My current work in progress:

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


For Debi

Debi, sweetheart, I broke out the macro lens. These pix are for you!





That’s my Lisa Souza sock yarn.

Thank you all for the affirmations for my use of Paintshop Pro. I feel validated.

A couple of days ago someone asked in the comments what yarn to use for the crochet chain for a provisional cast-on. (Yes, I know I could have gone back and looked to see who it was, but I didn’t.)

What You Should Use: use a smooth yarn (like cotton) in approximately the same weight as your working yarn.

What I Use: Any old thing.

I usually use dribs and drabs of other sock yarn, left over from previous sock projects. It is true that you shouldn’t use something with a high fuzz-factor — it’s much easier to pick up stitches on a smooth chain than a fuzzy chain. Same goes for splitty yarn — Avoid! Avoid! Danger, Will Robinson!

Here’s the chain for my newest sock in progress:


That’s Lorna’s Laces in the “Gold Hill” colorway. I generally try to use a color for the crochet chain that contrasts well against the color of the working yarn. I didn’t do so hot this time. Well, part of it contrasted.


I started a sock with some of my Spirit-Trail sock yarn purchased last weekend.


This yarn is 100% superwash merino and the colors just called out to me. It’s slightly heavier than what I’ve been using — I’m getting 7.5 st/inch on a size 0, instead of my usual 8. So I went down a few stitches in size.


And I’m still working on Deirdre.


Lucy just wants me to shut up so she can sleep.



  1. I love the close-ups! Yummy yarn! The sock colors are wonderful.

  2. Ooh, that Spirit Trail yarn is beautiful. Those colors are calling me, too!

  3. BEAUTIFUL macro shots. I love how you are able to get right into the fibers. Of course, Lucy may disagree about closeness issues.

  4. Wendy, for me, anything with greens or purples call to me also! And I’m loving the toe up socks! I just hate to knit them though! What’s up with that? I couldn’t tell you! But I always enjoy looking at your’s! Happy knittin ๐Ÿ™‚ And Lucy is lookin like she NEEDS some sleep ok!

  5. Oooh, I lurve that orange one! And your current sock-in-progress is lovely, too. As is Lucy. Poor sleep-deprived baby! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m completly verklempt! A post of my own from a world renowned author! Ahhh, thank you, my darling, thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The close ups are perfection! I hope I can come half as close when the new camera gets here! One more day, one more day….!!!

    That sock yarn is splendid!

  7. I’m completly verklempt! A post of my own from a world renowned author! Ahhh, thank you, my darling, thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The close ups are perfection! I hope I can come half as close when the new camera gets here! One more day, one more day….!!!

    That sock yarn is splendid!

  8. Shhhh! Lucy’s sleeping!

  9. Love the close-ups of the yarn. My attempts always come out horrible; you are good. Thanks for talking about provisonal cast ons. I always read that in patterns but have no clue what it means. I had no idea it was a crochet chain. Yes, I’m a newbie and a moron.

  10. Oh – you did SO good on those closeups! Makes me want to reach in and pluck them off my computer! So glad you brought up this cast-on. It sounds easy when you say to “unzip the chain”. How come mine never unzips? I end up having to painstakingly pull it apart link by link. (Time I’d rather spend making sock progress.) If anyone has a tip, please let me know……

  11. Nice photos, and that orange yarn is beautiful.

  12. Deirdre looks like she is coming along nicely. Besure and take one of those famous bathroom mirror shots!

  13. How intrepid you are…… inspriational……I am always learning, being cheered / comforted by your adventures……thanks, thanks for being you….well done……still enjoying the book…..did scan/speed read… re-reading at micro level……nitey, nite Lucy!

  14. I have been lurking at the socks on your blog and it has sparked an interest that I have never had before now—to attempt to knit socks. Also, it was a pleasure to meet you at the MSWF on Saturday after reading your life of knitting for the past year. Thanks for the inspiration!!! Your photos look very nice and capture the essence of the yarn.

  15. happy Lucy-anniversary

    (I was curious on what the first web-posted project was that you did and I saw Izzy… hence I had to bounce around ’til I found Lucy and coinky-dinky enough . . . happy anniversary)

  16. That’s some juicy sock-yarn-p0rn! Thanks for the close-ups!

  17. I got my issue of Cast-On when I went down to my mailbox about an hour ago….someone’s got a very nice review of her book in there!! Congrats Wendy!

