There’s always more.

Happy knitaversary to me,

Happy knitaversary to me,

Happy knitaversary, dear Grumpy,

Happy knitaversary to me!

And many more!

On this, my third knitaversary, I will bask in the knowledge that there’s always more. There is always another sweater, another yarn, another needle, and another technique just waiting around the corner, begging to be explored.

  • Just when I think I’ve mastered stranded knitting, I’m reminded of that gorgeous stag. And who can claim to be a stranding master of any kind if she hasn’t yet steeked? Not I! There’s always more.
  • Just when I think I’ve got the whole cabling thing figured out, I remember that Aran patterns are sometimes knit in the round, and sometimes need to take a sharp turn. There’s always more.
  • Just when I think no lace chart is beyond my comprehension, I remember that I’ve yet to work backwards – to look at a photograph of complex lace and reverse engineer a chart. There’s always more.
  • Just when I think I’m getting decent at photographing my knits, a little blog surfing swiftly puts me in my place. There’s always more.
  • Just when I think I’ve ‘mentally fondled’ every interesting sweater, I remember the Sunrise Circle Jacket (link to pdf), all the goodies in Knitting Nature, the two Loop-d-Loop books, and the new Norah Gaughan collection. There’s always more.

There’s always more. Another day, another challenge. And that keeps me knitting, and taking photos, and blogging. The day I sop up all the knitting goodness would be a sad day indeed, because that would be the day I put down my needles. I’m joyful knowing that this day will never come. There’s always more!

– – – – – – –

In the spirit of pushing my limits, embracing the unknown, and learning something new, I decided to start my Fishnet Knee-Highs from Knitting Lingerie Style using one of those “magic” cast-ons. You know the type – there’s yarn, two needles, some wrapping, some mingling, and voilΓ ! Two rows of stitches are formed, morphing into the completed toe a few rounds later.

I’ve never used any of these “magic” cast-ons before! First, I knit most of my socks from the cuff to the toe. Second, the provisional cast-on, short-row method has always worked for me, so I felt no need to try another.

But it’s a new year for me, and I want to start it the right way – knitting something clever and different. So I tried Judy’s Magic Cast-On, which I first noticed on Wendy’s blog.



I’m amazed. It is completely, entirely seamless. Sure, it was a little tricky to cast-on, but once I got the hang of it, it went quickly, effortlessly. There was no wrapping and picking up short-rows (tricky with a thick yarn and small needles!), and there was no provisional cast-on. I can’t believe I waited three years to pick up this technique. There’s always more – for me, for you, for our craft.


115 thoughts on “There’s always more.

  1. frecklegirl jess

    Some of those things are on my wishlist also- hopefully I will have time soon to actually knit!!

    (Belated) congratulations on your Knitscene article and pattern…

  2. Judy

    Happy knitaversary!

    The magic cast-on has only been around a little over a year. I’m glad to know you liked it. πŸ™‚

  3. elise

    hrm.. ok, you’ve convinced me i need to try this Magic cast-on. it looks great. the wraps of the short-row toe drive me nuts if i make a mistake, as it’s hard to back up and fix them.

    happy knitaversary!

  4. amy

    Happy knittaversary! And thanks for sharing over the years. I’ve learned a lot from you. (And I hold you responsible for the large portion of my yarn budget that goes to Sundara. My wallet may not be pleased, but my feet sure are.)

  5. Paula

    Happy Knitaversary! It’s amazing what you have done in three years, never mind what’s to come! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Anna

    Judy’s magic cast-on amazes me every time I use it, even tonight when it was for the toe of a baby sock and it was more than usually fiddly due to having fewer stitches. (I use DPNs most of the time – one of these days I’ll try magic loop but most of my cable needles are unsuited for that method – so the first couple rows with this cast-on are rather cramped.) Every once in a while I look back in awe. Perfectly smooth, no seam, and best yet, no sewing!

  7. chauntel

    happy knitiversary! It’s great to see all you have accomplished in your first 3 years! Shocking, really & just plain fantastic!

  8. Jen C

    As someone who could never figure out the provisional cast on (me and a crochet hook are rubbish together), I love Judy’s Magic Cast On. Welcome to the club!

    And Happy Anniversary!

