My current work in progress:

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


You Ott To Be In Pictures

Roseann asked:
Could you please tell us more about your Ott light? Does it help you knit with black yarn on size 2.5 mm needles?

To tell the truth, my natural daylight lamp is not an Ott light (as I claimed yesterday) but is made by Verilux. You can read more about the benefits of natural spectrum light on their website here. In a nutshell, with this sort of lamp “you will see greater contrast and truer colors with less effort and irritation. The result is just about the most visually efficient light possible.”

When you are knitting black yarn on tiny needles, this is a plus. I don’t really need it for the stockinette portion of my knitting, because that’s pretty mindless and I don’t really need to look at it while I knit. I often blog-surf while knitting stockinette. But on the row where I switch from stockinette to ribbing, I find it very useful to use this lamp, because I can actually see the stitches, and I am far less likely to mess up the ribbing pattern as I’m knitting the set-up row. You know, you put it down mid-row and then because you can’t see what you just knit, you carelessly screw up the pattern.

Where the lamp is really worth its weight in gold is when you come to seaming. Mattress stitch on tiny stitches in dark colors will drive you mad without a really good light.

Yes, the black stockinette is slow-going for me. I’m not knitting it any slower, it’s just that I grow bored with it so I’m putting in less knitting time each evening. I find that I always finish intricate projects more quickly than plain ones because I find them far more entertaining to knit, therefore I knit for longer stretches of time each day on them.

I laughed when I saw this comment from L-B on yesterday’s entry:
Hmmm…do we need a gabfest? ๐Ÿ˜‰

See, I get much more knitting done when I’m on the phone with L-B, because she keeps me entertained while I’m knitting. And I don’t think it is too much for me to ask for her to stay on the phone with me until I complete the sweater. Do you?

So anyway, today I have a photo of something other than black stockinette:


Completed socks!

To recap, these are knit from Scarlet Fleece It’s Tubular 2X! sock yarn in the “Olives” colorway, available from Holly Spring Homespun, on 2mm needles.


Lucy would like to thank you for all the nice comments about her photo yesterday. Today she has consented to be photographed during a playful moment. we give you “Lucy With Orange Balloon.”


Rockin’ Sock Club 2007

If you are a member of the 2006 Rockin’ Sock Club, or pre-registered for the 2007 club, or if you read Cara’s blog today, you probably already know that the lovely ladies at Blue Moon Fiber Arts have been the victims of some serious stupidity at the hands of their bank. You can read the email from Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts on the Blue Moon website. The short story is that the bank they chose to process payments for the 2007 club figured they must be running some kind of scam because it wasn’t possible for so many people to be making payments for a sock club.

While I was not a member of the 2006 club, I did pre-register for the 2007 club in late 2006 and paid for it on January 1. Due to the stupidity and short-sightedness of the bank, my payment was refunded to my account yesterday. You can be darn sure I’ll re-submit my payment as soon as they open the Blue Moon site back up to accept payments. My understanding is that this will happen in a few days — they are now setting things up with a new bank, one with much smarter people in charge.

What strikes me is how idiotic the old bank is. It does not take much online searching for a non-knitter to discover how wildly popular Socks That Rock is. I love Socks That Rock — I’ve got more of it than any other sock yarn in my stash. I see it on blogs everywhere. I do hope that the bank manager who made the decision to shut down the orders and send back the money realizes his/her stupidity and spends a lot of time regretting this very bad decision.

And further to the bank manager I say:

Next time you need to do research about the popularity of an item one of your clients is selling? Instead of assuming your client is doing something illegal . . .

Just Fucking Google It.

Idiot. Sheesh.

(When I did a Google search on Socks That Rock, it returned about 2,570,000 results. When I narrowed it down by putting quotation marks around “Socks That Rock” I got 65,800 results. The majority of these are links to blogs where people are talking about the yarn and the sock club. ‘Nuff said.)


