Afterthought Heels



Undines sock pattern with the heel from Fork in the Road Socks

Socks … if you know me, you know that I love to make socks. My most recent pair of socks uses and afterthought heel.

I love the way the heel looks in these socks – the stripes bend around the heel instead of going across the heel.  For self-striping yarn, this is definitely my preferred heel!

The idea of an afterthought heel is to stitch the tube of the sock then insert the heel afterwards. Some people will put in some scrap yarn where they want to put the heel.  They rip out the scrap yarn and pick up the loose stitches to start building their heel off of. Other people will cut the sock where they want the heel, pick up the stitches and start the heel.

For me, one of the advantages of using an afterthought heel is that I don’t have to pay much attention to exactly how long my socks are – this does work better when you’re doing them two at a time! So I prefer the “cut your knitting” variety. It was a bit scary the first time, but now I have two pairs of socks with afterthought heels and it gets easier!

If you’d like to try an afterthought heel yourself, here’s some links to get you started:

  • has a well illustrated tutorial on how to use scrap yarn for your afterthought heel.
  • Yarn Harlot has a tutorial on how to cut your socks to put your heels in.
  • has a page on how to adjust the afterthought heel for higher insteps, but I found that I didn’t need any adjustment with the heel from the Fork in the Road Socks.

Pattern Notes:

The socks shown are my Undines on Holiday with the heel from Fork in the Road Socks.

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