My current work in progress:

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


Pond Scum

My Interlacements Tiny Toes socks make me think of pond scum.


Don’t have any personal experience with pond scum? Go here and check it out.

See what I mean? They shall from this moment forth be known as the Pond Scum Socks.

I am using the ubiquitous feather and fan pattern on the top of the socks. I was thinking on the train this morning that I knit a whole heckuva lot of feather and fan socks. They are great for commuter knitting — easy enough so you can knit in a semi-conscious state, but with enough stitch detail to make them fun to knit. And I love how feather and fan looks in handpainted yarn.

On the Log Cabin Blanket

Sally A asked:
On the MD KAL, there’s some discussion about binding off each side of the log cabin and picking up the stitches or just leaving the stitches live on circular needles. Which way are you doing it? I couldn’t tell from the picture. I tried it both ways. But then another project interrupted the log cabin before I could make a final decision. Thanks.

I am binding off each side and picking up the stitches. I don’t think I’d want to leave the stitches live. The yarn I’m using (all sock yarn) is soft and very drapy. Each little strip of garter stitch has a lot of stre-e-e-etch in it. The bound off edge of each strip adds a lot of stability to the blanket. I think if I had left the stitches live, the blanket would stretch out of shape every time you touched it. I like having those cast-off edges in there to help it keep its shape.

Hillary commented:
Wow! Your log cabin looks pretty big. I’m wondering what the curent dimensions are and if you have determined the point at which you’ll bind it off.

It’s not all that big. I’ve not measured it lately, but I’m guessing about 24 inches on each side.


Cat feet included for scale.

When will I deem it finished? My plan is to make it into a good size for an afghan. When it seems big enough to fold and drape over the back of my couch, I’ll consider it done and bind off.

No doubt when that happy event occurs, I’ll still have leftover sock yarn, so I can start Log Cabin Blanket Number Two.

On Needles

Elaine asked:
Grumperina has done a study on the Knitpicks needles and noticed that they are much heavier than the others – is this something that you have noticed yourself and do you find the weight of your needle makes a difference to your comfort?

In the circulars, no, I can’t say that I noticed any difference. I might notice a difference in the larger size circulars, but in the 3.25mm ones that I am using, nope.

Now the dpns are another story. The Knitpicks 2mm dpns are much heavier than the ones I habitually use to knit socks. But I habitually use wood dpns for socks. I never use metal dpns, so I couldn’t really make a comparison.

This might lead you to ask: if you don’t use metal dpns, why do you have so frigging many of them?

I have no good answer to that question.

Hey, have a good weekend y’all.



  1. Heh. Love the Pond Scum Socks. What an image!

    On metal needles… I don’t really use them either, except for my new(ish) KnitPicks which I made myself use in order to review. And I seem to have a lot of them as well. Adding even more nonsense to the mix, I have this habit of bidding on used needle lots on eBay. It’s fun and relatively harmless, but it still makes me wonder a little about myself!

  2. Angeluna says:

    Oh, my. PondScum they are indeed. Thanks for the image. And I love the cat’s feet for a measure. Do that all the time. Since there are more than one cat, some appendage of at least one is seen in every photo taken in this house. And you didn’t even know they were there until you looked at the picture.

  3. kelly in new mexico says:

    I know you get asked this kind of question often, but for the life of me I can’t remember so here it goes….other than the rosewood needles what are your favorite wood dbl.pts to use for socks. I kind of don’t like bamboo as much as birch or a hard wood, I was wondering what you preferred?

  4. Judith in NYC says:

    Serendipity! I am knitting my first pair of toe up socks using your pattern OF COURSE!! in the same or similar colorway (skeins were wound up a long time ago), except I have been calling my socks the Flotsam/Jetsam socks.

  5. Sheri in St. Louis says:

    Love the cat feet scale. I’m thinkin’ Lucy should have some handknit socks of her own. (Oh, wouldn’t she love THAT….)

    My question – I knit with metal DPN’s because I find that I need that point when doing any sort of lace pattern & on short row wraps. I don’t knit overly tight at all – I just seem to need the pointy end to get into the stitches (especially when picking up short row wraps). Have you found good, pointy wooden DPN’s? (The Colonial Rosewood look a bit pointy. Are they?)

  6. Kathyrn Bingham says:

    Wendy, the use of “pond scum green” is well-known in the quilting world if you have been under the tutelage of Patricia Campbell….she thinks that this color is imperative to making a color design work….I struggled with it, then saw it worked…so rejoice in the cross-pollination of the fiber arts.

  7. You’ve influenced me to make a pair of feather and fan socks. Just so that I’m not a total copycat, though, I’m knitting the socks on a Magic Loop and doing an afterthought heel.

