Essential Boot Socks by Maddy Moe

Essential Boot Socks

February 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette stitch, worked flat
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 2 - 2.75 mm
360 - 400 yards (329 - 366 m)
7 (8, 9) inch circumference at widest part of foot
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This free pattern is meant to act as an all-inclusive guide for some common methods for knitting a sock heel. Going into this project I had only done the classic heel flap method myself, but I had wanted to learn some new techniques for a long time – both the short row and afterthought heels proved very easy to pick up, and I was so excited to learn them that I just had to pass on the love. Here I present these three methods for a sock heel (including the heel flap, the short row heel, and the afterthought heel) with detailed instructions and visuals for each method. I hope that you enjoy knitting them as much as I did.

In this pattern I also included one of my favorite design elements: the folded cuff. While it is an optional element, I provide instructions for knitting a permanently folded sock cuff which is worked using a provisional cast on and later joined. It works up a bit tighter than a regular sock cuff for a sock that doesn’t slouch down to your ankle.

Note: A kind raveler brought it to my attention that the afterthought heel method that I describe is traditionally called the forethought heel - a true afterthought heel involves knitting a long continuous tube for the length of the ankle and the foot, then picking up sts along two rows and cutting the knitting between these rows. I have decided to leave my pattern as is because it seems to me that the definition of the afterthought heel has evolved a bit over time. I may add the true afterthought heel method in time. Thank you!

Dimensions: 7 (8, 9)” circumference at widest part of foot, and several inches above ankle

  • These values are rough measurements – socks are flexible! Don’t sweat the gauge or the measurements too much, and if in doubt – round up a size for roomier socks, round down a size for more fitting socks.

  • Cuff is meant to be tighter than most socks, and the leg a bit longer to be worn with boots.


  • Size US 1/2.25 mm DPNs or circular needles long enough for magic loop

  • Size US 2/2.75 mm DPNs or circular needles long enough for magic loop

  • (optional) Size US 1 or smaller circular or double pointed knitting needles, any length

Notions: Tapestry needle, small bit of waste yarn, (optional) removable stitch marker(s) for marking your place

360 (380, 400) yds/335 (350, 365) m MC, knit in four samples, all size 8”:

  • The Plucky Knitter Feet in colorway Porthos (heel flap method) (sample page here)

  • Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Oracle (heel flap method) (sample page here)

  • Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Fool’s Gold (short row heel method) (sample page here)

  • Hedgehog FIbres Sock in colorway Splash (afterthought heel method) (sample page here)

Gauge: 32 sts x 36 rows = 4” x 4” stockinette stitch, worked in the round