My current work in progress:

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


Ominous Sky

Here’s one for you, Sandy.


Half an hour after posting my blog entry last night, I took this photo of the sky. Pretty ominous-looking. We had a good ol’ rip-roaring thunderstorm last night, but fortunately nothing worse than that. And the area got half an inch of rain, so that’s a good thing.

Because things like this entertain me, here’s a picture of the weather map that goes along with the sky pic.


Anyway . . .

Janna asked:
I also used your Knitty tutorial to try out toe-up cast-ons recently, and I really like the Figure 8 cast-on — I love that there’s no waste yarn to mess with! But how do you decide how many stitches to start with using the Figure 8? Since you used 8 per needle for 16 total and ended up with 48 stitches, I guessed that you cast on 1/3 of the desired total, split between the two needles. But since that was totally a guess — how do *you* figure the number to cast-on?

My rule of thumb toe is to start with a third of the total number of stitches for your sock. But you know what? You can start with as many stitches as you like. If, unlike me, you have dainty, narrow toes, start with fewer than one-third of the total stitches. And vice-versa. That’s one of the beauties of handknit socks — you can knit them exactly to your specifications.

If you have wide feet and skinny legs, you can decrease stitches after you complete the foot. And, of course, vice-versa. If you have specific foot or ankle issues, you can compensate for them in your sock. You are de boss of de sock!

So, I bossed my sock-in-progress around a bit today. I’m turning the heel, see?


Lucy Sez


Look at the nice cosy place I found to sleep — on Momma’s shawls!


  1. Well…….weather here is soggy……so what does it mean when both coasts are rain soaked?…..that only the mid west will remain…….love the sock variations……21 days til a great book hits the shelves…..

  2. Love the thunderstorm pics…that’s the same system that roared through here Sunday night. I recognized it! (No, actually I’m a Weather Channel geek and they told me.)

    Today I started your Generic Toe-Up pattern, which I’ve never tried before, using the short-row toe, which I’ve also never tried before. Still working on the foot, but I can’t wait to start bossing my sock around. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wow, that’s a scary sky! Great photo.

  4. That is one huge cloud. A sock tutorial for toe up socks, now that is something I must check out soon.

  5. Smart kitty, that Lucy.

  6. That is some NICE green sock yarn. And cool photo of the storm. Nothing beats a summer boomer.

  7. Yeah, Lucy knows where it’s at! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Quite the sky! I’d enjoy rip roaring thunderstorms a lot more if, you know, I knew for sure I was not going to DIE! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for looking up! It’s beautiful in it’s own way!

  8. Interesting sky pic.
    Isn’t that the the brown & beige striped shawl to the side which she modeled a while back? The one which complemented her coat sooo nicely? I bet that’s how she knew that pile is especially for her!

  9. I’m loving the sock. Green is my favorite color and I swear I’m loving every patterned yarn I see lately. Can’t wait to see the finished sock.

  10. Where do you work? Because to me, that view looks like the Watergate (where I work when I’m home from school) and the harbor in the background… just curious.

  11. Ooh, that sky does look ominous! It’s nifty, though, when you can actually SEE the weather “fronts” the people on TV blather on about, huh? We had thunderstorms last night, too, but mostly sunshine today–clouds to start, clouds to end, but sun in the middle. Not a bad way to go.

    Oh, and my current favorite cast-on for toe-up socks? Turkish cast-on, absolutely no question.

  12. 1/2 an inch of rain is great unless you have a leaky roof and water starts pouring into your apartment out of a light socket. Your picture, however, is stunning. I feel like judgement day is imminent.

  13. Is Lucy afraid of the storms? Our cat, Grace Ann is terrified – she walks really close to the ground when she hears the first clap of thunder, then hides until the storm is over. If we try to pick her up, she moans. Needless to say, we all HATE the thunderstorms.

  14. Thank you for the sock yarn! I’ll post up a video of my happy yarn dance as soon as I get through some of these vacation photos I’ve got in my “I need to post these” queue.

  15. Thanks for the figure-8 toe answer, Wendy! And we got rain here in San Antonio, too.

  16. I’m doing a pair of toe up socks right now and I checked out your tutorial for guidance. It’s been a huge help. I can’t help but notice how long your nails are in the pictures. Don’t they get in the way?

    Great storm picture. It looks so familiar – Arlington maybe?

  17. we had the same sky here in odenton…as pixie and I don’t like lightning…we counted the flashes… it was a doozy! hope lucy wasn’t too frightened.

    love the sock color…I’m soooo into green lately. must be spring fever!

  18. …I will finish my socks before i cast on the toe-ups, you can’t tempt me, **smacks hand reaching for needles**.
    it’s been so long since we had our last thunderstorm here. i moved from toronto to (basically) the desert and we hardly get much of anything here .my cat spooky used to be deadly afriad of t-storms (i had 4 inch scars on my forearm to prove it!)i played the solitude cd with thunderstorms and he’s cured. Lucy doesn’t seem to have any concerns;>

  19. I got socks in the mail! Thank you, Wendy. I need to take pics and post them to my blog. My son is trying to claim both types of yarn as completely suitable for him, but I’m not buying it.

    Lucy looks so happy on your shawls. Wilbur approves heartily, since my Big Shrug from Blackberry Ridge yarn has been his favorite cat blanket for months now. Knitted kitty bed? Surely you don’t expect him to sit in something for ordinary cats, do you?

  20. Michelle says:

    Dear Wendy

    I got a parcel here in the UK today with sock yarn – thank you so so much. It is very kind of you to share your stash and your passion for knitting.

    I have never knitted socks before and will try your toe up sock pattern as everyone seems to rave about it – wish me luck and thank you again!


  21. Ominous skies, indeed… looks more like Texas in Spring than the east coast for sure…

    Those colorway of those socks you’re working look very similar to a pair of wonderful socks my friend Ann sent me using Trekking yarn a few months ago… they’re on my February blog page…

  22. errr…should be THAT colorway (not those colorway)… (was starting to say those socks…) sorry about that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Office buildings are great perches from whence to watch weather. I’m sort of a weather addict, too, or was before last year’s hurricane season. A girl can watch only so many hours of the Weather Channel before going cuckoo. Glad you survived the storms!

  24. Wow. That is a serious cloud.

    A thunderstorm sounds lovely right about now. I love listening to the rain.

  25. Thank you so much for the sock yarn. I was so excited when I saw the package in my mailbox! Twyla Twinkle Berry has a new visitor to tell you about. She’ll e-mail a more formal thank you soon with the details. Thanks again, you’re so thoughtful!

  26. i like that green very much. what yarn/colorway is that?