My current work in progress:

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


Almost There

Lorraine commented yesterday:
Cromarty is almost there. Did you enjoy the cabling?

Almost . . . there . . . (gasp) . . .


But I’m betting it will take me the rest of the week to finish it. After the never-ending sleeve is done, I’ve still got all the sewing to do. And I have to knit the neckband. The neckband is done in 4 strips that are sewn into the square neck.

Did I enjoy the cabling? Yes and no.

I love cable knitting, the more complex the better. These cables are medium-complex, I’d say, and extraordinarily enjoyable to knit. And in the yarn I am using, Koigu Kersti, the cables “pop” beautifully.


I will never knit a cabled design in Kersti again. It is very splitty and the splittiness of the yarn has detracted from the enjoyment of the knitting to a pretty large extent. Which, I think, is why it is taking me longer than usual to knit it. On weeknights I toss it aside pretty quickly because I am tired and cranky and the splitting gets on my nerves.

But once it is done, I predict I will love it.

SallyA asked:
How long is it? It looks really short but I’m wondering if that’s just the angle of the photos.

It is short. According to the pattern, it’s 22 inches long. I haven’t measured my Cromarty yet, but it is probably very close to that. I plan on wearing Cromarty over a sleevless blank tank dress, so the shortness of it is not an issue. I promise I will not be wearing it with low-rise jeans so that my belly is hanging out. No one needs to see that. Eeeeek! I may have to gouge out my mind’s eye at the mere thought of it!

It’s a Monsoon!

I’ve completed the first Monsoon sock. If you want to see a photo, click on the link below.

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And here it is inside-out (it’s a reversible pattern!):

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And here’s how much yarn I had left over from the half skein I used for the first sock:

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I used a US 0 for the foot (including heel and toe) and a US 2 for the cuff. I was planning to use a size 1, but decided to go up a size to make sure it would be stretchy enough to fit. And it does. Fit.

Christine asked:
When you are commuting, where do you put the extra dpns. How are you storing the working needle during it’s non-knitting time.

I just jab the needle through the knitted fabric of the sock. I’ve always done this and have not lost a needle yet.

Margo asked:
I’m not a big fan of pooling and I’m considering splitting the skein and working each sock alternating skeins to encourage as little pooling as possible. Have you done this before? Do you think it’s worth the effort? Looking at how the pattern knits up I’d probably be able to stop doing it once I reach the leg as the pooling seems to be happening only on the foot portion.

I am a fan of the pooling. So much so that I would never consider alternating skeins while knitting a sock. I am of the opinion that the variations you get when knitting a sock from handpainted yarn are part of the beauty of the process. I like letting the yarn do as it pleases. In fact, I prefer knitting with handpaints that pool rather than stripe — I find it much more entertaining to knit.

I’m really the only person who ever gets a good look at my socks while I’m wearing them, so I only have to please myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

PattiO asked:
How is “Knit from your stash” coming along?

I’m doing fine. since the beginning of the year I’ve bought only sock yarn, and the yarn needed to complete a project that was knit predominantly from stash yarn. (remember the extra skein of Kidsilk Haze I needed to complete the Maltese Shawl?)

Lucy Sez


“I still hate the time change.”


  1. Hooray, I’m glad someone else out there likes pooling!

  2. Three cheers for giving handpainted yarn free will!

  3. patricia says:

    I’m with Lucy- I hate the time change too!
    Overslept this morning- no sunlight to help wake me up. I’m on the west coast and it’s really dark in the a.m.!

    Nice socks!

  4. Lucy is right on–and I agree with Patricia, here on the west coast we don’t get the sun. We just have to keep getting up an hour earlier. Like jet lag, only semi-permanent. Oh well. The Monsoon sock is gorgeous and I can hardly wait to wind my skein so I can work with it.

  5. I love it when the colors pool. The more pooling the better but I also like the stripy yarns too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the socks.

  6. I’m so inspired by your Cromarty that I went to my local library and checked out The Celtic Collection so I could get the pattern. Our library system has several Starmore books, and I live in fear that one day they’ll “disappear” from the stacks. I keep checking them out so they don’t go to the unloved book pile.

  7. I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of Cromarty. It is a stunning sweater in a magnificent color. I am working with Kersti right now myself, and I was (perversely) reassured to read that you find the yarn splitty. I’ve never worked with this yarn, but holy cow. It sure is splitty. I’m making a shrug for my DSIL, so I won’t even have a chance to enjoy it once it’s done. Good luck getting to the finish line.

