My current work in progress:

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


Beyond Toes

In yesterday’s mail I got Judy Becker’s new book Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-on, which is due to be released on September 30.

I actually got to see a pre-release version of this book a few months ago, because Judy asked me to write a blurb for the back cover (and blurb I did — you can read my blurb on the Amazon page I linked to above).

I am so pleased to see this book: so many sock designers (me included) have been using Judy’s cast-on in their designs for years, so it is particularly nice to see Judy get some much-deserved recognition.

The book has a very detailed techniques section, complete with illustrations for (you guessed it) Judy’s Magic Cast-on:

Not just the “plain vanilla” cast-on, but several variations for different situations. Very cool.

And there are 23 patterns from many different designers (including Judy) — and I know you’ll recognize some names when you see the book.

The first section of patterns is for hats:

Next we have neckwear:

And I have to show you a picture of what I think is the cutest, most insane project in the book:

A sock scarf! 😀

Next in the book are mittens:

Then socks. (How could there not be socks?)

Garments and wraps:

Bags and cozies:

And comfy things!

I love the little pigs!

There is of course a reference section in the back as well.

Bottom line, this is a great book with a whole lot of very cute patterns.

Judy actually sent me two signed copies of this book, one for me and one to give away. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for this book, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern time next Tuesday, October 4. I will select the recipient via the Random Number Generator and announce said winner in next Tuesday’s blog post.

Lucy sez:

“It’s autumn! Kitty bed season!”



  1. Wow – looks like a great book! I never would have thought of using that cast on for things other than socks! (assuming, of course, that all the projects use her cast on!)

  2. Exactly what I need, another book to round out my repertoire. 🙂 Thank you for this opportunity and good luck to everyone!

  3. That is a great scarf, so funny. Made me smile.
    Little Miss S.´s last blog post ..An extra proof

  4. I love Judy’s cast-on. And a whole book of patterns using it? WOW!

  5. Judy’s magic cast on is my favorite cast on. I just used it as a provisional cast on and it worked out great!

  6. Debbi Overweg says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book! I love the cast on and look forward to how it is being used in all the various projects!

  7. The sock scarf reminds me of the ice skate holders we had as children. They were made out of fabric, not knit. You would put your skate in each “foot” and wear the around your neck on the way home from skating.

  8. Oooh! looks like a lovely book 🙂 I do like the cast on very much (in related excitement, my pre-ordered copy of Wendy Knits Lace is apparently dispatched and working its way to me now. Yay!
    Ruth´s last blog post ..A half-way point

  9. Wow- those look like great patterns! I would love a copy of the book.
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Sweater Saga part…whatever

  10. Oh man, that book looks amazing!! I would so love to have it!

  11. That sock scarf looks completely awesome 🙂

  12. Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this book!

  13. Judy’s Magic Cast-On is the first one I learned. I might not be a sock knitter without it. Looking forward to this book!

  14. So excited for this book to come out!
    Erin´s last blog post ..Episode 33 – On A Roll

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever used Judy’s Magic Cast On. I must go look it up and give it a try. Thanks for the contest. It’s hard to keep up with all the knitting books lately, but it’s great to see them keep coming.

  16. I love this cast on … Those looks like cool projects … Looks like a book to add to the collection

  17. My favorite sock cast on! I’d love that book to death.

  18. I love the little piggies! Who knew the magic cast on could make piggies?

  19. What a wonderful book. I love the magic cast on, but tend to struggle a bit. I’m very interested in the detailed pictures. Thanks for a chance to win the book.

  20. Linda Fleming says:

    Sounds like a great book! I would love a copy!

  21. Ooh, I’d love a copy of that book!

  22. Judy’s Magic Cast On is the best–and the book looks so creative!

  23. Have I mentioned how much I love the random number generator?

  24. Enter me, please. I love Judy’s cast on.

  25. Oh my, looks like a very interesting book! I have a feeling it might end up on my wishlist for Christmas.

  26. That looks like a great book! I have never had a chance to use judy’s magic cast on, but it looks like this books would be a great way to learn it! I always get annoyed when trying to figure out new and complicated cast on methods from websites. All that scrolling and letting go and picking up my knitting is annoying! I so much prefer to have a book right in front of me.

