Sock Design: How To Knit Sock Heels

Sock Design for Everybody: Sock Heels

Are you a sock knitter dying to learn how to design your own knitted socks? If your answer is “Yes!”, these sock design tutorials are the one-stop resource for you.

Sock Design For Everybody: Table of Contents

Welcome to the next part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Design for Everybody! Today’s topic is all about sock heels: which sock eels 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.

Dutch sock heel
Silberbaum, an example of a sock pattern using the Dutch Heel.

Back in 2013, I wrote a comprehensive series about sock heels here on my blog: Heel Week: Five Ways of Knitting Sock Heels.

Heel Week featured German short row heels, the Dutch Heel, Toe Up Flap Heels, Standard Flap Heels and Hat Heels and is your first stop for learning about different sock heel techniques and how to knit them. Just follow the link above!

An example of standard flap heel socks worked top-down.
An example of standard flap heel socks worked top-down.

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.

Do you have a preferred method of knitting sock heels?

Which way of knitting sock heels is your number one? I’m curious to hear your story – please leave a comment below!

Happy knitting,


PS. The extended version of this series is available in book form and called Sock Knitting in Plain English – I’m sure you’ll like it!

Sock Knitting in Plain English

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