The Perfect Heel Quest | Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel

Yesterday I wrote about knitting the basic toe-up sock pattern using a Wrap and Turn short rows heel. This week I’m testing various ways to knit the heel using the Universal Yarn Zesty Sock. Today, I’m testing the basic toe-up sock pattern using Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel.

Sweet Tomato heel sock finished

Cat Bordhi was the magician of the sock world. She invented new constructions of the sock, added her humor and fearless approach to sock design and gave new pathways in sock constructions.

The sweet tomato heel is a smooth heel, created with short rows but instead of using the increase and decrease sections of the heel Cat Bordhi teaches us how to create “wedges” on the heel. Her wonderful tutorial is on YouTube and teaches us all there is to know about this heel.

I cast on using the wonderful Judy’s Magic Cast On, I work my sock up to the point where my foot flexes, which is also approximately the highest point of my sole arch and the recommended 7½” in the basic toe-up sock pattern. At this point, I’m ready to start the heel.

Both, the Sweet Tomato heel and the Wrap and Turn Short Rows heel can be used on both toe-up or cuff down socks. The construction depends on the number of stitches and not the direction in which the sock is knitted.

The Sweet Tomato Heel is worked on two-thirds of the total number of stitches, for me this will be 60:3 * 2 = 40 stitches.

I must move 10 stitches from the beginning of the instep on the heel needle, and the last 10 stitches of the instep on the heel needle.

Now I have 40 stitches on the heel needle and the middle 20 stitches of the instep on the instep needle.

The “wedge” of the heel is worked only on the heel needle, back and forth and is followed by knitting in the round to close the gaps.

Follow Cat Bordhi’s detailed and humorous tutorial to understand the construction.

Wedge

Row 1: Knit up to the last 2 stitches, turn your work, no wrap is necessary.

Row 2: Purl up to the last 2 stitches, turn your work, no wrap required.

Row 3: Knit up to 2 stitches before the gap created by the previous turn.

Row 4: Purl up to 2 stitches before the gap created by the previous turn.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 12 stitches left in the middle between gaps:

Next round (knitted in the round) – close the gaps:

Knit 9 stitches.

The 10th stitch is before the gap. Identify the stitch under the 10th stitch (the mother stitch) and lift it onto the needle. Knit the tenth stitch together with the lifted stitch from the previous row (the mother stitch).

*Knit 1 stitch (on the low side of the gap).

Lift the previous row stitch on the needle and knit the next stitch together with the lifted mother stitch**.

Repeat from * to ** until all gaps are closed.

Knit across the instep stitches up to the first gap.

*Knit the stitch on the lower side of the gap. Lift the mother stitch onto the left needle and knit it together with the next stitch.**

Repeat from * to ** until all gaps are closed.

The picture shows the first wedge, just before knitting the round to close the gaps. The marker shows the row where the wedge started.

The first wedge of the Sweet Tomato Heel

I knitted the wedge 2 times more and continued with the leg and the cuff.

The Knitter’s Pride Karbonz circular needles are perfect for this task. The cable is smooth and does not tangle during the many turns or while switching from knitting in the round to knitting flat. As the cable is flexible it does not stretch the edge stitches too much!

And here’s the finished sock!

The ankle section is wider than the other socks and the heel is deep and comfortable (…maybe a little too deep?). These will be comfortable socks around the house on a cold winter day.

Sweet Tomato heel sock finished

Join me tomorrow as I knit up the 4th heel this week, the Fleegle Heel, I’m so excited to try it! See what it looks like using Universal Yarn Zesty Sock.

Universal Yarn Zesty Sock in Iceberg colorway and KNITTER’S PRIDE Karbonz circular needle

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: The Perfect Heel Quest | knitted socks with wrap and turn short rows heel

Go to part 4: The Perfect Heel Quest | the Fleegle heel

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