  27. I’d love to have this book. It sounds very interesting.
    Beverly´s last blog post ..Seeing America

  28. This looks like a lovely book! I’m using Judy’s cast on for my hexipuff blanket and it works fabulously, like always. Woot!
    Heather Kinne´s last blog post ..Episode 48 – New Location

  29. The sock scarf is awesome! So is the book. 🙂
    Deinera´s last blog post ..Finishing Projects

  30. Looks like a great book! I had to aww at the Lucy photo – her kitty bed looks like a tree stump in that photo!
    Rycrafty´s last blog post ..Baby Bonanza

  31. Lovely! I know a few kids who’d like a new piggy.

  32. I’d love to win a copy of this new book. I love Judy’s Magic Cast On and have taught it to all my sock-knitting friends!

  33. What a great sounding book!

  34. Becky in Iowa :O) says:

    You are a lucky lady getting to see so many new books right away like that. I’ll have to remember to look for this one later.

  35. A pattern for a sock scarf? That is the coolest thing ever!

  36. I love unique techniques! This book sounds wonderful … I’ll add it to my ever growing Amazon cart for one of these days when I win the lottery!


  37. I am a huge fan of Judy’s and I really wish she hadn’t stopped blogging. I mean, I know she stopped blogging in part to create this book, but I still miss it. I’m hopeful that I might win your contest, but I’ll be pursuing a copy on my own if I don’t!
    DPUTiger´s last blog post ..Sun Devil Socks

  38. I love Autumn – all the new knitting books come out! This one is on my Wish List already, but it would be superb to win!

  39. A great book! Who wouldn’t want it? I would love to win it!!!

  40. This looks like a wonderful book! I can’t wait to take a look at this one.

  41. Shirley. in PA says:

    I would love a copy of that book, it looks wonderful.

  42. This looks wonderful!

  43. I’d love to win a copy of this book! It will be going on my Christmas list if I don’t. It looks like a fantastic book.
    Lynn Z´s last blog post ..Wrapping things up

  44. Wow! A great book by a knitting genius!
    Liz R´s last blog post ..Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

  45. This looks awesome! Especially since I just learned Judy’s Magic Cast On for my 1st pair of toe-up socks.
    Steven´s last blog post ..Episode 31 Fall Into Autumn

  46. Tiffany Newman aka Mojave Knitter says:

    My entry to win book…

    it was her cast on that I learned when I first started socks and its been the only way I have casted on for toe-up socks since (and other similarily started projects)

  47. This book is already on my wishlist, I’d love to win a copy!

  48. Looks like a great book – enter me in the draw, please!

  49. mememe! I love that crazy sock scarf!
    Leslie´s last blog post ..Episode 78 – It’s a Cakewalk

  50. What a beautiful book!! I would love to add it to my very small collection.

  51. I love Judy’s magic cast on…it is the way most bestest for the type of things listed

  52. I love the pigs. Hope I win this or I will have to buy a copy.

  53. Looks like a great book and love the sock scarf – wonder how long it would take non-knitters to notice it’s a sock.

  54. Looks like a cool book. Pick me pick me. Need some good luck

  55. Sounds like a great book. I’d love to have a copy.

  56. philhellene says:

    Yes please!

  57. Pick me, please!

  58. Never been much for hand-knit socks (because the ones I used to have were made with worsted-weight yarn, and they hurt my feet), until my daughter made me some with sock-weight yarn. Wow! Still haven’t knitted any of my own, but that sock-scarf looks fun and tempting.

    I love to see what Lucy has to say about it all, too.

  59. Christine65 says:

    I think this is a book that’ll be on my Amazon wish-list within the next few minutes!

    Discovering JMCO made sock knitting so much easier!

  60. This cast on is the only reason I tried toe up socks…..glad to see that Judy has written this fun book…..I would love to get this for my library.

  61. That sock scarf is beyond adorable! What a great way to get me to knit scarfs too, via sock pattern 🙂
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  62. OMG that book is the hoot!!! The sock scarf is sweet…will put this on my Christmas list if I’m not picked!!! have a great day

  63. Looks like a very cool book!

  64. bellatulips says:

    That Book looks fantastic! And I love the look of the photography, as well. What a generous gift, sending you two books.

