Basic Sock Pattern - Eclectic Heel
Judith Newman's Modifications
(Updated Nov 23 2013)

Sizing Chart:
This chart gives you information about number of stitches to cast on, how many rows to knit for the foot, etc.

Yarn: 4-ply sock yarn: 75-80% wool, 25-20% polyamide - you need the synthetic to get the wear in the heals and toes.
Brand names Variegated : Regia, Opal, Confetti, Soxx, Fortissima, Trekking, Supersocke are some of the brands for the variegated yarn.
Solids: Sisu for the solids because they have the greatest range of colours.

150 g of yarn (3 50g balls) will make 2 pairs of women’s size 7-8 socks - so I purchase 1 solid, 2 variegated

Gauge: 7.5 stitches on 2mm, 2.25mm, or 2.5 mm double pointed needles (I highly recommend bamboo needles!)
Size: to fit an 8" ankle approx.

The following pattern is for a women's shoe size 7-8.

Cuff: Cast on 68 stitches (16, 16, 16, 20 stitches on each of 4 needles)
Do K2 P2 ribbing for 12 rows

Leg: Switch to stocking stitch, redistribute stitches so you have 17 on each needle then knit for 20 rows,
decrease 1 stitch on each needle to 16 stitches, and continue knitting until desired length: 80-90 rows

Heel Flap:
Leave 16 stitches on each of needle 2 and 3 for instep.
Put remaining 32 stitches (from needles 1 & 4) on 1 needle and work heel flap back and forth on this needle.
Knit 14 rows (knit 32 stitches, purl back 32 stitches - do this seven times for 14 rows ending with a purl row)

Short  rows shaping for turning heel:

  1. Row 1 (RS): slip 1  knit wise, K20, wrap & and turn (or turn &  wrap)
  2. Row 2 (WS): slip the  wrapped st purlwise, P10, W&T
  3. Row 3 (RS): slip  the wrapped st knitwise, K until the wrapped st  of previous row, W&T
  4. Row 4 (WS): slip  the wrapped st purlwise, K until the wrapped st  of previous row, W&T.

“Wrap” means putting the wool to the opposite side - if you're knitting it means taking the wool to the back, if you're purling it means bringing the wool to the front - slipping the next stitch, then turning the sock around, slip the first "wrapped" stitch, then continue either knitting or purling the stitches to the wrapped st , knitting that stitch this time, then doing another W&T.

Here’s how the “wrap & turn” is done - (W & T):

At the end of a KNIT row:

  1. bring wool to the front
  2. slip the next stitch
  3. take wool to back
  4. TURN the knitting to purl
  5. slip the wrapped (1st) stitch
  6. purl from second stitch to end of needle (including the last wrapped stitch)

At the end of a PURL row:

  1. take wool to the back
  2. slip the next stitch
  3. bring the wool forward
  4. TURN the knitting to knit
  5. slip the wrapped (1st) stitch
  6. knit from second stitch to end of needle (including the last wrapped stitch)

Each row is one stitch longer (as you bring in the stitches on the sides of the needle)

Knit/purl rows until you are working on all 32 stitches - ending on a knit row with your yarn on the left hand side (heel facing you)

Put the 16 stitches on the right of the needle onto a new needle (so you are again knitting with 4/5 needles)

It’s time to pick up the gusset sts and work in the round.

Using your 5th needle, pick up 6 (or 7) sts from the flap edge - these are the original stitches that you slipped while creating the flap (including one from the instep of the flap edge - for a total of 7 (or 8)).
Knit these stitches onto needle #1 (the needle on the left side of the heel) - bring the needle from the wrong side of the stitch so that you create a twist in the stitch - this makes the stitches on the side of the gusset tighter.

Now Work across needles 2 and 3 – the instep stitches.
Using your 5th needle pick up 1 stitch in the instep and then 1 stitch in each of the slipped edge stitches on the right side of the heel flap (heel facing you) for a total of 7 (or 8) stitches. (This becomes needle 4). Slip these stitches onto the needle on the right side of the heel.

Knit these picked up gusset stitches - remembering to make a twist to tighten the stitch) - then knit the 16 remaining on needle 4. Needles 1 and 4 should now have the same number of stitches - 23 (or 24)

  1. Row 1 - Knit one row: needle 1, needle 2, needle 3, needle 4
  2. Row 2 -At left end of needle 1 K2 together, knit needles 2, 3, K2 together at the start of needle 4
  3. Row 3 knit all 4 needles
  4. Repeat Row  2 and Row 3 until you have 16 stitches remaining on needles 1 & 4 (with 23 stitches that should be a total of 14 rows - decreasing every other row)

Foot: Continue in plain knitting on 64 stitches until the foot is the desired length –
approximately 7" (or 50 rows) for a ladies size 8 shoe. (If your tension is loose, then measure the foot length from the finish of the gusset)

Toe: Decrease Row:

Needle 1: work to last 3 stitches, K2 together, K1
Needle 2: K1 K2 together, Knit to end
Needle 3: work to last 3 stitches, K2 together, K1
Needle 4: K1 K2 together, Knit to end

*Knit 2 rows and repeat Decrease Row* — Repeat until you have 12 stitches on each needle.
Then *Knit 1 row, and repeat Decrease Row* – Repeat until you have 9 stitches on each needle.
Finally do Decrease Rows until you have 6 stitches on each needle.
Do decrease on Needle 1 – that will give you 5 stitches on that needle.

Graft Toe: Use Kitchener Stitch:

Tip: Since I count rows and don't measure inches/cm, I use a loose thread to mark off rows as I go.
When I have ~ 20 rows knit, I pick up a stitch in row 1 (row immediately after the ribbing) and in every 10th row after that. That way I don't have to go back to the beginning to count how many rows I have, I can tell by how many rows I've marked as I go along.
I also pick up a stitch when I do the first decrease on the gusset so I can tell which is the decrease row; and I mark the row decreases the same way. Once I'm finished I just pull the thread out and there's no indication that I was counting rows!

Regular Heel
Alternate "Eclectic" Heel
Shaped Toe
Counting Rows