  1. Amen to the rant on the idiot bakers. I can’t believe they made such assumptions and did this to a small business. The Blue Moon folks aren’t divulging who their ex-bankers are (out of politeness or the advice of their own lawyers) but I hope the national news gets a hold of their saga, outs the idiot bankers and embarasses them to pieces.
    In a show of support I phoned Blue Moon and tried to order some yarn over the phone but I had to leave a message. I think they are swamped over this whole situation.
    Also, another comment on your other subject du jour. The verilux lamps and lightbulbs are suppose to help with Seasonal depression (i.e. depression from lack of sunlight during winter months). My work light is a Verilux and I think it helps me in this area also.

  2. On the question of full-spectrum light: yes, you can go out and buy a brand-name full-spectrum lamp like Ott or Verilux. I have no doubt they’re excellent products.

    You can also just buy a full-spectrum compact fluorescent bulb (significantly more expensive than a “generic” CFL bulb, but a lot cheaper than a whole new light fixture) and use it in whatever lamp you most often use to light your knitting (or crafting or reading) space.

    (And if you happen be susceptible to SAD, as I am, you will notice that time spent with your knitting/crafting/reading lamp will manager — perhaps alleviate entirely — your symptoms.)

    As for the question of bankers … well, let’s not waste words on them. Knitters shall overcome!

  3. Full-spectrum lights and fluorescent lights may be
    wonderful for a lot of folks, but those with Lupus and other sun sensitivities should not use them, as they give off UV.

  4. Amen to that sister! I got my email yesterday and I was PISSED!! Give me a break. I might not be affected, but we’ll see.

    Love your cat! I need to include my babies in my posts. They can’t leave knitting alone!

  5. I think the ladies of Blue Moon have shown tremendous class by refusing to name the old bank, which is of course run by idiots who deserve the embarrassment that would ensue. And I wouldn’t look askance at anyone who “accidentally” poked these bankers with a sock needle, either. ๐Ÿ™‚ How hard is it to believe that lots and lots (and lots!) of people love something that you don’t happen to understand? I don’t care for football, but I’m perfectly well aware of how seriously lots of people take their football. See, bankers? Not hard! Hurray for the smart people at the new bank!

    Okay, rant over. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the Olives socks, and Lucy and the orange balloon!

  6. Raye, mother of the other Capricorn Wendy, in NYC says:

    Re: The National Bank of Royal Morons
    1. The person who made that decision should be fired!
    2. The people at Blue Moon should collect all the support letters/e-mails we write, photocopy them, and send them certified mail, return receipt requested, to the CEO of the bank with a very strong cover letter.
    3. Copies of the cover letter should be sent to their state (Oregon, I think?) commisioner of banking and attorney general.
    Oh…that manager must be an illiterate chauvinistic misogynist!

  7. It’s is truly comicly stupid of this bank. And could be so damaging to a small company. It’s actually lawsuit material, if one were so inclined. I am glad if the bank is really trying to look after customers, but they should do their homework and listen to their client’s explanation. Tina and Kaci are showing good humor and I’m sure will not lose a single customer, but probably gain plenty. I do think it a good idea to collect letters from clients and present them to the bank. Bet the bank moron was a man!

  8. Got my STR Club refund too! Goodness gracious, what is the world coming to when someone thinks a scam would involve a SOCK club?

    Be sure to post the link to the newspaper that publishes the story about all this when it happens, ‘kay?

  9. Ann’s got one of those Ott lights and everytime I’m there and it’s on I get a blinding headache, break out into a sweat and start confessing my darkest secrets. Fun stuff that light. I’d rather not know the true color of my yarn.

    God help me if your STR stash is bigger than mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. ooh… you dropped an f-bomb.
    Guess everyone is very annoyed about this.
    One of my friends signs off his email with “Before I ask stupid questions I will GOOGLE it…” I think I like your version better.
    How many people will be annoyed if I add “Just. Fucking. Google. It. (c/-” to my signature block?

  11. Your “note” to the bankers was very well put, “fuck” word and all!

    I hadn’t heard previously about the Rockin’ Sock Club, but I promptly went to the Blue Moon site and put my name on the waiting list. I can’t imagine what those ladies have been through the past several days!

  12. It’s a pity the bank is un-named, because it would be amusing to have each person send them a sock! Then they may realize how popular “Socks That Rock” have become!!

  13. I’d actually like to inundate that bank manager’s boss with emails and links to blog rants about this blunder extraordinaire.

