My current work in progress:

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


My Dark Secret

I’ve been holding out on most of you, and it’s about time I came clean.

Those of you who have knit my toe-up sock with slipstitch heel know that after you knit the gusset, you do a few short rows that form the curve of the back of the heel, before you start the heel flap. It looks like this right before you begin the heel flap:

Okay, you know how in my instructions for the heel, there is a point when you are told to knit across and pick up the wraps as you do?

I don’t pick up the wraps.

I knit across, very firmly, and leave the wraps in place. It’s on the bottom of the foot, and you pretty much can’t tell the difference in the completed sock.

I discovered this one day when I was working a heel on the train. I was at the pick-up-the-wraps row and the lights went out. Rather than sit quietly and wait for the lights to come on so I could see the wraps to pick them up, I just let them be. And I’ve never looked back.

There. I feel much better now.

Vote for Your Fave

I’m taking votes for a name for my new sock design.

I picked a few of my faves and made a poll.


You guys came up with some good ideas — thanks for everyone’s suggestions!

Lucy is a Good Girl

Liz R. asked:

How do you keep Lucy from chewing on the cords of the circular needles? My kitties just LOVE those pretty purple cords on the Knit Picks needles.

Lucy is surprisingly uninterested in my yarn and needles. I can leave work in progress lying around and she never touches it. The only time she will touch a skein of yarn is if it has a label or ballband she finds particularly alluring. She has been known to remove the band from a skein of yarn, more than once, in fact.

Notice the new backdrop? I got a new throw and pillows for my couch.

It’s all excitement all the time chez WendyKnits! 😀


  1. I already knew your dark sekrit…I am a good jr. stalker.

    Aimees last blog post..Cherry Blossom Delight

  2. The new blue cover on your couch will bring out the beautiful blue of Lucy’s eyes. Is that why you chose it?

  3. Confession is good for the sole (yes I know how bad that pun was *s*)

    I can not wait to try it this way. You may have saved short rows for me!!!

    Danis last blog post..Grabbing at straws…

  4. I am somewhat relieved to learn your dark secret…I have a very hard time seeing the wraps b/c my eyes are getting old….not me – just my eyes!

    Cindy Ks last blog post..A Kool way to Dye – I think

  5. Lucy persuaded you to get that color, right? It’s just a lovely backdrop for her!

  6. I like your secret, I’m not a big fan of knitting the wraps. Maybe I just haven’t had enough practice.
    Love the new sock, that colorway is beautiful. Once again I had a hard time choosing a name. Fern Fronds won by a nose.
    That new throw contrasts beautifully with Miss Lucy 🙂

    samoofishs last blog post..Virginia Trip: Fourth of July

  7. You’ve stopped picking up the wraps!! Holy cow, batman! Now I have to try that. I can handle “knit across FIRMLY.”

  8. I’m shocked! (Naw – not really.) PURRRTY sock, PURRRTY kitty and well…purrrty throw for kitty to pose upon. How fun Lucy is only interested in the “literary” portion of yarn.

  9. So I like the Socratesesque “hemlock” and it’s apparently very popular but I feel OLYMPIAN is a sock of OUR TIME! You’ll probably finish right before the games start or even sooner but I just like the idea of it being the ocean..and this being the year of the SUMMER GAMES! My thoughts only. Thanks for showing us you’re human and not a Supernatural Knitter. I have NO idea what wraps are but … I can assure you ..”it’s okay”.

  10. I, for one, am relieved to hear this bit of news. I am about to turn the heel on your toe-up sock with a difference using Silk Garden Sock. I was not looking forward to foraging for the wraps in this yarn. I shall press on the Wendy way.

    If I have holes, I blame you.

    turtlegirl76s last blog post..Knitter’s Gold

  11. Sharon G says:

    You don’t HAVE to knit the wraps? Hunh. I may try short rows again. I thoroughly and completely dislike knitting the wraps. I always mess them up.

  12. I told my cats that you said Lucy doesn’t bother your knitting and they were not pleased. They told me that Lucy’s just waiting for the right opportunity to pounce and destroy when you least expect it.

    I’m beginning to think that I have extremely evil cats. Help!!!

    Liz Rs last blog post..Yarn shopping and stash photos

  13. Good, I figured nobody will see where I missed the wraps in my River Run heels

    Paulas last blog post..Supper and Socks

  14. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!!

  15. Timmie B says:

    …and you taught me it’s okay not to pick up the wraps. Thank you very much. We older ladies have trouble seeing those wraps sometimes. Izzy doesn’t chew cables either. She chews the tips and swats the cables when I magic loop. I’m using 16 inch needles now and she’s not bothering the tips. Gotta fly to knit night.

  16. so how come I can neither vote nor read the results of the poll?
    one-handed knitter

    margarets last blog post..WHERE THERE’S A WILL …

  17. I think I might have given away your secret accidently several thousand times! OOPS. Sorry.

    Pats last blog post..Playing Hookey

  18. It sounds like there are very few fans of knitting the wraps out there… heh. (Me included. I hate trying to figure out which way to place the wrap on the needle.) I see a time of knitters rebelling against knitting short-row wraps! Hooray!

