Sock heel edge stitches too loose

When I make socks, the edge stitches of the heel always end up loose. I do the slip first stitch (purl and knit rows) as the patterns call for.

I thought at first I was not pulling the yarn tight enough on the next stitch (sl 1, knit 1 or sl 1, purl 1) so I pulled tighter on the first worked stitch after the slipped stitch and that made the loop bigger. That bigger loop carries up on each row.

I tried knitting that first stitch after the slipped stitch as if it were a regular stitch and that helps but I still end up with larger edge stitches.

When I do the gusset, the area where the gusset stitches start ends up having gaps when the sock is put on. A row of holes (small but big enough to notice) along the gusset seam.

Any ideas how to stop this? Tips? Are they supposed to be looser than the rest of the stitches.


I don’t know about the large edge stitches, but the gap I think I know about. When you come to the gap try knitting the first stitch through the back loop, this is a handy trick to close holes.

I find that that loose edge stitch is always at the beginning of a purl row. I’ve tried many ways to fix it without success. What I do now is ignore it, but when picking up stitches for the gusset, I pick up BOTH loops of the edges. This has worked for me. Also, about that annoying hole, when you’ve picked up all the edge stitches for the gusset, pick up 2 more through the back loop of the row below where the gusset meets the sole. Picking up one doesn’t quite do it.

Ew…the gusset hole option sounds good. When you pick up 2 more stitches through the back loop of the row below, is it two stitches at once or individually? Then you just reduce those down by having a few extra rows when you knit the gusset?


Yes, the slipped stitches on the end of the rows are supposed to carry up the side and be bigger than the other stitches. Don’t worry about them. They’re perfect. They are this way for a reason - to pick up one stitch for each of these larger stitches. It’s your guide.

When you pick-up the gusset stitches you should always be picking up under the 2 strands of yarn that make that large stitch. If you pick up only one strand you will have holes. If you pick up both strands it will be fine.

Also, even though a pattern calls for a certain number of stitches to be picked up, if you think it looks better or needs more, than pick up more, just be sure both sides are even. As you are doing your decreases you are decreasing back down to the number of stitches you had originally. If that takes you 2 more decrease rounds (or whatever) so be it. No biggie.

AND - a little trick to make sure that you don’t have a gap between the gusset stitches and the instep stitches - make sure you pick up a stitch right in the corner right next to the instep stitches on either side. Go under 2 strands and pick-up. It makes all the difference to my socks on whether or not I have a hole there (I hate that hole there! :wink: ). Happy sock knitting.