My current work in progress:

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


Slayer Socks!


My new sock-in-progress is being knit from Sweet Georgia sock yarn in the “Slayer” colorway. I purchased this yarn from The Loopy Ewe shortly after Sheri put it up for sale and it’s a good thing I did, because it sold out immediately. (And I don’t think L-B will ever forgive me for getting to it before she did.)

I’ve got some Sweet Georgia yarn in a couple of other colorways in my stash, but this is my first time knitting with it. I love it! It’s got a nice firm twist and is knitting up on my ubiquitous size 2mm needles at the ubiquitous 8 stitches/inch. I really, really love this colorway. Looks like a bloody wound, doesn’t it? (And yes, New Jersey Laura, knitting with red yarn is a good way to cheer yourself up after being sick!)

Because no one distracted me via telephone when I was getting ready to start the leg of this sock (sorry, L-B, couldn’t resist that), I did manage to start the leg of the sock in feather and fan, and I’m really liking how it looks.


I think knitting socks in a colorway called “Slayer” on sterling silver needles has got to imbue the socks with some sort of mystical power, doncha think?

In the last blog entry I described how I cast off the tops of my socks. Mandella commented:
I use the same bindoff for toe-up socks as you except I do k2togtbl rather than k2tog. I’ve never really considered why, but thinking about it, it avoids the need to slip the stitch just knitted back to the lh needle. Like you I knit the knits and purl the purls. Alternatively if I’m feeling flirty I use a picot bind off.

Brilliant! Henceforth, all my bind-offs shall be done k2togtbl.

Wannietta commented:
I’m not a sock blocker user – I don’t get it. They’re going to be on your feet and that stretches them kind of perfectly. Maybe you can help me out with this. Why the sock blockers?

The truth is, I’m not a sock blocker either. ๐Ÿ™‚ The only thing I use the sock blockers for is to model the socks for photos!

The Black Hole of Lace

I have just entered the Black Hole of Lace Knitting: knitting the edging onto the shawl. This is going to take forever, if past experience is anything to go by.


You start with a provisional cast on.


Then you attach the edging to the edge of the center panel on every other row — the wrong side rows in this case. You attach by knitting the last stitch of the edging together with one loop on the edge of the shawl.


The loops were created by slipping a stitch at the start of every row. So you’ve got one loop for every two rows of center panel, and you attach the edging on every other row. The corners are executed by easing in fullness by attaching more than one row in the same loop on the edge of the center panel. The pattern gives you explicit instructions for how many times you do this and where. I’m not at a corner yet, so haven’t experienced how accurate the instructions are yet. We’ll see. Even if there is a glitch in the math, it’ll be okay. You can fudge attaching an edging and no one will be the wiser. Blocking can cover a lot of anomalies.

I am at this point officially bored with this shawl. Knitting 528 rows of the center panel got really boring less than halfway through, and I can predict that I’m going to find the edging excruciating as well. I think I ‘ll delegate this as a secondary project and bring my socks to the forefront as primary knitting. I’ve got lots of pretty new sock yarn and I’m eager to try it all. That’s my excuse, anyhow. In fact, I might leave the shawl edging for weekend knitting. The couple of hours I have each weeknight is not conducive to hunkering down with a big chunk o’ lace.

Besides, I’ve already starting pondering a new project . . .

Lucy sez:


Yeah, she’s up to no good. I think she’s gonna swatch something!


  1. That’s such a pretty picture of Lucy today! Her eyes are a gorgeous colour!

    I’ve currently attempting my first big lace shawl, and honestly, part of me is a little nervous about getting to the edging. The instructions in VLT have been clear so far, and I can hope that they’ll remain clear enough when I knit the edging, but I have this complete aversion to failure. (Especially when failure will result in frogging yarn that resist frogging with all its yarny might!)

  2. Aussie Rosemary says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your speed. As for the shawl,please keep at it-at least you can see progress after each pattern repeat. To fudge corners ,I usually do some sort of short rows which suit the edge pattern.

  3. Wow…um…you kinda lost me with the lace edge explanation there. I just bought my very first lace weight yarn though. I’m very excited to start. However, I am trying to be very good so I’m waiting till summer when it is too hot to work on sweaters and the log cabin blanket I plan on making for my dad.

