Pick-ups don’t have to be scary

My favorite heel type is the heel flap; classic and versatile. You can do a lot with the good ole’ heel flap (different lengths, different patterns, different yarn) but many folks are stymied by the fact that you have to pick up new live stitches on either edge: what do I pick up? Do I have to knit twisted or tbl? Oh no, I’ve got stretchy holes there now, yuck! Recently I stumbled on a pretty fool-proof method that prevents most of these issues from even coming up. Mind you, I didn’t invent this technique, I just worked out something that many have been doing for ages. Thought I’d share here to make your heel flap knitting a little more fool-proof.

The first thing to do is make your flap of whatever size and whatever length with a single stitch wide garter edge. You’ll still be slipping the first stitch of every row. But now you have a thing to do at the end of every row also. At the end of every right side row, end with a P1. At the end of every wrong side row, K1. I’ve done that here, as you can see above. It leaves me with an edge of purl bumps.

When it’s time to pick up stitches, just gently poke your needle straight through those bumps. The only thing to worry about is try not to split the yarn. I’ve started doing so above.

Just keep on doing that; don’t worry, there will be the right amount.

When you have all of them picked up (+ 2 for the gap), just start knitting them normally. You don’t have to knit through the back of the loop. They will be a little snug, but not too bad. Do the other side similarly when you get there. And then continue with your sock.

Here’s the final heel, gusset and all; all done and nice and neat! No big twisty holes, and good-looking with consistent small stitches. What could be better?


8 thoughts on “Pick-ups don’t have to be scary

  1. Just when I perfected it. 😂 I shall be trying this next time though — on my diamond duality socks. If only the yarn shop were open right now! (Yes, I’m a little late to this party!)


    1. Gosh no! I pick up 2 ST from the gap by inserting RN 1/3 of the way across the gap into an existing ST and pulling yarn through and place it as next ST on RN. Then repeat the process 2/3 of the way across the gap.


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