    I’m feeling that south Florida leg of the book tour more and more every week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I find crocheting a chain and then picking up the correct piece of yarn in it is too fiddly. Do you ever crochet the provisional yarn directly onto the needle? I prefer that…

  19. Patti D. says:

    I use some of my leftover size 10 crochet cotton from past doily/centerpiece projects when doing a provisional cast on with wool sock yarn. It would be like the South Maid or Knit Cro Sheen brands that you can get from Walmart, Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics. Before I unzip the yarn, I put one of my needles in the stitches that I’m picking up and then just unzip. The cotton is smooth and doesn’t grab the yarn.

    I’m enjoying your book and only reading a chapter a day to make it last a longer time. I’m half way through and don’t want it to end.

    I was wondering if you have gone through the Master Knitter Certification?

  20. Love the Spirt Trail colors too. So pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚ I may just have to stop being so chicken about provisional cast-ons and give your pattern a try after seeing all these lovely socks your turning out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I love the Spirit Trail yarn you’re using. The colors are beautiful.

  22. AWESOME photos! Simply awesome!

  23. Have a wonderful weekend – always a pleasure reading your blog – the colors of your new yarn are so beautiful. Love to Lucy!

  24. that sock yarn is beautiful!

  25. love the socks – those colours call to me as well.
    I have a question regarding your book – I received my copy last night via and I’m wondering if I have a collector’s item – pages 117 – 148 are bound in upside down! Makes it difficult to read, but I’m tempted to keep it as it is unique? Have you heard of htis happening to anyone else?

  26. Those pictures!!!! I think I just had a yarngasm!

  27. Valerie says:

    Back to the picot edging discussion…. I’m working on a pair of socks right now from the Knitty Breast Cancer special issue. For this picot trim I am using a cable c.o. for 2 sts, then b.o. 4 sts. It seems a little lumpy, but it’s working. I’m sure you’ve tried this before, so I’m just curious why you don’t use it as your picot trim. Is it just personal preference, or is there a method to your madness? ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. a feast for the eyes! Lovely!

    I wish I didn’t hate toe up so much. yours always look great

  29. And here I never knew I had a thing for macro pictures of yarn. But I do!

  30. Those colors of Spirit Trail would sure call me! WOW! Just stunning…And Wendy, please visit my blog? To see the luscious results of the Koigu you gifted me with in January? A lovely lace scarf (Travling Vines)! Thank you so much, and yes, I think you’ve created a new Koigu addict!
    (((hugs))) (and a SPECIAL hug to Lucy!)

  31. Lucy: I’ve got to talk to my lawyer about this poparizzi. Maybe it’s time for a restraining order.

  32. Here is another crochet cast on where you don’t have to pick up loops.

    Except I don’t use a crochet hook I just use my fingers.

  33. God, the colors on those socks are gorgeous together.

  34. That sock is soooo perty. I’m going to try the crochet chain provisional again – your socks toes always look so great!

  35. Oh, I love that Spirit Trail yarn you’re using – gorgeous!

    Now I’ll shut up so Lucy can sleep…

  36. Just when I thought I was getting over my “must buy macro lens NOW” bug…

    The pictures are great!

  37. I just today (Saturday) read in that spell-binding, can’t-put-it-down, must-read page-turner “Wendy Knits” that Lucy’s anniversary of coming chez vous is Mother’s Day!
    So a HAPPY Mother’s Day to you AND Lucy!
    (Wonder if she got you anything? I’m betting it doesn’t work that way when you’re owned by a cat, huh?)
    Great story, by the way. I’m so very glad you got her!

  38. Beautiful pics! Beautiful yarn! When I did the chain for my socks (using your pattern, of course!) I used 2 strands of #10 crochet cotton that I have left over from my tatting days. It’s very convenient! I also use it to tie skeins when I am dyeing yarn.

  39. Ann in CT says:

    I want to see the Pink Floyd sweater.

  40. OMG! I was just in Richmond (VA) last night (it’s not as far from home as I’d thought), and just casually walked by a yarn store. I dragged DH over to window shop (it was after hours…phooey!), and what did I see in the window? The announcement that WENDY (yes, you, Wendy!) will be there, signing books on June 4! That’s a Sunday, a day when I never, ever have to work, and I’m rarely out of town. Yahoo!

    I talked about it the rest of the night–“I can’t believe Wendy’s going to be HERE!” and “I wonder where they’re going to put all the people…I mean–she’s famous!”

    So, if I can stand the excitement, I’m going to be at the Yarn Lounge, come Heck or high water–can’t wait!


  41. I know I’m late coming to this discussion, but I’ve a question for you about your feather and fan socks.

    Does the stitch bias at all? I’ve been thinking myself into a pretzel trying to make sense of why it should, and then discovering that it doesn’t appear to when I work it….

    Many many thanks.