    @ Dani – ugh. :p

    Nicoles last blog post..Thursday 13 # 49 ~ Fantasmic!

  19. My dark secret is that the Nanners were my 1st toe up socks and I was away from the interwebs for the weekend when I got to that part. So I just knit across FIRMLY and didn’t see anything holey. I decided it was a design feature and decided if bad things happened upon wearing the socks because I couldn’t friggin figure it out then I’d rethink the next ones. 😉

    karen ws last blog post..Random Friday

  20. I learn knew things from you almost everyday. Today, I learned about your dark secret. Then as I got ready to vote, I had to look up “Fern Fronds”. ( I don’t think I’d ever heard of a frond). I love your new socks and Fern Fronds is just the perfect name for them. But, that said, I think there needs to be a “Ragdoll sock” very soon. Lucy has been very patiently waiting.

    I agree with the others, your new throw makes Lucy look even more beautiful than usual.

    Sherrys last blog post..Henry is so polite

  21. It was a very happy day indeed when you taught us that we did not have to pick up the wraps and like you, I’ve never looked back (almost (7) pairs of socks later! 🙂

    Karens last blog post..

  22. Cathy Johnson says:

    In truth, I hate hiding wraps; it is sooo tedious.
    Also, here’s a ramdon question: Will Lucy ever be a mama i.e., have some great kitties? This is really meant to be tongue in cheek…

  23. I’ll have to try your (dark) secret technique now!

    As everyone has pointed out, Lucy will look so mahvelous posing against the new couch slipcover.

    You know which sock name I like because I brought it up earlier this week, but a couple of the others are very cool too. But I think I’d wait to use Ragdoll for another pattern, somehow. This one doesn’t say Ragdoll to me, yet!

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Getting Bloggy Again

  24. Hah! I hate picking up those wraps.. I’m always wondering if I should pick them up from the front to the back or the back to the front. So I don’t have to do that anymore?

  25. I think half of the appeal of “Hemlock Socks” is that it rhymes and therefore just sounds sort of cool.

    I so love this colourway and pattern. Really gorgeous!

    Lizs last blog post..“See? It pays to carry creative things with you!”

  26. Oh great, no more picking up wraps, that is a great dark secret. Thanks so much for letting us in on it. Lucy looks beautiful on anything. Iwouldn’t dare leave my knitting lying around. I did once and it wasn’t pretty when Hobbs got to it.

  27. anne marie in philly says:

    a fabric that compliments lucy’s coloring well.

    what’s next in the decorating department, I wonder…

  28. With 3 cats, I’m a big fan of removable, washable covers for furniture! Plus, it’s fun to quickly change the decor with the seasons. Fortunately, my kitties aren’t all that interested in my knitting projects either (UNfortunately, they do enjoy rearranging quilt projects when I’m playing with layout – those blocks are the floor are an incredible magnet!).

    The fern fronds name EXACTLY describes the look of that pattern to me!

  29. Saved in the nick of time! I’m working on my summer of socks pattern, first pair of toe up socks and I have one more increase row for the gusset before I begin the heel. This is good to know if the picking up the wrap doesn’t work for me.
    I agree that the rich color is very complimentary to the lovely Lucy.

  30. I noticed that you have a slipcover on your couch. I hve a couple of questions. Do you sit on the couch a lot? Does more than one person sit on the couch at the same time? Does the slipcover slip all over the place? I am asking because we have a slipcover that doesn’t stay put.

  31. One of my cats is the same way; she likes ball bands, and that’s about it. She’ll carry around balls of yarn sometimes, but it’s mostly to just rearrange them to her liking.

  32. Well there you go. A secret no more and probably a happy heel-turning knitter or two about to share your joy.

    The new backdrop is pretty.

    Dorothys last blog post..A new trick for me.

  33. Lucy says “Mommy chose the sofa cover to match my eyes. Don’t I look beautiful on blue?”

    Of course you do, Lucy.

    Barbara-Kays last blog post..Dancing in Louisiana

  34. Being a sock novice, I wouldn’t have known the difference one way or another. I voted for my sock name choice but it doesn’t seem to be the most popular, oh well.

    Aunt Kathys last blog post..Thursday- Can You Guess What Today Is?

  35. I have been “not picking up the wraps” since you confessed a while ago. I think it looks great and I don’t have to worry anymore about those pesky wraps! Thanks for permission not to!

  36. I am stunned! Shocked! I can’t believe you didn’t let us know before! (I never knit the wraps. First time I knit your pattern, which I love, it was dark yarn. Had a hard time seeing them….gave up and happily knit on. )

  37. I’m thrilled to bits to know that there’s one toe-up pattern that doesn’t require picking up those nit-picky wraps, and now I know which sock to knit next! I have a kitty bed that is the exact same color as your new decor–it really brings out the blue in Miss Lucy’s eyes! 😎

  38. I know you are so relieved confessing about those all important wraps! I think the new through is just perfect with Lucy’s colouring! Have a great weekend!!!

