My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

No Time to Blog

I just have time for a quickie this afternoon — I want to show you my new sock in progress.

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Loopy Laces 082307

I call it “Loopy Laces.” That was a name someone guessed for my last sock, and Sheri told me she really liked it (hmmmmm, wonder why?) so I designed a Loopy Laces sock for Sheri.

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Loopy Laces Closeup 082307

The yarn is Misty Mountain Farm Jubilee Sock Yarn in the “Apple Rose” colorway. But I keep wanting to call it “Axl Rose” — hee hee! I got this yarn, of course, from The Loopy Ewe and I find it to be quite fabulous. Love how it is knitting up!

I’m so pleased y’all like my Healthy Spine Socks — the pattern will be available for sale at The Loopy Ewe soon, my pets.

Lucy Sez

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Lucy 082307

“Hey! What did I tell you about that camera?”

Sorry for the brevity — must go knit. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I’ve had the hardest time staying awake for any appreciable amount of time during the day. (Too bad this is not true of nights as well.) This is a bit of a problem at the office where they somewhat unreasonably expect me to be awake for the whole dang time I’m there.

It’s also a problem on my commute, when I am attempting to work on my sock in progress. I start to doze off and my knitting slo-o-o-o-ows down . . .

So my Healthy Spine Socks have taken a lot longer than they should. Arggh. But they are done!

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Healthy Spine Socks 082107

Knit from Nature’s Palette fingering weight wool in the “Lilacs” colorway on 2mm needles. The pattern will be available for sale from The Loopy Ewe in the near future. I’ll keep you posted. icon smile Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Healthy Spine Socks Closeup 082107

By the way I note that the Summer of Socks is now a bit more than two-thirds over. I have made 13 pairs of socks so far.

And I’m so pleased that so many of you seem happy that some of my sock patterns will be available for sale soon at The Loopy Ewe. icon smile Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Melissa F. commented:

I am excited to hear that your patterns will be available through the Loopy Ewe! Just a quick question though, will the directions be for DPN’s or Circ’s or both?

Of the 7 patterns I’ve sent to Sheri, only one is written specifically for 2 circs — the Pagoda Lace socks. The rest are written for dpns. I wrote the Pagoda Lace pattern for 2 circs because it has a large lace pattern over the instep that I thought would be easier to knit if it were not split over 2 dpns. But L-B test knit the Pagoda Lace pattern and she did it happily on dpns. Because, well, you know. She is L-B DPN-Hands. Shhhhhhhhh! Don’t tell her I called her that. icon wink Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The opposite is true — any pattern written for dpns can be easily knit on 2 circs.

Kittything asked:

What is your favourite bind off for your toe-up socks?

The bind-off I always use is a variation of a Russian bind-off. I execute it loosely as follows:

K2, slip these 2 sts back to the lefthand needle, K2TOG, *K1, SL 2 sts on righthand needle back to the lefthand needle, K2TOG *. Repeat from * to *.

I’ve seen it stated that you work it in purl all the way around, or in knit all the way around. When I am doing a ribbed cuff on a sock, I do the bind-off in ribbing, so I knit the knits and purl the purls. When it comes to working the 2 stitches together, I work it knit or purl, depending on what the second stitch of the two is.

I always use the same size needle as for the rest of the sock and I never have any problems with it being too tight.

Lucy Sez

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Lucy082107

“You with the camera — get lost!”

Whoa, Baby!

That’s what I was thinking when I first laid eyes on Cat Bordhi’s new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One.

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Book 082107

The other day someone asked in the comments if I buy a lot of sock knitting books, or if I ignore them. I actually do both — I buy them and I ignore them. I am such a knitting book ho that I can’t resist buying sock knitting books, but after one flip-through I cast ‘em aside. I am pretty sure I have never knit a sock from a book of sock patterns, nor have I used any sock patterns in any book as an inspiration for my own socks.

So I’m not exactly sure why I ordered Cat Bordhi’s new sock book. I had looked through one of her “magical knitting” books in the past and to be honest, it pissed me off. The stuff in there fell under the category of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” in my opinion.

So, for reasons unknown, I went ahead and ordered her new sock book. Whoa baby! This is SOME sock book (in the same way that Wilbur is SOME pig)!

Cat has documented a number of different sock “architectures” that are different than any socks I’ve ever made. And they look like socks I am going to want to try. Cat has documented a number of new ways to construct socks. Each of her “architectures” is accompanied by detailed instructions and schematics, for both knitting on dpns and on two circulars. There are a couple tiny socks you can knit up quickly to learn the technique before you move on the adult-sized socks. And there is plenty of fodder to start your creative juices flowing. She shows 8 different sock “architectures” with information for sizing them ads large or small as you want.

Now I am an old dog who does not take to new tricks, but I think this book is just too cool for words. I’ll definitely be dabbling in some new pathways of sock architecture in the near future. I’m not saying I’ll be a total convert, but it sure looks like it’s gonna be fun to play with!

My Old Pathway

Here is my Healthy Spine Sock in its current state.

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SIP 082107

I did not have a lot of knitting time last night, so I’m not as far along as I’d like to be.

