The Double-Stitch Short Row Heel – aka the “yo-yo” or “jo-jo” heel

Table of contents for Short Rows & Sock Heels

  1. The Double-Stitch Short Row Heel – aka the “yo-yo” or “jo-jo” heel
  2. Roomier Short Row Heels
  3. Sasquatch Report

So — a few weeks ago, I wrote about sock heels.  How I don’t really like flap-and-gusset style heels, and how the EZ afterthought heel usually seems too small for me, and how I’d been checking out all kinds of short row heels, in my search for the Best Short Row Heel of All Time.

I did knit an awful lot of sock heels (some of them truly awful).

And then… I found The One.REAL SOCK COMPLETED HEEL

This particular heel style seems to be (1) not very common, and (2) decidedly German in its heritage.  I’ve only found it online a couple of places:  one mention of it on an native Austrian knitter’s blog, and instructions for it on the Lana Grossa site (which seems to be down for the count these days).  In print, so far I’ve found it only in a Regia pamphlet.

This is a shame, I think, because this heel has a lot of positive qualities.  It’s easy to do, once you know what it is you’re supposed to do.  It makes a darned nice heel, IMHO.  It is not prone to gaps, nor does it require weird backwards YO’s, nor does it have odd-looking decreases up the sides.  The whole wrap & turn thing?  Forget it.  And the inside looks practically as nice as the outside.

And, it adds one more thing to EZ’s famous list of “things you can do wrong when you’re learning to knit that turn into a technique later on.”  You know how beginners sometimes take the yarn the wrong way over the top of the needle when they are starting a row?  Guess what?  There’s a use for that.  Trust ingenious German engineering to come up with one.

All that — plus the fact that I can’t quite wrap my head around what exactly is going on with the short row turns — just fascinates me.  I’ll get it figured out someday, but for now, I’m content to just be impressed.

In fact, the only thing I don’t like about this heel is… the name.  Yup, once again, I have a nomenclature problem.

It’s called the Yo-yo heel, or sometimes, and even more incomprehensibly, the Jo-jo heel.  I think both of those sound, well, stupid.  (And there aren’t any “YO’s” in it, anyway.  Let alone whatever a “JO” is, or might be.)

So, following in the great historical tradition of knitters calling things by different names, I have decided to call it the Double-Stitch Short Row Heel.  And here’s how to do it —

Please bear in mind that the light orange example shown in these pictures is knit at a much looser gauge than usually used for socks — mainly because I used my size 9 ebony needles, in order to clearly show what’s going on.  Thus the finished example heel may look kind of loose and hole-y — but at sock gauge, it’s marvelous.  Would I lie to you?  About knitting?


Double-Stitch Short Row Heel — First half

K across all heel sts, turn.

First WS row:

  • Hold yarn to front, slip next st pwise.
  • Take working yarn to back over RH needle; then take working yarn to front between needles, pulling snugly so that the slipped st falls to the back, and the stitch in the row below is pulled up over the RH needle – WS double st made.

 WSdoublest

  • Keep the working yarn to the left of the slipped st as you bring it over the RH needle, so the st that is pulled up from below IS NOT twisted.
  • P back across rem heel sts, turn.

First RS row:

  • Hold yarn to front, slip next st pwise.
  • Take working yarn to back over RH needle; pull working yarn snugly to back, so the slipped st falls to the back and the stitch in the row below is pulled up over the RH needle – RS double st made.

RSdoublest

  • Keep the working yarn to the left of the slipped st as you bring it over the RH needle, so the st that is pulled up from below IS twisted.
  • K heel sts up to, but not including, the double stitch from the previous row.

** Next WS row:  Make WS double st; then P all the normal sts up to, but not including, the double st(s) previously made. Turn.

2ndWSdoublest

Next RS row:  Make RS double st; then K all the normal sts up to, but not including, the double st(s) previously made. Turn. **

Continue to repeat last 2 rows (between **), making double sts at beg of each short row, until your heel is divided almost into thirds: 

  • one third double sts on the left,
  • one third plain sts in the middle + 1 extra st,
  • one third double sts on the right, except 1 st short.

You should be about to work a RS row — which will take one more plain st from the middle and turn it into a double st.  Then everything will be nice and tidy.

Last RS row:  Make RS double st; then K all the normal sts across the middle of the heel up to the double sts.

