I promised to describe how I avoid those small holes that can form at the top of the diagonal line of joins formed by short row style heels. Please bear with this household’s limited photography skills. Those are my hands. Elder Daughter (now 14) is manning the camera.
To start – here is my sock, worked toe up on five needles. Each with the same number of stitches on it. This sock is ideal for illustrating this process because I have planned my sock foot depth to hit at the points of color change. It’s easier to refer to stitches by color. Apologies if you’re color-impaired.
I have just completed the knit side row in which I have knit together that last wrapped stitch along with the wraps at its base. There are no more stitches "in front" of me, waiting to be wrapped. I’m ready to rejoin the body of the sock. But before I do so there’s one last step that needs to be done with the leftmost heel needle and streteched out stitches in the interstice between the heel needle (green and white stitches) and the body needle (orange stitches). I’ve put down my empty needle and am about to do this next step using the needle bearing the green and white heel stitches.
In step two, you can see that I’ve gone one round down below my active row and am in the process of picking up one stitch, using the tip of my heel needle.
Step 3 shows that picked up stitch (light green), safely parked on my heel needle. At this point, my just-completed heel needle contains ONE MORE stitch than all of the others. After Step 3, I pick up my fifth needle and knit across the first then second needle bearing my top-of-foot stitches.
When I get to the other side of the top-of-foot stitches and have my fifth needle poised to start working up the right side of my heel, I pause. There are two anomalies on this side. First – we’ll need to do the same pick-up of one stitch as we did at the end of the first heel needle. The second is a bit trickier. If you look closely, you’ll see that because I launched directly into my first full round after re-activating the last wrapped heel stitch on heel needle #1, I never got back to the commencement of the heel to re-awaken the rightmost heel stitch on the other heel needle. You can see it below, noosed by its blue wrapping stitch. THIS IS O.K. NOT TO WORRY. We’ll deal with it as part of this side of heel.
Now (in spite of blurry pix), you can see that using my empty fifth needle, I am picking up one stitch in the row below the first stitch on my heel needle. It’s light green, and is being formed in the orange stitches below the start of the turquoise heel stripe.
Next is the wrapped stitch cheat. In the shot above you can see there are actually two wraps on this first heel stitch. One is blue, one is green/white. The blue stitch happened first, and is lower on the carrying stitch than is the nearly impossible to see green/white one. It is extremely difficult to work both of these wrapped stitches along with the carrier. So I cheat. I lift the lower wrap (blue) and place it on the end of my heel needle. Then I knit it and the carrier stitch together, ignoring that other green/white wrap. UNLESS THEY’VE READ THIS CHEAT, NO ONE WILL EVER NOTICE THE OMISSION. It will have no effect on sock wear, or the presence or absence of that litle hole.
Now because I’ve picked up a stitch on this needle too, I have two top-of-foot needles that each bear my original number of stitches, plus two heel needles that each bear my original number + 1 stitch. On this next round I take care of that. I work across heel needle #1, taking care to do a SSK on the last two stitches. I’m now back to my original count, and have eliminated the gusset hole on this side of the heel. I work across the top of the foot stitches as usual. When I get to the other heel needle, I knit the first two stitches together. Again I’m back to my original count, and have snicked up any potential hole on this side. Once I’ve completed this "remedial decrease" row, I consider my heel complete and go on to do whatever I feel like for the ankle.
Here’s the result: