The How to Knit Your Sock series covers knitting a sock in four step by step articles for knitter’s who are knitting their first sock. I have used Opal sock yarn in the lovely Fairies and Elves colour 5523 to knit this pair of socks.
- Part 1: covered the anatomy of a sock, knitting the cuff and the leg section.
- Part 2: explained knitting the heel flap and turning the heel
- How to Knit Your First Sock – Part 3: shows how to set up for the gusset and gusset shaping.
- Part 4: will look at knitting the foot, toe shaping and finishing.
Your first sock should now look like the one in the photo above. You’ve just finished knitting turning the heel and now you are ready to start picking up and knitting stitches for the gusset set up. This is a very straight forward process and I will take you through it step by step.
- k knit
- p purl
- ssk slip 2 stitches knitwise, one at a time, to right needle, then insert left needle from left to right into front loops and knit 2 stitches together – 1 stitch decreased
- p2tog purl 2 stitches together – 1 stitch decreased
- sl 1 slip 1 stitch purlwise
- st stitch
- st st stocking stitch/stockinette stitch
Gusset Set Up
I find that a sock made with a heel flap, turned heel and gusset always fits well and is very comfortable.
In the gusset set up you will be picking and knitting stitches along the two garter stitch edges of the heel flap. I shall explain, as you work through the gusset set up stage, how I prevent any little gaps or holes appearing.
Picking Up and Knitting
Pick up and knit 17 stitches along the side of the heel flap. I normally pick up and knit through the little ‘bump’ along the garter stitch edge of the heel flap. Although, it is a little more awkward, I don’t have little gaps when I do it this way.
When you reach the end of the heel flap edge and have 17 stitches on the needle, you will notice a ‘gap’, between the new stitches and the instep stitches.
Using the tip of your left needle, make 1 stitch by picking up and twisting (once) the yarn (from the previous complete knit round) between the instep stitches and the new picked up stitches.
K2tog (the new picked up stitch and the first instep stitch). After you knit a couple more stitches give the yarn a little tug just to tighten the stitches. This helps prevent the small hole that often shows at this point in a hand knit sock. Continue to knit across needle 2 and 3 until you are 1 stitch from the end of needle 3.
Slip the last stitch onto the right needle. Using the left needle make 1 stitch by picking up and twisting the yarn between the stitches (after the slipped stitch) then move the slipped stitch back onto the left needle, k2tog.
Pick up and knit 17 stitches through the ‘bumps’. After the first couple of stitches, give the yarn a little tug just to tighten them at this point.
Take a moment to look at your sock. The working yarn is at the end of needle 4. At this point you have stitches on all 5 of your needles. You have finished picking up all the stitches on the heel flap.
You will divide the 18 stitches on needle 5 (the stitches for the sole of your sock) between needle 4 and needle 1.
Using needle 4 knit across the next 9 stitches of the sole (needle 5). This is now the starting point for the new rounds.
The Next Round
Slip the remaining 9 stitches from needle 5 onto needle 1. Take a moment to count the stitches on each of the 4 needles:
- Needle 1: 26 stitches
- Needle 2: 15 stitches
- Needle 3: 15 stitches
- Needle 4: 26 stitches
You are at the starting point for the first of 2 knit rounds.
Knit 9 stitches, then for the next 17 stitches (the ones picked up and knit in the previous round), knit into the back of each of the stitches. This creates a twist in the stitch and stops any little gaps from forming along the picked up edge. Knit across the 30 instep stitches on needle 2 and 3. Then knit into the back of each of the next 17 stitches on needle 4, knit 9 stitches.
Round 2: knit.
You are now ready to start the shaping for the gusset.
At its most basic, the gusset is simply the reduction of the extra stitches created in knitting the heel, to the original number of stitches cast on for the sock (15 stitches on each needle).
Is the decrease round.
Knit to the last 3 sts on needle 1, then knit 2 stitches together, knit last stitch.
Knit across the 30 instep stitches on needle 2 and 3.
For the first 3 stitches on needle 4, knit 1 stitch, then for the next two stitches slip 1 stitch, slip 1 stitch, then knit the two slipped stitches at the same time (ssk). Knit to the end of needle 4.
Knit round 2.
Continue repeating round 1 and round 2 until there are 15 stitches on each of the 4 needles.
When you knit this style of heel and gusset sock, you will find that repeating pattern on a self patterning sock yarn will be out of sync. There isn’t any way of preventing this except to use a different style of heel such as an afterthought heel or a strong heel.
You are ready to knit the foot section of your first sock. Continue to part 4 of how to knit your sock.
Leave a comment if you have any questions about part 3 of this series.