Continue to knit across left side of heel, working the double sts by inserting the RH needle under both forward strands of the double st, and knitting as if for a k2tog. (Be careful to pick up both strands, and only the front strands.)

workingdoublest

Continue working around whole sock now, across instep sts.  Knit the double sts on the right side of heel in the same manner.  Work around most of the sock a second time, across the instep sts, and stopping when you are about to work the heel sts again.

Second half of heel

K across 2/3 of the heel sts, turn.

First WS row:  Make WS double st, P back [one third of the heel sts, minus the one you slipped], turn.

For example, on a 36 st heel: 

First, knit across 2/3 of the sts = 24 sts.  Leave 12 sts of the heel unworked on left side.

Turn and use 1 st to make the WS double st, then purl back over

(1/3 of the heel sts – 1)  = (12 sts -1) = 11 sts.

Now 12 sts on the right side of the heel also rem unworked.  Turn.

** Next RS row:  Make RS double st, K to double st of prev row, K the double st, K1, turn.

Next WS row:  Make WS double st, P to double st of prev row, P the double st, P1, turn. **

Continue to repeat last 2 rows (between **), until you have purled the last st of the right side of the heel on your last WS row.

Last RS row:  Make RS double st, K to double st at end of heel, K the double st.  Heel is complete.  Continue working around sock.  One double st will rem at the beg of the heel, which will be worked on the next round.

COMPLETED HEELCOMPLETED HEEL INSIDE

Nice, eh?


  96 comments for “The Double-Stitch Short Row Heel – aka the “yo-yo” or “jo-jo” heel

  1. sandy elardo
    05/07/2008 at 9:08 PM

    Maybe the name for this heel (if it is indeed a German heel) was originally “jo jo” and Americanized to “yo yo” because in German a “j” is pronounced like a “y”.

    Are you going to write a whole sock pattern using this heel?

  2. 05/08/2008 at 9:10 AM

    Hey Sandy, that’s interesting information! But what would “jo-jo” mean in German??

    This heel is what I wrote into the Kenkyo sock pattern. One of the reasons it took me so long to get that pattern done is, I was trying all these other heels and stuff. I really like this heel though (can you tell?)!

  3. 05/15/2008 at 10:02 AM

    Many thanks for this, you have saved my sanity. My heel is not perfect but is now far better than the sorry mess I achieved, and had to frog, following the pattern instructions for the sock that I am currently making.

    I think that I may now be in love with you. May I have your babies? πŸ™‚

  4. 05/15/2008 at 10:12 AM

    You’re quite welcome — so glad to know that this was helpful for you! I really do think this is a great heel style.

    Hmmm… babies? kind of you to offer… maybe you can do some knitting for me instead?? πŸ˜‰

  5. Janine
    06/20/2008 at 9:18 AM

    Hi, The Jojo heel is called a yoyo because its like a yoyo in its action, it goes back and forth like a yo yo only a bit less each time IYSWIM.

    I love the Boomerand heel too, Its very pretty and also very main-stream looking too. It really makes the sock look shop brought and not homemade.

    I always think of this stich not as a double stich but as a slipped stich with yarn in front that is pulled way way too tight. LOL

    I am going to link this to a friend πŸ™‚

  6. Carol in Denver
    07/27/2008 at 10:43 AM

    Tess,
    Thank you SO MUCH for researching this technique and publishing the very clear tutorial on the double-stitch sock heel.
    I’m an experienced knitter but a beginning sock maker. I tried the other mainstream method of short-row heels on my first sock & was really dissatisfied. I used this method on the 2nd sock of the pair and am thrilled. I look forward to a whole new passion of sock knitting!

  7. sandrajean
    08/10/2008 at 8:55 PM

    Thank you for these instructions. The pictures are especially helpful.

  8. Maris
    08/11/2008 at 9:36 AM

    I have been using this heel since I found it in a Kaffe Fassett Regia design pamphlet. There it is called a “Round Heel”. It is a great heel!

  9. Julie Stalnecker
    09/24/2008 at 9:35 PM

    I am just starting to knit socks for Christmas, using the K Fassett yarn, and the pamphlet instructions are a disaster. Thank you for your fabulous site. I have bookmarked it! I tried your Polar Bear site and the link did not work. I will return. Again thank you, Julie

  10. 09/24/2008 at 10:59 PM

    Hi Julie! thanks for the compliments! and glad I could help. πŸ™‚ Not sure why the PBP link didn’t work but I’ll check into that… you can always type in “polarbearpatterns.com” though. See you around!

