As I’ve already talked about, my go-to sock pattern is toe-up. I’ve been equally split on whether I prefer afterthought heels or knitting straight up, though now that I’ve made it my mission to knit contrasting color heels in a straight-up knit pattern, there’s no going back!
Afterthought heels have their own set of tricks and hot tips, but after a discussion with a new knitting friend last night, I thought I’d share a trick my dear friend Stephanie taught me about picking up the stitches along the side of the heel flap.
These socks, which have used up a really lovely color of sock yarn that’s been in my stash since well before I learned how to knit socks, are a holiday present, but I won’t divulge who will be receiving them! Just know that they’re a tiny bit small on me, so the heel is intended to rest a smidge higher on the wearer’s foot.
Wherever the heel is meant to sit, and whether or not you’re working toe-up or heel-down, one common pitfall of picking up the stitches along the side of the heel flap is the inevitable gaps and holes that end up plaguing the join. The magical (though totally simple) fix is to twist those picked-up stitches as you knit them. Knit through the back loop so that the tiny bit of extra yarn length involved in the picked-up stitch (which were picked up because those are the edge stitches you slipped when creating the heel flap) is used up in the twisting. With that, the only bit of a hole that’s visible in this pair of socks is present only because my massive feet are pulling the instep a bit too taught for the length I went for.
I hope that’s helpful, knitters! Twisting the picked-up stitches has made a huge difference for me, and I make sure to do it anytime I make socks with a heel flap. Do you have any hot sock tips that you’ve added into your go-to sock recipe?