My current work in progress:

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


Pattern for Toe-up Socks With Heel Gusset

The pattern I put together for the Serendipity socks I completed on Monday is now available as a free download, in Adobe pdf version here. There is a permanent link to it from my Knitting Gallery Page.

I made a slight change to the toe — on the first go-round I used a backwards loop cast-on and picked up stitches in the bottom of the loops. I revised it to a long-tail cast-on. I find it easier to pick up stitches in the bottom of a long-tail cast-on. You, of course, can do whatever you like.

As I said before, I am not claiming to have invented this heel — I’m sure it’s been done before, many times. This pattern is based on what I did last week to figure out how to make a gusset heel toe-up sock without having to pick up stitches along a heel flap.

I’m working on a version of the pattern for fingering weight yarn as well. That should be available after I finish my current socks.

Speaking of the current socks, here’s the first one at the start of the gusset increases. Did I mention I love this yarn?


(I will confess here and now that I’ve been working on it at home as well as on my commute. Hey, I’m sick. I get to knit what I want.)

Nicole asked:
The Sea Wool looks lovely. How is the fabric it’s making? Is it as heavy as traditional wool? I’m looking for some lighter weight sock yarn for hot California summer wear.

The fabric is about as heavy as a regular merino fingering weight, but I’m guessing these socks will be a little cooler because of the 30% sea cell content. Anyone else who has finished and worn a pair want to weigh in on this?

The yarn is just wonderful to knit — I really love the way it feels.

Maaike asked:
Do you find that the sea cell content in the sock yarn give it a fishy smell? What about when it’s wet? I almost bought some but thought that when wearing, it might make my shoes smell like the sea.

I don’t notice any aroma at all. But that could be due to my current respiratory state. Anyone else have an opinion?

Speaking of Socks

Do y’all know about all the great sock resources over at Lucia’s blog, The Knitting Fiend? There are patterns, tips, tricks, and calculators. Lots of great sock resources!

Speaking of Socks, Part Deux

Jessica is hosting a Summer of Socks 2007 knit-along. Now, I am usually not a fan of the knit-along (does not play well with others), but since I know I’ll be knitting socks anyway, and there are very few rules for this knit-along, I figured this was one that I’d enjoy. So I joined up. Are you a sock-knitter? There’s info on Jessica’s blog and on the Summer of Socks 2007 blog.


Thanks for all the nice comments about the neckband of my miter sweater. I am very pleased with how it turned out. It is how I envisioned it in my head, and as we all know, what we see in our mind’s eye is not necessarily what we end up with when we execute the plan. So I am very happy.

Here’s the first sleeve, that I have barely worked on in the past couple of days.


There were some questions about my miter sweater . . .

Frarochvia asked:
If you were gonna do this as a vest, how would you do the armholes, if I may ask? Not that uh, I have fantasies about this. Nope. Not me.

You could use triangles to create the curve of the armhole, I think. Then picky up stitches and do armbands.

Debra asked:
With your 3-needle bind-off seam, is your seam on the outside as a decorative element or the inside?

The seam is on the outside as a decorative element. But I won’t be doing this when I attach the sleeves and sew the side seams — I plan on matress-stitching those seams.

And Deb asked:
Question about the neck: is there a reason why you didn’t seam both shoulders and then knit the neck in the round, mimicking garter with knit 1 row, purl 1 row?

Yup. Given a choice between knitting and purling, I will always choose to knit.

Incidentally, I used a size 1 needle to knit the neckband (the body is done with a size 2 needle). Forgot to mention that yesterday.

Thanks for all the get-well wishes! I’m working on it. I did go in to the office today, but left early to come home and lie on the couch and cough

Lucy Sez


“Taking care of Momma when she doesn’t feel well is a full-time job!”


  1. Shirley, in PA says:

    Wendy, thank you for the new sock pattern – I really like that heel. Lucy looks especially beautiful today – the blue of her eyes is like jewels.

  2. I love the miter, but am curious about one thing. When you are designing, how do you know how many stitches to decrease to make a perfectly sized armhole and how many stitches you will need in your sleeve cap to make a perfectly aligned sleeve??

  3. Thanks for the sock pattern, Wendy! I like the way you worked the gusset to resemble top-down socks.

  4. I haven’t noticed any fishy smell with my Sea Wool or Sea Silk. And I will wait patiently for you to work on the sock weight pattern. I hope Lucy has been taking extra good care of you today.

  5. I hope that cough goes away quickly. One of the worst things is a cough that seems to linger forever. I’ve knit up a pair of Sea Wool socks. They are rather warm. I think this might be due to the yarn being a bit on the heavier side of fingering. I didn’t notice a fishy smell to the socks like I did with my Sea Silk shawl.

  6. Darn … sorry you’re sick and sorry to hear that you aren’t going to be at MDSW this weekend … was going to try to stalk you and get you to sign the book that I carried around all weekend last year while looking for you …

    Feel better!