  11. Danielle
    10/28/2008 at 5:18 PM

    Your site explained that you had seen this new heel pattern in a Regia pattern pamphlet. I have this pattern but am having trouble with the start of the heel. Can you please explain the beginning of the heel-starting with the dividing stitches. It says to divide the stitches onto 3 needles, which I did, then knit all the way across. The problem is that when I split the stitches onto the 3 needles my working yarn is in the middle of the new middle needle so when I knit the stitches across, I have only knitted half on the new middle needle and knit across the 4th needle. I haven’t done anything with the 1st needle. I am not sure what I am missing except I have divided the stitches wrong. Please advise-thank you.

  12. 10/29/2008 at 12:40 AM

    Hi Danielle, I sure hope we have the same pamphlet! Mine says things a little differently than what you have described… I’ll paraphrase a bit here:

    Work the heel back and forth over the sts on needles 1 and 4. Arrange the heel sts in 3 sections as given in the table (which is more-or-less in thirds).

    Given that my pamphlet’s directions also say the end of the round is between needles 4 and 1, I think I can envision why your working yarn would end up in the middle of your heel!!

    Basically what you want to do though, is work the heel over half of your sock’s total sts, and it technically doesn’t much matter which half. If you don’t have any kind of design on the leg of your sock, you can freely start the heel pretty much over any sts you want. Just work across half the total sts — in my directions above, that’s where I say “K across all heel sts, turn” — then start doing the short rows.

    If your sock is plain, the simplest thing for you to do is just work the heel over needles 1 and 2, not needles 4 and 1.

    If OTOH your sock has some kind of design, then pick the sts for the heel such that the design is centered, or wherever you want it to be, with respect to the heel.

    Hope that helps!

  13. Melissa
    11/14/2008 at 12:58 PM

    I got me a new heel!!! I am going to work this for all my toe ups and will probly figure this out but….When I go thro the double stitch on second half, knit or purl side, am I to pull the stitch around where I knit/purl thro the front of it? I went thro the back of those stitches (cuz it was most handy) and now I have “ladders” all thro the seams. Or am I not pulling tight enough when I make it originally. Please respond. I LOVE this heel and want to get it right. I will be posting this tut on Yahoo socknitters group and knittinghelp.com so EVERYONE can love it too. Thank you for finding it for us!!

  14. 11/14/2008 at 8:06 PM

    Hey Melissa, glad you like it! As for knitting the doubled sts — I’m not quite sure what you mean by “pull the st around”, but you should not be working into the back of the doubled sts. They should be just the same as on the first half of the heel.

    On that note, it’s worth mentioning that at the end of this post is an explanation and examples of my successful experiment with doing the first half of a short-row heel twice. You may want to take a look at that if you are having trouble with the second half. In fact, with most if not all of the SRHs that I tried, the first half almost always looks way better than the second half — and you could use this trick with any two-part SRH method. Cheers!

  15. Susan
    12/04/2008 at 10:10 PM

    Thanks for this explanation – I have the Regia pamphlet and was stumped! Now I’m on my way!

  16. Karknits
    01/02/2009 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks for this. I managed to figure out how to do this from the Reggia pamphlet but it was VERY confusing. My socks are a little tight around the front of the ankle. I would like to work out how resolve this problem. I think perhaps the answer lays in working the heel over a greater number of stitches. I think this heel looks amazing. It is so neat and gives a professional-looking finish akin to manufactured socks. Too bad the the Reggia pattenr is so poorly written – I think it has put a lot of people off trying this heel…

  17. claire
    02/14/2009 at 11:37 AM

    Dear Tess
    I too have the Regia pattern. I have asked 4 experienced sock knitters all of whom siad ‘forget it, do flap style’. Now I have found this site I will give it a try as I prefer the less ‘homemade’ look. Thanks for the clear instructions.
    There is also a utube by Cat someone on a ‘wrap ‘ heel that shows a slightly different wrap, but the end result is very similiar.

