My current work in progress:

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


Whoa, Baby!

That’s what I was thinking when I first laid eyes on Cat Bordhi’s new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One.

Book 082107

Book 082107

The other day someone asked in the comments if I buy a lot of sock knitting books, or if I ignore them. I actually do both — I buy them and I ignore them. I am such a knitting book ho that I can’t resist buying sock knitting books, but after one flip-through I cast ’em aside. I am pretty sure I have never knit a sock from a book of sock patterns, nor have I used any sock patterns in any book as an inspiration for my own socks.

So I’m not exactly sure why I ordered Cat Bordhi’s new sock book. I had looked through one of her “magical knitting” books in the past and to be honest, it pissed me off. The stuff in there fell under the category of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” in my opinion.

So, for reasons unknown, I went ahead and ordered her new sock book. Whoa baby! This is SOME sock book (in the same way that Wilbur is SOME pig)!

Cat has documented a number of different sock “architectures” that are different than any socks I’ve ever made. And they look like socks I am going to want to try. Cat has documented a number of new ways to construct socks. Each of her “architectures” is accompanied by detailed instructions and schematics, for both knitting on dpns and on two circulars. There are a couple tiny socks you can knit up quickly to learn the technique before you move on the adult-sized socks. And there is plenty of fodder to start your creative juices flowing. She shows 8 different sock “architectures” with information for sizing them ads large or small as you want.

Now I am an old dog who does not take to new tricks, but I think this book is just too cool for words. I’ll definitely be dabbling in some new pathways of sock architecture in the near future. I’m not saying I’ll be a total convert, but it sure looks like it’s gonna be fun to play with!

My Old Pathway

Here is my Healthy Spine Sock in its current state.

SIP 082107

SIP 082107

I did not have a lot of knitting time last night, so I’m not as far along as I’d like to be.

Another question from the comments — how long do I usually make the leg of my toe-up socks? The answer is — it depends. πŸ˜‰

As a rule of thumb (or should that be rule of toe?), I like to make the leg as tall as the foot is long, when you fold the sock in two at the point of the heel. That’s a good ratio to start with. Some people like ’em longer, some like ’em shorter.

Me? I like ’em just about as long as the foot. πŸ™‚

Breaking News!

No, I am not writing a sock book.

But what I am doing is making some of my sock patterns available for sale. Not this week, but soon, like in next week’s shop update or shortly thereafter, you will be able to buy the following WendyKnits sock patterns at The Loopy Ewe:

Asparagus Cable Socks
Crotalus Socks
Frog Warts Socks
Pagoda Lace Socks
River Run Socks
Snapdragon Socks

I mailed the big box o’ patterns to Sheri today. πŸ™‚

Lucy Sez

Lucy 082107

Lucy 082107

“I don’t ‘get’ socks. Why would you want to cover something as cute as my paws?”

Paw 082107

Paw 082107


  1. Oh, Wendy, more fluffy paw photos? They just unglue me! Those little paws are So Sweet!
    Looking forward to Cat’s book — I liked her first sock book and used it to subvert other sock knitters. Someone else has already knit a few socks from it and is enthralled, but I read that blog when I was sleep-deprived, so now have no clue who it was.
    Watch that Healthy Spine grow!

  2. PS: I feel like a stalker, first comment two days in a row. It’s just, Wendy, that you often post right around the time I’m winding down at work and checking email and knitting blogs! I is not a stalker, really! OK, back to work!

  3. Good news about your patterns being available for sale! More reason to visit The Loopy Ewe (as if I needed more reason.)

    Agree with you about Cat Bordhi’s book–very intriguing–and very clear instructions and visuals.


    [Another knitting book ho :)]

  4. Lucy, honey, if our paws were as cute as yours we’d go barefoot all the time. I’d just love to put a kiss on that little footsie of yours.

    I got Queen Kahuna’s Crazy Toes & Heels recently and am exceedingly pleased with my first ever really nice sock foot, because it fits! AND it’s a short row heel with no big holes – something I was never able to accomplish before. I await your knitting some of these “archectures” and resultant comments.

