My current work in progress:

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


How Warped is Warped?

In the comments last night Roseann asked:
How do you like the Skacel bamboo needles? My Clover ones are quite warped and I am reluctant to invest in new ones.

(By the way, Roseann, an awesome spinner and knitter I know in real life, is a new blogger. Check out her blog and give her some bloggie love.

Anyhow, back to the question.

I love my Skacel bamboos, and have used this set for a number of pairs of socks. While they are slightly warped, it’s not bad at all.


Interesting color variation in the needles, eh?

My Colonial Rosewoods, which have gotten as much use as this set of bamboos, are also pretty good about not warping too badly.

The worst warping I’ve experienced thus far in dpns is with Brittany Birch needles. Your mileage may vary!

I do grip my needles pretty tightly when I knit socks, mainly because I knit them on the train, and I don’t want to accidentally drop a needle. I think having to get down on one’s hands and knees on the floor of a train to search for an errant needle whilst clad in business attire is somewhat inelegant. Just sayin’.


I did finish the first blue/purple potluck sock.


And started the second one.


And I am still plugging away on the Fir Cone Wrap.


This past weekend I worked up a gauge swatch and design for something I’ve been really wanting, in a yarn I’ve had since last November and I am really really looking forward to starting on it. (Really.) It’s taking all my willpower to not chuck the Fir Cone Wrap to one side and dive right in. I can well understand why so many of you have so many works in progress. It’s soooooo tempting . . .


Speaking of works in progress, remember the brown striped bag I felted a little while back? I’ve not done the finishing on that yet because I decided I wanted a brown lining instead of pink in it. I’ll save the pink silk for something else. I ordered some chocolate brown dupioni silk yesterday, so when that arrives, finishing can commence.


The Cros pictured yesterday are actually black — I did note that the color in the photo was a bit off.

I find them extremely comfortable, and that’s saying a lot for me. They do not give me blisters when I wear them barefoot. This is a first for me. They are supposed to fit loosely, so there’s plenty of room for handknit socks, should you care to wear them. I was a bit skeptical til I wore mine for a weekend. Now I’m a convert. They only come in whole sizes and I wear a half size, so I ordered up a half a size. They are wonderful. Not exactly haute couture, but I’m more interested in not screaming in pain with every step I take, ya know?

I remember when I was in college and at my summer job (hi Alice!) one of the middle-aged women who worked in the office (who wore Mushrooms) would look at my extremely high-heeled shoes and say “You just wait til you’re my age.” Mrs. Ashwell, now I know what you were talking about.

P.S. to Rufus, Ruby, and Rosemary

Please do not give Lucy any tips on Googling or I will have to change my computer log-in to one she does not know.

Here she is checking the program guide for Turner Classic Movies.


She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s looking at Friday’s page. Silly kitty.


  1. Lucy is planning ahead, that’s all. I’m looking forward to receiving my crocs, and hope I find them to be as comfortable as you have found yours. I’m all about the comfort these days – fashion be damned! I use Crystal Palace dpns for socks, no warping so far. I just got some Skacels but haven’t used them yet. Can’t wait to see the new project. What could Wendy be wanting!?!

  2. I’m surprised by your comment about the Brittany Birches…most of my dpns are Brittany Birches (the others are Clover bamboo) and I loooooove them! I find the Clovers more prone to warping than the Brittanys. Of course, as you say, your mileage may vary. 🙂

    Love the Potluck Sock! And the Fir Cone! And Lucy! I bet she’s a Cary Grant fan…he’s so suave.

  3. Diana White says:

    In a recent Wash. Post article about Crocs, a local podiatrist highly recommended them because of the arch support they provide and says he wears them all the time (he used to wear only Merrells). I found flip-flop Crocs at the beach this summer, and they are wonderfully comfortable and come in a gazillion colors. Can’t quite bring myself to buy the originals, though I may have a change of heart this winter.

    No problems with my crystal palace dpns warping. Now if only I could keep the dog from using them as toothpicks.

  4. The lure of a new project is not something to be underestimated! Lucy is a planner – doesn’t want to miss *the* show.

  5. Ok, I’m glad someone elses Brittnay’s look like mine; but I find they fit my hand just fine warp or no warp. 🙂 I, too, hold my sock needles very tight—suppose that’s why they warp so?

  6. That blue yarn is so pretty! What is it?

  7. When I was in my teens I would wear high heeled shoes all day. I would suffer for style.

    In my 20’s, when I worked retail and in college & grad school, I went to inexpensive flats because I was broke but needed comfortable shoes and did not want to stand in heels all day.

