Sock Knitting: Make Them Fit Your Feet

Sock Knitting for Everybody: Sock Fitting

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 Knitting For Everybody: Table of Contents

Welcome to the next part of the tutorial an sock knitting and design: Sock Knitting for Everybody! Today’s topic is getting a better fit. But how to achieve this?

Fitting 101: Choosing the Right Sock Heel

There’s quite a lot of different methods for knitting sock heels available. But is choosing the perfect heel for your socks only a matter of personal preference?

The answer is no: certain foot shapes require specific shaping. So which sock heel should be used for which foot shape for achieving a better overall fit?

Heel Shaping On The Big Side

Flap heels are shaped using gusset inserts and most suitable for feet having a bigger than usual circumference, chubby feet and feet with high insteps. Vanilla cuff-down flap heel socks

Instructions for flap heels can be found here: Knitting Flap Heels (cuff down), or use the article Knitting Flap Heels Toe-Up if you prefer to work in this direction.

Shaping Socks: Slim and Small Feet (But Not For Kid’s Socks)

Small and slim feet can be made happy with socks using short row heels, but using the Dutch Heel is even better and shows off best when worn by people with slim feet. The Dutch Heel is a flap heel variant shaped with decreases on the sole, creating a slim fit and elegant looking heel shape.

Dutch sock heel

Instructions for working the Dutch Heel can be found here.

Fitting: Sock Heels and Adjustments For Kids

To make a long story short: when knitting socks for kids, use either flap heels or short row heels, and make sure your cuffs are as stretchy as possible.

Kids, especially smaller ones, tend to have chubby legs and feet. They need space to feel comfortable and heel variants that can be worked over a broad range of different stitch counts – flap and short row heels do the job best.

How To Make Really Stretchy Cuffs

Lots of people asked me for advice on how to make their sock cuffs stretchier. Some have problems with their bind off method resulting in tight cuffs, others have similar issues when casting on. Yes, there are solutions.

The Picot Bind Off Method

If your bind off method is resulting in cuffs being too tight, consider using a stretchier bind off, the picot bind off for instance. It works like a charm and is easy to knit: instead of your normal bind off method, repeat (CO 2 sts with cable cast on, bind off 4 sts using your usual method) until all sts have been bound off.

Picot Bind Off: The Cable Cast On
Picot Bind Off (1): Cable Cast On, Part One: Knit one stitch …


Picot Bind Off (1): Cable Cast On, Part One
Picot Bind Off (2): Cable Cast On, Part Two: … and put it back onto the left needle.


Picot Bind Off (1): Cable Cast On, Part One
Picot Bind Off (3): Cable Cast On, Repeat once again – we need to cable cast on two stitches.


Picot Bind Off (4): K4tog, or bind off 4
Picot Bind Off (4): K4tog (As shown here), or bind off 4 stitches using your usual bind off method.


Stretchy Cast On: Use Double Needles When Casting On

The standard trick for a stretchier casting on is to use two needles instead of one during cast on.

Sock Sock Knitting: Casting on the stretchy way

I hope I could make sock fitting a bit clearer! If you still have questions please don’t hesitate to ask by leaving 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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