You’ll see this method in commercially made socks. It isn’t as hard-wearing as the flap and gusset heel and can result in some holes, but it’s quick to knit and its shallow heel is remarkably good for those with flat feet. Got a high arch? Then the flap and gusset heel will probably be better for you. Like the flap method, a short-row heel will alter the colour flow of a variegated or self-striping sock yarn, so if you don’t like that look, try using a contrast yarn for your heel and toe. See the bottom-right heel on page 51 for an example of what this heel will look like.
1 & 2 As with the flap heel turn, the short row heel is worked over half the stitches in your round. Knit to one stitch before the halfway point in your round, wrap and turn* (see right).
3 Purl back to one stitch before the beginning of your round, wrap the next stitch and turn.
Repeat Steps 1 to 3, working one stitch fewer in each short row, to create a series of wrapped stitches at either end of the heel. When you have about a third of your heel stitches still unwrapped you will start to work longer rows again, beginning with a right side row.
4 On your first longer row, knit to the first available wrapped stitch, knit the wrap and the stitch together, and wrap and turn the following stitch. This stitch will now have two wraps on it. Turn, repeat the last step, working a purl row.
5 & 6 Repeat Steps 4 to 5, working one more stitch in each short row, and ensuring that when you pick up wraps to work them together with their wrapped stitch, that you are picking up BOTH wraps, not just one.
Eventually you will get to the point where there are just two short rows left. To get a neat finish work the knit row as normal, but then continue the round, working what would have been the purl row from the right side, and working the stitches together through the back loops. This is the easiest way to avoid holes where the short rows finish.
*wrap & turn slip next stitch from LH needle to RH needle, take yarn between needles to other side of work, slip st back to LH needle, take yarn between needles to its starting point, then turn. Next row, knit or purl the wrapped stitch together with the strand wrapping around it. TOP TIP Work your stitches a little tighter over these short rows to reduce the chance of getting holes. When working your wrapped stitches together, use the right-hand needle to lift the wraps on knit rows from front to back onto the left-hand needle and knit them together with the wrapped stitch. When working purl rows, use the right-hand needle to lift the wraps from back to front onto the left-hand needle and purl them together with the wrapped stitch.