My current work in progress:

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


Wollmeise Sock Yarn

Yep, I’m using Wollmeise sock yarn for my Frog Warts Socks.

I’ve been seeing quite a hubbub over this sock yarn here and there in the blog-o-sphere for the past couple of weeks, so I was very curious to give the yarn a try.

The first thing I noticed about it when winding it into balls was how soft it is not coming off the skein. In fact, it sort of feels like cotton string, not the 100% wool that it is. It reminded me of Opal sock yarn, except I think Opal is slightly softer in the skein.

I started knitting with it, a toe-up sock toe, as per usual. While knitting the toe and doing the increases, I was somewhat disappointed in the yarn. It seemed to have very little give, and I found that it was very easy to split stitches. The yarn is made up of multiple thread-like plies (I count 7 plies), and I had to remain vigilant to keep all those little plies in line.

Plies 073007

Plies 073007

Another annoyance — the yarn has a tendency to kink up on itself rather badly, which slows down knitting.

Kinky 073007

Kinky 073007

Once I got past the toe and the every-other-row increases, I was much happier and started to relax and enjoy knitting the yarn. As I mentioned yesterday, the dyeing is lovely. It also has wonderful stitch definition and the knitted fabric is very elastic and nice, even though I think the yarn itself has a somewhat stringy feel. I understand too that it will soften up nicely when it is washed.

I’ve got one other skein of Wollmeise, and I might wash this skein before knitting it, just to see if it makes any difference. But then again, I might not. I like to live on the edge, you know?

I’d be interested in hearing about the experience and perceptions of people who have knitted with this yarn. Do you agree with my findings or am I being overly picky?

A couple of you have asked if I have ordered Wollmeise directly from Germany — I have not. My Wollmeise came from The Loopy Ewe.

Here is the state of my second Frog Warts Sock.

Frog Warts Sock 073007

Frog Warts Sock 073007

Southwestern Socks Pattern

The Southwestern Socks pattern is now available as a free download from The Loopy Ewe’s Free Patterns Page. I hope you enjoy it!

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

I was perusing the weekly ads for a local grocery store this past weekend and was nonplussed by this offering:

Shark 073007

Shark 073007

I’m not sure what the weather has to do with it, but as it is rainy today, I guess I can’t count on getting any shark loin, eh?

Lucy Sez

Lucy 073007

Lucy 073007

Did someone say “shark loin?”


  1. OH, I so don’t want to know what catfish nuggets are let alone shark loins ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. patrice says:

    I’d imagine that a modest shark would cover his loin with a codpiece. Just sayin’.

  3. Sharks got loins?

  4. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Thank you for the free pattern, Wendy!

    I have some Wollmeise; I haven’t used it yet, and I think I may wait a bit to try it.

    The Frog Warts socks are awesome. The second sock looks particularly dashing on the lovely model!

  5. I love how your Frog Warts socks are coming out. The green striping is gorgeous. I didn’t have trouble with splitting when I was knitting my Wollmeise socks, but I did find the yarn twist-y, like you said. I had to dangle my sock-in-progress once in awhile to let it spin out.

    For those trying to buy Wollmeise direct, Claudia has been on vacation and I’m sure she’ll get back to you when she returns. She’s just a doll to deal with!

  6. Lucy’s photo today is one of my favorites. Look at that profile! Modelling contract for sure!
    Patrice’s comment made me snort.

    You know, I thought you weren’t supposed to eat too much deep sea fish due to mercury and other bad things? Twice a week for health, indeed….hard to know what to eat anymore. At least, knitting is generally non-toxic….

    You are sock-ing up a storm recently! Wish it were contagious — Mystery Stole 3 is a time sink (not in a bad way!), especially ’cause I’m knitting two, but other things are neglected. And I have two charity things in early September that I want to knit for, plus birthdays coming up. So any socks that are not birthday presents are way down the list. But I can hear them whimpering quietly and it’s guilting me out.

  7. I have 2 skeins of Wollmeise and even if I never knit with them, I love looking at them! They make all my other sock yarn look pale in comparison! I can’t wait until Loopy Ewe has some more!

  8. I have not knit with this yarn yet. I love the flashy greens, and the name for the socks just brings a smile to my face.

    Caroline, the SockPixie

  9. I wonder if shark loin takes different from meat from anywhere else on the shark. For that matter, I didn’t know that shark meat could be legally sold!

    When it comes to seafood, I am completely hooked on smoked salmon tails that I buy from a store in my local farmer’s market. They raise the fish themselves, or so I’m told, and the smoked tails are just to die for! And given that I’m not really a big fan of seafood, that’s quite high praise!

