My current work in progress:

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


“My Brain Hurts”

“It’ll have to come out.”

(Extra points awarded if you know the source of that quote.)

I spent a good part of today rassling a 25.2 Mb pdf file. A text-based pdf file that is 25.2 Mb in size. No wonder my brain hurts. It’s like dealing with a tap-dancing elephant that in a shoebox. Or something.

Yeah, fun times.

But that was then and this is now, so I’m not thinking about it anymore. I’ll think about it tomorrow. When I have to.

I promised you something silly today, right?

You may have noticed that my web guru recently installed a doo-hickey that puts the number of total comments a commenter has left on my blog in parentheses after said commenter’s name when said commenter leaves a comment. (I think I just invented a new tongue-twister with that sentence.)

Anyhow, a friend of mine (who shall remain anonymous unless she wants to “out” herself) recently told me that she hesitates to leave comments now because she’s afraid that her total number of comments on my blog would put her in the stalker category. I responded “Don’t worry about it. Heck, you have to have 500 comments before you get your Junior Stalker Pin.”

So naturally she responded that she wanted a Junior Stalker Pin. Then L-B (who has left more than 500 comments) got in on it and asked why she had not yet received her Junior Stalker Pin.

You know where this is leading, right?

Do you qualify for a Junior Stalker Pin? Leave me a comment to see how many comments you’ve left total. (I believe it’s tracked by the email address of the commenter.) If you have left 500 comments or more, email me (using the “contact me” form accessible via the tab at the top of the page) your snail mail addy and I’ll gladly send you your very own junior stalker pin. Should you want one. While supplies last. ๐Ÿ˜€

And I’ll take under advisement other stalker-ish behavior that might qualify you for a pin.

(You do realize that this is a ploy to get more comments, right?)

Okay, was that silly enough for you?

So that this blog post is not utter frivolity, a question from the comments:

WendyT asks:

My question to you is (because I ripped back several times before I was satisfied) is after your turn the heel and knit the heel flap, how do you prevent those pesky holes when you pick up those extra stitches where the top of the heel joins the instep? I had to do it several times before I was satisfied, and I’m not even sure how I managed finally. What are your tricks?

That’s a toughie, because I think the answer is “experience.” For my first umpty-ump pairs of socks knitted I was not satisfied with my picking up of the extra stitch to prevent a pesky hole. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but it’s hard to say exactly how I do it. I did successfully do it on my stealth sock this morning:

And here is one of the Costa socks:

After the heel is done, you always have a little gap, because working back and forth on just the heel stitches, you stretch the junction between front and back, and also, I think there is an extra row worked on the back so you’ve got a tiny bit of an edge on the sides of the heel. I always pick up an extra stitch from the middle of the edge stitch on the side of the heel so it looks a bit neater. It I’m anywhere near a camera next time I’m completing a heel (and unfortunately, I’m usually not), I’ll try to document it.

Lucy was not cooperating with the photographer today . . .


  1. Heather says:

    Junior Lurker ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Heather says:

    Oh dear, I guess I’m not a lurker. Where did all of those comments come from?

  3. I got a good laugh out of the comment ticker. Have you published the Costa socks?

    Judys last blog post..imagine you’re a spindler…

  4. just checkin’

    Judys last blog post..imagine you’re a spindler…

  5. No pin for me, just saying “hi.”

    Lurkers: we excel at silent stalking.

  6. Proto Stalker? Stalker in Training? Lucy Lover? Loopy Lurker? The Potential Pin List is endless. Collect them all!

    Earins last blog post..

  7. I am not even close, however, I do read every day. I just don’t always post what I am thinking. Sometimes that is a seriously good plan.

    I usually pick up 2 extra stitches on a side for the heel and then on the next row, knit them together. It seems to do the trick for me and I can be pretty darn picky, even I think so.

  8. I know I’m not eligible, but I want to see how many comments I’ve left anyway.

    Tans last blog post..Getting to know you . . . er me . . . er meme

  9. Dorothy says:

    This is too funny!! I bet you now get a lot more comments and future stalkers!! You give me such inspiration and introduced me to Loopy Ewe!! I read your blog everyday but think I do not have anything inspiring to say so only read…………….and look at Lucy being ever so cute!!

