My current work in progress:

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


The Sweet Spot

From time to time I get asked how it is that I never have a hole at the top of the heel of my socks — at the point where you start knitting in the round again.

I always pick up an extra stitch at each side of the heel on the first round after the heel, and then on the next round decrease by knitting it together with the stitch next to it.

I have found the perfect place to pick up this extra stitch, the sweet spot. When I pick it up here, the side of the heel always looks perfect with no hole.

Here is the sock after I have completed the last row across the back of the heel flap, ready to start knitting in the round again.


I’ve circled the area where you want to pick up your extra stitch: pick it up right in the middle of the stitch by inserting the tip of your needle under the “bar” in the middle of the stitch.


Pick it up and knit it, making it the last stitch on the end of the back needle. Then on the next round you will knit that last 2 stitches on the needle together. (At the other end of the back of the sock, you pick up the extra stitch in the same way, making it the first stitch on the needle, and then on the next round, knit it together with the second stitch.)

I get a perfect join every time.


I’m coming down the home stretch on these socks, but won’t finish the second one tonight as I’ve got other things to tend to. Hopefully tomorrow.

Teddy did consent to a photo op yesterday.


Charity Race: Knitters for Knockers

Knitters for Knockers is a group of dedicated Richmond, Virginia area knitters trying to raise money for Komen Race for the Cure. Last year they raised over $7,000 to fight breast cancer! The Knitters for Knockers team is ready to do it again on Saturday, May 9, 2009. Check out their page here.

They are raffling off some great prizes in support of their race, so please donate if you are able.

A Chuckle

Lucy and I settled down to watch a DVD of The Man Who Could Work Miracles yesterday. Check out the set-up screen (enlarge to read it).


I am easily amused.

Lucy enjoyed the movie.



  1. Lucy watches movies the same way I do on Sunday afternoons. i call ’em sleeping movies.

    Timmie Bs last blog post..ENOUGH ALREADY!

  2. Thank you for showing us in great detail how to find the sweet spot! I really appreciate the tips that you supply and how they make knitting even more of a pleasure for me.

    bevsyarncrazys last blog post..For a Great Cause, Plus Prizes!

  3. knitterykate says:

    Thank-you for that tip! I’m trying it next sock.

  4. Wendy after discussing this with you I played around with the heel of my Nanners. I actually found that I increase on one side but on the other I k2tog and it looked perfect. If I tried to pick up stitches on both sides one of them had horrible holes from the pick up and I just could not find that sweet spot, so in frustration I tried the k2tog. It actually worked out perfectly as your directions have two decreases when you are done with the heel.


    Cats last blog post..The Last of Busyness for a While

  5. Thank you for the helpful sweet spot tip. I’m in the middle of a short-row heel and I think I know where it will work. I have tried going next to the longish stitch, you are so clever to just jump right in the middle where all the extra yarn is, very nice.

    Roseanns last blog post..Selbu Modern Hat

  6. patricia says:

    Thanks for the hint and the photos.

    I use a similar technique (from Charlene Schurch). It works most of the time, but there’s the occasional pair of socks (like the ones I just finished) that has one side with no hole and the other with a hole. I think I’m grabbing the wrong stitch. I’ll use your technique and photo guidance next time!

  7. Thanks! I always wonder where to pick up the stitch so as to not make another hole πŸ™‚ I think I have it now, I’ll have to refer back if I forget πŸ™‚

    Aesoxs last blog post..Surprise!

  8. Love those fictional movies…yeah right like an average man could work miracles…lol…love the socks…and thanks for the tip…

  9. Ahhh! Thanks for the very clear explanation!

  10. Cheezy Loueezy……don’t cha just love those movies! Thanks for showing the
    ‘sweet spot’. I’ve been doing a version of this for some time — just didn’t have that catchy name for it.

  11. I pick up an extra stitch, too, but yours is tidier than mine! Will try again. I also K2tog on that first one, but ssk on the other side of the heel.

    Thanks for the pix!

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..Pass it on…a giveaway!