    • 02/14/2009 at 12:53 PM

      Hi Claire! I hope you don’t give up on this heel style without giving it a try. Of course, everyone has their own preferences, which I think mostly come down to fit and how it feels in the end — but there is one more big advantage to a short-row style that came up the other day.
      This Friday I had a student bring me some of her favorite socks which had worn out at the heel, and of course they were flap & gusset — which is pretty much impossible to repair. If you do a short-row style heel — this one or any of the others — they can be taken out and reknitted relatively easily. You end up doing something like Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Afterthought heel”. But it beats throwing out your favorite pair of socks!

  18. Mary G
    04/12/2009 at 7:56 PM

    Thank you!!! I’ve spent two days trying to find simple instructions for short rows. I get the concept but also got holes for all my efforts. I found your tutorial today and have just completed a very nice practice heel. It’s pretty and has no holes!!! TA DA!!! I’m ready to work on more socks. Really, I’m only slightly addicted to socks..since last November and a “sock” class.

  19. chris
    08/15/2009 at 6:03 AM

    I am sitting in front of the Regia pattern in a complete daze (despite having knitted socks before!). Thank you for your tutorial, I am about to try the short row heel. As others have noted, the Regia original is almost unfathomable.

  20. Randy H
    09/13/2009 at 11:53 AM

    Thanks, Tess.

    I’ve been searching for a good explanation of this heel. I emailed you a picture of some ‘old timey’ socks made in this manner.

    with photos

    Randy

  21. Carol in Denver
    01/17/2010 at 11:41 PM

    Just checking in with a New Year’s report — I’ve done 5 pairs of socks now using Tess’s instructions for the double-stitch heel, and am still in love with the technique. Beautiful, fast results.
    All you 3000+ viewers of this page, are you using this heel? Or something else? Surely you-all have experiences that will help the timid…

    • 01/18/2010 at 9:09 AM

      Carol, glad to hear this is working so well for you! You go, girl! πŸ™‚

  22. LiLo
    01/28/2010 at 2:55 PM

    Another sock newbie here! Having the whole, holey issue, too.
    Perhaps I’m still too green at this point, but I can’t grasp this…Can you do a video? ;^) I know it’s a lot of work, but, if interested, it would be mighty helpful to knitting “dummies” like moi :^)
    I, myself, have vowed to one day put up a youtube or something of a full-on sock! It is so frustrating to see just bits and pieces, and, to top it off, the hardest parts which are transitions (when and *exactly* where on the work to start “x” technique) is almost always zipped through, unshown, or, worse, with the assumption the viewer already knows what they mean :^(

    Either way, thanks for this!

    • 01/29/2010 at 9:51 AM

      I would say a video is a good idea, but I tried to post one around Xmas (on a different topic) and had “issues”. I hope to be able to figure out all that stuff soon though!

  23. 01/29/2010 at 8:07 AM

    Hi Tess – Thank you for such a great tutorial – I’ve been searching for the perfect short row heel and this is it, worked out perfectly on the first practice try thanks to your clear instructions and pix. Love your site, really glad I found it.

    • 01/29/2010 at 9:52 AM

      Thx Jane! always good to hear it helped someone! πŸ™‚

  24. Wanda Stemen
    04/08/2010 at 4:46 PM

    Hi,

    I am an IT person and need to visualize what I am doing. So I sat down and created a spreadsheet with the Jo Jo Heel pattern. Mine is using 48 sts, 24 per needle. I think it will be helpful. Where can I send it?

    thanks

    Wanda

    • 04/09/2010 at 10:17 AM

      Hi Wanda! Thx for your willingness to share!
      You could send your info using the “contact” link (at the top of the page in the blue bar), which will get you to a page that has a link to click on to send me an email. (Sorry, it’s a little convoluted, but it’s one way to keep the spam down.)

  25. Carol
    07/22/2010 at 1:45 AM

    Hi Tess,
    Like lots of others here, I was struggling with the Regia pattern and have found your instructions very good. You made it much more obvious that you need to slip the stitch before making the double stitch.
    I’m finding it tricky a) making the double stitch on knit rows, for some reason – the stitch doesn’t pull over very easily, and b) working with double-pointed needles doing purl (it is easy doing knit but for some reason is far more fiddly to purl). But your instructions more or less bailed me out!

  26. Carol
    07/22/2010 at 3:15 PM

    Hi again. My heel seems to be working OK, except that I am finding it difficult to make the double stitch on knit rows – the stitch underneath seems much too tight to want to pull over the needle. The one on the purl row works fine. Does anyone have any advice on this problem?

