Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short Row Heels and...

...how they elude me.

So I'm knitting a sock (I'm sure this surprises absolutely no one.). I'm knitting it using Socks that Rock (STR) in colorway Queen Rock. So far I'm liking the sock. It's ribbed at the cuff and then stockinette. Of course, I'm at the point where I'd like to start the heel.

Now, we have a problem.

I would really like to try a short row heel. I have no idea how to knit a short row heel. I've looked online and I have not yet found a way that explains, in great detail, a way to knit short row heels that makes sense to me. It's all really quite confusing. Not to mention that most of the tutorials I've seen start out with "You knit your heels stitches..." See, I'm working without a pattern here. I've never knit a sock without a pattern. So I need a heel instruction that actually addresses how many stitches you should have on the needle. Or that at least explains how to get the heel started.

I've done short rows before. I knit Ruffles, which is almost all short rows, all the time. I've never found short rows difficult. In fact, I've often been puzzled at why anyone thinks short rows are the slightest bit complicated. Yeah. I think the knitting muse decided I needed to be taken to task for that thought, because short row heels? I just don't get them.


At 8:11 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

Usually your heel stitches are half the total number of stitches you have - if you have 64 stitches around the leg, you'll work the heel over 32 stitches. There are a number of different short row techniques, some wrap the working yarn when they turn, some don't, some use YO's. Pick a short row technique you like and work one stitch less each time you go back and forth until you are only working half of your heel stitches (1/4 of your leg stitches) - in the example sock you would be working the 16 stitches in the center of the heel and have 8 stitches on each side of the center stitches. Once you're down to half your heel stitches, then you start picking up one stitch at the end of each row until all the stitches are picked back up and, voila, you're back to 64 stitches at the needles and you can knit around again. I like to pick up a stitch or two at the joint between the foot and the heel and then decrease those stitches back out on the following round just to keep that area from making a gap.

Does this help?

At 10:54 AM, Blogger jennifer said...

Melanie -

I did find a pattern that gave me row by row instructions for the short-row heel. I think it was fine all the way to the part where you start back on knitting longer rows - thus turning the heel. The problem I found was that it turned it too sharply - it looked like the toe(!) of a sock rather than a heel, so it didn't fit right. I did knit farther down with the short-rows than you suggest - could that be the problem? I'm knitting a 68 stitch sock and I didn't "turn" until I had 8 unworked stitches left.

I ripped out the entire heel and right now I'm avoiding this sock entirely until I decide whether to try a short row heel again or just knit a heel-flap and get on with it.

Also - I did the wrap and turn method and when I picked them back up there were little eyelets, particularly on one side. Is this how it's suppposed to look?

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you think about checking out Wendy's instructions?

Her directions for the sock are here

and then to help with the short row wraps (which is what got me, when I was doing the short rows), she made a blog entry about it here.

And the chicknits girl did an article about short rows here
And this entry from knitty here.


At 11:34 AM, Blogger Dove Knits said...

What everyone else said, and -- place markers every time you make a turn. Seriously. It helps.


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