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The Secrets of Colorwork Knitting

Have you ever wanted to knit an amazing colorwork yoked sweater? Or mittens with fun geometric patterns? Or some of those fun multi-colored shawl projects? Even if you’re a new knitter you can make ALL of those things - it just takes time and practice. Today’s post will discuss the different kinds of colorwork knitting you can do and some tips and tricks to help you get started or improve your technique.

Intarsia Knitting
Intarsia is a technique used to create anything from simple shapes to intricate pictures in your knitting. With Intarsia, different sections of each row are worked in different colors. Intarsia is different than stranded knitting in that the knitter doesn’t carry the unused yarn behind the work, but instead drops the old color, brings the yarn for the new color up under the yarn of the old color, and then continues on knitting in the new color until the next color change or the end of the row. This method twists the yarns to close any gaps between the old and new colors.


There are a few different methods for twisting your yarns, depending on if the gaps are vertical or diagonal. A good photo tutorial for these methods can be found at Vogue Knitting. One of the most difficult things to conque in knitting intarsia is the issue of yarn management; that is, how to keep your yarns tangle free as you twist them while knitting. There is a great article on Mason Dixon knitting - Intarsia: 7 Decent Tips that you might find helpful as you tackle your first intarsia project.

Fair Isle and Stranded Knitting
Stranded knitting is created when you carry two or more yarns with you as you work to create patterns in your knitting. The unused colors are simply carried behind your work when not in use, creating floating strands which can be seen on the wrong side of the work. Stranded knitting is how those gorgeous yoked sweaters and colorwork mittens are created. Stranded knitting tends to produce a very warm fabric, because each stitch is essentially two layers of yarn thick.

Fair Isle knitting is a specific kind of stranded knitting where only 2 colors are worked per row, and the yarn is only carried behind the work for a limited number of stitches. Fair Isle knitting originated in the Shetland Islands. Today most knitters use the terms Fair Isle and Stranded Knitting interchangeably, although they are distinctly different. Kelbourne Woolens features a great article describing the differences between the two.

One of the most difficult things to conquer in stranded knitting is to keep your floats (or strands) at the right tension. Too loose and your stitches look messy. Too tight and your knitting puckers. They key to this is practice, but we have also found learning to knit with a two-handed Fair Isle technique (that is, knitting with one yarn held in each hand) makes this easier. Check out this video from Very Pink Knits to learn the technique.




Mosaic and Slip Stitch Knitting
Mosaic knitting is probably the easiest of the colorwork techniques to learn. In mosaic knitting, you work with two colors to create intricate designs - but you only knit with one color at a time! This technique is a lot like knitting stripes, only you'll just slip certain stitches on a row as you work.

For example, if you are knitting with a light and dark color, when you work a row or round in the light color, you will be slipping the dark stitches. And when you work a row or round in the dark color, you will be slipping the light stitches. Easy, right?


Because you are slipping the stitches, there is a limit to how many slipped stitches can be worked consecutively (usually only two or three maximum). This means that mosaic knitting often ends up looking very geometric, like mosaic tiles. If you’re looking for more information about this technique, check out this article about mosaic knitting from Knitty.

We hope that this post has helped define the different types of colorwork knitting and give you a few tips and resources on how to conquer each technique.

We can’t wait to see what colorwork projects you create. Please share them with us on Instagram - be sure to use #knitterspride in your posts!

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Free Knitting Pattern: Do or Do Knot Baby Hat

Small projects and summery yarns are great choices for those of us who can't bear to pack the needles and yarn away til fall. This month, we share a fun-to-make baby hat pattern that is knit in the round with a cotton/bamboo yarn blend yarn and topped with an adorable knotted i-cord. Choose your favorite Knitter's Pride interchangeable, fixed circular or double pointed needles to whip up this sweet baby hat in your choice of two sizes!


