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Technique Number 5: Heel Turn


Socks are one of the greatest feats of knitting—such portable fun, such a magic trick. Even if you have made socks before, we hope you’ll dive in with Rachel Coopey’s cute, light-hearted Antirrhinum Socks. Watch Jen Arnall-Culliford’s video tutorial here. Read all about this project here. And get yourself a batch of Rachel Coopey’s Socks Yeah! yarn right here in the Shop.


I love to turn a heel and wish I had time to knit these charming socks. The yarn combos are so darned enticing!


Hey! Is this thing on? Where all the speed demons? I have questions! :laughing:

  1. The different color toe…choice? I don’t know that I love it. I love whimsy but it just doesn’t make sense to me, maybe helical striping there with the main and the accent??
  2. Can I do these on a 9"circular or will it be tough with the pattern?

I have to finish my find your fade and then I am casting on. I thought I would finish it on vacation but as it turns out I was too busy vacationing. Ha!


I LOVE the idea of a helical striped toe.


Hi hi hi hello kikibatt! I have a technology issue with my Antirrhinum
socks: MY NEEDLE. I’m magic looping (still pretty new at it, jeez) (learned
how with the AYOT helical stripes project) (feel very clever), and I’m
using a circ with a cable that is too stiff. It is making my knitting look
pretty dire–will get a photo. It makes ladders at the halfway point of
each round. No matter how hard I yank the stitches, they won’t work tightly

Once I get a more flexible cable (yarn store visit: score!), I think I’ll
be off to the races.

Re color, I instantly saw the beautiful gray that goes with the deep pink
and decided to make the cuffs of my socks gray, as well as the toes. I may
even make the heel gray too. I know: madness! But gray always wins the day
for me, though I admit the pink is awfully pretty.


I’m not doing the contrast toe because my yarn is oh so very beautiful. It’s a gradient dye in shades of purple that I picked up from a local dyer at Six Loose Ladies in VT. I’m off to what I believe is going to be a pretty fabulous party in a few minutes (not my normal Saturday by any means) so will post some photos when I get home. I cast on tonight!


When you are changing to the other half of your needle, do you slide the yarn back toward that which is already knitted. Before and after the new stitch. I don’t think that stiffness of the cable is your issue. I can eliminate ladders with the magic loop this way but not on double points.


Have you tried putting your cables in boiling water? Dip them in for 10-30 seconds. Usually softens them right up. Might save you a trip!


I do socks on two 16 inch needles. Stiff cables do make you crazy!


Is anyone else confused by the sizing? I wear size 9.5 B shoes and my foot circumference is 8 inches. I would normally make a medium sock and i am a little worried that the small size sock will be too small, though it is the right one based on the sizing information.


Although I’m rather enamored with a certain red cabled needle, I don’t find that stiff cable to work especially well for magic loop.
I have a set of the Chiaogoo metal tips and purchased extra cables for the wood set - which are clear, very flexible and the join allows the tips to swivel freely.

I’d like to have a few Lykke in 32" - they seem to be the hot needle right now.


I have knit with magic loop and used Addi needles. It has been about 6-7 years ago though. I was disappointed to find that the cable developed a permanent kink…so back to 2 circulars. Let me know if this happens to your cables.
Knit on…
Thank you for the response
Robin Cadmus


A few years ago, I taught myself to knit socks, and at the same time learned the magic loop method. The 1st circular needle cord was stiff and required constant wrestling, but I’ve treated myself to new needles and found a couple brands that I like. My favorite, at the moment, is Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina. The cords are very flexible and the tips are sharp, smooth and strong.


My suggestion is that you go by the suggested size in the pattern. Once you’ve knit the cuff, try it on and see if it fits. (Magic loop is great for this.) If it’s too tight, you can go to the next size, and won’t have invested too much time in it. If it fits, you’d on your way.


Hiya! You’ve already had some great replies, but just to reiterate… Absolutely you can contrast toe or not - it’s a complete choice thing.

I would imagine the 9" circular should be absolutely grand - the only bit I’m not sure about would be the toe. I haven’t yet got to the toe of a sock on a 9" circular, and I’d be worried about it being too short to switch to a form of magic loop, but too long for the diminishing circumference. I may be wrong though. The pattern is intentionally not written for a particular type of small circumference knitting, so that you can choose whatever works best for you.

I hope that helps!


Since I have a drawer full of handknitted socks I decided to modify the pattern to make a pair of lacy socks for my granddaughter. I let her choose the colors(she picked three so toe and heel will be contrasting colors) from a selection of sock yarn I’d used for kids mittens last winter. Looking good so far on the leg. Wish me luck on adjusting the heel turn.


GOOD LUCK WITH THE HEEL TURN! How sweet to be knitting for your granddaughter.


I loved the subtle shading of the gray, so used it for the cuff also. I made a mess with the eyelets and ended up frogging it all, starting over with Addi Turbo sock rockets instead of DP needles. I am now moving on in what, to me, is a sprightly fashion. See you again after the heel…


Was off the races with this pattern. Love it! But my yarn was meh. Actually my yarn is great but it doesn’t show the pattern so…meh. So I am restarting tonight. Different yarn.
And to answer my own question I am using the 9" inch circs from Hiya Hiya. They are a dream. I will cross the toe…heh heh…when I get to it but I can always switch to dpns at that point.


I am just now ready to dive into these socks. I think I sort of know how to do the heel turn, so for me this will be the first time doing lace socks! I am very excited to trying that out. A couple of questions-- I am using regia sock yarn from my stash-- the label says “stretch”. Will that be a problem with the lace design?
Second question-- typically I knit both socks at the same time using two sets of 2 double-pointed needles (no second sock syndrome for me!) I see from the pattern that the two socks are not the same set of directions-- they start at different points in the lace repeat. I’m curious as to the thinking behind that design feature because it is not obvious when I look at the pictures. (And I have no problem with this feature, I am just curious…)