My current work in progress:

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


Holy Guacamole

Yeah, when I announced the Stash Clearance yesterday I figured it would be easy to choose recipients from among the emails I got. Yow! That is so not true. I’ve gotten several hundred great entries so far.

So I’ll be paring them down to a “reasonable” number and sending out sock yarn til I run out. In order to spread the wealth around, I think I’ll probably be sending one pair’s worth to each recipient.

All will be revealed in the fullness of time. But thank you for the hugely entertaining, sweet, funny, touching emails I’ve gotten so far!

Back to the Sock at Hand

I fnished the first Lorna’s Laces Feather and Fan sock last night.


And I started the second one this morning.


desiknitter asked:
Wendy, this colourway is easily the most beautiful one I have seen so far in LL. While I ooh and aah over it, I also had a specific question: how does the Feather and Fan stitch hold up in the sock? Do the socks slide down to the ankles a lot without any ribbing at the top?

I did a test-drive of my one sock last night and it seemed to stay up nicely.

Of course, it helps if you have fat shapely legs like mine.

Mia asked if I would share the pattern.

Be happy to.

I just did my toe up sock pattern on 68 stitches and after turning the heel (Heh! I typed “turning the hell”!), increased to 72 stitches. The Feather and Fan pattern is worked thusly:

Row 1: (k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times — repeat around.
Rows 2-4: knit.

And at the top, I did four rows of garter stitch and then did the stretchy sewn cast-off. Ta-da!

And Now for Something Completely Different

Look at this cute l’il swatch.


This is Elann’s Den-M-Nit yarn, which is similar to the Rowan denim yarn in that it shrinks in length when you dry it in a clothes dryer (after washing it — duh). This is the pre-washed and dried swatch.

And Now for Something Completely, Completely Different

Here is Lucy with her new favorite toy: a piece of styrofoam.


Lucy and her styrofoam have been inseparable for three days.


  1. Ah – my Zoe’s favorite toy of late is the middle of the Scotch tape left over when you run out. She loves to chase it all over the carpet and the laminate floor (good sound with the latter!).


  2. Love the action shot of Lucy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Clearly, nobody better mess with her styrofoam! Don’t you love the things cats attach themselves to? My Grace loves fabric-softener sheets. And, uh, yarn. We’ve had some words about that…

    I love that Lorna’s Laces colorway! I do remember the shawl you made from it (which you mentioned a couple of days ago – I’m behind the times). Will we be lucky enough to see it in your book next month? And the Laci cardi? I hope? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. That picture of Lucy could be a carbon-copy of the day my Callie-cat dug up my baby spider plant (now deceased) and paraded around the house with it like it was a prize trophy. That was the last time anything green and leafy entered my house. She was so proud. I was so depressed. It was a cute spider plant. Today, its kinda funny though.

  4. That Lucy…she’s so hilarious! I love that denim yarn! It looks great with cables!

  5. Question: Is the background for this morning’s sock shot a certain Ms. Lucy?? I did a double take and bet a pair of dpn’s it is. If I’m right I get sock yarn, if not I’ll send you a pair of Clover Size 1 dpn’s, how’s that??? I just can’t be clever this week…

    Lucy won’t burn any calories carrying that styrofoam but I’m hoping she doesn’t try to break it apart and eat it. Talk about greenies not digesting easily…

  6. Hee hee. Styrofoam. I wonder if Chaos would like a chunk of styrofoam. It’s no weirder than the plastic doohickey from the top of the soy milk carton…

  7. I love the styrofoam pic…she is a princess among cats..

  8. My parent’s cat, Linus, has a slipper (it’s a Freudian Slipper, made for my mom years ago, with a doll head wearing a beard and glasses). Anyway, in the middle of the night, when he gets bored and there’s no one around to pet him, Linus will stalk the slipper. He’ll growl, hiss, and actually howl while wrestling it into submission (apparently it puts up a nasty fight). When he wins, he leaves it at my parents’ bedroom door as a trophy.

  9. Those socks are gorgeous! Too bad you have to hide them inside shoes. But then you wouldn’t want to walk around outside with just those on your feet. Maybe you should wear them to a Japanese restaurant where you take your shoes off at the door.

    Could you please send me the contest email address? Thanks!
    Betty J

  10. styrofoam?….I wish Coeurs da Kitty likes….no loves my circular needles!…….but for now she’s on “what’s that alert” at the fireplace…..yes, indeed there is a birdie chirping there…..and the flue is closed…..yikes……

    thanks for the sock pattern… are generous and kind indeed……but alas….no good deed going unpunished….re emails for sock stash reduction!

  11. Does Lucy make That Sound when she’s carrying her styrofoam around? (Ruby does, with her twisty toys.)

  12. Rachel H says:

    See, my Dougal-kitty has a dog to play with, so apart from random attacks on whatever yarn I’m knitting with at the time, he’s good for playthings. If he gets bored he just goes and swats the dog. Lots o’ fun in the middle of the night I gotta say…

  13. Cheddar and Cinder love styrofoam packing peanuts. They’re great to bat around.

  14. More weird cat toys…ours like the sproingy things (that’s their official name as far as I can tell) from around the neck of the milk jug. They put up quite a fight, too.

