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Sock Gusset and Foot

by Sharyn Anhalt November 09, 2014 1 Comment

We're now going to switch back to knitting in the round - in order to accomplish that, we need to pick up stitches along the garter stitch edge on both sides of our heel flap. Picking up stitches merely means that you will create a row of knit-able loops in an edge of your knitting where there are no loops. We create these loops in order to connect the heel stitches to the foot stitches that we've ignored while knitting the heel flap.

Ann does such a great job of explaining all this on the Knitting Fever blog, so I'm going to send you right over to her explanation. But just a couple things to note:

  • "pick up stitches" really means "pick up and knit" - you will not just pick up a piece of yarn to use as a stitch, but instead you'll be pulling a loop through the edge to create a new knit-able stitch. Essentially, you knit through the edge of the heel flap to create a stitch.
  • If I've ever shown you how to pick up and knit stitches in the past, I probably stressed that you should always pick up two strands in from the edge, to prevent your new stitch from pulling at the edge and creating a hole. SOCKS ARE AN EXCEPTION TO THAT RULE. You should pick up just one strand in from the edge of your heel flap so that you don't have a thick ridge - bumps in your socks will cause blisters!
  • And of course, feel free to come in for a hands-on demonstration if you need help picking up and knitting your stitches.

Now go read Ann's blog post for all the other essential information! I particularly like her tip on how to prevent a gap at the gusset.

One last thing - if you've been using the shorter 4 or 5" sock dpns, you may find that they are too short to navigate this part of the sock. You'll have more stitches than normal on the needles when you first start the gusset, but you'll be decreasing and get back to a manageable amount. If your stitches are slipping off the ends of the needles, use longer dpns until you've decreased down to the foot.

Once you finish gusset decreases and start knitting the foot, you can try your sock on (just be careful not to pull the stitches off the needles - another good excuse to have a set of longer dpns, or try slipping your stitches temporarily to a circular needle. You'll knit the foot even until 2 inches less than your desired finished length.

Sharyn Anhalt
Sharyn Anhalt


1 Response


January 05, 2015

In the gusset decrease, when the pattern reads “Alternate knit even and decrease round to 56 (60) sts.”, do you simply repeat the entire sequence of gusset decreases? I’m confused by the term “alternate”. What are you alternating?

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