My current work in progress:

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


Woo, Doggies!

Busy day today — busy, busy, busy!

But I did manage to finish the first Tiger sock for the KOARC. And here it is, in its glory.


The sock is 72 stitches around on a size 0 (2mm) needle, which gives me 8 stitches to the inch. When I did the ribbing at the top I increased to 80 stitches and did a 5×5 ribbing. Then finished it off with the stretchy sewn cast-off.

I will often increase stitches before I start the ribbing, to ensure that the sock will not be too tight around the top, thereby making it easier to put on and take off. The ribbing pulls the knitted fabric in, so the increases are not noticeable.

Because I am assuming the KOARC does not wish to wear one sock and hop around on one foot, I have started the second sock.


I made a halfhearted attempt to match the socks but I can see already that they are going to be fraternal twins. Is it even possible to match the stripes on tiger yarn? I dunno . . .

Marjorie had a good question in the comments:
What do you think of the reinforcing thread to make all-wool sock heels and toes more durable? I tried it on the heels of one pair, and I was very disappointed because the heels looked much thicker than the rest of the sock.

Okay, I’ll confess the truth. I’ve never tried using the reinforcing thread because it looked like a pain to deal with and I am far too lazy. Please do not judge me too harshly!


I am still plugging along, though progress is slow. The row gauge on this baby is about 8.25 rows/inch. These cables really suck up rows!


First Book Signing Event!

My first book signing! This Saturday, April 29, noon til 2pm, at Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA. There is a map and directions on their website. Come see if I remember how to sign my name. Doh!

The King of All Remote Controls will be present at the book signing, complete with his (pumice) stones, as he mentioned earlier this week on his blog.

Lucy Sez:


Hey! That’s my daddy you’re talking about!


  1. Hi Wendy I love your knitting and Luck Just wanted to say Hi first today.

  2. I mean Lucy sorry Lucy.

  3. I mean Lucy sorry Lucy.

  4. Hee hee – that’s the same reason I never use reinforcing on my socks…

  5. Reinforcing? I can’t even be bothered to try to match striping on socks.

  6. Love the book Wendy! I read it cover to cover, much to my kitties’ dismay. I showed them the pictures of Lucy and they were happy to see a cat get her due as a celeb! Because of your book, I’m inspired to try toe up socks. I’ve always been a heel flap kind of gal…

    I checked out the KOARC’s stones – they are used to actually stonewash the denim. Sometimes they don’t all get removed in the final rinse. I’m sorry I won’t be able to see them in person, and have you sign my copy of your book. I did, however, buy some items from the on-line store at Knit Happens. Great sale they are having!

  7. Judy Fallon says:

    Just wondering if anyone else has a book with some of the pages upside down? I have pages 117 to 148…upside down..Just received it from Amazon today.

  8. LOVE the socks. Are you absolutely sure they will fit KOARC? if not, I have an idea.

    Wow! Upside down pages, does that make it a collector’s edition like the upside-down airplane stamp?

  9. (BTW Phyl, you are not subtle!)

    I can’t wait for my copy of the book to arrive! I am such a Lucy fan, I think I’m waiting for more Lucy pictures more than the knitting.. oops. Well, okay, maybe both!

  10. Hmmmmm……cables exquisite… details like that…….why can’t Lucy go Saturday?…huh,huh?…gosh, she has fans too……

    I am the type that would consider, seriously consider, gettting more tiger yarn and knitting another pair, hoping to “line up” the stripes to the finished pair….then KOARC and Phyl would be happy…..and maybe do a chorus or two of various Tiger songs….

  11. Received my book on Tuesday and am really enjoying it! Finally, I get to make that gorgeous shawl.
    I’m still trying to figure out how you knit so fast, yet you pick up the yarn for every stitch? How can that be? You never cease to amaze me.
    Sheri in GA (Hi Lucy – you’re adorable in the book!)

