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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Beginner sock knitting: Sockalong - Week 2 - Heel flap, heel turn and gusset

Hello everyone, it’s Week 2 of the Winwick Mum Sockalong!  How are we all doing?  It’s been fabulous to see so many pictures and conversations this week - if you’ve not already joined our Facebook Sockalong group, the knit n natter group, Winwick Mum Sockalong Society, or the Ravelry group and you’d like to, then please do get involved.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s making this Sockalong such a success – I never imagined there would be so many pairs of socks on the go and from so many places around the world!

This week, we’re onto the dreaded heels.  Dreaded heels?  No, not at all!  We're just going to take it slowly and you'll see there's not much to it at all.  I like to use a heel flap heel because I think it’s one of the easiest heels to create.  Yes, there is picking up of stitches involved but I’m going to show you how to do that without creating holes.  If you do find a hole, that can usually be rectified later with a bit of nifty stitching so it’s not the end of the world!

As we did last week, I’m going to talk about each of the needles in turn – short circular, DPNs and long circular so just jump to the section that’s relevant to you.  Everybody ready?  Let’s tackle those heels!


Heel Flap – short circular needle

This is what your sock should look like at the moment.  You've cast on, worked your rows of rib and knitted the leg of your sock to the length you want it to be.

Sock knitting for beginners: leg on short circular needle

I find that it’s too awkward to create the heel flap on the small circular needle so at this point we need to change back to the pair of 2.5mm DPNs that you used to start off your cuff.  You only need two needles as we’re going to go back and forth as you would for straight knitting.  

You are going to create the heel flap from half the number of stitches that you cast on, so if you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches, you need to remember to adjust the number of stitches when you start the heel flap.  You won’t need your stitch marker whilst you’re knitting your heel flap so you can put it away safely for now.  

Continuing in the direction you have been knitting:

1st  row:      K2, *Slip 1, K1* until you have 30 stitches on your needle, ending with K1, turn. 
(Repeat instructions inside * and slip the stitch by sliding it from one needle to the other without knitting it.)


The reason that this row is different is because you’re knitting the first stitch rather than slipping it as you will for the rest of the heel flap rows.  This helps to stop a hole forming where your gusset will be created later. 

Sock knitting for beginners: heel flap

At this point, you can tuck the ends of your circular needle down inside the tube of your sock leg to keep them out of your way.

Sock knitting for beginners: heel flap

2nd row:   Slip 1, P to end, turn
3rd row:    *Slip 1, K1* to end, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until heel measures approximately 2 inches, finishing on row 3 (approx. 35 rows - although remember this might be different if you're using different sized needles).  If you want to make the heel flap longer, continue knitting rows 2 and 3 until you reach your desired length.

This is what your heel flap will look like on the outside ...

Sock knitting for beginners: heel flap right side

… and on the inside.

Sock knitting for beginners: heel flap wrong side

The heel stitch that you have used creates a reinforced, cushioned heel, which is more comfortable and durable than plain knitting.

Turning the heel

This is the part of the sock that many people find off-putting, but we’re going to take it slowly and you’ll see that it’s quite easy.  I like this bit of the sock construction because this is where your sock starts to look like a sock.  There are pictures of how to do the SSK and P2tog decrease stitches below.


You might like to read through the whole of this section before starting to make sure that you are quite happy with how the heel turn works.

We’re still working on the same two DPNs with the rest of the stitches held on the circular needle.  Create the heel as follows:

Row 1:                        Slip 1, P16, P2tog, P1, turn

This is your set-up row to get you into the middle of your heel.  After this first row, you will still have stitches left on your needle that you haven't used.  These are the stitches that you are going to decrease on every alternate following row to pull your heel into a V shape.

Row 2:                        Slip 1, K5, SSK, K1, turn
Row 3:                        Slip 1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4:                        Slip 1, K7, SSK, K1, turn

Continue in this way, increasing the number of stitches worked between slip stitch and SSK or P2tog on each row (ie, P8, K9, P10 etc) until all of the heel stitches are used and you won't need to turn after your last row.  You should find that you finish on an SSK stitch and have 18 stitches left on your needle.  

