My current work in progress:

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


So Far, So Good

It’s 10 or 11 days into the Summer of Socks and I’m not sick of socks yet. That’s a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Courtesy of insomnia, I got a lot done on my second Solstice Slip Sock.

Solstice Slip 070207

Solstice Slip 070207

I did not do a huge amount of knitting Sunday afternoon and evening, but late Sunday night/early Monday morning found me knitting along while vainly searching for something on television that would put me to sleep.

I like this sock with a plain gusset heel. Fortunately I guessed right on the first sock so the fit of the foot is just right.

Over the past week or so I’ve gotten some comments asking me if the number of pairs of socks I knit over the summer will be influenced by my “how many socks will Wendy knit” contest. I don’t think so. The guesses really ran the gamut from the easily do-able to the impossible, so there is not one specific number I’m trying to reach or surpass.

And as I mentioned at the get-go — my plan is not to try to cram as many socks into the summer as possible. In fact, I’m not entering the “total number of socks” contest at the official Summer of Socks knit-along.

My goal for the summer is to stretch my sock horizons — do something other than a plain stockinette toe-up sock. I wanted to come up with a few sock designs and knit a few patterns by other people. I think I’m off to a good start.

Switching Needles

Several of you mentioned that when you switch needles while sock knitting, you tighten up on the second stitch on the new needle to avoid ladders. Interesting!

When I paid attention to how I was knitting, I realized that I unconsciously do this too.

Debi asked:

I know you have quite the Addi collection (like me) so I wonder how KP circs compare to the addi’s in the 16 inch length. I rarely use my addi’s because I find the actual needle length on the 16โ€ณ is so short it makes my hands cramp! Are the KP circ needles longer? That’s probably the #1 reason I don’t like knitting with 2 circs….I find with magic loop the longer circs have correspondingly longer needles = less cramping!

I measured a Knitpicks 16-inch circular against an Addi Turbo 16-inch circular — the actual needle length is pretty much the same. Go figure.

Addi Versus Knitpicks 070207

Addi Versus Knitpicks 070207

The cable on the Knitpicks needle is about a third of an inch longer than that on the Addi needle.

Addi Versus Knitpicks Cable 070207

Addi Versus Knitpicks Cable 070207

Lucy Sez



“Enough with the photos!”


  1. Oooo- first comment! Please hurry with the double eyelet pattern. They are gorgeous! I have a toe completed of some Cherry Tree Hill and am ready to go. Thanks for being so generous with your patterns, Wendy.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever done 2 circs with 16 inch needles – because of the shorter diameter, the needle length itself is shorter. Go up to a 24 inch needle, and your hands won’t cramp.

    On the other hand… we have some NINE INCH needles in the shop. Those things are wicked short!

  3. Aussie Rosemary says:

    Have you ever knit sideways socks? I am tackling nonaKnits Sidewinder at the moment.

  4. You know, I wonder if that’s why I don’t finish a lot of my knitting projects. Absolutely nothing sends me off to the land of nod faster than that! Of course, reading does the same thing.. along with watching TV – particularly a boring a$$ movie.. I guess I can’t conclude that it’s just knitting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have finished some projects so I guess it’s just me.

    Interesting info about the needles. I’m sure I have to go back and refer to it when I do begin my first pair of socks.

    Here’s hoping your insomnia is not caused by back pain.
    DID YOU KNOW: That sometimes a small glass of milk will help with insomnia? Of course if you’re lactose intolerant this is a BIG NO-NO! I have a (knitting) friend who takes a couple of vitamin D capsules if she has sleep issues and it seems to work – she is lactose intolerant.

  5. P.S. I just ordered a Loopy Ewe gift certificate for this friend – she loves to knit socks! I told Susan at L.E. that Wendy Knits was the “source” for sock information. luv.m.

  6. If it weren’t for my insomnia, I’d hardly get any knitting done at all! It’s actually my favorite time to knit because I never get interrupted.

  7. Excellent tip on the ladders! Will file that one away in my brain.

    I found this great toe-up pattern last week and thought I would share just in case you haven’t seen it.

    I did a little test swatch to see what the pattern really looks like. Looks like tiny butterflies!! I’m smitten!! Can’t wait to start them for real.

  8. “You have now entered . . . the Insomnia Zone” (cue ominous music)
    Love the photo graphics!
    I had some insomnia knitting this morning, in that I fell asleep early then woke up at 3:30 am thinking of all the things I had to do. Most all of which I couldn’t do at 3:30 am! But I could knit, and did a few rows on Mystery Stole 3. (Then I got on the computer — unfortunately.)
    I appreciated the extreme symmetry of the Addi/KP point photo. It’s graphic art for knitters!
    Lastly, I think Lucy is waiting for her residuals from her prior shoots….