    Now, in my late 30’s, I wear heels occassionally but my main shoes are for comfort and style but the comfort definitely comes first!

    Love the socks!

  8. I asked a nurse in the local hospital who was doing a blood test on me if the shoes she was wearing were Crocs. She told me that no, hers were leather. Then she went on to say she’d been to a talk by a podiatrist (why would anyone do that?) who said the best thing about Crocs is the amount of business they send to podiatrists She said that they’re bad for your feet!! I don’t remember why. So beware.

    Any progress on your log cabin lately? You’ve finished some socks so I’m just wondering if that makes for some new logs? I also wondered if you’ve used any of the Artyarns Ultramerino

  9. oops!

    about the Artyarns — It’s verrry sproingy. Moreso even than Koigu. I’m finally making my log cabin and loving this yarn.

  10. Yep, Crocs are not elegant. Yep, most comfortable shoes I own. I have 3 pair now. Sage green live at the front door for when I need to dash outside, and for doing stuff in the yard. Black ones are for camping trips. And my “dress” ones are navy, to go with jeans (can ya tell I’m retired??). I haven’t had them during cooler weather, and I’m so looking forward to wearing handknit socks with them. Seeing yours inspired me.

  11. That’s gotta be the funniest Lucy shot I’ve seen yet! Bravo.

  12. Ok. Bought the flip flop Crocs this summer and LOVE how comfortable they are. However, hadn’t talked myself into full-fledged Crocs until I saw your foot picture. They sure do show off the handknits well, don’t they? Sold!

  13. Don’t you just love Crocs?…but be ye warned! Crocs be DANGEROUS!
    Of course, you should know that all medical personnel are constantly searching for comfortable shoes….you know we would find Crocs right away! And we love them! So light! So loose! No sweaty feet! BUT…
    If you are not EXTREMELY careful, you will be walking down a hallway…and the Crocs will STOP!
    You, however will keep going. This results in a frenzied waving of arms and knees, trying to keep vertical (instead of horizontal) in front of hundreds of your coworkers! Occastionally, you simply cannot do it and must have a lie down on the floor! Even worse, if your lie down involves bracing your fall, you may fracture your wrist in 2 or 3 places, as my friend and cohort did 8 weeks ago (She was just cleared by the orthopedic surgeon to return to work). We put surgical shoe covers over them to make them less recalcitrant, but the data’s not back on whether this works all the time.

    So, when you slip into a Croc, remember…..
    Crocs is DANGEROUS! 🙂

  14. Going to locate crocs…….comfort is paramount… Lucy’s interests: movies, food, massage, yarn…….hmmmm……sounds human!

  15. Almost forgot….Crystal Palace Bamboo DPN’s now resemble a smile (or a frown) depending on which way I hold them! Let me know if the Skacels wind up bending!

  16. Hi Lucy, Sweetie. You are bootiful.

  17. Wendy,

    I have have foot surgery twice for bone spurs, and my feet still hurt a lot. I’ve worn Born shoes will great success, but only the ones with a wide foot bed. I can get 4+ years out of a $100 pair of Borns.

  18. I think if you look, you might start to think Crocs are haute couture. I mean, I know three year olds that wear them! I’ve been wanting a pair myself, but I think I will be getting the brand-less type. I just don’t have the money for shoes right now.
    Speaking of hand knit socks….(what?) I just finished my first pair of toe ups, thanks to your generic pattern. I’ve started my second and I have a question. Maybe two questions.
    One is about the gaps in the heel. I picked up a couple of stitches as recommended. One side looks beautiful. The other side, not so much. I realized when I was picking up the stitches that there is a very convenient place to do this at one corner, but not at the other. Am I missing something? Did I not turn the heel correctly?
    The other question is about your gauge. I read the other day when you said you knit a dense fabric. I am using size 2’s and getting 8 sts/inch. I’m wondering though if I should be using smaller needles for a tighter fabric. The first pair I made, I used the numbers on your pattern and they fit me. I used sz 2. (Here comes the question.) Would you recommend using smaller needles and adjusting the number? Thanks!

  19. Hmm, crocs have room for handknit socks, you say? That just might get me into a pair of them? I’ve been debating them for a year now and just couldnt’ make up my mind. You may have swayed it.