If you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches then your heel flap will need to be made larger or smaller.  It’s very easy to do this.  All you need to do is to alter the number of purl stitches in the first row of the heel (marked in bold above), increasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches extra that you cast on, or decreasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches less than 60 stitches.  For example, if you cast on 64 stitches, your first row would be Slip1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn.  You can work the rest of the heel as from Row 2 above without changing anything else.  Note that you will have more or less than 18 stitches left on your needle when you have worked all the decreases if you make the sock bigger or smaller.

You will notice as you start your heel turn that there’s a gap between the end of your knit or purl stitches in the middle of your heel and the remaining stitches to be worked.  This will help you to see where you’re up to.  You can see that you are always knitting the stitches in the middle of the heel flap whilst the remainder stay safely on your needles until they are required.

Sock knitting for beginners: heel turn

The heel rows require you to use P2tog and SSK stitches.  These are simply decrease stitches worked on either the purl side or the knit side of your work.

To create P2tog, put the right hand needle purlwise into the first two stitches on the left hand needle and purl them together.

Sock knitting for beginners: P2tog stitch

To create SSK, put the right hand needle knitwise into the first stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle. 

Sock knitting for beginners: SSK decrease stitch

Put the right hand needle purlwise into the second stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle.

Sock knitting for beginners: SSK decrease stitch

Slip both stitches back onto the left hand needle, then knit into the back of the stitches.  This gives a neat decrease on the outside of your heel.

Sock knitting for beginners: SSK decrease stitch

This is what you’ll see on the outside of your sock.  This is the P2tog side ...

Sock knitting for beginners: completed heel turn

and this is the SSK side.  It gives a nice neat finish with no gappy holes.

Sock knitting for beginners: completed heel turn

Shaping the gusset

Having finished the heel turn, your sock should look like the pictures above.  You can see how it’s taking on a sock shape now, and the next job is to create the gusset, which fills in the gap between the heel flap and the foot part of the sock.

We do this by first picking up stitches from the heel flap.  This is quite easily done, even if picking up stitches isn’t your favourite thing to do.  Do you remember that you slipped the first stitch of the heel flap on every row?  That slip stitch is what’s going to help you pick up the stitches because it creates a slightly bigger loop for you to knit into.   You can see in the picture the stitch is indicated by the wool needle. 

Sock knitting for beginners: picking up gusset stitches

Hold your sock so that the outside of the heel flap faces you.  You should be at the left hand side of your heel ready to pick up your stitches but if you aren’t , simply knit across the heel stitches to bring you to the right place.  You are going to pick up and knit every slipped stitch (one stitch per two rows of heel flap) using a second DPN.  I always pick up the first loop of the stitch as I feel that it gives a neater edge; some people like to pick up the second loop or both loops and that's fine - whichever you prefer!

Sock knitting for beginners: picking up gusset stitches

Pick up the stitch by putting the needle into the stitch, wrapping the yarn around the needle and pulling it through the stitch to make a new stitch.  Remember that if you made the heel flap bigger, you will need to pick up more stitches.   You should find this easy to do because you will have more slip stitches to knit into.  As a guide, I usually pick up about 19 stitches, but you may have more or less stitches than this depending on your yarn and needles.

Sock knitting for beginners: picked up gusset stitches

Tip: if you think you are going to have a big gap between the end of your picked-up stitches and the first of the stitches held on your circular needle, pick up an extra one or two stitches as required in the gap.  Don’t worry about the extra stitches as you will just decrease them as you go along.

Knit across the top of the foot using your circular needle by bending the ends around to knit in a tiny circle (if you find this too fiddly, knit across the stitches with a DPN, knitting them off your circular needle), place marker (I usually make sure that my markers are both different – it’s easier to tell which side of the sock you’re working on later), then pick up and knit 19 stitches (or more or less if required) up the other side of the heel.  If you have knitted off your circular needle across the top of the foot, use your circular needle to pick up the gusset stitches, or use another DPN if you prefer.

You can choose to knit back onto your short circular needle whenever you like - either as you go along picking up the stitches or as you get back round to it on your first decrease round.  Your sock should look like this if you pick up the stitches with your circular needle ... (Note: I've stopped at the end of the second set of picked up stitches to take the picture.)



and like this if you use a DPN.  (Note: I've stopped at the end of the second set of picked up stitches to take the picture.)



 Knit across the heel stitches until you are back at the start of your first set of picked-up stitches. You will need to place a marker at the end of the first DPN just before you knit your top of the foot stitches which you will do as part of round 1 below (but don't do it before you get to that point as it will just fall off the needle).  


After knitting across the top of the heel, shape the gusset as below.

Round 1:        K to 3 sts before the end of the 1st DPN, K2tog, K1, place marker, knit to next                                                                    marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.

Round 2:        Slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, knit to 3 sts before marker.

Round 3:       K2tog, K1, slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.


Repeat rounds 2 and 3 to shape the gusset.  Make sure that you are always decreasing on the heel side of your sock and not across the top of the foot stitches.

Once all of your stitches are back on your circular needle, your sock should look like this: 



To make the K2tog stitch, simply knit into the first two stitches on your left hand needle at the same time.

Sock knitting for beginners: K2tog decrease stitch

You are using the same SSK stitch that you used to create the heel, so if you need a reminder of how to make the stitch, go back to the heel turn section above. 

Continue in this way, decreasing by two stitches at the gusset on every other row (one on each side) until there are 60 stitches (or whatever number you cast on) on the needle.   Now is a good time to try on  your sock again to check whether you need your sock foot to be wider than the number of stitches you cast on.   You can see how the gusset is formed in this picture.

Sock knitting for beginners: gusset decrease

This is what your heel flap and gusset will look like once they are completed.

Sock knitting for beginners: gusset decrease and heel flap

And that's it for this week!  There's been a lot to get through and you might need to read it more than once before you start to make sure that you're comfortable with it all.  Just take your time and it will all fit together.


Heel Flap – DPNs

This is what your sock should look like at the moment.  You've cast on, worked your rows of rib and knitted the leg of your sock to the length you want it to be.


When you reach the end of your final leg round, it’s time to create the heel flap.  You only need two needles to create the flap as we’re going to go back and forth as you would for straight knitting.  You can just leave the rest of the stitches on the other two needles, or if you prefer you can slide them off onto a stitch holder.

You are going to create the heel flap from half the number of stitches that you cast on, so if you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches, you need to remember to adjust the number of stitches when you start the heel flap.  

Continuing in the direction you have been knitting:           

1st  row:    K2, *Slip 1, K1* knitting across needles 1 and 2 until you have 30 stitches on your needle, ending with K1, turn  
(Repeat instructions inside * and slip the stitch by sliding it from one needle to the other without knitting it.)

The reason that this row is different is because you’re knitting the first stitch rather than slipping it as you will for the rest of the heel flap rows.  This helps to stop a hole forming where your gusset will be created later.


You can choose to leave your stitches on needles 3 and 4 as shown:


or if you think you will find that too fiddly, you can slip the stitches from needles 3 and 4 onto a stitch holder for the time being.


2nd row:   Sl1, P to end, turn
3rd row:    *Sl1, K1* to end, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until heel measures approximately 2 inches, finishing on row 3 (approx 35 rows - although remember this might be different if you're using different sized needles).  If you want to make the heel flap longer, continuing knitting rows 2 and 3 until you reach your desired length.

This is what your heel flap will look like on the outside ...


and on the inside.


The heel stitch that you have used creates a reinforced, cushioned heel, which is more comfortable and durable than plain knitting.
                       