Do or Do Knot Baby Hat
Designed for Knitter's Pride by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

Gauge
20 stitches and 30 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, washed

Sizes
0-6 (6-18) months

Finished head circumference
16.5 (18.5) inches / 42 (47) cm

Supplies

  • US 7 (4.5mm) circular needles - 16" circumference, or 40" circumference, if magic looping
  • US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs
  • 2 balls Vinnis Colours "Bambi" yarn, shown in #832 Duck Egg, or 192 yards (176m) DK/light worsted yarn
  • Knitter's Pride Blocking Mat
  • 1 Stitch Marker

Abbreviations 
k - knit 
kf&b knit into the front and back of 1 stitch 
k1tbl - knit one stitch through the back loop
k2tog - knit two stitches together
p - purl 

To Make Hat
Cast on 80 (88) stitches. Place marker and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Work *k2, p2 rib for 1 (1.5) inches / 2.5 (3.8) cm.

Begin Working in Stitch Pattern:
Round 1: *k1tbl, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 2: K all stitches.
Round 3: *k1tbl twice, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 4: *k2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 5: *k1tbl, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 6: K all stitches.
Round 7: *p2, k1tbl twice, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 8: *p2, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Work Rounds 1-8 a total of 3 (4) times.

For 6-18 month size only, work Rounds 1-4 one more time.


Both Sizes - Begin Crown Decreases:
Decrease Round 1: *k2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 60 (66) stitches.
Knit 1 round even.
Decrease Round 2: *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 40 (44) stitches.
Knit 1 round even.
Decrease Round 3: *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 20 (22) stitches.
Decrease Round 4: *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 10 (11) stitches.
Decrease Round 5: *k2tog, repeat from * to to last 0 (1) stitch of round, k 0 (1). 5 (6) stitches.
Decrease Round 6: *k2tog, repeat from * to last 1 (0) stitch of round, k 1 (0). 3 (3) stitches.

With remaining stitches, work 3.5 inches of i-cord. Break yarn and pull tail through stitches to secure. Weave in ends. Knot cord as shown in photo (or do not...it's up to you!). Machine wash in gentle detergent, lay flat to dry.

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How to Re-Use Yarn: A Guest Post with Knitted Bliss

We’ve teamed up with Julie Crawford of the Knitted Bliss blog to bring you a handy tutorial on repurposing yarn from project that either didn’t turn out the way you planned, or for some reason have gone unused since finishing them. Julie’s original post appears appears here, along with our own recommendations for reclaiming yarn so you can use it for a new project you’ll love!



I don’t often do tutorials, but I have recently learned SO MUCH about how to reuse yarn from a knit that I had to share it with you guys. In particular because I’ve finally decided to turn my Delineate Tank into a Manzanilla Sweater, using the Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarn that I loved so much the first time around. I had almost two full skeins leftover from the original project, so this sweater will be a mix of unused yarn AND recycled yarn, which will have its own considerations. First, let’s recycle the yarn.

Note: The ‘stickier’ a yarn is, the harder it is to rip back. if there is any mohair or angora in it, it will be cling to the stitches, and not want to be easily undone. It can still be done, but you’ll need to go more slowly.

You will need:

  • the project
  • wool wash (my favourite is Eucalan)
  • a crochet hook or blunt tapestry needle
  • some waste yarn
  • a sink
  • a towel


Knitter’s Pride Recommends: Our Wool Winder & Swift will make balling and reskeining yarn faster & easier!

A note about the wool wash, in case you are wondering why I’m declaring Eucalan as my fave: I’ve tried other kinds, but I always come back to Eucalan because I get a lot of product for the price, which means more washes. It’s totally biodegradable and made with natural ingredients, and I also really like that the cap and top of bottle seem to magically stay clean and never get gummed up or sticky. My favourite scents are Pink Grapefruit and Jasmine Wrapture, but I’m using classic Eucalyptus scent for this tutorial.