    I am also waiting to really dive into socks until then for the same reasons. I will definitely be trying Mandella’s bind off suggestion. Thanks!

    Looks like Lucy isn’t very inclined to leave her new bed!

  4. Your red socks look great!! But, then again, I’m partial to the color red…

  5. gotta go look up k2togbl..? does bl mean bind left?
    anyways I love red (Valentine) socks..

  6. hmmmm…ADD knitting. So glad to find out you are human and not some sort of super knitter. Please finish the shawl. You allow me to knit lace vicariously.

    Happy knitting…..

  7. Lucy’s eyes and the color of her new bed match. Speaking of her new bed…has she gotten off of it since its arrival? The shawl is gorgeous…just keep thinking all of this work is worth it…do a little each night mixed with another project and it will be done in no time and you won’t be bored.

  8. I look forward to seeing what you are swatching! Those socks are so pretty and I feel your lace ennui, that’s how my Droplet hat was made and now I’m in the middle of mittens. Thank you for the details about your lace edging, I have one to do on my shawl, too.

  9. Gorgeous new socks. I’m with you that red yarn knit on silver needles has to make socks with strong properties. Lucy makes me laugh. You nailed that expression.

  10. THANK YOU for including the photo and some info on attaching the lace edging. This just about answers the remaining questions I’ve had in my mind for the patterns in Victorian Lace Today. I guess I keep hoping someone might do a “how to” video on knitting on edging; for some reason the whole concept just created a big black hole in my brain.

    I *love* that sock yarn color. Maybe it doesn’t look like this in person, but I saw it and immediately thought “watermelon.” It seems like the right pinkish red, and the little specks of dark color look almost like seeds in the photo.

    Maybe it’s just Spring fever ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. boy I thought that the red was Mustang Sally from STR – brilliant colorway as well …

    back to some boring grey stuff which will be blogged about at some point in the not too distant future –

    cats say hello, but are too sleepy to be bothered to pose for a picture!

  12. oohhhh….. slayer socks! I thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer so the silver brings in the werewolf but wood would bring in the stake aspect. Heh- sorry, I’m a dork. The lace is amazing, knitting on edges scares me. Good luck, I’m sure you will do amazing as usual! You are an inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Love the Slayer socks! Another knitter clued me in about the colorway but it was all sold out when I looked. Maybe next time; red socks are so fun!

    I just finished the Highland Triangle Shawl from Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Shawls. I knit fewer rows of the center and the razor-shell lace sections, since I’m vertically challenged and didn’t want the shawl dragging on the ground. Even so, knitting on that edging turned out to have more than 500 rows. Arggghhh! Since I was knitting with a chunky yarn on size 9US needles, I found that the size-9 tips from my Denise set were perfect for knitting the edging (only 9 stitches at the widest point).

    Great photo of Lucy. The new bed really plays up the blue of her eyes.

  14. I hear you on the edging. I’m working on the cape in VLT, and I’ve got the body done. Now I have about 3 years worth of edging to knit. {deep heartful, sorrowful sigh}

  15. Hey, me too on the red socks! (Though I have green socks posted on today’s blog.)

    And the lace description? Ouch, you made my hair hurt!

  16. Power socks! I love it! Wear those on the days you need to kick some butt!

  17. Love the socks! The pattern looks great and the colorway is named Slayer? This heavy metal chick is in lurveeeeeee!
    [never tried edging on a shawl, looks a bit daunting…]

  18. Okay then – that makes sense!!! LOL

  19. anne marie in philly says:

    red sox rox!

    steven thinks lucy is the prettiest girl kitty he has ever seen.

    glad you are feeling better!

  20. Huzzah!!! I loved that yarn when you posted it yesterday, was dying to know what it was….and it’s a yarn I have in stash! Ha HA!!!!

  21. I’ve knit edgings on blankets before. You’re right. It is brutal. But your shawl will look beeeeyootiful when it’s done, and you know you’ll love it. Heck, it looks fantastic now!

  22. I wish I knew how you get such scrumptious photos of Lucy without having her appear to be possessed by “red-eyes!”
    I love love love those red feather and fan socks!