  12. My thoughts on using reinforcing thread:

    I think it’s foolish (or at least not worth the effort) to start reinforcing one’s socks until you know where they’re going to wear out. I’m not convinced that hand knit wool socks will wear the same as store-bought cotton socks, for a variety of reasons. Socks probably wear differently depending on what shoes you wear them with, and how often you wear them without shoes. Also, hand knit socks probably fit different (better) than store bought socks, which may affect how and where they wear. So my philosophy on this is to keep knitting to my heart’s content until my socks start wearing out (over a year of sock knitting and no sign of wear in even the oldest, yet), and then use them to figure out where to reinforce.

    In other words, I don’t feel like it, and that’s my best excuse for putting of reinforcing anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I really love the new tiger yarn. It looks much more realistic than the old stuff. I may have to pick some up, eventually.

  13. kelly in new mexico says:

    Wendy just recieved your book and am half way through it….L O V E I T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You simply must write more, please??????
    love the patterns, love the stories, love the layout of the book. Job well done Chicka!!!

  14. Okay, I’m reading your blog and I get startled when I see my name pop up. I was glad to read that we had margaritas yesterday:)
    Good luck with book signing. Hope you come out to New England at some point.
    I think I want to make that sweater myself.

  15. Lucy wants to know if she gets to autograph a book.
    She may not be amused, but surely the value of the book’s autographing would be of great value.

  16. California? Kal-Le-For-Nee-Ya? (Per Arnold!)Will you be comming to California? I know I will have to drive 8 – 10 hours to see you because no one would come to our knit shop in Crescent City unless they are going somewhere else or you want to see where a Tsunami hit the USA!

  17. Love the Tiger sock!

  18. Oohhh…tiger socks! Very nice. Tigers are one of my favorite animals. Must get some tiger yarn and try your toe-up sock, which I can do now that your book arrived! I’m not too far into it (Hmmm…knit? Or read? I’m not advanced enough to both at once) but I do like your writing style. And the first set of patterns have already been an inspiration. Congratulations for a job well done!

  19. Wendy I LOVE the Tiger sock. Congrats on the book and soak up the book signing expierence. Firsts are to be savored.

    Had a voice mail that my copy of your book is ready for me to pick up at Barnes & Noble. I’ll be stopping by to see you at MDSW to ask you to sign it for me.

    Deirdre is very pretty and so is Lucy.

  20. I haven’t gotten around to trying reinforcing thread in my socks, either, but I WAS thinking–having just now finished the heels on my socks, but not yet moved into the leg portion . . . I was thinking about taking some reinforcing thread and running a lifeline kind of thing all the way around the heel. Then, if/when it develops a hole, it will be easier to just tear out the heel and knit a new one. Easier to cut out the heel and pick up the stitches to knit a new one, that is. It SOUNDS workable….

  21. On matching Opal socks…I am wearing as I type a pair of socks knit from Opal Flamingo, following your feather and fan instructions. It wasn’t at all difficult to come up with the right starting point, so the feet of the socks match perfectly. However, just as I was finishing with the heel on the second sock, the color sequence changed, and about five rounds worth of magenta just wasn’t there, so the cuffs are, despite my best efforts, fraternal. (Well, I suppose I could have cut out enough yarn to get back on track, but I didn’t know how the sequence was going to pick back up.)

  22. Congrats on the new book, Wendy. I purchased a copy on April 25, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

  23. I’ll pop over to the KH book signing as soon as my hair appointment is over on Saturday. I’ll be the one looking like a runway model. OK, not so much, but I should have bitchin’ highlights.

  24. Wendy (no relation) says:

    Once you know where your socks are gonna wear, try using wooly nylon serger thread for reinforcing. It’s very thin and doesn’t make the reinforced area bulky and it keeps your sock from wearing through, even if the wool does wear. Not-quite-holes are so much easier to darn than holes.

    Wendy in Colorado

  25. I also got my copy of WendyKnits from Amazon today with pages 117-148 upside down! I think this means we are part of an exclusive cliche….there’s some diVinci type code, right? When we solve the puzzle we discover a knitting pattern that no-one else has!

  26. Does it make me sick that I would prefer that socks be mismatched?

    Sick or too lazy to try to match ’em. Take your pick.

