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Short Row Heel Tutorial

How to knit a short row heel or toe, without holes

For a while now I have wanted to do this tutorial, because I often get asked how I pick up and knit my wraps on my short row heel. Yahaira was nice enough to take these pictures for me, since I am " knit and photograph at the same time" challenged.  This is a double wrap short row, based of Wendy's Pattern for toe up socks.  In that pattern Wendy uses a short row toe and heel, the tutorial below works for both  the heels and the toes. I do all my heels this way. The secret is how you pick up the wraps. Instead of knitting the "wraps together" with the stitch; pick up the wraps, place them on the right needle, knit the stitch and the pass the slipped wraps over.

How about I show ya:)


 Once you have all your stitches wrapped (most people usually wrap 12/16 stitches on each side depending on your gauge and how deep you want your heel). You are ready to pick up the first wrap. Knit to the first wrap.


Pick up the wrap.  (The pictures show picking up the wrap from the bottom, I sometimes for a different look pick up the wraps from the top, either way works)**. The first row is the only time you will only have one wrap to pick up.


Now leave this wrap you picked up on the right needle and knit the wrapped stitch like normal.


You now have the knitted stitch, then the picked up wrap on your right needle.


Now take the slipped wrapped stitch, with you left needle and pass it over the knitted stitch. Kinda how you would do a psso. And tada, you have knitted your first wrap.


Here's where the double wraps come in. While still working knit side up, slip the next stitch which has been wrapped once and wrap it again.

Now you turn your work, you will have the purl side facing you.



Purl across this row till you reach the first wrapped stitch. This side is the exact same concept, except you will be picking up the wraps from the back side of your piece. So not the side where the purl bumps are, the "knit" side. Pick up this wrap from the bottom up and again hold it on your right needle.  (above is two views of the same "pick up")


Now you are going to do the same thing you did on the other side. Hold the wrap on the right needle and this time purl the wrapped stitch. Then pass the wrap over. Now do a second wrap on the next stitch and turn.

You are going to keep doing the same thing, row after row until all the wrapped stitches are incorporated. The only change you are going to make after the first two rows is you will be picking up two wraps on each stitch instead of one. 

This is what that will look like on the purl side:


Make sure you are picking up both wraps instead of just one... and continue on purling the wrapped stitch and passing the wraps over.


And that is how I pick up the wraps on my short row heel and have no holes!


Other side


"Look mom no holes!"

Thanks again to Yahaira for the great pictures. I couldn't have shared this without her. Please let me know if I am confusing or unclear (um as I tend to ramble:) or if you have any suggestions. I hope this helps you embrace the greatness that is the short row heel. Don't fear the short row any longer! You can have a short row with out holes and without knitting 3 together...

** Remember you can pick up the wraps from the bottom, as if to knit (shown above) or from the top, as if to purl. If you pick them up from the top your heel will look like this:


Just make sure you are doing the same thing on both the knit and purl side so your heels look the same on both sides.



References (2)

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  • Response
    Response: Zinnia Socks
    Well, here's my big contribution to Socktoberfest. I'm calling these Zinnia socks. These are my own pattern. Turkish cast-on. Toe up, magic loop, 2 socks at once. K2P1 ribbing all the way up. Short row heel. Stretchy bind off...
  • Response

Reader Comments (51)

Awesome! I love it!
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Thanks - fantastic tutorial!
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKate
thanks for another great tutorial! luv the photos too ;0) x
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervera
That's it- if I become a sock knitting fanatic I'm blaming it all on you. First you teach the world of turkish cast on and I'm making toes like crazy. And now this?! Thank you! I'm almost at the heel of some socks I'm working on- this couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you so much.
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Oh but maybe you can clarify picking up on the "knit" instead of the purl bump side- I always get confused when I read that. Is it exactly the same motion or am I supposed to reverse something?
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
You know... I thought about it and thought about it, and visualized it in my head... and I think the end result of doing things your way is the same as the typical (non-PSSO) way. You just do it in two steps, which is probably easier. I may have to double-check the next time I do a SR heel, to be sure.
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergrumperina
Thanks for posting this. I'm definitely gonna refer to it next time I get to a short row heel, because I tried it on my last socks and have holes, ugh.

Yay for tutorials. Yay for you.
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
Very interesting. I've never been able to make both sides the same and now I know it's because I'm not picking up the wraps on the purl side from the back. Thanks. And I like the pass the wrap over the worked stitch - I think that will make it a lot easier to work.
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Great tutorial! I'm going to use this on my second sock.
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjessica~
wow, thanks so much for this! it never occured to me that passing the stitches over would work and it looks a heck of a lot easier than knitting 3 together. i'm definitely going to give this a shot on my current socks (with a garter stitch heel, though.. we'll see!)
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergleek
*clicks print* I have your Turkish toe tutorial in my knitting notebook and now this one will go too. I had the hole problem but not anymore! Thank you for sharing your expertise! You rock! :)
September 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Thanks for the great post I just did it and my toe looks great! I did the heel the otherway knitting/purling 3 together and this was Much Much easier and I think looks nicer! Gosh the internet is GREAT!!
September 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKim
great tutorial -- and lovely photos, of course. (and your yarntini socks are super hot.)
September 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercarrie m
I'm so happy I stumbled on this! Perfect timing for my Socktoberfest 2006 ambitions!
October 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
You are my hero!
October 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
I have been struggling in a toe-up sock class, it just wasn't working for me. Thank you for the great tutorials! I GET IT NOW!
October 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterannie
Fabulous! Thanks for the BEST Short Row Tutorial I have encountered.

The pictures really helped me understand the secret to not getting those pesky holes and to having both sides match. I am almost to the heel on the socks I am currently knitting. I am going to give your technique a try! : )
October 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJeannie
This is awesome - never thought using psso with the wrapped stitches before . . .
October 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLola LB
Thanks soooooo much for this tutorial. I was getting so frustrated with the 'holes' in my SR heels (i've only done 3 pairs with SR, but they're all holey). thanks to you i now know I was missing a step, and just in time to turn the heel on the sock that's on my needles!
October 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
Ok. Stupid questions time. Keep in mind that I am a self taught sock knitter which might be why I don’t already know the answers to these questions. Please don’t think too poorly of me. 

Stupid Question #1 – Is the heel in Grumperina’s Jaywalker a short row heel? All the socks I’ve knit so far have used this heel.

Stupid Question #2 – Does this tutorial only apply to toe up socks? I have yet to knit any toe up socks.

Stupid Question #3 – What are wraps? Are they the picked up stitches? Or do I not know about wraps because I’ve never knit a toe down sock.

October 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

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