Short Row Heels

I turned the heels of the toe-up tigers this weekend.

The pattern I was using was from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits article by Ann Budd. She has you do the YO method of short rowing but frankly, I just couldn’t grasp that. Something about doing the YO just hurt my brain, so I thought I’d try the wrap and turn method. I found that to be cumbersome and confusing as well.

So, I got my Google foo Google-fu on and found this post from nonaknits about Japanese short rows, but seriously? When you are knitting socks, do you want to have 9 million little stitch markers cluttering up your heel? Heck, socks are supposed to be a portable project.

Anyway, it was around the time that I was putting on the 8,999,999th little stitch marker that I realized all you’re doing to close the gap between turns is a M1 increase and then knitting it together with the turned stitch. That’s what all of those methods are about. So, I figured I’d just do that and forget about the stitch markers, or doing YOs or wraps and turns. Guess what. The heels look great. Well, maybe not great, but they sure are good enough.

Anyone out there ever do a short row heel before? What is your favorite method? Take my poll and leave a comment (be sure to include your email address). You could WIN a set of 5 lovely hand-crafted-by-me stitch markers! The winner will be picked by random number generator on September 1st, 2007 and notified by email. Good luck!

***Update 8/14: I will announce the reader on the blog and we’ll work out contact information at that point.***

***Update 8/15: A clarification: Only comments left on THIS post will be entered into the contest for the drawing. I figured I’ll probably post at least once more before the 1st of Sept.***

18 thoughts on “Short Row Heels

  1. ACK! I hated doing the short row heels! I didn’t like the way they fit either…seemed too shallow. Sigh. But I’m not so good at it either. I’m going to be giving it another try soon, but I think I’m going to try the widdershins heel – and practice the heck out of the W&T’s. Sigh. Your are looking good! Hope they work out well for your FIL!


  2. Hmm. I’ve only ever done wrapping and turning and I’ve never felt the need to go beyond that. I like the wrap and turn heels because they are pretty straight forward- no increasing or decreasing, knit one stitch less every time, then go back up!

  3. The first time I read those instructions I thought my head would explode. Really?! All those markers??? I like the directions in Senational Knitted Socks by C.Schurch. I just remember that if the purl side is facing me, I wrap the yarn by holding to the back first and then wrap to the front. If I’m facing the knit side, I wrap the yarn by moving it to the front first. Now I love short row heels and use them all the time.

  4. I prefer heel flaps, but I’ve done short row heels with wraps and turns ala Wendy Knits… I do plan to try out the Widdershins heel.

  5. I do a short row turn that uses 2 markers only. It is easy, basic, and as soon as I can get a few more minutes I will gladly type it out for you! Do you use dp needles or 2 circular on your socks?

  6. The Sherman heel is now my favourite. No yarn overs or wraps, and it makes a thinner fabric, too. (Actually, there are two wraps but I cheat and pick up the “encroachment” from the previous stitches rather than wrapping the stitch.)

    The tutorial looks complicated because of the word “encroachment” but basically all you do is knit short rows until the middle 8-12 stitches, and then long row out again, knitting the last stitch with the “bump” underneath the next stitch on the needle.

    There are a few sherman heel tutorials out there.

  7. Short row heels seem to work for me…maybe it’s due to my feet being on the narrow side. Granted I haven’t tried any other heel methods but someday I will!

  8. I’ve only done gussets and flaps for my socks. When I have done short rows, it was always wrap and turn. I know this doesn’t help, sorry.

  9. I am not a fan of toe-up socks… or of short row heels either for that matter. I think it’s because my feeble brain learned to make socks one way initially and it rebels against new ideas. I prefer a Dutch style heel. It’s amazingly easy to turn and I never have gaps. Good luck with finding an easy to follow, successful method.

  10. I’m a fan of the short row heels as described in the Simple Socks book.

    I haven’t yet memorized the pattern but I’m close. I’ve tried other methods but short rows seem to work best for me.

  11. My problem with short rows is that they leave those bloody holes all over the place. But they are quick. I use the Sensational Knitted Socks version (wrap & turn), and she also calls for gobs of stitch markers, which works well for me. All the other methods have you doing all this nonsense counting, so at least the stitch markers kinda keep it mindless. ;)

  12. Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ method, as explained in both Favorite Socks and Simple Sock Plain and Fancy, seems to be the easiest for me. I love that I don’t have to worry about wrapping stitches with this method, and therefore have no holes.

  13. floppy2

    I am learning all I can about short row heels and want to try them. I do heel flaps and gussets right now but want to branch out and add to my knowledge base. I teach once each week and have to learn these things on my own. My computer sock folder is full of intructional websites with pictures so I can see just what to do.



  14. I’ve been doing the gusset heel and love the look and fit but would like to try the short row and the markers and/or wraps give me a headache just thinking about them any suggestions

Comments are closed.