My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for March 2007

Sawk Tawk

It occurred to me that if I cut a neckhole and legholes in one of my handknit socks, it would fit Bravo, the tiny chihuahua pup from yesterday’s entry just fine.

Not that I would ever do that. But I may threaten my misbehaving socks with it.

So. I did no knitting on poor Cromarty last night — none at all. It was one of those evenings when time got away from me with a bunch of other stuff to do.


But I hereby swear that the next time I blog, I’ll have the body of Cromarty done and will have started the second sleeve.

So. Yeah, I joined the Rockin’ Sock Club this year. I did not do so last year because I figured I always knit my generic toe-up pattern. Why? Because I knit socks as commuter projects almost exclusively, and I like using a pattern in my head, rather than one I need to fish out of my bag from time to time. During rush hour, I’m in very cramped quarters on the train so sometimes it’s not possible to fish a pattern out of my bag.

But I changed my mind for this year. I thought it might be fun to knit some other sock patterns, and possibly knit them as non-commuter projects, like I did with Theresa’s lovely Whiskers and Paw Prints socks last December. (Although this first Sock Club sock is starting out as commuter knitting.)

I have no problem receiving sock yarn that might be in a colorway that I wouldn’t buy for myself. Why? Because more and more I find myself buying sock yarn for myself in colorways I wouldn’t buy for myself. For me, socks are the perfect way to step outside my “comfort palette.” While I do have plenty of green and earth tone sock yarn, I also have yellows, pinks, and shades of blue I’d never consider for a sweater.

But as it happens, I love the skein of yarn that came with the February sock kit from the Rockin’ Socks Club and would have bought it the instant it was available for sale anyway.

**Spoiler Alert**

Okay, I’m gonna talk about my Sock Club sock in progress. In deference to those who have not yet received their kits and wish the contents to remain a surprise, I’m putting the photos in pop-up windows you gotta click on to see. But I’ll be talking about the sock in progress for the next little bit. If you don’t want to know, don’t read, but scroll down to the picture of Lucy.

Still here? Okay.

Last night I wound my skein of Rockin’ Sock Club yarn into a ball and divide it into two equal balls. I did my crochet chain and provisional cast-on and started the toe, as this is indeed a toe-up pattern. But unlike my generic pattern, the toe is a garter stitch toe, and you don’t pick up the wraps — they just melt into the garter stitch. Wicked cool!

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After the toes is complete, you increase stitches and work the foot in a ribbed pattern — one rib pattern for the instep:

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And one for the sole:

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The sock looks a bit odd on the needles because the ribbing pulls it in a bit from the toe.

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But on the foot, it looks splendid!

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**End Spoiler Alert**

Lucy Sez


I can’t believe she stuck my picture up after the sock spoiler!

Now With More Picot

A couple of you asked in the comments about picot bind-offs that don’t involve a hem. Check out the picot bind-off in this Knitty article.

I am wondering, however, if you simply did a picot bind-off after stockinette stitch at the top of a sock would it roll? I guess it depends on the yarn, among other variables. But that’s why I like the hem method — it keeps the top from rolling.

Anyhoo . . .

Speaking of picot, the second naughty sock is done and on the sock blocker. Wooty, woot, woot!


I was hoping that the two socks will now behave, seeing they’ve got each other and all. Like twins.

Still, I’m a little scared to wear them . . .

Warning — Shocking Content Ahead!

Now that the Naughty Socks are done, it’s time to start a new sock. My next pair of socks will be . . .

. . . wait for it . . .

. . . not knit from my Generic Toe-up pattern!

Yes, believe it or not, I will be starting on the February Sock Kit from the Rockin’ Sock Club as my next commuter project. If I post a picture of it tomorrow, I’ll put it in a pop-up window, just in case there are club members out there who still do not have their kits.

Tracy asked:
Wendy, did you join in the yarn feeding frenzy at Loopy Ewe last night? I sort of had visions of you online trying to snag yarn too!

Heh! Sheri had posted in her blog that she was gonna do a shop update at 9pm CST Monday. I was at my computer at 8:58pm CST, logged into my account at The Loopy Ewe, refreshing the screen. As soon as the update posted, (at 9pm on the dot), I speed-shopped! And I got everything I wanted, thank you very much. If I shoved any of you out of the way in the checkout line, I apologize.

Meet Bravo


Look at this baby!

His name is Bravo, and he’s a 3-month-old chihuahua who now lives in the condo across the hall from me. That’s his momma, Yvonne, holding him up for the camera. He weighs 3 pounds and he is just adorable.

Lucy is not quite as impressed.

While I was crooning “Who’s a cute little doggie-woggie-wumpkins?” and Bravo was rapturously licking my nose, Lucy looked embarrassed.


“Why is my momma acting like an idiot over a rat?”

But other than that (and hissing a little when introduced to him), she was surprisingly unconcerned by his presence.

In other news . . .


. . . it’s snowing.

Picot! Picot! Picot!

When I tore the page off my Stitch ‘n Bitch calendar this morning, I found that today’s page is about picot edging. Very timely, as there were a number of picot comments on yesterday’s blog entry.

How I do my picot hem:
A picot edge is done over an even number of stitches. You work stockinette up to the “turning row” where you work k2tog, yo around. Then you work a few more rows to form the hem. You fold your hem down to the inside along the row with the yarn overs and loosely sew down your hem to the inside of your sock.