  23. I LOVE your slayer socks. However, am I the only person in the world who detests wood knitting needles? I tend to knit on the tight side and I can’t knit as fast as with metal. And I don’t have problems with the needles sliding out either.

  24. I lost myself in the Black Hole of lace knitting with a shawl’s edging. I put it down for more interesting projects and I haven’t picked the d@mned thing up in ages. I need a lace rejuvenation. This is also why I’m a one project knitter as well.

    I adore your Slayer socks. Rock on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Those socks look like a Valentine’s Day present – I was thinking it was for the KOARC, but feather and fan is so not him! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I am thoroughly enjoying seeing all of your socks made. I’m going through a sock knitting learning curve right now and it seems like every pair of your socks turn out perfect. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself with the sock yarn. It’s so much fun to buy and I can’t wait to have a drawer full of handmade socks.

  27. Wendy,

    Have you changed your toe up wrapping/unwrapping protocol? I finally mastered the technique after many, many tries and love it! I have been dragging around a copy of your knitty article with instructions for multiple toe up starts which is dog-eared and mangled and highlighted, but goes with me as a lucky charm in my knitting bag, even though the pattern has been commmitted to memory.

    I recently printed a copy of the new, unabridged, row by row, toe up pattern. I read it. I noticed that you have different instructions for unwrapping the wrapped stitches.

    (from knitty):

    Now work the second half of the toe:

    Row 1: Knit across the live stitches across to the first unworked, wrapped stitch. On the next stitch, pick up the wrap and knit it together with the wrapped stitch. Note: the wrap sits almost horizontal around the vertical stitch. Put your needle through the horizontal wrap, then the vertical stitch, and then knit the two together:

    If you did change, why and do you recommend that your loyal fans change as well? Any suggestions?

    As always, thanks in advance for your guidance,


  28. The slayer socks are great. Just the thing for karate-kicking any vampires you should happen to come across!

  29. I’m stuck in the black hole of a lace edging myself. I don’t have any project monogomy whatsoever, so I’ve been stuck in the hole since May on the edging of the Magickal Earth shawl from Gathering of Lace. Thankfully, the edging is done first.
    I’ve read people say they were going to do it from the center out and the edging last-such as with your current shawl.
    I can only say I’d never. EVER get the edging done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. That sock yarn colour is to die for is it not? Sorry for the bad pun ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m knitting a shawl in her Angel laceweight at the moment – lovely yarn to knit with and the colourway name is so apt lots of blood reds and melodramatic dark greys.

  31. Love the Slayer sock! You can’t go wrong with red, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Wendy,
    I love your blog – and I wish I could pet Lucy! She is beautiful! (Even my husband – who is always trying to give my kitty away commented on her!)
    I have a sock question – I’m a fairly new knitter – 3 years – and have tried to knit socks both on doublepoints and circulars. My problem with each method – is tightening the gap between needles. I have good tension on the stitches on the needles, but when I switch to another needle, I lose that tension and have a loose – bigger – stretchy – gap. How can I eliminate this?

  33. ooooh, swatching! I love Wendy-swatches! (enough that I actually commit a swatching myself when starting a new project now)

  34. New Jersey Laura says:

    Slayer socks! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Magical. And cheerful ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Lucy looks great on her bed. Love it when a purchase works out like that.

    Fabulous socks. Definitely power socks.

  36. That combination of sock yarn and silver needles is heavenly to contemplate. Of course they are probably mystical! I think that you deserve a party when that shawl edging is finished.

  37. It’s good to know that even the most accomplished knitters get bored with their projects. Now I feel better about the boring prayer shawl and half-knitted pair of slipper socks that are currently hidden from my sight in the back of the closet.

  38. So that’s what the Slayer colourway looks like knitted up! Hmm….

  39. Hi! love the lace & the socks! i have the Slayer color, hope to start soon….have used Sweet Georgia yarns before..a bit of caution -my Kill Bill colorway colors ran…might want to wash separately & in vinegar! i have a LUCY!!!

  40. Thanks for posting the bind off details. They helped me finish off my sock. ๐Ÿ™‚