My current work in progress:

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


Third Time’s the Charm

After I posted my blog entry last night, I went back and ripped out the heel of my sock and added 2 more increases to the gusset and re-did the heel. Now I am happy. The sock-in-progress fits me perfectly now.


The lovely Chewy Spaghetti yarn stood up to being ripped and reknit twice with nary a whimper, I am happy to say.

A bunch of you asked about the heel. I knit a gusset and then turned the heel, decreasing back down to the pre-gusset number of stitches.


I will post a pattern for this sock, after I knit the second one. (I am in no way claiming to have invented this heel — it’s something I sort of figured out trial and error, but I’m betting someone else has also figured it out before me.) I’ve drafted the pattern but want to make the second sock from the pattern to proofread it and make sure I didn’t commit any atrocities in it. The pattern will be for a sportweight sock yarn (which the Chewy Spaghetti is — I’m knitting it at 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to the inch). I’ll rework it for a fingering weight eventually.

Thanks to those of you who have suggested alternate methods for doing the toe. I have tried them all. No, I do not like the Turkish cast-on. Sorry Debi. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I actually have tried it several times. Yes, I can do it and it looks just fine. No, I do not like it.

I have done Judy’s Magic Cast-on from Knitty. Ditto above.

Both of these techniques work great and make beautiful toes. If you like them, use them, and more power to you. They are just not for me.

Back to the Miters

The poor miters have been getting short shrift the past couple of days as I have been playing with socks.

Patti asked a good question:
Ok I confess…I’m miter-square challenged. I understand how they are made (I’ve done miter-square dishcloths) but how to you put them all together? Is there a good tutorial/book out there? I’ve seen mitersquare afghans, and I’m thinking this is a GREAT way to use up all my scrap sock yarn. We shall not speak of how much leftover sock yarn I actually have.

I think the book Knits From a Painter’s Palette is a great source of inspiration, and also has a good section on how to knit miters in different shapes and how to attach then to each other.

(It is also some serious eye-candy.)

The way I attach my miters:


I have a right angle along which I need to pick up 25 stitches (my squares start with 25 stitches). I start at the top edge and pick up 12 stitches down to the corner. Because I have slipped the first stitch on every row as I knit a square, I’ve got a nice chain edge from which to pick up stitches. I pick up each stitch in both “legs” of the edge stitch.


Then in the corner, I pick up one stitch.



Then 12 more stitches on the bottom edge.


And there you have it!


When you attach the first square at the start of a row, you don’t have the first side to knit down, so I cast on 12 stitches using a knitted cast on, then pick up the corner stitch at the very edge of the bottom square, then pick up my 12 stitches along the bottom.

Book Giveaway!

I’ve got another Inspector Banks mystery by Peter Robinson to give away. This one is Blood at the Root.

Want it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 29, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient.

Lucy Sez


“Of course Momma takes pictures of me every day. I am a supermodel, after all!”


  1. I love the furry backdrop in the background of the first miter close-up. Lucy helping again? Good kitty and so lovely!

  2. I love the color of the square on the right in the first picture. I would describe it as aqua/seafoam green. Any chance you know the yarn and colorway, with the hope that I might be able to find some, somewhere?

    Of course Lucy is a superstar. The Egyptians knew what they were doing, worshipping cats. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. i love that sock. the colourway reminds me of Lucy the supermodel. As for ripping, I thought that you might do that… it’s what I would had done too.

  4. Seeing as to how I’ve wanted to do a toeup heel flap sock, I thank you! I haven’t been able to figure that out yet, and yours was the one that got me started with toeup socks at all, so I have high hopes.

    But aw! Not the turkish!

    How would you start a short row toe, by the way, without using a crochet chain? I…. am not good at foundation chains. Not for lack of trying, mind you. I usually do the backwards loop when I’m doing a provisional for a topdown picot hem, for example.

  5. Oh, yay – I look forward to your pattern with sportweight yarn. I have some Claudia’s in sportweight that’s so pretty….

  6. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    I love the sock–beautiful color. And I’m anxious to try your new pattern when it’s ready.

    Lucy is indeed a supermodel!

  7. WOW! In the close-up of the miters, I noticed your nails–beautiful! Do you ever find it awkward to knit with long nails? A few months ago, I had wraps and, at times, they got in the way of my knitting. But, then again, I tend not to be a very graceful knitter and my ankles and elbows can even get in the way.

  8. I had been wondering how you were attaching your squares so thank you for the wonderfully clear explaination! I also noticed the lovely backdrop. Does this mean Lucy is on your lap while you knit?

    I’ve been reading your book and enjoying it. The story about Lucy’s previous owners and their heartlessness when she was attacked by the dog just horrified me. Fortunately, her story has the silver lining in that she’s now with you where she’s loved and appreciated (and photographed so that we can appreciate her, too.)

