April 17, 2012

The Eye of Partridge Short Row Heel

I have been busy making more socks, and several people have asked me about the heel I always do.  I call it a Short Row Eye of Partridge heel, and it can be done either toe-up or cuff down.  I prefer cuff down, but this i can do both directions and I like this heel because it is easy to sub in for whatever heel the pattern calls for, and I don't have to do a heel flap and gusset (which I really abhor doing).  I find that the Eye of Partridge technique camouflages the little holes that you can get from the wrap and turn short row heel, and it just seems to fit me better.  So here is how it works:

Once you are at the point where you are ready to start your heel, knit across from the center back to the end of your heel stitches. (you do not need gusset increases on toe-up  with this type of heel).  I usually use 1/2 the total number of stitches to make my heel (this can be done with any needle configuration).  when you get to the last stitch, slip it and turn.  You do not wrap this time around.  Now you purl across all your heel stitches until you have only one heel stitch remaining.  You will slip this stitch from the left needle to the right needle, and then pass your yarn to the back of your work.  Now slip this stitch back to your left needle and pass your yarn back to the front.  Now turn your work.  Now the EoP pattern will begin.  S1 K1 til one stitch is remaining on your heel.  Slip this stitch to the right needle, pass the yarn to the front of the work, slip the stitch back to the left needle and pass the yarn to the back. Turn your work.  Here you will purl across your heel to the last stitch before the previous wrapped stitch, and wrap this stitch as you did before. Turn and again, S1 K1 across to the last stitch before the wrapped stitch on this side.  Wrap and Turn.  Continue in this fashion until you have about 10-14 stitches remaining unwrapped (less stitches for small heels, more for larger ones).  End your wraps on a knit row. 

On the next row, purl across to the first wrapped stitch (the last stitch you wrapped on this side) and pick up the wrap and put it on the needle with the stitch, and purl these together.  Turn your work.  Now you will work across your stitches in a K1 S1 pattern til you reach the first wrapped stitch (again, the last stitch you wrapped on the knit side).  Pick up the wrap and put it on the needle with your  stitch, and knit these 2 stitches together. Turn your work, and purl to the next wrapped stitch, repeat the pickup and ptog, and turn.  k1 S1 across to the next wrapped stitch and pickup and ktog.  Turn and repeat this process until you have no wrapped stitches remaining.  Your heel is finished, you should be headed across your instep (front of leg) stitches.  As you get ready to continue with your pattern, pick up 2 stitches from between the heel stitches and the instep stitches, and knit across the instep, as the pattern tells you to do.  when you come to the other side, pick up 2 stitches from between the instep and heel stitches, and continue across the sole (back of leg), following your pattern.  When you get to the last heel stitch, knit it together with the first of the picked up stitches, then knit the second added stitch together with the first stitch of the instep.  Follow pattern across to the last stitch and then knit this last stitch together with the first added stitch on this side.  Then knit the second added stitch with the first heel stitch, and continue on with your pattern as written.  The only change to your pattern as written will be to omit your gusset decreases.  You do not need them with this type of heel.


  1. THANK YOU !!!!! I've been searching for instructions to use the EOP with a toe-up, short row heel sock pattern. Most of these characteristics come with circular needles or some other foreign (to me anyway) technique. I'm with you re gussets.

  2. I do use the small 9" circular needles, but I think anyone who knits and who can read a pattern should be able to knit any portion of a pattern with whatever needles they prefer. I usually don't remember to tell folks how to split things up on multiple needles for use wuth DPNs, and hopefully, this comment will help to jar my memory a bit more. If not, for future reference, most of my patterns are written so that the stitch count is even and symmetrical, so that means that you should be able to split the stitch count evenly over 4 needles. I also tend to write with a side begin and end point, so I can place my beginning of round stitche marker and not have to move it later (I'm lazy, ok?). This means for those who knit on 2 needles or Magic loop, there is and intuitive break for the needles that doesn't have to be shifted later.