Step 1
If you look closely at your hems and where you bound off, and pull a bit at the fabric, you will be able to see the tiny tail of where the ends were woven in. You can use a crochet hook or a blunt tapestry needle to begin pulling it loose, until you can then undo the cast off. If at any point prior to this you can’t find the end or the knot you pulled when you cast off was so tight there’s no way you’ll undo it, then you can always get some scissors and snip out the cast on edge.


Step 2
Start pulling. You may need to pause now and then, especially with flat knitting, as the sides tend to be a bit stickier.

As the yarn comes away, you will need to wrap it into a ball. If you have a yarn winder you can attach the loose end and unwind the sweater that way.


But you can also just use your hand, like this:


Or, try one of our new nostepinnes!

You will need to make a new ball for each section of yarn that you have. So, as you are winding and come to the end of the skein in the knit, put that ball aside and start a new one with the new end that you find.


Step 3
Once you have unwound and have all the balls of crinkly, ramen-noodle style yarn, you will need to get it ready for a bath. You can use a swift if you have one (shown above is the Knitter’s Pride Signature Swift), but I used the backs of two chairs, one of which had the high chair on it. And it had so much crusted baby food and weird stains that I couldn’t bear to snap a photo. So, it should look like the photo in this link, where the chairs are clean. Then, using the waste yarn, loosely tie 2-3 sections of it to keep all the strand of yarn corralled together. This will be very important for keeping the yarn from becoming a snarled mess later on. It will look like this:



Step 4
Bath time! Pour a capful of Eucalan into a sink filled with warm (not hot) water. Immerse the yarn.


You want to ensure that the yarn is fully saturated, and not floating on the surface. Push it down until it’s absorbed a fair quantity of water, and let it sit for about half an hour to help the fibers get fully relaxed. After 20 minutes, take a look at the yarn – is it still a bit crinkly? Then it needs more time. Continue soaking. If it’s relaxed, then drain the water (no need to rinse), squeeze out the excess water gently, and roll in a towel to remove more of the water. Hang to dry away from heat or light, a shower is a good place for this.

Step 5
You can then wind your yarn into a ball, or into a hank, both are shown below. Here is a 1 min video showing how to wind your yarn into a hank (the long one that looks like a pastry), which is ideal if you aren’t going to be using it right away.


Hedgehog is just for visual interest. I was trying to get one of the cats to lay beside it, but when was the last time a cat did anything you wanted it to do?

Now, before you dive into your knit, if you have a mix of yarn you have recycled AND yarn that hasn’t been used (like me!), then you want to keep the following in mind. I would like to give a big shout out of thanks to Celeste, a previous commenter who emailed with me about this, and had wonderful tips to share:


  • Cotton and acrylic might not change a lot in the process above, but wool, wool blends (and alpaca) can stretch a little or a lot.
  • It could also have stretched a bit, if you hung your washed yarn up to dry, rather than laid it flat.
  • Once a yarn is washed, it plumps up, filling in the space between fibers. Unwashed yarn won’t have done this yet. So you know that this will affect your….
  • Gauge!! You will need to do a gauge swatch in both your washed yarn AND your unwashed yarn to compare, and see if there is any difference. There could be a very big difference, and you want to know before investing a sweater’s worth of time into a knit.

Then Celeste also suggested this brilliant step:

“Another way to do a quick check is to lay the two yarns parallel to each other. You likely won’t see a difference in thickness. If you do, then it’s a sure sign. What you’d want to look for is the twist of plies of the yarn. If you lay a ruler next to them count the times the plies curve over the yarn in 4″/10cm segment (like a swatch the larger the measurement the greater accuracy). Then do the same for the second yarn. If they match up perfectly you can choose where to go from there.”

Genius, right? So if your yarn is showing a difference, then simplest solution is to wash all of it, both the used and unused yarn. If it is treated the same way and more likely to behave the same from one skein to the next.

There you have it! How to reuse your wonderful, precious yarn. If you’ve invested all that time into creating a knitted piece, it should be something you love to wear. If it isn’t (once you have completed the 6 emotional stages of frogging a project) and you love the yarn, why not give it a new lease on life? You might knit something you can’t live without this time!

