Knitting Tutorial – Sling Heel Socks

[00:00:07] In this tutorial, we’re going to learn to
make these socks. They are socks with a new heel design. I’m calling them the sling heel socks. You don’t have to make them this long. But these are the sling heel socks with a
different shaping thing going on with the toes or the heels. And I designed these socks in an attempt to
make the very best-fitting socks that I possibly could, and this is what I came up with. I’m happy with it. The pattern includes instructions for both
DK weight and fingering weight because that’s what you guys always ask for, fingering weight
being just regular socks and DK weight being a little bit heavier. And I’ll tell you I’ve been knitting DK weight
socks for a while now. I personally really like DK weight socks. They knit up really quickly and they wear
just almost exactly like fingering weight yarn. It’s up to you. The instructions are all in the pattern. If you’d like to get your pattern to follow
along, just click the little ‘i’ in the upper right-hand corner. That will take you to my website where you’ll
see a list of the materials that you need, and you can get your pattern and everything
else. Everything’s there on my website. Well, what was I gonna say? Oh, you can use… Let me back up here. I’m gonna call this an intermediate sock pattern. I think it will go best for you if you knit
socks in the past and this isn’t your first try with socks. If you’ve never knit socks before and you
want to give them a try, I’m going to recommend my toe-up socks using German short rope pattern. I’ll give you a link to that right here. That’s a good place to start. And then this would be a fine second pattern
if you’ve never knit socks before. But if you’ve knit socks before that’s fine. It’s not that they’re really hard, it’s just
that the shaping is around all of the stitches on the needles and it’s just it’s one extra
step, it’s one more thing to think about, and having a little sock experience is helpful
with that. So an intermediate pattern. You can get these on whatever needles are
your favorite soft needles, the style that you like to use, whether that’s double-pointed
needles or nine-inch circulars or magic loop or two long circular needles. I personally like to knit toe-up socks using
double-pointed needles for the toe, switch to nine-inch circulars for the foot, and then
with these socks I stayed on the nine-inch circulars around the heel and the cuff, yeah,
the length of the cuff, and then I switched back to double-pointed needles for the ribbing. It’s not really necessary, I just prefer to
work knit purls on double-pointed needles, the nine-inch circulars. That’s just my preference. You don’t have to do it that way. It’s totally up to you. The pattern is written in a way a generic
way so you can just pick up with whatever style of needles that you want to use. Okay, I’m talking and talking. I’ve got everything here. I think I’ve got everything. As with all of my patterns you can trust that
the powder is written out row by row. There is no guesswork, no “continue in this
manner for…” You know, it’s row by row with actual stitch
numbers. We use German short rows in the shaping of
these. I know that a lot of people really like those. I think I said all the words. I did. We’re gonna get started knitting the socks
up next. If you’ve worked other patterns of mine that
used German short rows for the shaping, this is really going to be no different for you. I’m not gonna show you anything that you haven’t
already done before in this tutorial. The difference is, of course, the way that
they shaping is spaced out in the heel. And that’s what we’re going to take a look
at now, so let’s go ahead and see. Okay. This is a close-up of the sock and you can
see these actually have just been steamed, they have not been fully blocked. But you can see you end up with a really clean-looking
heel, and the heel shaping goes all the way around the entire foot. And that’s why it fits so well. To show you what most socks look like… Nothing wrong. We’ve been wearing socks like this for hundreds
of years, but short row heels just work on half of the stitches and so it doesn’t fit
quite as well. It’s good. It stretches out and it’s fine. But this is just something that fits really
well. This is the fingering weight and I’ve included
some calf shaping in there for even a nicer fit. And this is the DK weight, calf shaping there
too. Okay. We’re going to get started with a short row
tow, and we’re going to use a provisional cast-on for this. So you need a crochet hook. You don’t really have to know how to crochet,
but you need a crochet hook. I’m going to start with some scrap yarn, some
worsted[SP] weight scrap yarn that’s contrasting to the yarn that I’m actually using for the
sock. And in this demonstration, I’m going to use
thicker yarn, bigger needles, fewer stitches. I’m just creating an example here for demonstration. So tie a knot in the yarn that you can feel,
and then make a slipknot. And with your crochet hook, chain a few stitches. And we’re gonna do a provisional cast-on right
onto the needle. And this is whether it’s a double-pointed
needle or a circular needle. It’s up to you. So you want to put the needle over the working
yarn, then reach the hook over, grab the yarn and pull it through. You’ve just cast on one. Pull the working yarn behind, the crochet
