If you are new to knitting socks, let me explain each part because once you understand the basic anatomy, you'll find socks are fun to make and cozy to wear.
Ankle - In western countries, socks are usually knit from the leg or ankle down to the toe. This section is worked in the round, typically with 4-5 double pointed needles (dpn) This section is usually worked in a ribbing pattern to provide some elasticity.
Heel (or Heel Flap) - After the leg or ankle section of the sock is completed, half of your stitches are placed on a holder or spare needle to be worked later and half become the heel of the sock. This section is worked back and forth in rows, usually in a combination of knit and slipped stitches to create a denser fabric.
Turn Heel - This section can be a little tricky the first time you knit a sock. You are still working in rows, but not all the way to the end of the needle as you may be used to. There is also a significant amount of decreasing (ssk and p2tog) as this small section is shaped.
Gusset - The gusset is where you begin working in the round again. You will work across the turn heel, pick up stitches along one side of the heel flap, work the stitches you had placed on a holder and finally pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap. This is done by placing the stitches onto three dpn. As you work this section, you decrease (k2tog and ssk) some of the stitches that were picked up along the sides of the heel to create a diagonal line on each side of the sock. The section is complete when you have the same number of stitches you originally cast on left on your needles.
Foot - This section is the easiest part of the sock because you just work in rounds without any decreasing.
Toe - Stitches are evenly decreased along each side of the sock. The final stitches are not bound off like in most knit projects. Instead, the final stitches are grafted together using the Kitchner stitch (which I will demonstrate in my next post.)
Now, if you are ready to get out your knitting needles and give them a try, here's my Sweet Hearts Slipper Socks Pattern for the socks pictured in this post.