I like simple things and though I am sure I have posted the hows and whys before, I will do it again. You can never say enough about simple socks.
I love afterthought heels. You can just sit and knit, without that need for the concentration that a heel turns needs. There is none of the counting and wraps that an average short row heel needs. Have a bunch of time to knit, and want to get ahead start of holiday sock knitting? Just knit a tube, make a toe at one end and you are good.
You can knit these sock blanks without needing to know the size of foot you are knitting for. You don't need that till you start the heel. If you have a basket of these sock blanks at hand, you can give anybody a pair of decently fitting handknit socks with just a few hours notice. (Of course if the foot is particularly chunky, or longer than about 12 inches, this is going to take some knowledge of said foot. Or for kids. All bets are off for small kids. )
So here it is. How Needles Knits Socks: An Afterthought Heel Toe-torial as requested!
First you will knit a tube with a toe at one end. For feet up to a size 9 or 10, you can knit and use the same 12 inch (from the toe) blank for all sizes. After 12 inches of stockinette, knit whatever cuff treatment you wish till you have just a nice big walnut in the shell sized ball of yarn left. It does not matter if you start cuff down or toe up, just knit, reserving about a good walnut size. Knit the second sock.
(In a pinch you can now actually give away the socks. They will not wear so well as a sock with a fitted heel but a tube sock works too. )
Measure your foot from heel to toe. Deduct two inches from that number and mark that number of inches or centimetres on your sock, measuring from the toe, by picking up one leg of a single stitch, in the middle of a side. For instance, my foot is about 9 inches long. Deducting two inches leaves me about 7 inches. I actually use 6 3/4 inches.
Snip one leg of the stitch.
Pull one end of the snipped stitch out, back to the side of the sock. As you can see, when you pull out this one thread, suddenly and magically, there appears a row of live stitches on both sides of the hole.
Pick them up with a needles. Keep pulling back that thread, revealing live stitches till you are 3 or 4 stitches around the side of the flat half sock. Pick up and repeat for the other half of the sock, carefully weaving , and picking.
Now, you see the stitches all pulled back, picked up and you are ready to go, but for one thing. You are going to knit across a set of the live stitches with your walnut of reserved yarn. When you get to that gaping hole along the sides, you must pick up 3 to 5 stitches to help lessen any tension that forms as you knit across the stitches to the other side. Then, knit across the stitches on the other side, pick up gap stitches, and knit 1 complete round across all 4 needles.
In the first round, as I knit over the gap stitches, I usually move them so that the heel has 3 of 5 and the cuff has 2 of the 5 gap stitches.
From here on in, you are knitting a toes as if you were doing a normal top down toe. Yes, the toe shape and heel shape are the same. When you are down to 16 stitches (the total on all needles), you can graft it closed, weave the ends in and there you are, a pair of socks.
And that is that.
A heel toe-torial!