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Knitter's Pride 2018-19 Collection Reveal

We are pleased to introduce our 2018-19 Collection, arriving at a Knitter's Pride retailer near you next month!

We have made some exciting additions to our knitting needle and crochet hook ranges and are also adding lots of notions, tools, and bags to our lineup to help you stay organized and craft smarter. We will be adding more information to our website in the days to come, and also sharing details on our social media channels soon. For now, we hope you enjoy feasting your eyes on this sneak peek!

Ginger Range
This stunning new range is available in single point, double point, fixed circular, interchangeable knitting needles and single ended and Tunisian crochet hooks. These wooden needles feature a unique tinted look and come in luxury knitting cases we know you'll love.

Zing Range
By popular demand, we are expanding our Zing range to include Single Ended Crochet Hooks and Crochet Hooks Sets, and we're also adding Size US 2.5 (3.00mm) and US 3 (3.25mm) in Normal, Special Interchangeable, and 9" & 12" Fixed Circular knitting needle options.

Bamboo Gift Set
10 pairs of Interchangeable Needle tips made featuring quality Bamboo coupled with copper metal connectors gives a unique feel to the whole set. The set includes US sizes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11 and 4 cords to make needle lengths of 24, 32 (two count) & 40 inches and one set of cord connectors.

Row Counter Rings
Keep track of your knitting pattern in style! These rings are made from high quality stainless steel, and are available in 4 sizes.



Magnetic Knitter's Necklace Kit

Never lose another cable needle (or stitch marker!) again with this clever and stylish accessory. The magnetic wooden pendant can be used to keep the cable needles and stitch markers close for easy access. Choose from the two colors shown here; additional cable needle and stitch markers can also be purchased as a separate accessories kit as needed.



Nostepinne

This portable tool allows you to wind yarn into a ball virtually anywhere, allowing you to create a center-pull ball with ease.



Rainbow Knit Blockers

Our popular Knit Blockers now have a playful new look! Knitters can have more fun while blocking their favorite projects with this revolutionary blocking tool, which has been designed to speed up the blocking process for knitters & crocheters alike. Our new Rainbow Knit Blockers come in ten different colors in each set.

Zooni Stitch Markers
Six new super-cute variants have been added to our range of Zooni Stitch markers to add more fun to your project. Each pack of 12 comes in a mesh pouch for storage.

Knitting Charms
These multipurpose accessories each come with a repair hook & needle and can also double up as a key ring or bag charm. They make fabulous gifts for your crafty friends and are sure to draw attention and smiles!

Flora Shawl Pins
We've added 8 new shawl pin designs to our curated collection inspired by nature and the works of our designers. Each pin lends meaning to the garment you wear it with and enhances its unique beauty. They can also be used as hair pins!

Vibrance Pouches
Organize your stuff with these bright mesh pouches, available in button or zipper closures. Three assorted sizes (small, medium and large) and colors mean you have a size for just about anything.


Our 2018-19 collection will be arriving in shops beginning July 2018 - click here to find your nearest Knitter's Pride retailer, or ask for them at your Local Yarn Store (LYS). 

Sock Knitting: The Perfect Toe

This month, we’re delighted to host the Leanna Lace Spring Socks KAL with our friends at Heart of the Mitten. It’s not too late to join this KAL! Click here for all the details, including the pattern link, coupons to purchase yarn, and details about how to participate and win prizes.


Previously, we shared tips for knitting the heel of your sock. From there, once you have decreased the gusset stitches back down to the original stitch count, you will continue to knit in the round, much as you knit the leg, but with one change: the stitches on the top of your foot will continue in the established lace stitch pattern, and the stitches on the bottom of the food will be worked in stockinette stitch (knit all stitches). 

Now it is time to turn your attention to the finishing of your socks: the toe and beyond!


Knitting the Toe


The Leanna Lace Socks pattern is written for a rounded toe. In knitting terms, this means that you're going to decrease slowly at first, and then more quickly until you get to the tip of the toe, where you'll finish our sock. 