  5. I second the recommendation of the new Cat Bordhi sock book. I wasn’t too crazy about her first one, but this one is definitely worth having. The color pictures really help, where her first one was all in black and white. Very interesting designs that hopefully I’ll get up enough nerve to try.

  6. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    The breaking news is great! I’m so anxious for Sheri to have your patterns on sale at The Loopy Ewe. I want them all!

    Lucy, kitty paws are way more beautiful than human feet!

  7. Lucy, them are some cute paws, sweetie.

    Wendy, thank you for making your sock patterns available – I will totally be buying at least three – but some of us may continue to clamor for them in Convenient Book Form! πŸ™‚

  8. I can’t wait until they show up on TLE!! They are all fabulous!! And, thanks for the book recommendation – I’m always looking for more inspiring sock books! I’m like you, I generally like the legs of my socks to be the same length of the foot.

  9. Hooray- sock patterns for sale! Thanks for doing that.

    Lucy, I’m with Leslie- we don’t want to cover your cute furry paws. We want to cover our pale, hairless, cold feet ( and in my case, not anywhere near as cute as yours- calluses, bunions and one toenail with fungus!)

  10. Oh Lucy paws are soooo precious! I’m glad to hear of your patterns coming up for sale! I want them all–especially Crotalus. Thanks Wendy!

  11. I’m with Lucy; I don’t like wearing socks. I just like knitting them! My late husband was a grateful sock consumer; now I have no one who wants to wear them, but I keep getting itchy needles anyway. I’ll have to get that new book (while I wait for yours, Wendy–heh heh). Lucy’s widdle paws are just delicious!

  12. Many congratulations on your new sock pattern venture! I’m sure they’ll be flying out of the Loopy Ewe just like the yarn does.

    And that picture of Lucy laying on the carpet is absolute perfection.

  13. Excellent news about the sock patterns! πŸ™‚ I’ve so enjoyed seeing your patterns and creations, that I’m itching to try some out myself. Thanks so much! (especially since that means I’ll simply have to order more yarn from Sheri to go with the new patterns….)

    Waves to you and Lucy from Southern Maryland!

  14. I bought the “Socks Soar” Bordhi book and it too pissed me off. Very poorly written and just amateurish. But I’m hearing such a kerfuffle about this latest one that I may need to get it just so I can be informed about what I am refusing to participate in πŸ™‚ Or maybe I could just wait and see what the rest of you make of it – I haven’t seen any actual examples of these new sock architectures, and frankly the old ones worked pretty well for me (am I lapsing into Old Fartdom already?). Good for you – finding a way to offset your Loopy Ewe expenditures! It will be hard to choose which of your great socks I must knit!

  15. I also bought the book, and also: wow!! I’ve resisted toe-up socks for 20 years, but this is going to convince me to try them. And then I’ll be able to stop converting your toe-ups to top-downs. tee hee.

  16. Those paws are just adorable!

    I haven’t seen much of Cat Bordhi’s stuff, but I have seen far too many knitted things that have made me wonder what possessed the person to make them in the first place. You’re right; just because a person can do something doesn’t mean they ought to. We all CAN pee on our neighbour’s doorsteps, for example, but we probably should avoid that particular action.

  17. My Pathways came in today’s mail and I’ve been immersed ever since. There’s a bit of reading and comprehending involved there. At first blush, it kind of looks like she’s just moving the gussets around, which I think will be fun to play with. I was frankly hoping for more stuff like Gerdine Strong’s sock with the building blocks, to help break up striping and pooling. Perhaps in Book 2. πŸ™‚

  18. I just ordered the Cat Bordhi book, so I’m gald to hear you like it. I was buying it “blind” since I hadn’t seen it in person. Sounds very interesting. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

  19. I too will still clamor for a Wendy sock book. I’ll just have to buy them all from The Loopy and then bind them all together myself, as I tend to lose loose patterns. Will you let us know when they’re all posted there? It seems like an ongoing project that the two of you have going here.

  20. I didn’t have as strong a reaction to the earlier Bordhi books but then I was very much a neophyte at sock knitting when I picked them up. Last night I finally frogged the sock I had started from that first book of hers (that I owned anyway) since I now know enough to know it was never gonna work out well if I kept going. But I too bought this “New Pathways” book and have been fascinated by it. I hope to gather enough courage to attempt one of the socks from that book as soon as I finish my Inside Outs.

    Unless of course, Sheri has put the patterns up before then in which case, it might have to wait until after I knit some Wendy socks. The trick will be picking just one to be the first one.

  21. So, in a nutshell, I’ll be waiting forever and a day for this book to be designated “random number giveaway” of the week?

    Sigh…guess I’ll have to buy it myself! ~grin~

  22. I’m glad to hear your opinion on the new book. I love sock books, and this one looked interesting. But like you, I was not at all impressed by the other books. Thanks for the review.

  23. Thomasean says:

    Thanks for the patterns Windy.

    Are you inticed by money??? If so, I’ll be buying all the sock patterns just to keep you comin’ wif dem socks cos I’m a “big ole ho, fo sho”

    Thanks again!!!

    Hope you’re feeling better.

  24. Oh I am going to have to go out and get that book.

    Congratulations on your patterns.

    Oh Lucy, they aren’t to just cover your pretty paws. They are to keep those pretty paws of yours warm and comphy. πŸ™‚

  25. I’m excited about Cat Bordhi, too. And you know L-B is, of course. I knitted the two baby-sized sample socks, and I think I am going to have to knit my way through the whole book. I’m glad you’re selling patterns at Loopy Ewe.

  26. Hi Wendy, I am really excited that you are selling your patterns at TLE. Sheri will be hearing from me again next week. I love your patterns. Congratulations. I’m sure every one will want all of them.

  27. Fuzzy toes! Ah…

  28. Well halley loo ya! I’m happy to get patterns even if they’re not in book form! I’ll make a book out of them anyway and keep them with my (your) book πŸ˜‰ I’m so happy you like Cat’s new book, I’ve been seeing all good things about it and ordered it for my birthday. Lucy’s right, if I had her feeties, I wouldn’t wear socks either πŸ˜‰

  29. Great breaking news – in the likelihood that I miss the update at TLE since I haven’t achieved “groupie status” yet – I hope you sent her lots or have more coming. I especially want to do the asparagus sock and have a couple of yarn cakes marinating in the olive oil – waiting to become some asparagus!

    I’m going to have to break down and buy Cat’s book. I started a pair of her new socks from her visit to Knitty Gritty and the instructions you download from the website, well – let’s just say they were “Lost in Translation” for me. So, although I really enjoyed knitting them to the point I did (twice) I couldn’t figure it out and will have to buy the book. Did she do that on purpose?!! The only other gripe is that this particular sock required 2 skeins of sock yarn that you normally would get 2 pair of socks from because the yarn is held doubled. So a $40+ pair of socks is just a little too precious. Hopefully not all of them require that.
    Hope your Healthy Spine socks are healing you through osmosis!!
    Oh, and Lucy Dear – your pawsies are seriously SMOOCHABLE!!

  30. Ooh, paw fuzz! I just love me a fuzzy foot… I live in the desert and rarely knit socks, I’ve made three pairs. While I find them intriguing structurally and fun to knit, I just don’t wear them much. That all said, now I want to get the book! I suppose I can always apply the lessons it teaches me to other knitted items, right? Or am I just another knitting book ho too? I also really liked the Spocks and will probably be visiting the Loopy Ewe and will be tempted by all the lovely yarns, so I guess I’m going to be knitting more socks!

  31. I, too, just got Cat Bordhi’s new book. I can’t say enough about it. I have knitted the two little practice socks and am swatching for an adult sock now. The tips and techniques throughout the book are fabulous and I am using the information in all of my knitting classes. Anyone who is interested at all in sock knitting should definately get this book.

    I’m so glad your patterns will be available at the Loopy Ewe. Just can’t get enough of your patterns!!! Thanks for making them available!

