While I’d heard of afterthought heels, I had always been quite content with my regular heel flap heels and had no urge to try something else. But then during my frantic efforts to finish socks for Christmas, I saw this post on afterthought heels. It reminded me of how I’m doing thumbs for mittens and thought it would be fun to try.  I often knit socks in meetings and sometimes I have to pay more attention to the heel than I can at work. My mother was a bit skeptical that this would actually turn out but low and behold it worked:









After knitting 6 pairs of socks with afterthought heels, here are a few things I  learned that maybe should have been obvious had I thought about it:

  1. Don’t knit the waste yarn stitches too tight.  It makes them hard to pick up.
  2. Dark yarn should be be avoided.  See above.  (I feel that way about black/navy blue yarn in general, so it probably shouldn’t be viewed as specific to this technique).
  3. You don’t need to slip the stitches back when you’re knitting on double points.  Just start knitting.
  4. When you’ve finished the toe, you aren’t done.  There is still a heel to knit. This is especially critical when estimating knitting time before a deadline.

At the end of the day, I think I’ll be using this heel frequently, especially when knitting in situations when I have to am supposed to be paying attention.  I’m wondering what your go-to heel is and if you’d ever switch?

8 replies on “After thoughts on Afterthoughts

  1. Thanks for linking to my tutorial 🙂 I’m glad the heel worked out for you, the socks look fab! In case you’re curious,the reason for slipping the waste yarn stitches back and knitting them again with the working yarn is so both sides of the round are even after you remove the waste yarn (and you don’t have to bother with breaking the working yarn and reattaching it!) Hope that makes sense. Btw your photos are making me think I need pink socks in my life!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I LOVE afterthought heels. I don’t do them often, as I also love gussets, but yes. They do come in handy! (I once did 4 pairs in light sport/heavy fingering in two weeks, thank goodness for afterthought heels!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve tried knitting a pair of socks with that heel… and they’re languishing in a bag somewhere, neglected because I can’t be bothered to go back to the heel. Best I stick to the heel flap, really.


  4. I’ve done only one pair this way and ended up with gaps. One thing I would do the next time is pick an extra stitch on each side to close the gaps. Apart from that, I think it is a great technique for contrasting toe/heel colors.


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