Turning the heel

This is the part of the sock that many people find off-putting, but we’re going to take it slowly and you’ll see that it’s quite easy.  I like this bit of the sock construction because this is where your sock starts to look like a sock.  There are pictures of how to do the SSK and P2tog decrease stitches.

You might like to read through the whole of this section before starting to make sure that you are quite happy with how the heel turn works.

We’re still working on the same two DPNs with the other two holding the rest of the stitches.  Create the heel as follows:

Row 1:                        Slip 1, P16, P2tog, P1, turn  

This is your set-up row to get you into the middle of your heel.  After this first row, you will still have stitches left on your needle that you haven't used.  These are the stitches that you are going to decrease on every alternate following row to pull your heel into a V shape.

Row 2:                        Slip 1, K5, SSK, K1, turn
Row 3:                        Slip 1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4:                        Slip 1, K7, SSK, K1, turn

Continue in this way, adding between slip stitch and SSK or P2tog on each row (ie, P8, K9, P10 etc) until all of the heel stitches are used, and you won't need to turn after your last row.  You should find that you finish on an SSK stitch and have 18 stitches left on your needle.  

If you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches then your heel flap will need to be made larger or smaller.  It’s very easy to do this.  All you need to do is to alter the number of purl stitches in the first row of the heel (marked in bold above), increasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches extra that you cast on, or decreasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches less than 60 stitches.  For example, if you cast on 64 stitches, your first row would be Slip 1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn.  You can work the rest of the heel as from Row 2 above without changing anything else.  Note that you will have more or less than 18 stitches left on your needle when you have worked all the decreases if you make the sock bigger or smaller.

You will notice as you start your heel turn that there’s a gap between the end of your knit or purl stitches in the middle of your heel and the remaining stitches to be worked.  This will help you to see where you’re up to.  You can see that you are always knitting the stitches in the middle of the heel flap whilst the remainder stay safely on your needles until they are required.


The heel rows require you to use P2tog and SSK stitches.  These are simply decrease stitches worked on either the purl side or the knit side of your work.

To create P2tog, put the right hand needle purlwise into the first two stitches on the left hand needle and purl them together.


To create SSK, put the right hand needle knitwise into the first stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle. 


Put the right hand needle purlwise into the second stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle. 


Slip both stitches back onto the left hand needle, then knit into the back of the stitches.  This gives a neat decrease on the outside of your heel.  When you come to use this stitch for the gusset decreases, you can knit into the back of the stitch on the knit rounds if you choose to, as this will help to keep the decreases straighter.


This is what you’ll see on the outside of your sock.  This is the P2tog side:


and this is the SSK side.  It gives a nice neat finish with no gappy holes.


Shaping the gusset

Having finished the heel turn, your sock should look the pictures above.  You can see how it’s taking on a sock shape now, and the next job is to create the gusset, which fills in the gap between the heel flap and the foot part of the sock.

We do this by first picking up stitches from the heel flap.  This is quite easily done, even if picking up stitches isn’t your favourite thing to do.  Do you remember that you slipped the first stitch of the heel flap on every row?  That slip stitch is what’s going to help you pick up the stitches because it creates a slightly bigger loop for you to knit into.  You can see in the picture the stitch is indicated by the wool needle. 


Hold your sock so that the outside of the heel flap faces you.  You should be at the left hand side of your heel ready to pick up your stitches but if you aren’t, simply knit across the heel stitches to bring you to the right place.  You are going to pick up and knit every slipped stitch (one stitch per two rows of heel flap) using a second DPN.  I always pick up the first loop of the stitch as I feel that it gives a neater edge; some people like to pick up the second loop or both loops and that's fine - whichever you prefer!  



Pick up the stitch by putting the needle into the stitch, wrapping the yarn around the needle and pulling it through the stitch to make a new stitch.  Remember that if you made the heel flap bigger, you will need to pick up more stitches.   You should find this easy to do because you will have more slip stitches to knit into.  As a guide, I usually pick up about 19 stitches, but you may have more or less stitches than this depending on your yarn and needles.


