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.
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.
Repeat these two rows until all the stitches are worked back into the live stitches again.
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.
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 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.)
Next: We finalise the series with the completion of the toe-up sock