Sock Week: The Turn of the Heel

So, I don’t know about you, but my heel isn’t square-shaped, so we probably shouldn’t make our socks square-shaped, too.  To do this we’re going to “Turn the Heel.”  I got completely confused the first time I did this, so I’m going to do my best to help you through.  We can do it together!  Solidarity!

Anyway, “turning the heel” involves making short rows across the heel flap and throwing in some decreases as we go, to make the heel… well… heel-shaped.  The goal is to end up with a little round, cup-shaped heel.  “Short rows” are rows that are knit only partway across.  This lets you start building up 3-D structures, instead of just flat pieces.  Some people use short rows for things like puffy sleeves or fitted bust lines on sweaters, or faces on teddy bears etc.

OK, so get out your sock and follow along.  You’ll be starting from the marker at the back of the sock.

First, do this:  Knit 2, K2tog (left leaning decrease), knit 1, wrap and turn. (This video is a good tutorial for wrap and turn.  Ignore the part where she talks about hiding your wraps, though.  That’s more for sleeves or other things.  That doesn’t matter so much with heels.)

Your first row should look like this:

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Turn the work and Purl to the marker.  Purl 2, P2tog, Purl 1, wrap and turn.

It should look like this:

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Turn the work back to the knit side.  See where there is a gap from where you wrap and turned?  Knit until one stitch before the gap.  Knit the two stitches on either side of the gap together.  Knit 1, wrap and turn.

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See how the k2tog closes up the gap so nicely?  (I haven’t done the last k1 or the wrap and turn yet):

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Then, do the same thing on the purl side.  Purl until one stitch before the gap and purl the two stitches on either side together.  Purl 1, wrap and turn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keep on repeating these two rows:

-Knit to 1 before the gap, k2tog, k1, w&t

-Purl to 1 before the gap, p2tog, k1, w&t

You’ll work more and more stitches each row that you work.

When you get to a point where you can’t do another full repeat of the pattern, stop when you’re back at the marker, on the knit side.  Your heel should look like this:

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We’re getting there!  Your sock is looking sockier and sockier!  (sockier [sok-EE-er]: adj. more like a sock)

On Friday we’ll pick up stitches to get set up for the gusset.

One thought on “Sock Week: The Turn of the Heel

  1. Pingback: Design Process Series: Turning the Heel | On the Needles

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