The Perfect Heel Quest | the Fleegle heel

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about working and finishing the basic toe-up sock using Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato heel in Universal Yarn Zesty Sock.

My next sock will follow the rules: the same toe, same foot length until starting the heel, but this time I’m using the instructions for the Fleegle Heel, a heel designed for toe-up socks.

Completed toe-up Fleegle heel sock.

The basic instructions for the Fleegle Heel were published back in 2006, but I only came across them recently. The instructions were published on Fleegle’s blog and you can still find it there.

The construction of the Fleegle heel requires a gusset but the math used is simple and intuitive.

I started my toe-up sock using Judy’s Magic Cast On on 12 stitches for the instep and 12 stitches for the sole (24 stitches), increased the tow up to 60 stitches and knitted the foot up to the point where the ankle joint connects the leg to the foot (or as recommended in the basic toe-up pattern about 7½”).

These are toe-up socks so I can try them on while I knit.

To make sure that all my socks have the same foot length I carry a contrasting yarn in the middle of the “heel needle” to count my rows easily – the orange yarn visible in the work-in-progress pictures.

I must start the gusset following the Fleegle heel instructions.


The gusset is knitted in the round. When I start the gusset, I have 30 stitches on the instep needle and 30 stitches on the heel needle. My round starts with the instep needle.

*Knit across the instep needle (30 stitches)

On the heel needle:

Knit 2 stitches, make 1 stitch, knit up to the last 2 stitches, make 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches** (2 stitches increased on the heel needle).

Repeat from * to ** until there are 58 stitches on the heel needle: 2 stitches less than the original total number of stitches of my sock before starting the gusset.

Toe-up sock with Fleegle Heel completed.

Heel turn

The heel turn is achieved with short rows.

I marked the center of my stitches for the heel. I have 29 stitches on each side of the yarn that marks the center.

Knit to 2 stitches beyond the center. k2tog, k1, turn.

Slip 1 purlwise. Purl to 2 stitches beyond the center, SSP, p1, turn.

* Slip 1 purlwise, knit to the gap, knit 2 stitches together (knit the stitch before the gap and the one after the gap together). Knit 1. Turn work.

Slip 1 purlwise, purl to the gap, purl the stitch before and the one after the gap together. Purl 1.**

Repeat from * to ** until one stitch left beyond the gap on each side of the heel needle.

With the heel turn completed, I knit across the heel stitches, close the gap at the end of the heel needle by knitting two stitches together (one from each side of the gap), continue across the instep stitches and when I reach the next gap (at the beginning of the heel needle) I will do an SSK (slip, slip, knit) with the two stitches on the sides of the gap. All gaps are now closed, and I continue decreasing two times at the beginning and end of the heel needle until I have 30 stitches on the heel needle.

I’m back to my 60 stitches of the sock, and I can complete the leg and the cuff.

The look of the Fleegle heel is elegant and sleek, the gusset provides room around the ankle but there’s no fabric in excess.

I try it on, and it feels perfect.

Completed toe-up Fleegle heel sock.

Join me tomorrow in my last attempt at the perfect heel: the Fish Lips Kiss Heel!

All the socks are knitted using Universal Yarn Zesty Sock and the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz single circular needles 32” [80cm] size US1 [2.25mm], making this heel adventure so much fun.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: The Perfect Heel Quest | Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel

Go to part 5: The Perfect Heel Quest | Fish Lips Kiss Heel

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