  10. I appreciate your detailed description of your Wollmeise sock yarn, the splittling issue and the kinking issue would really annoy me. I have knit stringy wool before and found that it pilled quite a bit, so please keep us posted about how it wears.

  11. Lisa in Georgia says:

    Shark loins? hmm…

    I think Lucy’s photo today is her best ever. She looks like an exotic fashion model.

  12. Shark loins, huh? Sounds like a sock pattern to me! BTW, thanks for sharing your patterns via The Loopy Ewe. I’m this >

  13. Well that didn’t work. I’m *very* close to attempting toe up, since you always make it look effortless. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I could practically do top down, 2 circs in my sleep. (If only I could figure out how to actually knit in my sleep…)

  14. I agree with your assessment of the Wollmeise. I was so excited to get some and then was really unhappy with how it felt coming off the skien. However I must say that once they are washed they are some of the softest socks I have made. And honestly if the colors weren’t so freaking amazing I probably wouldn’t have even finished them, but Poison number 5 is just drool worthy.

    I am LOVING your frogwarts socks and of course Lucy is a gorgeous little kitty.

  15. Lucy, kitty, sharks don’t have loins. And chickens don’t have lips. And snakes don’t have armpits. Really. Have mom get you some tuna tidbits. Tunas do have tidbits. And they are tasty.

  16. I just got two skeins of Wollmeise (direct from source) because I was enthralled with the colors. I have been searching for a pattern that will go with the yarn because it has such a strong stripe to it. Not my photo but this is the color:
    I aws thinking maybe your southwestern socks. If not this, something else! I did notice the unusual thread like nature of the yarn. It will be really interesting to see how this stuff holds up and wears.
    My friend got three skeins and she has started on each one and finished 1 sock. She loves this and I think we will be making more orders!

  17. Never tried the yarn so I can’t say one way or the other. Guess if we all liked the same thing then only one company would be selling yarn hu.?

    Hope that the yarn decides to behave for you.

    Ummm loins and nuggets. Do I really want to know what part of the fish that is? LOL I am guessing the weather has something to do with their ability to catch them since they are not farm raised. That’s the only thing that I can think of.

  18. Frances says:

    Thank you for the southwestern sock pattern! I am looking forward to you publishing your other summer of sock patterns as well, especially the lacy rib sock! (I think you said they would eventually be for sale on your website, right??)
    Thanks again!

  19. thanks for the pattern, wendy! i just printed out a copy, and am going to cast on as soon as I’m done here.

  20. Funny you should mention shark “loins”. Ever since Jaws I’ve been scared spitless of the ocean – being IN IT, that is. But I’m eerily mesmerized by everything shark – including watching every movie or discovery channel program that even HINTS at sharks. So this weekend there were LOTS of sharkey things to watch. I saw a program on discovery last night where they photographed a group of sharks eating a dead whale. Evidently, whale blubber is an aphrodesiac and in this mixed group – well, you guessed it. I find it totally disturbing that so many of the male species are similar in their – uh, “you-knows”!!

    Love the frog warts name and those colors. Disappointing that the yarn as highly prized as it seems to be is so stringey. Could it be the dyeing process is so different in their country of origin. Hopefully as they say, everything comes out in the wash!!

  21. knitizen says:

    there was a wonderful interview with Claudia of Wollmeise in a past issue of Ashford’s magazine about a year ago: she talked about her dyeing process and she definitely has her way with those saturated color combos. she has such a gorgeous way of putting it all together. i know the socks have you in their grip but try her other yarn just for “kicks”. it’s luscious too.

  22. Admittedly I’m not a huge shark fan and would take a lovely filet of Tilapia over it any day, but the loin cut is a tender cut of meat from around the shark’s spine and ribs. The reason that weather plays into it is that if they’re using the meat from a deep sea shark like a Tiger or a Hammerhead or a Mako, they can’t go out and fish during a storm or other dangerous conditions, and so there won’t be any shark loins coming to sell shortly after this has happened.

    Your lovely neighbourhood fisherwoman

  23. Alisa up there beat me to it. My husband is a ‘fishmonger’ and I had the same answer. Out here on the west coast much of our fresh fish supply is weather-permitting, esp open water fish such as Halibut. Even our fresh crab supply can dwindle in the stormy season!

    BTW, made a pair of toe-up feather and fan socks this spring, my first toe-up pair. The pattern was easy to read and follow, and I kept shoving the sock in people’s faces saying “look! look at the cool toe!!”

    My first comment, after two years of reading. Who’d have thought fish would have brought me out?!

  24. What the heck is a “catfish nugget”? Sounds like something McDonald’s would cook up. I think I’ll steer clear.

  25. I don’t think the grocery stores around here would even attempt to sell shark loins. Shark is not really something most Midwesterners are willing to eat.

