Projects = 4

 Stash Used 2015 = 13

Yds of Handspun 2015 = 0

Sewing FO’s 2015 = O

Books 2015 = 5

cya next week :0)

I’m off on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

for my Literary blog, see Totally Austentatious.


21st Century Progressive Christian Pastor


My Life Off and On the Mat


Prevously known as Kittens with Mittens


Clarington Tourism


Indulging in the delights of spinning, dyeing and weaving, soap making and gardening

Work Even

An American Knitter in Bulgaria

Moments of Peace

Enjoying the little things in life.


Fashion and Hand Knits


Knitting, crochet, food, motherhood, and other general musings in my Likely Life.

Mlissabeth's Musings

six word stories, small stones, haiku, and other poems


ReWOOLutionary Knits