  7. Thanks so much for the sock pattern!

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    LOVE your mitered sweater! What a beauty.

  8. Thanks for the pattern! What an intriguing heel… hmm…

    Oh, poor Lucy is going to need a vacation after taking care of you!

  9. Thanks for the pattern!

    And Lucy, thanks for taking care of your Momma! Someone needs to make sure she gets better, and no one knows how to power-nap like a cat. Make sure your Momma gets plenty of naps. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Thank you for the pattern.

    Thank you for the beautiful picture of Lucy.

    Thank you in advance for getting well soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I am currently knitting Uptown Boot Socks in Sea Wool, and though I have yet to soak it, I’ve been warned that the seaweed smell is strong when wet… hopefully that will go away after a wet-block or two.

  12. Thanks for the new sock pattern! I’ve been looking to try a toe-up heel gusset ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Sport weight yarn? Yes! Not short row heel? Yes! Just what I’ve been looking for. I might just have to put down the Fair Isle & try your latest sock pattern. Thanks!

  14. Thanks so much for a no short row heel and toe. I’ve never managed to do them without holes and there’s nobody around here I’ve found yet who makes toes & heels that way. As soon as I get done with my Tia Judy pattern for them, I’ll make these next (and maybe you’ll have the lighter weight patterns done by then).

    I hope you feel better soon – while Lucy likes having you home, I have a feeling she isn’t too talented on the bringing a cuppa’…

  15. Get well quick! There’s nothing like a beautiful kitty to nurse you back to health; I’m sure Lucy is up to the job!

  16. What a darling picture of Lucy. I hope she’s providing you with a lot of comfort while you’re sick. Get better soon!

  17. Thank you for the pattern. Am working up to my first pair of socks and so unsure of what to do. Although I don’t have the same yarn, I have a couple of sportweight yarns i can use.
    I’ve been watching the progress on your mitre sweater and it is fabulous.

  18. Thanks for the pattern, looking forward to trying it out.

    As for the Sea Wool, I live in Northern California, and I don’t think I’d wear these in the summer, they are still warm.

    As for the smell, haven’t noticed it when knitting the Sea Wool, but haven’t wet the sea wool either. The Sea Silk had a slight smell while knitting it, but that may have been the silk. However, it reeked when I blocked it, and I do mean reeked. Bleh. After drying it only smells if I put it up to my nose, hopefully it will go with time…

  19. Marianne Y says:

    Thank you very much for the sport weight sock pattern! I bought yarn for three pairs of sport weight socks today from the Loopy Ewe, in anticipation of your pattern’s coming!

    Please get well soon! Take care!

  20. thanks for the pattern. I have to get that sea wool and try it. Just started with socks and I can see knowing how to knit toe up would be a useful skill, you can better choose cuff length and use up yarn.

  21. Great pattern! I got some Chewy Spaghetti yarn from Loopy Ewe last week and wasn’t sure what to do with it, now I know!

  22. Very nice of you to share yet another beauty of a pattern! Sure hope you’re feeling better. Lucy, make momma some chicken soup!

  23. Thanks so much for the plug for the SOS2007 Wendy! Lots of people are signing up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully it will be even more fun than last year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll be downloading your new pattern shortly. I usually do my socks toe up with a gusset heel and I’ll be interested to see your take on it.

    By the way, a few posts back you mentioned doing a Eye of Partridge heel on a toe up sock. I know you said you didn’t like how it turned out, but would you mind sharing a bit about how you did it? I’ve been wondering how to incorporate that pattern into a toe up sock. Admittedly, I haven’t thought about it much, but I couldn’t seem to get my brain around it.

    Do feel better soon!!

  24. My sea wool socks did not smell when I rec’d the yarn, whilst I was knitting my socks, during blocking nor when I wear them … verdict is no fishy feet!

    My sea-silk on the other hand, had a distinct smell when I rec’d the yarn and during the knitting of my shawl but then I used lavender soak for blocking and voila … shawl sans smell ๐Ÿ™‚

    Feel better soon.

  25. I hope the coughing goes away soon although maybe if you don’t feel well enough (but not sick!) to go in to work until Monday, … ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I did love how the neckband on your mitred sweater turned out. It finishes it beautifully.

    Thanks for the sock pattern! I have been wanting to knit socks, but I since I haven’t done any yet, I wanted to try them on to adjust the fit as I go and I don’t like the holes I get when I short row. This pattern with gusset heel should do the trick.

  26. Feel better soon!
    Thanks for the sock pattern! Glad to see the Sea Wool knit up. Trying to get my hands on some!

  27. Hope you’re feeling better, Wendy. I had that wretched cough-thing back in March. Miserable.

    I’ve been having fun strolling through your gallery tonight. Man, can you crank out some awesome fair isle!

  28. Thanks for posting about the Summer of Socks – I just signed up ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope you feel 100% better Wendy!