  9. barbinvic

    Happy Knitiversary! I’m blown away at what you’ve accomplished in three short years. Thanks for the link to Judy’s Magic Cast On. It looks fantastic, and now I must try it. Keep up the wonderful knitting and droolworthy photos. Thanks for everything.

  10. Heide

    happy knitaversary! That seamless cast on looks amazing and I am definately going to try that for my next pair of socks. You’re knitting, sewing and beadwork are inspirational.

  11. Cirilia

    What a fantastic attitude! Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and declare that it’s all been done but that would be so very misguided, and your post proves that with aplomb.

    Also, posting about your hat very soon! I loved knitting it and I’m happy to report it’s a flawless pattern!

  12. Brenda

    Happy Knitiversary! I usually lurk at your blog as you get so many comments, but I really enjoy reading about your knitting. Tonight I realized that this is so in part because you really are a scientist, and I mean that in a good way. I’m a scientist too, and the thing I love about both science and knitting is that there is always more. Thanks for making me not feel so geeky for always wanting to further explore knitting just because it’s there to explore.

    Nice sock toe. Must go get the directions…

  13. Maryann

    Happy Knitiversary! Just like Brenda, I am delurking to tell you how I have enjoyed reading about your knitting. Thanks for everything, and yes, there’s always more ;o)

  14. Arianne

    Happy Knitaversary, Grumperina!

    And thanks for the magic cast on link! That one’s going into my very next pair of socks!

  15. Tempe

    I just learned the Magic Cast-On too, for Widdershins and I had the same reaction…holy cow, it is invisible! I love it! And I love the prospect of there always being more to learn. Happy Knitaversary to you!

  16. anne marie in philly


    I feel as you do – there is always a new technique to be explored and learned.

    and to think it all started with cast on, knit, purl, and bind off…

    someday someone will bury me with needles in my hands…

  17. Carole

    Happy knitaversary! I love that you’re always pushing yourself to try new techniques. You’re an inspiration, grrlfriend!

  18. Melissa

    I love it — that there’s always more to knit, to learn, etc. I just FINALLY looked at your tutorial on how to cable without a needle and love it but am also wondering why I waited so long to try it!!

  19. Marlena

    Happy Knitiversary! And thanks for the links to those blankets. They’re beautiful, and remind me that I abandoned trying to make a cable turn a corner. Maybe I should start with making mitered squares!

  20. Vicki

    Happy knitaversary, Grumperina. I read your blog everyday, and my morning coffee just would not be as nice without it.

  21. Cara

    Happy knitaversary! Thank god you’re here. You’ve certainly changed my life – knitting and otherwise. Thank you!

  22. blossom

    congrats, kathy! i enjoy your blog, it’s always so refreshing to read about the problems you’re having and your approach of resolving them! here’s to many more kniaversaries!!

  23. Stacey

    Ironically! I just heard about this cast-on yesterday!

    You are actually freakin me out all that there is out there learn. I knew it, but to have you just give a snippet of it overwhelmed me how there is SO MUCH MORE!!! Ugh! LOL :op

    Happy Knit Anniversary to you!! You are waaaay more experienced at 3 years old than I “dream” to be (and one day that dream will come true ;oP)

  24. Lani

    Happy Knitaversary! Thank you for the wonderful reminder that there are always new things! And the cast on looks just lovely!

  25. penny

    happy knitiversary! your cast on looks beautiful. thank you.. here is to many more years of finding new and beautiful knitting!

  26. Teresa C

    If only some of the people I teach to knit would be as fearless as you are about knitting. It is only knitting after all! Everything that you have taught yourself in three years is amazing. Knit On!

  27. Gena

    Happy Knitaversary! I just love knowing that there’s always something new to learn, and a new challenge to face. It’s a big part of what keeps knitting (and everything else as well) exciting and new. Can’t wait to see what things you tackle and enlighten us all on in this new knit year!

  28. Elemmaciltur

    Happy Knitaversary!

    Yay for Judy’s Magic Cast-On! Personally, I really can’t understand why people still bother with provisional cast-on. Okay, maybe it’s easier for people who use DPNs (I’m a MagicLooper)…but the fact that you have to find waste yarn, crochet hook, then picking up the stitches, unravel the chain stitches and re-insert the needle to start knitting just put me off. When I started doing toe-up (which is what I always do now), I had found Judy’s tutorial over at Knitty already and decided to use that. It was soooooo easy!

