So, Christmas came and went in a flurry of wrapping paper, sugar cookies and new toys.  It was joyful and fun, a little bit tiring (at one point during present opening, I hit my attention span wall and got a little loopy), and there’s still more fun to be had with family in town.  For now, I’d like to share with you some of my  holiday knitting, a pair of festive socks for my sister.

  • Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Pink Carrot Creations hand dyed merino
  • Needles: US size 2.5/3 mm
  • Mods: After thought heel, place 5 inches from cuff, decreased to 28 stitches before grafting closed.

These came about from a need for some simple travel knitting over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I wanted an easy, portable project that I could pick up and put down as needed and that wouldn’t require fussing with a pattern along the way.  I have knit these socks before, and the ribbing is just enough to keep your fingers busy while your brain can focus on other things going on around you.  For some reason I was feeling repelled by the idea of turning a heel at the time, and so decided to try my hand at an afterthought heel.  The hardest part was picking up the stitches, but after that I found the whole thing to be easier than turning a heel.

A quick overview:

First, you decide where you want to place the heel; I went for a shorter, 5-inch cuff as my sister is on the smaller side.  Then, I knit half the stitches with waste yarn, slipped them back onto the left needle and knit them again with the sock yarn.  This holds the heel stitches for later, and you simply continue knitting along as usual.


For some reason I used brown/grey waste yarn. A brighter color would have been easier to see!


When you’re ready to knit the heel, slowly start pulling out the waste yarn and slipping the live stitches onto your needles.  I used 2 dpns at this point; you’ll alternate picking up a stitch from the top and bottom all the way across until you have the same number on both needles.

Next, you can divide the stitches onto 3 or 4 dpns and start knitting just as you would for a toe.  I decreased every other row, ending when there were 28 stitches.  I slipped half onto the top needle, the other half onto the bottom, and grafted them closed using Kitchener stitch.  It was super easy, and I really like how it looks.  There was the small matter of a hole at each corner of the heel, but I used the tails of the red yarn to cinch them closed.

Since these socks were a gift, I can’t speak to how comfortable this heel is compared to my favored heel flap construction.  But I certainly like how it looks, and it seems like a nice way to use contrast yarn, or create an easy-to replace heel.  Same goes for using a second yarn at the toe, something I hadn’t done before either.  All in all, I am very happy with how this project turned out.  It met my knitting needs, and the colors helped me feel festive while we were together, even when I was racing against the clock to finish them in time.

For now, I’m off to eat another sugar cookie and enjoy the post-holiday down time.  I hope you are enjoying some quiet time too, with plenty of treats and knitting!


4 thoughts on “Holidaze

  1. I like ’em! Merry Christmas Sonia and Leslie! We had a magical Christmas and we are delighted to welcome Adelaide Juniper and Emmett Hickory, two of the best Christmas presents of all!

  2. Merry Christmas! I’ve used an afterthought heel before, to avoid interrupting the patterning in a stripe patterned sock. I knit cuff down, and paused to knit the heel before I closed the toe, so I knew exactly how long the sock would be, and that it would fit, before finishing it. Did you close the toe and then knit the heel?

  3. The socks look awesome! I really like the different coloured toe and heel. The contrasting colour plays well with the striping. I’m not sure I’m ready to try an after-thought heel, but I appreciate your pics and directions. I’ll have to bookmark the post for future reference when I’m feeling more brave.

    Happy Holidays!

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