My current work in progress:

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


Postcards From the Edge

Yeah, sometimes I really crack myself up.

Hey, guess what? I’m working on the edging on the first side of the shawl.

I’m a bit further along than that, but you’ll have to wait until Sunday to see. By then (barring any unforeseen atrocities) I’ll have the first edge done and will have started on knitting the second half of the stole.

What you may or may not be able to see from the photo is that there are beads placed along the edging, which makes it very entertaining to knit, but also slows things down, as I have to stop and pull a bead up the yarn into place from time to time. The edging pattern is surprisingly easy to memorize as it is logical. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sock Talk

There were some sock questions in the comments.

A couple of related questions:

Catspaw asked:

When you get to the cuff ribbing, do you change needle sizes or adjust the number of stitches at all or just continue on whatever you have for the ankle?

and Marion asked:

How many stitches do you end up with around the cuff of your socks?

The answer is . . . it depends. ๐Ÿ™‚

I usually don’t change needle size or adjust the number of stitches when I get to the ribbing. What I do consider is the bind-off and make a conscious effort to make it as stretchy as possible. I do a stretchy sewn bind-off or a Russian bind-off to achieve this. (If you don’t know what either of these are, a Google search will tell you. Or, use the search box over in the sidebar to search my archives — I’ve discussed them at length in my blog in the past.)

Sometimes I will increase stitches or switch to a larger needle for the ribbing, if the sock recipient has larger than average calves.

Dana asked:

Will you ever enlighten us on how you โ€œCook upโ€ your socks?

Well, that’s a tough one. The answer is: “a bunch of different ways.”

That was helpful, wasn’t it?

Book Giveaway

The Random Number Generator chose Mary the Digital Knitter to receive my copy of The Thirteenth Tale. Mary, I’ve emailed you. Again, thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Lucy and the Heat

Nope, I still haven’t turned on the heat. Yep, I’m still opening the windows. Even with opening the windows every night for a couple of hours and employing a fan to suck cold air into my condo, I cannot get the temperature in here to go below about 71 degrees. This is no doubt due to the combination of my condo building being very well-insulated and my neighbors having their heat turned on.


  1. The shawl will be beautiful! The edging is so intricate! Please share pics of the progress and finished project!

  2. Cute postcard and movie reference. I love looking at the colors in your stole and how the beads add such a nice effect. The diamond edging is so pretty, I look forward to seeing it on Sunday.

    Roseanns last blog post..Joshua’s Snowman Mittens

  3. Thanks for mentioning the stretchy and russian bind off. I’ll try that on my next toe-up socks

    adas last blog post..For My Son

  4. You’re trying to suck cold air into the condo?! No wonder that poor kitten can’t get her whole face into the picture. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, 71 degrees sounds pretty good. Oh Lucy! You’ll be okay!

    The sock and the shawl are in very similar colors, I just noticed today, and both very lovely!

    juless last blog post..Hat Trick

  5. The shawl is looking lovely! I can’t wait to see the finished first half. ๐Ÿ™‚

    71F is a lovely temperature, Lucy. Perhaps some visualization exercises to help you feel warm? Imagine yourself all warm and toasty by a roaring fire…

    yarnpiggys last blog post..Bandwagon Knitting

  6. I used to live in an apartment where we had no control over the temperature, and windows were often open in January. I love this shot of Lucy, she truly looks disgusted.

    Jennifers last blog post..Planning for fall, and beyond

  7. Ooo I am on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see the finished edge. ๐Ÿ˜€

    LittleWits last blog post..Knitting Scholar Contest

  8. 71 degrees! ::shudder:: No wonder you keep opening the windows. A pleasant 66 in our house all winter long. Come to balmy Wisconsin!

    kmkats last blog post..Live puppy cam.

  9. I’ll stop feeling sorry for Lucy now! 71-F? C’mon Lucy, you know it’s warmer during the day when Momma’s at work, so quit your complaining!

  10. Oh Lucy- 71-F is a perfect cat temperature- not too hot, not too cold.

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the shawl!

  11. The shawl is exceptional! Beads on a shawl add to its dramatic flingability, don’t they?

  12. Lucy-
    Stop whining! I checked our thermostat, *64* degrees. Of course, I’m wearing wool right now, but you have *fur*!

  13. Ha! Yes, very helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I keep wanting to try inventing my own sock pattern, or just try to use some not “sock” yarn to make some socks, but I’m daunted by all fo the calculations that must go into it. Though… with all the wonderful patterns out there, I shouldn’t reinvent the wheel.
    Shawl looks beautiful!

  14. Pretty!

    I’ve convinced the big guy to put the thermostat on 68 and wear something other than shorts and tank tops.

    Marions last blog post..What a Relief!

  15. Lovely edging, terrific sock edge hints, and wonderful temperature update! I laughed out loud picturing the heat of the surrounding condos keeping yours a balmy 71 degrees. That is unbelievable.
    My husband, teen-age children and the cat (the dogs don’t mind) regularly complain to me since I (trying to pollute as little as possible) keep our heat at 68 in the day and 65 at night.
    Be strong, Lucy. Think of the good you are doing for our dear planet. And remember what’s good for the planet is good for the ocean which is good for the fish which in turn, is good for you.

  16. Sounds like a great way to save money for yarn. – Keep down the heat.

    Elysbeths last blog post..For winter

  17. Lucy, I was assuming you enjoy eating fish. Perhaps that was hasty of me. Anyway, less pollution is good for chickens and cows also.