  32. Coolness on the patterns being on sale! I will have to look into them.

    I do have a question. You mentioned that they should be in next week’s shop update… Does Sheri update the same day each week? If so, which day? Also, is there a Loopy Ewe blog somewhere that I don’t know about that lets you know when she’s updated? I’m dying to know!

    Every time I go over there it seems to be at the wrong time for updates and all the popular stuff is gone. Again!

  33. I am sad to hear that you aren’t writing a sock book. I do enjoy the way you put words together as well as your patterns. I hope that you will consider doing another book in the future though.

    I agree with you about Cat Bhordi’s Magical Knitting. Not only I am one of those people who don’t have the money to spend on yarn to make something I wouldn’t wear to anything other than Mardi Gras (if I ever make it there before life’s end) but I couldn’t envision inflicting it on anyone other than a model at a Haute Couture show. Another fashion thing I never get.

  34. Looking forward to your sock patterns at The Loopy Ewe! I’m especially liking those Healthy Spine socks so am hoping that one will end up there too. And I’ll look forward to your comments as you try out the socks in Cat’s book. I haven’t seen it but from what I’ve heard I’m kind of in the β€œjust because you can doesn’t mean you should,” camp. I keep asking myself why one would need so many different sock architectures. But, hey, I’m open to new things. I’ll just let you do it first! πŸ™‚

  35. Welcome to the Cat Bordhi sock cult!! I have owned the book for nine days and I have made three pairs of baby socks and I’m 75% done with sock #1 of a pair of adult sized Spiraling Corialis socks. (Obsessed? Who, me?) This latest sock looks totally whacko on the needles, but great when I slid my foot into it to try it on. One of my favorite things about the book is all the tables she provides to custom-fit your socks. Next up for me? Ocean Toes!!!

  36. i went and looked at the link. when i did a close-up of the cover, and saw that blue sock, i freaked! it’s in my wish list at #1 (i’ve got an anniversary coming in ab out 3 weeks)

  37. Wendy, you’re a real sock “enabler!” I am going to be scooping up your beautiful patterns at the Loopy Ewe and keeping an eye on things for the Healthy Spine pattern to show up there too. (’cause of all of them, I like that one the best.)

    And between you & somebody in my little knitting group last night who brought the new Cat book along with her, you’ve convinced me to get that book, too. Some of the designs look REALLY cool and just make my fingers itch to try them. I too have found her other books to be hmm, not my favorites, but this one has patterns that are just too whacked-out (yet beautiful) to ignore.

    And yeah, like what I really need is a whole bunch more sock patterns and another sock book … πŸ™‚

  38. I love Lucy’s lovely fluffy paw! Just like my Bella’s paw!

    I’m excited to buy some of your patterns from Sheri!

  39. Awwww… Lucy feets!

  40. with paws like that you oughta be in palmolive baby!

  41. Melissa F says:

    I am excited to hear that your patterns will be available through the Loppy Ewe! Just a quick question though, will the directions be for DPN’s or Circ’s or both?

  42. I’ll have to check out that book! Thanks for the review.

    Are you going to be offering the pattern for the Lacy Rib socks? Maybe I just missed that one, but it wasn’t on the list of ones to be sold and it’s not one of the free patterns at TLE. Just curious… I really liked those!

  43. Argh, I ordered the book too late. Just like I signed up for Ravelry too late. Punishment for being a slow adapter, I guess. I’ll enjoy both things when my time comes, I guess–but I am interested in the sock book, oh boy! And I have actually knitted one or two pairs of socks that at least started out intending to be ones from a book. I do digress, though.

    Great news about the patterns. I have really been enjoying your free ones.

  44. This comment is something of a non sequitur, but I’d like the benefit of your knitting expertise.

    I realize that you’re in the midst of knitting socks this summer, not scarves, but since you have so many pattern/stitch books, I was wondering if you’ve ever come across a pattern for a reversible cable that has no “wrong” side. I’d like to make a cabled scarf or two for Christmas presents (I’m already getting started on holiday knitting!), but I want them to look cabled regardless of how they’re wrapped around the neck. I don’t have too many stitch dictionaries, and a Google search hasn’t turned up anything useful. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks a lot! All your self-designed socks are beautiful!

