Free Pattern of the month March 2004
Cuff-down Short-row Heel Socks
These socks are a great introduction to the Short Row Heel. Many thanks to Robley Brown for showing me that SR heels can work, and can fit my feet. Worked in worsted weight yarn, these socks are nice and thick and knit up quickly.
Yarn: Worsted weight 100% wool, about 4 oz. This particular yarn was dyed by Sandy Sitzman of . I don't have specific amounts because I worked from two different balls.
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch with a US #3 needle (or size to give you gauge) in stockinette stitch. Save yourself some time and frustration and work a gauge swatch before beginning.
These instructions assume that you are familiar with DPN needles and that you know how to knit and purl. Place the stitches on three needles and knit with the fourth.
Cast 45 stitches onto a circular needle at least 3 sizes larger than the needle you used to work your gauge swatch - you want that cast-on edge to be loose. Work the first round of Knit 2, Purl 2 ribbing from the circular needle right onto your DPN's. On round two, join, being careful not to twist, and knit that extra stitch together with the first stitch of the round - this will help eliminate the jog that occurs when joining in the round. 44 stitches now on the needles.
Work Knit 2, Purl ribbing for 2", or until you're tired of it.
Work the leg in stockinette for 6" - 8" or however long you like.
This will bring you to the heel.
The short-row heel is worked with no heel flap, but with short rows to form a cup for your heel. It is the hand knit heel that most resembles that of a commercial sock. It is worked on half the leg stitches, 22 in this case. It helps to place the instep stitches on a holder (or two) while working this type of heel. Place a marker at the center of the heel stitches.
You will be leaving the last stitch (or the last un-wrapped stitch) un-worked on each row. This is the stitch that gets wrapped.
Row 1 - Knit across, leaving one stitch un-worked. Slip this stitch to the right needle, bring the yarn to the front, put the stitch back onto the left needle, and put the yarn to the back in preparation of a Purl row. Turn your work.
Row 2 - Purl across, leaving one stitch un-worked. Slip this stitch to the right needle, bring the yarn to the back, put the stitch back onto the left needle, and put the yarn to the front in preparation of a Knit row. Turn your work.
Repeat these two rows, until you have 1" of un-worked stitches (1/2" on either side of your marker,) wrapping the last un-worked stitch on each row.
At this point, it's time to work longer short rows.
Row 1 - Knit to the first wrapped stitch. Pick up the wrap around that stitch and place it on the left needle. Knit the stitch and wrap together as one stitch. Turn your work.
Row 1 - Purl to the first wrapped stitch. Pick up the wrap around that stitch and place it on the left needle. Purl the stitch and wrap together as one stitch. Turn your work.
Repeat these two rows until all wrapped stitches have been worked. If your wraps look sloppy, twist the wrap as you put it back on the needle.
Pick up a stitch or two where the heel meets the instep stitches on the next round. Decrease them away on the next round (or two) by Knitting 2 together - this will help prevent the hole that sometimes forms there.
After the heel is done, it's time for the foot. Knit even around until the sock measures 1½" less than the length of your foot from the back of the heel to the tip of your longest toe. Measure the sock from the back of the heel flap to the bottom of the current round of stitches. This may vary slightly depending on your row gauge. This toe is a wedge toe and is 11 rounds long, so if you measure how far 11 rounds is, you can subtract that from your foot measurement, and calculate how soon to start the toe decreases.
Put the stitches on 3 needles - the bottom of the foot stitches (11 each) on needles 1 and 3 and the instep stitches (22) on needle 2. Be sure that you work the toe in the right direction - you don't want to finish and find out that the toe is on sideways!
Round one - Knit to the 3rd stitch from the end, Knit 2 together, Knit the last stitch on needle 1.
Knit even across needle 2.
Knit 1, Knit 2 together, Knit to the end of needle 3.
Next round: Knit even.
Repeat these two rounds 5 times, ending with a decrease round. End with a 3-needle bind off or Kitchner stitch. Weave in the ends and you're done!
I would love to add a pic of your finished socks to my Customer Gallery page.