Well here we all are. We have our sock leg all knit down to where the
heel should start.
Before I get started on this, let me talk about the concept of the short
Those of you who have never made a heel will have the easiest time
following this pattern. Those of you who have made heels with
"flaps"....try to forget what you used to do.
You are going to make a heel that looks JUST LIKE the heel you see in
machine made socks...you know...the white cotton ones you buy at
Walmarts. It is called a short row heel, because it is made entirely by
short rowing (that is...knitting and purling back over only part of the
row). This makes a "pocket" of fabric. The pocket can be rounded or
pointed depending on how far you work your short rows. This heel is VERY
adjustable. It has some limits, which we will all hear about from
veteran sock knitters, but it is pretty straightforward and very easy to
plug unto ANY sock pattern you are doing as it always fits well once you
know your own foot's special needs. This first heel will look like hell.
Get over that right now and relax into the learning process. You can
always rip it out later and do it again if you are so inclined. Everyone
gets to whine once. Choose your timing very carefully.
It is commonly worked over half the stitches you need around for the
foot. So....if you have a 60 st sock...your heel is worked on 30 sts...a
46 st sock...your heel is worked on 23 sts...and so on.
I came across this heel style in an old Brunswick knitting leaflet the
same year my knitting friend Teddy taught it to me. I have added my own
tweaking. Please feel free to continue in that vein to get it to suit
"" "" denotes what the pattern is saying
At 8 inches (or whatever) you are now at the back of the heel: Get 2 markers
ready that are DIFFERENT from each other and
your beginning of the round marker.
Place markers as follows: LM after Stitch 8(9,10,11,12,13) and RM after
You need to place the markers BEFORE you begin working any stitches.
designate one as Left Marker, and one as Right Marker. Write this down
so if you get confused you can refer back. The LM denotes the edge of
the left side of the heel....the RM denotes the edge of the right side
of the heel. Working on a circular needle means you have to rely on your
marker colors/shapes to keep you knitting where you need to be.
You can abandon the beginning of the round marker if you would like. It
makes the knitting easier if it isn't on the needle. If you can mark the
STITCH with a safety pin and let it stay back and out of the way, you
might appreciate knowing that spot in the heel once you get to the foot
(useful if you are doing color work)
""You will be making the heel working back and forth using short rows on
HALF the stitches on your needle. The other half will
stay quietly waiting until mid way through the heel shaping.""
This means......before you make the FIRST STITCH of the heel, you are at
X(B = beginning of the round) .........you will work to LM........then
turn your work around after executing a SRW, and work towards RM on the
inside of the sock (purl side) RIGHT PAST POINT X...when you get to RM,
you will execute a SRW, turn your work around and work towards LM on the
outside (knit side)...and the cycle continues. IN THIS MANNER, you will
work across one LESS stitch with each short row you work, so the lengths
of the rows change
(diagram removed for HTML)
IN THIS MANNER (also...CONTINUE IN THIS MANNER...and CONTINUE AS
ABOVE....also CONTINUE AS IN PRECEDING DIRECTIONS ) is one very
interesting knitting direction. It means "as" or "like" but not always
"exactly as" or "exactly alike". It confuses knitters who are new to
directions. In this pattern, it means...you will follow the spirit of
the directions, but the actual stitches and numbers will change
continually. This is the spiritual part of knitting. This is where
Elizabeth Zimmerman teaches people to Let Go. This is where you get a
glass of wine and just do and discover What Happens. Taking notes along
the way really helps you grasp what you did.
OK. Let's start the knitting
""Row 1: k across to 1 (one) st before LM, srw the next st and turn to
Row 2: p across to 1 (one) st before RM, srw the next st and turn to
Row 3: k across to 2 sts before LM, srw the next st and turn to work
Row 4: p across to 2 sts before RM, srw the next st and turn to work
OK....if you have never short row wrapped a stitch before, it seems very
confusing. It isn't. All you are doing is wrapping your WORKING YARN
(which comes from the top stitch on the right point of your circular
needle) around the BASE of the top stitch on the left point of your
circular needle. That's it. You could easily just do this with your
fingers. The written instructions with all the slipping of stitches and
reversing of the yarn's placement just spells the whole process out for
""Continue as above working across one less st each row until there are
6 (6,6,8,8,8) sts left unwrapped at the center of the heel sts. Make
sure the last row you work is a purl row.""
If you are mathematically inclined, you can work out all the rows and
numbers of the heel at this point. This is the process.....
