October 23, 2005
There's the easy way...
and the pretty way!
Like all good things, the pretty way of picking up stitches along the heel flap came about as a happy accident. I think when I knit my very first pair of socks, I didn't understand what picking up stitches meant! Once I learned what I was supposed to have done, I knew that I had discovered something unique in the process.
You'll need a spare needle to pick up the stitches this way; it doesn't have to be the same size/type as what you're using for the sock.
(click for big)
Step 1. Upon completing the heel flap and turning the heel, you're faced with a row of slipped stitches. Typically you would pull a loop of yarn through both "loops" of the slipped stitch and place it on your right-hand needle. Here, hold the spare needle in your left hand, and use it to physically lift up only the front "loop" of the slipped stitch. Effectively, you now have a stitch sitting on your left-hand (spare) needle; it is comprised of a single strand of yarn, and it is the front "loop" of the slipped stitch.
Step 2. Next, knit this "stitch" through the back, i.e., twist the stitch while knitting.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all slipped stitches are picked up. Then repeat for the other side of the heel flap. That is it! Clear?!?
So the comical part is that I now realize that when I read, "pick up and knit 15 sts along right side of heel flap," I did just that! I physically picked up and then knit (for whatever reason, through the back) those slipped stitches! I tell ya, I think in my own way.