  18. Here in MT most of our nights are 35 – 40 F. And I have my window open all the time!! My kitty has learned to crawl under the down comforter – but most of the time she sleeps on top….in front of the window. Looking forward to your new sock book!

  19. Lynette Holzer says:

    My brother is a bicyclist, and he has huge calf muscles. I developed the following on my fourth attempt to make socks that he could pull on and wear comfortably. Aiming for a 2×2 ribbing, I calculate how many stitches my sock will take and round that off to a multiple of 4. I cast on 1 1/2 times that many stitches and k4 p2 for two rounds. Then I k2tog, ssk, p2 for one round then continue on with whatever I had in mind from there. The extra stitches lay right in and visually it looks like a plain 2×2 ribbing, not like a ruffle. And it works well when making socks from the toe up if I use an increase that doesn’t leave a hole, such as M1. Apologies if that’s more than you ever wanted to know, but it’s been a handy trick to have.

  20. Margie from Maryland says:

    Love the edging!

  21. Hey, at least you will save some money on your heating bill this winter!

    Jolynns last blog post..Getting Ready for the Holidays!

  22. What a beautiful shawl. I wish I had that kind of patience….

    Emily Calers last blog post..The Torch Has Been Passed…

  23. we have to talk about our timing…I read your blog every day. (well just about.) I am sad when you haven’t written anything new yet. then something will happen and I cant get to a computer and sure enough you will have a contest. It happens almost every time you have one!!! I know, I know I only have myself (or the universe) to blame but…sigh maybe next time.

  24. Michele In Maine says:

    Oy, I hear you. 71 is way too hot! That’s the temp my office mates like so I open my windows and turn on the fan as well!

  25. Dear Wendy,
    Lucy told me to tell you that she thinks you are sucking out all the good smells from your Simpler Thyme sachets and that you should probably close the window.

  26. I love the shawl, but I’m more of a sock person than a shawl person.

    The socks are really pretty-I love the colorway!

    Caryns last blog post..Ups and Downs

  27. I hear you about the thermostat! We like to sleep much cooler than 70, but I sure can’t get it cooler in here. And they turned off the AC units, grrr. It gets to 74 or so in the evenings, pant pant.

  28. 71 is pretty toasty.

    I have been fiddling with the thermostat in our condo, because other than a cold snap sometime in October it has been pretty warm. Though our condo association asks us to keep the temperature at 65, but when I do it always feels like the condo is getting warmer than that (well, until it is lower than 40 degrees outside).

    Seanna Leas last blog post..speed knitting

  29. Good morning Wendy. I have a question that has been on my mind – why is Lucy a ragdoll and not a long haired siamese? Is ragdoll a breed? Thanks so much and my love to Lucy – Helene

  30. Hi Wendy,
    I was wondering if you’re still using the Beka swift you talked about a couple of years ago. I’m in the market for a new one, as I have the same problems with my wooden one you had with yours.

  31. The stole is looking fabulous! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

    Toe-up socks…. yep. Waiting for your book to come out in April to launch into that.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Danieles last blog post..Three Projects for Weekend Knitting…

  32. Oh how I envy your climate control situation. I live in a small rancher and if I did not have the heat turned on, the house would probably be about 52-54 degrees (f). Poor Lucy would not like that at all!

  33. The look on Lucy’s face is priceless – almost a “yeah, sure, Mom, tell them whatever, but the truth is, to this kitty? It’s COLD!”

    But she wouldn’t like my house, where the thermostat is set on 62. I used to live in an apartment on the middle floor – it was heaven on my heating bill. (I miss that)

    Knitnanas last blog post..Patterns! Oh MY!

  34. You’re not alone with the heat issue! I’m halfway between Baltimore and DC and its still not cool enough for me. The CT girl in me says this weather is far too mild for mid-November. I, too, open windows and use window fans to suck cool air in. My three cats aren’t happy about it either! I am my own furnace, I explain to curious neighbors.

  35. Oh, I wish my house was 71. We are in Baltimore and haven’t turned our heat on either…but our house won’t get above 66 right now ( a little chillier overnight). My husband wants to wait until after Thanksgiving to turn it on, but he is going on a Boy Scout camping trip next weekend, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. I don’t want it hot in here, but I’d like it to be 68or 69. Have a good weekend.

  36. Oh Lucy! Think of my kitties. Their Dad likes it very cool and even though we do have heat on he sets it at 65 degrees. Yes they are snuggles to his legs like part of the bedding. They don’t bother snuggling me because they know there is no blood flowing in my legs and they are like ice cubes. They send warm wishes and think you are very lucky to have such a cosy place. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Hi Wendy,

    I am wondering if you can offer some guidance. I am knitting toe up socks on two circulars. I use a provisional cast on then make my toes and heels with short row wrap. When I purl across to close the gap, the holes are pretty small (getting smaller as I keep ripping out and starting over). However, when I knit and closet the gaps, there are BIG holes that don’t seem to want to go away. Any suggestions?

    I was just in DC and checked out Stitch DC on Capitol Hill. Very nice woman helped me and it’ll be great to come back in January and see your other local stores!

    Thanks and my three kitties say hi to your kitty ๐Ÿ™‚

    Danielle in Minneapolis

  38. Lucy will be packing her kitty suitcase soon and moving into one of the neighbouring apartments if the look on her face is anything to go by.

  39. Looks like I’ll be seeing you in the new year! ๐Ÿ™‚

    lv2knits last blog post..From Sally โ€” Biding My Time

  40. Just found your site. Love your socks and am trying to learn toe-up. So far not successful, but I love the patterns.