  29. Thank you so much for the pattern, Wendy. Just today I bought some Cascade Fixation and this is the right gauge for me.

  30. Theresa in Italy says:

    I meant to compliment you yesterday on how well the mitered sweater neckline turned out but was too busy collapsing after pushing our weekend house guests out the door. Really, really nice job! And thanks for the toe-up heel gusset sock pattern, too. I’m looking forward to trying that one out.

    Hope you are feeling better. There’s a nasty cough going around our little village—you haven’t been hanging out with any Italians, have you?

    That’s an exceptionally striking Lucy photo—her eyes DO glow!

  31. On the seasilk smell: I understand (from Nancy of Colorsong Yarn) that the newer sea silk doesn’t smell as strongly as the earlier stuff. I hope so; it’s lovely to knit with. I look forward to seeing those socks gleaming!

  32. Thanks for the new pattern and the link to the sockulator. I have never seen that. DH has size 16eeee and I can plug his mesurements in and get a perfect pattern…I am so excited, so much sock yarn to be used up now. I am going to plug my whole family’s measurements in and print out the patterns.

  33. I am so grateful for the pattern. I bought some heavier weight yarn for socks (heavy for socks, that is) and this pattern is VERY nice!!

  34. The sock increases are soooooo tidy. Good job.

  35. Have you tried doing a provisional cast-on? It makes it easy to pick up stitches since they already exist. I use a similar toe-up toe and use a waste-yarn provisional co with the yarn tail as the waste-yarn. And the heel? It was in IK(?) magazine a few years ago called the Strong heel. Your description is a LOT easier to understand though, I had a heck of a time figuring out the gusset instructions from the magazine’s pattern.

  36. When Kay of Mason-Dixon made a scarf from โ€œHandMaiden’s beautiful Sea Silk yarn (70% silk, 30% โ€˜Seacellโ€™–which is cellulose fiber from seaweed)โ€ she mentioned on the blog that โ€œwhen I quick-blocked it with the steam iron, I suddenly realized why it’s called Sea Silk. L’air du poisson, if you know what I mean, or maybe just a whiff of anti-inflammatory properties. As soon as it’s dry, the scent is gone.โ€ (I remembered a post about that and had to use some rather odd search word combinations on the blog before I finally found it! For more details, the entry is from October 18, 2006.)

    I hope you will be feeling much better very soon!

  37. Luv the new pattern. I’ve been whispering it and I do believe it will fit me knit with a heavy fingering, like Koigu, newly in my stash. I have a narrow foot and numbers in the low 50’s usually fit me fine. I have Baudelaire on the needles just now (for a KAL with my Sisters Of the Wool) and several other projects but I may knit the Koigu with your new heel after I finish a couple pairs o socks-in-progress. Thanks Wendy.

  38. Great timing, I used your square toe description to start a sock this week, It’s fingering weight, but I’ll try the heel as well. THANKS

  39. Thanks for the toe up revised. It may push me into a toe up for the next sock. Toe up makes perfect sense. Feel better.

  40. i love the neck. not sure about the rest of the sweater yet though. i need to see it all finished and on someone …:)

    and lucy is awesome

  41. No wonder you’re loving that sock — the color of that yarn is spectacular!

  42. Thanks for the sock pattern! I love doing toe-up socks, but am not entirely happy with short-row heels, so I’ll have to give this style a try.

    I just finished a pair of socks in FA Sea Wool, and am quite enchanted with them (details on my blog). From the first wearing, I find my socks to be quite cool and comfortable! The sea-cell gives off no sea-smell that I can detect, but does give a beautiful sheen to the yarn, and I wonder that it might provide some additional strength as well.

  43. Ann in CT says:

    Must have Pretty Shiny Blue Socks.
    Thanks for the sock pattern. I will add it to my collection. I must have really small feet, I can usually get two pairs from one ball of yarn so I like to do the second toe up. (Ok, I’ve done ONE pair of toe-up from your original pattern, but I have ambitions, 3 half skiens and more sock yarn in the stash.)

  44. I’m usually knitting socks from the cuff down, two at a time, and I really need to do two at a time otherwise, I finish only one sock. But I think I could probably figure out how to do it two at a time with your method. At least I hope so…One thing I do know is that it is about time I learn toe-up! Thanks for the pattern.

  45. Thank you for the “aha” moment… I was reading your pattern for the toeup socks, and could visualize the heel!!! I’ve basically avoided toe-ups because I didn’te want to deal with the heel!!!

    I think I can do it now!!

  46. Thank you for the pattern!

  47. Thanks so much for the toe up pattern. I have never been able to master the “wrapping of the yarn around the needles” method, so when I read about the rectangle…I thought Wendy, you are a genius….Thanks so much.

    Would you please tell me what method of M1 you use? Seems I’m leaving a hole, so would love your input.

    I’ve learned so much from reading your blog.