  10. Not even close to 500 (plus I think I’ve used more than one ID). Oh well. Still enjoy the blog.

  11. Oh, your heels are so perfect, I hold my breath…for the pin, while I am one of your everyday reader more than a couple of years, I have been not so active for leaving comments. That ‘s mostly due to border of language…so please blog 10 more years Wendy, in order that I could get your pin;-D

  12. I haven’t had 500 comments, but I certainly consider myself a “Wendy Stalker” as I only read this blog and the “Harlot’s” blog faithfully, checking several times each day to see if the new entry for the day has been posted. I recommend your patterns to knitters that I know at least once a week and am very thankful for all the tips you give us so freely! So even if I can’t have a button, I know in my heart that a “Wendy Stalker” I’ll always be! And Lucy is pretty fun to “stalk”, too!!!!!

  13. Curiosity… I don’t think I’ve left more than a half-dozen comments over the many years I’ve been reading your blog. I do wish I’d had the nerve to ask you to sign my copy of your book at the Spring Fling, though.

    Julies last blog post..Saturday (again?)

  14. I love your blog and enjoy your creativity, but I have rarely commented because I haven’t felt I had much to contribute. Which may prove true, so it’s your fault for provoking me out of lurkdom.:-) I have a question – I am knitting a lace scarf with Handmaiden Seacell. It’s almost the first time I’ve used a mostly silk yarn. How would you block it? I realize that question doesn’t relate to anything you’ve been talking about, but how is a girl gonna earn her Junior Stalker pin if she doesn’t start somewhere?

  15. Curiosity… I don’t think I’ve left more than a half-dozen comments over the many years I’ve been reading your blog. I do wish I’d had the nerve to ask you to sign my copy of your book at the Spring Fling, though.
    I have definitely not commented 317 times — it must be counting names, as MarjiB said, because I know there are several other Julies.

    Julies last blog post..Saturday (again?)

  16. In Sensational Knitted Socks, there’s a nice description on p. 25 — with photos — of how to pick up two extra stitches at the top of the gusset to avoid the hole. It’s written for top-down socks but I’m sure the technique could be adapted for toe-up socks as well.

  17. I noticed yesterday that I was in the 40s — it seems like it should be more than that!

    jannas last blog post..Socks and Stuff

  18. That’s too funny. I recently switched some things up on my computer and haven’t commented because I was too lazy to fill out my info again. I liked when the computer remembered it for me. I’m guessing I’m under 5 comments. Nowhere near stalker status.

    kms last blog post..Clapotis Fini!

  19. Barbara-Kay says:

    Careful with what you suggest…it will be like Lucy’s expected flock of chicks! VBG!

    Keep the pins coming, I’ll earn mine!

  20. I know that quote! It’s Python! From their TV show (which DH and I watch on PBS as well as owning the script books) Monty Python’s Flying Circus!

    Wheeeee! Everybody sing the Lumberjack song!

    “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay. I sleep all night. I work all day.”

    BTW, have you ever noticed that whenever they do a sketch where they are dressed as women and are knitting, that one of them is actually knitting ? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mels last blog post..Sometimes April Showers Bring…

  21. PYTHON! GUMBY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. okay..I’m curious…

  23. love the stalker pin, too cute!

    Turtles last blog post..Between the Bees and the Thorns

  24. hmmm, was testing something!
    It look slike Lucy is planning something with a remote control.

    Tanyas last blog post..Between the Bees and the Thorns

  25. Timmie B says:

    I’m no where close to 500. I think I should get a button because I love to knit socks and I love cats. I want a button just because it’s got Lucy on it.

  26. Juliette says:

    I agree with Julie above I don’t think I’ve left as many comments as I am credited for.

    “Junior Stalker”? ewww…anythink like a Junior Mint?

  27. OK, so I am another one wanting to see if I have left comments under this email.

    And, I vote for a loyal reader pin!

    Maxlys last blog post..Patrick Swayze

  28. I must admit that the lack of hole after you turn your heel has always confuzzled me. I pick up and knit together an extra stitch at the end of mine, but it doesn’t quite fill the gap!

    Susans last blog post..Fucking potheads

  29. Cynthia says:

    I am impressed with the comment counter – my count will be pretty low, I’m afraid. I guess that I never really thought that you wanted *more* comments; I assumed that it was probably becoming burdensome just keeping up with the onslaught now. Although I have been reading your blog regularly for awhile now, I held off on the commenting because I thought that I was giving you a break! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Cynthia says:

    Oh, unless my husband has been reading your blog and commenting, I think that my count is waaay high!

