My current work in progress:

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



None of you guys came close to guessing the name of the new sock design. A bunch of you came up with a lot of very pretty names, though.

I guess you need to know what I’m thinking about and how my mind works to be able to guess this. And it is no doubt a good thing that you don’t know what I’m thinking and how my mind works.

Oh, the name of the sock design? Healthy Spine Socks.

Healthy Spine Sock 081907

Healthy Spine Sock 081907

Heh. I just crack me up sometimes.

I actually thought of the name before I came up with the design. I was lying awake one night thinking about knitting socks and thought I ought to come up with a design and incorporated a rib that looked like healthy vertebrae. You know, vertebrae that are not collapsed or disintegrated, or have calcium deposits growing out of them, or have pieces broken off them floating in the spinal canal . . .

Sorry. Where was I?

So I got up and grabbed some needles and yarn and started experimenting. This design is what I ended up with after a few false starts.

Well, yeah, I know it doesn’t really look like vertebrae. Bit I do like the way it looks, very much.

Healthy Spine Sock Closeup 081907

Healthy Spine Sock Closeup 081907

A couple of days ago, someone left me a comment asking where I “grab” my designs. Well, I don’t really “grab” them from anywhere specific. I do have a whole bunch of stitch dictionaries and I do look through them for inspiration. But I don’t very often just take a pattern from a stitch dictionary and plop it into a sock. Most of the time I will make changes here and there. And sometimes I just make up a stitch pattern out of my head. That’s not to say that no one else has ever come up with the same combination of stitches. But for the Crotalus socks, for example, I just put together some decreases and yarnovers and started knitting. If I don’t like the way it’s turning out, I rip and revise.

In fact, for at least half of my Summer of Socks designs, what I ended up with does not bear much resemblance to what I started out with.

I’ve been practicing my yarn photography today. Here are some recent additions to the stash, all from The Loopy Ewe.

J Knits Loopy Ewe Anniversary Yarn

J Knits Loopy Ewe Anniversary Yarn

Woully Boully Kelp Seahorse

Woully Boully Kelp Seahorse

Woully Boully Fishing

Woully Boully Fishing

L&V Buzzberry

L&V Buzzberry

And the great little yarn tote I got:

Yarn Cruiser 081907

Yarn Cruiser 081907

Lucy sez:

Lucy 081907

Lucy 081907

“I’m hiding under here until she puts the light tent away.”


  1. Oh, Wendy! Is that what’s going on with your back? You are a brave, brave soul.

    And I love the sock. Color. Design. Everything. And how many of us really scrutinize vertebra? It looks good to me!

  2. How’s that knit-from-your-stash thing going? Looks like you’re successfully avoiding facing your non-sock yarn stash with the Summer of Socks. Have you experienced any net stash reduction (including sock yarn?) Lovely socks, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kathy in Iowa says:

    The sock design is gorgeous. Looks like it would be a nice, stretchy rib, too. I like that since I have an edema problem which means my ankles can swell like crazy. I’ve just started knitting socks and think I’ve become bitten if not addicted. Will look forward to seeing this pattern offered

  4. Sounds like knitting healthy spine socks is very therapeutic for you at this time. *hugs*

    Light tent?! I’d love to hear more about how you get your great photographs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The spine information sounds decidely un-fun, and I am sorry to hear that that’s what has been giving you woe (drawing the inference). The healthy spine socks, on the other needle, are lovely and fun — may your back recover as quickly as you can knit up those socks! And, could you dish a bit on that yarn tote? Every aspect of your photo (the shape, the fabric, and especially the long, adjustable strap) have me craving one for my very own.

  6. You are such a creative person with a great sense of humour! Sounds a lot like my back too, but as I have never had any help from my brain to think up a pattern to mirror my spine, I will humbly and gratefully take this idea from you (if I may) and will at least summon up some creativity to find the perfect yarn for it. Take care and sending you strength!

  7. Ouch! Your poor back. But the name of the socks? TOO FUNNY. And I like your yarn pornography. Mmmmmmm.

  8. Your photos turned out great! Nice job with the photo tent. WH is getting overdone with all of the yarn I keep putting before him to photo. Want a job??
    ๐Ÿ™‚ (And I love the socks!)

  9. Ooooo, Another spine-tingling design (perhaps that was in poor taste?..). Love the latest sock, and hope you are still on the mend.

  10. I love the design – it TOTALLY looks like a spine!

    Sorry to hear about your health problems – hope you feel better soon!!!

  11. A perfect name for your socks! Perhaps another pattern for your sock book? (Do you think we need to stop hinting?) I’m sorry your back is giving you so much discomfort. I hope something can be done soon to get you back on the mend.

  12. I LOVE the name. It’s all spine, all the time around here for the last 13 months or so. Funny how one “part” of your body influences everything else. Brava for your knitting perseverence under the circumstances.

