Tilt-A-Whirl–Heel Turn Complete

I have to admit that the Heel Turn in Jennifer Leigh’s Tilt-A-Whirl socks in New Directions in Sock Knitting is a bit odd. But it works!

To begin, the heel is worked on about one-third of the stitches, not one-half as is typical. The slip-stitch pattern is continued through the heel turn to provide comfortable and sturdy cushioning at the bottom of the heel.

The heel turn is worked in a series of short-rows with yarnovers added to help close the holes at the turning points. At the end of the short-rows, all of the yarnovers are worked with neighboring stitches one after the other. The only tricky part is the last wrong-side row, where the yarnovers are worked together with the neighboring stitches as ssp. I had to work to get the ssp’s — it would have been easier to work p2tog, but that would have caused the decreases to lean the wrong way.

I didn’t take time to photograph the end of the heel turn and was well along the foot before I stopped to take a photo.

The center heel stitch becomes the “seam” stitch along the center of the sole. In very unusual shaping, stitches are increased each side of the sole “seam” stitch every right-side row, and one heel gusset stitch is worked together with an instep stitch at the end of every row. It’s a little odd at first, but a rhythm is quickly developed and the knitting progresses fairly quickly.

I like it!