Sock Design: How To Knit Socks Soles and Instep

Sock Design for Everybody: Soles and Instep

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 third part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Design for Everybody! Today’s topic is all about knitting the foot section of your socks: sole and instep.

Sock Soles: Knit Them Plain!

Soles and heel are the parts of knitted socks that get the most wear and which your feet stand on when you wear them. It’s a good idea to chose stitch patterns that are as durable as smooth – no cables, no lace patterns, nothing that could create discomfort.

For the sole, the best and simplest pattern is stockinette stitch, or reverse stockinette stitch.

Stitch Patterns For The Upper Foot (Instep)

Any stitch pattern is usable for the instep as long as it fits into your stitch count. For people with high insteps wearing socks with texture on the upper foot might feel uncomfortable when worn in closed shoes. Better use a stitch pattern with only little texture in this case: if in doubt, stockinette stitch is always an option.

Sock Design for Everybody: Soles and Instep
The QED sock knitting pattern is a good example of stockinette stitch sole and patterned instep combinations.

A Pattern Template

Assuming you are about to knit plain stockinette stitch socks and want to know how to knit the foot section – it’s the most simple part of the sock actually. Just knit in the round in stockinette stitch until your sock is long enough to start the toes (when working top-down) or the heel (when working toe-up).

How to find out when to start the heel (or toe) section and get the sizing right is a topic of its own – I’ll tell you more about sock sizing in part six of this series (to be published on January 30th).


Which way of knitting sock soles and instep 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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  1. carole genesi says:

    I am really enjoying this class!! I can’t wait until the 30th, I have knitted about 20 pairs of socks and all 20 dont fit.. I have “HEEL” phobia… I dont seem to be able to work my way through with out losing count, etc, I have tried FLK heel, after thought and short rows and a few heel flaps and gussets. Hopefully you will have some answers about fit! Thanks for offering this fatntastic on sock knitting!

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