Sock-A-Long: Don’t Get Flapped By the Heel Flap


How are you doing on your Cirque Socks? Probably better than me. I’ve been working too much. I’ve been distracted by media meltdowns. Two of my friends have had single-serving-sized cyclones blow through their lives.

Posts in this series:

Sock-A-Long: A Prelude

Sock-A-Long: Getting Gauge and Getting Ready

Sock-A-Long: Cuff and Cables

Sock-A-Long: The Discipline of Knitting the Whole Leg and Not Skipping to the Heel (because I know how I am)

Sock-A-long: Don’t Get Flapped by the Heel Flap

Sock-A-Long: Turning a Heel is Like Freaking Magic

Sock-A-Long: Knitting the Foot is Like Freaking Boring

Good thing I have knitting. The thing is I’ve reached the tricky part of the Cirque Sock pattern: the heel flap. This is the part of the Sock-A-Long that I really wanted to get right. The magic of sock making is all in the heel and the instructions for this heel are a bit… vague. I wanted to make up for that vague-ness with an uber knit-nerdy post that dives deep into how I’m making my heel flaps. If you are making these socks too and find the pattern to be a bit of a head scratcher then take a deep breath and let’s jump!


If you are not knitting these socks and just vicariously following along, this post may bore you. You may find yourself decorating your body with post-it notes. Or trying all the tiny perfume samples you store in your bathroom drawer because you can’t bear to throw them away. Or looking up Chuck Norris jokes on the internet. Let me save you from those and even more terrible fates with a Bored Cat Picture Series stolen from various websites.

Stop Your Cats From Getting Bored


Getting Ready to make the Heel Flap

Before we start the heel flap, we need to go back and do that thing I told you to blow off at the beginning of these socks. This thing:

Earlier I advised having four sections/needles each with an equal amount of stitches. Setting up that way makes the leg section much easier. Now we need to do a bit of re-arranging. Section/Needle 1 and 2 can stay the same but we to need shift two stitches off of section/needle 4 and move them to section/needle 3.

We also need to add markers to remind us, us absent minded types, especially the ones whose name starts with a  “J”, of which section/needle is which. I’m using a plethora of colored paper clips.

After that, there is a set-up, mini row that you need to do:

In actual English this translates to: “on the first section/needle only slip every knit stitch with the yarn held to the back and purl every purl stitch.”

You know, pattern writers make knitting (and crochet) seem freaking complicated. Which leads to me my next sock-related ramble.

Ramble #4: Some Complaining About a World That Makes Knitting Socks Needlessly Complicated

Why? Whyyyyyyyyyy must experienced knitters make knitting seem so hard? Why do so many of them, especially the ones that write patterns, have to speak in knitter-ese? What’s wrong with English or Spanish or German or all those other languages on the currently approved list for communicating with fellow humans?

And what’s wrong with letting the hopeful sock knitter know “Hey, this is the part where you stop knitting in the round. Put (about) half of your stitches on hold and make your heel flap on the remaining stitches by working back and forth in rows.”

And what’s wrong with adding a helpful in-progress picture of a partially made sock?

And here is a novel idea: patterns should include the actual instructions for each section of the pattern. Writing stuff like “continue in pattern” is just freaking lazy. And like all lazy acts it makes for more work on someone elses part. Someones like you and me who have to stop and take the time to figure out what the actually means. Hate that.

Are you feeling bored and slightly put off by my grumpy bitching? Okay. It must be time for another completely unrelated cat picture.

Is Your Indoor Cat Bored?

So let’s make that heel flap already.

The heel flap is worked flat in rows. Its worked on sections/needles 1 and 4 only. I put all the stitches for sections/needles 2 & 3 on stitch holders. Waste yarn would work too.

Making this flap isn’t hard. Its just a continuation of the cable pattern you were making in the leg. But because the pattern writer choose to be lazy very, very succinct there is some stuff you need to know that is not actually explained in the pattern. She makes the assumption that you are a seasoned, experienced knitter and can catch on. I never make that assumption. Its not that I think knitters are dumb. I don’t. But I do think knitters come in all different experience and confidence levels.

So here are a few things you might or might not be able to discern for yourself (but I think should be stated quite clearly):

  1. when working all Wrong Side Rows, ignore the pattern instructions and just knit the knits/purl the purls
  2. for the small size, start your heel flap on the Wrong Side with Round Row 10. For the large size, start with Round Row 11.
  3. That means for the small size all Right Side Rows are odd numbered. For the large size, all Right Side Rows are even numbered (which is a bit strange but can’t be avoided).
  4. the Right Side Rows all start with section/needle 4
  5. Remember how you slipped two stitches off from section/needle 4 and put them on section/needle 3? Yeah. That means when you start each Right Side row you don’t have that “TW” to work. Start those rows with the “p1”.
  6. And for more experienced socks knitters that may be wondering, yes I think you can slip the first stitch in each row. I did not, but only because I’m staying faithful to this pattern for review purposes. If I wasn’t… I’d slip the first stitch of every row.

That will get you a heel flap, a quite pretty heel flap that continues the cable pattern all the way down the back of your foot. Practical? maybe not. But it makes for a gorgeous sock.

And let’s have final bored kitty pic just to reward anyone who has bothered to read this far.




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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

14 Comments on "Sock-A-Long: Don’t Get Flapped By the Heel Flap"

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The cats are bored because they don’t knit. Or follow elections, instructions or directions. Cats do, however, freak out over lots of things. Many of them invisible to the humans they live with.
Heels freak me out. Patterns frequently force me to give up puzzling them out and just proceed on my clumsy way. So thanks for the detailed instructions. These socks might, just might, turn out wearable.


You crack me up. Thanks, I needed a really good laugh


I rally like the straight forward way you write things, for us ordinary folk. I agree, that there is not much sense in writing ‘knit-ese’, when there are, and will always be people who are fairly new to knitting. I think I read about being able to knit two socks at once, and I thought that a capitol idea. Was I just dreaming, or is that possible ? On one set of circular needles I mean. I’m saving all of your instructions anyway, and I know they will be wonderful when I try my next pair. Thanks Jenn.


Thank you. Edification is a good thing, even if you do know the subject fairly well…there will always be off days when you read the directions wrong and can’t figure out what to do next. Those cats sure know how to show their boredom!


Prayers for all of New Zealand. God be with you.