My current work in progress:

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


Archives for March 2006

Greetings From Sock Yarn Central


Just time for a quickie blog post because we are drowning in sock yarn!

Just kidding — the remainder of the sock yarn is all nicely packaged up and ready to be mailed. This is thanks to Phyl, who came over this evening and helped get it ready for mailing!


Lucy was so excited to have a new person to play with!


So. The rest of the sock yarn is ready to go. If you get a package in the mail from me in the near future, you’ll know you won some.

By the way — Dave? Dude, you are so getting sock yarn. But don’t worry — I promise not to deliver it in person.

After we got the sock yarn packaged up, Phyl pulled out her socks-in-progress to show me why she feels my toe-up sock pattern is broken:


It is hard to argue with evidence like that, isn’t it?

Hey, Guess What?

Saturday is my blog’s fourth birthday. Alert the media.

Return of the Native Sock

Not that the sock had actually gone anywhere from whence to return, mind you. But it has been demoted to commuter knitting, so it’s not getting as much face time as last week’s socks did.

Here it is, looking a bit rumpled. Clearly I am not a photo-stylist.


The foot is 68 stitches around. After I completed the heel, I increased to a total of 80 stitches, and am working a 4 by 4 rib for the leg. This should make for a nice squishy sock. Of course, it takes me much longer to knit 4 by 4 rib than it does stockinette, but I’m in no hurry.


Oh, and the All Seasons Cotton sweater is coming along.


But not much knitting will go on tonight, for Lucy and I will be busy tidyng up for a special guest who is coming over tomorrow night.

I’ve asked Lucy if she’ll dust with her tail if I spray it with Lemon Pledge. She said no. Sheesh.


More Sock Yarn Contest Entries

A number of critters made pleas for sock yarn, some for themselves, some on behalf of their humans. Lucy and I chose a few at random from the many adorable photos sent us.

This is Gandi, a Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll who apparently yearns to knit socks:


This is Carley, our favorite Malti-poo (who we have seen before two times on my blog!):


And here is an entry from Leigha. She writes: “I think these pictures say it all.”




Why, yes, those photos DO say it all.

Not So Much Happy With the Denim Yarn

I knit along on the denim sweater last night, put it away, slept on it, and this morning decided to abandon it.

I’m just not feeling the love. It’s not you, it’s me.

The yarn just does not seem quite right for the design in my head. What’s a girl to do?

Head into the Mighty Stash Room and pull out some Rowan All Seasons Cotton!

On the train into work, I knit this swatch:


While I was at it, I beefed up the cable from a 4-stitcher in the original plan to a 6-stitcher — mmmmmmm, I love plump cably goodness!

There were a few questions about the denim yarn — like why would you want to knit from it?

Think of your favorite pair of jeans, shrunk to fit you and faded over time to the perfect color. That, I think, is the allure of the denim yarn.

Did the blue rub off on my hands or needles? Not that I noticed, although there is a warning about the possibility on the label. Perhaps because I was using the lighter color there was less color transference.

Non-Wool Sock Yarns

There was question last week about sock yarns for the wool-sensitive.

Lo and behold! The fabulous Grumperina has a list on her site, here. Check it out, for lots of non-wool socky goodness!

More on Sock Yarns

Suzanne commented:
I was just wondering about your needle size and stitch gauge for your Lorna’s Laces socks; are you knitting them on a smaller size needle and a tighter gauge than the yarn band recommends? Do you do it that way because you like a denser look and feel in a sock? I was just curious since I have some Lorna’s Laces sock yarn that I haven’t used yet and it seems to recommend a size 4 needle and a gauge of 6sts. to the inch.

Suzanne, I believe you have Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, not Shepherd Sock. Shepherd Sport lists a gauge of 6 sts/inch, while Shepherd Sock is 7 st/inch.

That said, I knit my Lorna’s Laces at 8 st/inch, which I achieve with a size 0 (2mm) needle. Your mileage may vary here. I tend to knit looser than some, so need a smaller needle to achieve the tight gauge.

Why knit it at 8 sts/inch?

I think the socks last longer knitted at a tighter gauge — I also think the smaller the stitches, the more comfortable the sock. I can feel the separate stitches of socks knit at a looser gauge. If the fabric is dense, I don’t feel ’em so much

Sock Yarn Stash Contest!

Alrighty boys and girls. I got over 900 entries in my sock yarn contest. I do not have enough sock yarn for 900 pairs of socks, so I’m afraid not all of you are gonna get sock yarn.

But some of you are. Over the next few days I’m gonna feature some of the amusing entries I got. For starters, this one from Snow:

The most compelling reason to send me some of your sock yarn stash is attached. Mewella worships Lucy, just as I worship your knitting skills. Besides, you gotta admit this one cute photo, non?


