Working on a sock "formula"

I love to knit socks and I’m trying to get a basic “formula” in my head so I can just improvise a sock on my own. Having knit countless socks I have the basic idea, but I’m just trying to tweak the numbers. Maybe someone can help me plug it all in. Here’s what I’ve got for my BASIC sock:

[COLOR=“Navy”]1. Begin with 60 sts (20 per needle). Work cuff as desired.

  1. Divide sts in 1/2 and work heel flap over 30 sts for 20 rows (slip every other st on knit side)

  2. Turning heel: Here is where I’m not sure of the numbers. Is there a rule of thumb for how many sts to decrease? I went with 20 (10 on each side) but I’m thinking the heel looks a little narrow…

  3. Pick up sts along heel flap. I’m thinking 15 sts on each side? Not positive about that either but it seems about right.

  4. Divide sts: Needle 1 - half the heel sts plus gusset/ Needle 2 - instep/ Needle 3 - gusset plus half the heel sts.

  5. Decrease 2 sts every other row - at the end of Needle 1 and beginning of Needle 2 - until 60 sts remain: 15 sts on Needles 1 and 3, 30 sts on Needle 2. (If you decreased 20 sts turning the heel, then picked up 15 sts on each side, you have a total of 70 sts and need to do 5 decrease rows).

  6. Work until sock is 2" shorter than desired. Decrease 4 sts - end of Needle 1, beginning and end of Needle 2 and beginning of Needle 3 - every other row until 16 sts remain. (I’m not sure about this either - should it be EVERY OTHER row or EVERY row?)

  7. Combine sts on Needles 1 and 3 (8 sts each on two needles) and graft off toe.[/COLOR]

Okay, did I miss anything or get anything wrong? Do the numbers sound correct? The main thing I’m not sure of is how many stitches are decreased on the heel - I didn’t know if there is a formula like 1/2 or 2/3 or something like that.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Lisa, if you have 30 stitches in your heel flap, you should knit 30 rows in order for you to be able to pick up 15 stitches.

Turning the heel: I usually start with about 8 stitches in the middle. I like to start my heel flap on the purl side, so I would p 17, p2tog, p1. Then on the next row, s1, knit 5, k2tg, k1.

Yes, you’re right, that would be 30 rows on the heel flap (to pick up 15 sts).

Still not sure the “formula” for the heel decreases.

THANKS for the reply!

The Yarn Harlot has a basic sock formula in her book.