Another question from the comments — how long do I usually make the leg of my toe-up socks? The answer is — it depends. icon wink Whoa, Baby!

As a rule of thumb (or should that be rule of toe?), I like to make the leg as tall as the foot is long, when you fold the sock in two at the point of the heel. That’s a good ratio to start with. Some people like ‘em longer, some like ‘em shorter.

Me? I like ‘em just about as long as the foot. icon smile Whoa, Baby!

Breaking News!

No, I am not writing a sock book.

But what I am doing is making some of my sock patterns available for sale. Not this week, but soon, like in next week’s shop update or shortly thereafter, you will be able to buy the following WendyKnits sock patterns at The Loopy Ewe:

Asparagus Cable Socks
Crotalus Socks
Frog Warts Socks
Pagoda Lace Socks
River Run Socks
Snapdragon Socks
S(p)ocks

I mailed the big box o’ patterns to Sheri today. icon smile Whoa, Baby!

Lucy Sez

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Lucy 082107

“I don’t ‘get’ socks. Why would you want to cover something as cute as my paws?”

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Paw 082107

Sock Photography

Thanks for all the nice comments on my photography efforts. I am very much an amateur photographer and any skill I have in this area has been gleaned from tips I’ve found on the internet.

A couple of you asked what a light tent is. Here’s a definition I found online:

Tent like structure made of translucent material hung around a frame. The fabric diffuses the light coming from outside the tent so that highly reflective subjects placed inside the tent can be photographed without reflections.

I’ve been thinking about getting a light box or light tent for a while now. You can easily and cheaply make a light box. If you Google “how to make a light box” or “how to make a light tent” you will find a number of sources on the internet that give you step by step instructions for constructing one easily and cheaply.

I purchased a light tent rather than make one — the one I bought is collapsible, so it’s easy to store away. The homemade ones I saw described are not so easy to store. I bought my light tent here — no affiliation, etc. It was a reasonable price and was shipped to me quickly.

The photos I took of my yarn haul yesterday were all done using the light tent. I put it on the dining room table and turned the chandelier above it up high. I also trained another lamp on it, so there was a lot of light coming through the fabric.

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Light Tent 082007

I put my camera on a tripod to eliminate any shaking and shot the pictures without a flash. And I was very pleased with the results. (My camera is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT SLR, by the way, and I love it.)

While I might not do this for my blog pictures every day, I did get the light tent with a specific use in mind, so it will be getting a lot of use.

A couple of you asked about the little tote bag I photographed. That’s a Ham’s Jams Yarn Cruiser purchased from The Loopy Ewe. They are sold out right now, but will no doubt have more for sale in the future.

Healthy Spine Socks

I’m so please y’all like my Healthy Spine Sock design, and that a number of you would like to knit it. I’ve got plans for this pattern so stay tuned — the pattern will be ready soon.

Meanwhile, I’m knitting on the second sock.

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SIP 082007

See? I didn’t bother hauling out the light tent. icon wink Sock Photography

Lucy Sez

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Lucy 082007

Lucy asked me to tell you all “meow.” She said you’d understand.

Nope

None of you guys came close to guessing the name of the new sock design. A bunch of you came up with a lot of very pretty names, though.

I guess you need to know what I’m thinking about and how my mind works to be able to guess this. And it is no doubt a good thing that you don’t know what I’m thinking and how my mind works.

Oh, the name of the sock design? Healthy Spine Socks.

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Healthy Spine Sock 081907

Heh. I just crack me up sometimes.

I actually thought of the name before I came up with the design. I was lying awake one night thinking about knitting socks and thought I ought to come up with a design and incorporated a rib that looked like healthy vertebrae. You know, vertebrae that are not collapsed or disintegrated, or have calcium deposits growing out of them, or have pieces broken off them floating in the spinal canal . . .

Sorry. Where was I?

So I got up and grabbed some needles and yarn and started experimenting. This design is what I ended up with after a few false starts.

Well, yeah, I know it doesn’t really look like vertebrae. Bit I do like the way it looks, very much.

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Healthy Spine Sock Closeup 081907

A couple of days ago, someone left me a comment asking where I “grab” my designs. Well, I don’t really “grab” them from anywhere specific. I do have a whole bunch of stitch dictionaries and I do look through them for inspiration. But I don’t very often just take a pattern from a stitch dictionary and plop it into a sock. Most of the time I will make changes here and there. And sometimes I just make up a stitch pattern out of my head. That’s not to say that no one else has ever come up with the same combination of stitches. But for the Crotalus socks, for example, I just put together some decreases and yarnovers and started knitting. If I don’t like the way it’s turning out, I rip and revise.

In fact, for at least half of my Summer of Socks designs, what I ended up with does not bear much resemblance to what I started out with.

I’ve been practicing my yarn photography today. Here are some recent additions to the stash, all from The Loopy Ewe.

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J Knits Loopy Ewe Anniversary Yarn

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Woully Boully Kelp Seahorse

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Woully Boully Fishing

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L&V Buzzberry

And the great little yarn tote I got:

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Yarn Cruiser 081907

Lucy sez:

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Lucy 081907

“I’m hiding under here until she puts the light tent away.”