  27. Wendy:
    I am so excited. I received your book via the UPS man today. Ordered it a couple of weeks ago. While reading some excerpts out loud; I found my husband laughing and enjoying your razor sharp wit as well. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I only wish I could be in Virginia Saturday to have you sign it. But, it is a long walk from Chicagoland. Enjoy the day absorbing the love of your fans. Hopefully a friend will give you the gift of a hand and wrist massage when you have finished all those signatures. Would hate for you to be too sore to knit.

  28. Bought the book yesterday. Since I have been visiting your website from the time before there was a blog, it was like walking down memory lane with you! Good luck with the signing – congrats on the book.

  29. I also bought your book yesterday, but I am NOT going to read it all in one sitting — I will read along at a leisurely pace and let the story unfold, thus stretching out the experience. Don’t I sound noble? Not really, I just haven’t had time to read it yet! What I saw so far I liked. I am taking my copy to an all day knitting workshop I’m teaching tomorrow — should be a good advertising opportunity!

  30. good luck on saturday, wendy! i love the book, but i don’t live anywhere near any of your book events (i’m in ohio) will you be coming to cleveland, pittsburgh, or columbus? (anywhere near northeast ohio?)
    and, i am totally with you on adding in the reinforcing thread! LAZY!

  31. Is it possible for the Tiger sock yarn to match? Well, I tried to get mine to match and it matched up wonderfully, almost EXACTLY, until about the heel (I did these cuff down) and then BAM – totally off kilter.

  32. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. I jsut received my book yesterday and am LOVING every page. WHat a great piece of work. Thank you so much for writing it. I’m sure it’s on its way to being a best seller.

    BTW, I do socks on two circulars. Do you not like that method? I find it a lot less confusing than using four separate needles.

    Paws up salute to Lucy! Bonny good work supporting your mother through her first book!

    Best to you, DIana & Orion

  33. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. I jsut received my book yesterday and am LOVING every page. WHat a great piece of work. Thank you so much for writing it. I’m sure it’s on its way to being a best seller.

    BTW, I do socks on two circulars. Do you not like that method? I find it a lot less confusing than using four separate needles.

    Paws up salute to Lucy! Bonny good work supporting your mother through her first book!

    Best to you, DIana & Orion

  34. Diana & Orion says:

    Hi Wendy. I jsut received my book yesterday and am LOVING every page. WHat a great piece of work. Thank you so much for writing it. I’m sure it’s on its way to being a best seller.

    BTW, I do socks on two circulars. Do you not like that method? I find it a lot less confusing than using four separate needles.

    Paws up salute to Lucy! Bonny good work supporting your mother through her first book!

    Best to you, DIana & Orion

  35. YOU DID IT! like that song from My Fair Lady about Professor Higgins – you did it you did it!

    Got your book yesterday from Politics & Prose in DC. Read your book yesterday – it was like eating cheetos – I couldn’t stop reading it – even tired and blearly eyed – I had to keep reading – what what going to happen next? I had to find out! I absolutely LOVED your chapter on knitting socks – from the way you describe how you design them (the dimensions and specs) to fit a person’s foot to the end of the chapter when your friend asked for the pair that you made her when she was in hospital – you are a mensch!

    What have you done?! You’ve captured the adventure, the excitement, the exploration and discovery that is knitting! BRAVO! Your’s is the first book that I’ve read that really is all about that! It’s not about the finished object – it’s about the search, the adventure, the discovery, the design, the creation! BRAVISSIMO!

    I was going to be patient and wait to ask you to sign my book at MDS&W – but no! I can’t wait – I’ll be a Knit Happens tomorrow – book in hand (and Beau on the other).

    And, now, excuse me while I step aside for the Wendyknits Blog chorus:

    Wendy blog Chorus: You did it!
    You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, And indeed you did. We thought that you would rue it; but never doubted you’d do it. And now we must admit it that succeed you did.

    You should get a medal
    Or be even made a knight.

    Wendy: It was nothing.
    Really nothing.

    Blog readers: All alone you hurdled
    Ev’ry obstacle in sight.

    Wendy: Now, wait! Now, wait!
    Give credit where it’s due, A lot of the glory goes to you.

    Blog readers: But you’re the one who did it,
    Who did it, who did it! As sturdy as Gibraltar,
    Not a second did you falter. There’s no doubt about it, You did it!