  31. Theresa in Italy says:

    Here I was feeling guilty about making regular yet useless comments on Wendy’s blog, and all the time I was accumulating points towards my Junior Stalker pin! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although shouldn’t we get something when we pass 200? Just a small token of appreciation—an autographed picture of Lucy or a spare skein of Wollmeise—no big deal….

  32. “Stalker in training” That’s so funny!! I want one of those…. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cinas last blog post..Mystic Light

  33. wow – swag for stalking – what a concept!
    I finally mastered the baby booties and went back to basics, including the unabridged toe up instructions you posted ages ago. I followed them to the letter. guess what? my unwrapped short rows finally match. thanks wendy!

  34. Did you ask Miss Lucy if you could put her photo on a badge?

    Karins last blog post..A finished Polo Shirt

  35. I’ve probably commented more that I realize so here goes….

  36. I’ve probably commented more that I realize so here goes….

    Debis last blog post..Video killed the radio star….

  37. My first time here. I am happy you are a cat lover like me. I have got 3 and I love them so much.
    I will be back to comment until I have 500!

    Standtalls last blog post..ATTENTION EVERYONE:

  38. I changed internet service providers about a year ago. I had a different email address before then. Is there a way to combine the two? I may qualify with both addresses?
    Is there an button for “Lucy’s Fan Club”? The Six Pack + 1 wants to know. Especially Ozzie – Lucy is his pin up gal!

  39. Great ploy! Worked for me…
    Do you knit the extra stitch through the back?
    I only have done my third toe up sock as I am still not happy with the cast off, but at least I figured out sizing.

    Karins last blog post..Quilt for an Hour – 1st step

  40. Meribeth says:

    Yeh, well, I don’t qualify. Yet, all the same I feel like a stalker since I have been been reading your blog for years in stelth mode! Took a while to come out of the closet….

  41. I always felt kind of nervous about leaving comments, so mentally, I am probably up to 500. I would read the comments and then try to decide if what I had to say was entirely relevant. Now, I just think to myself, I’m sure, after all this time, Wendy gets a lot of comments that aren’t relevant – I’m just joining the club. Yay me!

    Megan S.s last blog post..Learning Through Frog-osis

  42. I’m definitely stalking Lucy… with creepy peices of paper that make odd rustling noises in the night….

    Esthers last blog post..Cheerleading Squad

  43. Another loyal reader… can’t wait to see my number

  44. Catherine says:

    I’d like to nominate myself as “Wendy Knits: Her Laziest Stalker”, assuming my number is as low as I think it will be.

  45. Hmmm, I’ve got a long way to go to earn the title…

    Diannes last blog post..A Work of Art (oh yeah, Dogs on Thursday, too!)

  46. Is KOARC aware Lucy is manning a remote in the pic? With a “look” in her eye too….

    miss sandras last blog post..Don’t Give Me Sharp Objects

  47. I must qualify for the Junior Lurker pin. I check in with you all the time. I know your Poo free. Have a secret gov job in WASHINGTON. And you like to make socks. Oh and I love all the Lucy pics.

  48. One of my many sock books shows a nice way to pick up an extra stitch to avoid the dreaded hole…. now if I could only remember which one it is……

  49. 164??? I was expecting something more along the lines of 34…

  50. It’s nice to know what the stalker thresh hold is! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with hole concerns at the heel turn point.

    Jennifers last blog post..On the needles

  51. I’m pretty sure that this is my first comment…curious now, because of the others who are saying the count is not right. I love reading here everyday!

    Tabithas last blog post..The last four months

  52. I hope Shanti doesn’t mind me quoting the advice she gave me:

    To avoid the holes, I do my short row heels with the wrap and turn method. I always pick up the wraps from the knit side (which can be tricky when you’re doing the purl rows) and then I either purl normally or knit through the back loops (on the knit rows.)

  53. Maybe there could be a “Stalker in Training” pin for those of us who are too shy/lazy/new/(insert excuse here) to comment frequently. I would love to have one. It would show your loyal reader fan base ๐Ÿ™‚

    Melissas last blog post..Karma Sucks

  54. Celeste says:

    The unique thing about a real stalker is that they won’t let you know they are stalking you……..

    I’ve been sitting quietly in the shade for well over a year ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. Hmmm…me thinks there may be something wrong with the counter…or I must be a ninja commentor!

    Melissas last blog post..Karma Sucks

  56. Kathleen says:

    I’m sure I’m not a stalker, just a lurker!! I read your blog pretty much every day when I can. Thanks Wendy!!