    I love my Verilux light — and my secret joy about it is that I got it for free when I ordered my Orek vacuum cleaner. Life is good.

  14. Fortunately for Blue Moon, most knitters are patient and understanding, and I’m sure they’ll get through the stupidity soon and be the better for it. I can imagine the damage done if I had been waiting for, oh, say, a chocolate of the month club, or my tequila of the month club. Serious issues.

  15. As a Sock Sister, I am with you on this. That Bank is a loser. Bad business decisions on their part leaves me wondering about mismanagement of their other clients financial affairs.I’d like to know who they are just to make sure they never solicit me for one of their credit cards!

  16. As someone who works in the finance industry and has to complete hours of continuing education on anti-money laundering and the like, it is extremely easy to see how the bank came to the concultion they did. My guess, they just had thier Annual Audit and the auditor red flagged the account. The bank did get a little over zelous and forgot to do any outside research – like check “Google”. But I’d bet they did notify their head office as well as the banking regulators and other such authorities.

    The entire industry is beyond paranoid. In trying to protect you, the regulators have assumed that we are all incompetent and illiterate. Who would buy yarn, much less sock yarn? We must ALL be a bunch of little old ladies knitting up doilies and ugly TP cozies, who will give our entire life’s savings to the sleasiest telemarketer and the most outragous TV Evangalist.

  17. Amen to your comments on the STR. The ladies at Blue Moon are handling this with such grace and dignity. I would “out” the bank and tell every woman I know to not do business there!

    This is the BIG news in the knitting blog-world.

  18. Amen, sista! I read about it this morning on the Harlot’s blog, and still can’t belive the stupidity of that bank (whoever they are). You go girl! (Can I say that to you? Is that ok?)

  19. Friggin’ hilarious, if you ask me! I’m so glad that Blue Moon has found a new bank. I’ve heard of a few billing blunders–we’ve accidentally double invoiced tenants in the past–but cheeze! that’s silly!

    I have to tell you, I’ve never seen a more beautiful sweater than this Bohus. I am so tempted to try one even though I have never done any color work…come to think of it, I’ve never even made a sweater. But it is stunning.

  20. Wow, what asshats! I cannot believe that they made such a stupid choice in shutting out such a large market. They must make money when Blue Moon makes money, so I mean, it’s a hand over fist situation at BM, so I cannot imagine that the bank was hurting on that front. Stoopid bankers. Obviously, it doesn’t take much to become a bank big wig idiot.

    Whomps to the side of the head will surely follow at old bank. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh, and nice socks. I’m not sure I could knit such a calm colorway, but since you’ve been stuck in black hell, I’m sure that was like knitting in dayglo. ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. About the light and mattress-stitching: you said it, sister! I had to mattress-stitch the sweater I’m wearing today while up at my mom’s, and she has NO good light. It was maddening!

  22. Julie’s got it on the money, someone who thought no one could be interested made this stupid decision about sales of sock yarn. I’m one of those strange Canadians who dislike hockey, must be some sort of scam, huge salaries, franchises, apparel, uniforms, arenas, equipment, teams, half of which don’t make money seems like a money laundering scheme to me. Good thing I’m not in charge at a bank. The girls should sue!

  23. it is totally insane, the BMFA business. I mean sock yarn, who knew? Oh wait, those of us with miles and miles of it in stash. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great socks! My kitty doesn’t like balloons. ๐Ÿ™‚

    something someone might be amused by:

    How did I google this?

  24. Did the balloon stick to Lucy?

    LOL – I had the same reaction – you couldn’t google it, you #@$&*(#!??!! bank people?!

    We have the same sock blockers. Why am I no surprised?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Stupid bank people – I haven’t got my refund yet, but this was the most pathetic thing the bank could have done and I hope someone at the bank pays for this idiotic move

  26. You typed a wirty dord! Hee hee hee!

    But seriously, that bank manager is a dummy. Not to call names, but just saying it like it is. You’re right, google is an easy action to take. Anyway, I hope the STR Club gets up and running again very smoothly with the new bank.

    And I like the orange balloon and Lucy picture. Is it a secret coded message to Phyl Phyl?

