My current work in progress:

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


Sock Talk

Fleece Artist sock yarn, how I love thee.


In answer to comments questions, I purchased my Fleece Artist sock yarn from this online store: Simply Socks Yarn Company. And let me say right now, it is a very dangerous place to visit. So much sock yarn! Gasp! They’ve got a very nice selection of Fleece Artist sock yarns and they have the new Interlacements Tiny Toes.

Yeah, I bought some Tiny Toes, too.

But back to Fleece Artist. Knitting it, it reminds me of the Claudia Hand Painted sock yarn. I am knitting it on size 0 needles, as per usual.

By the way, the Sock Hop sock yarn I’ve got will need to be knitted on a larger needle than a zero — I tried a swatch on a 0 and it’s too dense. I’m thinking mebbe a 2.


As you can see, The sock is now past the mushroom cozy stage. But hey! What a great use for leftover bits of sock yarn: mushroom cozies. Or shitake slipcovers? Chanterelle chausettes?

Okay, I’ll stop now.

And the aran vest progressed as well, albeit slowly.

But there’s enough of it now to see the cable.


It’s creeping along, though — the row gauge is something like 10 rows to the inch. But it is highly satisfying knitting. Even if there is a whole heckuva lot of moss stitch through which I must slog. Moss stitch: hate to knit it, love to look at it!


Lucy is thrilled at the thought of moss stitch.



  1. The vest will be spectacular! Love the color. I really enjoyed your story about the Polperro Gansey cardigan you knit – I can just picture it in pale turquoise with silver buttons. The lopi-type yarns soften up so beautifully over time that I’m not a bit surprised it was a much loved garment. I hope mine turns out half as well!

  2. Marti J. says:

    Ohhhh, YUUUUUMMMMMMY! That fleece sock yarn is delicious! And I’ve added another website to my stash of yarn sources … I’m going to have to hide my credit card for a while with all these great sources you provide! And, after just one month of learning to knit socks (your great pattern!), I’m finishing up pair number 3. What a great inspiration you are! …. or an enabler.

  3. I really am thrilled at the thought of moss stitch…I even like to knit it! ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s something very satisfying about the nubbliness of it all. If that’s a word. The vest looks fab! Does it have a name yet?

    Off to the jaws of danger…must follow your link to Simply Socks!

  4. I can’t help but wondering, what are you doing with all the socks you knit? Are you wearing them once and throw them away so you can wear the next pair? ;o)

  5. Fleece artist sock yarn – sounds delightful, but dangerous. The vest is going to be gorgeous too – such pretty moss stitch to go with the pretty kitty belly.

  6. The colors of the socks are sooo pretty!

  7. Mmmm… sock yarn…

    Must. Not. Buy. More.

    Eh, who am I kidding? I’m buying more.

  8. Portobello Port-Cochieres?
    Nightshade Nightcaps?

  9. I’ve been a frequent flyer at Simply Sock Yarn. I concur: it is exceedingly dangerous to the wallet! I ‘spose I shouldn’t mention that kpixie has a new batch of Claudia Handpainted sock yarn in?

    I didn’t think so.

  10. Very unwisely, I went to visit SSYC. Next thing I know my mastercard has a big bunch of sock yarn charged to it. Just what I need to go with your generic sock pattern in your book!

  11. Are you going to hand wash your washable Fleece Artist socks?

  12. yummy yummy sock yarn

    Must resist the sock yarn. gahhhhhhhh!!!

    You are an evil woman.

  13. I am now knitting socks…..wonder who was the inspiration?…….while working on a sweater…..hey…why not……love the vest…..and moss stitch is lovely to look at…..not too bad to do……am working on Aran Polo Neck with wonderful bands of honeycomb cable, wide twisted chevrons, diamonds & trellis…….with moss stitch shoulder bands & sleeves……and drooling over Mara from Celtic Collection……what havoc hath you wrought?

  14. Simply Socks is based outta my hometown Fort Wayne, IN!!

  15. The vest is beautiful. I’m always so taken by your designs and envious of your creativity. What kind of sights and sounds from your daily life help to inspire you great cabled creations?

  16. When I saw your Fleece Artist yesterday I thought, I’ve got to get some of that. But duh, I already have some – from SSYC – in Misty Meadow. Maybe I have too much sock yarn? Nope, I didn’t think so either.

    The vest is lovely! How are you finding Scottish Tweed in comparison to (the sadly discontinued) Yorkshire Tweed?

    On a technical note, how many stitches does one add to stockinette stitch to accomodate cables? I thought I’d read somewhere that the numbers are 8 to 10% more per cable but I can’t find the source. For example, if I had a 60 stitch sock and wanted to put two 4 stitch cables down the sides would I add 10 to 12 stitches?

  17. I *heart* the Fleece Artist too! (I type this as I sit here knitting on my pretty Fleece Artist…) I don’t think I’ve come across a yarn that is dyed so well – the colorways are nice and even, the color never seems to pool… I believe it’s shoved Lorna’s Laces (and, dare I say it… Koigu?) out of the #1 spot in my heart. ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. I’m always so impressed with your quick sock knitting skills! I do have a question – I’d love to start knitting my socks from the toe up, but I have trouble ripping out the provisional cast-on when I do your short row toe. I think it is because I tend to use wool for the crochet chain [it’s the only yarn of that weight I have around] – when you use that toe, what yarn do you use for the crochet chain?

