Tutorial Series – Afterthought Heel

Leslie shows you how to knit an afterthought heel. In all future episodes I will get a manicure before the uber close ups!!! πŸ™‚

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About Leslie

Leslie is obsessed with knitting, and when possible, perfection in her knitting. All stripey socks must match exactly and all lace must be blocked severely. She has major love for all of her viewers/readers and hopes to keep blogging and podcasting for years to come.

53 Responses to Tutorial Series – Afterthought Heel

  1. Patricia Downie says:

    I loved this tutorial !!! Now, I wish for you to show how you did the heel. Did you do short row? I would love to know how to do that. Hard to get classes here, actually there are no classes in our town.
    Thank you …Love the videocasts/podcasts. New here and enjoy my Mondays with you. I have seen three so far and have learned allot.

  2. Sheri says:

    Great job on the tutorial! Very clear and easy to understand. I already knew how to do afterthought heels but I wasn’t knitting half to quarter inch before decreasing and my heels are a little short. So, thanks for the tip! I would like to see you do a short row heel. The w&t and then picking them up with the stitch on the way back across. Hope that makes since! πŸ˜‰

  3. Michele says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial Leslie! The new room loooks great. I love the slant roof and color contrast. Do you happen to remember what yarn you used to make the green, purple and black socks on the the display feet behind you? Both you and Laura are so appreciated by all your cyber friends. Michele in So Cal.

  4. Marsha says:

    Thanks for the tutorial and especially the tip on knitting a few rows before starting the decreases. I’m making my first and almost done. Do you recommend making both socks before going back to do the heels? I hope I knit both the foot long enough and the cuff!!

  5. I’ve been waiting for you guys to post this…what an awesome video! I have watched other afterthought heel tutorials and yours cleared up some questions I definitely had. The best tip was that you mentioned how you knit a few straight rows before starting the decreases. None of the tutorials I have watched ever mentioned that! Thanks so much. I am going to give this technique a try on the kid sock I’ve got languishing in my bag. Can’t wait!
    Sorry to be short! Gotta go finish a shawl and a second of a pair of felted clogs so I can get started on this!! WHOOT!

  6. Talithia says:

    Wow, thanks so much. As a beginner sock knitter this is something I have wanted to learn. You Rock!

  7. kathy says:

    What a fabulous tutorial. Everything was in focus, the sock showed up well against the white background, even the needles shimmered. You worked slowly enough for each stitch to make sense. Knitting Daily TV doesn’t always do as well. Thanks for the wonderful lesson, and for the tip about using magic loop. I’ve been trying to pick out stitches between hard dpns, which is harder and more fiddely.

  8. LoriAngela says:

    With your quiet voice, it’s like you’re passing on a secret. Love it! You snuck in some great tips without even knowing that you are giving more food for thought. Thanks for the extra work.

  9. Kathy says:

    Great Job! Very clear – both in photography and in your explanations. It has been years since I last did an after thought heel, but I may just have to revisit the technique….thanks to you!

  10. Cyndi-ccaj says:

    love it, love it, love it! Thank you so much! and I can’t wait to see you wearing those finished socks! How are you liking the Twisted Limone yarn?

  11. Beverly says:

    Very helpful and took the mystery out of that heel type. I am impressed by the professional look of the tutorial. You do a great job, Leslie.

  12. folksmith says:

    OMG! I love the tutorial. I’ve been wondering how to do an ‘afterthought heel’, how clever.

    The next tutorial I would love to learn is how to Magic Knit, I think that’s what it’s called. I really like using DPNs, so I’m not sure if you can teach an old dog a new trick with that one. I’m willing to try.

  13. MiataMiMi says:

    This is a great tutorial; I was wanting to see how this was done. The quality of the closeups was so good (very clear). I would also like to see you keep going with the heel of your choice. Is a short row heel the only option at this point with the afterthought heel or could you do the fleegle heel on a tutorial; I have been hearing good things about it. Thanks Leslie!

  14. Lisa B. says:

    This was so helpful! I realize now why I’m having complete afterthought heel FAIL on TWO (yes, TWO) pairs of socks right now. Sigh. I think the only remedy is going to be to rip the one pair out completey and start again (they’re inexplicably too tight in general, AND having heel issues), and the other I’m going to need to rip back to before the heel. I think. Anyway…at least now I have your thoughts on the process to help guide me! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  15. gloria says:

    OMG , Never done that, But that I LOVED it ! In my next sock have to try that heel So cool. You know what I would love to see you do a Sock toe-up cause I learned my toe-up though youtube or books and with so little time on my hands I would like to learn from you on a sock from scratch . And there it is you asked ! lol
    But Thank you cause I can’t sit in a Yarn Shop for a couple of hours and you ladies are teaching me things I thought I would have to learned in the Yarn Shop .