  27. closing my eyes… it’s coming together, like in a dream… an idea for a sock pattern… oh, yes…. Banker’s Socks, that’s a good title… and around the cuffs, a pattern forming… is it beads? or twisted stitches? or fair isle, perhaps? forming the shapes of letters, and the letters forming the words… Socks. That. Rock. and on the other sock…. the words … Just. Fucking. Google. It.

    Cheers me up, it does.

  28. I didn’t sign up for the Sock Club this year, and even if I did, I’m betting that the bank name wouldn’t show up on my statement; however, I’d like to find out what bank that was so I don’t inadvertently “scam” them with my bothersome patronage.

  29. Here’s the most troubling thing…do you think this would have happened if a bunch of men were at the helm at Blue Moon? I think not!

    Cute socks, you know how I feel about green ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I don’t think BMFA should say anything about this bank until they find a lawyer!

  31. That definitely stinks for BMFA. A while back my boyfriend ordered some stuff from a British website and the bank canceled the payment and blocked his credit card. They said that because he doesn’t usually order stuff from the U.K. that it looked suspicious. A lot of this may actually be done by bots/computers. But seriously, if you weren’t a knitter and didn’t know any knitters, wouldn’t you think a “sock club” sounded suspicious?

  32. I have to agree that the bank were idiots. Perhaps they need a new motto “A google a day keeps the law suits away”?. Though to be fair if the legislation over there is anything like the compliance legislation over here, they would not have been allowed to contact the customer to check if their business was legit – in case they were tipping off the bad guys . Still think common sense should have prevailed though – I bet there are some red faces in those offices at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Is orange Lucy’s favorite color?

    I have on the best socks today! Thanks again for them! I just signed up for the STR club today. How could I have not done that before?

  34. Thank you for answer about your light, it looks like a worthwhile investment. Now that I am not buying yarn, helpful lighting equipment would be a welcome addition to my home. Beautiful socks!

  35. It’s funny, you generally want your bankers to be conservative, unimaginative people who are good at taking care of money, and you generally don’t want that kind of person making business decisions for you.

    I question the legality of a bank making business decisions for its customers, but probably I am just crabby.

  36. Sounds like the bank I use now. Sheesh. Those people are incompetent with a capital INCOMPETENT.

    How is it that you talk on the phone with L-B and knit at the same time? You either have a headset or you do speakerphone. Enquiring minds want to know.

  37. Banks suck. If it wasn’t so unsafe to keep cash around your house, I would be the crazy hermit who never uses banks. Any company that can post a profit margin in the billions, then raise their fees and rates anyway, ought to be shut down and run out of town. Credit Unions are the only reason I have a bank account.

  38. what bank was this that acted so stupidly? everyone needs to know its name so the bank can be boycotted by knitters everywhere. I see nothing on the blue moon site about this, only the note on Cara’s blog. This is a bank that deserves to be out of business.

  39. “Just Fucking Google It”

    My thoughts exactly!

  40. I love your blog and read it almost everyday..I just don’t comment alot, maybe I’m blog shy LOL. ANyways, I do have a question that I was hoping you could answer about your light. Does it help to see the stitches if your horribly colorblind? STOP LAUGHING*grin* It’s true, I confess, I am indeed COMPLETELY colorblind and cannot see colors but I can see different tones and hues of black and grey which kind of helps to see lights and dark shades of colors. I also can see certain pinks and reds, but what I see them as, CERTAINLY is not what YOU guys see them as. ANyways, I never knew this was going to be that much of a problem until I started knitting almost 2 years ago, it sucks sometimes. My friends and family always pick out my yarn colors for me. I tell them who its for, what color THEY like and what I need for brand or gauge, it’s fun SOMETIMES, but others I get aggravated and just pick it out on my own (THAT has had disasterous results before)….anyways, when I am trying to seem dark colors, it is VERY hard for me to see what I am doing and I knit under a table lamp. Soooo I am wondering if a light like that would help out? Any thoughts? Thanks and your kitty is so cute!

  41. I have natural spectrum CFL bulbs in most of my lamps and an Ott task lamp and I definitely second you!

    The olive socks are great!

  42. Love the olive socks. I’ve been wanting an Ott light but I keep putting it off. I was thisclose to buying one but the comments onthis post were so varied that I’m back on the fence now. I didn’t realize that there was a downside to them.