  19. I HATE moss stitch too!!! I am using a lot of moss stitch on a blanket and I am so over it. Glad I’m not the only one.

  20. oh, no, that link is evil.

  21. Lovely socks!!

  22. That 4-strand interlace cable is my absolute favorite cable motif.

  23. Wendy the Enabler, thanks for the link. Wow! The colors alone on the Fleece Artist hanks have me reeling. I had to order some Lornas Lace too since I’ve never knit with either before. The only justification (well, almost the only) I had is that I now have some Christmas gifts thought out; my dad needs a new pair of socks. And I -cough- needed -cough- a few more hanks of new sock yarn. Good thing free shipping is available. Always another good justification (and it doesn’t take much to reach the $ amount needed for free shipping). All those colors sure brighten a day. Thanks for doing your part to encourage free enterprise and a booming (yarn) economy!

  24. martha in mobile says:

    I hope you will consider a third career as a cat-whisperer. I am continually amazed at how well you interpret the intricate subtleties of Lucy’s expressions, attitudes and poses. I would never have known that particular bodily arrangement indicates excitement about a specific knitting stitch. I’m seeing “my fluffy tummy needs airing, and see how my fur parts down the middle?”

    No wonder my cat occasionally seems distant. She is frustrated by my lack of discernment. Do you do housecalls?

  25. i love the color and the cable of the vest – as always you are a fantastic knitter.

    i do have a question – i know lucy supervises your knitting does she ever try to help by pulling the yarn out of the skein? or lay on top of your knitting?

    my kitty does this and its cute but sometimes frustrating.

  26. I don’t know how or why I developed this method but I have a way of doing moss stitch and ribbing that is much faster and easier to knit. I do not do this when I knit continental as the yarn is already positioned for you. I will try to explain as best I can. Before I slip either the knit or the purl stitch of the needle, I reposition the yarn. For example, knit a stitch and then move the yarn to the front, now slip off the knit stitch. Your yarn is now in position to purl. Purl a stitch, then move the yarn to the back, now slip off the purl stitch. I have never seen anyone else do this and when I try to explain to anyone their eyes glaze over. But I see your that you ladies are an adventuress lot. Try it until you get used to the rhythm and let us know what you think! As for Wendy who throws her yarn while doing continental, well I havn’t figured out that one yet let alone figuring out my method in the mix!

  27. Well I just tied off my first change of colours in fair isle like the taunting Wendy’s(so there) and Ann Feitelson told us. As I yanked on the yarn to tighten the knot, you guessed it, snap. Up to the sky I stared, said a prayer after the curse then looked down to see at least 1/4 inch left. The book says 1/4 to 1 inch is good. Phew! I have to go lie down now but I vow to continue knotting.

  28. I love Fleece Artist anything, really.

    And when do we see more fair isle? Something of your own design, perhaps? You got me in the mood for fair isle.

  29. I’m digging the blue Scottish Tweed–very pretty in the moss stitch. The moss stitch really showcases the yarn.

  30. I’ve got a question for the Knitting Goddess: Do you use cable needles for your cables, or do you do that free-hand method or something?

  31. Lookin’ good! I agree with you re moss stitch. Having to do more than 3 inches of it in one go is like a knitter’s hell for me.

  32. you have me running (well, ambling really) for my dictionary – chausette!

    ps. I feel the same way about moss stitch! I think it has everything to do with being an English knitter and having to constantly switch the yarn front to back….

  33. Ellen from North Florida says:

    Wendy – You should put down your knitting right now and book a flight to Norway! I just got back from 2 1/2 weeks there and never saw so many yarn shops. My particular favorite was Pinnsvin Design in Bergen. They have a worderful assortment of Hanne Falkenberg kits, and in the shop there are knit-up models of most styles. I bought Da Capo, which seeems like a bad pun since it is knit from the bottom, not the top! The shop’s web site is and does include an English translation.

    I missed reading your blog every day, but was able to catch up periodically. Mara is a wonder; even my husband was impressed when I showed it to him.

  34. Creeping along, eh? I think not! I don’t think any of your projects creep along like mine do. You turn out an amazing amount of FO’s and, I believe you work full time. Imagine that!

    Cute pictures of your proud Daddy!

  35. I’m impressed. Moss stitch always takes me soooo long I avoid it at all cost, even though I love how it looks.

  36. I love that sock Fleece Artist sock yarn. Gorgeous. And your aran vest is beautiful. Love the cable. I don’t like knitting moss stitch, either, but it is pretty. One of my favorite store bought (I know) sweaters is all moss stitch in a very fine guage. They had the benefit of a knitting machine to do all that work. It’s sure pretty, but I’m definitely glad I didn’t have to knit all that! LOL

  37. The sock yarn is fantastic!

  38. I’m just catching up – oh how many pretty knits to see. Dierdre is beautiful – Mara is beautiful – the socks are all wonderful. Fun 4th photos. And now the aran vest. The cables are looking so nice in the yarn you’re using and the moss stitch is such a great feature – I always love how it looks. The rhythm of it is nice after I’m doing it a while.

  39. Hi Wendy,
    I’m new to your blog, which I’m enjoying. I’m wondering how many rows to the inch for your socks on 0 needles. Thanks!