My current work in progress:

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


Can I Have That With Hollandaise Sauce?

Work on the Asparagus Cable Sock continues.

Asparagus Sock 070907

Asparagus Sock 070907

Mary commented:

I noticed that you’re doing the cabling on the foot. I tend to knit a plain stockinette foot because of the bulk factor of some of the stitch patterns. Do you find patterning on the foot to be uncomfortable when worn with shoes?

I tend to knit a plain stockinette foot too. But I opted for a cable all the way down to the toesies on this because it is a very flat cable, really more of a texture stitch than a cable. So it really doesn’t add a whole lot of bulk.

Asparagus Sock Foot 070907

Asparagus Sock Foot 070907

There was actually a lot of winkling around involved in the creation of this pattern.

I started with a 72-stitch sock because I figured the cables would draw it in enough that it would fit snugly against my foot, which is used to a 64-stitch sock. Actually, the photo in yesterday’s blog post is of the 72-stitch sock, moments before I ripped it out. It was way too loose. So I went down to 64 stitches and was pleased with the results.

However, after turning the heel, I added 2 stitches at each side to facilitate the putting on of the sock and the getting it up over the heel. So on the leg, there’s a total of 68 stitches. On each side there are two baby cables facing each other that are halves of the whole cable, with a purl gutter in the middle. I’m kinda fond of those baby cables.

Asparagus Sock Side 070907

Asparagus Sock Side 070907

I’ll go ahead and keep the 72-stitch version of the sock in my head, and write up the pattern for two sizes — medium and large. The larger size would be great for a larger woman’s foot and would also make an appropriate manly sock, I think.

Jenni asked:

Are the cables slowing your sock knitting progress (even though I know you cable without a needle)?

I actually think I knit faster with a pattern of some sort, because I find plain stockinette boring. I am cabling without a cable needle, and it is particularly easy to do so on these socks, because each twist is only 2 stitches.

I Keep Forgetting

A number of people have asked me if I’m involved in the Mystery Shawl project that is apparently the new hot thing in the blog-o-sphere. At first I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about, but I googled, and now I am in the know. Since then I’ve seen about a ga-jillion Mystery Shawls in progress on blogs.

But no, I’m not doing it. Given the number of shawls-in-progress I have seen, the whole “mystery” aspect of the project holds allure for a whole lot of people, but I am so not one of those people. You’ll never catch me knitting something sight unseen. I wanna see what something looks like before I’m gonna knit it. Lace in particular. I am extraordinarily and arbitrarily picky about the lace that I knit.

That said, what I’ve seen of the Mystery Shawl so far looks really lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucy Sez

Lucy 070907

Lucy 070907

“Look at the angle of this photo. Is Momma tipsy?”


  1. Love the Asparagus Socks and can’t wait for the stitch pattern. I really like the patterning on the instep and do all of mine like that.

    MS3 – I’m in it and loving it…. never thought I’d do a pattern sight unseen but after seeing her other patterns I decided to jump in and so glad I did.

    Hope you’re feeling better.

  2. Cecilia says:

    God those socks are beautiful. if you are looking for some one to give those to, I will volunteer to take them off of your hands. LOL.
    I am in the MS3. I started late and so I am way behind, but I really have not done much lace, so knowing what the patterns is, doesn’t really bother me.
    Take care of yourself.

  3. Love those socks and hope you’re feeling better!

  4. Oh I totally love the asparagus cable socks! That is an awesome pattern.

    I am still sending good health thoughts your way!!

  5. The asparagus socks look fabulous–I like the way the cable works with the stripes in the yarn–subtly. And no, I wasn’t interested in a sight-unseen lace project, either–although, if I hadn’t just STARTED a lace shawl a couple weeks ago, I might have felt differently about it . . . although, probably not. I, like you, prefer to know what I’m getting into. (Though I agree with you that what I’ve seen online looks lovely.) I do hope you’re feeling better! Chappy sends some tail-wagging your way, because that always helps….. (trust me on this one).

  6. These socks rock. I love them. They are so classy! I can’t wait for the pattern, too. This will definitely get me back into socks again. Really nice design, Wendy. Congrats.

  7. Lucy, no, Momma’s just on the couch. Or on good medicine, or both.

    Butter with my Asparagus please. Manly, yes, but I like it too!