    I’m glad you found the Cast-on, too!

  29. AllyB

    Happy Knitaversary Grumpy! My cup is full after checking all the links you passed along…thank you so much for your continuing motivation and inspiration. I am in awe!

  30. Jen

    Woo hoo! Congratulations, Kathy, and thanks for the ongoing inspiration for this craft! Hooray for intrepid explorers like yourself.

  31. Stacey

    Happy Knitaversary! It always seems that I learn something new from you, and thanks for that!

    I LOVE the magic cast on! I learned it early on in my knitting “career”. Before I knew if was tricky. When everything I was learning was still tricky!

  32. Cassie

    I adore the magic cast on! It’s all I use now. I have found to get a great rounded toe to work increases every round until my total number cast on is doubled (so if I cast on 12 work until I have 24) and then increase every other round. Gorgeous roundness!

    Happy knitaversary!

  33. Susan P

    Happy Knitaversary! I’ve been knitting so long, I can’t remember the day I started, (Who am I kidding? I can’t even remeber what I had for dinner last Wednesday!)but I think it is certainly worth celebrating.

    Thanks for all the great links!

  34. AuntieAnn

    Happy Knitaverserary! Oops, too many syllables. Oh, well. I didn’t know Judy’s Magic Cast-on was still so new, either. It’s my favorite for toe-up socks!

  35. Peggy

    I find it absolutely amazing and maybe somewhat discouraging that you have only been knitting for three years!!!! You are amazing!!!!

  36. Wendy

    I feel the same way. I love the fact that the learning curve in knitting is never ending, as far as I can tell. There’s always more down the road. And the “magic cast on” is great! I learned it after a few failures because I hated having to make sure I always had a crochet hook and waste yarn with me to start a sock. I wanted to have some needles and the yarn and just do it!

    Love the blog!

  37. Laura

    Life’s an adventure. Thank you for sharing yours. Your blog gives me a great deal of pleasure.

  38. Chelsea

    I used that magic cast-on for my first pair of socks a few months ago. I found it was easier to do CO on two-circs then switch to dpns if you want. I want to do another pair of toe-up socks just to use it.

    I am always amazed at all you have accomplished in the short-time you have been knitting. I started knitting in October of last year and you give me hope that I will someday be an accomplished knitter.

  39. Kim

    Happy knitaversary! I just finished an Odessa hat – I’ll send you a link to the photo for your gallery. Great pattern!

  40. Louise

    Congrats on your Knitaversary. I too recently discovered that toe cast-on in Wendy’s blog and think it is fabulous. Very easy to understand and execute. One of those situation where you think, gee, that was pretty obvious. I do share Wendy’s distaste of magic loop. And I like your blog!

  41. katie

    Happy Knitaversary! And many more to come! It’s so much fun to think of all the stuff there still is to learn … even as a highly-functioning knitter, such as yourself. Good luck!

  42. TracyKM

    I still can’t believe it’s only been three short years! Man, maybe I should have waited till the Internet came along before I started knitting, LOL! But really, it’s having kids that has really messed up my knitting time.

    Glad you like the Magic cast on. I had tried a few others, but never liked any of the enough to continue the rest of the sock. I wanted to be able to cast on and figure out the gauge as I worked the toe. With the provisional cast on you need to know how many to cast on to start with. My first couple though I started with a slip knot, that was lumpy. Then a half a square knot. Now, I just twist and loop the first stitch. It’s also a great cast on for ‘top down’ mittens. Or a strange shaped hat.

  43. Zarah

    Happy anniversary! What a great reminder of all the things we can all still cal learn from our favorite pastime!

  44. Zarah

    Happy anniversary! What a great reminder of all the things we can all still can learn from our favorite pastime!

