What To Do When You Have A High Instep – Tips for Using KnitFreedom’s Faux Heel Flap Toe-Up Sock Pattern

This tip is for sock-knitters who are making socks with high insteps. It explains how to easily use my pattern for Toe-Up Faux-Heel-Flap socks to make a bigger instep than you normally can with other toe-up sock patterns.

Where Is The Instep Of A Sock? How Do I Know If I Have A High Instep?

The instep of a sock is the part that goes over the top of your foot. If a sock feels tight over the top of your foot, it’s a sign that your instep is high.

To make socks more comfortable for people with high insteps, we need to make the sock bigger around the widest part of the heel (the circumference).

How much bigger? I like to add 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) to the circumference for people with high insteps. Add 1 inch (2.5 sm) for people with very high insteps.

But where to add this extra 1/2-to-1 inch?

Instead of changing anything about the instep stitches (which are normally left alone when making a sock heel), you’ll want to add to the heel stitches. That means making the gusset taller.

Skip the Explanation

If you just want to make the adjustments and don’t need to know how they work, I’ve specified all the changes you need to make in my Faux-Heel-Flap Toe-Up Sock patterns (worsted and fingering weight).

You’ll just need to go through the pattern and circle the numbers that correspond to your foot size and how high your instep is. Jump down the page to where I show you how to do that.

 
When you make a gusset taller on a toe-up sock, the first adjustment that happens is that you start increasing for the heel 1/4 to 1/2-inch sooner. By the time you get to the heel you’ve increased more than for a normal heel. In the pattern, this shows up in Section 2: Foot and Section 3: Gusset.

When turning the heel, you’ll see that you have more heel stitches to knit across. The pattern takes care of this as well – just make sure to circle the number that corresponds to your size and chosen instep adjustment.

Lastly, when working the faux heel flap, you will work more heel flap rows than usual as you decrease the sock back to its pre-heel width.

To download all of KnitFreedom’s free patterns (including 7 basic toe-up and top-down sock patterns), enter your email address below.

How To Choose Your Options in the Faux-Heel-Flap Pattern

1. Choose Your Size

Decide what size sock you are making. Sock sizing is based on how big your foot is around the ball of the foot.

To find out, measure around the ball of your foot. Now subtract 10%. This is the finished measurement around the foot you want for your sock.

For example, my foot measures 9.5 inches around the ball. So my finished sock should measure about 8.5 inches around. According to the finished measurements in the pattern, I would choose the size Medium/Large.

2. Choose Your Instep Adjustment

Decide whether to use the high-instep or the very-high-instep pattern adjustment. The high-instep adjustment adds 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) to the sock circumference at the instep. The very-high-instep adjustment adds 1 inch (2.5 cm).

3. On Your Pattern, Circle the Numbers that Correspond to Your Size and Instep Adjustment

Go through the pattern and, wherever you see parentheses or brackets showing numbers or stitches separated by a semicolon, circle the number that corresponds to your size and instep adjustment. The adjustments for the high instep are shown in {Italics and brackets}.

Sometimes there are fewer choices.

Voilá! A Perfectly-Adjusted High-Instep Sock Pattern

Thanks to Mrs. Sharpe for contributing the original high-instep numbers when this pattern was first requested. See her original comments on this post.

Hey, A New Blog Post? Is Liat Back? What Does This Mean for KnitFreedom?

Hi, astute and beloved reader! Literally I am back, because this is me. As for what this means… I’m just publishing this blog post quietly for now because I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. I’m just so happy to have a blog post for you that I’m going to leave it at that for today. Thanks for reading and I look forward to having some more content for you soon. Hugs!

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About Liat Gat - Founder

Liat is the founder and video knitting expert at KNITFreedom. If you liked this article, you'll love the tips you learn from her FREE video newsletter. Get it now by subscribing here.
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18 Responses to What To Do When You Have A High Instep – Tips for Using KnitFreedom’s Faux Heel Flap Toe-Up Sock Pattern

  1. Louise Calabrese says:

    Momma mia…………… like the biggest present ever. WELCOME BACK.
    Have missed you soooooooooooooooooooo much. You Liat are the reason I’m nuts about knitting socks. I’ve been doing up Tube Socks………… and enjoying them so so much. Love everything I learned from the Ebooks…. and the dictionary is priceless….as are all the links made for us. AGAIN…. Welcome Back. Love, Louise

  2. Mary says:

    Glad to read your post. And you are back. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Vera says:

    I bought a few of your knitting videos and love them they taugt me a lot. Then you stopped communicating and I am really happy to see your post. Please, keep it up.
    Era

  4. Janice says:

    Hey, sweetie. Glad to hear from you. I need an inspiration to get back to my socks. Winter is coming. Any ideas how to make my socks so I don’t get holes in the heel?

  5. Michele says:

    I like to knit socks on size 0 needles but with the gauge in your fingering weight pattern I end up on a size 3. Any tips on how to adjust numbers of stitches, etc to accommodate the smaller needles? I have a high I step and am so excited to try your method ! Just hoping that I’ll be able to have the tiny stitches I like in socks. Thank you!!!

    • Hi Michele, great question! Absolutely you can change the numbers to accommodate a different gauge. What gauge to you like for socks? I like 7 sts/inch, but if you like 8 or 9 stitches per inch that’s totally valid.

      When thinking about adjusting patterns for different gauge, start with the biggest part of the foot. Let’s say you’re a size Medium, like me. In the toe-up faux heel flap pattern, there are 56 stitches around the foot. At a gauge of 7 sts/in, that’s 8 inches around (just divide stitches by gauge, or 56÷7).

      To get the same circumference at a tighter gauge (let’s say you want 8 sts/inch), multiply 8 (inches around) by 8 (sts/inch) to get 64 sts around. That’s how many you’ll need to get the sock to come out right.

      I like to do this step first because I can use common sense to know that that seems about right. Then I go change all the other numbers.

      To make all the other numbers in the pattern work, just take each number, divide by the old gauge (7) and then multiply by the new gauge (8).

      Example:
      Pattern instruction: Cast on 16 sts.
      Your math: 16 ÷ 7 x 8 = 18.29
      Your pattern: Cast on 18 sts.

      Get the picture? I hope this helps! By the way, thanks for the idea for my next blog post!

      Cheers,
      Liat

  6. Marji says:

    Thank you so much for giving me the confidence to learn a new skill!i have missed your happiness.

  7. Carol says:

    Great to see you back!

  8. Renee says:

    So glad you are thinking about coming back! You are the best! We all miss you!
    After all this time your video tutorials are still far superior to anything out there!

  9. Dede J. says:

    Welcome back!!!! You’re still the best teacher out there!

  10. Mickey V says:

    OMG LIAT! Here you are Lady,,!!!! Many years ago You changed my world of knitting one video at a time…. Please stay with us ❤️

  11. Tammy K. says:

    Welcome back, Liat! You’ve been missed! :)

  12. Beverly Lawler says:

    I was just thinking about you this morning, wondering what had happened to you. You seemed to simply disappear a couple of years ago. I got here via a Knitting Paradise post referencing one of your sock patterns. I took your Superstar course about three years ago and loved it. I’ve also been knitting your pattern for TAATTUML fingering weight socks. I always have a pair on the needles. A great take-a-long project. I probably have made more than 30 pairs in the last couple years. I doubt I’ll ever do socks on dpns again!!! You taught me magic loop while I knit a worsted hat. I love your classes… your videos are great and I love that you teach people to read their knitting. I’m so glad your back in whatever form that works for you. Hope you don’t need to disappear again. I missed you. Aloha… Bev

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