My current work in progress:

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


Here You Go


One pair of giant clown socks.

Kindly note how well they match. Pure, dumb luck.

I generally don’t try terribly hard to make socks match, but the patterning on this Opal yarn is such that it seemed like a good idea to try. And when I have a single large skein of yarn for a pair of socks, I generally don’t split it and rewind it — unless I’m making larger guy socks and I want to be sure I have enough yarn for them both.

In this case I wound the skein into a ball, then wound off half of it (by weight) into a second skein. Then I wound the remainder of the skein so all the yarn is “facing” the same way. Know what I mean? If I hadn’t, one of the socks’ stripes would have been upside-down.

Anyway. That’s really all I’ve been up to, apart from starting another sock. Thanks for all the get well wishes. I’m still feeling pretty lousy, but depending on how much sleep I manage tonight, I may go into the office tomorrow. We’ll see. I haven’t done much in the way of knitting, but made an effort to finish the giant clown socks because I need to give them to my brother this weekend.

Thanks also for the ideas for ways to keep Lucy warm. I ordered her a Cozy Cushion from Drs. Foster & Smith. It has “a core layer of thermo-reflective material that uses your cat’s own body heat to warm the entire cushion” as the description states. I ordered the one in the blue fabric, to match Lucy’s eyes.

In the meantime, she doesn’t look too uncomfortable does she?



  1. Lucy looks like she enjoys a good lounge-around. ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope she enjoys her Comfy Cushion!

    I don’t know how you do it, but I know I’d never get socks to match with self-patterning yarn. No matter how much I’d try, I just know it’d never come out right!

  2. The socks look great! Lucky brother. I hope you’re feeling better by tomorrow – not necessarily so you can go back to work. You might need to then take it easy one day at home to make sure you don’t relapse, you know. Just in the interest of good health.

  3. love the socks!

    hope the cushion keeps lucy nice and warm. I am having the opposite problem with Pierre – it’s been so hot here recently I give him iceblocks in his water!

    Hope you feel better soon…

  4. The socks look great. I’m guessing it’s a colour variation of the Opal you sent me last fall. I just love those socks ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Oh yes, the poor cat. It’s shameful how you neglect her with special pillows and her own towel and everything. Horrifying. And people design custom yarns after her. Poor, poor, neglected kitty.

    I assume you’ve tried wool cat beds? Does she crawl under the covers of YOUR bed to sleep? That’s what my cat does when she’s cold (she’s a Hawaiian kitty transplanted to the E Coast). Another thing to do is a thermal sleeping bag for moderately cold weather (they sell them by what environment you plan to use them in). If you lay it out flat, the cat can snorkel down to the bottom of the bag for a nap.

    Of course all this is unneeded with the special pillow.

    I want a special pillow.

  6. Great job on the clown socks–although if your brother is truly a clown, those colors might be a tad too subdued for him, dontcha think? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lucy’s special thermal pillow sounds divine–perfect for Her Highness. Our spoiled child (aka the pooch named Henry) “just” gets a fleece blanket on the couch–oh, and 2 throw pillows. He somehow manages to carry on, even though HIS parents don’t care enough to get HIM a special pillow. Ask Lucy to keep it to herself, okay?


  7. I second JulieT’s comment. I mean really, what kind of cat mother are you?

    Actually I want a special pillow also.

    Glad to hear you are feeling more human. Good luck.

  8. My cats Misty & Mittens are super jealous of Lucy’s pillow. Never mind that they have like a million beds and baskets throughout the house, in every room…

  9. I think Lucy’s got your number. With all that fur, I can’t believe she’s actually cold.

    However, our elderly shorthair took sick after she got her shots a couple of months ago, quit eating and drinking, and wound up spending the weekend at the vet’s with an IV, she was that dehydrated. Over the course of the week this covered, she lost significant weight (she’s tiny to start with) and we were concerned about her while we were traveling over school break.

    I had made a fake fur cover for a heating pad for one of our elderly cats years ago, but it was long gone. In this case we were time-constrained in getting this together, bought one with a low setting (warning – some of the newer people ones have a 1-hour shutoff – not what we needed), tucked it into a foam dog bed that our daughter had gotten at Build-A-Bear when she got a stuffed dog, and then added a couple of towels and some fleece on top of it to cover the pad and be sure it wouldn’t overheat our cat on it’s lowest setting. We monitored this for a couple of days before we left. Cat thinks it’s the greatest thing since crawling under our comforter.

    She actually seemed to have gained some weight while we were gone. I suspect she was burning a lot of calories to stay warm in her thinner state, and the heated bed helped her conserve those and put on the weight (and fat layer) she had lost. She looks fine now, but she’s still very fond of her nest.

  10. Very nice socks. I have been working on the second size 13 for DH for a looonnngg time, as he keeps reminding me. Feel better soon!

  11. Love the cat cushion: great tip…….glad you are feeling somewhat better…….playing Camille is exhausting!………..

  12. I love the clown socks. I have a pair of socks I knit a year ago or so that I think must be the same colorway, they’re some of my favorites. Lucy looks awfully comfortable to me. My cat, who is still living with my parents (college living arrangements don’t usually allow pets…) always wants to sleep in the middle of the tile floor. Go figure.