hook over, grab the yarn and pull it through, working yarn behind. [00:05:59]
[silence] [00:06:09] I used to demonstrate this cast-on a little
bit differently with picking up stitches, but the feedback was so overwhelming that
everyone liked this way better. I’ve just switched to it even in my own knitting. I’ve just switched to this weight. I’m easily influenced by what people tell
me I guess. I’m not counting. Oh, that’s perfect. Once you get all of your stitches cast on,
just chain a few more stitches and cut your yarn. And pull that end through the last loop and
tighten it up a little, but not crazy tight, right, because it we’re gonna undo that. We are going to actually work an entire little
toe of the sock right here. So starting at the slipknot end – it’s the
end with the knot in it – put your needle in and start working with your actual sock
yarn, and knit across those stitches… [00:07:19]
[silence] [00:07:36] …and then purl back. And that will set us up, ready to start the
short-row shaping. [00:07:46]
[silence] [00:08:00] Okay. To get started, you work across all of the
stitches. [00:08:14]
[silence] [00:08:28] Turn your work. And this is how you’re going to work the German
short row on the wrong side of the work the purl side you slip that stitch. Then you tug up on it so you create kind of
a funny little double stitch. Pull the yarn forward between the two needles
and purl to your next destination. [00:08:48]
[silence] [00:09:00] In this case, it’s all the way across. I turn the work. And then on the net side, I’m going to slip
that stitch, pull up on it and you’ll create a little double stitch. It looks a little different than the other
ones, than the purl side. And knit across to the next stitch. …Okay. Turn the work. My working yarn’s already in front because
I’m on the purl side. So I’m gonna slip that stitch, give it a tug
to create the double stitch, pull my yarn forward between the two needles and purl. So this part of the German short row stitches
is just creating these double stitches and turning the work. And the German short row technique keeps there
from being holes in the work where we’ve turned. So I turn the work, and on the knit side I’m
gonna pull my working yarn forward so that it’s in front. You always want to start the German short
row technique with your working yarn in front. Slip that stitch, give it a tug and then knit
to the next destination. [00:10:16]
[silence] [00:10:27] Okay. The purl side again. The working yarn’s already in front. I’ll slip that stitch, tug yarn forward and
purl. [00:10:36]
[silence] [00:10:47] Okay. One more time here on the net side: yarn forward,
slip, tug and knit. Now ,that is the German short row technique
for the first half of the toe. And you can see we have some good shaping
in there, even though this is very few stitches and thicker yarn. We’re gonna have something that looks like
a toe. On the second half of the shaping, you knit
up to where you have your little double stitches. And you knit those two halves together on
the first one and the second one, turn the work and do the German short row technique
on this turn stitch. Just slipping it, tug, yarn forward and purl. …And on this side, I’ll Pearl the first
two halves of the double stitched together and the next one. Turn the work and work the GSR. Always remember to yarn forward on the knit
side. [00:12:04]
[silence] [00:12:20] The first double stitched together, the second
double stitched together, turn the work. [00:12:26]
[silence] [00:12:46] The first one, the second one. …We’re almost done with this toe, this toe
that’s not going to fit anyone. …Okay. There’s only one double stitch left. I’ll just knit that together and turn the
work. And then I’m not going to work a German short
row. I’m just gonna slip that stitch without working
it, and continue. [00:13:26]
[silence] [00:13:42] Okay. Just one double stitch left. I’ll work those two halves together. And that is it. I guess it’s kind of the size of a baby sock
or kid’s sock. That’s the toe, the abbreviated toe. And now we want to take out the provisional
cast-on so that we can retrieve these live stitches and start knitting in the round on
the foot of the sock. So we have this yellow yarn we’re ready to
take out. You want to find the non-slipknot end, which
is the end without the knot in it, and pull out that end you pulled through to end the
chain. And you can start unzipping the crochet chain. The first stitch is always different from
the others. It’s wonky. The yarn actually runs through that stitch. So get your needle in there. We still want that stitch. And then pull the yarn out from that stitch. Luckily there’s only one of those. Okay. Now when we look at the provisional cast-on
the stitches you’ll see that… Oops, I’m about ready to lose one, hold on. You’ll see that you have a row of Vs going
up into a column of Vs that go up into the provisional cast-on. You want to go under…you wanna put your
needle under the right leg of each V going up. So that one under the right leg. And try not to grab the scrap yarn. And if ever you’re losing track of where you
are, just follow the column of these up. [00:15:38]
[silence] [00:15:48] Two, four, five. And the put half of the stitches on one needle,
and then I can unzip the crochet chain. And grab a second needle and put half of the
stitches on the second needle. [00:16:08]
[silence] [00:16:19] Okay. La la la. That is done. We’re finished with that scrap yarn and we
