My current work in progress:

Beadwork, by Jade Starmore, knit from Wendy Guernsey, using 2.75mm needles.

Archives for May 2008

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is not only Mother’s Day, but it is “Lucy Day.” It was five years ago today that this little bundle of sweetness/nuttiness came to live with me.


Lucy and I are celebrating quietly at home. 🙂

I have a completed sock:


This is the sock knit from the colorway to be named later from the Sanguine Gryphon. How is it that I am knitting from an unnamed colorway? I’ve created this design for Gryphon – it will eventually be available for sale in the Sanguine Gryphon shop.


In other news . . .

I was lucky enough to win a prize in the recent Ravelraiser event. I won a zipped pouch from Splityarn. I love Caro’s zipped pouches and fun stitchmarkers.

Here is the pouch I just received as my Ravelraiser prize:


I recently purchased a couple of pouches from Caro in a fun houndstooth check:


As you can see, all of them coordinate beautifully with my latest purse acquisition.


Lucy sez:


“Momma is too busy playing with me to post a long blog post today. Happy Mother’s Day!”

The Sock Goes On

My new sock is taking shape:

I am very happy with the way it is turning out, so it will live to see a heel!

By the way, the Costa Socks pattern will be available at The Loopy Ewe soon.

Speaking of sock patterns, I’ve updated my basic toe-up slipstitch heel sock so that it now has instructions for 4 sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. Previously it was written for just medium and large. The pdf of this pattern is here.

You can also get to it from my Free Patterns page which you can access from the tab up there at the top of my blog. (Picture me pointing up to the top of the page.)

Allow me to clarify/add to a couple of things I mentioned yesterday.

  1. When I said that I spent the whole day yesterday fighting off the terminally befuddled and confused, what I really meant was that I spent the whole day fighting off drooling idiots.
  2. I brought another apple to work today, purchased at the same time as yesterday’s oddly pigmented apple. This one looked normal, and tasted good.
  3. I know that 2.0 magnitude earthquake is laughable. I was making a feeble attempt at humor when I said it was a “whopping 2.0 in magnitude.”

Thank you. 🙂

A Couple of Worthy Causes

Janice is training to run a marathon in November to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Janice is one the nicest people I’ve ever met, and the photo in her blog (and on her donation page) of her with Jared, a little boy with with AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) brought tears to my eyes. Go Janice! I’m delighted to support you!

And Claudia, another fabulous knitblogger who I’ve been lucky enough to meet in person, is doing her annual fundraising to fight Multiple Sclerosis. Claudia’s donation page is here. Go Claudia! I’m delighted to support you too!

Lucy sez:

“Give til it hurts. I’d donate some of my Wildside Salmon if it would help . . .”

And a Colorway to be Named Later

Warning: I am feeling somewhat random this afternoon.

Did you ever have one of those days when you seem to spend the whole day fighting off the terminally befuddled and confused? Today was one of those days for me. And there is not even a full moon. And to top it off, I did not win the Megamillions lottery last night.

And the KOARC today emailed me this screenshot showing the last several lottery draws, directing my attention to the Mega Ball for the last three draws:

Mighty suspicious, don’t you think?

I brought an apple to work today, as I often do. My web developer came into my office and exclaimed over it because it had a unique coloration — one half was decidedly redder than the other with a perfect line of demarcation between the red and not-so-red sides. She told me that I could not eat the apple because of its unique qualities. After some heated discussion, which included my demanding that she buy me a comparable apple and her laughing hysterically, we compromised on taking a photo to record it for posterity. She used my point and shoot camera:

Well, you can sorta see the line . . . it’s clearer if you click on the photo to view the large size.

Incidentally, I did endeavor to eat the apple and was disappointed to find that it was remarkable in its mediocrity of flavor. So much so that I discarded it half way through.

Ooh, we had an earthquake on Tuesday! A whopping 2.0 in magnitude. It was centered less than ten miles from where I live, I think. But I was at work in downtown DC when it hit, and Lucy tells me she did not feel a thing.

But she is not a particularly reliable witness, due to her tight nap schedule during the day.

Oh, yeah — I started my new sock.

I would have been further along but I ripped back to the toe once after doing 16 or so rounds, so I could adjust the pattern slightly. Now I am pleased with it.

The yarn is from The Sanguine Gryphon, and it is in a yet-to-be-named colorway. The pattern is my own and it is a yet-to-be-named pattern. Here it is, on my dainty hoof:

Isn’t that colorway glorious?

Lucy really hates it when she is yet-to-be-fed.

