My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Princess in Bowling Shoes

No, the title has nothing to do whatsoever with today’s blog entry. It’s just that the title popped into my head this morning when I saw the title of Ann’s post yesterday on Mason-Dixon Knitting. An old boyfriend once sent me an email with the subject line “Princess in Bowling Shoes.”

I’ve never been bowling in my life. And I sure ain’t a princess. (Dude, where’s my tiara?)


Sock Talk

There were some interesting comments about sock toes and short rows and increases on yesterday’s blog entry.

MJ commented:
I’ll be trying Misocrafty’s short-row technique on my next pair. For the toe, however, I’ve found that the lifted/raised increase works well. Here’s a good pictorial link:

Have you tried this one yet, Wendy?

I haven’t tried it, but thanks for the link!

Leisel commented:
I’ve never had a problem with holes at the sides of short row heels and toes, so I always thought the problem was just where you started back up going in the round.

I use your method all the time, although I did make one major change. I noticed the the two sides of the heels/toes looked different, and I preferred one (the one where the knitting just looks like it bends) over the other (which has a row of dashes).

So now, to match them up, instead of just purling the stitches & matching wraps together on the back side, I purl them together through the back loops (it IS harder to execute, but the perfectionist in me really thinks the result is worth the effort).

If you prefer the side with the dashes, knit through the back loops on the front side, and then both sides will have the dashes.

Strangely, I’ve never had a problem with holes in my short rows toes at the point where you start knitting in the round. This does occur, however, on my short row heels. For the heels I always pick up two extra stitches at each side of the sock after the heel. If I’m making the sock for myself, I usually keep the two extra stitches because I have fat ankles. But if they are for someone who is normal, I decrease back down again after a row or two.

Leisel also gives an excellent explanation in her comment of how to make each side of your short row toe or heel look the same. Me, I like the look of the row of dashes, so on the knit side, I always knit the stitch and wraps through the back loops.

Nancy (Sockaholic) commented:
I’ve fallen in love with the Magic Cast-on (from for toe-ups…with just simple make-one increases rather than short rows…no bumps, no holes, no fuss, no do-overs…if you haven’t looked into that cast-on (which can even be done on a train! hehe), you might find it an interesting alternative as well…

I did try it out, but I like my provisional cast-on better. Maybe I was just having an off day, but it was too fiddly for me. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime!

Speaking of socks, here’s my Blue Raspberry sock:


Kat commented:
I LOVE the blue raspberry sock, do you think the striping will stay that small throughout the entire sock (it looks like one round of each color) or will it even out into wider stripes?

I think it will stay in narrow strips (except the heel, of course) but you never know. That is, I think, one of the joys of handpainted yarn.


katomliz commented:
Curious about how your Log Cabin blanket progress..I decided to start a practice one tonight to get an idea of what I am doing. Hav enot had alot of practice picking up so many stiches before.Wonder how yours looks using left over sock yarn?

It looks exactly the way it looked the last time I posted a photo of it. I haven’t worked on it in a long time. I may return to it soon. I think when I finish the denim sweater, I’m going to turn my attention to small projects for a while. I need to knit hats for Rabbitch’s project, and a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project 2007. Et cetera. So I outta be able to fit the Log Cabin blanket in there as well.

Denim Sweater

Close to sleeve cap on the first sleeve. Ooooh!


Peggy asked:
I have some denim yarn I have been planning on knitting up but I have been dragging my feet since I get lazy when it comes to swatching. I like the idea of washing and drying the yarn first. How to you handle the yarn during the wash and dry?

My recommendation is NOT to attempt to wash and dry unknit yarn. I did, and it was a horrible tangled mess after its wash/dry. On the ball band of my yarn it recommends knitting a large swatch, wahsing and drying that, and then unravelling that and using that yarn for seaming.

I had the bright idea to skein up the rest of the ball I used to knit my swatch and wash the skein. Even though I was very careful and tied the skein in 6 places, it was a mess to untangle and wind back into a ball. It briefly crossed my mind that I could put it in one of those wash bags for delicates, but if I did, then it wouldn’t receive the same treatment in the washer and dryer as the rest of the sweater, which is not being washed in a delicates bag. So I did it and lived to tell the tale.

Though it is possible that I’m over-thinking the whole thing. 🙂

Public Service Announcement: Donate Blood!

Martha left the following comment last night:

The reason I’m writing is that my mom has Lymphoma and I’m running a contest on my blog to help get blood donations. She was in dire need of blood and we had to wait DAYS for her blood type to be located and transported. Simply, I need your help to get the word out. Please help.

Thank you,

Martha Holiday

Has it been a while since you last donated blood? Please consider making a donation, and after you’ve done so, do to Martha’s blog and enter her contest!

Lucy sez:


Just do it!


  1. Hello Wendy. Im yasmin; from turkey:) Your cat very nice look. Lovely day for you. ı like handknit. My blog
    are you visit my blog:)
    bye bye

  2. The hole after a short-row heel but not after a short-row toe? I never get them with the toes, either, but then, when starting at a toe, there isn’t half-a-sock’s worth of stitches sitting and twiddling their collective thumbs while you do the short-row, giving them time to stretch . . . A toe, everything’s even, no (real) waiting. Or something like that….

  3. Amen to donating blood! I have an appointment for Sunday to donate platelets. The apheresis process takes longer but it is cool to see the machine separate your blood and give back the red cells. The plasma donation takes only an hour or so, platelets longer,but there is a good feeling to know someone might live instead of bleeding to death. My sister and I started donating platelets when Dad became ill with a clotting disorder. Others’ generosity extended my dad’s life, and I hope I give someone else that gift.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to preach, but I think it is really important.
    Knit on!

