AN ECLECTIC WAY TO MAKE SOCK HEELS
I (Flor, the woman who posted this) receive many many e-mails from knitters asking me about the heel they see in my socks' pics. I'll try to explain here the way I make it, that I'll call "the eclectic heel", because it combines a flap with the short-row technique.
No, it's not my invention, neither unvention. I saw it in a picture of a sock online on a German site. It was just a sample sock, no caption about its construction, no source, no name, just the pic and the yarn description. I'm still not sure if I figured it out "correctly", but I've been very pleased with the results. And interesting that it works the same as the regular short-row heel. It can be done exactly the same way, no matter you're knitting your socks cuff down or toe up.
Exactly same construction, shown cuff-down at left, and toe-up at right
I'll transcript here the text of the e-mail I wrote to explain it to a cyberfriend. It's a generic explanation based on her sock project, so according the # of sts she had on needles. Some indications are given for different sizes.
ATTENTION: The directions are done for knitting on 2 circular needles, placed in "profile mode". And wrapped sts are worked as regular sts. The wraps form a nice ridge.
I don't use a circular needle - I just put half of the stitches on one of the double pointed needles, leaving the other half of the stitches on the needles they're on - since I knit using 5 needles - four each holding the same number of stitches (usually 16 each), I just have to place the stitches from 2 of the needles on one needle and work the heel from there.
I won't mention right or left directions. I'm a strong leftie and work from left to right. But socks are done in the round and are symmetrical. Working on 68 sts, heel will be done on 34 sts (for me it's usually 32, since I use 64 stitches for a lady's sock). Start the heel flap at beg of a new row. You'll work it with just one circ needle. If you prefer, you can work it using 2 DPNs. See I use ratio instead of measurements:
52 sts - 8 or 10 rows flap
56 - 10 or 12 rows flap
60 - 12 rows flap
64 - 12/14 rows flap
68 - 14 rows flap
68 is your #, and you will work the flap on 34 sts. At beg of a new round, K34. WS: P34 Repeat until you have 12 rows of st st, finishing on a WS row. Start the short rows shaping: I leave 8 sts in middle. I think you should leave 10 sts 'cause your gauge is smaller than mine. 34 - 10 = 24/2 = 12 sts This way, short rows will be done on each block of 12 sts of the flap edges.
Row 1 (RS): slip 1 knitwise, K21, wrap & and turn (or turn & wrap)
Row 2 WS): slip the wrapped st purlwise, P10, W&T
Row 3 (RS): slip the wrapped st knitwise, K until the wrapped st of previous row, W&T
Row 4 (WS): slip the wrapped st purlwise, K until the wrapped st of previous row, W&T.
I didn't know what "wrapped" meant - it means putting the wool to the opposite side - if you're knitting it means taking the wool to the back, if you're purling it means bringing the wool to the front - slipping the next stitch, then turning the sock around, slip the first "wrapped" stitch, then continue either knitting or purling the stitches to the wrapped st , knitting that stitch this time, then doing another W&T. (Need more help with "wrapping" - http://www.woolworks.org/misc/wrap.html or if that link doesn't work try: http://www.lupinworks.com/eclecticHeel/wrappingStitches.html)
Continue this way until you had work and wrap all the sts, finishing on a RS row. The last wrapped st on edge will be worked only at first row in the round. It's time to pick up the gusset sts and work in the round. Pick up 6 sts every other row of the flap edge plus 1 more at gusset corner. It's time also to change the needles placement. So, you'd better transfer 17 sts of needle 2 (upper side of foot) to a dpn. Work those 17 sts with needle 1. To manage the sts transfer in a comfortable way, use again a spare dpn as a holder and place on it 17 sts of the lower portion of foot. Start with needle 2, working 17 sts of upper portion, pick up 1 st at gusset corner, 6 from heel flap edge and work 17 from lower portion.
Adjust the numbers here to match the number of stitches you have - remember, I usually work with 64
Now, you'll have your 2 circs exactly with the same # of sts, split at bottom and up foot. Total of sts on needle 1: 17 + 6 + 1 + 17 = 41 sts On needle 2: 17 + 1 + 6 + 17 = 41 sts.
Beg of rows are now at bottom. Insteps decreases will be done more or less at middle portion of each needle portion of knitting. I suggest you to make the decreases every 3 rd, due to the tight gauge. In the round, needle 1: K23, K2tog, K16 needle 2: K16, ssk, K23 2nd and 3rd rounds: plain 4th round, needle 1: K22, K2tog, K16 needle 2: K16, ssk, K 22. Repeat the above directions, decreasing, until you'll have on each needle half the cast-on # of sts: 33/34 (17 each side of the dec. line).
Continue the foot."
This is another version of a "short row" heel:
If that link doesn't work, try this: http://www.lupinworks.com/eclecticHeel/heel2/