  43. Thanks for the info on the light, since I’m knitting from stash, I figure 2 small purchases I would have gotten could buy me a lamp;-) I think the STR incident will be the biggest news of this year. Having been a business banker, Blue Moon’s old bank has certainly opened themselves up for liability among other things. Their actions are on slanderous grounds not to mention disruption of and possible loss of business. Wait what am I saying? Loss of business…HA! Hope they get some free advertising out of it. Oooo, btw, looks like a new Lucy colorway to me! Just a splash of orange…Since it’s written in the rules, I’m gonna treat myself to my 1st skein of STR!!! Now take THAT banker boob!!!!

  44. You crack me up … I love it “just fucking google it” I might just temporarily break my “Knit from your Stash” rule to order some sock yarn from them, just cuz….

  45. I read about the Socks that Rock fiasco on the Yarn Harlot’s blog yesterday. I would like to know exactly how many people signed up for 2007 to “tip off” the bank. Truly, I wish to know the name of said bank so that I can boycott all services they provide and alienate all affiliates.

    Does Lucy bat the balloon around? Looks like fun!

    Thanks for responding to my grooming questions yesterday!!

  46. Maybe bankers don’t know about google either. I can’t believe they would make such a decision without doing research…even without google you could find tons of information about sock knitting and Socks that Rock.

  47. Idiots indeed! I’ve been thinking about one of those lights, so thanks for your thoughts.

  48. Yesterday as I was reading the posts on various blogs concerning this, I became angrier and angrier, if that had been a “male” related activity such as fly of the month, or golf ball of the month, would the bank have even batted and eyelid, I think not.
    I quickly sent an email to the girls at Blue Moon offering every support and condolences that they had been put to such trouble. The site is back up and running now, and I just replaced my order for my Rockin Socks of 2007.

  49. Laura in NJ says:

    Felt sorry for the people at Blue Moon. What alot of work to straighten out that bank-snafu. It did make the Club more fun to join — love being part of a suspect group. And quite honestly, the idea that thousands of people around the world would suddenly and simultaneously send hundreds of dollars each to join a sock club is quite amazing even to me. And I’m one of those people!

    P.S. A Bohus question: Wendy, I’ve had many unusual breaks in the yarn for my blue shimmer. Have you had a problem?

  50. how do you manage to crank out the socks at the rate you do? If I’m doing a shorty sock and I do it on size 4 or 5 dpns I can get out a pair in 3-4 days. I am truly in awe. Superfine sock yarn totally makes me nuts. I like Brown Sheeps Wildfoote double stranded.

  51. The bankers suck! I feel so bad for Blue Moon, but I’m happy that their new bankers are not idiots. The worst thing is this is over something harmless like SOCK YARN. It’s not like we’re planning on blowing up something.

  52. There’s something rather delicious about seeing Miss Wendy, a harmless government worker by day and knitter extraordinaire by night, use the word FUCK. LOVE it!!!!

    The whole STR fiasco stinks, but who knows, business might even increase! Three cheers to STR for switching banks and getting the word out.

  53. You may know this by now but the Blue Moon site is processing orders today (01/12/07). I just paid for my subscription…..again!

  54. Lucy – tell your mom you have some competition for greatest kitty – see
    I e-mailed Blue Moon about the bank issue – since I live in Oregon I didn’t want to recommend the Bank to anyone – but they couldn’t tell me…..’legal issues’….they should shout it from the roof tops! I’m embarressed for them!

  55. I had just begun to read your blog every day—it was so encouraging to see all your hard work and the beautiful projects unfold! I understand,it is, of course, your choice to use any words you like in your posts. It is then my (difficult) choice whether to read it…..and I am going to miss it.

  56. Despite the necessity of computers I am still surprised by how few people have email and if they have it, check it, never mind google anything online in my little corner of the world.
    But a bank?

  57. The whole bank thing with the STR club is just unbelievable. They have their payment piece back up. I was able to pay for my 2007 club membership last night. I’ve never knit with STR so I’m really looking forward to this.

  58. I can’t believe you used the f-word in this classy blog. Not so classy choice.