  39. I don’t even wrap anymore. Knit stitch, turn, slip…back and forth. Leaves a space and on the turn -knit to the first turning stitch,slip it to the rt needle, pick up the “bar” at the base of the next needle and k tog with slipped st, turn & slip, blah, blah. So in essence I’m still picking up something extra to fill the void. Must try just “knit firmly”. There’s so many ways to do one maneuver!

    miss sandras last blog post..Toys

  40. You little stinker. I am such a drone when it comes to following instructions. Now I can resurrect the abandoned sock projects in the back of the closet, flung there when I became frustrated trying to pick up the damn wraps. Have a great weekend, Wendy.

  41. I don’t pick them up either. I can’t see them. I mean this is tiny yarn and tiny needles making tiny little wraps. Middle-aged eyes can only take so much. It’s why I have so much trouble with short rows. All those “knit to the first wrapped stitch”. I can’t see it. I have to use markers and keep moving them.

  42. I’ll give the no wrap-picking thing a try. I always use that heel and have no trouble picking up wraps myself, but a lot of my knitting students do. They will be thrilled with your “permission” to not pick them up!

    Sunas last blog post..Ocean Pearls Progress

  43. I agree with Cat (comment 40). I like the way she put it…”a drone for following instructions” – that’s me too. I also agree that you are a stinker for not telling us “drones” sooner. 😉 I have a question about your heel – how do you determine how many stitches to knit before KFB and how do you determine how many increases to make? Or will all be revealed in your new book? =-D

  44. I really like that color way!! Its pretty… 😀 hehe. I really think the socks should be named Ragdoll, because you’ve photographed the sock on a *ragdoll* bedding!!! I don’t know. I like the name Hemlock too. So whatever you choose I’ll be fine with. 🙂

  45. Gretcheng says:

    Oh My God! I can’t believe you don’t knit the wraps, and that I have been struggling with the correct way to knit wraps for months! I don’t know if this is freeing, or has me worrying about yet another newly-identified obsessive-compulsive behavior on my part… Another day, another knit tip, another personal insight. Great. 🙂 And thanks!

  46. The new throw goes with Lucy’s eyes.

    Ann in CTs last blog post..Stupid Puppy Tricks

  47. Wait … ok, does the heel wears out more easily where you didn’t pick up the wraps? I’m all for not picking up the wraps (they really are the bane of my sock knitting), but am just curious whether it seems to make a difference on the durability of the show rows?

  48. Lovely interior work @ Wendy knits! Color coordinated with Lucy’s eyes! PURRRFEECT! luv.m.

  49. Laura Sue says:

    You vixen. What is the world coming to when one no longer picks up short row wraps?

  50. Cute cover and pillows…I really, really need to try a toe up sock!!!!

    Jewels last blog post..The house is coming along!

  51. Aha! And just when I have perfected the picking up of the wraps…watched (and listened) to Cat Bordhi’s UTube tutorial…and learned to think about the blue diamond necklace of each wrapped stitch!!! I’m very nearly finished with the gusset on the socks I’m currently knitting. You can be sure I’ll give your method a try…



  52. Aha! And just when I have perfected the picking up of the wraps…watched (and listened) to Cat Bordhi’s UTube tutorial…and learned to think about the blue diamond necklace of each wrapped stitch!!! I’m very nearly finished with the gusset on the socks I’m currently knitting. You can be sure I’ll give your method a try…



  53. Nice couch. Nice socks. Nice cat.

    That is all.

  54. We really like the “fern-ish” sock pattern. And the blue throw looks good with Lucy on it!

    Marions last blog post..Mom’s little helper

  55. Interesting secret! I’m in the middle of socks, so I guess I’m going to cast on yet another pair to try this!! Those wraps can be a bit annoying, but we’ll see. You inspire me to keep designing & doing more without stopping! Thank you!!

    Mrs. C.s last blog post..Perfect Fit Hiking Socks Pattern – Free

  56. Darn it, I’m too late – I wanted to suggest “Herringbone socks”! I’m going to vote for “ebb and flow”, though, if I can make my mouse cooperate long enough to click the right button…

  57. I feel so much better about my short-row issues! I am currently doing the happy dance around my house! Mini-Me and Two Fingers are looking at me funny – maybe it’s because I’m also screamin “Victory is mine!!”

    Muah ha ha…

    Megan S.s last blog post..Busy Busy Busy!

  58. I must confess I’ve only done wraps once on a sock. I followed the directions, and now I don’t even remember what I did. Apparently when I do my short row heel turn, I don’t use wraps. Does that make us even? 🙂

    Also, my Sophie only likes to play with knitting needles that are long and straight, and when I’m knitting. The motion of the needles gets her going! Better than catnip I think. HA!

    Danieles last blog post..Four Weeks to Go

  59. I know i already posted a comment, but i wanted to leave a new one. I just wanted to tell you I liked the sock pattern again. i just had an urge too. 😀

    Kourtnis last blog post..My new blog!

  60. I am AGHAST at not picking up the wraps. (And so relieved) My eyes often weren’t up to the task, and I’ve avoided them. Thanks for sharing “approval” for making this procedure easier.