In one of the sock classes I taught last weekend in Charlotte, I offered a tip to make life easier when you are doing the short rows on my slipstitch heel.
The pattern directs you to work some short rows with increases after you finish the gusset increases. This creates a little curve (with some added fullness) that hugs the back of the heel at the bottom of the heel flap. Here’s a heel with the short rows completed, before working the heel flap.
If you are knitting the size medium, for example, you have gusset-increased until you have 55 stitches on the bottom of the foot. At this point you start working back and forth on the heel stitches while the instep stitches just hang out and wait.
On the first row, you knit across 37 stitches, knit in the front and back of the next stitch to increase 1, knit the next stitch, and then wrap the next (unworked) stitch and slip that unworked stitch back to the left needle.
On the second row, turn your work and purl 22, purl in the front and back of the next stitch to increase 1, purl 1, then wrap the next (unworked) stitch and slip that unworked stitch back to the left needle.
Those first two rows of the short row shaping are really the only ones where you need to count your stitches. When you turn your work again and work across, you are going to work until you have 6 stitches remaining before the gap that is created by wrapping a stitch. Check out this photo:
If you click on the photo for the larger size, you can see that there are 6 stitches left on the left needle before the first gap, so you know it is now time to work the kf&b, K1, W&T.
This is true of each subsequent row in the shaping — you work until you have 6 stitches remaining on your needle before the gap. The pattern tells you how many stitches you work plain in each row, but if you put down your work and then forget which row you are on, this is a good thing to remember.
You are doing a total of 8 shaping rows, so you have 4 increases and wraps on each side of the heel. Here is one side of the heel.
You can see the shaping occurs in little clumps of 3, so if you forget how many rows you have done, just count your clumps on each side!
I’ve circled each wrap in this photo of one side of the heel.
This spacing is true for all sizes of my slipstitch heel.
“I heart the a/c!”