  20. I grip my needles tightly because I’m usually stressed out. Yet I drop them anyway. I switched to knitting socks on two circs because it was such a blessed relief to never drop one in the car, at the concert, under the seat at the theater, or on the plane. And I had to switch to metal ones (right now my faves are the new Knitpicks ones) because I kept breaking my #0 Crystal Palace woods trying to shove the stitches onto the needle as I worked around. It happened when I was on vacation and the knit shop I found only had metal.

  21. Hi wendy,
    does it happen to you to start several pair of socks at the same time ?

    I have to confess I died some yarn in my kitchen to try to make a kind of “lucy” color…

    I’m fond of your blog, and I’d love to “pat” lucy (I don’t know the proper term for cuddling a cat)

  22. I used to wear 5″ heels every day to school, and lost my perception of how tall (or not) I actually am. It is all flats, all the time now or barefoot.

    The Fir Cone Wrap is looking ever so cuddly.


  23. I have been seeing those Crocs all over the place and they don’t LOOK comfy, so I am glad to know they are. They would be great for gardening. Where did you get them? Love your blog, it’s one of my daily morning reads.
    I too am a new blogger in need of bloggie love. Any hints on how to get people to read your blog? I’m off to check out Roseann…..

  24. Crocs – I have the ‘knockoff’ version from Payless and they are soft and squishy and floppy but SWEATY. Are Crocs sweaty too? I can so see myself wearing them with socks come cooler weather.

  25. I loved my crocs until my DD#1 stol…err, I mean borrowed them. Wear them in good health and guard them with your life.

  26. I have a pair of Crocs to wear around the lab. At first I wasn’t sure I liked them because they made my feet look like big purple barges, but they are really comfortable and that’s what sold me. I find that I don’t much care for them if I have to walk a decent distance (like 8 blocks) but they are fabulous if you stand in one place a lot, like I do at lab!

  27. Hi Wendy:

    Where do you buy your dupioni silk? Online? I live in an area that’s kind of a shopping wasteland, so I use the Internet quite a bit.


  28. Lucy was just checking out her options for Friday night is all. She is just smart like that.

    And Crocs are nice and comfortable for most people, I have found them to be hard to walk in for me. I much prefer my Danskos. My mother gave me a pair of Crocs but I have given them back to her. But when you have to walk around DC and spend time on the Metro platforms, wear what ever keeps your feet happy!

  29. That blue yarn you swatched made me sit up straight and drool. Luscious! Can’t wait to see what it’s going to become.

    I LOVE my crocs too. The trouble I have with shoes pinching and blistering has cost me some big dollars. My crocs were a dream from the first moment I tucked my little toes into them. I need a job where there is no dress code. And even then I’m considering wearing them into the office. At least on casual days.

    Knit ON!

  30. The fir cone wrap looks lovely! It’s making me want to buy the yarn for the lace shawl I have planned… but no! Must resist! I have presents to make before I can knit things for myself…

  31. I settled the debate with myself yesterday and bought a pair of Crocs online. I did get the sage green (even though those aren’t the ones pictured on the blog). I think if I like them enough I’ll get the navy blue, too, for winter.

  32. My Clovers are all pretty warped, but it doesn’t seem to affect the knitting, so I don’t care. My mother warps all her aluminum spears, so I figure I just take after her.

    Just with toothpicks. 🙂

    Currently, I’m knitting with four Clovers and one 5″ Brittany because I lost a Clover. I really wish Clovers came in 5″ length, for then things would be perfect – I don’t like the grabbiness of the birch. Also, I broke a Brittany in my hand, and I’ve never broken a Clover.

  33. I LOVE when my dp’s warp! They are more ergonomic that way. Seriously!

  34. I had never heard of Crocs before, but I’ve got a pair headed my way now. I’m usually in a pair of SAS (SanAntonio Shoes) but wouldn’t mind something different. I haven’t had a pair of heels on in years.

    I haven’t had a problem with my Brittany dpns bending yet, but have had one snap in two! The Brittany people sent me not one, but four replacement dpns! They really stand behind that guarantee.

  35. I’m with those who don’t care that their Clovers warp–I can’t see that it matters to the knitting, and they don’t roll off surfaces as fast once they’ve conformed to the spatial needs of my hands. When one snaps as I knit, though, I know I’m a little more stressed than I’m admitting.
    I have fur persons who are most envious of Lucy getting to be an Only Cat, as was clearly intended for each of them. Bean and Mrs. Friendly however would be willing to have a parallel stare date with Lucy, any time other than meal time.