    This past weekend I went into my LYS and bought my first skeins of Koigu. Oh my, the colors that this beautiful yarn comes in…

  9. Just fyi for other readers interested in mitered square blankets… Shelly has a tutorial on her blog. I have not been knitting long enough to have that many leftovers for a blanket, so I have not read the tutorial. She does teach knitting classes, so I assume it should be okay.

    PS Please snuzzle Lucy’s belly for me!

  10. Wendy- My cat, Kitten-Chow, thinks that Lucy is centerfold material.

    He’s a bit of a perv.

  11. I am looking forward to the pattern for this sock. It’s a very nice looking heel and gusset.

    Thank you for the tutorial on connecting the squares! I have some yarn in my stash that I’ve wanted to do something modular with (I keep vacillating on exactly what), and I thought a tote of mitered squared might be nice, but I couldn’t figure out how to connect them all. Now I can start (well, as soon as I finish my scarf–then I can start).

    Lucy looks lovely as always! I assume she doesn’t know what supermodels get paid. It would buy a lot of catnip.

  12. those socks remind me of the lucky STR yarn, just more contrast! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’m wondering if your “unvented” heel is similar to the Widdershins heel from Knitty? It has a similar look.

    Frar: I have problems with crochet chains too. The only way I’ve been able to get it to work is a way I saw on Knitty Gritty (and of course now I can’t find a link to a demonstration). The gal kind of crocheted around the knitting needle so the chain was already attached to the needle when she was done. It was very cool. Hmmm… maybe I’ll try to take pictures of it myself…

  14. You did it – I knew you would! I really like your choice of colours for the squares.

  15. Wendy, thanks for including the guage for those socks.

    The provisional cast-on for sock #2 of the pair I’m making using your generic pattern has been giving me fits, which I’ve recounted in my blog. I’ll practice more, but I think that crochet chain will end up as something I don’t like.

    I have some Rowan Silk Wool DK for house socks for me. I really don’t want to subject this yarn to my version of a provisional cast-on. The one on your Chewy Spaghetti sock looks ideal but I think I’ll be at a larger gauge. Now that I have your gauge I can interpolate.

    But first I need to re-do my figure-8 cast-ons for my 2-socks-at-once class. If I can get my brain and hands to co-ordinate on that one, I think I’ll like it.

  16. The fluffiest supermodel of them all, Lucy!

  17. To digress hugely, and not wishing to upset you :
    Have you ever thought about moving back to the U.K. ? Every evening at 6.00 p.m. [it’s been slotted into the schedule due to popular demand] we sit and watch 10 hysterical minutes of…

    Shaun the Sheep !

    I always think of you, so thought I’d share. At least a small taster.


  18. Yeah, yeah…we’re agreeing to disagree ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Good thing there’s something for everyone in Knitbloglandia!

  19. Your cast on sounds much less complicated to me. I get that one and can execute it neatly. The others are more complicated and I never get anything neat from them.

  20. With that heel technique, do your feet feel the decrease-line? Is it more or less noticeable than with your usual short-row heel?

  21. Have you ever tried Fleegle’s provisional cast-on? Instead of using a crochet chain, you simply loop the yarn over a cable needle. Photo tutorial here:

    I’ve used this method to knit versions of your toe-up sock, and it worked beautifully!

    I look forward to trying your new pattern, as i’ve been recently obsessed with backwards heel-flaps.

  22. I made an attempt at explaining the way I do a provisional cast-on. It’s here. Hopefully I explained myself well enough that it’s understandable to people other than me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. OK, there was supposed to be a link in that comment! Drat! OK try this:

  24. I mostly knit toe-up socks using your pattern which I discovered a few years ago and used for my second pair of socks. I have it memorised now. I did try the yarn-over short-row method once and didn’t like it all.

    Anyway, another toe method I have tried is the Bosnian Square toe as described in Lucy Neatby’s Cool Socks, Warm Feet. You start the toe with a square of garter stitch. It’s interesting and fits quite well. When I used it, I did a garter stitch short row heel to match. Have you tried it?

  25. Just a question about provisional cast-ons…the one I really like to use is where you make a slipknot holding your working yarn and a smooth waste yarn together and then keeping the waste yarn on the left (and only making loops with the working yarn) you cast on your stitches and later unzip the waste yarn and pick up live stitches for continuing.

    I’ve used that one in toe-up socks and so far it’s my favourite (because I’m so not into the crochet chain method) but I haven’t tried a lot of different methods and the problem with the aforementioned method is that unzipping the waste yarn can sometimes be a bit fiddly. I was wondering if any of the methods you mentioned are better for when you get to the unzipping part? And could you please tell me again what your favourite method is?

    Thank you very much.