  9. Wow you have got quite a bit done on that 2nd sock. Sadly my yarn is still in the bag. One day it will be knit, one day…

  10. yeah, but what about a comp between the KP circs and the Addi Lace circs? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    just curious – and letting you do the work – after all, if you can’t sleep, you might as well put your time to good use, eh?

    joking, of course – I’d do the measuring but I’m hugely into getting to a point in the Notting Hill Vest where young handsome son can try it on when he decides to pay the parents a visit tonight!

    please feel better …

  11. With the stunning and seemingly endless array of sock yarns and patterns available these days, I dare say that it would be nigh on impossible to get bored of knitting socks!!!

    Now that it’s summer vacation, I love staying up late when the house is quiet and there is no one to make demands of me and interrupt my knitting! The kids are old enough to fend for themselves in the morning so I can sleep in – the summer living is pretty fine.

  12. Thanks for the comparison Wendy. You just saved me from purchasing yet another set of needles I won’t use ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve done 2 circs with 24″ needles and yes, 24’s have a longer needle length but all the flopping around of four needle ends drove me crazy! So it’s back to DPNs with a little magic loop once in a while – I have NO IDEA why but every time I knit toe ups it feels like they “belong” with magic loop. I guess it’s the Turkish Cast On that sucks me in cause I don’t think I’ve ever knit a top down sock with magic loop!

  13. Insomnia past the point in life when we can’t sleep because we’re love smitten is much better handled with socks smitten!

    Yours are lovely—-

    and thanks for the KP vs. Addi facts. I have both and when I’m smart enough to think AHEAD (ah, there’s the rub) I vote for KP hands down……….. love ’em. I am still crazy about my Denise’s though too, but of course they are only size 5 and up (as the KP’s).

  14. I love your Solstice Slip socks!

    I just wanted to say that I too find the needle bit on circs to be a bit too short for me to hold comfortably. I like 20cm DPNs because they sit nicely in my hands and I can tap them on my thigh to scoot the stitches along.
    I do get ladders, which I’ve found purling wrongways on the first two stitches after a needle change fixes (mostly) but I am too much of a scatterbrained floozy to add that into the mix when I’m doing patterend socks. I get confused! ๐Ÿ™

    So I live with ladders.

  15. Kelli Page says:

    I knit socks toe up w/ short row heel. My problem is this, I have a high arch and the last two pairs of socks I have knitted both contained cables, and it is really hard to get them on around my heel. So how do I compensate for this? I guess I need a deeper heel? Instead of measuring around the ball of my foot for circumference, should I measure around the instep?

    Thanks for your help, Kelli

  16. I love the new socks! Interesting questions about the length of the needles — I found the same problem myself. I haven’t found a solution yet, but I’m glad I’m not alone in this boat.

  17. Wendy- Knitters are probably one of the few species that welcome a bit of insomnia. There are never enough hours in the day for knitting.
    My Addi collection is so vast, I’ve mentioned it in my will!

  18. My cure for insomnia is Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. I don’t think I’ve ever watched more than about 15 minutes of it at a time because it puts me to sleep. It puts me to sleep when I’m not sleepy.

  19. Love, love, love, love, LOOVE the colors on that sock! (Which is wierd, as I’m usually a cool tones person :D)

  20. I imagine the bit extra on the KP cable would lead to less resistance when knitting. I find that to be my biggest issue when I am knitting in the round on 16″ circs. I feel like the needles are always fighting to pull loose. Do you find that with the KP needles?

    Your socks are always so beautiful and I am pulling for you to finish 20. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I love watching your socks grow Wendy! I’m thinking now that my guess was too low, but I had figured you might get distracted by at least one lace project over the summer. Have you followed any of the Mystery Stole 3 mayhem? Since each week’s clue is a manageable bite, I hardly think it would detract from your sock knitting (you’re so fast!).

    I loved yesterday’s pic of Lucy “turtled” in your lap ๐Ÿ™‚ getting her tummy rubbed.

  22. Insomnia! That’s what I have to do to get more knitting time. YES! Problem is that heck, I’m ready for bed before my kids are these days.

    Joking aside, I hope insomnia doesn’t hit you too often. I’ve heard (and I’m sure) it can really make you feel lousy. Hope you’re snoozing well again.