Heel turn on socks

Hi all,

The weather's cooler, and I've picked up the wool and sticks again. I decided to try the Hiking Boot Socks in "Knitting With Balls". I've never done socks before, and thought this would be a good choice with the larger yarn and larger needles. I completed the heel flap, but can't get the heel turn. Any suggestions? I've knitted it about 6 or 7 times (really) and consulted some other books for hints, but nothing seems to make sense.



Ron's picture

Hi DM,

There is a great webstite. www.knittinghelp.com. There are online videos for both Continental and English knitters. There used to be an instructional video up there on turning the heel of a sock. I watched it over and over when I made my first pair.



scubasinger's picture

Check out Silver's tutorial. It was what I used to make my first pair of socks and it's kind of widely accepted as the 'gold standard' of sock tutorials.

There's also a link in here somewhere for a pdf of the entire tutorial.

And if you can give some more description of exactly what you're having trouble with, I might be able to help. I've done several pairs of socks and haven't had any trouble. But 'can't get the heel turn' is a bit vague.


scubasinger's picture

Ooops....the weblink for the tutorial is


OKknitguy's picture

you need to learn how to do toe up socks. By far the best and easiest. I am doing all socks this year, started out with cuff down, and doing flaps and gussets is a pain. Use the magic cast on for toe ups. Its on knitty.com. Its unbelievable easy, and you don't have a seam at the toe. Increase up to your number of stitches then start the foot. You do a short row heel. Its so easy. Then you just make the leg as long as you want. My favortie bind off for the cuff is the tubular bind off. It might be on knitty too. Once you go toe up, you never go back!

rob in OKC

MMario's picture

I agree - turning the heel makes no sense. I can't tell you how many different explanations I've read of various techniques and NONE of them made any sense - until you actually do it.

That said, the short row heel is much simpler, less stressful and used by a lot of people!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

I seem to remember that earlier in the year someone else was having the same problem with the same pattern. Check out the post by dizastroboy on Jan 30, 2007, entitled Socks from Knitting with Balls. Hope this helps.

MasonM's picture

I agree that Silver's sock tutorial is a great way to learn socks. She has one for top down and one for two at a time toe up. Both do a good job of explaining how to turn the heel.


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Thanks guys for the suggestions. I knew that the angels of wool and sticks on this site would have words of wisdom. A great resource for knowledge and comraderie. I haven't searched for the post mentioned above yet, but want to respond anyway.

To Vic/scubasinger, it seems there is something missing in the instructions. Here they are:
Row 1: K9 sl marker K2tog K1 turn.
Row 2: P2 sl marker P2tog P1 turn.
Row 3: K2 sl marker K2tog (knitting one stitch from either side of the gap together)
Row 4: P4 sl marker P2tog (purling one stitch from either side of the gap) P1 turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 continuing to K2tog or P2tog on stitch from either side of the gap and working one more stitch, then turning the work, until 1 st remains beyond the gap on either side.

Its after Row 3 that things seem to go awry. I think something is missing here. There are four stitches that never get worked until row 5 and 6, if I understand the instructions correctly. It creates a gap. BIG GAP. Blister-forming gap.

To OKknitguy/Rob - As soon as I get these sonsabitches finished, I might be up for trying a different method, with real sock yarn and the proper size needles. LOL! Just kidding. Thanks for the suggestion, I am intrigued by the toe-up method.

BTW - First snow of the season in Denver today...Brrrr!



YahMez's picture

The video link on knittinghelp that Ron mentioned earlier is here:


It's the third little section on the page, after large and small diameter circular knitting. I've never done a pair of socks before, but I watched that the other day, and it made sense. Hope that helps!


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