  16. Mary (mim58 on Ravelry) says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! Great production values! I could see everything. I heard somewhere on the Internet that the afterthought heel was uncomfortable on feet with high arches. Have you ladies heard anything about that situation?
    Thanks again.

  17. Margaret (KeyMargo) says:

    Great tutorial Leslie. I had been putting off learning this technique. Your tutorial was clear, and you covered the extra tips we all need like picking up extra stitches to prevent holes and adding a little extra depth. I’ll add my “please” for another on short row – especially preventing holes at the corner on them. Oh – and how about a darning video? That’s a useful skill for all handmade sock owners.

  18. Pamela says:

    Wonderful Leslie – thank you for taking the time to do this. How do you determine the length of the foot after the waste yarn is put in? What I mean is, how much extra length does the after thought heel add? I think I know… But wanted to double check.

  19. Holly says:


    OMGosh, you are incredible! What a wonderful teacher you are and boy do you know that camera. This lesson was so professional. I could see every stitch so clearly and I like that you didn’t rush. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your talent. I would love to learn magic loop two at a time socks. I believe that’s what it’s called. What ever your willing to share is great! PS I have wanted to tell you I think it’s wonderful how you have helped other podcast get started when having trouble. Really kind of you to lend a helping hand.

  20. MaryjoO says:

    this was fabulous — so clear, focused on the knitting, great tips … thanks much!

  21. michelle says:

    I had NO idea an afterthought heel was within my knitting grasp! Thanks for the tutorial. And may I say, that you are the most helpful knitting friend to lots of people. Your name comes up a LOT in podcasts from folks you have helped with their computer woes. Did you spend your first life in the Peace Corps or at a non-profit? You definitely have the helping gene. Thanks again.

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  26. Chloe says:

    The best knitting video I’ve ever experienced. I agree with Holly who loved that you didn’t rush. So much a part of good teaching, in my opinion. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  28. pj such says:

    Even a year later – so glad I found your tutuorial. Really wonderful. Thank you so much for showing this.
    I did not notice anything with your nails at all. I’m a thrower also, but I prefer magic loop. Still a sock virgin here.
    But I like the idea of more ribbing. I want to make some custom socks as I have some fit issues with commercial socks. Happy for this tutorial.

  29. Paula says:

    It’s not hard to do an old-fashioned heel flap, but this method is so much easier and fun. Also, it’s nice that the stripes will make a bull’s eye pattern. It’s almost too easy! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the wonderful video.

  30. Lisa Stephan says:

    I have been trying to view the afterthought heel tutorial, and all I get when I select it are the comments from people that have gotten to actually view it. Is there another link?
    Thanks Lisa

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  33. This is the most useful tutorial on setting up the afterthought heel! I have the twisted Sisters sock workbook, which shows a lot of techniques for toes/heels but I never could follow written instructions….so this little movie has been so-o-o useful! The only part I stuck at, because you use the Magic Loop (which I have yet to fathom, though I don’t like toe-up anyway). When you’re picking up the stitches could you simply use 4 dpns?
    Thanks again, keep them coming, i love your website!
    Cal xx

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  35. linda says:

    ladies you have revolutionized my sock knitting and heels. I love the fact that you guys knit socks in various color paths and also the fact that you do them with different techniques. thanks for your inspiration and keep it coming. I am new to your bloggs, just got the IOS6 for my iphone which includes the podcast app. I love your blogs.

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  37. Stephanie says:

    The video will no longer play. I was told to check it out and see if it would help me learn to knit socks and the heel.

  38. Stacy says:

    Will the video be uploaded soon? Or can I be directed elsewhere to find it? There is a sock pattern built around this afterthought heel, which I have just begun.

  39. Stacy says:

    Ahh, I have found it on youtube. Here’s the link for anyone who needs it:


  40. Jane Currah says:

    this is soooo helpful – thank you thank you thank you!!
    I am a machine knitter and can make tubes easily, but I want to add the ribbing and heels and toes by hand. This should make it so easy to do. Just a thought on the waste yarn – machine knitters have a nylon thread that in the US seems to be called ‘ravel cord’. Here in the UK we call it cast on cord. It is a little bit thinner than sock yarn and very smooth and slippery. I shall try knitting half a row with it where I want the heels to be. It should then pull out really easily when the heels are knitted.
    Many thanks again for your wonderful video – your nails are a lot nicer than mine!

  41. Bree says:

    I’m doing up a pair of toe up socks, two at a time method, and the pattern calls for an afterthought heel. I’ve never done an afterthought heel (i usually do short row heels), but I want to try something new. I’m wondering, after watching your video, if doing the afterthought heel will be difficult with the two at a time toe up method.
    Any advice is welcome. Thanks! πŸ˜€

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  45. Victoria says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you!!

  46. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this! A wonderful tutorial, well filmed and narrated, with clear instructions and little to no “noise.” I feel like you just unlocked the door for me to a whole new room in my house! Many thanks for your time and teaching.

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