Toe-Up Socks Class: Heel! (part 1)


Today is our third day of the Beginner Sock Knitting Class for Toe-Up Socks!

Every day for the next week I'll be sharing a tutorial filled with the how's and why's of constructing a sock from the toes through the cuffs. At the end of this week-long class I'll provide you with the Basic Toe-Up Sock pattern (with short-row heel) that I've used when filming the lessons so that you can cast-on a set for yourself or a loved one.

If you were hoping to learn how to knit socks from the cuff-down, I've got you covered. I released the free sock class earlier this month for my Basic Cuff-Down Socks (with a heel flap). That class walked you through the construction of the sock and was followed up with the release of the free pattern which you can now download from my pattern shop (kids sizing or adult sizing).

Today we'll be learning:

I've posted the video below along with a few notes and all the links you might need. If you have any questions, you can always email me directly:

Have fun & happy knitting!

Shaina ^_^

PS: The yarn featured in this tutorial is from from Suburban Stitcher in the Sea Smoke colorway. Suburban Stitcher is the featured indie dyer in January for the 2021 Indie Sock-a-Long, she generously provided yarn support for the January Socks and all of the Beginner Sock Knitting Classes being offered on in the month of January. You can find all of her beautiful colorways and bases on her site:

Other Lessons in this Series:

Notes and Resources:

  • You can join the 2021 Indie Sock-a-Long for just $2 through the end of January, 2021!

  • Remember to sign-up for my newsletter to have the free Toe-up Sock pattern (in 12 sizes) delivered to your inbox as soon as it's released on January 27, 2021.

Adding a Contrast Color

To add a new color for the heels/toes/cuffs/wherever, simply stop knitting with one color and start knitting with a second color when you're ready for it.

In the video I started working with my second color when I started my heel so that I would get a contrast heel. I could have worked the toe in my second color then switched to the main color when I started the foot to achieve a contrast toe as well, but I wanted you to be able to see all the cast-on stitches clearly so the lighter yarn was the better choice for the tutorial. When making your socks you can easily add one or more contrast colors wherever you see fit to make your socks your own!

Knitting in Ends Video Tutorial

If you're needing a bit more info about how to weave in your ends while knitting, I've got a Video Tutorial that might be useful.

What is a Short Row?

A Short Row just means that you're not working every stitch in a row before turning around and going back the other direction. When working short rows you will need to do some sort of special technique to prevent holes in your knitting. (Unless you're intending for the holes as a design feature, but you usually don't want pre-made holes in your sock heels.)

Why Are Short Rows Used?

When we make Short Rows as we work the heel we are basically forcing the heel fabric to fold in on itself slightly and stay that way because we're taking away stitches (and decreasing the width while adding hight) with every row that we make. In the next tutorial we'll be working the second half of the German Short Rows to increase the amount of stitches used in each row as we build more height. This shaping creates the "cup" that your heel sits in when you wear the socks.

German Short Rows (Knit-wise) Photo Tutorial

If you're needing a bit more info about how to work a German Short Row while knitting, I've got a Step by Step Photo Tutorial that might be useful.

German Short Rows (Purl-wise) Photo Tutorial

If you're needing a bit more info about how to work a German Short Row while purling, I've got a Step by Step Photo Tutorial that might be useful.

Basic Short-Row Heel Recipe (part 1)

This heel is worked flat across 1/2 of the total stitches using German Short Rows (gsr).

Row 1 (RS): ​ Knit to the last stitch, gsr.

Row 2 (WS): ​ Purl to the last stitch, gsr.

Row 3: K to 1 st before gsr, gsr.

Row 4: P to 1 st before gsr, gsr.

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until the number of stitches remaining un-worked between the gsr’s is equal to 1/2 of your cast-on stitches, ending after working a WS row. (Ex. If you cast-on 16 stitches total, you will work short rows on your heel until you have 8 stitches left un-worked between the gsr's.)

Customizing the Heel

You can easily make the heel wider or more narrow by working more or less short-rows in your heel. Using the numbers from our example above, if you wanted a wider heel, you would stop repeating Rows 3 & 4 when you have more than 8 stitches (10 or 12) left between the gsr's. To make the heel more narrow and pointy, you can work to less that 8 stitches left between the gsr's.

For your first pair though, I always recommend knitting to pattern just to see how they fit. You can always take out the heel later and change it if you don't care for it.

That's it!

Next up, we'll finish the Heel! I'll cover that in more detail in tomorrow's lesson. See you then!

More Sock Patterns:

Adventure Anklets

$5.99 USD

(Linked to the YumiYarns shop)

Basic Cuff-Down Adult Socks


(Linked to the YumiYarns shop)

Sip of Bobbly Socks/2021 Indie Sock-a-Long

$2.00 USD

(Linked to the YumiYarns shop)

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. These don't cost you any extra money, but if you make a purchase after clicking through one of my links I'll make a small profit from the sale & you will be helping my business. Thank you for your support!


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