  27. Carol
    08/01/2010 at 2:36 PM

    Hi Tess, I’m not sure if you’re still monitoring this page, but wanted to say once again – THANK YOU for your great instructions. I have just knitted my second heel and it is darn near perfect.

    • 08/03/2010 at 4:02 PM

      Hi Carol! I’m still here but have been so busy with moving and getting the old house rented (hooray) and writing the material for the top-down sweater class, I basically have taken the summer off from blogging. Glad you are liking the heel!

  28. Carol
    08/15/2010 at 4:21 PM

    Well thanks again Tess. I have now knitted two pairs of socks and am just getting into the groove .. Best wishes with all your ventures. Carol

    • 08/16/2010 at 1:19 PM

      awesome! I’m getting back into the (blogging) groove too! πŸ™‚

  29. 09/07/2010 at 3:54 AM

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial. After finding this heel in The Sock Knitter’s Workshop by Ewa Jostes and Stephanie van der Linden (both German btw) I had to find more information since the book is a bit confusing. I’m not sure if it is exactly the same, but this looks like it will work since it is very close! Thanks.

    • 09/07/2010 at 9:48 AM

      you’re so welcome! so glad this is helping people out. πŸ™‚
      and yes, more evidence of the German heritage of this awesome heel!

  30. MandyzMoon
    10/01/2010 at 5:34 AM

    You have convinced me that I actually do love short row heels. I’ve never been a big fan of the heel flap and prefer a Fleegle heel for toe-up, but I’m adoring this short row technique. I assume the same technique can be used for other short rows too and plan to test that soon.

    Just a note: I was knitting a garter heel, so I had to translate “WS double stitch” and “RS double stitch” which assumed the usage of purl and knits respectively to “p-stitch DS” and “k-stitch DS”. Of course, I mostly used the knit DS technique in garter. [and forgot to purl the first time ‘around’ and now have a little band of stockinette in the heel, but lesson learned for the future].

  31. 10/04/2010 at 3:40 PM

    I’ve made 2 pairs of socks using your jo-jo heel! I like doing them that way a lot. Both of the pairs are for charity, but I’ll have to do a pair for me sometime soon. Thanks for posting the instructions!

  32. MandyzMoon
    10/05/2010 at 5:10 AM

    Another note:
    On my second attempt with this heel I was dissatisfied with the difference between the k-wise double-stitch and the p-wise DS.
    I fixed this by always knitting the last stitch before turning. That way there is no twisting of the stitch. All the DSs are pulled over the same way and the only difference is whether one then proceeds to P or K across.
    I have found this to be neater.
    (The fact that you create a purl on the RS is negated by the creation of the DS)

    • 10/05/2010 at 9:19 AM

      interesting! will have to try this out. there is always room for improvement, eh? πŸ™‚

  33. Babs
    12/03/2010 at 8:26 AM

    thank you! I’m just about to try socks again, and have never been satisfied with the heels. Great pictures!

  34. crouchendchris
    01/08/2011 at 11:25 AM

    I was so pleased to discover this tutorial for this type of heel – my Regia pattern calls it a ’round heel’ but the instructions are dire and impossible to follow. I have searched you tube and only come up with the flap heel which I have used on all my socks except the first pair which ended up with a very holey ’round heel’. Now I am going to try the pattern again using your tutorial to improve my technique. Incidentally, do you think ‘yo yo’ could mean ‘yarn over, yarn over’? which is basically what you are doing to create the double stitch. I did see one video tutorial which had a complicated way of knitting up the double stitches by twisting them – have you tried that, or do you find that simply knitting the double stich as ‘knit 2 together’ works better? I can’t wait to have a go and will post again with m feedback. Thanks again.
    πŸ™‚

    • 01/08/2011 at 11:45 AM

      Hi Chris! hope this one works for you and you like it as much as I do!
      One blog that linked here suggested that “yo-yo” is intended to be the opposite of “boomerang” – in the sense that a “boomerang heel” goes all the way around the sock at one point and comes back to the beginning, whereas a “yo-yo heel” just goes back and forth with short rows like a yo-yo goes up and down and never circumnavigates. I liked the theory, but if that’s the case then this would be a boomerang heel! And either way, whether you boomerang or yo-yo, it has nothing to do with how the short-row turns are achieved. *shrug* The idea of yarn over, yarn over makes about as much sense as any other theory!