  65. aknitontheside says:

    Your first toe up sock book and Judy’s magic cast on, enabled me to knit socks that fit and were fun to do. I agree it is great that Judy is getting some recognition for this wonderful technique. I will be checking out the book asap


    kb (Rav:aknitontheside)

  66. Diane Schultz says:

    I very much want a copy of that book! I was sad to see it doesn’t seem to be available in e-reader form, or I’d have already preordered it! I love the magic cast-on and very much agree that it’s time she got wider recognition for it! And the pigs are adorable!

    My version of Lucy, Angel (a nearly show-quality aging Berman cat) says Lucy should be sure His Mom is picked for the book! I always love to see Lucy’s picture at the bottom of the blog — I see her more than Angel, who prefers to live hidden in a closet most of the time. We have yet to figure out why!

  67. Would love to have this book! It looks terrific! Thanks for the generous giveaway!

  68. Looks like another book that I’d love to have! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  69. That book looks wonderful! I love the “sock-scarf”. It’s hilarious. 😀 Put my name in the hat for the drawing, please.

  70. Barbara Stoner says:

    I love Judy’s Magic Cast-on! This seems like a great book, and I can’t wait to get e hold of one to look at all the patterns.

  71. As a new sock knitter……I would love the chance to win this book!!

  72. Even if I don’t win, I may have to get this book just for that sock scarf pattern! Thanks for sharing!

  73. I would really love a copy of that book.

  74. NICE! I can’t wait to see the book. Lucy sez “Give Tanglegirl the book!”

  75. Wow – that looks like a really great book to add to my library. The sock scarf is really cool. Thanks Wendy and Judy for the opportunity to win this book!

  76. Looks great! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

  77. Wouldn’t it be fun for a Judy to win Judy’s book? 😉 Looks like a fabulous book!!

  78. Judy’s cast on is the most BEAUTIFUL cast on I’ve tried for toe up socks. I have been looking forward to this book ever since I first heard about it.

    …and I love the pigs!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Travel knitting revisited

  79. What a great thing: beautiful patterns and a detailed explanation of a useful technique! Please enter me in the drawing!

  80. I’ve used Judy’s magic cast on for a bag, but never thought to use it for piggies! I think I need that book.

  81. I would love to win a copy of BEYOND TOES. Thanks for the opportunity.

  82. Looks like a fabulous book!

  83. Ruth Porter says:

    Pick me, pick me. Judy’s is the only cast on I learned for toe-up socks, and I’d love to do more. Hugs to Lucy.

  84. I’d love a copy! Looks like a very interesting book. I love that cast on as well.

  85. I don’t need many new knitting books, but I need this one! 😉 Here’s hoping the great random generator generates my number. 🙂

  86. I’m in!! I love, love, love Judy’s Magic Cast On.

  87. Beyond Toes looks exciting – so much more to do with sock yarn YEA, and the sock scarf is a hoot, love Judy’s magic cast on – it makes the most wearable toes, never a complaint about various length toes being rubbed — would luv a copy RNG!

  88. That sock scarf is amazing. Made me laugh.

  89. That looks like a great book. The sock scarf is cute, but I cant see myself making it.

  90. Susan (LotusHips) says:

    I’m in! That looks like a great book!

  91. This looks like a lovely book. I would love to had it to my library.

  92. Pigs! My favorite. I have to win that book now.

  93. Hello random number generator! You and me have a date!

  94. That book looks just yummy! I hope the random number generator gods are on my side!
    otherdeb´s last blog post ..Oh, and because I just can’t leave well enough alone…

  95. I’d love to see what else Judy has up her … ummm … oh heck, I’ll just say it … sleeve.
    ThatCleverClementine´s last blog post ..Cephalopods: Love ’em or Leave ’em? Discuss!

  96. I’d love to win a copy! Thanks for sharing!

  97. Go Judy Go! It seems many of the people named Judy in my life are very exciting people who push the envelope.

  98. Oooh, oohhh! Pick me magic random number generator. Looks like a great book!

  99. I definitely want to make the sock scarf!

  100. Those patterns look amazing. I would love a copy of this book.