have all of these live stitches and it’s fabulous. I’m gonna tie the working yarn to the tail
end to tighten everything up. And the pattern will have you knit a few rounds
in the toe color before you switch colors. I’m just gonna go ahead and switch color here
because there’s one more thing I wanna show you. Oh, you also probably wanna put a Clippy marker
here. Lemme just go and do that. I’m gonna put a Clippy marker here where the
two ends are. That’s the beginning of my round between these
two. And when I switch to nine-inch circulars,
I’ll just switch to a ring marker. Okay. I’m gonna start knitting with my foot color. You can knit these in one solid color of course,
but… I think it looks nice, especially with a unique
heel. It looks nice to change color for the toe,
heel, and cuffs. …So I’m switching colors and knitting one
round. And I want to show you what to do so that
you have a clean color break at the beginning of the round without a jog in the spiral. [00:17:53]
[silence] [00:18:06] Okay. We have all of these yarns and ends and everything. I always like it when you get enough knit
on the toe that you can shove all the ends in and they don’t bother you anymore. You can just weave them in too. Okay. We’re gonna correct this color change jog. So I’ve changed colors, I’ve worked one round. On the first stitch of the second round, you
wanna do this little technique. I have the yellow yarn, the color I’m actually
using on the first stitch, and then stitch below it in blue is the one I wanna focus
on. I wanna put my needle under the right leg
of that stitch just like we did when we were pulling out the provisional cast-on and pop
it up on the needle with the yellow stitch. And then I wanna knit those two together. And that’s it! You only have to do that once after you change
color, and it will give you a clean, even color break without a little zigzag stairstep
in the work. That’s all the techniques used in the toe
of the sock. They’re actually the same techniques used
in the heel of the sock. All you have to do when you’re working the
heel is to just use a row counter all of the stitch counts are there because the German
short rows are spaced out a little bit. You don’t have German short rows turns right
on top of each other. They’re staggered out to use all of the stitches
all the way around. Just follow the instructions, use a row counter. Next up we’re going to talk about the calf
increases and the bind-off. Once you get past the heel, it is all smooth
sailing. Just cuff round and around and around, cuff
knitting. And I’ve put in calf increases for the best
possible fit, and I’ve put them in places where I think it works. At least it does for me, and I think it’s
going to be kind of a good medium-sized calf increases. But of course, if you find yourself with socks
often being too tight, you can increase more often, and I’ll give instructions for that. Or if you have really thin legs, you can stretch
the calf increases out a little bit and not do them quite as often. The beauty with toe-up socks is that you can
try them on while you’re doing it and see how the fit is going. And so you can always just add more increases,
take them out. All the instructions are in the pattern. But the last thing that I want to demonstrate
is the bind-off that that I’ve been using for socks. Over the years I’ve used different bind-off
for socks, and they all work, they’re all stretchy enough. But I know that I get feedback from folks
that don’t like the bind-offs that leave you with a fluted edge. When you put the sock on, the fluted edge
stretches out and you can’t see it, but they don’t like the fluted edge when the socks
are in the drawer. I don’t know, I don’t have a problem with
that, but I’ve switched to this other bind-off because I know people just like the look of
the smooth edge better. I guess I’m kind of making fun of people. But it’s a good bind-off anyway, let’s take
a look. So this is a little sample of two-by-two ribs
that I can demonstrate the bind-off, and I’ve done this bind-off before where I’ve knit
the knits and purled the purls. I found that it really doesn’t make much difference. You can just…this is the DK weight. You see you get a nice-looking top edge here
just by knitting all the stitches and not bothering with purling. So that’s what I’m gonna show you how to do,
but you can pull the purls if you like. So I’m going to knit to, take the tip of my
left needle and put it into the front of those two stitches, wrap the needle and pull through,
essentially knitting those two stitches through the back loop together. Knit. Knit those two through the back loop. Knit. This is really it. …This is the stretchy bind-off that I use
all the time now. Knit those two through the back loop. And someone asked me the other day, “Should
I switch to a bigger needle size to work this bind-off?” And I’ve never found there was a need to. I always switch to bigger needles for binding
off, but just not with this one. I find that it’s plenty stretchy. So that’s the edge that you get, and you can
see it doesn’t flute out. It stays pretty flat, but it’s very stretchy
for the cuff of socks. And that’s it. Those are all the techniques used in the new
sling heel socks. Again, if you wanna get your copy of the pattern
to follow along, just click the little ‘i’. All of the information is on my website. Good luck. [00:23:19]

