My current work in progress:

Roscalie Cardigan by Alice Starmore, knit from Jamieson’s Shetland SpindriftΒ  on a US 3 needle

Do Not Adjust Your Sets

New Sock 082807

New Sock 082807

Why is the photo of my new sock in sepia tones rather than in color?

New Sock on Foot 082807

New Sock on Foot 082807

Because I’m soliciting names for this sock design and I don’t want you to be influenced by the colorway of the yarn.

New Sock Closeup 082807

New Sock Closeup 082807

The yarn, by the way, is Sweet Georgia “Speed Demon” — sportweight merino sock yarn. I guess it’s a collector’s item, unless Felicia starts dyeing yarn again.

The skein is 280 yards, which I find is plenty for a pair of decent-sized socks. I’m using a 2.75mm needle and am getting 6.5 stitches to the inch, my usual gauge for sportweight socks.

So . . . what would you name this sock? Leave your suggestions in the comments and I’ll pick a number of my favorite suggestions and we can vote tomorrow.

It’s the end of August, and the Summer of Socks is winding down. By my reckoning, we’ve got just over three more weeks before the Autumnal Equinox. I’ve made 14 pairs of socks. Hmmmmm . . . I wonder how many more I’ll achieve before the end of summer?

Only the Shadow knows.

Sock Sizing

Natalie had a comment yesterday:

I love all your patterns; however, they are too wide for my small, very narrow foot (6 AAA). How can I convert the patterns to make the socks more narrow? Maybe you can also include a smaller size in your instructions.

Ah, the non-average-sized foot — always a challenge.

The problem with converting patterned socks to a narrower foot is in the patterning. The pattern has x number of stitches per repeat, so there’s only so much you can do to re-size the socks. All the patterns I’ve prepared for sale are done in at least two sizes (except the Healthy Spine Socks, which are very stretchy, so will accommodate a wider range of foot sizes in the one pattern). The Pagoda Lace socks are done in three sizes.

One possibility is to knit the foot at a tighter gauge. I have wide feet, so I will often knit the foot of my socks at a slightly looser gauge if it is not feasible to change the stitch count of the pattern.

Anyone with narrow feet out there have any other ideas?

Poo-Free Update

I’m still shampoo-free — using Chaz Dean‘s WEN conditioning cleanser (I use the Cucumber Aloe version) and am still delighted with my hair. (PS to Chaz — I swear I always use a nozzle or diffuser on my blowdryer . . . honest!)

So, L-B has been listening to me yap on and on about how great the WEN products are and has been resisting trying them. She finally broke down and ordered some from QVC, which she got yesterday. She said if she didn’t like it, she’d give it to me. Well . . . let’s just say I’m not getting a free bottle of WEN conditioning cleanser. L-B emailed me this morning, enthusing about how fabulous her hair felt after using it. I of course emailed her back:


And I forced her to put in writing: “Wendy was right.”

Huh? Me, childish?

Wendy 082807

Wendy 082807

I may be childish, but my hair is in great shape! Even when in sepia tones!

Only Lucy gets to remain full color in today’s blog entry:

Lucy 082807

Lucy 082807

Cuz she’s my little princess.

P.S. to Judith S. in the U.K. — I can’t find an email address for you so . . . THANK YOU! πŸ™‚


  1. “Rapunzel”. The little cables on the sides are her braids, the center is the trellis leaning on the tower.

  2. The sock pattern reminded me of an auto race. How about “Final Flag” or “Racing Stripes”? (Maybe “Treads Marks”? Ack!)

  3. My first thought was “Snakes & Ladders” — but then perhaps people would see that in a negative sense. I think the pattern is quite stunning!

  4. How about ‘Jacob’s Ladder”?

  5. Robin Pearce says:

    It looks like ladders or stairs to me, sooo “Stairway to Heaven” After all what are handknit socks but heaven?

  6. Twisty Ladders.

  7. How about “Vertical Limit”

  8. Perhaps “Celtic Ladders.”

  9. Chutes and Ladders (I have a 4 year old niece…we bond a lot)

  10. Tigger's Mom says:

    Okay, okay. Because L-B says the no-poo is good, I’ll try it! =) (My hair is nothing like either of you so this will be interesting!)

    Another option to fit socks to “non-standard” feet is to not put the pattern on the foot at all and knit that part to the number of stitches that fit. Then increase or decrease to get to the number of stitches needed for the leg pattern (or for cuff down, start with the number of stitches needed for the leg pattern then increase or decrease for the plain foot).

    I have no new sock names – mine were mentioned already! Kisses for Lucy!

  11. How about “Helix socks” or “Spiral Staircase socks” or “Lollipop socks” (you know, like those tubular, twisted, old-fashioned lollipops)?

