This part of the sock recipe is the one that makes beginners nervous. Never fear, give it a try and we have provided a wordy version of the heel turn with pictures to help.
k2tog: knit 2 together
p2tog: purl 2 together
ssk: slip 2 stitches knitwise, insert left needle into front of the 2 slipped stitches, knit through back loops.
Redistribute stitches for 32 stitches on one needle (Heel stitches) and 16 stitches each on 2 other needles.
Working back and forth only on the 32 heel stitches
Row 1: (Slip 1, knit 1) repeat until end of needle.
Row 2: Sl 1 purl to end.
Row 3: Sl 1, (sl 1, k1) repeat until 1 stitch is left, k1.
Row 4: Sl 1, purl to end.
Repeat these 4 rows until there are 31 rows in total, finish with Row 3.
Next row, start heel turn: purl 18, p2tog, p1, turn.
(These are short rows and you only knit SOME of the stitches in each row)
Sl 1, k5, ssk, k1, turn.
Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn.
Sl 1, k7, ssk, k1, turn.
Sl 1, p8, p2tog, p1, turn. Continue in this way until all stitches are used.
The last ssk, will NOT have a matching k1, and the last p2tog also does not have a matching p1,but it requires a yarnover to start the next row. Please see picture.
How to Yarnover at the beginning of a row: bring yarn to the front, insert needle into first stitch as to knit, bring yarn over the needle to the back to knit this first stitch.
(Note: The yarnover is to reduce the chance of a hole forming at this spot. If the instructions are too confusing, just omit this yarnover for simplicity, it will not change the pattern. Optional instructions are in italics.)
There should be 1 yarnover and 18 stitches on your needle.
Rearrange the 2 needles holding 16 stitches each for the top of the foot to 1 needle holding 32 stitches.
Pick up 16 stitches along the edge of the heel flap. I picked up 15 stitches along the edge, then the 16th stitch was from the stitch in the corner turn. This minimises a hole in that area. Place Marker.
Knit in pattern across the 32 stitches for the top of the foot. Place Marker.
Pick up 1 stitch in the corner between the leg of the sock and the heel flap, then pick up 15 stitches along the side of the heel flap. 16 stitches picked up.
Slip the yarnover from the previous row then knit across 9 heel stitches.
At this point, you should have 27 stitches on Needle 1, MARKER 1, 32 stitches on Needle 2, MARKER 2, 27 stitches plus 1 yo on Needle 3.
Decreasing heel stitches
Decrease round: K to 3 stitches before Marker 1, k2tog, k1, slip marker. Knit in pattern across top of foot. Slip Marker 2, k1, ssk, knit to stitch before the yarnover, slip yarnover as if to knit slip the next stitch, knit these 2 stitches through the back loop, then knit to base of heel.
This completes the first round of decreasing.
All subsequent decrease rounds will not have the extra ssk for the yarnover.
Plain round: Knit all stitches to marker, slip marker, knit in pattern across top of foot, slip marker 2, knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until each of the two heel needles have 16 stitches remaining on each.
Additional Note: In case you did not notice from the photos, I do not actually use stitch markers, but use the space between two needles as the indicator for decreasing the heel stitches.