84 thoughts on “Knitting Tutorial – Sling Heel Socks

  • Thanks for this tutorial, Staci! One question regarding the toe: At 13:19 minutes into the video, when you were starting the first purl row after you knit the last GSR double-stitch together, why did you slip the first stitch rather than working it?

  • I have thick ankles and thick feet and have always had problems with hand knitted socks not stretching enough and just digging into the spot where the top of my foot meets my ankle. Will this style give me a more stretchy foot-to-ankle turn?

  • I love the new heel, by the way! Looking forward to working these socks. The top of my foot where it meets the ankle is quite high, compared to other people, so having this larger heel "wedge" will fit much better than regular socks!

  • I've always had a good nice medium tension on my knitting but my cast off has always been so tight…. This is making me want to knit socks though. I've only ever made one pair of socks on a knitting-loom became the heel was so easy to do. I am into it. I'll have to practice on some acrylic that was gifted to me.

  • Hey, Staci, Congrats on your new, cool sling heel pattern! I'm intrigued that you can stay on 9-in circ for the heel. Just curious if you would consider this heel technique as one where you don't have to pause life to complete or one that you could put down and pick up easily to read where you left off?

  • 😊love the idea of the sling heel. Looking forward to making a pair. I have thin feet and this sling heel might be a better fit around my heel/foot. Because other heels bunch up in that area. And thanks for the bind off technique, I also have thin legs/ankles n really don't need the stretch. Hahahaha about the fluted edge, not a problem here😁😁. Thanks Stacie

  • thank you for all the tutorials you've given me more. ideas or knit and such easy instructions and yiu make it so easy

  • Great pattern Stacey! I just love your videos, so well made. I have question: for Christmas the whole family will get socks and that includes men and children. Do you plan to have the pattern for men and children as well. I know it would be very very popular?

  • I love your tutorials, and will have to try this heel, but I'm really curious, how do you wear DK socks in your shoes? Do you get larger shoes, or stretch out the normal size? Thanks!