  13. Will you stop with the cute little bags? I am a sucker for cute little bags. You’re killin’ me, here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think the Healthy Spine sock looks like vertebrae. It’s a great design – here’s to a healthy spine!

  14. Great photos! Perhaps to distract yourself from the back pain (you poor baby!) you should show and tell us all about your light tent. You know, in the interest of blog photography betterment and all…

  15. But Lucy – you could get so much fur all over the light tent!!

  16. What a way to “spill the beans” on what’s going on with your back. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ouch! I hope they are able to get all of that straightened up so that you are much more comfortable and to prevent any further complications. Please don’t hesitate to drop us a hint once in a while. As I’m sure you can tell, we care!

    With regards to your sock designing… Do you look at other sock books? Do you even buy any sock books? Or are you pretty happy with all of the beautiful sock designs and techniques swimming around in your own brain. Just curious. This is not a suggestion that you need to! Just wondering exactly which pedestal I need to put you on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As always, thank you for sharing your wonderful world of knitting with us. Every sock you turn out is a delight to see and something I look forward to knitting up.

    Aren’t you proud, Lucy?!

  17. Shirley, in PA says:

    Your poor back – amazing you can design so many beautiful socks while having back pain. Best wishes for quick and permanent improvement.

  18. Ann in CT says:

    Bad Back! Start behaving already! Don’t you wish you could just get it replaced?
    I like the Seahorse color.
    What’s a light tent?

  19. I never would have guessed that title in a million years, but so very clever!! The socks look absolutely fabulous, btw… but then, all your designs are!! I got some of the annivesary yarn too and it is sooo fabulous in person! Take care… : )

  20. Is someone blogging under the influence? I imagine the wool fumes must be tremendous! Your new socks do remind me of a spine once you mention it. I love this design and how you mind works :D) There should be a Wendy sock book ya know. Lucy’s favorite socks!

  21. I just got some of that kelp seahorse Woolly Boully today too! I have been checking Loopy Ewe every day to see if it was still there and had to bite the bullet and get some today. So glad I did! I’m fiddling with a new sock design inspired by it.

    The Healthy Spine socks look great!

  22. As a (former) nurse, I definitely see the spine design in those socks. And I definitely empathize with the diagnosis.

    I’ll be interested to see what combination of decreases you used in your lace ribbing to keep everything symetrical and to not twist to one side.

    I’ll also watch for what you do with Buzzberry — nice not-too-sweet pastels there.

  23. Oh these socks are gorgeous. I love the pattern and the appropriate name for it. Hope you are feeling better really soon. I understand there’s nothing worse than back problems. Speedy recovery thoughts heading your way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I always look at your socks for inspiration, one day soon, I am now making scarves on the round, geeting ready for socks lol! You are definitely Crafty Wendy!

  25. Love the complex texture… is surely has backbone! Best wishes.

  26. Aaaaaw, come out little Lucy…

    Beautifully textured socks Wendy. The colour, too, is gorgeous.

  27. I definitely see vertebrae there. Nice healthy ones. May they migrate to your back very soon! Hang in there. Beatiful yarn, too.

  28. you bought my favorite yarn in that batch (buzzberry). i cried when i packed that up! if it hadn’t been for that order, i’d have been paid in yarn that week!

    and i like your sock pattern name, lol. now i know what the health issues are!

  29. Love the new sock. You call it whatever you want. If it makes you happy then that is all that matters.

    Yummy new yarn and a cute bag.

    Lucy, don’t you know that those bright lights give off lots of heat? That is great sun bathing.

  30. How tall are your finished socks from the top of the heel flap to the finished ribbing? I knit from the top down and usually make mine at least 7 inches before starting the heel flap. However, I have tried some of the new bamboo yarns and have run out due to the smaller skeins. Do you have that problem?

  31. New Jersey Laura says:

    Great sock and great name. Sorry that beautiful inspiration had to come out of so much pain.

  32. Ouch! Poor back. No wonder you’re in such pain.

    You know, I think the summer of socks saved you from knitting from the stash. Since sock yarn doesn’t count, the SoS gives you an excellent reason to buy tons more yarn!

  33. Your Healthy Spine socks look great and comfy. I’ll look forward to buying and knitting that pattern and thinking of your spine being as healthy as possible.

  34. See now I would like the pattern. My mom has the same issues and is doing what she can to hold off surgery. Happy healthy spine thoughts are definitely sent your way! Beautiful socks once again Wendy!


  35. Lots of great healthy spine thoughts headed your way. I love the socks they look great!!

    I’m jealous you got Loopy Ewe’s Anniversary yarn! It’s so pretty. Your stash enhancement rocks!!

  36. Lovely socks. As a chiropractor, I think I need those! Hope you find relief of your pain soon : back pain is such hell.