  4. Marie-france says:

    Yes I agree with you Wendy in respect of the denim. I once washed the different pieces of a sweater together. I had deliberately left long tails on each piece in order to use that yarn for seaming and I thought I was being clever by tying each end up loosely. I also threw in the wash an extra length of yarn which I also tied up in a small loose skein. I couln’t believe the mess when I got it out of the washer. It had to go in the drier all tangled up together and it took me days to separate the pieces. It put me off denim yarn for life!

  5. Hey Wendy! I’m so glad you posted this because I have the problem that Liesel talked about -two different looks on either side on my short rows. It doesn’t bug me that they look different, what bugs me is one side does have holes and the other doesn’t! Grrrr… Now I’m going to try Liesel’s suggestion. [and I always use your “generic toe-up” as my guide. Thanks!!

  6. Those blue raspberry socks look great!

  7. Even tho I’ve been a knitter for many years, I didn’t learn to knit socks until this past year. I use Wendy’s toe-up pattern and it works like a charm! Thank you, Wendy!

    I learned that after the final wrap has been picked up, that I can slip the first stitch as I start back across the “final row”, and that eliminates the holes for me. I knit, pick up the final wrap, turn and slip one on the purl side; purl the row and pick up the final wrap, turn and slip one on the knit side, then continue knitting in the round.

  8. This may have been answered before, but I haven’t been able to find it. When you slip the stitches (I’m at the heel), do you slip as if to knit or purl?

    With so much sock yarn, I was wondering if you’d like a copy of my Leftovers sweater (on my website). If yes, email me with your address.

  9. I love the look on Lucy’s face. She looks like she just woke up.

  10. I love those blue raspberry socks it’s like sock candy. I’m in my waiting phase before my next blood donation, thanks for posting the info-it’s so important.

  11. Lovely photo of Lucy today! Maybe SHE wants to be the Princess in Bowling Shoes. She has the royal look down pat.

  12. Those socks are fantastic. And Lucy is fantastic, although that particular photo of her is a little intimidating. =D

  13. Great socks: love the colors!…..Lucy picture one of the best……..and will she be getting socks for Christmas?

  14. I’ve been picking up a stitch or 2, so no holes–but dang–the “dashes” are supposed to be that way? My first sock using your pattern, when I got the “dashes” I figured I messed up something on the picking up of stitches from the provisional caston. I showed my gurus at my LYS, and we all just decided it was something I did wrong. So now rather than a crochet provisional caston, I do a knit cast on and knit 2 or 3 rows with WY(actually I use crochet cotton)–so I’m picking up from knitting, and no more dashes. Huh. I can’t wait to sop in and tell them it wasn’t just me!
    BTW–my rescue cats thank Lucy for the kitty bed(s)–if it weren’t for her, they wouldn’t have their own beds.

  15. When Lucy looks at me that way, I know she means business. Yes Lucy, yes sir … yes sir.


  16. I never wash hanks of yarn in the washing machine. The only way to stop tangles is to tie it loosely, wash by hand and then let the hank drip dry, hanging it on the line using the tie. Make sure you know where the end of the yarn is.
    When dry the next step is to place the hank on a table, find the end and wind into a ball.

  17. Love those socks! As my little one said, they good enough to eat!

  18. Patty Bolgiano says:

    My experience with washing yarn.
    I bought months if not years ago, Harrisville on cones from webs. I thought hey, no knots and when I get to the end of the cone it will be easy to attach the new yarn. (It isn’t any easier, why I thought this I do not know…) I knew that I would need to wash the yarn. I washed maybe the first cone then I swatched my patterns for an aran sweater. Boy did the yarn bloom. I knew that I could knit my sweater then wash it after I knit it and watch it bloom, or I could be conservative put the coned yarns in hanks and wash the yarn. That’s what I did, there were about 5+ hanks of yarn being washed. It did leech out dirt and excess dye (a very good thing!) it took FOREVER for each hank to dry, and I was no better off. Let this be a lesson, if you can buy it in the hank and have the store wind it into those nice cakes DO IT! Did I save any money buying cones as opposed to hanks—I don’t think so. Between winding it into hanks washing, drying it doesn’t seem that any money was saved.


  19. Love the socks!!!

  20. Donating
    I too had lymphoma and since I had O blood I didn’t have to wait long before I got platelets or whole blood. Due to my cancer and the chemo I had, I cannot donate any blood or organs. So donate for me and others like me who would love to give but cannot.

    But I just donated my hair last week and I finally felt great about giving something to children with chemo.

    Sorry..this topic always gets a response out of me…I’ll go back to lurking now.

  21. Hi Wendy

    First of all, I love your blog and Lucy just rocks.

    I have some sock questions for you.

    1. Why do you prefer toe up rather than top down? I’m new to the sock game and so far have only done top down.

    2. Why double points? I’ve been making mine two at a time on two circulars. Is one way better than the other?


  22. On the subject of washing yarn before knitting,
    I think, I think, I think….Barbra Walker says …in some stich dictionary of hers…that she drops skeins into a bowl of almost boiling water. She lets it sit…doesn’t swish it or anything and then lifts it out…doesn’t wring it or twist it and lets it dry. When it is totally dry she winds it into balls. I believe she says it tightens up the fibers and helps set the dye?

    I am reaching very far back into my poor brain.

  23. Princesses don’t wear tiaras. Wealthy married women of rank do.

    Oh, and in this country you can also count misguided teenagers at prom, and beauty queens.

    Just sayin’. So you can be Wendy, Duchess of Yarn, and we’ll fix you up with a tiara, pronto. :o)

  24. Thanks for all the short-row discussion. I’ve used your method before with good results, but I couldn’t get the sides to match. I’ll try doing one side through the back loops and see what happens. I’ve also been considering trying the Misocrafty tutorial and maybe I still will – just to see how it works. The denim sweater still looks marvelous.