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

Liat Gat - Founder

June 20, 2017

This tip is for sock-knitters who are following my high-instep toe-up sock pattern. 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 basic Fleegle-heel or other toe-up sock patterns.

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.

Parts of a Sock - Instep

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).

Parts of a Sock - Foot 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.

Parts of a Sock - Gusset Height

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 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, circle the number that corresponds to your size and instep adjustment. The adjustments for the high instep are shown in {Italics and brackets}.

How to find the numbers for high insteps
Sometimes there are fewer choices.

Voilá! A Perfectly-Adjusted High-Instep Sock Pattern

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. Hugs!

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

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  1. Hi Liat, since I came across your faux heel flap pattern it is all I use. I do 64 sts for my 2aat toe up socks on a 1.5 needle. I didn’t realize I had a high instep. I always do the 40 W&t or when using German short rows 41 turn and 23 turn on the Purl side. Works just perfect! Love it! For me the big plus is no holes where I begin knitting in the round ! Just a great pattern!!
    Question: I have been trying to get good numbers for the heel when I have 68 total sts which is what I had been using for my sons socks with a regular heel flap.
    Your thoughts… Do you think I should just stay with the 64 sts and go up a needle size for his? His feet are not that much bigger than mine.
    Thanks for any hints/thoughts you can give me

    1. Hi Fey,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m sorry for the delay in replying! I love that you are using and enjoying this pattern. Hooray! I will tell you that it is very complicated to try to calculate sizes with other numbers. It would be much much better to just go up a needle size. Let me know if you need any more help, I’m here.


  2. “To download all of KnitFreedom’s free patterns (including 7 basic toe-up and top-down sock patterns), enter your email address below.
    No Fields Found.“
    Please let me know how to download all of KnitFREEDOM’S free patterns for toe up socks.

    1. Hi Pat,

      Thank you so much for calling this error to my attention! I have fixed the sign-up form now so you can get all of our free patterns.

      Please just refresh this page and you should be able to see the form correctly now.

      Any issues, just email [email protected] or comment here and we’ll help you out.


      Liat Gat

  3. Katharine Vincent

    Thank-you Liat for making this clear. I seem to be facing this problem as well!😳
    The faux heel (fingering) is my favourite heel pattern for this reason and my socks fit perfectly😊😊
    The rows on the right side of page have all been cut off. Is this because I am using iPhone?

    1. Elias - KnitFreedom Customer Happiness

      Hi Linda,

      I’m going to be passing your comment along to Liat, but I want to let you know that she is currently on maternity leave (she is expecting her baby very soon) and will be taking up to 1-2 weeks to answer.

      Thanks so much for your patience and understanding!


  4. Hello Liat. I am new to your site. My name is ?Ingrid. There are so many references and videos on the website nowadays it’s is hard to keep up. Here is the thing, have only recently found your reference and already have learnt so much from reading your information, tips. Am an ardent sock maker, always using Magic Loop, prefer toe up, and have heard of heel flap creation, but it is only with your explanation and display above of this, that makes me really understand what it is and how it works! In addition, you have clearly explained (in response to one of your reader’s question) how to make adjustments to your pattern. Your simply formulae is wonderful and will make life easier for me going forward. I am printing all that I can and putting some of your information on my favourites. Even though am a recent reader to your site, I can also honestly say… Welcome Back!! Yes there are a wealth of information on the website nowadays, but believe me it is not all of them that’s very clear and straight forward as you have been. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. Thank you so much for your wonderfully sweet comment. I really appreciate everything you said.
      It means the world to me to meet readers like you who really connect with my style of explaining things. I love that you commented here and even more that my post was helpful to you. I’m delighted that you’re a subscriber to the site. That means that when I publish a new post or pattern, you’ll get an email in your inbox.
      Thank you for your support and again for your kind comments!
      Liat Gat

  5. So happy to see your Blog again. I hope you won’t disappear again ;-) I learned so much from the videos I bought. Worth their weight in gold :-)

  6. I’m so glad to hear you’re back! You have most definitely been missed. I trust all is well, and I look forward to future forays in fiber arts with The Original Knitting Superstar. ?

    With love and hugs,

  7. Welcome back!
    I’m so happy that your back.
    Life changes so fast. I’m sorry for what ever it was that took you away.
    I hope that coming back will help with your continued healing.
    Big hug Liat!
    Wishing you much success.

  8. WOW! Liat, I am so happy you are back! I hope all is well. You have regularly been in my Houghton and prayers. Take your time getting back in the mix.

    I started knitting 4 years ago and am so thankful for your thorough and super clear videos and written instructions. Once I found your website my skills took off. These gave me the confidence to jump into more and more challenging projects.
    I am thrilled with the high instep instructions for socks….. I have started a number of socks, but have never been satisfied with the results because of the instep and heel, so I never finished them, but I will now!

    I am grinning get from ear to ear. ?

