Work a Short Row Heel

You shape a short-row heel by using rows in which you don't knit all the stitches before turning—in other words, a "short" row. This type of heel looks similar to the heels on many commercially made socks, with a diagonal line running across the heel. You should work the method of short-row heel given here over 50% of the total stitches of the sock, using the "wrap and turn" method. Work this example heel over 32 stitches (half of a 64-stitch sock) on double-pointed needles.

O Begin at the beginning of the round marker, which is at the side of the foot. Knit to the last stitch of Needle 1. Wrap and turn.

2 Purl to the last stitch of Needle 4, working the stitches from both Needle 1 and Needle 4 onto one double-pointed needle. Wrap and turn.

3 Knit to 1 stitch before the last wrapped stitch of the heel. Wrap and turn.

4 Purl to 1 stitch before the last wrapped stitch of the heel. Wrap and turn.

5 Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the same number of stitches remains as cast on at the toe-8 (8, 10, 12) stitches unworked in the middle of the heel. Half of the heel is complete.

6 Begin the second half of the heel by knitting to the first wrapped stitch. Pick up the wrap and knit it together with the stitch. Wrap the next stitch, which now has two wraps, and turn.

7 Purl to the first wrapped stitch. Pick up the wrap and purl it together with the stitch. Wrap the next stitch, which now has two wraps, and turn.

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8 Knit to the double-wrapped stitch. Pick up both wraps and knit them together with the stitch. Wrap the next stitch and turn.

9 Purl to the double-wrapped stitch. Pick up both wraps and purl them together with the stitch. Wrap the next stitch and turn.

! When picking up the wraps on the very last stitch of the heel, wrap the next stitch (the first stitch from Needle 2) before turning on the knit side, and wrap the last stitch on Needle 3 before turning on the purl side. The heel is now complete and you are ready to continue in the round on all stitches.

© Knit across half of the heel with one double-pointed needle, then take up an empty needle and knit across the second half of the heel. Continue to knit around the whole sock.

© Pick up the wrapped stitches on the last 2 rows of the heel and knit them together with the stitch as you come to them. This technique prevents a hole from forming at the very top of the heel.

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Toe-Up Heel Flap

A toe-up heel flap approximates the look of a traditional top-down heel flap and has a slightly different fit than a short-row heel. A toe-up heel flap is deeper than a short row heel, so you might need to experiment to figure out what heel fits your foot best. The example sock here is 64 stitches; you should treat different stitch counts similarly.

INCREASE FOR THE GUSSET

1 Work the foot until it measures approximately 3.5 inches less than the total desired foot length.

2 With the beginning of the round at the side of the toe, place markers for the gusset as follows:

4 Work 1 round plain (without increases), maintaining any stitch pattern over the instep.

5 Work Inc Round as follows: Work to first marker, m1, sl m, work 32, sl m, m1, k to end of round.

6 Repeat last 2 rounds, alternating Inc Round and plain round, until you work the Inc Round a total of 16 times (32 stitches total increased, including set-up round).

SHORT-ROW BOTTOM OF HEEL

You work the short-row section that comprises the bottom of the heel back and forth, incorporating the wrap-and-turn method of a short-row heel.

O Work bottom of heel as follows: Row 1 (RS): K 31, w&t. Row 2 (WS): P 30, w&t. Row 3: K 29, w&t. Row 4: P 28, w&t. Row 5: K 27, w&t. Row 6: P 26, w&t.

2 Continue in this manner, working 1 less stitch each row and wrapping and turning the following stitch, until:

3 Row 19 (RS): K 13, w&t. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

5 Next row (RS): K across, working across wrapped sts by picking up each wrap and knitting together with the st; on the last wrapped st, sssk the wrap, st, and following st. Turn.

DECREASE FOR HEEL FLAP

O Decrease for Heel Flap as follows:

2 Repeat these 2 rows until you finish decreasing all the increased gusset stitches and 64 total stitches remain.

Toe-up gusset heel is now complete—continue to "Knit the Leg and Cuff"; see following section.

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If you want to accommodate a larger leg, you can make the circumference of the leg slightly larger than the circumference of the foot by simply omitting the last 2 or 4 decrease rows in the heel flap. This change results in a larger stitch number for the leg.

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