A few weeks ago I posted about the socks that I had on my needles and my new found obsession with the afterthought heel. Becky left a great comment on the post, asking for my recipe when installing an afterthought heel in my Climb Socks. I thought this was a great question that definitely deserved it's own post so that anyone wanting to modify their climbs would have the instructions to do so!
I finished my dark grey climb socks last night—and I've found the perfect combination of steps to make afterthought heels ideal for my foot.
Knitting a sock with an afterthought heel is as easy as knitting a tube sock. I knit plain vanilla socks from the toe up and what I like most about this method, is once you've passed the toe, the rest is mindless knitting. Perfect for distracted, movie watching, knit night socializing, throwing in your purse kinda knitting!
You'll only have to pause to think about the placement of the waste yarn you are going to install to hold the stitches for the afterthought heel. The placement of the waste yarn for your afterthought heal depends on the direction of your knitting. Because the Climb socks are knit from the toe up, place your waste yarn where your heel begins—you can use your ankle bone as a reference—but I like to slip the sock on my foot and measure how much further I need to go to reach my heel (where my arch meets my heel). You'll then use the waste yarn to knit across half of the stitches of the sock, then carry on knitting your tube sock!
Once your tube sock is complete, you'll need to remove the waste yarn and knit your afterthought heel. Here are a few details that I use on my Climb afterthought heels to make them fit me just right:
- Step 1 — Pick up 4 extra stitches
I pick up 4 extra stitches (2 at each end to close the gaps), I leave these stitches to be decreased with the shaping, I like the extra room it creates for the heel.
- Step 2 — Knit 10 rounds even
After I've picked up the stitches around the heel, I work 10 rounds without shaping, again, I like the extra room that this creates for my high arch.
- Step 3 — Decrease every other round
Once you've worked your even rounds, it's time to decrease to shape the heel. I knit magic loop and this is the method that I use:
Rnd 1 (decrease round): [K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts of needle, k2tog, k1] repeat once more.
Rnd 2 (work even rnd): Knit
Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until you are left with 12 stitches on each needle.
- Step 4 — Finishing
Once you have 12 stitches left on each needle (24 total), break the yarn leaving a 30 inch tail and use the Kitchener stitch to graft the stitches together.
Becky and I both found this video by The Knit Girllls really useful. It includes every step and will guide you through the process of knitting an afterthought heel.
Remember, there are so many little adjustments you can make to suit your foot, so don't be afraid to play around with this recipe and find what works for you!