  8. In Russian, the word for pond-scum is ‘tina.’ I had a friend Tina who studied abroad with me and had to go by Tanya because people laughed at her name. Pond-scum is still one of my favorite words because of the joke.

  9. Well, they’re the prettiest pond scum I’ve ever seen!

  10. I’m at least day late and dollar short but that can’t be helped.

    Did you see Grumperina’s blog entry about the possibility of Skacel creating Addi turbos with sharper points *IF* they think there is sufficient demand? The blog entry is here:

    I thought you might be interested in view of your recent needle exposé.

  11. I was in Borders today and imagine my surprise to see a book with your name on it! I’m such a dunce…between school and work, I’ve totally been out of the blog world. How I missed this? Congrats and I love it (naturally, I bought the copy I had in my hand!).

  12. martha in mobile says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s a photo of duckweed. But one woman’s duckweed is another woman’s pond scum, I guess.

  13. Okay, I wouldn’t have thought of pond scum when I saw those socks–they’re really much prettier. But I thought of Julia Roberts as soon as I saw the post title. From “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” when she’s confessing to trying to break up the wedding and says, “I’m pond scum. No, I’m lower than pond scum!”

    Or, maybe I’m just tired… But regardless, no matter what you call them, those socks are beautiful.

  14. i can tell you positively and for sure that the knitpicks DPNs are MUCH heavier than my usual favorites, INOX (gray metal). no lie, they are about twice as heavy and i don’t like them! i also find them too sharp for sock yarn; they keep catching and tearing it.

  15. “That? That’s not pond scum. THIS is pond scum.”

    –“Alligator” LeDundee, Houma, LA

    You want to see some pond scum that actually matches the varied hues in those socks? You come to my house in Baton Rouge and we’ll take a ride just a little south of here. I’ll show you pond scum.

  16. Thanks for that info on the log cabin. Mine is/will be made of some ArtYarns sock yarn that I developed an obsession for (and bought and bought and bought). The blanket will be the colors of sunset and I hope be beautiful if I ever get it made! But I never thought about the bind off edges strengthening it so now I will definitely be binding off each side! Thanks.

  17. I like the sock!! Your log cabin blanket is looking good! Are you using alot of leftovers

  18. LUCY TUMMY!!*glee*

    I love the pond scum socks. The colors are awesome.

  19. Pond scum! I love it. I have some Opal batik yarn that I’ve named green mold. Can’t wait to see how it knits up.

  20. I love the pondscum socks. They reminded me of our “Pondscum Wall of Shame” we had in college. It was a wall dedicated to nasty ex-boyfriends. They deserved worse tah us and we deserved so much better than them! I deserve some great socks in my life not cheap KMart socks!!!

  21. The socks are too pretty to be pond scum – sorry to disagree. Have a wonderful weekend. Love to Lucy!

  22. I agree with Peg way too pretty to be pond scum. Love your log cabin! I’m thinking of doing one with some of my handspun yarn.

  23. I don’t know if it’s the camera angle or what but the log cabin is starting to look a bit like Edvard Munch’s work. A little blurry craziness happening; I love it! It’s really a work of art, Wendy.

  24. I am also workign on a pair of feather & fan socks. Since you’ve done so many, how do you reccommend finishing off the cuff?

  25. They make me think more of something that the denizens of Emerald City would wear, than of pond scum. Pond scum just isn’t a flattering-enough description for those lovely greens.

  26. Kitty tummy!!!

    I think that’s one of the things I love about creative endevors. Finding beauty in the most basic (and even ugly) things. Like pond scum!

  27. Allyson says:

    Have you seen Grumperina’s entry for today? I get dizzy just thinking about it…

  28. Kathy Bull says:

    Hi Wendy.

    I like your sock. I think you posted the simple lace rib pattern a few months ago, and I clipped it. (I didn’t make a note of who I clipped it from, however.) Here is my work in progress: For grins, I included my Lucy’s foot. She’s like your Lucy in hairiness, but alas, is canine.


  29. Everytime I see any of your ‘feather & fan’ socks, I am so tempted to be sucked into the sock knitting universe. Having never knitted socks..that thought scares me to no ends. Then there is the even MORE alluring thought of ‘toe-up’ socks!! Which seems to give the idea that sock knitting could actually be EASY!!

    MUST RESIST. MUST RESIST. EASY and F&F. Must resi……

  30. Duck Weed. That pond scum is Duck Weed. Millions of little bits of green floating things. I’ve had to go into that stuff when cave diving in Flordia. It’s actually very pretty from the above water angle or looking up into it.

  31. I NEVER would have thought “pond scum” when I saw those socks. I LOVE that colorway! Great value differences. Besides, they remind me of a big pacific northwest forest. Simply gorgeous. But I’m a redhead – and I can do those colors. Heh.

  32. I love Pond Scum…I think it is too pretty for that name! how about emerald lights…or dappled