  15. oh my….lucy and styrofoam is the funniest thing ever!! how cute!

  16. ….and your socks totally rock!

  17. ….and your socks totally rock!

  18. I just checked my own sock yarn stash and it is a bit shocking … so I’m not doing anything to add to it. Just want to tell you that the colourway of LL you’re using is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! I love it!
    And Lucy is always such a queen!

  19. Sarah Chase says:

    I had a question about the feather and fan sock pattern. I like to use your toe-up-sock pattern and I was wondering if you have to change the pattern of the leg to do it the other toe-up when the patter is top-down.

  20. Beautiful socks. That looks like Lucy’s back and tail the second one is resting on. Lucy is so cute with her styrofoam toy!

  21. That is so cute! Styrofoam!!

    My mom’s cat loves receipts and keeps them in the bath tub. If you throw them out he get quite upset and knocks the garbage over to take them out . . . then they go back in the bath tub.

  22. Thank you for another nice idea, Ms. Lucy. I’m sure Ms. Sharky has gotten tired of the 5-6 beautiful plastic bottles caps she has hidden under the kitchen cupboard, sofa and tv rack by now.

  23. Very lovely socks. I need to find a pattern that will suit the LL I just got in Georgetown. Yummy stuff and my first skeins of “good” sock yarn.

    I do hope you share the funny stories that were sent to you. I couldn’t think of anything amusing to share, so I didn’t enter. *sigh*

  24. Sara in WI says:

    Hi! I’ve tried 3 times to send my contest entry! Help me, pleeeeease! I need somebody! Help! I need anybody. Pleeease! Oops! That was a little Beatle seeping from my brain!

  25. Our cat used to get so nutty (don’t have her any more) when we would unpack a box with foam peanuts because they would have static electricity and would stick to her fur. hehe Oh, memories of cat torture. Anyway, it’s surprising that Lucy doesn’t shred the styrofoam. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into another case of GREENIES! Ack!

  26. Ann Carpenter says:

    Hi Wendy,
    The picture of Lucy and her styrofoam made me laugh and reminded me of my girlie Stripes. She is a gray and black stripped tabby who has a fondness for yarn. This morning my husband and I were eating breakfast in the den when in she came carrying a ball of Prism yarn. Obviously she has good taste. I asked if she wanted me to knit her a ball out of it but she just dropped it and left!
    Love your lace too.

  27. Last night, I got kind of chilly, and pulled up the quilt that I keep folded across the foot of the bed. Out dropped a size 3 DPN! I’m sure Harley hid it there- she likes to carry things around in her mouth. I’m just glad it wasn’t in a pair of half-done socks!

  28. Thanks for the response, Wendy! Good to know it holds up (and given my ankle size, looks like there will be no problems!) I have one sock of lorna’s laces done, and you’ve sorely tempted me to frog it and do this feather&fan pattern for the pair!

  29. Please, please be careful. My Sassy liked to play with styrofoam until she choked on a piece and I almost lost her. She isn’t at all happy that I won’t let her have it, but I’d rather have an unhappy Sassy than no Sassy.

    The socks are gorgeous and so is Lucy. I love her beautiful blue crossed eyes.

  30. LOVE the socks (well, sock!). One question – can you list the basic color repeat for Gold Hill (that is, Lorikeet would be red-blue-red-yellow)? I’ve found that the Lorna’s Laces colorways tend to act according to the number of color changes in them (two stripe, of course, but three may pool, four stripe in a different way, etc), and since I adore how Gold Hill is acting for you, I think it’d be helpful to know the number of color changes in it, and what they are, to help pick good colorways in the future.
    Thanks, and that’s hands-down the cutest Lucy photo yet. I had a ferret many years ago who, from kithood until he really started to fade, carried a stuffed Coke polar bear almost everywhere. It was three times his size!

  31. Almost nothing makes me smile so much as when I see a cat toting a precious belonging in it’s mouth. Lucy looks so determined! And beautiful!

    Love the sock Tiny!

  32. Is Lucy part dog?

    LOVE the swatch.

  33. Oh Miss Lucy you are such a good kitty!I always look forward to seeing your latest manuevers. My kitty Jay is 24 years old and just isn’t interested in entertaining mom anymore.
    I have gone from being afraid (yes, I’ve been knitting for years and would wince at the thought of sock construction) but since trying the toe-up patt I have become a sock knitting maniac. I’m on my second pair! I plan on stalking my local yarn shops this weekend to build up my stash.

  34. 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.

  35. Stephanie says:

    What is it with cats and styrofoam? My Zoey can smell it through a sealed carton and won’t give up till you let her play with a little. Is the Den-M-nit yarn cotton or wool? It has a very nice stitch definition.

  36. My cat Jezebel loves styrofoam too. She usually chews it up into little pellets and leaves them all over the floor. I’ll have to give her a piece small enough to carry and see what she does with it.