      BTW, be sure to try the refinement suggested by MandyzMoon in comment #40. I just tried it and it is AWESOME. Thanks MM!

  35. Lisa V.
    03/23/2011 at 5:11 PM

    Lovely description and photos, thank you!

    For me the Jo Jo was better than Wrap and Turn.
    Japanese turned out tight and flattened. Encroachment very visible.Tried the “always knit the last stitch” and it did not work for me, it twisted the stitch.
    Love the Jo Jo!

    • 03/23/2011 at 5:19 PM

      you’re welcome! I still think this is the best heel style I’ve seen. πŸ˜€

  36. molly
    08/31/2011 at 7:02 PM

    Thank you! I thought I had lost my Regia pamphlet halfway through my second heel. Your explanation got me through it (and then I found the pamphlet after all…) This is my first pair of socks, so I may never do a gusset heel. I like the way this turns out, and it isn’t that hard once you decipher the instructions.

    thanks again,
    molly

  37. 11/21/2011 at 2:55 PM

    I love it love it love it! Thank you!

  38. jasmine
    12/05/2011 at 12:57 AM

    Howdy!

    Thanx for this post {thumbsup}, bec. the video for the technique is too confusing. {thumbsdown} BTW, Lana Borgesa’s PDF for the thing is up again. I just copied it into my files.

    As for the German “Jo-Jo,” in German, the “y” sound is written as “j” (they don’t have the “j” sound, and “y” doesn’t show up much in native German words, altho yes, they do have it in their alphabet. Go figure! {shrugging}).

    If somebody already explained that in one of the myriad comments, my apologies for repeating it (I don’t have time to read thru them all, tho I did skim them and didn’t seem to find anything on it).

    Cheerio and take care!

    J

  39. Sara
    02/20/2012 at 6:27 AM

    I have made the jo jo heel following your instructions and referencing the Lana Grossa pattern. The heel looks nice but I have some confusion about where the row begins and ends once you join it to the foot. Is the first row of the foot the one which has the final right side double stitch on it? Or is it the one after? Also where is the beginning of the round as I haven’t got a clue!

    In the original pattern it says “Work the jojo-heel in rows in stst over sts on needles 4 and 1. Divide heel stitches in three parts (= 10 stitches each part), then work short rows with double stitches from outside to inside.
    1st row (Rs): K all stitches on needles 4 and 1, turn.”

    Someone else mentions in your comments this thing about knitting stitches on needles 4 and one. The difficulty is that the yarn is ready to knit at needle one and not needle 4. I did what you suggested and started at needle 1 and going on to needle 2 for the heel stitches. I don’t think this can be right though as the pattern also says

    “Work basic patt so that sts on needles 2 and 3 are continued subsequently in patt g on top of foot, while sts on needles 1 and 4 are worked in stst at the end of heel.” It gives suggestions for what the pattern might be other than ss all around. If the pattern IS all ss then there is no problem but if there is also a pattern on the front of the sock – on needles 2 and 3, then those heel stitches do indeed need to be on needles four and one if the pattern is not to be messed up. I don’t think therefore it is a problem in misreading the pattern or that it doesn’t matter which needles you start the heel on.

    So the question remains, how are you supposed to get to needle four? If you purl back that will take you up a level on one side of the heel. The only solution seems to break the yarn. I do have an old pattern that does that, which seems very off putting. Perhaps you are meant to do that?

    I have only made one pair of socks – with a heel flap, so am easily confused! I would be interested to know if you have any thoughts.

    • 02/24/2012 at 10:04 AM

      Hi Sara, I am not entirely sure I am following you. But I will try to respond —

      First of all, I guess I don’t know how much it matters about exactly which is the first round of the foot. You just have to keep in pattern, if you are working a pattern. Thus, if I am working a 4-round repeat, and I start the heel after I do round 4 on the instep sts, then I would do rounds 1 and 2 of the pattern on the instep when I work the 2 rounds around the sock halfway through the heel, and would resume with round 3 of the pattern on the instep sts after the heel is complete.