  12. Dear Wendy,

    I starting knitting socks using your patterns last year. Thanks for all your hard work! The adaptation I’ve made for the “hole next to the heel flap” problem is:

    I stop knitting the heel flap after the last SSK has joined the heel flap and side stitches. (This leaves one P2Tog undone on the other end of the heel flap, and my heel flap two rows shorter than yours.) Then I knit around the instep stitches, and at the back I K2Tog the stitches for the flap join. This seems to make the flap rows line up well with the instep rows. I have no holes, and I don’t pick up any stitches. The heel flap having two fewer rows doesn’t seem to make a difference in fit.

    I’m looking forward to your book!


  13. Linda in NC says:

    Thanks for being so clear on exactly where to pick up for the extra stitch. I always pick up an extra at that spot but too haphazardly = success sometimes, many tries other times.

  14. I hated that hole when I first started knitting socks and discovered this little secret not too many socks into this passion……….nice to know I am doing it ‘right’!
    Glad you shared the tip!

    Cindys last blog post..A Good Trip and Back Again

  15. I may have to start a pair of socks just so I can try this πŸ™‚

    saras last blog post..An Experiment

  16. Ooh, a new heel trick and a new movie for the Netflix queue!

    Hissy Stitchs last blog post..FO: Presto, change-o, it’s a bear!

  17. Ach, woman, you are just wonderful.

    knittingjujus last blog post..iPhone Mitts: The Worsted

  18. Nothing like some cheesy info! I managed to bring a few of the local knitters over to the dark side (aka toe up). They’ve been on fire ever since, but their one question was in regards to the little hole! Perfect timing, Wendy! I’ll be sending them your way promptly.

    Megan S.s last blog post..Megan, This Is Your Conscience Calling..

  19. Well Cheeze is a miracle food, LOL

    Aunt Kathys last blog post..Sunday- So I Finally Went To A LYS

  20. Aha! Pick up the bar, not the edge of the stitch…will try on next sock. Thanks for the tip. My knitting supervisor, Bubba, says Hi to Lucy.

    Dianes last blog post..One guppy got a lot bigger!

  21. Brilliant tip! I am working on your seaweed socks at the moment, and will most definately put this tip to use! I love working on your patterns, thank you for all you share, and I am very much looking forward to getting your new book!


  22. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannahs last blog post..Transcend Flash Memory – The Latest in the Market

  23. That’s how TAO watches movies. Even ones he ordered and I didn’t want to watch. Sigh.

    Elysbeths last blog post..Marched to the Finish

  24. VERY cool little trick! I sure wish wool didn’t make my feet itch πŸ™‚

  25. Awesome. Thanks for the tip. I’m just learning how to knit socks on two circulars and I’m totally lost. You wouldn’t by any chance have any videos would you? I’m at the heel and have ended up with most of the stitiches on one needle.

  26. A picture says a thousand words! I’ve tried many times to follow your advise, with varying degrees of sucess. Now that I see exactly what to pick up, I’m excited to try it. Thanks for bearing with the repeated questions about this trick and answering graciously and now photographically!

    Paulines last blog post..Resistance is Futile…

  27. Hey Wendy. Thanks for photos of where to pick up and knit. I just want to verify . . . do you literally pick up that bar and really knit it or do you pick it up and knit it like you do the gussets? I hope I’m clear with my question!.


  28. Theresa in Italy says:

    Thanks for the tip and the very clear photos—I’ll try it out on my next sock!

  29. That’s a great tip! Also I totally love the Cheezy bits of dvds. πŸ™‚

    LittleWits last blog post..*crickets*

  30. I’ve mastered that hole in the sock but I still have trouble with knitting/purling the wraps so that no gaps are left.

    Katrinas last blog post..He’s Back

  31. Tanneke says:

    What a lovely tip!!!! I have 2 balls of sock yarn in my stash – better start soon before I forget about the tip. The clear photo’s ofcourse are the best.

  32. Tanneke says:

    just want to add — have you ever considered joining MENSA.

  33. Thank you for that! I am consistantly plagued with that silly little hole, but you have made it so obvious how to fix it. My socks are better for knowing you.

    Cristi-Laels last blog post..Are You One Of The Lucky Ones?