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Introduction   Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4

2 Socks on 2 Circulars
Instructor: Sheron Goldin
Feel free to ask Sheron questions on the socknitters list or contact Sheron directly



Lesson Three - Time for the Heels

Welcome back.  Hope everyone is ready to turn the heel on the sock now.  Here are two pictures to show where you should be at this point.  Picture 1 shows the sock from the back, the sole side of the sock and picture 2 shows the front or instep side of the sock.  Notice the ridges on the heel flap – this pulls the heel flap in around the heel and helps it to fit better.


Picture 1

Picture 2


Turning the heel

Since turning the heel (as well as doing a short row heel) results in some unworked stitches being left on each needle you can not turn both heels at the same time.  Therefore the first heel is turned while the second rests then the second heel is turned.  Just leave the sock you are not working on sitting there then turn it’s heel leaving the first sock sitting alone.  It’s like having two children (two or four legged) – sometime you can play with them both at the same time, other times you have to play with one at a time but they both eventually get the same attention. Since you end the heel turn with a wrong side row you have to work the right side row across the heel stitches to get the second sock into place to work it.  Rather than sliding stitches back and forth across the needles you will begin picking up the gusset stitches when you finish working across the heel stitches, then turn the second heel.  So lets turn the heel. You are working across the 16 heel flap stitches:

Row 1: Slip 1, knit 9 stitches, SSK, knit 1, turn. (There are 3 unworked stitches at the end of the row)
Row 2: Slip 1, purl 5 stitches, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn. (There are 3 unworked stitches at the end of the row)
Row 3: Slip 1, knit 6 stitches, SSK, knit 1, turn. (The SSK is joining the last stitch worked from the previous row and the first unworked stitch. This leaves 1 unworked stitch on the needle).
Row 4: Slip 1, purl 7 stitches, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn (again the purl 2 together is joining the last stitch worked on the previous row and the first unworked stitch. This leaves 1 unworked stitch on the needle)
Row 5: Slip 1, knit 8 stitches, SSK, turn. (The last unworked stitch has been joined with the SSK. There are no unworked stitched on the needle)
Row 6: Slip 1, purl 8 stitches, purl 2 together, turn.


You now have 10 stitches on your needle for this sock.  Knit across these 10 stitches (the heel flap), pick up 8 stitches from the side of the heel flap (put your needle tip into each of those long stitches from front to back and pull the yarn through or you could use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through), pick up 1 stitch in the gusset corner (that space between the heel flap and the instep stitches-if it looks too loose pick up the stitch going from the back (inside of the sock) to the front).  You will now let this sock rest and turn the heel flap on the second sock – start with row 1 and work across.  When you have finished turning the heel pick up the gusset stitches on this sock.


Picture 3

Picture 3 shows how the stitches will look on the needle after you have turned the first heel and picked up the first group of gusset stitches.

Picture 4


Picture 4 shows how it should look after turning the second heel and picking up the first group of gusset stitches on the second sock.

Now you turn your work so that the instep stitches are facing you. There should be 16 stitches for each sock on this needle. Knit across these stitches for both of the socks and again turn your work.

You are again working with the sole stitch needle.  You will have two bunches of stitches on this needle, and it may seem annoying but work with it – it gets to feel better as you decrease away the gusset stitches.

You are going to pick up the gusset stitches on the second side of the heel flap now – you will be putting these stitches onto the needle tip that you will be working the other stitches onto (sole stitches are on needle A, you are working from A1 to A2 so pick the stitches up onto tip A2).  Pick up one stitch in the gusset corner, then one stitch in each of the 8 long stitches along the side of the heel flap (you will end up with 28 stitches on the needle counting both gusset’s and the heel flap stitches).  Again you can use the tip of the needle to pick up the stitches with or pick them up with a crochet hook and put onto the needle tip you will be working onto.  Knit across the 10 heel flap stitches, then knit across the stitches you picked up along the first side of the heel flap (the 9 gusset stitches) but for those 9 gusset stitches knit into the back of the stitch, twisting the stitch to tighten it up and prevent holes.  Now to work the second sock so it’s the same as the first sock: pick up the gusset stitches on the second sock, knit across the 10 heel stitches and the 9 gusset stitches (again knitting into the back of these stitches) as for the other sock.  Knit across the instep stitches.

Picture 5

Picture 5 shows how each sock will look with both gussets picked up.


Picture 6

Picture 6 shows both socks on the needle. Notice how there is a lump of work on the needle from working the heel flaps, turning the heels and picking up the gusset stitches.

The gusset decreases and working the foot

The row from now on starts at the middle of the heel flap.  Knit across the gusset stitches for this row, twisting them as for the other side, knit across the heel flap stitches (starting the new row in the middle there) and across the gusset stitches on the other side (no working in the back loop this time).  When there are 3 stitches left on the needle knit 2 together, knit 1 and repeat for the other sock.  Now knit across the instep stitches of both socks. For the rest of this section:


You are to repeat the directions given for the second sock and
You will knit the instep stitches after you finish the given directions for the heel section of both socks (this will not be stated – it is a given)

Row 2: Knit 1, SSK, knit across to the end (remember the decreases are done only on the sole side of the sock. Instep stitches start at 16 and end at 16)

Row 3: Knit across to 3 stitches from the end, knit 2 together, knit 1

Repeat rows 2 & 3, ending with a row 2, with a total of 32 stitches per sock (16 instep stitches which you have had all along on one needle and 16 sole stitches on the other needle).

So on the heel sections you are decreasing one stitch each time you work across the row.  On the row 2 rows you end up with an even number of stitches, on the row 3 rows you have an odd number of stitches remaining.

Now just knit around and around for the foot until the foot is 5” from the back of the heel.

If you choose a different pattern, one that uses a short row heel, you too will work one heel at a time, decreasing down as directed by the pattern then increasing back to the original number of stitches. For a short row heel you do not pick up gusset stitches or need to decrease them away. After turning the short row heel you just begin knitting around and around until you get to the point where you are ready to decrease for the toes. And that’s next weeks lesson.

Well – that’s the end of this lesson. Homework is to get to this point for the next class. Again please post questions and comments so we can help each other clarify points where we have not communicated.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Sheron Goldin, Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for personal use only. It can be distributed to and shared with others as long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice. It may not be sold, used to produce items for sale, or used on a web page or in a compilation or archive without written permission from the author.