Knitting Tutorial: The Afterthought Heel

How to knit an afterthought sock heel.
The afterthought heel is a simple alternative for anyone who has wanted to knit a pair of socks but is intimidated by turning the heel. They can be used in both top down and toe up socks and there are absolutely no short rows. All of the knitting for both the sock and the heel is done in the round.

Before You Begin

Afterthought heels can be used in either top down or toe up socks. The basic idea is to knit to where you want the heel placed. Then, you knit across the heel stitches with a piece of waste yarn. Continue knitting the remainder of the sock. After the rest of the sock is complete, the waste yarn is removed so the stitches on either side of it can be placed onto your knitting needles. Then you knit in the round, gradually decreasing stitches to shape the heel.

Afterthought Heel

One really nifty trick that I have learned over the years is to slide a lifeline into the stitches before knitting the waste yarn and again into the first row of stitches after the waste yarn. Then, when you remove the waste yarn to start the heel, all of the heel stitches are held safely on the lifelines. This makes it easier (and less scary) to transfer the heel stitches onto knitting needles.

See it in Action

Thanks to Skacel for providing some of the materials and tools used in this tutorial. These products are available locally at many yarn shops and online at Maker's Mercantile.

Recommended Pattern

If you'd like to make the 'Birch Grove Socks' shown in this video, the pattern is available in my pattern shop.

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Video Tutorial: How to knit an afterthought heel with waste yarn

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The Chilly Dog: Knitting Tutorial: The Afterthought Heel
Knitting Tutorial: The Afterthought Heel
An afterthought heel is a simple alternative for anyone that has wanted to knit a pair of socks but is intimidated by turning the heel.
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The Chilly Dog
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