There are many ways to knit the heel of a sock. In this video, Corrina Ferguson shows you how to knit a slipped stitch heel flap, a common heel construction in top-down socks.
Corrina is working the sock sample using the magic loop method; however, a slipped stitch heel can be worked on whatever method of small circumference circular knitting you prefer (double-pointed needles, two circulars, short circular, etc.). The heel flap is worked over half the stitches on the sock, back and forth in rows. If using double-pointed needles for sock knitting, place all the heel stitches onto one needle to simplify working the heel flap.
The heel flap begins on the Right Side, over an even number of stitches, as follows:
- Right Side: *slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch; repeat from * to end of heel flap.
- Wrong Side: slip 1 stitch, purl to end of heel flap.
These two rows are repeated to desired length. Your sock pattern will indicate how long the heel flap will be and how many stitches are used to create the flap.
When slipping the stitches, Corrina slips all the stitches as if to purl. She notes that the stitches can be slipped as if to knit, if desired. When slipping the stitches as if to knit, those stitches will be twisted. So, it’s important to be consistent in which way the stitches are worked. The normal convention is to slip as if to purl.
By working the heel flap in this slipped stitch pattern, a strong fabric is created. A vertical line of slipped stitches is seen from the right side. The fabric is dense, which is good for the heel of a sock, as that area gets a lot of wear and needs durability.