Tip: if you think you are going to have a big gap between the end of your picked-up stitches and the first of the stitches held on your circular needle, pick up an extra one or two stitches as required in the gap.  Don’t worry about the extra stitches as you will just decrease them as you go along.

Once you have picked up the stitches, knit across the top of the foot using DPNs three and four which were holding the stitches then pick up and knit 19 stitches (or more or less if required) up the other side of the heel flap and then knit across the top of the heel so that your yarn is in the right place to start round 1 of the gusset.  Your sock will look like this and you will have the following number of stitches on your needles:


Needle 1 – 19 stitches (or more or less depending on how many you picked up)
Needle 2 – 30 stitches
Needle 3 – 19 stitches (or more or less depending on how many you picked up)
Needle 4 – 18 stitches

Note:  if you are working on 4 needles, you will need to split your picked up stitches and top of the foot stitches across 3 needles, so use stitch markers to show where your decreases should go.

Round  1:       (Needle 1) K to 3 sts before the end of the needle, K2tog, K1.  (Needle 2) knit                                      across all stitches.  (Needle 3) K1, SSK, knit to end of needle.  (Needle 4) knit                                    across all stitches 
Round 2:        Starting with needle 1, knit across all stitches on all needles, finishing on                                                 needle 4 ready to start round 1 again. 

Repeat these two rounds to shape the gusset.   Make sure that you are always decreasing on the heel side of your sock and not across the top of the foot stitches.

To make the K2tog stitch, simply knit into the first two stitches on your left hand needle at the same time.


You are using the same SSK stitch that you used to create the heel, so if you need a reminder of how to make the stitch, go back to the heel turn section above. 

Continue in this way, decreasing by two stitches at the gusset (one on each side) on every other row until there are 60 stitches (or whatever number you cast on) on the needle.  Now is a good time to try on  your sock again to check whether you need your sock foot to be wider than the number of stitches you cast on.  You can see how the gusset is formed in this picture.


This is what your heel flap and gusset will look like once they are completed.



If you are working on 4 needles, you will need to have all of your stitches distributed across 3 needles which might feel a little bulky until you start decreasing them.  After completing the heel turn, pick up 19 stitches with Needle 1, knit across 30 stitches for the top of the foot with Needle 2, pick up 19 stitches with Needle 3 plus 9 stitches from the heel.  Knit the next 9 stitches plus the 19 picked up stitches originally held on Needle 1 and this will become your new Needle 1 - don't forget that you will need to decrease (K2tog) 3 stitches before the end of Needle 1 on this round (round 1 of the gusset decrease).  Continue to work rounds 1 and 2 of the gusset as above until you have 60 stitches on your needles.

And that's it for this week!  There's been a lot to get through and you might need to read it more than once before you start to make sure that you're comfortable with it all.  Just take your time and it will all fit together.



Heel Flap – large circular

This is what your sock should look like at the moment.  You've cast on, worked your rows of rib and knitted the leg of your sock to the length you want it to be.


Making sure that you have the front of your knitting facing you so that you have completed your last round, it’s time to create the heel flap.  We’re going to go back and forth as you would for straight knitting, but the nice thing about the long circular is that you can just leave the rest of the stitches on your circular needle as there is plenty of room for you to work and hold your stitches securely.

You are going to create the heel flap from half the number of stitches that you cast on, so if you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches, you need to remember to adjust the number of stitches when you start the heel flap.    

Continuing in the direction you have been knitting:
                        
1st  row:    K2, *Slip 1, K1* until you have 30 stitches on your needle, ending with K1, turn  (Repeat instruction inside * and slip the stitch by sliding it from one needle to the other without knitting it.)

The reason that this row is different is because you’re knitting the first stitch rather than slipping it as you will for the rest of the heel flap rows.  This helps to stop a hole forming where your gusset will be created later.  


