Short-Row Heel Headaches

Hi all-

I’m knitting a pair of baby socks, and I figured this pair might good to test a short-row heel because of the relatively small number of stitches. I’ve attempted short-row heels before, with not much success- ended up getting holes along the miter line each time I tried it.

This time around, I used the following tutorial:

Seemed a little more intuitive and easier to work than some of the other tutorials I’ve seen. And, to my surprise, the short-row heel itself came out pretty well, with no holes. But…

I’m getting big gaps between the needles that separate my heel stitches from my instep stitches, which are idle during the heel-knitting process. The gaps are BIG, and I can’t firm them up without picking up stitches in the gaps.

Doesn’t picking up stitches between the gaps (consequently requiring gusset decreases back down to the original number of stitches) basically defeat the purpose of the short-row heel? I have a feeling that the short-row heel and decreases for the gaps are going to look really strange.

Any tips on not having those gaps between needles once the heel itself is finished? I used to have some problems with this while doing standard flap heels, but it wasn’t a problem because I needed to perform gusset decreases anyway.

Hope this question is clear…any insights? Thanks!


It’s ok to pick up a stitch there…I do it and then will do a K2tog with an instep st to close the gap up… on the Any Sock KAL 2 there are many tips on heels…and some have started using the Sherman Short row heel. I did this on my last sock and I have to say it looked the best out of the bunch of short row heel socks I have done…I still had a bit of a gap but a PU followed by a decrease closed it right up…:thumbsup:

I turned my first pair of heels a few weeks ago, and I had a similar situation with huge gaps.

Recently I learned a new short row technique while knitting the Urban Rustic Gloves from knitty (pattern here: It’s the yarn-over-method, explained at the end of the Pattern Notes ("Short Row Turning [Yarn Over Method]) before the directions begin.

I find it’s a much simpler way to get a short row. I fumbled around a lot doing the wrapped stitch method, not sure if I was inserting the needle into the right place or from the right direction or what, this one seemed much more straightforward.

I haven’t tried it for a heel yet, though I think I might for the next pair. The context of the YO method in the directions is for shaping a glove, so I don’t know if that will affect the way it ends up in a heel, but theoretically I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I will let you know when I try it!