  8. Oh man, I love how so DIFFERENT the Socks That Rock is on the different areas! Wow.

    Chalk me up for another lover of variegated yarns. I seriously don’t get people who will rip out a sock because of pooling or striping or whatever. Let it do its own thing… That’s the appeal for me!

  9. Cromarty’s looking good! I can’t wait to see it all put together.

    And poor Lucy looks so sleepy. She should nap more. :p

    By the way, did you know that there’s a LiveJournal community set up for Knit From Your Stash 2007? It’s kinda neat to be a part of a huge destash movement, and chatting with other people who are attempting the same thing is somewhat encouraging.

    Okay, enough linkspam from me. Back to my own knitting!

  10. Poor Lucy. I looked about the same this morning.

    I like the inside-out photo best. But the yarn is lovely. I will be looking into buying some when they offer it to the general public.

  11. That sock is really gorgeous! (So is Cromarty!) I agree about letting the yarn do what it wants…pooling is fine with me, and I don’t even try to make the socks match when knitting with self-striping yarns. Those yarns are there to entertain me; I’m not gonna tell them what to do!

    Pretty Lucy…I still hate the time change too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Oh, I’m with Lucy, I don’t much like DLS either. It’s enough to make me want to move back to Arizona so that I can escape the whole thing. Seemed so unfair to be going off to work in the dark this morning while the kitties all snoozed away on the bed.

    Ok, enquiring beginner knitting minds want to know: What is pooling? The sock is gorgeous and I’m getting the urge to learn how to knit socks the more I read your blog.

    The Cromarty is lovely and I can’t wait to see what it looks like completed.

  13. I like pooling too, though my own hand dyes tend to do more of a twirly stripe. I am also a huge fan of the time change, though it’s hard to eat dinner at a reasonable hour, we tend to stay outside until almost dark then eat what ever is handy in the fridge.

  14. I also like the pooling you get from handpainted yarns. My STR sock is actually flashing on the foot. I think the lightening stripe is cool. Its probably doing that because I had to drop down to OO needles to get the sock to fit. Still, its neat.

  15. I am shocked to hear that Kersti is a yarn that splits. I bought Dale of Norway’s Stork for a sampler and it split so much that I cut my sampler short and returned 2 balls of it. Thank you for that bit of very useful information.

  16. Big fan of the pooling also. I call it “free-range pooling.” Let the sock colors wander where they want!

  17. Katherine says:

    I’m with you on the pooling and flashing–I love it.

  18. Another fan of pooling. I have friends who will rip out 4 inches of sock to “fix” pooling. Go figure.

  19. That’s really neat that the sock is reversible. And I totally agree with you that pooling in handpainted yarn makes it that much more unique. Just out of curiosity from reading through your blog, when you say you don’t use straight needles do you mean completely? Like you haven’t touched them in years and wouldn’t consider knitting anything on them?

  20. I like the sock reversible- of course, I am only seeing it from a pic..
    And I agree with Lucy wholeheartly! Time change blows!

  21. I love pooling. It’s so much fun to see what the yarn does all by itself.
    Pretty socks, and Cromarty is lovely!

  22. I love the photos of Lucy sleeping on her Cozy Cushion! It reminds me of how I feel sleeping under our electric blanket. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Oh Lucy…I’m with ya. Do you knit on your mom’s stuff when she’s asleep. She sure is fast!

  24. I love pooling! Glad to hear I’m not the only one.

  25. The big question I have about the Monsoon sock is it comfortable to wear with the toe and heel in garter stitch and the underside ribbed? I always mess with a pattern and have considered doing toe and heel in stockinette stitch but will go along with the pattern if it feels good on the foot.

  26. I’m with Lucy too. I just can’t seem to quite get moving smoothly.

    I only got fretted about pooling on a sock yarn one time. I was knitting Nancy Bush’s “Conwy” sock with Lorna’s Laces “Jeans,” and there was one color that kept ganging up together, and I hated it. I remember those as socks as some of the fiddliest knitting I ever encountered. But I love the socks and I’m not sorry I “fixed” that little problem. But I’m with you, I don’t ordinarily think it is a problem.

