Knitting Socks: Cuff and Heel Flap Tips

Karen Baumer shares sock knitting tips for creating a pair of women's-size medium socks.

Knitting expert Karen Baumer demonstrates how to knit a pair of women's size-medium sock — 8" around the foot and 9" from heel to toe.

Note: Remember that many yarns are seasonal and could be discontinued. If the specific yarn called for is not available, purchase a substitution yarn that comes closest to the specified gauge in your pattern. And be sure to make that all-important swatch to see whether the yarn works for your particular pattern.


5 sts and 7.5 rows per inch in stockinette st in the round on US size 7 needles.

Socks are typically knit at a tighter gauge and on smaller needles than what is recommended on the ball band of your yarn. If substituting yarn for this pattern, look for a recommended gauge of approximately 4 sts per inch on US size 9 or 10 needles.


Sl – slip
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
K2tog – knit 2 together
P2tog – purl 2 together
SSK – "slip, slip, knit" (slip 1 st knitwise, slip next st knitwise, insert left needle tip into the 2 slipped sts and knit them together using your right needle – one stitch decreased)
tbl – through back loop

Most socks have the same number of stitches around the cuff and foot section. One way to determine the number of stitches to cast on is to measure around the widest part of the foot, usually the ball, and then multiply that number (in inches) by your stitch gauge. Then subtract 10 percent to 15 percent from that number so the socks have a snug fit.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 balls Berroco Pleasure (130 yds/120 m per 50g ball; 66 percent Angora, 29 percent Merino wool, 5 percent nylon)
  • US size 7 (4.5mm) needles, one set of five double-pointed needles
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors


Loosely cast on 40 sts and divide evenly among four of the needles. Work 2x2 rib (K2, P2) for 2-1/2". Stop at the end of a completed round.


Heel Flap

Row 1 (RS): [Sl 1, K1] across the next 20 sts with a single needle and turn, leaving remaining 20 sts live and resting on their needles.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, then P to end.

Set aside the extra empty needle you've just generated and continue working this section back and forth with two needles as in "normal" flat knitting. The instep sts remain unworked and resting on their needles.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until flap is approximately 2.75" long, ending with a RS row.


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