I have a narrow heel and a relatively high instep. This means that a short row heel made with half the total stitches doesn’t fit me. It wobbles around and feels strange. Plus I don’t like the extra straining bits around the front of my ankle. I love the comfort and fit of the cute little cup that a traditional heel flap and turn gives me. So the little * there in the title means that it fits ME better… but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit YOU better. But give it a try and tell me what you think.
Step 1: Basics & Calculations
We will assume for this example that you are knitting a 64 stitch sock. That means that were you doing a traditional heel flap and turn, you would use 32 stitches for the instep (the front of the sock) and 32 sts for the heel. Generally you would start with these 32 sts and end up with about 22 sts after you turned the heel, then pick up stitches along the heel flap and knit the gusset. But let’s stick with the relevant numbers, 32 sts for instep and heel each and 22 sts for bottom of cup created after heel turn (this part sits RIGHT under your heel).If you want to get REALLY technical, you can figure out how many stitches you normally pick up from the heel flap (n) and calculate thus:
n/(Rows per inch/2)=distance BEFORE heel you want to start gusset increases
For example, for a 64 stitch sock, I would have picked up 13 sts, and my RPI gauge is 12. So 13/6 (which is 12/2)= 2.16″ so I would want to start my gusset increases roughly 2″ before where I want my heel to sit. The dividing row gauge by 2 is because I’m increasing the gusset only every other row, therefore there are half as many increase rows as total rows in an inch of knitting.
Step 2: The Gusset (partially covered in step 1)
Remember that number 22? Yes. We will be working the short rows over 22 sts total. Since I’m working the heel on 2 needles with a third for the working needle (I find there’s less stress on the sts if I split them in half), I will work to the bottom of the foot and then k10 and wrap & turn (w&t) (11 total sts on this side) and then work back purling those 10 sts and then p10 from the other side and w&t. Then continue on wrapping the stitch just before the previously wrapped stitch so that you end up with a shape like this
As for me, I am at an impasse on this celtic sock until I can get some serious charting and swatching done, but I’ve started Icarus again, and I’m loving it just as much as the first time I knit it! I’m still amazed that this shawl came off of my needles and out of my brain! I also finally blocked the cashmere scarf and wrap, but I can’t bring myself to send it off until I’ve shown the SnB grrls.
You MUST go see Lucinda‘s finished Hidcote Garden shawl! It’s just beautiful!
And don’t miss Donna‘s finished Icarus! She knit it in Misti Alpaca, which is what I originally proposed it to be knit with. It’s wonderful Donna!