It has happened to pretty much all of us who knit socks. You’ve patterned it beautifully and now you’re working on the heel. You’ve turned the heel, started to pick up the slip stitches on the heel flap and move onto the instep. The problem is that when all is said and done, there are often holes between the heel and the instep. Here’s a dreaded gusset hole:
You can stitch the holes up but there’s good news, I’ve got an easy technique for preventing gusset holes when knitting socks with a heel flap. This includes a stockinette heel, the slip stitch heel and the eye of the partridge heel among others.
Knit your heel flap, turn your heel and pick up the slip stitches along the side of the heel. The fix happens at this point, BEFORE you start to knit across the instep. Find the ladder, between the last stitch on your right needle (the heel flap) and the first stitch on the left needle (the instep). This is the ladder:
Pick up and make a stitch using the ladder. Pick it from the back, not from the front as you usually would with a knit stitch, then knit it. The new stitch is counted as a side of the heel stitch and not added to the instep.
Don’t worry if this means you have an extra stitch on the gusset, you’ll return to the correct number of stitches for your sock as you decrease. It will not impact fit.
Knit across your instep as instructed in your pattern, this usually means continuing the pattern already begun on the leg. Make another stitch the same way on the other side of the instep. Your new stitch should be counted as part of the gusset/heel stitches just as it was on the first side.
That’s it! Three easy steps to prevent holes in the gusset of your sock as you knit the heel and foot of your socks.
Here’s a video demonstrating the process:
What do you think? Will this technique be helpful to you? What other tricks would you like to see?