And Sarah posted a comment yesterday to tell us she just put directions for picot hems in her Knitting Wiki. Thanks, Sarah!

Frarochvia asked:
How many rows do you do after your yo k2tog row, just out of curiosity?

I do 6 rows. Too few and your picot edge flips out, too many and the top of your sock is too thick. For me, 6 is just right.

Reluctantmango had a great idea:
For those who are scared of the slouchy picot… could you not rib the inside of the fold-over to give it a little grip?

Yes, you totally could. I’ve seen it done here and there.

A non-picot sock question from Rebecca:
When you are designing a sock how do you figure out how many stitches to go down to on the heel?

Ah, grasshopper! That depends on the width of the heel for which you are designing!

Me? I go down to half the width. Say my sock is 64 stitches around. I will work the heel on 32 stitches, so I go down to 16 “live” stitches in the middle of the heel.

If you are making a sock for someone with very narrow heels, you can go down further. Wide heels, don’t go down as far.

Which brings me to the subject of toes. I also go down to 16 stitches on my sock toes, but I see patterns that go down much more to make a far pointier toe than I do. All you sock knitters out there: What do you all like to do? How pointy do you like your toes?

The Sock In Progress

I’m afraid it is now lying on the couch, doing nothing. It has put headphones on and has lapsed into sullen teen-aged silence. All because I took away the car keys and grounded it.


Book Report

I finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club at lunchtime today and I pronounce it a very nice, very readable book. It’s sort of what you would expect with a title like that, and what you might not expect, unless you are really good at figuring out where the plot is headed, which I am. (That’s one of the things I like about mysteries — I’m pretty darn good at figuring out the end before I get there.) Well-written with good three-dimensional characters, and compelling enough to make me finish it pretty quickly. I’ll look forward to seeing the movie when it comes out.

Speaking of Books

Heather (of the gorgeous All Things Heather hand-dyed yarn) is taking part in a drive in conjunction with her daughter’s school to get books to children in a school in South Africa. There’s a raffle and prizes to be had, so head on over to Heather’s blog and read this entry to get the 411 on this worthy effort.

Lucy’s Coat

Lucy is a typical Ragdoll — she doesn’t shed a lot year round but she does molt in the spring. Clearly she is going by the calendar and not the outside temperature because it is wicked cold outside and we’re supposed to get some snow tomorrow.

Still, as she is a pampered indoor princess, I don’t think that matters to her one way or the other.


Gotta run — Cromarty is calling!


Just Another Manic Monday

I’ve been keeping a very close watch on the second sock and for the longest time it was behaving the way one would expect a good little sock to behave. Until I turned the heel. and I let my guard down for one moment . . .


It had “Born to Be Wild” cranked on the CD player and took off for a joy ride. I wrestled the steering wheel away from it before any damage was done.

I’ve hidden the car keys.

Rosemary commented:
I love the look of a picot edge at the top of a stockinette sock. The fact that you make them that way from time to time suggests they fit well. Do you never have issues with slouching when there is no ribbing?

I don’t. My socks stay up very obediently. Though I don’t know about this latest pair, considering their behavior while still on the needles . . .

And speaking of picot edge socks, Peggy asked:
Love the picot edge on the yarn pirate sock. Is it a picot bind off or a fold-over variety?

‘Tis a fold-over (not to be confused with a comb-over). I do so love a good fold-over!

Cromarty-ing Along

I’m knitting along! I did take time out yesterday to do my taxes (blech!) but did make some progress on fair Cromarty.


I’ve not really given any thought to what I’ll knit after Cromarty is done. It is entirely possible I’ll work on some small stuff for a bit. But then again, I might immediately jump into something huge.

But then again, I might knit my Rockin’ Sock Club sock. Yup, got my sock club package today.

No photos here — I wouldn’t dare post a spoiler pic!

Lucy Sez


And would you believe I’m actually losing my winter coat right now?


Well, the naughty little sock is done and on a blocker.


Doesn’t it look innocent there? I can only hope that at this point it has calmed down into sedate adulthood. Sort of like me. 😉

Here is the second sock of the pair.


So far it has been behaving itself as a good little sock should.

After breaking up the sock intervention on Thursday night, I counted the pairs of completed hand knit socks currently in my possession. I have 29 pairs. This means I must have given away a lot of hand knit socks, because last year alone I knit 29 pairs of socks.

Thanks, y’all, for weighing in on the reading while knitting discussion. I do actually have a couple of devices actually designed to hold a book open. But you know what? I like my stapler and tape dispenser solution better. It works for me.

Some of you mentioned listening to audio books while knitting. I’ve tried listening to audio books, but can’t get into the experience. I like reading much more than listening. I like to pause to reread and savor from time to time, and it’s much easier to do that when you are reading the old-fashioned way!

Speaking of books . . .

There were 1081 entries in the drawing to win a copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club. I used a random number generator to pick four winners. They are Michelle D., Kate L., Janice R., and Lori H. These four ladies have been emailed. Thank you to everyone who sent me an email. Lucy sends purrs and kisses to everyone who sent me greetings. 🙂

I had a productive weekend and got a lot done on Cromarty — see?


Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the front within the next week. Then it will be on to last sleeve.

Lucy got in some quality sleeping.


And she thought it might be nice to grace you with another profile shot.