    Very cool design, as always!

  12. standingbytheshorelinewatchingthecurrent socks
    Potomac Pooling socks
    whatchamajigger socks

  13. How ’bout Sidewinders? Because in the sock closeup photo the pattern looks like little (cute) snakes slithering towards the toe.

  14. The narrow foot… if it’s too much to take a full repeat out of the top of the foot, you can take stitches out of the bottom of the foot (just keep decreasing at the gusset) and then when you get to the toe, do a couple rounds plain, and then rearrange your stitches so they are even and decrease away. Sure, the pattern would stretch around the side of your foot a bit, but that might actually be nice.

  15. “Steppin’ out with my Cable”

    Love the hair! It does look great with no poo.

  16. I’m going lofty with my suggestion: “Jacob’s ladder”

    There is a poem by Francis Thompson which takes quite a metaphysical tone. Hoever, what I remember the most about from this poem is the line:
    “Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder,
    Pitched betwixt heaven and Charing Cross”

    Your hair looks great – I wonder if the ‘poo-less approach would work for those of us with oily hair.

  17. It looks like wheat or some other grain to me. How about “Whole Wheat Socks”? Or “Crunchy Granola”?

  18. Charmaine says:

    I think Speed Twistie Cables for your new sock pattern.
    I love to see what you come up with next.
    Love your new fluffy do!

  19. these are very Washington DC suggestions…

    i too think they look sort of crosswalky… like the huge diagonal stripe crosswalks on major roads in downtown DC.

    Zebra Walk Socks (after the crosswalks themselves)
    14th Street Socks (home to many a zebra walk)

  20. Hey, Wendy…Do you remember the cover of the Beatles’ album. Abbey Road. The diagonals look just like the yellow stripes on the road they were crossing. After thinking about it for awhile, that came to me…Looks like Abbey Road


  21. How about Traveling socks because of the traveling stitches? I can’t wait to see them in color.

    Beautiful hair, too. Can’t wait for the answer to the oily hair question in comment 116. I tried the wash every other day approach with no success.

  22. Pathway through the grasses.

  23. It reminds me of an Italian marble column and because it is summer – I suggest Roman Holiday.

  24. The twisting pattern reminded me of the carved porch support posts or columns on the traditional northern New Mexico houses. Can’t recall the Spanish term for them; the best I can do is Columna (column). My other idea (if not already mentioned) is Twister.

    Of course Lucy deserves full color – with those blue eyes of hours, it would be a crime to use sepia.

    Beautiful hair (and no, we don’t hate you because you have beautiful hair).

  25. Wheatsheaf.

  26. ribcage

    (i think i’m the only one that saw a ribcage…i’m still looking for the tire tracks)

  27. I would have to second “Side Winders” – that was what came to mind when I saw them before I scrolled through the comments.

  28. Oh, I forgot to chime in about narrow feet (I have 10 AAA). I haven’t done too many pairs of socks for my feet, but I haven’t had too much of a problem with standard sizing. When I made my Jaywalkers, I was in between the sizes listed and dropped down to the lower one without problems. I think that with a patterned sock you could drop a repeat (or more?) to get something narrower. I don’t think a bit of negative ease would be a problem.

  29. What about Pecan Delight?

  30. How funny! As soon as I saw the pattern, I thought Chutes and Ladders and it seems like that thought has occurred to several others, as well. What fun!

  31. I have US size 4.5 feet that are narrower than normal feet, but not especially narrow considering the length. πŸ˜‰

    I haven’t tried knitting socks with a finer yarn and needle yet, but that could be an option if the pattern is just a touch too big. Depending on how many stitches are in the pattern, I drop a repeat. If dropping a repeat would drop out too many stitches, then another option is to add ‘filler’ stitches elsewhere. Or, drop a repeat and use sport-weight yarn, or bigger needles.

    With some patterns, I just won’t bother b/c resizing often means reconstructing the whole pattern, and it may not end up being the same thing in the end.

  32. For some reason, the pattern reminds me of vines climbing up a rough rock wall. I’d call them something along the lines of Twine, I think. Or Liana, which would also use the car theme, since Suzuki has a car called Liana. πŸ˜€ And I found two species of liana that sounded fun: Monkey Ladder and Water Vine.

    I really rather like Coulee Country, too.

  33. Another beautiful pattern! I immediately thought “Fish Ladder”, silly name as it may be. The little edge cable is the fish ladder at the side of the big waterfall over the dam. I guess Marianne (#38) must have perceived this too.

  34. My choice for a name “All Wound Up”

  35. Argh. Of course I get another idea like two seconds after I post.

    Tesla Coil. (Sorry, my geek is showing.)