      I dislike the “needle 1, needle 2” nomenclature and I never use it. It makes far more sense to me to think in terms of the knitting and the stitches — heel sts, sole sts, instep sts, etc. But basically, a sock gets divided in half at the heel and the heel is worked on one half, which becomes the sole, and the instep is the other half, as what I think you are saying. If you are working top-down, it may or may not matter which needle the heel starts on, if the pattern around the leg is the same all the way around. And if their instructions has you knitting the patterned instep on the same sts as the heel, well, then I agree there is something funny going on there. πŸ™‚ But I don’t have the same leaflet so it’s hard to figure out what they intended, or if it is a misprint or mistranslation or whatever.

      However, you talk about purling back on “one side” of the heel to get to needle 4 — so it sounds to me like when the heel is finished, you end up in the middle of the heel, not at one side. This is pretty different from what I have seen and the instructions I give above. So maybe it is not exactly the same heel after all.

      If I understand it all properly, though, and I was in the middle of the heel when all was said and done, I would probably simply work one additional needle (whatever number it is) and then I would be at the side of the heel, ready to work the instep sts in whatever pattern st, and begin working in the round again.

  40. Sara
    02/20/2012 at 1:41 PM

    Further to my origina comment, I found this German video. The needles 1 and 4 are where the heel stitches are and there is backwards as well as forwards knitting. It all looks the same but different to your version. As I couldn’t understand it, I couldn’t work out properly what was going on. Very interesting though! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk693Qa58Zc&feature=related

  41. Kath
    02/24/2012 at 4:04 AM

    The jo jo heel refers to the way the boomerang heel is knitted. The jo jo version is knitted down one side and knitted back down the other side with out turning the knitting. The boomerang is knitted in the standard way but they are the same heel in appearance.

    There is also a re-inforced version of the double stitch heel. This does not include the two rows that go all around the heel at the pivot point of the heel. The advantage to this is that the pattern isn’t broken up and it is stronger. Both versions appear in the sock knitters workshop book

  42. Tonua
    11/15/2012 at 7:48 AM

    After trying a number of different heels in order to get a more natural look and fit, I found this method which gave me a sock that looked most natural to me. I gifted a pair of socks made with this heel to a friend, and she commented that they looked “store-bought.” While some would prefer it to look hand-knitted, I considered this a compliment, as this was my goal.

    However, I did make a modification in order to get a more natural curve to the heel. Instead of dividing the stitches into thirds as instructed here, I divided the stitches into quarters. When knitting the first half of the heel, I repeat the pattern until my knitting is divided as:
    – one quarter double stitches on the left,
    – one half plain sts in the middle + 1 extra stitche
    – one quarter double stitches on the right, except 1 st short.

    Then on the second half of the heel, instead of knitting across 2/3 of the heel sts, I knit across 3/4, and then on the first WS row, I “…P back [half of the heel sts, minus the one you slipped]…”

    In the example given below that, in a 36 st heel:
    “First knit across 3/4 of the sts = 27 sts. Leave 9 sts of the heel unworked on the left side.
    Turn and use 1 st to make the WS double st, the purl pack over (2/4 of the heels sts -= 1) = (18 sts – 1) = 17 sts.
    Now 9 sts on the right sid eof the heel also remain unworked. Turn.”

    For me, using these dimensions resulted in a heel that had a more natural curve and a better fit. The thirds method resulted in a heel that had a “sharp” curve.

    I looked at the video provided by Sara (#52) and the difference appears to be that she is knitting back instead of turning. The key in her video, just as in the instructions here, is the placement of the yarn end before slipping the stitch, which allows it to pull up the stitch from the row below, creating the double stitch.

    I also want to try the re-inforced double stitch heel mentioned by Kath (#53).

    But I love this Double-Stitch Short Row method (yo-yo/jo-jo/whatever), and I will continue to use it until I find something that works better. Thanks for posting this!

  43. ninaj
    01/20/2013 at 11:35 AM

    I may be the only one but the instructions was a bit unclear to me:(
    Can you write it a bit more simplified and tell me what the abreviations stands for( I m a beginner but also not an american…

    • 02/03/2013 at 1:29 PM

      I am sorry you are having trouble with the directions. I hope to launch a new website in the next few months with maybe a video of this technique. Until then, the abbreviations are as follows:
      K = knit
      WS = wrong side
      st = stitch
      pwise = purlwise
      RH = righthand
      P = purl
      rem = remaining, remain
      RS = right side
      k2tog = knit 2 together
      prev = previous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *