I’ve been getting loads of questions from other knitters about how to make afterthought heels on socks recently- it’s my favourite heel right now and I love the simplicity of it- no short rows, gussets or anything else that generally makes people run for the hills rather than sit down and knit a pair! In this post I’ll show you step by step how to place the waste yarn, the first bit of creating the heel.
1. Knit your leg!
Here I’m ready to start the afterthought heel after knitting the leg. I’m knitting a top down plain sock in stocking stitch using self striping yarn. This sock is knit using magic loop technique, but the instructions can be used for any sock knitted in the round.
2. Knit half of your stitches
Nothing fancy, just knit them as normal!
3. Take up the waste yarn and knit the other half
You’ll need a bit of contrasting coloured yarn of the same weight long enough to knit the other half of your stitches. Here I’ve got a bit of white yarn.
Leaving the pretty sock yarn hanging, take up the waste yarn. Don’t tie it to your sock, just leave it hanging loose at the end. Now knit the 2nd half of your stitches.
Here you can see the waste yarn coming in- this is where the heel will magically appear later! Knit to the end of the round.
4. Slipping the stitches
So we’ve completed a round. Hooray! Now I can drop the waste yarn. I want to get back to my lovely red sock yarn again which is trailing from the opposite end of the needle.
Slip the stitches you’ve just knit with your waste yarn back onto the left needle.
5. Knit them again!
Now all the waste yarn stitches are slipped back to the left needle, we’re going to knit these same stitches a second time with the sock yarn that was left hanging.
Taking up the sock yarn again.
Knitting the slipped stitches.
And there you go! You have knitted your heel round. Even though half of your stitches have been knitted twice, the waste yarn will be removed later, so your round is evenly matched.
6. Now just keep knitting in the round for the body of your foot like nothing happened! After you’ve made the toe and “finished” the sock, we’ll come back and make the heel. See you in part 2! Feel free to ask me any questions, and let me know how it goes in the comments section below!