  37. OK, more good vibes being sent your way! You know, they do kind of look like a spinal column…


  38. Love that new sock! It looks pretty and comfortable.
    Where did you get the new tote? It appears to have a flap over the opening which is good for containing the knitting. I can’t tell you how many times my bag has fallen over in the car from sudden stops, (my husband was driving! I try not to complain since his driving enables me to knit!) spilling its contents all over. Zippers on a bag just snag my yarn.
    Your sock total so far for the summer has me amazed!
    As an aside this is the first time I’ve spotted another Lydia on a comment on any knitting blog, therefore I’ve included my middle name initial.

  39. I’m thinking I need to make a pair of these socks. I’ll have to rename them, though to “Is It Arthritis or Is It a Rotated Pelvis” Socks. These socks will have to be renamed again when we finally figure out what’s going on. Sigh. Hope you’re getting backy resolution. I enjoy your blog!

  40. Marianne Y says:

    I love your socks! What a great name for them! I hope you publish them soon, whether on Loopy Ewe or in a book, or something, so that I might knit a pair, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hoping that maybe knitting a pair of them might help my badly fractured back heal! (I have no clue where some of the missing bone in my x-rays went, since they have not done an mri, and I have not seen the original CT.) Anyway, I hope that both of our backs heal quickly and well!
    Take care, Marianne

  41. I have a question about reading pattern charts. Now, normally you read the chart from right to left on odd numbered rows and left to right on even numbered rows, but on a sock you are going around, not back and forth like flat knitting, so does that mean you read from right to left on every round. just wondering.

  42. You’re right – I never would have guessed that name! Now if I had asked DH… The socks came out great.

    I’ve seen several references to a sock book – any chance you’ll be writing a new book? Your first book is well loved and is starting to look it! Might be time for a replacement copy.

    Pretty Girl sends Lucy good kitty wishes!

  43. I’m so sorry about your back. I had a herniated disc a few years ago and it sucked. I think I slept on the couch (it had a recliner section) for about 2 months, and the stairs were not fun at all. It will get better, and after it’s better, physical therapy helped me a great deal. I was walking like I was 90 because everything else tightened up trying to protect my back, but now I walk like the 30-something I am. I still have the occasional flare-up (I had to call in a sitter for myself and my son–only about 3 months old at the time–until my hubby could get home. It’s nice to have good friends.) but for the most part, am physically normal. Mentally? Well, who knows! You’ll get there too, eventually.

  44. Ah Wendy.
    I’m sorry….yucky back problems…
    Great “positive thinking” socks, tho! Perfect – Healthy Spine Socks…and they’re gorgeous.

  45. The “Healthy Spine” socks are beautiful! Such lovely, intricate work. Someone made me LOL out loud with the remark about Yarn Pornography! Man, is that a fact! Your blog feeds my addiction, for which I thank you! And may I add my voice to the rapidly rising pleas (please?) for a Wendy’s Socks Book!? (Hi Lucy!)

  46. Ah – I can see the resemblance now that I look. Hope you’re feeling better – and that Ms. Lucy is too, she looks positively unhappy in that photo . .

  47. Oh Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been dealing with. Although we all knew it must be something pretty bad, I’m sure. I love the name you used for your socks! And I love the pattern. I’m looking forward to it’s eventual appearance to purchase too. Actually, I’m totally jumping on the Wendy’s Socks book bandwagon. You’re coming up with so many lovely ones. And I too would love a bit more info on that yarn tote. It’s beautiful. If that was on the Loopy Ewe site I wonder how I managed to miss it.

  48. Your Healthy Spines socks do have a resemblance to the vertebrae if you were looking at just one bone from the top.

    I really like both Woully Boully yarns. They are so pretty.

  49. Oh, I really love those socks!! My favorite design of yours so far. (Pattern?)

  50. Those socks are beautiful!!! It’s sad that the inspiration for them came from such an icky and painful thing, though. Back problems are the absolute worst thing. I’m sending positive healing thoughts your way and hope that you get some relief soon.

    Will you be publishing the pattern, or at least just a stitch pattern chart? I’d love to make a pair like that.

  51. Dang, and I almost guessed Spinal Tap.

  52. It is truly amazing what they can do for backs now! I’ll like to make a pair of your socks for my MIL who is recuperating from back surgery…given what was wrong, and what was done…she can get up and sit, and walk! It’s truly amazing! (no horror stories or advice here!) You will, too.

    Good attitude (and hard work) helps, as my brother in law, who is a 8 yr survivor (so far!!!) of a bone marrow transplant proved. Keeping the picture of success in your head has got to help! And for a knitter…this way is brilliant.

    Those socks look JUST like good, healthy vertabrae! Will you be publishing this pattern, or do we have to experiment????? Just the stitch pattern would do, if you don’t want to do the whole sock….imagine a sweater in this design…or just a panel up the back, over the spine, to encourage it to heal?

  53. so the healthy spine socks just beg the comment that I am sending healthy spine thoughts out to you…. all straight and lovely and flexible, justas they should be, nothing amiss, and free of any trouble worry or pain….
    Sorry that I have been so remiss in my blog reading (life happened) but I sending loving thoughts of perfect health to you (and your spine)