When working sock knitting patterns, there are a lot of options. You can knit socks on double points, use the magic loop technique, or knit on two circular needles. You can knit one at a time, two at a time, or two at a time with one nested inside the other. There are as many choices in sock knitting as there are in sock yarn!
The heel is a part of your knit sock that takes a lot of wear, and is critical in the comfort and the fit of your sock.
To become a true sock expert we encourage you to try as many sock constructions as you can—and we're here to help you review some of the options! All of the options we cover today were worked from the bottom up, as if you were working a toe-up sock. However, there are top-down equivalents for all of the techniques; a simple Internet search will turn up all sorts of options.
Pro: It makes knitting your sock super easy—whether you're working from the toe or from the cuff 90% of your sock will just be knitting without any shaping.
Pro: Fits well and it's easy to customize and work a pattern on the heel.
Con: If you're working with a self striping yarn the yarn will pool on the heel. Here's a great tutorial from Miriam Felton on creating a better fitting toe-up heel flap, and here's one from Knit Better Socks on how to work a top-down heel flap.
Pro: It's fast and fairly simple to work, there are many variations so you're sure to find a technique that works for you.
Con: It tends to create holes in the heel, and is less sturdy than a heel flap. Here's a detailed tutorial on working a short row heel on a top-down sock from Laura Chau. Here's a no wrap version of the short row heel from Happy Knits.
Pro: Fleegle's heel is more subtle in look than the heel flap and provides a heel without holes.
Con: Following the directions is not for the beginner knitter, we recommend knitting a more traditional sock before trying Fleegle's heel. Here is Fleegle's guide to her toe-up no-flap, no-hassle heel, and here's a guide to working the heel from the top-down by Knitters Brewing Co.
P.S. We'd love to hear about your favorite sock heel! Leave a comment below and tell us which you prefer, or if there's a heel technique we forgot.