  • I have a question about the provisional cast-on. Someone else instructed me on another pattern to add one stitch because when I unzip it, I will lose a stitch. If I am careful with the first stitch, as you clearly showed, will I always end up with the right number of stitches. I never understood why I needed an extra stitch. Thank you for your clear instructions.

  • Is this sock also sized in men's sizes as I have some guys I'd like to knit socks for who have large size feet( size 13 and size 14 wide) and its hard to find well fitting sock patterns for them??

  • I have been knitting for 50 years and never did a bind off like you showed. Oh so clever. It looks so easy and I love the stretch. Lately I have been using a larger needle for the bind off, but no more. I am going to use your method. Thanks.

  • I'm working on a short sleeved sweater that is worked from the top down, back first and then front, and used your provisional cast on for the shoulders because I love how easy it is to pick those stitches back up and keep going πŸ™‚

  • I've noticed that you do a GSR even if the stitch below is a GSR. I've seen some sources that say you shouldn't do that. Doesn't it get to bulky if you do that? Just new to sock knitting, and I was hoping to get that figured out before I start. Thanks from a Big Fan!

  • Always a fan but Miss Stacy you demonstrated the toe and bind off. The topic was the newly created heel without so much as an show and tell of the heel construction. I know the pattern is a purchase with instructions but I'm a visual learner. Still a fan and a customer!

  • This is just magic! Love this pattern, makes knitting sock so much easier. Thank you Staci for yet another brilliant video!

  • This looks promising! my son loves hand knit socks, but he has a very, how would I describe it?….lets say, he has a very deep, sharp heel. I am always finding myself darning his socks sooner than others because he has to stretch them so much to get a good fit. Hopefully this will be the answer!! Thanks again Staci!

  • Who says there's nothing new under the sun when it comes to sock knitting? Haha! Proved them wrong, you did!

  • I LOVE this version of the provisional crochet cast on, because it negates the need for Picking Up stitches! <grimaces at the mere thought> Picking up stitches takes more time and can be tricky, so THIS technique is kinder to your novice students. <seraphic smile> Thank you as always for your patterns and videos.

  • Staci, I have been watching your videos for a few years now and I just admire you so much. You have taught me so many things and it's thanks to your teaching style. Your instructions are always so clear and your stitching is flawless. You're a great inspiration πŸ™‚ and honestly you always have the best nails!!

  • Thanks Staci! I love the look and the promise of a better fitting heel. I like to make socks for the grand babies from yarn left over after making adult socks.. I bought your pattern but it doesn't help me figure out the adaptations needed for child can I figure that heel out for the kids? Thanks

  • when making the second part of the heel, what does "K P" mean? I looked in the abbreviation section but there was not anything that explained what to do.

  • Great idea: Expanding GSRs to accommodate higher insteps for the heel. Seems like you are advancing on to making gusset-toe-up tutorials! BTW: I have moved on to gussets in toe-ups, and I've never gone back. They fit so much better on people whom I make socks for. Normal short row heels fit me fine because I have no instep (basically a flat foot), but others' feet are definitely like mine!

  • Ok, so I'm a fairly new knitter and that bind-off is so simple but AMAZING! I need to re-do the cuff on the sweater I made my son b/c it just isn't stretchy enough and I think this might actually work. It's super bulky yarn and I tried Jenny's amazingly stretchy BO but it looked terrible in such a big yarn. Now I know what to do, woohooo! And I'm going to attempt a pair of socks soon. I'm afraid I'll get second sock syndrome but these look cool. And I like a good challenge so just might try these as my first. πŸ˜‰

  • Can't wait to try this pattern – the fit looks like it will be wonderful! Does anyone see any reason why I couldn't do these toe-up, two-at-a-time, magic loop? I tend to get "second sock syndrome" really bad lol

  • Staci, my knitting superhero! Thank you for another great video and for sharing your innovative sling heel! I can't wait to try these.

