holes in my socks!!

KilgoreTrout's picture

Hey men!  Well I've become addicted to knitting babysocks.  They're so damn cute I can't stop! (check out the first pair at kilgoretrout.wordpress.com/test) My problem comes in when I turn the heel.  Like many sock knitters, I end up with a series of holes going up the gusset as I "turn" the heel.  I've tried knitting this tighter in that area, and asked many knitters, but they answer I get is the same: "I have that problem too, not sure what to do, just sew up the holes at the end".   Yes yes, sew up the holes, that's what I'm doing.  It only takes a few minutes and the finished product looks presentable, but theres GOT to be a way to knit a heel without these holes!  any ideas?

keep in mind I'm knitting socks with a "turning heel", not the kind where you knit the gusset and then "pick up stiches" to turn the heel.  know what I mean? 



KIlgore Blows and Knits!



KilgoreTrout's picture

You can see a picture of the

You can see a picture of the sock with no holes at my website!

Kilgore Blows and Knits!  kilgoretrout.wordpress.com

kiwiknitter's picture

I, like speakpeace, use the

I, like speakpeace, use the crochet hook to fill the holes and if I'm careful, I don't have any holes.  Like Bill, I don't worry if I have extra stitches as I just decrease them as I work along.  It takes some practice and a willingness to "do what's necessary" but I've found the final product to look perfect.

KilgoreTrout's picture

OK OK OK!!! I've got it!!  

OK OK OK!!! I've got it!!   JPaul, that pattern was a great help.   You're right, the wrap method is supposed to fill in the holes, but doesn't work very well.  The encroaching method seems to do better, but not quite perfect, I still ended up with a few small holes.  So after many do-overs, thanks to frogging, I came up with a very simple solution:  Combine the two methods!  When starting the heel, I do wrapped short rows like normal.  Then when turning the heel and making the rows long again, I just "encroach" a stitch from the row below when I get to one of the gaps.  After knitting a couple of these socks, you can see very easily where the gaps form.  This created a heel that looks great and has absolutely no holes whatsoever!!!  It's perfect!!  I recommend that to any sock knitters!


Kilgore Blows and Knits!  kilgoretrout.wordpress.com

KilgoreTrout's picture

WOw thanks for all the

WOw thanks for all the tips!!  I think I'm going to try your suggestion JPaul.  THANKS! 


Kilgore Blows and Knits!  kilgoretrout.wordpress.com

JPaul's picture

Do you mean you are knitting

Do you mean you are knitting socks with a short row or mitered heel?  That's my guess judging from your photos (instead of knitting a heel flap and then "turning the heel" to shape it, you knit a series of short rows (decreasing the number of stitches to the corner of the heel, then increasing again).

 Generally, you wrap a stitch at the end of these turning rows and that is supposed to save you getting holes, but it's not always effective.  There are directions here (http://www.knitlist.com/2002/ToeUpSock.htm) for a similar technique called the Sherman Heel.  Instead of wrapping stitches as your short rows get shorter, you wait until you are increasing stitches again and do and "encroachment" which involves knitting a stitch together with the next stitch from the previous row...


Yeah, it's a little confusing and the toe is formed the same way.  But it looks great and no holes.  There is a photo on Hipknitism.com.

Bill's picture

now why didn't I think of

now why didn't I think of that????
I'm going to try the crochet hook on the socks I'm working on...makes PERFECT sense!!
Thank you!

If you use a small crochet

If you use a small crochet hook and pick up the loose edges around the hole you can work the extra yarn up to a working stitch, slip the loose yarn from the crochet hook onto the working stitch like you're doing a decrease and hide the hole that way.  If a "hole" appears where you are describing as I work on a sock I do this all the time and it completely hides the hole.

I note you live in Berlin -

I note you live in Berlin - get hold of one of the Regia Patterns or even one of their books.  They have explicit instructions on the various types of heel including photographs of the various stages.  A good one is 'Stricken von Kopf bis Fuss'  by Katharina Buss.

Bill's picture

I pick up more stitches than

I pick up more stitches than the pattern calls for......often knit into the back of the stitches on the next row to twist and tighten the stitches...and decrease to get back to the original number of stitches.


Hey Kilgore.  Are the holes

Hey Kilgore.  Are the holes showing up where you pick up the stitches along the heel flap or directly in the heel itself?