  57. Kristin says:

    Wow… It’s incredible how something like this encourages loyal lurkers (like myself) to come out of their hermit shells and wave a pincher….
    I have also been a reader for about 2 years, but have never commented due to severe “Net shyness”. Now back to my hidey hole….

  58. Kristin R says:

    Whoah… it must go by name. That is my first comment up there….

  59. “My brain hurts, too.”
    “Glasses. Mustache. Handkerchief. I’M GOING TO OPERATE!!!”
    I love Monty Python’s sketches, and this Gumby’s brain surgery is one of my favourtie.

  60. Had to get my comment tally although I think that I changed e-mail addresses somewhere along the line. What a shame.

    Lorris last blog post..Is there room for blogs in the age of Ravelry?

  61. I would love that button — I’d wear it on my Wendy Knits Minion shirt, of course.

    It’s very helpful to me when you explain small details like the gusset stitch. I’ve been using your generic sock patterns (exclusively) for years, so this helps me understand all the how’s and why’s of them.

    Checking for my number now!

  62. I also know I’m no where near 500, but I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I love it. Maybe someday I’ll be able to reach 500 and get my pin!

  63. Hi Wendy, love your site and never miss reading it. I think some of your fans have a great idea, a stalker in training pin. Sounds good to me too. Hobbs would love to have a picture of Lucy nearby, to cheer him up.

  64. Michele In Maine says:

    Lots of fun with mice last weekend. I couldn’t even get my cat Wabi to trade her dead mouse (vole, really) for 3 wildside salmon treats! Of course, after I wrestled her for it she promptly ate the treats. I have no idea how the mice are getting inside, but I’m happy that my indoor cats consider it their duty to show the mice a good time (before killing them). Ick.

    Your gapless gussets are a thing of beauty!

  65. Bet you’re wishing you didn’t open this Pandora’s box! (When you pick up the extra stitch to fix the hole, twist it before you knit it.)

    Becky Cs last blog post..Time Keeps on Tickin’

  66. Cindy Laird says:

    I don’t eve come close to the junior stalker status, but the pin is very cute. I have just completed my first one-tune knit sock with no holes and am very proud of myself. I found it was easier to move two instep stitches onto my heel needles and not stretch the yarn in between. You were my inspiration for toe-up socks and I love doing them that way. I have recently been trying the Sherman heel with an extra slip stitch at the beginning of each row and love the result.

  67. Dude, what a way to get people cranked up. I probably haven’t made 50 comments on here. I can’t seem to shut my face on ravelry though.

  68. Wow, I had no idea that I had commented this much….apparently I have more to say than I realize! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Michelles last blog post..Swatching…..

  69. I actually only come here for the cat ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously tho – the heel isn’t my biggest toe up sock problem – it is making the bind off stretchy enough to fit. My knitting can usually stand up on its own anyway.

    Medievalneedles last blog post..Dear Person Who Broke Into My Car

  70. Thank you for the close up of the picked up stitches – I am one that would like a photo commentary of the next time you pick up those stitches, and you have a camera handy. Seeing how others do something helps me learn neat tricks that work great!

  71. I am purely commenting to see how many (if any) comments I have left before ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anne-Maries last blog post..Craft related ‘stuff’

  72. One day I aspire to become a junior stalker like L-B…

    kellys last blog post..

  73. Love the button idea! Woohoo! Thanks for thinking of it! I also appreciate the information on the sock. Thanks!

  74. I know I haven’t gotten enough comments to be a stalker. But I totally want a “I’m not a stalker” pin, like Sue
    OOH, and movie: The Matrix?

    nikkapotamuss last blog post..New Pictures coming soon!

  75. Your heels are certainly worth showing off. That is the way I want mine to look!! They are friggin’ perfect. I’ll look forward to a video! ๐Ÿ™‚

    After I post I’ll see where I stand with number of comments. I know I’m no where near stalker status. I would love a pin tho! I would display with pride.


  76. About ten months ago, I started reading your blog via Google Reader, and I haven’t figured out how to comment from there.

    But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t wanted to comment! I wanted to say congratulations on your book, and that I recently met someone who was at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling, and loved your classes, and that Lucy looks wonderful, and that I really should figure out how to comment …

    Oh, and my guess for the quote is Young Frankenstein.

    Susans last blog post..Bristow is Finished

  77. Gasp – – no way – – I’ve left 95 comments???? That can’t be right. I love you to pieces and check in almost everyday but 95 comments?