  • I love this and all of your patterns!! Has improved my knitting tremendously!! Where did you get your 9 inch circular needles? I can't find them anywhere and want to try your sock patterns and would love any help!! Thanks!!

  • So So excited, I have been looking for a sock pattern for my husband that fits around the ankle better. German short rows and a sling heel, I think this is what I am looking for. Thank you for your entertaining and educational videos. Can't wait to try these!

  • Staci, I have watched HUNDREDS of knitting videos and I find yours are the best. Thanks for all the help over the last few years.

  • So – this may be the stupidest question ever, but just in case I'm not the only one confused – both the heel and toe are worked back and forth "flat" rather than in the round, correct?

  • Hi staci! Finally making this pattern. I am ready to start the heel. Patt says row 1 rs k14 turn work. Does it matter which needle if I am doing magic loop?

  • You rock, Stacy–thank you for updating the pattern for men's sizes! I've enjoyed making these for the women in my life and look forward to making a pair for myself. Merry Christmas!

  • Dear Stacy, I may wrongly assume you would hate following Q., but pls. :), if you may bare with me :). I am not about to ask for help ( I believe I am advance knitter.. ), I am just gonna ask whether I CAN use your Sling Heel Socks with Flish Lips Kiss Short rows.
    I am asking, cause I do use FLK Short rows with your "Knit Toe-Up Socks.." and is is my ultimate recipe for good fitting socks (but I am just obviously using different Short rows..). I wish to by this one too, I just hope I can use "my" short rows.

  • I am an American who knits exclusively the Portuguese style, even though I am very new to it. I love the even tension that I get on circs., DPNs and straight needles. I am learning/teaching myself how to knit socks using the Portuguese style on circs/DPNs, but inside out so that I could Purl the stockinette sections instead of knit. I am doing fine on 9” chaigoo circs., even in a textured pattern through the heel flap, which I knit on appropriate right and wrong sides. I get thoroughly confused then about how to get back to knitting in the round because none of the patterns I have found so far, even Andrea Wong’s, have converted the pattern to purling from the wrong side in order to make stockinette fabric in the round from the instep to toe. I will continue to work at this but I don’t know whether or not I am whistling in the dark. If this is worth a video podcast I would love to see one. Or if you have any other insights, perhaps you would be so kind as to put it into a blog.

  • I’ve noticed you always use a provisional cast on instead of something like a Turkish cast on or Judy’s Magic Cast on. Are there any specific advantages or is it just your personal preference?

  • I can't get my color change to not show. Is it because I am left-handed or because I m doing it wrong?

  • I love this pattern…I just finished a pair in cotton and they are so comfortable…the sock is so easy to get on and take off…I am curious…is that why you designed the sock heel this way, to make it roomier and easier to use? Other socks I have made , with the regular heel (GSR) are hard to get on and take off because the heel/instep area is so tight…I love this pattern…!

  • In the video you show the toe and indicate the heel is to be worked the same way. But the directions for the second half of the heel indicates to knit (or purl) after the GSR – I don’t have a single stitch after the GSR on the second half of the heel – what have I done wrong?

  • When I started investigating socks months back, I kept thinking "Why doesn't anyone just do short rows to make a tube sock that simply bends smoothly around the heel?" I think this is it!

  • Can this pattern be done two at a time? My usual formula is a gusset and heel flap, and I have to separate them for the gusset…I'm very curious about the heel sling! Thanks KS, your vids are great πŸ’—

  • That's my preferred method for sock knitting too! DPNs for the toe / heel / cuff and 9 inch circs for the straight bits! πŸ˜€

  • hi, just found You while looking for high instep socks for fitting my hubby. Now I want to know more on these sling heel. Can you comment on how to do them or adjust them for high instep feet? I also have a crazy question. How about this sling heel as an afterthought? I know it does not look like it would work but I had to ask as I have a circular sock machine – which by the way can do toe up or cuff down.

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