  9. OMG Liat you are a star but i’m a cuff down girl but you have proven i’m not nuts. this is my problem high instep and vanilla socks don’t work for me but everything else with a pattern does as it has stretch. help, do i decrease my gusset more slowly so combat that pull or something else? large haul of self striping sock due any day now.

  10. Thanks very much from someone wirh a high instep trying to make toe up socks!
    Would this work with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel?
    I increased my stitches for the whole sock (72 with Opal yarn) but it is still a bit snug. I am not going to rip it now, but wondering for the next pair.

  11. Just now found your quiet little blog post! I started knitting around when you started your knitting site and you were a HUGE influence for me and knitting. I poured over your instructions, videos and encouragement over and over. I learned to read my work, fix mistakes, try new things and overall just get more confidence. I have bragged about your videos and sent many your way. I have lifted you in prayer and thought about you often.
    It is a great pleasure to see you back and I will continue to pray for you. For now….just doing a happy dance that you are returning!

    1. Hello Loretta,

      You are so so sweet. Thank you for making my day brighter, and for your support. I will join you in that happy dance.


  12. Welcome back!!!!! You are 150% the reason I started, stuck with, and fell in love with knitting. You have taught me every stitch of the way. I send friends to the site all the time. Know that you were greatly missed and it was our pleasure to be here waiting when you got back. Sending you lots of warm wishes and positive energy.

    1. Hi Kasey,

      Thank you so much for your so-sweet comment! It blows me away to hear that I helped you so much with your knitting. Thank you so much!

      I hope when my book comes out you’ll enjoy recommending it to your friends. It’s going to be great for beginners. Thank you so much for your support.


  13. Thrilled to see a post from you; you have done so much to encourage me, and many others. Please – as excited as we are to hear from you – come back as slowly as you need to. I’d much rather know there’s a healthy Liat out there somewhere than “see” you push yourself too soon. Much love to you : )

  14. At last! Missed you lots. You are my #1 sock mentor and I cannot thank you enough for that. Be well. Glad you are back.

  15. Gigi McLaughlin

    Are you back? For reals? HALLELUJAH!!!

    I was just recommending ALL your videos to a brand new knitter today at my local yarn shop.

    Consider yourself hugged. For a really long time.



  16. I too am so happy to know that you are well. I will look forward to seeing your posts as you are able. I am currently working on a Welcome Blanket, and even on something so simple, I frequently refer to your tutorials. Thanks for all you’ve given to all of us.

  17. It’s so good to have you back. You were one of my go-to sites when I started knitting again 18 months ago. You have been missed.

  18. Good to see you back. I think you are a great teacher. That said have you thought of doing a sweater? Like the invisible seam yoke that is made in three pieces on circ’s? Been trying to find a good teacher and here you are!!!

  19. Go glad you have returned, Liat. Your sock videos and patterns have turned me into an obsessive sock knitter. After starting with worsted/short-row-heel, then dk/German-short-row-heel, then fingering/fleegle heel…TAAT, faux heel flap is the way for me. Like Michele, I love my socks with 10 st/inch on #0 needle, so I appreciate your comments regarding adjusting the pattern. I’ve been kind of winging it with a little trial and error, but now have a pretty accurate recipe for my own feet. I will have to compare my numbers to your clear and easy instructions for recalculating for a different gauge (why didn’t I think of that?). Thanks again, and I hope we will see more videos and classes.

  20. Oh my gosh! I’m so happy you are back! Missed you a lot. Checked at least once a week to see if the page had changed and it finally did! Welcome back! Hugs!

    1. Cindy Lou! I’m so happy too. Really glad to see your post – it just puts a big smile on my face. You and everyone have been so patient and maybe it was just what I needed. Big hugs and welcome back, too – back to KnitFreedom!

  21. Beverly Lawler

    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

    1. Hi Bev,

      It is so good to hear from you! I love learning about what you’ve been up to and that you love knitting socks. I’m guessing (and for those reading) that TAATTUML means Two-at-a-Time Toe-Up on Magic Loop (i.e. best way to knit socks ever.) Right?

      Your enthusiastic support means so much to me, especially to know that my little tricks and tips have helped you become a better and more capable knitter. Since it feels like I’m almost starting over in a way, your encouragement really helps.

      And (best new for me) I think my disappearing days are over. Big hugs,


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

  23. 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!

  24. 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!!!

    1. 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).

      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!


  25. 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?

    1. Hey Janice! I’m starting to get back to socks too… I’ve just found two new balls of yarn. I would recommend my basic toe-up sock pattern for fingering-weight yarn. It includes the Fleegle heel, which was especially developed to eliminate the holes you often get in regular socks.

      Here’s a link to the pattern: Basic Toe-Up Socks for Fingering-Weight Yarn

      Also, here’s a link to lots more info about the no-holes Fleegle heel: The Fleegle Heel

  26. 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.

  27. Louise Calabrese

    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

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