Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sock tutorial part 3

OK, I know a lot of you are ready for part 3 so here it is. The short row heel. First, check out this link, it is a lot better than I could do: Silver's Sock Class She does a fantastic pictoral tutorial on short row heels. I'll go thru step by step too, but she's got great pictures on how to wrap and turn. :-) Thanks Judy for passing that link along to me!

OK, to begin with, your sock should look like this before you start the heel:

it should reach the front of the ankle comfortably without much stretching. Now you begin the short rows. Begin with the first sock, letting the other one just hang out on the cables. Knit across to the last stitch, wrap the last stitch by bringing the yarn to the front, slipping the stitch purwise to the right needle, bring the yarn to the back again (wrapping around the front of the stitch) and slip the stitch back to the left hand needle. It is now wrapped. turn the work so you are facing the purl side of the stitches. Using the same needles and working the same sock, purl across to the last stitch and wrap that one by bringing the yarn to the knit side, slip the stitch, bring the yarn back to the purl side and slip it again. As I said, there are great photos on the website I linked to above, if my directions confuse you at all.

A wrapped stitch. The orange yarn is wrapping the pink stitch on the left hand needle.

How to tell which stitch should be next: the stitches that are already wrapped are spaced apart. The next stitch to be wrapped is close together with the last stitch wrapped (the 2 pink ones on the left needle). You can also look at the base of the stitches and see which ones already have the small loop around them.

Continue this way. My sock has 30 stitches on each side, so 30 heel and 30 instep stitches. Therefore my short-rowing is:

k 29, wrap next stitch and turn
p 28, wrap and turn
k 27 wrap and turn,
p 26, wrap and turn.
k 25, wrap and turn
p 24 wrap and turn

and on and on. I like to have my heels resemble the toes, so I stop the short rowing when I have the same number between wrapped stitches as I have on the cast on. For me, I stopped after I did the p 10, wrap and turn row. It now looked like this:

Now for increasing back up, making the heel have that nice pocket in it. My next row was:

k 10, slip the next stitch and pick up the wrap below it, slip the stitch back to the left and knit the wrap and stitch together just like a k2tog. Wrap the next stitch and turn (it now had 2 wraps on it) The next row was p 11, slip the stitch and pick up the wrap, slip stitch back and p2tog purling the wrap and stitch together. Wrap and turn next stitch. Next row was k 12, slip the stitch and pick up the TWO wraps (there will now be 2 wraps on every stitch) and k 2 together, wrap next stitch and turn.

Slipping the stitch to expose the wrap

putting the wraps on the left needle before slipping the stitch back to k the 3 of them together

From there I did p13, p next stitch and wraps together, wrap next stitch and turn
k 14, k wraps and stitch together, wrap and turn
p 15, p next stitch and wraps together, wrap and turn
k 16. . . . and on and on
this is a photo of the corner of the heel halfway thru the increases, you can see the line of picking up wraps and how the pocket is being formed.

I ended up with p 29, p wraps and stitch together, then I turned and knit across all 30 stitches before moving to the second heel.

sock one heel is done, sock 2 heel is ready to begin. You do sock 2 EXACTLY like sock one. You will end it the same way also, knitting across all stitches, and you will once again be ready to work in the round, joining the instep and heel stitches together.

the shape of the heel is very similar to the toe.

Holding it up to make sure it fits my heel.

Now you will turn the work to the instep stitches, once both heels are done, and re-join the two. However, you will notice there is a gap between the 2 because of the short row heels:

Rather than have a hole, I pick up a stitch and k it together with the first stitch like so:

the gap between instep and heel

Put the right needle under a stitch somewhere in the middle, making sure that there won't be a big gap where you pick up the stitch. It doesn't REALLY matter where exactly as no one is going to look that closely. Just somewhere in the middle.

Wrap the yarn around your right needle as if to knit and pull it thru the space you've chosen for your extra stitch. Place this stitch on your left needle.

K the extra stitch together with the first stitch on the left needle.

Repeat this on sock 2, and again on the other side so you have this done 2 times on each sock, once on each side.

I am planning to do ribbing on the leg of my sock because it is turning out a bit looser than I'd like. I should have done a few less stitches but oh well. The foot is comfortable, but if I don't do ribbing on the leg it will not stay up :-) So, I did a few more rounds to make sure it is tightened up around the ankle and high enough for the ribbing to be comfy, and next will come the leg.

I am planning to do a 2x2 rib, which means on the one side it will begin and end with a purl stitch. If your row ends with a purl stitch MAKE SURE YOU BRING THE YARN TO THE BACK AS IF TO KNIT before starting the second sock, otherwise your yarn will be on the wrong side of the cables when you go to start the other row of the sock. Just try to mentally remind yourself to switch the yarn to the back after every row end so that it is in the correct position and you should be fine.

For those of you who like to jump ahead of the class, here's what you do next. Knit the leg however you want (ribbing, stockinette, even lace or cables for those of you who want to be adventurous!) to however long you want it (make sure you try it on because it may look longer on the needles than it does on your leg!). If you're doing stockinette or lace or even a wide rib, I reccomend doing about an inch of ribbing along the top of your sock to hold it in place. 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing work the best. Then bind off VERY loosely, I'd reccomend using a needle a few sizes bigger for the bind off. What you do for bind off (and don't worry, I'll take photos when I get to this point and post them), you rib across the first sock then begin bind off on the second sock, switching to the back needle when you get there. For example, you begin the bind off on the heel side of sock 2, turning to the instep side when you reach that point. The bound off stitches are on a separate needle a couple sizes bigger. once sock one is bound off, begin binding off sock 2, you can begin the bind off on the instep side and end on the heel side--one extra half round (ROW) won't matter, trust me. This way you aren't having to put half a sock on hold in order to move to the next sock, or worrying about stitch holders etc. This may be confusing for beginners, so if it is put the sock aside and wait a bit, I'll put photos up in a few days when my sock gets to that point! :-)

Good luck and PLEASE let me know if you have any questions. Email me at or leave me a comment here and I will do my best to help you. Have fun knitting! And when you're done with your socks PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send me a photo and a "supply list" (yarn used, needle size) and I will put a photo of your socks up on my blog with your name, so everyone can be proud of your accomplishment! Everyone who sends me photos will be included, so please share!

1 comment:

wildflower38 said...

Looks like an easy short row heel! I'll have to give it a try