2nd row:   Slip 1, P to end, turn
3rd row:    *Slip 1, K1* to end, turn

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until heel measures approximately 2 inches, finishing on row 3 (approx 35 rows - although remember this might be different if you're using different sized needles) .  If you want to make the heel flap longer, continuing knitting rows 2 and 3 until you reach your desired length.

This is what your heel flap will look like on the outside ...


and on the inside.


The heel stitch that you have used creates a reinforced, cushioned heel, which is more comfortable and durable than plain knitting.
                       
Turning the heel

This is the part of the sock that many people find off-putting, but we’re going to take it slowly and you’ll see that it’s quite easy.  I like this bit of the sock construction because this is where your sock starts to look like a sock.  There are pictures of how to do the SSK and P2tog decrease stitches below.

You might like to read through the whole of this section before starting to make sure that you are quite happy with how the heel turn works.

We’re still working on the circular needle with the rest of the stitches held on the cable.  Create the heel as follows:

Row 1:                        Slip 1, P16, P2tog, P1, turn

This is your set-up row to get you into the middle of your heel.  After this first row, you will still have stitches left on your needle that you haven't used.  These are the stitches that you are going to decrease on every alternate following row to pull your heel into a V shape.

Row 2:                        Slip 1, K5, SSK, K1, turn
Row 3:                        Slip 1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4:                        Slip 1, K7, SSK, K1, turn

Continue in this way, adding one between slip stitch and SSK or P2tog on each row (ie, P8, K9, P10 etc) until all of the heel stitches are used and you won't need to turn after your last row.  You should find that you finish on an SSK stitch and have 18 stitches left on your needle.  

If you have cast on more or less than 60 stitches then your heel flap will need to be made larger or smaller.  It’s very easy to do this.  All you need to do is to alter the number of purl stitches in the first row of the heel (marked in bold above), increasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches extra that you cast on, or decreasing by 1 stitch for each block of 4 stitches less than 60 stitches.  For example, if you cast on 64 stitches, your first row would be Slip 1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn.  You can work the rest of the heel as from Row 2 above without changing anything else.  Note that you will have more or less than 18 stitches left on your needle when you have worked all the decreases if you make the sock bigger or smaller.

You will notice as you start your heel turn that there’s a gap between the end of your knit or purl stitches in the middle of your heel and the remaining stitches to be worked.  This will help you to see where you’re up to.  You can see that you are always knitting the stitches in the middle of the heel flap whilst the remainder stay safely on your needles until they are required.


The heel rows require you to use P2tog and SSK stitches.  These are simply decrease stitches worked on either the purl side or the knit side of your work.

To create P2tog, put the right hand needle purlwise into the first two stitches on the left hand needle and purl them together.


To create SSK, put the right hand needle knitwise into the first stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle.  


Put the right hand needle purlwise into the second stitch on the left hand needle and slip it onto the right hand needle.  


Slip both stitches back onto the left hand needle, then knit into the back of the stitches.  This gives a neat decrease on the outside of your heel.  When you come to use this stitch for the gusset decreases, you can knit into the back of the stitch on the knit rounds if you choose to, as this will help to keep the decreases straighter.


This is what you’ll see on the outside of your sock.  This is the P2tog side ...


and this is the SSK side.  It gives a nice neat finish with no gappy holes.


Shaping the gusset

Having finished the heel turn, your sock should look like the pictures above.  You can see how it’s taking on a sock shape now, and the next job is to create the gusset, which fills in the gap between the heel flap and the foot part of the sock.

We do this by first picking up stitches from the heel flap.  This is quite easily done, even if picking up stitches isn’t your favourite thing to do.  Do you remember that you slipped the first stitch of the heel flap on every row?  That slip stitch is what’s going to help you pick up the stitches because it creates a slightly bigger loop for you to knit into.  You can see in the picture the stitch is indicated by the wool needle. 