Rejiggering Sock Patterns

There were lots of good suggestions in the comments yesterday for rejiggering sock patterns to fit you when the pattern is not just right. I’ve done ’em all. 🙂

Which one you use really depends on the pattern and just how much the pattern is off. Here are some of the highlights:

Add one or two stitches on each side of the sock. If the pattern is centered in the middle, this is a viable option, and won’t degrade the look of the sock. Look at my Pagoda Lace or Garden Path sock patterns — you could add stitches on each side of these and the pattern would look just fine. If you were to add 1 or 2 stitches on each side of the instep of these socks (leaving the sole stitches the same so you don’t mess up the math for the heel), you could add a quarter to a half an inch to the circumference of the sock. You could also remove a stitch or two to make ’em smaller. (This is more difficult for my Garden Path socks, as the stitch pattern is almost the full width of the smaller size. But you could do it by moving the outer zig-zag motif in a stitch or two before removing the outer stitch.

If the stitch pattern has a small repeat, try adding an extra repeat to the sock. My Healthy Spine sock, for example, has a small pattern repeat, so that’s one that would be do-able.

If possible, add or remove a stitch to/from each pattern repeat. This would work with my River Run and Snapdragon sock patterns, for example. Tangled Vines, too, for that matter.

Use a slightly heavier/slightly finer sock yarn. Not all fingering weight sock yarns are created equal. Some are beefier than others. For example, Fiesta Baby Boom is noticeably beefier than Lorna’s Laces and knit with the same needle size, gives me a slightly larger sock.

And of course, there’s knitting the instep on a larger needle than the sole, as I mentioned yesterday.

Kindly note how I slipped all the self-promotion in up there, in the guise of helpful hints and advice. Continuing in that vein, I should mention now that there will soon be four new WendyKnits sock patterns available at The Loopy Ewe: Alana, St. Louis, Spring Fling, and Twisted Logic. I just shipped the patterns out to Sheri, so they’ll be available for sale in a week or two, I expect.

And lookie here — I’ve finished the second Costa sock.

And a close-up:

I did have some trouble getting a good photo of these socks. See?

So tonight it is onward to a new sock in a particularly yummy colorway.

But we can speak of that tomorrow.

Lucy, meanwhile, is in a contemplative mood.

Sock Integrity

Yuppers, if you tried to get to my blog earlier today, you will have noticed that it was down for a while, having been hacked. (I feel so violated.) Fortunately my web guru was on top of things and worked her little tail off to get things back up and running in record time – thanks, Daisy! Oh, and death to hackers.

On to the business of the blog . . .

Liz in Indiana left the following comment on Sunday’s blog post:

I bought a lovely and popular sock book (because yours doesn’t come out until next year!), and have discovered that most of the patterns are designed for narrower feet than my own. Their suggestion is always the same: change needle size to get gauge.

Is this the standard solution? Doesn’t this affect the . . . integrity of the fabric? At the moment, I knit fingering wt yarn on 2mm or 2.25mm to produce the sock fabric I like. The book’s sock patterns *start* with a larger needle size than that (to make socks too narrow pour moi). I’m concerned that sizing up for gauge will produce…floppy sock fabric. And nobody likes “Monsieur Floppy.” 🙂

Is this a standard solution? Not for me, it isn’t. Does it affect the integrity of the fabric (love that phrase)? Heck, yeah.

I don’t know about you, but when I find a pattern that makes size adjustments by advising you to change the needle size to adjust the gauge, I think that is lazy designing.

While I do have a few patterns that are written in one size only, I’ve offered those up as freebies, following the philosophy that you get what you pay for. 😉

For the too-small socks Liz mentioned in her comment, you could always try the trick of knitting the sole on the smaller needle and instep on a larger needle. That way the part of the sock that gets the most wear will be knit to a firmer gauge.

About my Costa Sock, Celeste asked:

Since the pattern starts so close to the tip of the toe, do you think these would wear hard on the toes while wearing shoes?

Actually, the pattern doesn’t really start that close to the tip of the toe. The mannequin leg that I have has a foot that is rather small, so the sock I knit is too long for it. I sorta folded the toe down when I took the photo. You can see what the toe really looks like here:

I wish I could find a model foot that is larger, but they do all seem to be the same size, at least that is what I’ve found when googling for body parts. (No doubt the FBI will now be tracking my online activity after that statement.) The foot is even smaller than an L-B-sized foot (and she has dainty little feet). So I really don’t want to knit my socks to fit the fake foot, because I’d be hard-pressed to find a human the socks would fit.

I am currently working on the second Costa Sock — see?

Apropos of nothing, today I had reason to walk down to the lobby of the federal building where I work. As I passed the main entrance, I saw two of the security guards playfully wrestling and punching each other. A third security guard was a few feet away, by himself, dancing a little jig and singing an idiotic song to no one in particular. This is what is protecting us? I feel so . . . safe.

Lucy is continuing her hard life of lying around and occasionally asking for a bon-bon.