The Eye of Partridge stitch pattern uses slipped stitches to create a fabric that looks woven. Because the slipped stitches draw the fabric in a little, it is a good choice for sock heels because it hugs the heel snugly. The slipped stitches also create a thicker fabric at a point in the sock that gets hard wear. If you are knitting a sock from the top down, the Eye of Partridge stitch is easy to adjust for narrow or wide feet too.
Knit the top of the sock to the desired length and with whatever stitch pattern you prefer.
Divide the total number of stitches in half to work the heel flap. The Eye of Partridge stitch pattern requires an even number of stitches, so fudge a little if you have an odd number.
Begin the Eye of Partridge stitch on half the stitches. The remaining stitches are for the instep and you do not knit them while knitting the heel flap.
Eye of Partridge Heel Flap
Slip the first stitch on the right side of the sock. Knit one stitch and slip one stitch. Repeat pattern across the heel flap. Turn the work to the wrong side.
Slip the first stitch and purl to the end of the flap. Turn the work to the right side.
Slip the first stitch. Slip one stitch and knit one stitch. Continue this pattern across the flap. Turn to the wrong side.
Slip the first stitch and purl to the end. Turn the work to the right side.
Continue with this four-row pattern until the flap is square. However, if you have a high instep, make the heel flap longer for a snug fit. For flat feet, make a shorter flap.
Turn the Heel
Slip the first stitch on the right side. Knit half the number of stitches of the flap, minus one for the slipped first stitch. Put a ring marker on the right hand needle. Knit three more stitches. Knit two stitches together and knit one more stitch. Turn the work to the wrong side.
Slip the first stitch on the wrong side and purl to three stitches past the marker. Purl two stitches together and purl one more stitch. Turn the work to the right side.
Slip the first stitch and knit to the stitch before the obvious gap created in the first step. Knit two stitches together over the gap. Knit one more stitch. Turn the work.
Slip the first stitch and purl to the obvious gap. Purl two stitches together. Purl one more stitch. Turn the work.
Continue these last two steps until you reach the end and work the last stitches on the wrong side. Your heel is done and you can continue the sock by picking up the gusset stitches.
When you are knitting the heel, always slip the first stitch of every row.
You make adjustments for a narrow or wide heel on the first row of the heel turn. For a wider heel, knit more stitches past the center. For a narrow heel, knit fewer stitches.