First, make sure you've knit the foot of your sock to the length listed in the pattern, or where you feel you’re ready to start to knit the toe. You should have finished after completing Row 4 or Row 8 of the Leanna Lace pattern.


To knit the toe, you will need:


  • US Size 1 ½ (2.5mm) needle(s), circular or DPNs, or size to get gauge
  • One skein of Dale Garn Alpakka Forte or Hakkespett yarn


(Note: for the purposes of this tutorial we used US Size 1 (2.25mm) Knitter’s Pride Zing Double Pointed Needles and Dale Garn Hakkespett yarn)


Now let’s knit the toe!


Step 1: Arrange your stitches such that you are knitting the instep stitches as one set and the sole stitches as another set. You may need to switch stitches around on the needle if you working in Magic Loop. Remember at the end of the heel, the beginning of the row started at the middle of the bottom of the foot. Now, your beginning of round will be at the start of your instep stitches.


Step 2: Knit 1 round even. On the next round, beginning with the instep stitches, K1, sl1-k1-psso, then knit across the instep stitches until the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.  Repeat once for the sole stitches. You have now decreases 4 stitches, 2 on the top of the foot and two on the bottom.  Repeat Step 2 twice more (for a total of three times, 6 rows, 12 stitches decreased).




Step 3: Continue repeating your decrease round, bolded above, on every round until only 8-10 stitches remain.



Step 4: Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail, and thread end through tapestry needle.  Use the tapestry need to run through the remaining live stitches, then pull taut to close the toe.




That’s it! You’re done knitting your sock.


Finishing Your Socks


Once you have finished the knitting you still have a bit of finishing work to do. Using the tapestry needle, weave in any ends that remain (specifically one at the toe and one at the cuff).


Now you should finish the sock by washing it and blocking it. In case you haven’t washed or blocked anything before, here are a few simple steps to follow:


Step 1: Fill a clean sink (or bucket, or basin) with lukewarm water. We like to add just a smidge of heat to the water to loosen any oils or dirt that might be lurking in a knit, but prefer not to go too much beyond lukewarm.  


Step 2: Add some of your favorite wool wash. We like to use either Eucalan or Allure, but there are many wool washes out there to choose from.  


Step 3: Gently add your socks to the water. We like to press the socks into the water softly and make sure they are entirely submerged. Don’t add too much agitation, just enough to get your socks good and wet. Let your sock soak for about 20 minutes in the water/wool wash solution.


Step 4: Check the label of your wool wash. Some suggest a cool water rinse to remove remaining wool wash; others such as Eucalan and Allure don’t require a rinse. No-rinse detergents can not only be time-savers, they also remove an extra opportunity to accidentally felt your socks during the rinsing process if you haven't used machine washable yarn.


Step 5: Remove your socks from the water and squeeze gently to remove excess water. The key here is being gentle; don’t wring or twist your socks. If you have a clean towel nearby, you can roll your socks into the towel and squeeze gently again to remove more excess water.


Step 6: Lay your socks out to dry. If you would like, you can purchase sock blockers and put your socks on the blockers to dry to give them a nice shape!



Additional Notes About Toes


As we mentioned earlier in this post, the toe as written in the Leanna Lace sock pattern is a rounded toe. Similar to the many varieties of heels, there are many other kinds of toes you can knit if you prefer something different. You can achieve different toes by varying the rate and frequency of your decreases; we’ve included a few examples below.


The Wedge Toe


For a rounded toe, you knit your decreases every other round at first, and then knit them every round to create a rounded shape. To knit a wedge toe, simply keep decreasing at the slower rate - every other round. This creates a toe that looks a little bit more like a pie wedge. In the case of many wedge toes, you don’t decrease down to quite as few stitches as in the Leanna Lace sock, and when you finish you don’t pull your working yarn through the remaining stitches to cinch it closed, but rather graft the top and bottom stitches together using Kitchener Stitch.


