The Perfect Heel Quest | knitted socks with a heel flap and no gusset

I like wearing hand-knitted socks from fall to spring and this week I’ll tell you the story of my quest to knit the perfect sock heel using UNIVERSAL YARN Zesty Sock #1895 Yarn – 100g – 1 Super Fine – 400m (437yds). Zesty Sock yarn is made of 75% superwash merino for warmth and softness and 25% nylon for more durability. Join me this week as I look at the various ways to knit the heel using the free Basic Toe-up Socks Pattern.

The basic toe-up socks in a colourful yarn

I chose the Iceberg colorway to work well with my shoes and boots.

My supplies arrived!

Universal Yarn Zesty Sock in Iceberg colorway and KNITTER’S PRIDE Karbonz circular needle

I knitted a swatch and had to adjust my knitting needles, going down to a different size than the one recommended in the pattern, to get the gauge for the socks.

KNITTER’S PRIDE Karbonz 32″ [80cm] Fixed Circular Knitting Needle US1 [2.25mm].

I like knitting socks, they make a small, portable knitting project that I can carry around and work on while travelling or waiting.

I like working my socks toe-up.

I like working my socks two at a time, on circular needles, this way avoiding the second sock syndrome. There are other reasons why I like to knit two socks at a time: my tension changes based on mood, how tired I am or the humidity of my surroundings. Working the two socks at the same time helps me make the best matching pair I can knit.

But I don’t like it if the socks are too wide, too tight, or create fabric bulges that can bother me while wearing them. So, I’ll start a quest to find the best-fitting toe-up sock for myself.

I’ll use the basic toe-up sock pattern as the baseline, all my socks will start with the same toe, will have the same foot/instep length up to the base of my ankle hinge, and will have the same length of the foot and the cuff.

What will be different? The heel!

I’ll try the following heels this week:

  • Basic heel with a heel flap (no gusset) – the one from the basic toe-up sock pattern
  • Wrap and turn short row heel
  • Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato heel
  • The Fleegle heel
  • Sox Terapist’s Fish Lips Kiss heel

Different methods of turning the heel can change the size and the fit of the socks. All these socks will be knitted with the same yarn, same needles, and the same number of stitches and I’ll be able to compare the heels and decide which one is the best one for me.

Note: Another heel may be the perfect one for someone else.

I started with my baseline, the basic toe-up sock.

I knitted the toe following the pattern instructions until I reached the required 60 stitches, 30 stitches for the sole and 30 stitches for the instep.

Completed toe, 60 stitches

I continued following the pattern for the foot and the heel.

I knitted the heel flap, turned the heel following the instructions and knitted the leg and the cuff.

The sock is ready, it has a good fit, rather tight around the ankle.

Finished basic toe-up sock

On to the next heel! Tomorrow I’m trying the wrap and turn short rows heel using Universal Yarn Zesty Sock and KNITTER’S PRIDE Karbonz 32″ [80cm] Fixed Circular Knitting Needle US1 [2.25mm]. The Wrap and Turn short row heel, is a classic way of turning heels for both toe-up and cuff-down socks. Join me.

Finished basic toe-up sock

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: The Perfect Heel Quest | knitted socks with wrap and turn short rows heel

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