Hold your sock so that the outside of the heel flap faces you.  You should be at the left hand side of your heel ready to pick up your stitches but if you aren’t, simply knit across the heel stitches to bring you to the right place.  You are going to pick up and knit every slipped stitch (one stitch per two rows of heel flap).  I always pick up the first loop of the stitch as I feel that it gives a neater edge; some people like to pick up the second loop or both loops and that's fine - whichever you prefer!  



Pick the stitch up by putting the needle into the stitch, wrapping the yarn around the needle and pulling it through the stitch to make a new stitch.  Remember that if you made the heel flap bigger, you will need to pick up more stitches.   You should find this easy to do because you will have more slip stitches to knit into.  As a guide, I usually pick up about 19 stitches, but you may have more or less than this depending on your yarn and needles. 


Tip: if you think you are going to have a big gap between the end of your picked-up stitches and the first of the stitches held on your circular needle, pick up an extra one or two stitches as required in the gap.  Don’t worry about the extra stitches as you will just decrease them as you go along.

Once you have picked up the stitches, place a marker over the end of your right hand needle.  Knit across the top of the foot using your circular needle, place marker (I usually make sure that my markers are both different – it’s quicker to tell which side of the sock you’re working on later), then pick up and knit 19 stitches (or more or less if required) up the other side of the heel.  Knit across the heel stitches until you are back at the start of your first set of picked-up stitches and then shape gusset as below. 



Round  1:       K to 3 sts before the first marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.
Round 2:        Slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, knit to 3 sts before marker.
Round 3:       K2tog, K1, slip marker, knit to next marker, slip marker, K1, SSK, K to marker.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 to shape the gusset.  Make sure that you are always decreasing on the heel side of your sock and not across the top of the foot stitches.

To make the K2tog stitch, simply knit into the first two stitches on your left hand needle at the same time.


You are using the same SSK stitch that you used to create the heel, so if you need a reminder of how to make the stitch, you can look back at the heel section above.

Continue in this way, decreasing by two stitches at the gusset on every other row until there are 60 stitches (or whatever number you cast on) on the needle.  Now is a good time to try on  your sock again to check whether you need your sock foot to be wider than the number of stitches you cast on.

You can see how the gusset is formed in this picture.


This is what your heel flap and gusset will look like once they are completed.



And that's it for this week!  There's been a lot to get through and you might need to read it more than once before you start to make sure that you're comfortable with it all.  Just take your time and it will all fit together.

So there you go - your sock should be looking more like a sock now!  Time to congratulate yourself on a job well done! J  


Next week, we're going to finish the foot of the sock, decrease the toes and graft them using Kitchener stitch, which isn't nearly as difficult as some people believe.  If you really can't wait until next week and have to keep going with your sock, then your foot section needs to finish 5cm before your toes.

As always, please do ask questions if you're stuck, either here on the blog or through the Facebook or Ravelry groups.  No question is a daft question as we all had to start somewhere, and don't worry if you feel you're not keeping up - there's no time limit, it's not a race or a competition and what's important is that you end up with a pair of socks, so go at your own pace.

If you need a reminder of any of the earlier tutorials, then you can find them all here.  There have been a couple of amendments to the pattern over the last week so you might want to check that you have the latest version which you can download from here.  Happy knitting everyone, see you next week for the final tutorial!



These Sockalong tutorials are free and will always remain so, but if you have enjoyed using them and would like to make a donation towards future projects, it will be gratefully received!  You can find the donation button on the sidebar on the left hand side.  Thank you! xx


More Sockalong posts:

Sockalong - yarns

Sockalong - needles

Sockalong - tension squares, casting on and stitch calculations

Sockalong - accessories and matching yarn

Sockalong - anatomy of a sock

Sockalong - Week 1 - Cast on, cuff and leg

Sockalong - Week 3 - Foot, toe and grafting the toes

Sockalong basic 4ply sock pattern

Sockalong successes

Facebook Sockalong group for help, advice and encouragement

Ravelry Sockalong group




















                         

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