Short row heel

My sock-knitting obsession continues, and I tried a short row heel. I'm pleased but not 100% satisfied. I used Priscilla Wild's method (modified by Charisa Martin Cairn in her Lifestyle sock pattern), which promises no holes. The knit side turned out better than the purl side, which doesn't exactly have holes, but the spaces are bigger. I am wondering if I am not picking up a stitch close enough to the held stitch when I am adding the stitches back in. Any advice?

Also, I chose to change colors for the heel, but I wasn't sure what to do with the main yarn. I decided to just cut it, intending to weave the end in later, but I realized when the heel was done that the main working yarn would have been right there ready to continue. I would be interested to hear about the experiences of others.

Overall, this is pretty easy and fun. After doing several socks with an afterthought heel, it will be nice to be done with the sock when I finish the toe.

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QueerJoe's picture

Actually, while it's very difficult to visualize, the toe and the heel on almost all commercially/machine made socks are the exact same short-rown heel.

So if instead of reducing for a toe, you just turned another short-row heel with the open hole pointing up at the tip of the foot of your sock, and then grafted the hole together, it would make a toe!

If you know anyone that has a circular sock knitting machine, they can confirm this.

OperaGeek's picture

That makes sense to me, although I probably wouldn't do a toe that way.

A circular sock knitting machine, huh? Wouldn't that take all the fun out of knitting them?

Patrick :)

QueerJoe's picture

They made some amazing circular sock knitting machines back around 1900 that are fun to play with if you can refurbish them. It's no where near the same as hand knitting, but fascinating nonetheless.

Bobohead's picture

Beautiful knitting! Beautiful photo!

KilgoreTrout's picture

my only advice is to just keep experimenting! I was on a baby sock run for a while, and in the end I had a great technique for those pesky holes...unfortunately I forgot to write down what my combination of tricks was.... :(
It seems like there are a million tricks and techniques for socks out there. At some point you'll have several in your rep. and maybe find your own solutions....
If you haven't already looked, I'm sure that techknitter has some tricks for this somewhere in the archives:

If wishes and buts were clusters and nutes we'd all have a bowl of granola.

negativitysucks's picture

If you want a clear tutorial video regarding short row shaping, you can't beat Staci's video at
Here is a direct link to her videos where she demonstrates the technique.

I think your heel looks terrific, however :-)

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very good work, Patrick. [And I don't use short row heels.] I think a lot of it will just be getting enough practice that it becomes super-comfortable for you. That's how it was for the heel I find myself using most often now. But don't give up experimenting...I've learned some great tips and shortcuts that way. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.