  27. I too just finished a little project (Sheldon from the Winter issue of “Knitty”) with INTENSELY SPLITTY yarn and it made a fun little project turn into one which almost caused me to rip it into tiny little pieces-I feel your pain on Cromarty….

  28. Wendy- I appreciate the info on the yarn, when it splits like that, it drives me batty!

    Batty is a short drive. I’ll have to find another substitute for DDK.

  29. What a little sleepy head!!! Cromarty looks awesome and I love the sock colors.

  30. I love the inside-out version!

  31. I hope you will show a photo of Cromarty as it looks over the dress, because I think that would make a difference to me, since it’s shorter than most of my sweaters.

    The sock is so cool! Someday I will a) learn to knit toe-up socks, and b) try the garter stitch toe, as I’m really intrigued.

    Tell Lucy that misery loves company – I missed the alarm altogether this morning, which is especially bad on a Monday …

  32. Cannot get over the reversible sock – you have blown my little mind.

  33. The idea of a reversible sock is very intriguing. Blue Moon Fiber Arts does it again! Now I’m wishing I had signed up this year.

  34. I agree with Lucy completely. This sucks. *falls over*

    Your Monsoon sock is lovely. I’m in the club and that looks like a fun pattern.

    Do you find the garter toe to be less comfy than a tradition St toe?

  35. Aah, yes, the neverending sleeve…I know it well. How come it takes me as long to do that last sleeve as the rest of the darn sweater?! Well maybe not THAT long, but way longer than it took the first sleeve…

  36. Your sock is great! I got to see one in person tonight as one of the girls in the group also joined the RSC. Cromarty is beautiful!

  37. I’m with Lucy. And how she looks, is how I feel.

  38. Angeluna says:

    Hurray that Wendy also loves pooling. I actually “push” my yarn to try to make it do such things. Love it. Cromarty is just gorgeous. BTW, would you consider “selling” your leftovers from Monsoon? I’m going to run out with my Sasquatch feet. OK, size 10s high arch.

  39. Cromarty is beautiful. BTW – that phenomenon that you described of a cropped sweater and low-rise jeans is what BF and I have dubbed “Muffin Top”. That paints a rather ugly word picture, doesn’t it?

  40. I’m with you Wendy, I’ve never met pooling I didn’t like and I too prefer pooling to striping.

    I wonder, would the Kersti splittiness been less annoying if you used a cable needle? I guess it’s 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other, annoying cable needle or annoying splitting! But I wonder if the cable needle would help?

  41. It is looking quite lovely, and the cables stand out so beautifully.

    You always amaze me in the skill and speed with which you knit.

    Hope you and Lucy and the Daddy are all doing well.


  42. The garter stitch toe and heel look really cool.

    As for using dpns, I always knit halfway through the stitches on one of the four needles with the fifth needle and stop there when I put it away. This way, I am sure to never lose a needle.

  43. I like pooling in handpainted yarn too. Your Monsoon sock looks really good! I really like that pattern especially the no wrap, short row, garter stitch toe and heel. Are they selling the pattern separately or do you need to buy into the club?

    I’m with Lucy on the time change. Spring rocks, spring an hour ahead, not so much.

  44. Ditto on the pooling! I like letting the yarn do its own thing. Besides, alternating skeins on socks is just too finicky for me!

  45. I too like the pooling for the same reasons you mention. Amd a search of your site yeilded the source of a knitting font. Many thanks for that.

  46. The splitting annoys me too. I’m doing socks right now, and am getting frustrated with the yarn even though I love the color. Cromarty is gorgeous, and your plan to wear it over a dress sounds lovely!

  47. New Jersey Laura says:

    Love, love the STR sock. The pooling/striping/coolatious pattern looks great. Rightside-out or inside-out, it’s lovely. Can’t wait to finish mine ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for needle size tips.

  48. In regard to Margo’s question about using alternating skeins to avoid pooling…it didn’t work for me and I alternated 3 skeins. This was the first project I alternated for giggles, just to see what all the bruhaha was about. I like pooling. I won’t do it again. As you said, I like to let the handpainted do its thing. I do try to buy variegated that looks similar to one another. On my current project I wound up with very light skeins and very dark ones. I just work with it.

  49. Ah, Lucy, I do so agree with you!
    Yucky yucky DST.
    You know, Wendy, I went on Knit from Your Stash with you, and I’ve done the same as you, sock yarn only, but … my problem now is that I’m buying knitting-related stuff (needles, stitchkeepers, Denise cables, etc…), instead! lolol!

