and the pretty way!
Like all good things, the pretty way of picking up stitches along the heel flap came about as a happy accident. I think when I knit my very first pair of socks, I didn’t understand what picking up stitches meant! Once I learned what I was supposed to have done, I knew that I had discovered something unique in the process.
You’ll need a spare needle to pick up the stitches this way; it doesn’t have to be the same size/type as what you’re using for the sock.
(click for big)
Step 1. Upon completing the heel flap and turning the heel, you’re faced with a row of slipped stitches. Typically you would pull a loop of yarn through both “loops” of the slipped stitch and place it on your right-hand needle. Here, hold the spare needle in your left hand, and use it to physically lift up only the front “loop” of the slipped stitch. Effectively, you now have a stitch sitting on your left-hand (spare) needle; it is comprised of a single strand of yarn, and it is the front “loop” of the slipped stitch.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all slipped stitches are picked up. Then repeat for the other side of the heel flap. That is it! Clear?!?
So the comical part is that I now realize that when I read, “pick up and knit 15 sts along right side of heel flap,” I did just that! I physically picked up and then knit (for whatever reason, through the back) those slipped stitches! I tell ya, I think in my own way.