My favourite part of knitting socks

As I reached the heel of my current sock today I thought to myself “great now I get to knit the heel!” and that I was really looking forward to it. The more I think about it I realise that the heel really is my favorite part of a sock to knit. I guess this is fairly unusual because mostly what I’ve heard of is that people dread turning the heel of a sock or don’t knit socks because of the requirement of a heel. I’ve actually never found knitting a heel to be terribly hard or annoying to do but rather once I get going I really enjoy the rhythm of it. On a similar note I think that my least favourite part of a sock is the leg, it just seems to take so long to make any progress and it feels like it drags on and on forever.


Here’s where I’m at on the socks, this is the Peregrin Socks from the fellowship of the socks collection for my year of the socks challenge. So far I’m really enjoying this pattern actually, the cable pattern is pretty intuitive and I like the look of it. Surprisingly it also isn’t annoying me that there are cables on every row for some reason either which is nice. I might even have to make annother pair of these someday!

I’m curious to hear from other knitters on this idea of a favourite part of socks. What is the part of knitting socks that you enjoy the most or the least and why?

15 thoughts on “My favourite part of knitting socks

  1. I fear I am one of those who doesn’t love heels either, and I’ve so far done afterthought ones. My favourite part part is starting the toe, with the magic cast-on technique πŸ˜ƒ

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    • Well everyone has their preference, and afterthought heels can be very convenient sometimes. If you like doing the toes the best then it makes sense that you would enjoy that type of heel more than the other ways. I think the afterthought one is my least favourite of all the heels I have tried so far, maybe it’s just the way I’m doing it but I seem to end up with a hole on each side of the sock that I find very annoying.
      The magic cast on is a lot of fun, it’s kinda magical watching the toe grow from something flat like that. πŸ™‚

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      • Well, I’m also self-taught, which means I had to work out how these things are done on my own, which in turn means I have no idea how to turn a heel! Maybe if I learned I’d enjoy it 😊

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      • Same here, sometimes I find it is an advantage but other times it makes things harder, this is probably one of those times. I find for the heel once you see the pattern for where to turn the short rows you no longer need to count anymore and it is much more enjoyable. Often it’s just move to the end of the stitches you have already worked in the heel or one beyond that then do the ending stitches (there are a couple different ways of doing it) and turn. You are basically working outwards from the centre bit by bit but you have to somehow secure the edges of the heel so there are no holes as you do it, sometimes that is done by wrapping stitches and other times it’s done by a strategic decrease over the gap. This is how I think of it anyways, I hope that helps a bit.

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      • That really sounds scientific. Wow, if you learnt all that by yourself, then my sincere congratulations! How about Fish Lips Kiss Heels, have you tried them? It’ll be my next ones, and one day I’ll try the “traditional” way. Although there’s so many techniques I believe one could knit a pair of socks a month and never repeat heels for a year!

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      • Well the reason I figured that out was because I was on a long road trip with only one project and I forgot to print the instructions for the heel so it was either figure it out or face 13 hours in the car with no knitting.
        I have never tried the Fish Lips Kiss heel but I’ve heard good things about it so I probably will try some time soon. Have you tried a short row heel? I just tried that a little while ago and really enjoyed it and it’s another one where the toe and heel of the socks can be knit the same way. I often use the traditional one just because it’s easy for when I feel like knitting but don’t feel like following a pattern and I guess I’m just a bit lazy. I totally believe it! I really should try some more heels soon, there really are so many interesting ones out there and it would be nice to have some more sock techniques in my bag of tricks.

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      • I’ve never tried any other heels apart from the afterthought one, so I really need to see if others end up being better suited for me. Fish Lips Kiss Heel has so many wonderful reviews that I just need to give it a go (probably the next pair of socks I cast on). Short row heels sound interesting, if they are similar in construction as toes.
        I’ve often played with the idea of making a heel separately from the sock and then just kitchener-ing it to an afterthought heel – am I explaining this correctly? Might turn out to be brilliant, but quite probably, it’ll be a huge disaster πŸ™‚

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      • As far as I can tell the short row heels are exactly the same as a short row toe.
        I think that’s a great idea! That would be really easy to repair if it ever wears out too which would be a huge bonus I think.

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      • That’s the main reason I’m thinking of trying that, but I wonder if there would be holes or other issues with this, because otherwise, why hasn’t anyone ever done it before? Maybe someone did and I just have no idea…

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      • Well I would imagine the reason it’s not a popular way of doing a heel is because a lot of people hate doing Kitchener stitch and doing it that way would involve 60 stitches worth of Kitchener stitch which is quite a lot.
        I can’t imagine that it would create holes though since it would be a seamless graft going all the way around it would just be like a round of knitting except where you started but you could secure that by weaving in the ends strategically.

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  2. That’s an interesting topic! πŸ˜€

    I love the heel, but I really don’t like knitting the heel flap. The leg and everything else is fine and fun, but the heel flap … Ah well … I don’t know why, but it always seems to drag on and on and on and on and on … Except when I use a heel that involves a bit of patterning. Heel flaps suit my foot (and everyone else I have knit for so far) best, so I’ll buckle down to it. But man, it sure slows down! πŸ˜‰

    At the beginning, I didn’t like picking up stitches for the gusset either, but now that I’ve gotten better at it over time, this isn’t a problem any more.

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    • That’s very interesting that you like one part but not the other, maybe it has to do with working in plain rows for a while, that part is often less interesting than the rest of the sock. I do enjoy doing the plain sl1 k1 heels a lot, I think it’s because of the rhythm of it but I do find that I am always tempted to stop the flap shorter than I actually should make it.
      I definetly agree with picking up gusset stitches, now that I have made many socks and know where I should place all of the stitches so that it’s even and there are no holes it’s much more enjoyable.

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      • I think you have nailed the point – the heel flap breaks the “flow” of knitting in the round for me. I have to look at my knitting more often and keep more attention to what I am doing; knitting in the round is a bit easier for that (don’t ask me why – it is probably habit). πŸ˜‰

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