    I love the greens in the Frog Warts sock- and I love the name too. Kudos to KOARC for thinking of it.

  26. Lisa R-R says:

    I always thought a loin was related to one’s leg, a body part which a shark does not have … but apparently it is part of one’s back between ribs and the rump/hip bone.
    Does a shark have a hip?
    I guess my vegetarian tendencies were no help here.
    Well this sign was indeed thought-provoking …

  27. After watching Ocean of Fear and Air Jaws in the Shark Week lineup on the Discovery channel, I think I’ll pass on the shark loins ๐Ÿ˜‰ The sock, however, looks great to me!

  28. I have a lot of sport weight cotton and i was wondering whether socks would be a good choice for the use of said yarn. I have heard that cotton socks stretch easily. Is this true??

  29. admittedly, i’ve not knit with woolmeise yet, but i did feel the ball that miss v had, and while it feels *different* it wasn’t icky. maybe it was the dye? i know some acrylics end up feeling differently in different colors (i do charity knitting, and most of them want acrylic, so i sacrifice)

  30. Actually shark is quite tasty. Very similar to swordfish in taste and texture. In fact if you don’t know what to look for often you are getting shark but paying swordfish $$! I think you should go for a loin or too ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. I like how the yarn looks and feels. I agree it’s not overly soft and smooshy like some others out there, but I also think the wollmeise will wear better. I haven’t had problems with it being splitty or kinky, and it seems to get softer as you knit with it. My swatch definitely relaxed when I washed it, and I enjoy stroking it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. I love my Wollmeise and I love to knit it. The yarn is so smooth, much smoother than Opal or Regia. I admit that it does have a slightly cottony feel to it and it’s not so sproingy than some other merino sock yarns but it hasn’t disturbed me. The magnificent colours tend to overcome such flaws. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. I’ve been knitting with the Wollmeise sock yarn for quite a while (as I’m from a neigbouring courntry), and I knoiw how you feel about the yarn – but just finish the socks, wear them, wash them, wear them again, and then you should see why everyone is raving mad about it (at least my socks tend to get softer after that precedure).
    But the last sock I knit with them was a Jaywalker, and I nearly dispared halfways, and still have to knit the second one.

  34. Theresa in Italy says:

    For all of you out there who are squeamish about the “loins” and the “nuggets”, I just want to say, if you’re ever in Italy and see the words “bottarga” or “lattume” on the menu? Don’t ask, don’t order.

    Thanks for the Wollmeise critique, I’ll be curious to check mine out when it arrives. And thanks for the new pattern!

  35. Thanks for the Wollmeise review ๐Ÿ˜‰ As for the shark loin I assume the weather permitting is because the fisherman can’t get out, not because the shark hasn’t turned up because it doesn’t like the weather:-)

  36. I’m with you on the Wollmeise… The twisting is what got me. I thought it was just the way I was unravelling my ball as I knit.

    Catfish nuggets, huh?!

  37. I have knitted several pairs of socks with the Wollmeise yarn. I am in an European country so I have gotten my skeins directly from Claudia.

    It is by far my favourite yarn. I have not experienced it being splitty but I have to agree on it being kinky coming out of the ball. I do however love the “cotton-like string feeling” of the yarn. When knitted it makes a very elastic fabric, not cotton-like at all. And the stitch definition is to die (dye ๐Ÿ™‚ for! I wear my socks like I would any other store bought sock and I have to say that the Wollmeise socks wears like iron. They are not pilling either. It’s not a squishy yarn but it has wonderful qualities.

    You can see pictures of my Wollmeise socks in my flickr album if interested:

  38. I’ve just started following your blog, and I love it! You are a truly gifted sockstress (I eagerly await your Asparagus pattern).

    You may have posted this before, but I would be interested in what your favorite sock yarns are (say, top five). There are so many special, “boutique” yarns out there, I don’t know where to start.

    And thanks for turning me on to the Loopy Ewe!

  39. Michele in Maine says:

    I ordered five skeins from Claudia a month or so ago. At the moment I have started one sock, and am still on the cuff. I’m doing a straight k1 p1 rib, but am knitting through the back loop to get better definition. I’ve been annoyed with the splitting (it is very unforgiving if you miss part of the ply when picking up a stitch), and have noticed the kinking as well. But, as others have said, the colors are so rich and saturated I am motivated to keep going. It just won’t be the sock I knit late at night when I’m not paying full attention.

    Shibui yarn, on the other hand, is dreamy to knit with and I love working on that pair.

  40. Hi Wendy! I hope you are feeling better. You are still knitting like a wild woman – – glad you’re able to still knit! Thank God for that!

