Short Row Heel


The measurements are based on a gauge of 8 stitches by 10 rounds in stockinette = 1″ / 2.5 cm, after blocking. Gauge is crucial in obtaining the correct fit. Changes in gauge will result in a size difference for your finished socks. 


These directions are for magic loop based on 48 [52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76, 80, 84, 88] stitches, having the stitches divided evenly between the two needles. They can be worked using DPN’s or 9″ circulars, being mindful of where your instep and back stitches begin and end.

The directions assume you’ve already worked the leg (cuff-down) or foot (toe-up) approximately 1.75 [2, 2, 2, 2.25, 2.5, 2.5, 2.75, 3, 3, 3]” / 4.5 [5.5, 5.5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 6.5, 7, 8, 8, 8] cm less than your desired length. Directions for a short row heel do not change between toe-up and cuff-down sock constructions.


You’ll find general foot information here.


  • K: Knit.
  • P: Purl.
  • RS: Right side.
  • St(s): Stitch(es).
  • W&T: Wrap and turn.
  • WS: Wrong side.

Short Row Heel Directions

Note: A w&t can be substituted with a twin stitch or shadow wrap if preferred.

Work across the instep stitches as established. You will be working inward toward the center of your heel, working the stitches on your second needle flat using short rows.

Row 1 (RS): K23 [25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43], w&t.
Row 2 (WS): P22 [24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42], w&t.
Row 3: Knit to last st before the previous w&t, w&t.
Row 4: Purl to last st before the previous w&t, w&t.

Repeat rows 3-4 until you have a total of 8 [9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15] wrapped stitches on each side of your heel, you’ll have 8 [8, 8, 10, 10, 10, 12, 12, 12, 14, 14] unwrapped stitches in the center. You’ll now begin working back towards the outside stitches of the heel. You will be wrapping the stitch after the one you work together with its wrap, so now this stitch has two wraps on it.

Setup Row 1 (RS): Knit to wrapped st, knit both wrap and the st together, w&t.
Setup Row 2 (WS): Purl to wrapped st, purl both wrap and the st together, w&t.
Row 1: Knit to wrapped st, knit both wraps and the st together, w&t.
Row 2: Purl to wrapped st, purl both wraps and the st together, w&t.

Repeat rows 1-2 until you have 1 wrapped stitch on each end. Facing the RS, work to the wrapped stitch, knit both wraps and the stitch together. Continue across the instep as established, which will now situate you at the final wrapped stitch. Knit both wraps and the stitch together, then continue working in stockinette to the end of the round. You’ve now resolved all the wrapped stitches and are ready to continue on with your sock.

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