    I too am doing the Mystery Stole 3, with about 6000 of my closest friends. (I did sign up early and am amazed at the response.) I have not done a big lace project yet, just little ones, and I want to knit a friend a wedding shawl. But I wanted to practice first! Yet if I didn’t have a recipient or a deadline for a practice shawl, I know it would get relegated to the back of the queue, and I’d never finish it.

    So the Mystery part of it is keeping me going and excited! Having seen Melanie’s other work, I have confidence that it will be beautiful. I think it will be more like MS2, where there were pictorial designs more than lace patterns as such, so perhaps not as much your style of lace. But I’m having fun and knitting it in two different colors and weights of yarn, because I couldn’t decide and wanted to do them both!

  8. Ooh! I can’t wait to see the asparagus pattern — I have the perfect yarn marinating in my stash. Which reminds me, are you planning to write up the pagoda pattern when you’re feeling better? Which further reminds me, I hope that the MRI goes well — I had to have a bunch of them last year for a back problem, and the absolute worst thing is that you must lie still for ages, with NO KNITTING!! Ah, well, they can’t stop you from thinking about knitting, and planning out the next lovely sock pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck, and if it seems right to share, let us know how it goes.

  9. Fabulous looking sock! I am jealous at your endless design inspiration.

  10. Barbara McCall says:

    Add my name to those who love the Asparagus Socks! Yes, I HAD to order that yarn. I also loved the Pagoda design. You are a real inspiration to me.

  11. Patricia says:

    I prefer extra virgin olive oil with asparagus! I like the socks!

    4.5 pairs of socks already for SOS 2007- how did that happen??!!

    Try having Lucy sit or lie next to your back and start purring. A few years ago I read an article saying that a cat’s purr is about the frequency/wavelength/whatever of ultrasound. They (scientists) conjectured that was how cats helped heal themselves and why they purr when they are sick/injured- built-in ultrasound! Can’t hurt!

    My cat loves to purr- I think that’s why she’s lived so long (18 yo in august)

  12. Juliette says:

    Those (asparagi?) are the most beautiful socks I have ever seen you knit.

  13. Hi Wendy, I’ve been catching up with the blogs I read and hope that you are feeling much better soon! Of course, you do have the wolrd’s best nurse looking after you along with the KOARC.

    The asparagus sock are particularly yummy! I love asparagus, my most very favorite veggie! And I’ll take it any way I can get it!

    Those baby cables are mighty cute.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Wendy – I hope you are on the mend. I have a suggestion for a poll. Have blog-peepers on your site, after seeing a new yarn/pattern, gone quickly (ok, immediately) to purchase said yarn/pattern? Fess up – I have done so on a few (OK, OK – many) occasions. In doing so I have found some of the most delightful yarn that I might never have known about. I have Asparagus and another color from Sockpixie on their way. Take care, Jen

  15. Blue asparagus? I have some wonderful (blue) sock yarn in my stash that has been pining away for the appropriate pattern. I think I’ll hold out for the asparagus sock. It’s fabulous!

    Feel better!

  16. Penny T says:

    Wendy, I’m so sorry you’re not feeling up to par, and I hope you recover soon.

    I recently asked whether you’ve gone over to gusset heels for good, and you said maybe. One reason I asked involves the look of each kind of heel. IMHO (as they say), the short-row heel is more attractive, and I especially think that your otherwise beautiful asparagus socks would be even more gorgeous with a short-row heel. Have you any thoughts on this issue?

  17. I am sooooo with you on the MS3 project. Although I signed up, I was going to wait and see what it looked like before picking up the needles. No “pigs in a poke” for me when we are talking about my precious limited knitting time. Although in truth, everything Melanie has designed is lovely and I actually want to make her Hanami stole. I make my choices by letting things marinate in my thoughts for quite a while. I look and compare and think about it a lot, before I finally dive in with needles. While I seriously admire lots of lace, I wouldn’t actually wear most of it.

  18. Forgot to mention how lovely the asparagus socks are and that I really love the idea of flat cable/lace. Thanks for the two size option.

  19. I, too, am in on the MS3. Since this is my first lace project, I’m in agreement with Cecilia. Actually, not seeing the whole thing made it a little less intimidating. LOL.

