My current work in progress:

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


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.



  1. Well if you need a home for the denim yarn, I’ll happily provide one ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just got the Mason-Dixon Knitting book today and I’m imagining up a machine wash/dry denim blanket. That’s my favorite denim feature. Whoops! I see you want reasons to give away SOCK yarn, not denim. Shoot.

  2. That is a hugely cute photo of Mewella and cyber-Lucy!

    And I have knit with the darker denim, and darkened my fingers and birch needles. But I can understand why you moved on from it…

    The Rowan swatchy is yummy.

  3. “She has gone from nurturing caregiver to mighty huntress.”

    Must be hormones – sounds exactly like me. :o)

  4. Are you going to bind off that hunk o’ burnin’ denim love and call it an innovative horizontal scarf? Or just shred it all and put the denim away for another day?

    I’ll have you know I nearly posted that photo myself the other day because it was just so damned cute.

  5. Oh, that is a cute photo. That Snow! I’m just jealous I didn’t think of using visuals…

  6. The yarn I knit has to have a good ‘hand’ or I cannot knit it. Some cottons make me crazy. My favorite sock yarn currently is my home spun. It is springy singles and always an adventure to see how the hand dyed roving will turn out. My kitties Pumpkin and Cookie (I’m seeing a trend toward food names here…) aren’t interested in yarn at all. I’ll have to get them to take lessons from Lucy I guess.

  7. Oooh…thanks for the link to the non-wool sock yarn list. Having vegan knitter friends means doing some creative yarn-hunting.

    I hope the All Seasons cotton goes better for you!

  8. Does this mean you’re leaning toward cat-oriented entries? Wahay! I still have a chance! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My goodness, that is one cute picture of Mewella!

    Please keep up the sock talk; I’m determined to finish the cardi I’m knitting before I start anything else, and just reading about all your recent socks seems to be satisfying me enough to keep from actually casting on a sock of my own. I’m living vicariously through your socks. (Yes, I am quite mad, but I’ll bet you all understand!)

  9. Aww, Lucy looks so cute like that! and Mewella too.

    Nice new swatch, it’s a beautiful color.

  10. I’m bummin’ here because you’re absolutely right about sock knitting and tension. I just finished putting some darning reinforcements into the heel of my first ever pair of socks – worked on Socka something or other on size 3 because I didn’t think I would ever be able to finish anything on a 0, 1 or 2. Well, I’m over that now thank the yarn gods. But still – my first pair of socks – just going into their 3rd year and needing a darning. I will only use part nylon yarn and will always reinforce heels with wooly thread if coordinating reinforcing yarn isn’t available. Or do you have another suggestion for reinforcing heels (and/or toes)?

    BTW – Lucy is SUCH a girl! It looks like you both benefitted from the adoption; she with a great home and you with a real star. Was she your first cat or was she the latest in a succession or feline princesses?

  11. The general consensus among most of the sock knitters I’ve talked to seems to be that the gauge on the ball band is (like most yarn) recommended to give you a nice drapey sweater fabric. Socks, however, should be knit denser/tighter than the recommended gauge to improve the feel of them on your feet, as well as to make them last longer.

    (This is a regular conversation on the Socknitters email list; it either comes up once or a month or it SEEMS like it does.)

  12. I have a grip of that yarn, because I want to make AS’s Mystic out of it. I have a son who lives near Mystic CT and I’d love to have the sweater to wear to visit him. But I swatched it and ugh… it’s too much like knitting string. I think I will need to wait for high summer here before I try that again.

  13. LOL! That is a wonderful entry!

    I totally love the swatch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Yeah, I tried making a sweater with that denim yarn too . . . I didn’t like it . . . i don’t quite know why . . . I just didn’t. That sweater became abandoned too!

  15. yep, I couldn’t resist that cat picture either.

  16. Ah the Mighty Huntress. I think I can hear the jungle drums…

    Is that a catnip mouse she is stalking? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Are those Lemon Zest Luna bars near Lucy?? Mmmmm!

  18. It’s not you, it’s me…hee!

    I MUCH prefer the ASC version to the denim string!

    I love Snow’s entry…Lucy’s admirers cover four corners of the earth, I think!

  19. Is that All Seasons Cotton shade “Safari”? I knit my Rogue sweater with it and it was great to work with.
    By the way, I started my first toe-up pattern with your generic one, and the short-row thing is working well after some hiccups. I’m going to knit the F&F pattern on the cuff!

  20. Wow! Mewella looks so much like my dear departed Charlotte!

    I knitted the baby jeans from Knitty with light blue and dark blue denim. The dark blue rubbed off on my fingers and needles (Denises) badly. The jeans were adorable when finished, but I wasn’t crazy about the yarn – as someone else said, too string-like.

  21. Aren’t swatches just the perfect thing to show off those curves and cables. Great pattern Wendy

  22. Thanks for answering my question. I have always wondered about since I have never made socks on anything smaller than a size 3 needles, but most of the sock knitters I see use smaller needles. I will have to give it a try on my next pair of socks.

  23. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your comment about feeling the individual stitches in your socks. I am the same way. My mother always called me “Princess and the Pea”. Here’s to tight sock knitting!!! Love that Lucy!!

  24. Sometimes my kitties assume this pose, which we affectionately refer to as “slug kitty”

  25. Oh yes, be very afraid. She looks deadly.

  26. sue in OH says:

    OK, much as I want to make some sock yarn mine, I would gladly concede that no one could resist that picture!

  27. Lisa in Suwanee says:

    Who needs eHarmony matchmaking services when Lucy has such a sweet devotee? Luv that picture!

  28. Ooooh ferocious kitty kitty!

  29. i hope that you will be willing to share the pattern for the swatch! i love it and i just might turn it into a scarf! thanks =)

  30. Thank you for posting the link to Grumperina’s non-wool sock yarn page. I don’t know how I managed to miss it while surfing the net for solutions, but I did. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mighty huntress Lucy is adorable, as always.