16 sts on the heel (these are the smallest sock size) means you will
work your short rows back and forth until there are 6 sts left at the
center of the heel that do NOT have a wrap on them. This means that 16-6
sts DO. That's 10 sts.........and with half emanating from the LM and
half emanating from the RM.......that means you went back and forth, or
short rowed, 10 times.
To make the knitting very easy to keep track of......you can take your
pattern, and write ROWS 1-10 on it, and check off each one as you do it.
You have made 1/2 of your heel! It should look funny. It is a
triangular protrusion of fabric.
OK. We are ready to do something different. Change gears and pay
""TURNING POINT OF HEEL:
Get a 4th marker ready
Round 1: Turn and knit across your 6 (6,6,8,8,8) sts, place a marker ON
the next st and continue knitting across heel stitches
At the Turning Point, you will BRIEFLY stop working short rows. You will
work IN THE ROUND again as follows:
You will knit across the wrapped stitches that you have been careful NOT
to before. (The wrapped bumps you knit across will make a diagonal slash
in the appearance of the stitch and leave slight holes. If you hate
these, learn to pick up the loop of the wrap ALONG WITH the stitch it is
wrapping and knit them both together as one. Some people make a whole
career out of getting these slashes to go away. I'm not one of them, so
if this is your first sock....ignore the bumps and just knit merrily
across all next stitches till you get to the LM.)
""Slip LM. Pick up yarn in the row below between next 2 sts, twist it,
and place it on the right needle.""
These directions will call for some intuition on your part. The object
of this is to fill in any gap that wants to appear in the "side corners"
of your heel. This is the least positive part about this heel. It can
gap. Pick up some loose looking wayward yarn to help lesson the problem.
Some people make a career out of filling in that gap. Let me know if I
can add your name to theirs.
""Knit across to st before RM.""
This is working over stitches that have not been worked on since before
you started the heel!
""Pick up yarn in the row below between next 2 sts, twist it, and place
it on the right needle. Slip RM.""
OK......you did that before just after the LM, so do it again.
""Knit across heel sts to before 4th marked st.""
Remember......you are knitting across wrapped stitches here.....if you
want to get those diagonal slashes to disappear...you have to pick up
the wrap and knit it together with the stitch it is wrapping!
""Round 2: Knit all the way around all needles again and back to before
4th marked st.""
One complete round is worked from the 4th marker , around in knit,
until you reach the 4th marker again.
OK.....time to change gears again! We are going to do what we did on the
first half of the heel....but IN REVERSE. We will work OUTWARDS from the
center of the heel (over those 6 or 8 center of the heel sts) TOWARDS
the LM and RM, by working over one MORE stitch per row until we get to
those markers. As you work, you will find yourself having to pick up a
wrapped stitch on EVERY row (if you are doing that), so pay attention.
Now, by this point, many folks are dizzy (after all, this COULD BE their
first short row heel!), so I put in the starting numbers. Circle the
ones for your size, and take a minute to write down the rest of the
short rows you will be working. For our smallest size...we will recall
that there were 10 rows to be worked over until we reached the center of
the heel, so that means the same 10 rows again back to the RM and LM.
""REVERSE HEEL SHAPING:
SRW 4th marked st, turn:
Row 1: P across 6 (6,6,8,8,8) sts, SRW, turn.
Row 2: k across 7 (7,7,9,9,9) sts, including the stitch that you SRW'ed
before, SRW, turn.
Row 3: p across 8 (8,8,10,10,10) sts, including the stitch that you
SRW'ed before, SRW, turn.
Row 4: k across 9 (9,9,11,11,11) sts, including the stitch that you
SRW'ed before, SRW, turn.
Continue in this manner until you reach first the LM , all heel sts
have been worked, and you finish with a SRW at the end of a
purl row. Turn""
Your heel is done, done, done!
OK......you are at the FOOT part and the knitting gets really easy..,
but before you go off mindless putting inches on this sock before I
catch my breath, you need to help tighten up those gappy "corners" of
the heel that I complained about before (see...I got in MY whine). I
think there is a typo in the original pattern........so I added in a
"together (tog)" below. At 2 spots(LM and RM)......you need to knit 2
sts together to get rid of 2 sts total.
Work in the round
Round 1: k around, decreasing 2 sts by knitting 2 sts tog at 2 places
....one at the LM and one at the RM. Make RM your
beginning of the round, and remove all other markers.
Round 2 and all the rest: k around for the length of the foot minus
How do you measure this sock's knitted foot length? From the back of the
heel.......right where the heel is done turning its 90 * angle to the
stitches still on the needle.
This material ©2000 Claudia Krisniski
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