    I also agree with Jackie H. and others who went to Melanie’s blog and checked out MS1 and MS2 — you gotta do your homework.

    All your socks are great, but the Asparagus socks are to die for!

    Hope the Nurse Kitty is doing her job.

  20. I’m with you on the Mystery Shawl. Although, I think we’re the only bloggers not knitting the thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Wendy- Being more the lone wolf type, I didn’t join the KAL either.
    Too many irons in the fire- and not one pair of socks.

    You put me to shame.

  22. The mystery shawl looks interesting, but the email load is stupendous. Even if you get the digest. If you like mine when it’s done (if I actually get it started) I will send you the pattern.

  23. cute baby cables ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hi Wendy – love the asparagus socks – in fact all the ones you’ve done this summer! Beautiful little cables – my hear goes pitter pat, because it satisfies that need for beauty and it won’t take as long as a sweater!!!
    I’m thinking blue – for a hyacinth look instead of asparagus.
    Glad you are feeling better.

  25. You might want to remind Tan (comment # 22) that the pattern is copyrighted, and Melanie has specifically asked all the members of the KAL not to “share” the design with others. It will be available as a pattern-for-sale once the entire design has been distributed to the Yahoo group. Since you are a designer yourself, I’m sure you don’t want to do anything to harm another designer! I’m doing the Mystery Stole 3, although I have not signed up for the Mystery Shawl which is a whole different type of pattern distribution–that designer asks for $$ up front.
    Your asparagus look quite tasty!! Hope Lucy doesn’t nibble on them…

  26. Beautiful socks! Must finish annoyingly tangly scarf and some other wips. Then on to hand warmers, and/or socks. Thanks for the inspiration.
    BTW, I signed up for the MS3 “in time” but probably won’t “do” it till early 2008.

  27. I’m loving the socks. They are gorgeous and the color is just perfect.

    I’m one of the lemmings doing the mystery stole. I love her designs and I can’t pass up a mystery. hehe I’ve also joined in all of Renee’s mystery shawls. I haven’t gotten all of them knitted though. Sometimes I’m just too slow or have too many other things going on. I think I am so willing to join in the mysteries because I’ve seen the designer’s other work and have bought most of them. hehe

  28. Madeline says:

    I did agree with you and felt the same way about a mystery shawl. But after seeing Melanie’s lovely and amazing (in the case of the Hanami shawl) designs, I decided to trust her. Glad I did.
    Enjoying all your new socks.

  29. Good drugs! Nurse Lucy and Daddy have administered good medicine!

    You know, I could have sworn I posted a comment earlier today, but I’m darned if I can find it. Maybe I’m the one on drugs!!

    Love those socks! I’m hoping once you’re feeling better and things are back to normal you might consider publishing another book but on socks only. How cool would that be? But first you must take care of your health and mend completely!!

    I know nothing of mystery shawls, but am interested enough to read the info on them. I’m too much of a newbie knitter to take anything like that up. I can still get baffled with stockinette stitches ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyway, I hope this comment makes it! Feel better soon! Luv.m.

  30. I love the asparagus socks! I want to make them too, can’t wait for the pattern:) Hope you are feeling a little better!

  31. Mmm… asparagus. Hmm, per Lucy, you’ve been tippling and blogging?!

  32. Chiropractic & massage helps my sciatica.

    I have knitting A.D.D. which basically means I have a short attention span can be totally unmonogonous(??). So for me to join a KAL is really laughable. Plus, just the thought that I HAVE to work on just the one project – well, my DNA just isn’t hardwired for that – so no MS3 for me either!

    Like everyone else – I love your asparagus! Wow, a sock a day! I don’t know how you do it. Can the KOARC video you and put it on YouTube?!!

    And to ditto another couple of commenters – though you and other prolific knit bloggers are ENABLERS – I appreciate being exposed to yarns I probably would never have discovered on my own even though I often try to find new ones!

    Question, are you saving the pattern writing until SOS is over? Otherwise, you really ARE Wonder Woman!

    And one more – I think I must not be too bright – the magic cast on – I totally don’t get it. Is it just me? I can’t get past the “fiddly” part – I swear there are 8 needles instead of 4!!

  33. The sock is so lovely!!!

    Do you pick patterns that you like out of a stitch dictionary then apply them to your socks or are you making it up on the fly?

    They are all so pretty.