Yes, that is one cute photo! Lucy agrees!

And you gotta admire Snow’s entry — see, she’s sucking up to me while Mewella is sucking up to Lucy. It is a win-win situation!

By the way, Lucy seems over her infatuation with her styrofoam. Yes, the honeymoon is over.

This morning I took the ball band off the ball of All Seasons Cotton I was going to take to work to swatch on the train. Lucy fell on the ball band as soon as it was off the yarn and savagely ripped it up.

She has gone from nurturing caregiver to mighty huntress.

Be afraid.


Back to a Real Project

Not that socks aren’t real, but . . .

I was feeling a bit at a loss last week without a “big” project on the needles.

So here is the beginning of my denim cabled pullover.


The denim yarn is, as I mentioned before, Elann’s Den-M-Nit, which is very similar to Rowan Denim yarn. The Elann yarn has 100 yards per 50 gram skein and states a gauge of 5 sts/inch. Rowan Denim yarn is almost identical — 101 yards per 50 gram skein and the same gauge of 5 st/inch.


On my swatch, pre-washing, I got a row gauge of about 6.5 rows/inch. Post-washing, it is 8 rows per inch. The stitch gauge is pretty much the same pre- and post-washing.

So, I cast on last night and started knitting.


The yarn doesn’t suck too badly to knit. It is sort of like knitting with string, particularly after knitting with soft sock yarn, but I’m gettng used to it.

Speaking of Socks . . .

Michelle asked:
I was reading your toe-up sock pattern and there is one instruction I don’t understand. What is “wrap and turn”?

If you’ve never done short rows, that won’t make any sense to you. Do check out this article, by the incomparable Bonne Marie Burns, on short rows in general, or this article by yours truly, which includes information on short rows for socks.

Sheila asked:
I have a question, I have yet to knit socks, still a beginner. Do you think the toe up version would be a good way to learn?

I may be biased, but I say yes! I created the pattern so that I would have a simple, easy-to-memorize, pattern for socks.

Margarita Hat?

Jenn commented:
The extra long straw is a great idea, but you know what would be really great? You know those beer hats that hold 2 cans of beer? The King of All Remote Controls should make you a Margarita Hat.

The only problem with a margarita hat? I’d get hat head.

I am glad you all recognize the genius and resourcefulness that is the King of All Remote Controls. Hands off, ladies — he’s mine!

Lucy sez:


“He’s mine too!”

Lucy Deja Vu

Here is the photo of Lucy I posted last Thursday:


And here is a photo of Lucy taken in July 2003:


The King of All Remote Controls took that photo, and he pointed out to me the similarity of pose and the look of purpose on her face in both shots.

Lucy’s fur has darkened with maturity, and she now looks sleek and pampered (that first photo was taken shortly after I adopted her) but some things never change!

Yes, I know that some cats will chew on styrofoam and ingest it. Lucy does not. She has been carrying her freaking styrofoam around for days now, and there isn’t even a tooth mark on it!

It’s not like she considers it prey (Cat, she doesn’t make The Sound). I think she thinks of it as a doll or a baby, so it is treated very tenderly. The other night she moved it around on the bed several tmes before she was satisfied.

Sock Talk

CarolineF commented:
It seems you use a few more stitches for a feather and fan sock than a plain sock? I made a Nancy Bush design with a feather and fan cuff and found that it was very inelastic and pulled in, so I was wondering if you compensate for that by making it wider.

The feather and fan is indeed pretty inelastic. Going up to 72 stitches definitely helped with that.

And speaking of Feather and Fan socks . . . here they are!


Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Gold Hill colorway, knitted on US 0 needles at a gauge of 8st/inch.

I started a new sock, of course:


Isn’t the yarn lovely?

Extreme close-up of the short-row toe:


It’s hand dyed sock yarn (75% wool, 25% nylon) I purchased from an Etsy shop: Black Bunny Fibers. It’s a four ounce skein with about 480 yards and seems just slightly finer than the Lorna’s Laces — I’m knitting it on the US 0 needles at 9sts/12 rows to the inch. The yarn is lovely to knit and I love the colorway — my favorite shades of olive green. I ordered it from the shop on Wednesday and I got it in the mail on Thursday. Can’t ask for better than that, can you?

Other Knitting

Remember my little cotton denim swatch from last week? Here it is, all washed and dried.


I’m going to cast on a sweater with this yarn shortly . . .

I hope y’all had a good weekend. On Saturday, I wore my STR Feather and Fan socks!


The following photo will show you what a resourceful guy the King of All Remote Controls is. He fashioned a very long drinking straw for me so I could drink my margarita without having to put down my knitting.


You can’t ask for better than that, now can you?

Lucy Sez


The sock yarn stash contest is now closed! We will announce the winners later this week. Thanks for all your emails!