  36. The tiger sock looks awesome, and I really love that flat cable on the sweater. Definately different, imo.
    Congrats on your first signing! =)

  37. Hi Wendy, lurker here. LOVE the sock! And, a question, is it okay to put the Bad-Ass knitter button and link up on my site?

  38. Congratulations, Wendy (and Lucy, of course!)- the book is a wonderful accomplishment, I’m enjoying it thoroughly, and you should be dancin’- around-the-house-with-a-drink-in-each-hand-kind-of-proud! Hope to see you at SWF!

  39. I hate reinforcing thread. Not worth it. It makes the heel fabric thick and inflexible. Ugh.

    The Rainforest Tiger sock is great! I’ve got some of this yarn squirreled away, too. I’m sorry to report that my Rainforest Owl yarn (another great colorway) was full of knots, though. I had to put it down and walk away–it was driving me mad.

  40. Have a great time at your book signing, that’s very exciting. At least I imagine it would be exciting, as I’ve never written a published book, I would have no way of actually knowing.

    But anyway, have a great time.

  41. Lorrie LeJeune says:

    Your tiger socks reminded me that I too have a set of tiger feet waiting to be knit. But where? (Note to self: reorganize stash and look for stray tigers…)

    If last summer was the “Summer of Lace”, could it be that this summer will be the “Summer of Socks?” It will be for me, if I ever find that %$^#* ball of Opal Tiger.

    I got your book the other day… Excellent job!

    Best, Lorrie

  42. Wendy, I finally own a copy of your book…well done! It is wonderful. We were delighted to see Lucy in there. ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you, THANK YOU!!! for including written instructions for the Grape Arbor Shawl as well as the chart. I know you are a chart knitter, but charts and I do not get along, sadly. I have tried to make sense of the squiggles and circles and slashes, but to no avail. I really need the written instructions…and you have provided them. So I can knit the gorgeous Grape Arbor! Wahay! And my daughter, age 6, has announced plans to knit an Excruciatingly Easy Garter Stitch Catnip Mouse, as soon as I teach her to decrease (she’s got the garter stitch down pat, but says she doesn’t want to learn to purl yet).

  43. PS I LOVE the WendyKnits Blog Chorus!!

    PPS If this is the Summer of Socks, I’ll be there!

  44. I just received your book from Amazon yesterday (no upside down pages for me!) and I. Love. It. You are such a gifted storyteller. I got it, sat down and promptly read through chapter 7 before I remembered I should eat dinner. Heh. Congratulations! I love it! It’s so wonderful to hear your “story”. As a relative newcomer to the knit blog community (Nov. 2005) I had no idea how well read your own blog was. I had followed a link here and decided I liked it a lot, so I linked it from my own blog as well. Reading your book has really opened my eyes as to how the knit-blog community has exploded in just the past year or two. I’m nothing compared to you! I love that I get about 80 visitors a day, I thought that was good. Boy, have I got a ways to go! Great book! Congratulations!

  45. Sherilan says:

    Wendy, I am enjoying your book and you’ve definitely made a case for the toe up sock that will get me out of my rut (it’s just been too easy to keep knitting basic socks top down when I don’t have to look up instructions). I am looking forward to knitting the shawl as well and the Tonks cat wants a garter mouse, never mind that she has plenty of the real ones out in the field. Congratuations! and I hope you have another book in the works.

  46. Waiting rather impatiently for my copy of your book to arrive. Deirdre is gorgeous, and I am envious of your knitting speed. (Working 70+ hrs/wk outside the home, having three children still living at home, and having bunnies, dogs, cat & bird who all think they deserve some of my time does reduce one’s knitting time!)

    Scratch Lucy’s ears for me….

  47. Abou the reinforcing thread on socks, I routinely use wooly nylon on the bottom heels and the bottom ball of the foot. I wear my socks every day and I would die if they wore out before I was sick of them!! I simply use the wooly nylon when knitting the stitches on the bottom of the sock, then strand it along the top of the sock. I don’t work it in at all. Later, I cut the wooly nylon so that there is just a tuft left. This fuzzes up when washed, and is not detectible. If the wool of the sock should wear then, I duplicate stitch the repair.