  45. gabriella

    I hear you on the blog photography. I’ve been doing a lot of design work and posting the patterns but every time I do and then go see what Jared’s up to, I feel like I can’t do my knits any justice at all! It’s some tasty eye candy looking at those beautiful, well-photographed blogs, though. And I think your photos are lovely as well! Happy Blogiversary. πŸ™‚ ~gabriella

  46. Christie

    It is nice to see who inspires you, because you are obviously inspiring us the same way! Happy Knitaversary to you! Keep pushing, keep learning, but stop making everything look so effortless! πŸ™‚

  47. Karen B.

    Kathy, perhaps you’re preternaturally gifted or perhaps you just extremely diligent. Whatever it is, you’ve raised the bar for all of us – however long we’ve been at this craft.

  48. Marie

    There is always more to knitting and for me, also more to baking, cooking, gardening and parenting. The only thing I am constantly aware of is that there isn’t ever more time!

    Happy anniversary and thank you so much for the dose of daily inspiration your blog provides!

  49. Myriam

    Happy Happy Knitaversary!! And a big thanx for all that you share with us on your blog!

    i really like your article in Knitscene-can’t wait to make the beaded beret!!

  50. domesticat

    Look at what you’ve accomplished and contributed to the knitting community in just three years! What you’ll do with another three under your belt, we’re all looking forward to see…

  51. Miss Bea

    Happy Knitaversary!

    I’m so happy to hear that someone else has discovered Judy’s fantastic cast on method. I found it through and have loved it from the very first sock. I’m a big fan of the toe up style of sockness, myself.

    I think one of the most wonderful and appealing aspects of our craft is that there is always more to learn. It will keep me knitting my whole life through.

    Congratulations on all your past and future successes as a Knitter,


  52. Bianca

    Happy Knitaversary from Germany,

    I’m really happy I found your blog, and have the ability to see the wonderful things you do. Two times until know you have been an inspiration for me… and perhaps with this cast on it will be the third one.

    You have come along really fast in these three years!

    Kind regards,


  53. AnnP

    Thanks for all the inspiration and education you have packed into three years. Always something new to try!

    I love the magic cast-on but I also like the Sherman toe for neatness, ease of working and I don’t need to keep looking at the directions. Happy knitaversary!

  54. leigh

    an easy way to take better pictures…get a better camera…get a nice 5-8 hundred dollar camera, read the ungodly big manual and then you will know how to take better pictures….it makes me sad when i get to use my boss’ new Cannon 5D when all i have at home is a cheapy kodak…*tear

  55. Ann

    Happy knitaversary & many, many more to come…. The world of knitting is really amazing & like you I have not stopped learning.

  56. Lee-Fay

    Happy knittiversary,

    I have learnt so much from your blog. Its nice to cyber-watch a real person knitting, making mistakes, trying different things, and finally making fabulous finnished products. Thanks!

  57. Angie

    I look up to you and your skills and adventurous spirit which encourage me to knit beyond my limits in this my (probably) 36th knitaversary year.

  58. Maritza

    Happy knitaversary to you!!! And many more! Your joyful approach to knitting is wonderful, and you are truly a knitspiration.

  59. Ryn

    Happy blogversary to yooooou! It’s been so much fun to watch you grow and improve as a knitter. Here’s to many more entertaining years! *raises an imaginary glass*

  60. Haley

    as comment 108, i guess i was a little late in catching this post. we’ll just call it lack-of-sleep-forgetfulness. sorry! happy blogiversary. loved this post. you linked to so many gorgeous knit blogs. i’m scared to look too closely as there are already too many on my “get your knit fix” list. love the way the knee-high is going. thanks for reminding all of us to continue growing and stretching outside our comfort zone.

  61. Haley

    i just realized i never updated my url. i have a brand new blog. it doesn’t compare to the ones you linked to, but feel free to check it out if you want to. thanks!

  62. HistoricStitcher


    And welcome to my absolute favorite sock method! I’ve been making that toe since… about 5 years ago, and haven’t looked back since. A friend showed me, there weren’t any written instructions and it wasn’t on the ‘net. I only make toe up, non-wrapped short-row heels, and have no complaints about socks. Cuff down? Why? Start at the toe and knit until I run out of yarn!

  63. Jennifer

    Happy 3rd Anniversary! The “magic” cast-on for toe up socks is my favorite. It’s just so cool how it works and looks so nice.

  64. Jennie

    Gosh, I’m late to the show, been a bit behind on my blog reading, but I really wanted to wish you a be-lated knitiversary! You are such an inspiration and your knit items are always amazing!

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