Sock Serenity 8: Toe-up Sock – completing that heel

When I left the sock in my last article, I was halfway through the heel… Remember, we finished with a purl row. Now we create the magic that is a sock heel.

Turn the work.

R1  Knit back across the centre group of live stitches. At the gap: lift up the strand between the two groups of stitches and knit it together with the first stitch of the left hand group.

Gap between groups

Gap between groups

Picking up the strand between

Picking up the strand between

Knit picked-up strand with next stitch

Knit picked-up strand with next stitch

Turn the work.

R2 Purl back across the centre live stitches. At the gap: lift up the strand between the two groups of stitches and purl it together with the first stitch of the left hand group.

The purl side

The purl side

Purl together the lifted strand with the next stitch

Purl together the lifted strand with the next stitch

Repeat these two rows until all the stitches are worked back into the live stitches again.

Finished heel

Finished heel

In the finished demonstration heel, the blue stitches are the ones worked first, with decreasing short rows. The red side is where the row length increases as the stitches are worked back in again. In the finished heel, the stitch count will be the same as the number of stitches you began with i.e. half the total sock stitches.

The heel shape

The heel shape

Depending on how many stitches you have to pick up, you may end on a purl row. If you do, knit back across the heel, then pick up 2 or 3 stitches to bridge the gap to the top of the foot, knit across these, pick up another 2 or 3 stitches and re-commence knitting in the round. Decrease the extra stitches over the next couple of rows until you are back with the number you started with, then knit up the leg.

The completed heel.

The reality of the above (for me) can be a little wayward. I always seem to end up with too many stitches left at one end of the row, and I’ve never been entirely certain which bit of ‘loop’ to pick up. However, this time I’ve produced a good heel with no lumps or gaps. I decided a little while ago that there can be a lot of ‘adaptation’ in knitting – especially sock knitting! The key is not to be afraid of what you’re doing!

(Interjection from Beth: I recently found instructions for a short row heel that, like Gill’s, involves no wraps – but also no picking up. For interest, see the YouTube video here and associated article/pattern on Lifestyle Socks. I found it very useful when designing and knitting a pair of bed socks for a commission recently. There seem to be many ways of effecting the closure of the gap in short row heels, if you plan to knit more socks it may be worth  taking time to research and find the one that fits your knitting style the best.)

Well on the way up the leg.

Next: We finalise the series with the completion of the toe-up sock