Short Row Heels?

I’m working on a short row heel pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks and I’m a little confused with the instructions because they don’t seem to work out. For the multiple sock sizes you cast on in a multiple of 5, ex. 20, 25, 30.
Then you short row (according to the directions) until there are 9, 11 or 13 (based on the 20, 25, 30) left, ending with a WS row. Now, is it just me, or how would you end with a wrong side row with all 3 of those number of stitches. You start with a purl row of all the cast on stitches, then start your short rows. I did the 30 down to 13 and ended on a RS row, with 13 stitches left, which makes sense because I started with a RS row and did 17 more rows, so up next was a WS row to do, but that would only leave 12 stitches. Am I making any sense?

Well as you’re decreasing the stitches, it will work out. Basically, during the short rowing what you’re doing is turning the heel. You’ll actually start the short rowing in the middle. So for let’s say 20 stitches, you’ll knit 12, decrease 1 and slip 1, leaving you at 19, you then start short rowing by turning the work at this point, and purling 5, decrease 1 and slip 1, leaving you with 18, knit back 6, dc1, sl 1, leaving you with 17, etc. and you’ll keep increasing the number of stitches you’ll either knit or purl. ie, on the previous row, you purled 5, you knit 6, then 7, 8 and so on. does this make sense?

Oh wow, I’m lost! Where does the decrease come in? You mean the one I’m wrapping and turning? The concept of doing a short row makes sense to me, I just couldn’t figure out if I was missing a row in the pattern because it was asking me to end on a WS, when I didn’t think that was possible?!

You’re not really decreasing (like you would with a k2tog), you’re just not knitting all the way to the end of your rows. If you wind up on a RS row and you’re supposed to be on a WS, just purl across so you end WS.

Either way, don’t worry too much - as long as you are knitting on RS and purling on WS, everything will work out. You can pick up an extra stitch on one side of the heel flap, whatever, you will still get a sock!

And if you need a visual explanation (sometimes that helps) see Silver’s very excellent sock tutorial at

I tried that the first time around, I wound up with a hole because you end up just turning, and not wrapping anything, hence the hole, so I would have to pick up a stitch. But I guess my biggest thing was I just wanted to figure out the pattern the way it was supposed to be because I understand doing short rows, but this wasn’t making sense to me and I didn’t want to modify (for a change!) I wanted to actually do it just like the pattern said.
I’m going to retry it again and take some of these things into consideration. Thanks guys!