  78. We definitely need a loyal lurker pin! It was reading your blog that started me knitting again four years ago and led me to tons of other blogs, ravelry, knitty etc (and cost me a fortune in stash enhancement, but I’m not complaining!) I know I’ve commented before, but not often, so I’ll be interested to see how many times.

  79. Personally, I’m holding out for the decoder ring…

    Heathers last blog post..Achtung! Sidebar Under Construction

  80. Hmm… I wonder if all my comments have been with the same address, or if that’s even the way “it” keeps track. Fun to have such silliness. We need silliness.

    I’ll look forward to seeing a visual of what you do at the heel pick up. Your socks look a little different from my socks. Always new things to learn, though I’m pretty happy with my lack of holes in that area. As you said though, I think experience is the key. Try something, then try something else.

  81. Wow, I’m not even in the ballpark! And I thought I was a Wendy devotee!

  82. I think I’m more of a silent stalker. But I hope I have more than 1 comment.

    Trishs last blog post..Wow, it’s been a while

  83. Unless screwing up the italics code makes the count go up, I also think my count is way high.

    Maybe it’s thinking of all those times I wanted to come up with a snappy comment, but couldn’t.

    Susans last blog post..Bristow is Finished

  84. Drat. I knew I should’ve commented more over the years…!

    CraftygGryphons last blog post..Toe insanity

  85. Ingrid Servold says:

    I even more of a stalker because I don’t comment, usually.

  86. I’m sure I’m nowhere near 1oo, never mind 500: I always read but rarely comment, being more of a stealth stalker.

    On my short-row heels I do all kinds of k2tog and tbl maneuvers to try to avoid the stretched-stitch thing. Sometimes it even works.

    Lucias last blog post..Campaign Poster

  87. I’m a bloglines addict and I almost never comment… but I never miss your posts, Wendy, and I’ve also learned a lot with you!

  88. Hi Wendy. I looove the colors in the stealth sock! Gorgeous. So does it make me a stalker AND a nerd if I’m commenting primarily to see how many comments I have left? ha. But seriously, those colors… mmmm, green.

  89. I know I don’t have 500 comments, but I love to read the comments your readers leave.

    Marions last blog post..Summer of Socks 2008

  90. Sandy in South Dakota says:

    Hey Wendy…….I used to read a blog that was a favorite, but somehow lost contact with it and had forgotten the name on it. Well, the other day while reading your blog, I looked to see who it was that you were having lunch with, and “voila”…there she was again. I love reading about the life of “My Favortie Things” and we had actually emailed a bit several years ago. I’m so happy to have this site back on my faves. Love to read about you and Miss Lucy everyday. Take care…..Sandy in South Dakota ;o)

  91. Susan Voegtly says:

    Wendy – How about….”I am a Wendy’s sock pattern stalker”?? Don’t you have at least 500 by now????? Ok – maybe when you finish the patterns for the book!!! Thanks for so much fun!

  92. emily10 says:

    Doubling my comments here…
    And gorgeous socks heels. I had to give up and switch to toe-up where at least my holes are smaller.

  93. Wendy, you have beautiful gussets… I’m in awe of your gussets. Pls be near a camera the next time you arrive at the gusset-hole part of the sock. My gussets are sortof hit and miss… sometimes I get them nice and tidy, and other times — BIG OLD HONKIN’ GAP… I hate that. gusset holes.. the bane of sock knitters everywhere…

  94. I love you Wendy, but I’m more of a Lucy mini-stalker… ๐Ÿ™‚

  95. No clue on my comment count… but the heels are fabulous! I think the answer is that they improve with experience.

  96. Junior stalker pin! That is absolutely too funny. I think I probably have some catching up to do before I can qualify, though–it’s good to have goals, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Amys last blog post..Impatience and Parentheses

  97. Oh, and “my brain hurt” — Monty python right? and only 114 comments.. sheesh, I’m a stalker in training!!!

  98. Well, I know I don’t leave enough comments to get a pin, but that’s only because I’m lazy, not because I’m not stalking you.

    anmiryams last blog post..Il(De)lusions

  99. I just had to come check my number of comments! It’s too bad we can’t get credit for the posts we read where we don’t comment ๐Ÿ˜‰ OK, here goes!

    Jocelyns last blog post..Cliffhanger

  100. Adrianne says:

    I love that quote! It’s from Monty Python. We use to do that routine when I was in college.