  13. Please have Lucy post a review of the cat cushion. I’ve been looking at that product for awhile.

  14. Glad you are feeling a tad better. Poor baby, you went down twice this year already. Also want to hear how Lucy likes the new cushion. I have been using the microwaveable discs from Revival, with which we are quite happy, but yours sounds simpler if it works. BTW, mine are Persians with very full coats, so one wonders why they need heating pads. How you can get that much sock out of one skein of yarn is beyond me. Then I usually do a 68-72 cast on and love my socks 9-10″ long. But I have little yarn to spare, and my feet aren’t quite that large.

  15. lucy definitely doesn’t appear to be suffering! although in the meantime you could always…ah…knit her a sweater. *muffles a laugh* i’m sure she would love it…

  16. Hi Wendy! My cat has had one of those cozy cushions for 4 years and loves it. It’s the only place (besides my legs) that he sleeps. Lucy will love it!

  17. The clown socks look really good. I’ve always found Opal to be the best-natured yarn if you want identical twin socks.

    It sounds like a really smart idea for you to take it easy for a day or two. Get well soon.

  18. Ah, free from the GCS! They look great. Glad to hear you’re feeling better – hope work goes well, if you decided to go back today!

  19. I’m so impressed that the socks match! Congratulations!

    One of our cats jumped up while I was looking at the cat cushion, and pawed at the monitor … oh, great, watch him tell the others …

  20. Ok. I can’t call things by their proper names – and it doesn’t help that when I typed in “purr pad” to Smith & Foster’s search engine the other day, the Cozy Cushion is what popped up!

    This is the pad my Meezer, Blonde Bombshell, and Calico Curmudgeon all sleep on (I have two of them – in leopard – as The Meezer sleeps alone!)…I think Lucy will LOVE hers…and my three agree with me!! I’m especially happy that there’s no electricity involved.

    (And btw you can toss them in the wash with NO problems…)
    Hope you continue to get over your bug! The socks are too cool…

  21. Lucy looks absolutely dainty. The only thing missing are those naked men fanning her with giant palm fronds.

    You keep getting better.

  22. Lucy looks like she couldn’t be more content. She has the best Mommy and Daddy! The pictures you post of her put a smile on my face everyday. Thank you.

    Hope you’re feeling better today.

    Clown socks came out really well.

    I have finished the Forest Darkness yoke and now have entered the endless SS blackness. At the moment I welcome it — I will eventually become bored with it.


  23. 102 comments to Lucy’s blog entry yesterday! 22 to yours today. Who’s the real star? Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. I’ve only been reading your blog for the past couple of days, Wendy, and I have to say I enjoy it quite a bit. You have inspired me to take a knitting class. I’m an advanced beginner in crochet but there is so many more patterns available for knitting than there are for crocheting. As soon as I learn to knit socks, my entire family will be getting socks for Christmas. I understand your large yarn stash because I have to guard myself against being seduced by all the lucsious yarns I see. I must be strong.

    I also enjoyed meeting Lucy. I have my own (very demanding) cat princess so I understand how pushy, uh, I mean, sweet, they can be.

    Ann Arbor, MI

  25. The socks are very nice – good job on the matching. And thanks for the link. I’ve been meaning to look for a new outdoor bed for Riley and Isabelle and they have some great ones.

  26. Glad to hear you are up and about again.

    After seeing the giant clown socks laid out together, I am having second thoughts about making a pair for my brother.

  27. How tall is your brother!?! Size 14?!? I thought my BF’s size 12’s were big…

  28. What a good mother you are to make sure Lucy is happy and warm at all times. Hope you’re feeling much better!

  29. I am a big fan of your generic toe-up sock pattern. I’ve used it several times now and the socks fit me perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing your technique. Now for the question. When I do the short-row heel the two sides look very different. One side is clean and smooth and the other is a little bumpy. Not bad but different. You can see photos of each side on my blog. Am I doing something wrong or is it normal for the sides to look different?

  30. Oh, Lord! I just bought 3 skeins of sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe and I don’t even know how to knit. What cool socks I will make… eventually. I REALLY have to take a knitting class now.

  31. Barbara-Kay says:

    We ordered “cat furniture”, scratching post/nests from Drs. Foster and Smith, and were extremely pleased with the quality of their products. By the way, you can even choose the colour of carpet on the cat furniture. We got one for a lakefront window, and one for my DH’s office. His cat spends the day at his elbow. Quite a pair!

  32. Thanks for the tip on the kitty bed! Charlie has several felted ones but I’ve started traveling extensively so the house is kept a bit cooler than he’s used to. I ordered him one a few minutes ago.

  33. I don’t know about that cozy cushion with thermo-reflective material inside. Sounds like a GIANT cat crunchie toy. And all three of my darlings love crunchie toys.

  34. My mom got one of those for her (my) tuxedo kitty and he abso loves it! I was going to mention it the other day, but work got in the way :o)

  35. Hi wendy, love that sock yarn, might have to give in to tempation as it has your stamp of approval.
    One teeny tiny quick question. do you have a fool proof method to divide a skein or ball of yarn into two equal sections to knit toe up socks. I understand you do this by weight, but just how does this work? what tools do you use? and if you don’t have a scale that works do you know of any other ways? I attempted this last night, winding from the inside and outside of the ball onto a single ball, then having my partner opperate the ball winder while I wound a ball. But tangle city and near divorce. Please knit guru help me out if you can.