Welcome to the next part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Knitting for Everybody! Today’s topic is all about how to knit sock heels: which sock heels are out there, and when to work which one?
There’s myriad of sock heel variants out there in the knitting wild: flap heels, round heels, short row heels, afterthought heels are just a few of them. My all-time favorite are German short row heels but I enjoy working a Dutch heel occasionally, too – especially when knitting my socks top-down.
How to Knit Sock Heels
There are many variants of knitting sock heels: You can work them from top down, toe-up, with or without flaps, with instep shaping or without, and by using short rows.
Here’s an overview.
- Three Ways of Knitting Sock Heels Toe-Up
- Knitting Sock Heels Top Down
- How to Knit Dutch Sock Heels
- How to Knit German Short Row Heels
Stitch Patterns in Sock Heels
When knitting socks, I mostly chose two stitch pattern variants for their heels: plain stockinette (or reverse stockinette) stitch, and slip-stitch ribbing. To add extra durability, you can use reinforcement yarn (thin polyester thread) together with the main yarn during heel knitting. The latter was a commonly used technique for sock knitting in the 1980s where I grew up, and some knitters still swear it’s the best thing ever!
Personally, I don’t care much for polyester yarns at all, and reinforcement yarn is no exception. I have to admit it has its advantages, though – there are quite a few pairs of socks in my drawers with holes in their heels due to heavy wear; maybe reinforcing the heel could have prevented this.
What’s your preferred variant of knitting sock heels? I’m looking forward to reading your comments!