  37. We were afraid our kitties had a parasite because of the horrors that awaited cleaning up every other day or so, so I took them to the vet’s. After much poking and prodding and testing it was revealed that they were EATING a styrofoam cooler, which led to their digestive problems. I never said they were a brain trust.

    The feather and fan socks look great! It really is a beautiful colorway.

  38. Emy has about 20 little light-weight rubber balls that she loves to play with and carry around. We can only find about four of them at any one time, though. She keeps a cache under the china cabinet in the dining room.

    Thanks for sharing the fan and feather!

  39. There’s a cuff down feather and fan sock pattern in the book Socks, Socks, Socks, but your toe up sock really enhances the pattern. Gold Hill is a great colorway, and your cuff is so long–you must have small feet…

  40. Thanks for the Lucy shot, it’s priceless. We all have our “things”.

  41. Lucy is such a beautiful, dignified creature, which makes the styrofoam in her mouth even more funny. We have a cat who carries half a plastic ball around the house, sometimes carrying it up onto the bed, in case he gets bored while we’re sleeping.

  42. Wendy, you have a talent for taking picutres of animals. I am sure. Not many pepole could capture the moment of animals everyday, which makes us smile and happy. You seem to do it effortlessly.

    I was convinced that Lucy is such a destinctive cat: her hair is so shiny and her coloring is perfect. Very beatutiful cat. I suspect that she is one of the decendents from some kind of champion (show-awarded?)cats.

    By the way, our cat was exactly the same kind as Lucy, and she did have crossed eyes. Maybe, they have the tendency for that? I wonder.

    Good night.


  43. The swatch is lovely. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what it grows up into. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sometimes I think I should stop reading you because you always have such lovely yarns that it makes me so envious. I covet your stash! The socks are gorgeous, by the way.

    Cats are wonderful creatures, aren’t they? My Blaze has stolen almost all of my emery boards and hoards them. He also finds orphan ball bands to be worthy of stalking. Better than bringing mice, birds and moles in the house!

  44. I figured there’d be at least a hundred entries; several hundred? Whew! That’s a lot of yarn to mail!

  45. Lucy looks so determined and serious with her styrofoam. I love it when cats carry things in their mouths, it seems so un-cat-like.

    The swatch is beautiful.

  46. My Bean (he lives only to digest, so has gone from string-Bean to Bean-bag) has an important daily job of Sock Carrying. He will only do wool socks, prefers ones I’ve knit–every day, while I’m at work, he carries it downstairs; every night (with much vocal testimony to his own exertion and cleverness and courage) he carries it back up to my bedroom. He’s getting older, and the stairs are no longer done at a run, but he remains faithful to the subduing of the Mighty Sock.

  47. Oh, I can see another beautiful Aran in the works. What a beautiful color and pattern. Thank you for the “feather and fan” sock pattern. Think I’ll try that on my next pair of socks. Lucy looks like she’s on her way to her favorite hiding place! ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Love the socks. Glad you got the sock knitting mojo going on again!

  49. Styrofoam? That’s a new one.

    I can’t believe you’re shocked by the number of entries you’ve had. You’re offering free sock yarn to a bunch of knitters. Of course we’re all over it.

  50. At least styrofoam is dry. I had a cat that liked to carry wet sponges around and them leave them on my pillow – yuck.

  51. Styrofoam peanuts, personal drinking water bottle caps, and the light plastic “rolls” that adding machine paper is rolled on. The cats LOVE those things. what noise the bottle caps and plastic rolly thing make on the tile floor tho!!

  52. I have a question-your generic toe up socks, there is no gussett? I tried doing another pattern which was written so confusingly with cute language and quaint terms I can’t understand the basic premise of what to do with the gussett-and then find yours, which doesn’t seem to have one.
    I’m ready to abandon my toe up socks, and just do them top down. So, I’ll be a quitter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  53. My friend’s cat (who, we think, thinks he’s really a dog) loves to play with those little plastic rings that come on bottles. He won’t just bat them around the floor, though. Throw one for him, and he’ll chase after it, bring it back, drop it at your feet, and meow for you to throw it again.

  54. Me again, I’m trying the fan & feather patt and rows 1,2,3,4 went fine as written, but now for repeat of row 1 I have too many stitches. I should be back to my original count I’m thinking, yes? Yes, so I’m missing a decrease row or, or, maybe I have gone brain-dead. Wouldn’t be the first time. Help!

  55. Never mind, got it! D’uh. What can I say, it’s 7:50 am. I should have had the cat read the instructions.

  56. Lucy you are beautiful, my little girl says “meouwww”.

  57. You really rock, Wendy. I didn’t even know I *needed* a pair of feather and fan socks, but now I know I do. And I finally know what that Socks That Rock yarn I bought is destined to become. (Ok, so I have several skeins, but at least one of them will become Feather and Fan.)
    Why do you rock? (I know you didn’t ask that, but I want to tell you.) Because I read your pattern, wrote it down, and thought, “Wait! How do I ‘do the toe up sock’ at the beginning?” Instead of bothering you with my query, I took it to Google. Typed in “toe-up sock pattern,” and what’s the FIRST entry in the list?
    How funny is that?
    You’re amazing.
    Thank you.