    Have you posted your Asparagus Cable Sock pattern? I absolutely LOVE that pattern and remembered you mentioning you were going to post it. You have since posted others and I’ve been cruising around trying to find it . . . .

    As always, smooches to Lucy.


  41. Um, I think I’m more freaked out by “catfish nuggets.” Although… I don’t think sharks HAVE loins…

  42. I love the name of the socks, Frog Warts cracks me up. Thanks for your opinion of that particular yarn, I think that I shall cross it off my list of yarns to try! Also, thanks for sharing the sock pattern. It is quite nice.

  43. Wendy – thanks so much for the sock patterns! I’m really looking forward to trying those out. They are beautiful designs!

  44. Wendy,
    I am currently knitting my first sock with Wollmeise and I agree with everything you said in your review. The yarn does feel rather cottony and the kinkyness is driving me batty. I love the color and the finished product feels nice and sproingy even if the yarn doesn’t. The stitch definition is wonderful.
    I’m anxious to finish the first sock so I can wash it and see how it feels then.

    I’m running a contest on my blog to see who can guess the pattern I’m knitting with my Wollmeise. I haven’t posted a wip picture yet but I will do so by tomorrow.

  45. I have been so curious to see what you had to say about the yarn, wondering if I was the only disappointed knitter. Yes, the colours are gourgeous, but the 8 threads of spiderweb that make up the yarn and the fact that it does split at times even carefully knit and that they start to untwist themselves already when casting on and the overall feeling of rope has made me not to want to knit with the four skeins I have. I frogged the sock I was working on,and picked up a STR and a Fleece Artist instead and casted on new socks. STR and similar wool yarns knit themselves into lace, cables or whatever else you ask them to do and it is important (for me)while working on a project to get a yarn that is alive.

  46. I love your Hogwarts socks! I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on the wollemise sock yarn yet, but it sounds something like the base of HL Miller’s hand dyed yarn on Etsy. So soft, just like cotton string. I love yarn like that…

  47. Sharks have loins? Who knew?

  48. Auntie B says:

    As others have written before me: I found the yarn to twist a lot, but also found the socks to be one of the softest in my collection, so I am looking forward to using the other two skeins I purchased. However, I was hoping for wider (taller?) striping. Again, I have others to work with that may give me a different outcome.

  49. Say, I noticed that kinking up on my Wollmeise socks (Bellatrix, in Frosch), but I thought it was because I was doing mine 2 at a time magic loop so I was turning them around and have two balls going. So it’s just a yarn feature. Er, bug.

  50. I hope you are feeling better! I’ve knit one Monkey sock. It is very tight in the instep. Oh Goddess of socks, can you tell me how you would increase the width of the instep of the sock…knit a long heel, don’t decrease as many stitches in the gusset?

    I love the name Frog Warts…but think I’ll pass on the yarn! Your patterns are great and very clearly written…will we see the cucumber (I hope that is the correct yarn name) pattern soon?

  51. My mum used to make us catfish nugget tacos; I’ll have to see if they’re on special out here as well!

  52. I’ve been working on a pair of Wollmeise socks for a bit now. (They’re resting for now while I tend to some other projects that captured my attention more.) I have the kinky yarn problem too. (My husband will be disappointed to find that it is *not* an indicator of my personality!) I’ve found it to be splitty at times too, but I wasn’t sure whether to blame myself and my super-pointy KnitPicks needles or the yarn.

  53. Okay, I’m a Wollmeise enabler, so I’m not going to say much. Just want to tell you how to eradicate the kink problem. If you ball up the yarn twice, i.e. wind it up into a yarn cake from the hank, and wind it up again from the centre-pull cake, then it would take the kink out of it….that’s my experience.

  54. I am a Wollmeiseholic myself, and I LOVE her yarn. There are so many reasons for it. One is that you get a 150g skein, which is unusual! And about the yarn itself, maybe it’s something to get used to? This yarn was WAY less splitty than Panda Cotton. I have that kinking problem myself, but I guess it doesn’t bother me so much. I also have many different yarns – STR, Fleece Artist, Yarn Pirate, etc. and I still rate the Wollmeise my #1 yarn. I think it’s very smooth and the finished piece is just awesome and the knitted fabric is WAY nicer than in the skein. I knit my husband a couple pairs and he really abuses them and there hasn’t been hardly any sign of wear yet (in about 4-6 months). There was one incident that he had super long toenails and well, I had to fix that one. But it is still looking great, wash after wash (not in the machine) and my Lorna’s Laces and Colinette are very fuzzy comparably. Another great reason – her yarns stand up to a LOT of frogging! ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess It is a personal preference if you like it one way or the other.


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