The Star Toe


The Star Toe is a mixture of elements from the round toe and from the wedge toe. In a star toe, you are decreasing at multiple points around the toe down to a very small number before you close the toe almost in a point. The decreases make a sort of a swirling pattern around the sock to the point, hence the star name. You can vary the frequency of decreases to create either a longer or shorter toe as you wish.

To check out these toes and more you can refer to this Knitty article by Kate Atherly or this Interweave post entitled “5 Ways to Work a Sock Toe.”

We'd love to see your sock projects on Instagram - be sure to share your photos with #knitterpride and #KPHOMsocks in your post!

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Sock Knitting: All About Heels & Gussets

This month, we’re delighted to host the Leanna Lace Spring Socks KAL with our friends at Heart of the Mitten. It’s not too late to join this KAL! Click here for all the details, including the pattern link, coupons to purchase yarn, and details about how to participate and win prizes. Also, congratulations to Brenda79, our winner for the Zing DPN set giveaway. We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prize!


In our previous blog post, we discussed our favorite stretchy cast-ons and how to get started on your socks: today we’re going to talk about the next milestone for your sock: the heel! If this is your first sock project (or if you need a refresher), we will start with a quick tutorial on how to knit the heel flap and gusset called for in the Leanna Lace sock pattern. Later on in this post, we’ll talk about a few of the other heels that you can substitute into this pattern (or any socks you knit in the future) if you are feeling adventurous. Try them all and see which fits you best!



To knit the heel, you will need:


  • US Size 1 ½ (2.5mm) needle(s), circular or DPNs, or size to get gauge
  • One skein of Dale Garn Alpakka Forte or Hakkespett yarn


(Note: for the purposes of this tutorial we used US Size 1 (2.25mm) Knitter’s Pride Zing Double Pointed Needles and Dale Garn Hakkespett yarn)


Starting with a stretchy cast-on, we knit the 2x2 ribbed cuff, then completed 3 pattern repeats for the leg in preparation for the heel. Your sock should look a lot like this:


Now let’s knit the heel!


Step 1: Knitting the heel flap.


The heel flap is worked flat on half of your total number stitches, while the other half of your sock stitches remain on the other double pointed needles. In other words, you will knit back and forth to create a rectangular flap of material for the heel flap.  


As a general rule, when you work a standard heel flap, you will work as many rows as you have stitches: so for a 60-stitch sock, you will work 30 stitches for the heel, and 30 rows for the heel flap.


PRO TIP: Though the pattern doesn’t indicate doing so, try slipping the first stitch of every row to create stitches at each side edge that stand out a bit from your knitting, making it easy to pick up stitches later on because you will have the correct number of slipped stitches to be picked up every time!


For instance, if you have 30 stitches, and 30 rows, slipping the first stitch of every row will give you 15 slipped loops at each side for pickup. Below is the resulting heel flap, and how those slipped stitches look.






Step 2: Turning the heel.


After you have created the heel flap (which will fit over the back of your heel), the next step is to turn the heel. Turning the heel is the process of knitting short rows (that is, only some of the stitches on each row) to create a little wedge at the back of your sock for the smallest part of the bottom of your heel. The directions in this sock pattern are excellent, and if you follow them you’ll end up with a little triangle of fabric like so:



You’ve now turned your heel!


Step 3: Picking up stitches for the gusset.


The next step is to join the heel flap and turned heel back with your held stitches. To do so, you will be picking up and knitting stitches along each side of the heel flap. Don’t worry, we will walk you through this process step by step!


First, a quick vocabulary lesson: the gusset is just an expanded area of fabric that will give you extra ease over the widest part of your foot - diagonally around your ankle, down to your heel.  We create the gusset by picking up stitches along the sides of the heel flap, and then decreasing slowly over the ensuing rows until we get back to our stitch count. As we do this, we will keep knitting the pattern stitches over the top of the foot (called the instep) and switch to plain stockinette for the bottom part of the foot (the foot and the gusset stitches).