  34. Hello,
    feels good to read you
    I’m happy to know you feel a little better.

    Lucy did a good job !

    please keep getting better ๐Ÿ™‚


  35. Hey, they do kinda look like asparagus tips. Very cute and perfect with the yarn.

  36. I, too, love the socks. I’m not a big cable fan but I like these…a 2 stitch cable without an fiddly extra needle, I can handle that.
    Joined MS3 just to watch for now. May make the stole someday, she does do nice stuff.
    Happy knitting.

  37. jackie shapiro says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I love your website, the socks in progress and of course Miss Lucy! Your socks inspired me to purchase some sock yarn while I was on vacation in Maine( nice and cool there).
    I hope you will feel better soon. On a side note see if you should have be tested to rule out Lyme disease too. It was just a thought. Get well soon!

  38. Mmmm…asparagus and hollandaise sauce…mmmmm…

    Seeing how lace and I rarely see eye to eye, I avoid such things. And I loathe doing anything under pressure.

    So. Love. Cables.

    (And thanks again for letting me use your pattern for the kitty beds!)

  39. Being a cable nut, I just love that sock. I’m with you on the boredom that arises from just stockinette, and even though socks without a pattern are easy and fun to knit, I like those with cables so much better. I even bought a pair of Mary Janes so I can show off cables on the foot part of my socks.

  40. The socks look great. I find the same with patterns, be it color or texture I feel it goes faster for the interest factor. Lucy looks cute at any angle!

  41. Love the latest sock pattern! The slight variegation in the yarn really works with it well.

    I’m not doing the Mystery Stole either. We may be the only two people on the planet though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. I like the socks AND the yarn–and I am glad you will make two sizes in the pattern. I finished one of your new toe-up gusset-heel socks, too, so thanks for sharing that pattern so I could learn a new heel style.

    As for the shawl, I had a friend begging me to join, and I do think it looks pretty so far, but I just don’t do well with someone telling me when and what to knit. And I really don’t want to be wearing the same shawl, sock or whatever that everyone else has (thus, I own ZERO Jaywalkers). Maybe I have knitting ADD like the earlier commenter mentioned.

    However, I am enjoying looking at other people’s shawls in progress and wish everyone good luck on it. I’ll keep plugging along on my giant lace shawl, cotton top and endless parade of socks.

  43. I so love your asparagus socks. I have to refrain from purchasing the yarn for myself. I absolutely love your cable sock pattern! I want to make my own Wendy Cable Socks! I look forward to when the pattern is available.

    Hope you are doing o.k. I thought you still had your bad cough but after further reading it is your back that is giving you grief. I hope you feel better soon.

    As ususal, Lucy is a doll – – keep up the good work of nursing your Mama Lucy!


  44. Mmmmmm. Yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. I have fussy feet, but have not been bothered by stitch patterns on the top of the foot of my handknit socks. And I’m with you Wendy, about mystery projects — I need to SEE it first!

  46. What a beautiful sock! I really like the softness of the color and the gorgeous pattern of the sock! I hope you are feeling better – you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  47. The socks look lovely! I really love those cables, and agree that they would make for a manly pair of socks as well.

  48. LOVE the asparagus socks.. the cables, the subtle color.. can’t wait to get my sock-knitting hands on the pattern! Hope you’re better. I signed up for the MS3, but being rather shy of lace, I chose to just watch everyone else’s progress, and not actually join in.

  49. Yes, yes, yes. I can’t do mystery projects. I just can’t. I know that puts me firmly in the minority, but my inner control freak just can’t do it.

    Sock yarn clubs? Same deal. Even the Blue Moon one. Can’t do it.

    But I love your asparagus socks! The soft stripiness of the yarn is gorgeous.

  50. The asparagus socks rock hard. The cabling is just brilliant with that yarn.

    Fab pic of Lucy. Tipsy is the only way to blog.

  51. Thomasean says:

    That Asparagus sock is the bomb. Thanks for the link to the yarn seller.

    Delurking to say…that’s two sock patterns you’ve promised us so far out of SOS…

    I can’t wait…. Thank you Thank you Thank you

    Can you “make” Lucy purr??? She soooo looks like she does her own thing. If you can “make” her purr…get busy so that you can feel better.

    And while you’re at it get the King to purring too that never hurts.