  50. I agree with the pooling – the first yarn I ever dyed pooled like crazy and I loved it, so ever since I let the yarn do what it wants. And I push my needles through the yarn to keep them together – nothing worse than needles on the loose ( it’s almost as ugly as wild teenage socks ). I got some Memories yarn from Knit Picks in Pansy and Morning Glory and am working on the Morning Glory and plan to do the heels and toes in garter stitch for a change of pace. I like the way the yarn stripes and the garter stitch should make an interesting variance to the pattern. I thought the reason I liked the self-striping yarn and pooling was because I’m too lazy to mess with all those color changes in ” manual ” striping and I can’t imagine ripping out a pool of color ( live a little ).
    Lucy couldn’t be more right – there is nothing good about DSL except when it’s over with ( except maybe, working night shift when the DSL starts in the spring – sucks big time !!! )

  51. O.K. after you blogged about Sweet Georgia sock yarn, I went out on the internet to find it. Apparently it is a rare one indeed! Is it really that awesome that I should continue my hunt? What has been your most favorite sock yarn of all time?

    I don’t understand Lucy’s dislike of the time change! I seem to be the ONLY one who likes it. I was able to get home after work last night and go for a nice run with my dog in the gorgeous sunlight! What is not to love??!!!


  52. Ok – what is Pooling?

  53. Can you possibly clarify what you mean by splitting? I am assuming it means that its very easy to poke a needle through the plies of the yarn, but that is only a guess. I haven’t ever heard anyone tell me exactly what it is. Thanks!

  54. I agree with Lucy…the time change really sucks. And my Moe Man who is a grey domestic short hair 8 month old also is not fond of the time change. Beautiful socks. cecilia and Moe

  55. Given your love and ‘only buying at this time’ of sock knitting and sock yarns, have you seen a relatively new venture here in the UK (near Edinburgh) called Yarn Yard? There is a club there and charity yarn and a blog….just thought you might be interested! Keep on blogging, I love reading your blog. Fran UK

  56. It’s nice to hear folks saying they like pooling. When I was first getting addicted to knitting (as opposed to when I was first taught to knit as a child), I had been told to avoid pooling at all costs, and it seemed like one of those “rules.” One of those rules that made no sense to me.

    Lucy looks just like I did this morning. Ugh. I have been cursing the daylight savings time for three days and still haven’t adjusted. It’s like jet lag.

  57. Your Monsoon sock looks great! I am also a fan of pooling!

  58. I’m happy with pooling, too. Sometimes it doesn’t look exactly as I expected, but it’s still variegated and happiness always ensues.

    I’m disgusted with the time change, really. It really messed me up this year, and I haven’t been able to wake up until NOON for the past 3 days. I mean, I might be moving around, but things don’t make sense until noon.

  59. I also agree with Lucy–the time change sucks. I love having the extra hour of light in the evening, but I couldn’t drag myself out of bed this morning.

    I’m knitting a pair of socks using Socks that Rock medium weight in the colorway Henpecked. Seeing how the colors pool and play over the pattern is a big part of the fun of the project.

  60. I love pooling too. It’s the unexpected that makes knitting socks with handpainted so much fun. I probably wouldn’t love pooling in a sweater but with socks — bring it on!

  61. You have inspired me to knit a cabled sweater, though not nearly as complex as yours. I love the color, too. Those beige-colored Irish sweaters look horrid on me.

  62. Your cromarty sweater is gorgeous. I couldn’t find in your blog the source of the pattern. I admit, I’m not familiar with the pattern; would you mind sharing the source, or is it a Wendy Original?

  63. Forget to mention that your Monsoon sock is awesome. Keep truckin’ on your Cromarty. You are almost there!!


  64. Hey Wendy,
    I notice that the Cromarty doesn’t have a band or ribbing at the bottom of the body or sleeves. Does the fabric curl under or hang OK without any kind of border? Sorry to hear the Kersti is driving you nuts with the splitting, but I can’t wait to see it finished! (bet you’re thinking the same thing)

  65. Beautiful sock! Love the pooling.

  66. morandia says:

    Yea! More poolers! I love fraternal socks (or in some cases, more like distant cousins). That’s the joy of hand-painted yarn! It’s always a surprise.