Once you have completed your heel turn in the previous step, you should find yourself one at one corner of the heel flap.


From there, carefully pick up and knit stitches in each one of the loops on the side of the heel flap (in our example, 15 stitches). You should now be back at the start of the top of the foot. If you choose to, you can resume knitting in pattern (remember where you left off!) over the top of the foot, across to the other side.  





After you have knit across the top of the foot, you will again pick up and knit the loops on the other side of the heel flap. For this round only, you will finish by knitting half of the stitches that were left on your heel turn.  


Now the beginning of your round is in the middle of your heel.




PRO TIP: If you are concerned that there might be a hole in between where you picked up your last gusset stitch and the top of the foot, you can always pick up an additional stitch in there to close that hole. If you do this, remember that you’ll need to do one extra round of decreases at the end to get the stitch count back down to where you started.


Step 4: Decreasing the gusset.


The final steps to finish your heel are to slowly decrease those gusset stitches over the next several rounds. You will continue to work as directed (in pattern on the top of the foot, in stockinette stitch on the bottom of the foot) and every other round you will ssk and k2tog to decrease 1 stitch at each side of the foot until you get back to your original stitch count (in our example, 15 stitches on each needle). This will create a diagonal line down the side of your sock where your gusset stitches decrease.





Once you are back to your original stitch count, you have finished your heel!  Now you’ll keep working in the round in the established pattern until you reach the toe, which we will discuss in our next blog post.


Now that you know how to knit a heel flap and gusset, you may want to explore the wide world of heel constructions - there are some innovative options out there! We have included links to a few different types of heels here (some free and some paid patterns) that you can use with socks you knit. We encourage you to try different types of heels to figure out what fits your foot best.



This pattern packs a lot of punch into a $1.00 download! The Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist is a short row heel that can be added to any sock. The benefit of this heel is that it can be done with no advance planning, and contains no wraps. You’ll simply create two wedges through the use of short rows (knitting only a portion of each row) that will form your rounded heel. Short row heels like the Fish Lips Kiss Heel (FLKH, for short) are great if you’re knitting with self striping yarn and don’t want to distort the stripes by increasing for a gusset. This heel is also easy to memorize and knit over and over again. The remainder of the pattern contains information on how to make a cardboard sock form for anyone you want to knit socks for so you always have their sizes with you.




Megan’s pattern includes her own OMG heel: One-needle Mock Gusset for toe-up or One-needle Mini Gusset for cuff-down. The benefit of this heel is that it does not disrupt any striping on the top of the foot because the gusset increases/decreases and turning of the heel all occurs on the bottom of the foot. The OMG heel mocks a gusset heel, but does so through the use of short rows. This might be a fit for you if you’re looking for a snugger fit to a short row heel.




Susan B. Anderson is the master of the afterthought heel. An afterthought heel is just that, an afterthought. An afterthought heel is created by cutting a stitch where you want to place your heel, unraveling a row, and then picking up and knitting a short row heel into your sock.  This allows you to start at the cuff and knit a tube down to the toe (or start at the toe and knit a tube to the cuff), and place your heel later on. If the thought of cutting your knitting gives you heart palpitations, you can cheat a little and place some waste yarn in where you want your heel to be. The Smooth Operator Socks pattern details how to knit your cuff (or toe and foot) and then place your waste yarn that you can remove later to knit your heel. Susan also includes expert tips on how to pick up stitches and avoid holes at the corners of your heel, as well as how to add extra rows to your short row heel to give it a bit more depth.




This free pattern includes instructions on how to knit a double gusset heel which results in a heel that hugs your foot and includes arch shaping. Cristi includes instructions on how to insert this heel into any sock you want to make as well as a link to a visual tutorial on her blog.


If you’re still interested in the many, many, many different kinds of heels you can add to your socks, you may wish to read this Knitty article by Kate Atherley about how to step up your sock game, including a variety of heels!


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