  45. I received my book last Wednesday. Hot off the presses and I love it!! Am already finished with one sock and working on the second. Wow!! I’ll never be the same again!
    I’ll be looking for your patterns at TLE

  46. I haven’t read any of Cat’s other books, but I’m really enjoying this one. I’ve made 3 pairs of the little socks, and I’m modifying my STR club pattern into the Riverbed sock.

    When I showed my sister my last two pairs of sockies, she almost claimed them for her kitty!

  47. dear queen of toe-up,
    what is your favourite bind off for your toe-up socks?

    lucy, you already have socks! pretty pretty chocolate colored tall socks. =)

  48. Linda in Chicagoland says:

    I’m attending one of Cat’s knitting retreats in October. Thought it was the perfect excuse to visit Seattle/San Juan Islands. Can’t wait!

  49. Looking forward to buying your patterns at the Loopy Ewe! Now if only some more dream in color would come in at the same time .. . .
    Thanks for the review of this book! ANother one I will have to try.

  50. Drat. I was sooooo hoping for a sock book by you.
    I’ll check out Cat’s book – you are now the second person of whom I have undying-“sock-respect”-for recommending the book (Persistent Illusion’s Judy is the first one…)

    Oh my! Squooshy Lucy toes! Squeee!

  51. Ann in CT says:

    Lucy doesn’t want socks because she is already wearing knee-highs.
    Does Lucy have “frito feet” like my dogs, or is she too dainty?

  52. Ooh, baby! I’ve been wanting those River Run socks!

    You’re going to force me to buy from the Loopy Ewe!

  53. Lucy, I have to agree. Your paw is just too darn cute to cover with a sock.

    But honestly, Lucy, have you seen a human foot? I mean, really. They can be pretty weird looking. And, frankly, “weird looking” is the good news when it comes to what lurks beneath the human leg. There are other descriptions that … well, I just wouldn’t want to traumatize your sweet feline sense of aesthetics by going there.

    So, we cover them with pretty little socks because that is the closest we can come to what you were born with and walk upon so gracefully.

    Pray for us Lucy, pray.


  54. long time lurker, erratic and just a few commenter, dropping in near the end of the line to just say I enjoy your blog and thanks to you for blogging.


  55. So funny that you would address this now. I had a fantasy just yesterday morning that you would be publishing all these “summer of socks” patterns in book form. But hey, individual patterns work just fine.

    But I want the “Healthy Spine” sock pattern, so I hope it’ll come along eventually. I’ve been suffering an exacerbation of my m.s. this summer (another healthy spine issue), and went “Whee!” when I saw that pattern. Oh yeah!

    It’s been so fun watching your focus on socks unfold this last bit.

  56. Dear Lucy,
    Not all of us have paws as cute as yours nor are they covered with
    warm fuzzy fur, so we need socks.

  57. I bought the new Cat Bordhi Sock book last week. I haven’t knit any of the socks yet, but I have read through it, and I made some lettered knitting stitch markers in preparation for actual sock knitting. I can’t wait to try some new pathways.

    I look forward to your sock patterns being available for purchase at Loopy Ewe.

  58. One other remark on offering your socks, Wendy. I would really prefer to purchase them in PDF form. No mail delay , no loosing the one and only copy – instead I can safely back them up on my flash drive along with my other purchase (and free) patterns, financial records, correspondce, etc.

  59. wow i was sort of surprised you said these grouchY words ” I had looked through one of her β€œmagical knitting” books in the past and to be honest, it pissed me off” I thought some of the sutff was weird in her book but I know some people like bowls and mobous ART?????. I took a workshop with her and loved learning how to make the mobius scarves . I went mobius scarf crazy last winter and love wearing them instead of long scarves that always get lost..
    I have ordered the new sock book ..iF YOU LIKE IT IS MUST BE FANTASTIC!. I used her other one to make my first pair on 2 circulars . i HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON!

  60. Personally, I think knitting is all about the “just because I can.”

    Just my two cents.