Roomier Short Row Heels

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

OK, even I can admit that this short row heel obsession thing may be getting a bit out of hand.

But there’s another little gem of genius here worth sharing, in my efforts to eliminate the inelegant flap-and-gusset-style heel from the face of the earth.

I’ve seen where some people, especially men, prefer the fit of an F’n’G heel, because they find that a short-row heel doesn’t have enough room in it for them.  So here’s an idea from a commercial sock that may be worth trying, if that’s the case for you —

peds heelThis is one of those little "no-show" socks.  The heel caught my eye one day, and after looking at it for a while, I realized what they did.

They started out by short-rowing "down", as we usually do for a standard SR heel.

However, they didn’t go as far "down" as is usual for a hand-knit sock:  they did fewer short rows, so that something like half the heel sts are still live.

This will make for a wider, less pointy, and thus presumably roomier, heel.

But they didn’t stop there.  Because if all you do is simply perform fewer short rows, it will also make for a much more shallow heel.  That’s fine if you’re doing a toe, and you simply don’t want it to be quite so pointy — but not so fine if you’re after a bigger heel.  Kind of cancels out the roominess factor.  Uh-uh.

So what they did to give the heel adequate depth is this:  they started short-rowing back "up", again just like we do — except about 1/3 of the way there, they turned around and started short-rowing BACK DOWN.

And then once again, they turned around and short-rowed all the way back up.  Simple, no?  Elegant, yes?

This should work with any short row method, but I’m jonesin’ to try it out with the double st short row heel (aka the yo-yo or jo-jo heel).  I’v got a pair of two-at-a-time, toe-ups on one circ going, and with the amount of car time I’ve got this weekend, I may get a chance to play with this.

Happy holiday weekend, everyone!  and Happy Knitting!

  11 comments for “Roomier Short Row Heels

  1. Sarah
    05/12/2009 at 8:57 AM

    I have just started a sock heel that I wanted to make deeper after previous ones were too tight at the front of the foot between ankle and instep (round about where you start knitting around after completing the heel) and I am going to do it by taking a few stitches from the front half of the stitches on each side (working the shortrow heel on more than half of the total stitch count). I think that will make a deeper heel yeah? I will use your yoyo heel. Thanks for your analytical posts they must take a very long time to create but they’re extremely useful.

    • 05/12/2009 at 9:31 AM

      Hi Sarah, I think you are on the right track — using more than half the sts will definitely make a bigger “pocket” overall. Not sure what the max would be, but also would depend on just how much more room you need/want. And if your problem is tightness at the front, then your suggestion sounds like it will fix the issue (as opposed to what this post shows).
      From your email it looks like you are in New Zealand! You probably noticed we visited there last Xmas and had a GREAT time. Beautiful place!
      (yes, some posts do take a lot of effort! but so good to know that people find them useful! thx!)

  2. Carla
    09/14/2010 at 6:39 PM

    Sorry to be so late replying but I just found your site tonight. My question here is about my husband’s foot. He has a narrow heel and high instep. Would this heel work for him or might it be too wide at the heel albeit giving him instep room?

    I apologize if this should be fairly obvious. I am quite new to sock knitting and just feeling my way around my first few pairs.

    • 09/18/2010 at 4:06 PM

      Hi Carla, my thoughts on a narrow heel and high instep would be that he might need LESS room in his socks. I have a high instep and the net effect for me is that there is usually too much room in shoes, etc.

      I’d try measuring around his instep vs. the front of his foot, and see if his instep is significantly smaller around than the front of his foot. If so, I would try knitting him a sock that is overall on the narrow side, with a standard short row heel, which isn’t all that roomy — and increase a few sts towards the toe end of the sock to give more room up front, if needed. Good luck!

  3. 09/18/2010 at 2:56 PM

    Hi, I would love to be able to do this! I’m amazed how folks seem to make socks with heels that fit. Mine turn out really small and not nearly deep enough. I am not a knitting expert by any stretch, so am having a hard time trying to “think” my way to a nice heel like the one in your photo.
    Thanks for addressing this! I haven’t found anything online that solves this issue. Have you figured it out?

  4. 09/19/2010 at 6:20 AM

    Oh neat – I’m off to take a looksee 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Julie
    03/10/2011 at 10:24 AM

    I realy love the look of short row heels and i realy dont like the look of the flap/gusset ones. that said i dont think a regular short row heel will fit me. around the ball of my foot, where the arch is and above the ankle all measure 9 inches. but i measured the diagonal from the back base of my heel around on the diagonal across the top of my foot and it measures 12.5 inches.

    ive been practising various short rows and a really happy with it but that 12.5 inches is a problem.

    did you ever manage to do this in one of your own socks? i realy like it, do you think its appropriate for my foot?


    • 03/10/2011 at 11:01 AM

      without doing any measuring on DH’s feet (they are at work!) I am not sure how his heel measurement might compare with yours. But take a look at the post I linked to in the next comment up — if you are concerned that your heel won’t be big enough with the number of sts you are using for the foot or leg — just add some!

      I have added 3-4 sts all at once on the round prior to the heel, and I have done a little gusset as on the socks in that post. The gusset method is a bit neater, but if you are going top-down it could play hell with a stitch pattern.

  6. 06/27/2016 at 8:10 AM

    I’m wondering if you ever tried this commercial sock double decrease heel? I’m trying right now after seeing it here.

    • 06/27/2016 at 11:02 AM

      You know, I never did, mostly because neither my husband nor I really have the “too-small heel” problem with a standard short row heel. I’d love to know how it works out! And to link to a post or publish pix if you succeed!

Leave a Reply

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