Hand-knitted stockings have a unique character and will never go out of fashion. Even if the handling of a needle game needs some practice – with the right instructions socks are knitted quickly and easily. In this description you will get to know different types of heel knitting and you will be able to rework them step by step.

Material and preparation
For socks you can use any yarn of your choice. From industrially spun sock wool to thin cotton for lace socks and thick jacket yarns for cuddly winter socks – everything is possible and usable. As a general rule, the stronger the wool is twisted, the more durable it is. Thick wool threads usually consist of very loosely twisted individual threads, so that the wool gets a very soft feel. Socks made from these yarns can run through quickly if they are worked for constant use. Therefore, they are more suitable as bed socks or over socks.

Commercially available sock wool has an average running length of approx. 250 metres to 50 grams of wool. They are available in a single colour or in variants in which the pattern is created by changing colour sections directly during knitting. There are enormous differences in price, so it is worth researching on the Internet and browsing during seasonal sales.

Sock wool is usually made from 75% virgin wool and 25% polyamide for dimensional stability. Many knitters also appreciate the advantages of pure sheep’s wool, which is processed into socks to create the perfect feel-good climate for the feet. For a pair of socks you need an average of one hundred grams of wool, for thicker wool or large feet it can be slightly more. Depending on the wool thickness, you need the right needle play, which consists of five individual needles.

That’s what you need:

Needle play in matching thickness
100g sock wool or wool of your choice
scissors
Needle for sewing threads

Heel knitting – Instructions
The heel area of stockings can be knitted in different ways. Here we present the boomerang heel and the classic heel with heel cap.

Classic heel with heel cap
For the shaft of the sock, strike the number of stitches corresponding to the size and knit the desired length in the rib pattern or a cuff pattern of your choice. There are “sock tables” for the respective sizes, in which the number of stitches to be knitted as well as the number of increases and decreases for the sock toe are clearly displayed for the corresponding wool thicknesses, so that you can start knitting immediately. You will find our sock tables

In this example, 60 stitches were knocked on and 15 stitches each were distributed on a needle. Once the desired waistband length has been reached, the stitches are re-divided. The starting thread serves as orientation. To the left of this is needle number one, to the right needle number four. The stitches of both needles are brought together on a needle, on which the so-called heel wall will be created.

Now knit over the 30 stitches in smooth right-hand mode (first row right, second row left). Always knit the first two stitches and the last two stitches on the right side (curl right knitting). This creates optically ribbed stitches at the edge, which later make it easier to pick up new stitches.

You knit the first two stitches on the right and in this way to the end of the row. The work is turned. Now the left stitches point to you. The first two stitches are knitted on the right. Work the rest of the row with left stitches, the last two stitches knit right again. Turn and knit in this way until you have worked 28 rows. As a rule of thumb, the heel wall should have the same number of rows except for two rows as you have stitches on needle 1 and 4. With a total of 60 stitches, there are 15 stitches on each needle and by combining needle 1 and 4 you have 30 stitches on the needle for the heel wall. Two rows less then means that 28 rows have to be knitted for this sock part.

You knit the first two stitches on the right and in this way to the end of the row. The work is turned. Now the left stitches point to you. The first two stitches are knitted on the right. Work the rest of the row with left stitches, the last two stitches knit right again. Turn and knit in this way until you have worked 28 rows. As a rule of thumb, the heel wall should have the same number of rows except for two rows as you have stitches on needle 1 and 4. With a total of 60 stitches, there are 15 stitches on each needle and by combining needle 1 and 4 you have 30 stitches on the needle for the heel wall. Two rows less then means that 28 rows have to be knitted for this sock part.

Once this number of rows has been reached, the so-called coping is knitted. It forms the lower part of the heel and provides the required foot width. They divide the number of stitches on the needle into three parts. With 30 stitches this would be 10 stitches per third.

The right knitting side points to you and you start by knitting the first stitch on the right. Then work to one stitch before the last third (19 stitches are knitted). The 20th stitch is taken off on the right, the 21st stitch is knitted off on the right and then the previously taken off stitch is pulled over the knitted stitch.

Once this number of rows has been reached, the so-called coping is knitted. It forms the lower part of the heel and provides the required foot width. They divide the number of stitches on the needle into three parts. With 30 stitches this would be 10 stitches per third.

The right knitting side points to you and you start by knitting the first stitch on the right. Then work to one stitch before the last third (19 stitches are knitted). The 20th stitch is taken off on the right, the 21st stitch is knitted off on the right and then the previously taken off stitch is pulled over the knitted stitch.

Turn the work over afterwards. The left meshes now point to you. Lift off the first stitch with the thread as for left-hand knitting.

Knit all other stitches to the left. If there are 11 stitches left on the left needle, knit the eleventh and tenth stitches together on the left. Turn the work over.

Now you can visually see the three-way split. In the middle the heel centre develops, the side stitches are now knitted in piece by piece to get the right angle in the sock. Continue knitting in this way until the stitches of the two outer thirds are used up. Start each row by lifting off to knit left and knit the double stitch together with the next stitch at the end of each row. In the right rows, lift off the double stitch on the right and lift it over the next knitted stitch. At the end of the left rows, knit the double stitch together with the following left stitch on the left. Work in this way until only 10 stitches are left on the needle.

Now all four needles come into play again. First you divide the ten stitches you still have on the needle from cap knitting. Five stitches come on needle 4 and five stitches on needle 1.

At the end of needle 1, start picking up stitches from the heel wall to close the sock. The nodules also come into play. You pick up a new stitch from each knot. With 28 knitted rows, 14 nodules have formed, which were created in every second row. In addition to these, you take up one stitch at the very beginning of the row (before the first knot) and another stitch at the end of the row (after the last knot). This is done to allow the knitted fabric to work tightly at these points without holes.

With needle 1 you have now picked up stitches, the stitches of needle 2 and 3 are all knitted on the right. With needle 4 you pick up stitches from the heel wall again. Take up a new stitch from each knot, work out an additional stitch at the beginning and then at the end of the row.

When making these meshes, be sure to pierce the mesh in such a way that no holes are made. You can use the edge row for this – these are the stitches that were always knitted on the right as the first stitch on the heel wall – or you can stitch into the second row – into the stitches that were knitted on the right as the second stitch on the heel wall.

If you pick up stitches from the outermost row, the second row of stitches appears visible like a row of ribs as a pattern in the stocking. If you pick up the stitches from the second edge row, you get a smooth right stitch transition.

Now you have distributed the stitches for the side panels, the sole and the instep on all four needles and knit a round on the right over all stitches. There are more stitches on needle 1 and needle 4 than on the other two needles. For this reason, it is necessary to remove the stitches, which form the “pick”.

When you have knitted the stitches of needle 1 on the right and there are two more stitches on this needle, knit these two stitches together on the right.

Knit the stitches of needles 2 and 3 on the right. The first two stitches of needle 4 are worked with the right side covered – lift off the first stitch as for right-hand knitting, knit the second stitch on the right and lift the lifted stitch over the knitted stitch. In the next round all stitches will be knitted without decreases. In the third round, knit together again at the end of needle 1 and at the beginning of needle 4. Continue this change until needle 1 and needle 4 have 15 stitches again, so that the starting number of 60 stitches is reached again.

knit boomerang heel
For this example, 44 stitches were struck and distributed over four needles, each with 11 stitches. Knit the sock shaft in the rib pattern with two stitches on the right and two stitches on the left. After reaching the desired height, work a row of right stitches over all stitches.

Now the boomerang heel begins. You only work with the stitches of the needles 1 and 4. Orient yourself again on the starting thread of the sock. The needle to the left of this thread stands for the first needle, the needle to the right of the starting thread stands for the fourth needle.

You start with the stitches of needle 1 and knit them to the end. Turn the work over. The first stitch is then only lifted off. To do this, prick the stitch as you would for left-hand knitting, leaving the thread around the needle. The so-called “double stitch” is created again.

All other stitches of needle 1 and 4 are knitted on the left. Then turn the work around again. Lift off the first stitch as for left-hand knitting, creating the double stitch. Knit all further stitches on the right until the last stitch on needle 1. This is the double stitch and remains unknitted on the left needle. Turn, take off the first stitch as for left knitting, knit left stitches until the end of the fourth needle. The last stitch is now also a double stitch, which remains on the left needle and is not knitted. Turn and continue working in this way.

he smooth stitches knitted on the right will thus become fewer and fewer and the double stitches will increase. You knit a slant that forms the heel area.

The double stitches form the edge area of the bevel, while the smooth right stitches in the middle form the heel width. You can adjust these individually. As a rule of thumb, one third of the number of stitches of a needle remains on it in smooth right form. This means: with a total of 44 stitches and 11 stitches per needle, decreases in the form of shortened rows are knitted on needle 1 and 4 until there are 3-4 normally knitted stitches on each of the two needles. All other stitches have become double stitches. The lower heel centre thus consists of a total of 6-8 stitches distributed over needle 1 and 4.

If you want it easier, you can put the stitches of needle 1 and 4 together on a single needle directly according to the desired shank height, knit until the end of the row according to the described pattern and leave the double stitch unknitted. Turn as for left-hand knitting, lift off with the thread and continue in this way until 6 or 8 smooth stitches remain in the middle of the needle.

A row is then worked over the stitches of all four needles. The stitches of the needles three and four form the upper side (instep) of the sock and can be knitted further in the shaft pattern, smooth right or in any pattern of your choice.

In the next step, the omitted stitches (double stitches) are re-inserted. To do this, knit the smooth stitches of needle 1 on the right. The first double stitch from the penultimate row is added and also knitted on the right.

Turn the piece over, take off the first stitch as for left-hand knitting and then knit all the remaining stitches on the left until you reach the first double stitch of the penultimate row at the end of the row. This is knitted on the left. Turn the work over, lift it off again as for left-hand knitting and continue in this way. At the end of each row you knit one more stitch than in the previous row and in this way you continuously increase the number of stitches. Ensure that all double stitches are correctly knitted with the thread so that no holes are made.

When all the stitches of needles 1 and 4 have been knitted again, make another smooth round on the right over the stitches of all four needles. And the boomerang heel is finished.

Tip: Make sure that you use a firm knitting method for the increases and decreases. The knitting thread must be tightened firmly so that no holes can form.

Now all you have to do is finish your socks.

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