How to Knit the Heel

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The heel in a toe-up sock is usually 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.

When working short rows, if you simply turn the piece around and knit, then holes form at the turning point. Wrapping the stitches fills in these holes for a smooth appearance.

  1. 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.

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  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.

    image1.jpg
  3. Knit to 1 stitch before the last wrapped stitch of the heel. Wrap and turn.

    image2.jpg
  4. Purl to 1 stitch before the last wrapped stitch of the heel. Wrap and turn.

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  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.

    image4.jpg
  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.

    image5.jpg
  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.

  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9, working outward, until you pick up and work all wraps together with their respective stitches.

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  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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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