Skip to main content

Knit Maker 201: Socks

Lesson 4 of 8

Turning the Heel

Vickie Howell

Knit Maker 201: Socks

Vickie Howell

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

4. Turning the Heel


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:01:36
3 Heel Flap Duration:06:04
4 Turning the Heel Duration:07:01
5 Gusset & Foot Duration:13:12
6 Toe Decreases Duration:09:15
7 Kitchener Stitch Duration:08:08
8 Picot Edging Duration:05:44

Lesson Info

Turning the Heel

Alright, so you've worked your whole heel flap, and now we're ready to do what's called turning the heel. This is actually secretly a little bit of short rowing. Which is kind of a fancy skill. I'm pretty excited that you're gonna learn it, but what it does is I'm gonna pull in our finished sock. On a sock you've got your heel flap which we just made, but then your foot is not just straight like this, right? It curves. Well, that means that your sock has to do the same thing. So, what we need to do is we need to turn that heel so that it sets up the foundation for you to be able to then knit the foot. So I'm gonna show you how to do that. Again, this is a mini sock version. This is like a wee baby sock, but it's the exact same technique, and I think that I still... Alright, so I've got my heels done, and I'm ready to turn them as we just said. Again, all the other stitches from the top of the foot are still on hold. I just wanted to show you really quickly. These I actually have hold o...

n waste yarn instead of a needle, just so you can see another option that you have. Waste yarn is just any scrap of yarn that's about the same weight. It doesn't need to be exactly, but pretty close so you don't stretch the stitches out and you just basically thread it on and then just tie it in a knot. It just keeps them hanging out. Okay, but we're ignoring those stitches and now we're ready to turn. Alright, so we're ready to get started turning the heel. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna slip that first stitch and then we're going to knit. The pattern says knot 14. I'm doing a little bit less because I'm working on a smaller version, but same thing. Then, from here your going to do what's called an s s k or a slip, slip, knit. Now I know in an earlier lesson I said whenever you slip stitches that you need to slip pearl wise unless noted differently. Well, this is one of those times where it is a bit different. A slip, slip, knit or an s s k decrease actually calls for you to slip them knit wise, so you're going to slip one stitch, slip the second stitch, and then you're going to knit both through the back loop. What that means is you're going to take this left had needle, insert through both loops, knit them together, and let them slide off. And that is a decrease. So you've done the, that's an s s k and then you're going to knit one more stitch. You're gonna completely leave these stitches free and easy. You're not going to work them at all, and you're gonna turn your piece around. Then, you're gonna slip that first stitch. You're going to pearl. The pattern says to pearl five. Again, I'm working a little bit less because I'm working on a smaller version. Then you're going to pearl two together, so decrease. To pearl two together you're going to insert your needle through the front of two loops, pearl them as if they were one, pearl the next stitch. Leave all the stitches that are left on that left had needle alone and flip it again. Then we're gonna basically repeat the same process so it's just gonna have a little bit of a different number amount. So, we're gonna slip again, and then we're gong to knit the number of stitches as called for in the pattern. Then we're gonna do our decrease. Now, this is where the real info is. You're always gonna be doing your decreases over where the gap from the first stitch to those stitches that were unworked before is. So if you ever have like a brain fade where you forget how many stitches you've worked or whatever, just use that as your little guiding light to sock goodness. So, we're going to slip, slip, and then knit those two together and that closes that gap. And then knit the next one, and then turn. Now we're gonna pearl that first stitch. Pearl the amount of stitches as called for in the pattern. Pearl two together. Look, look what we've got here. The gap between the stitch at the top and the ones that we have left unworked from the last time we were over here. So we know we need to pearl those together to close that gap. And then work the next one. And then turn over. And so this has established the pattern and you can kind of see it's a little bit difficult but see if I can get it. You can kind of see that you've created this little bit of shaping already. You can see how it's kind of got this nice little cup. A wee little cup already, and this is creating your little heel cup. Isn't that adorable? Look what you just did. That's because you're working short rows which means you're working less rows of certain stitches every row. So, you're manipulating the fabric which sounds super hard core and now you are kind of hard core and awesome. So you just keep going. I'm going to show you one more of each round, just because, I don't know, it's kind of fun. Alright, so slip one, and you're just goin to continue this until you are out of stitches, which would be now for me on this wee one. And so you can either count stitches. You would do one less stitch every, every row. So if you'd pearled four on the wrong side row before, you know, you pearl three or whatever. Or you do what I showed you before, you say, "Oh, there's that gap. I know that it's time for me to do my decrease there." Okay, so you do that until you've worked all of your stitches and you're going to have something that looks like this. And you're going to get something that looks like this. This is the turned heel of the sock, and arguably one of the hardest parts of making a sock and you totally just slayed it. Look at that! Look what you just did! You totally manipulated fabric. So now we are ready to move on to the next step.

Class Description

As your knitting ambitions begin to outpace your technical know-how, you’ll find that learning advanced techniques from a book can be both challenging and boring. It can be difficult to turn intermediate patterns from flat diagrams and instructions into a garment you’ll treasure.

Master crafter Vickie Howell will help you visualize and create a pair of socks in this fun, informative class. Join us, and you’ll learn:

  • How to knit a sock from start to finish
  • Tricks for creating the heel of a sock
  • How to graft the toe using kitchener stitch
It can be hard to set aside time for your creative outlet, and even harder to put time and energy into doing the research and legwork to advance your skills. Vickie Howell turns this formula on its head. Your craft should be your inspiration, and learning new techniques should be fun, attainable, and energizing.


E.L. Bl/Du

VICKY is so awesome, and now Im ready to knit socks. Ive been wanting to for a long time, she is so great about encouraging us to jump in. She has a way of making what seems so complicated seem easy and do-able. I am actually super excited about trying. I really miss all her great tips on Knitty Gritty, and was so delighted to see her on CL, my 2 favorites together, what could be better....MORE PLEASE....


Love Vickie Howell and I love this class! I've been wanting to learn how to knit socks for awhile and when I saw that Vickie was teaching this class I knew I had to join!


well done videos, but really wish I had known it was knitting with 4 needles. I wanted a class on knitting with circular needles. I assumed it was circular needles, I thought the four needles way was left in the past haha. guess not!