  26. Wendy, how do the mitered squares compare to doing entrelac? I guess you would be knitting towards the centre, and decreasing along the way as opposed to knitting, uh, the entrelac way… Which I’ve done, but can’t explain this early in the morning.

    Hi Lucy!

  27. I love that sock yarn!!! Its just beautiful and such nice stitching!!!

  28. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    Click on “Branched Fern” on the right. Her toe-up gusset & heel flap are the best I’ve tried so far! I had trouble with the toe start but once past that, I really like the fit.

    Also, have you seen the free mitered purse pattern at Domino Knits? Maybe you’ll have to do a bag to match the sweater?

  29. Check out the socks on Melody Johnson’s blog:
    They’re MITERS! Just the thing to accompany a phenominal earthy mitered sweater!
    Just had to share.

  30. The sock looks great! Sounds like there is yet another sock yarn that I need to try. =)

    I so love the miters. I have yet to try them, but they are starting to call to me.

  31. Michele in Maine says:

    have you ever thought of publishing a book with just Lucy pictures? She’s so photogenic!

  32. Did you use short-rows when you turned the heel?

  33. Love your new sock! Thanks for showing off your new toe-up method – I started a sock using it last night and I love it! I’ve been unhappy with my previous (short-row) toe-up attempts, but this seems like a great way to go!

  34. Marianne Y says:

    I love how your Chewy Spaghetti socks are looking! I am really looking forward to your pattern for sport weight yarn socks; I have some pretty Lorna’s Lace Sport Weight yarn that I want to use to make socks.

    I am watching your progress on your mitered corner sweater with interest. I appreciate your showing us how you are doing it.

    Thank you for all of your help & inspiration!


    here are some socks to go with your mitered sweater.

  36. Thanks very much for the clear explanation of today’s toe. Gives a similarly cool result as a Turkish cast-on, but it’s much less fiddly–and lets me choose to place the slightly-thicker, seam-ish bit on top of the foot (where high-end technical hiking socks place their joins). Excellent! I’m a recent convert to toe-up, but not for the knit-until-the-yarn-runs-out reason. I’m liking toe-up better than cuff-down because I’ve just realized (duh!) that increases–which create a new stitch between two existing stitches– are inherently more subtle than decreases–which stack two stitches on top of each other. So toe-up toes are smoother than cuff-down toes, making for nicer conformity to the shape of the foot, and less bulk stuffed down into shoes. All good.

  37. Love the socks…shocking that you are venturing away from your traditional pattern…must be spring fever!
    Wendy, I bow down to your expertise in lace knitting and I need your advice. I’m making (well attempting at least) a lace shawl and I want to sew beads onto it, I was wondering if I should block it first, then sew on the beads, or sew on the beads, then block? What do you suggest?

  38. Hi Wendy! I’ve knit that heel a number of times and I always love it. I’ve used this pattern as a guide but quite honestly just worked out the percentages. Though you might like to see …

  39. Love the colors in that Chewy Spaghetti, the sock is beautiful! Yes Lucy, of course I think you’re more beautiful!

  40. Check out these links for toe up gusset heels:

    and the generic plug your numbers in version:

    re: frogging down to re-do the heel…that’s where I’m at with my fixation socks… I just MAY be with you when it comes to not liking fixation, but won’t know until I’m done with mine… I enjoy knitting with it well enough, wasn’t happy with the way the colors on my fixation spring fling yarn insisted on doing a striping thing, but maybe the esprit (exact same content as fixation) will come out nicer pattern wise… and wasn’t happy with how my attempt at an afterthought heel fit. I may try Flor’s eclectic heel or may do a short row heel… try and then try again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Wendy, I love doing the gusset heel. I don’t like the short row but wanted something that would not have me taking stitches off and picking up. This sock fills the ticket. “Gusset Heel Gansey Sock” It’s a sock “sampler” of ganse techniques and the heel is the gusset with a turn in the middle. The gal who wrote KNITTING GANSEYS put it together.
    I love it and it feels so much more fitted. If I can find the darn site address I will send it.

  42. Theresa in Italy says:

    Hi Wendy–thanks for the details on the sock and the miters. A new technique every day! I love it. Will be waiting for that sock pattern once you’ve got it down. Very elegant portrait of Lucy, but aren’t they all.

  43. those Chewy Spaghetti socks are beautiful colours. and Lucy is cuter than any supermodel!

  44. Elaine Goss says:

    Dear Wendy, Thanks for turning me on to The Loopy Ewe and thanks even more for sharing info about the Hokie fund with your readers. My husband and I are so lucky, our son survived the jump out that window of Norris Hall but Va Tech is providing so much counseling and other services that people can’t even imagine; they have been just wonderful.
    Keep up all your inspiration.
    Elaine in Waynesboro