    It doesn’t look like a Tesla coil, but it does have that spirally sort of thing going on, and the stitch on the side of the foot sort of looks like a flash of lightning.

  36. scribblearts says:

    Er, I found where you listed the colorway. However, I’ll try not to let that influence my name suggestions. (And maybe it was just a red herring?)

    Loose Screw (don’t look at me like that)
    Like a Shark (gills…)
    Maple Seed (because “autorotating helicopter” just doesn’t have the right ring)
    Zebra Crossing
    Barley Twist
    Rope Molding

  37. Snakes and ladders socks.

  38. Changing Lanes
    Cardamom (reminds me of my mom’s braided cardamom bread each Christmas)
    or Heidi as they remind me of the Alps a bit.

    Beautiful either way!

  39. Tire Treads

  40. Well, now we have to call them olde tymey socks.

  41. I would call the pattern Hyaluronan. This is a special molecule found throughout the nature (mammals and bacteria). It is involved in processes as diverse as holding out skeleton together to directing sperm where to go! It forms these lovely double helices that twist to form different ordered structures and I think these socks capture the different shapes it forms in solution and from cartilage to the umblical cord and rooster comb (pointy bit on cockerals head) perfectly!

  42. Hmm…I really like that pattern. Reminds me of train tracks, which we seem to have a lot of around here. So, I must suggest

    Making Tracks

    It also kind of reminds me of hurdles in track. I also think Lucy looks like she is racing hurdles with that stretch.

    Jumping hurdles.

    Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have bothered to post! It is obviously not a good thinking time of morning for me.

  43. speed demon?…sports weight?…your knitting?…how about “Triumph”?….

  44. I will be showing some “free association” here, with explanation..

    The Third Man. There was a scene showing a spiral staircase that was a stunning shot. Orson Wells at his best and Joseph Cotton at his most intense. The spiral effects of your pattern made me thing of the movie…and that scene. ( And it was in black and white, kinda like you sepia! lol, got color in there after all!)

    Can’t wait to see them in color.

  45. How about “Just Visiting Camelot”. They look quite elegant to me. I love loopy laces socks. Can’t wait to get it from the Loopy Ewe.

  46. Nice hair!

    How ’bout Hummer Tracks or just Hummers?

  47. My five-year-old thinks you should call them “Black Jaguar”. If nothing else, it’ll be the weirdest name you get ;> I’m going to ask her for suggestions for all your future names. Think of the humor value!!!

    I need the poo, but I understand the trials and tribulations of coming up with the right combo of products. I’m currently hooked on Kerastase products. They are obscenely expensive, but it doesn’t take much and my hair does look quite lovely.

  48. fibercrone says:

    Tilted Clocks, a reference to the sock-clock-like side panels, tilted for the slanting stitch panel
    Tilted Sock Clocks

    Dumbledore’s Stairs, because the diagonals remind me of his rotating stone stairs
    Dumbledore’s Stone Stairs

    Clock Tower Socks, a reference to the clock panels and medieval circular staircases
    Tower Sock Clocks

    Big Ben, a reference to a famous tower clock that happens to be silent now for repairs

    Helix Clock Socks
    Time for a Little DNA, clock and half a double helix reference

  49. I think the little bumpy bits look like interlocking seeds in the face of a sunflower…and the tilty bits look like petals…

    But Sunflower Socks sounds…lame.

    My suggestion is:


    Cos I’m German like that…if I can’t think of a good name I think of a lame name and then put it in German or French or something.

  50. I guess I wasn’t the first to think of “snakes and ladders” named after the children’s game. You should totally make a sock book with all of your sock patterns.

  51. How about “Peapods?” That patterning looks very much like the stylized peapods used at the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement.

  52. Stroke of Cables.

  53. Something about them reminds me of chains or chainmail. Small chains on the side and larger links on top. What about Joan of Arc socks?

  54. Oohh I love that pattern. I am a runner and those socks make me want to run. Not just any run, but something challenging like Hills or speed. Maybe they are the “Runners Challenge”. Can’t wait to make a pair for myself.

  55. I didn’t have time to read ALL the previous suggestions. But there were two I liked:

    “Tread Lightly” and “Crosswalk”

    Then I came up with:

    “No Speed Limit” and “Speeding Ticket”

    Those might be repeats too, not sure! It’s a cool pattern, whatever it may end up being called!
    Thanks for all the great sock patterns Wendy!

  56. I’m seeing a little creek or a river – so here are mine.

    River Run
    River Runs Through It
    Lazy Creek
    Sitting by the Lazy River
    Babbling Brook

  57. camarsach- means wavy in gaelic

  58. I suggest Hampton for the name of your socks. Hampton, Georgia is the location of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  59. I thought of “Snakecharmer” because from some of the angles, to me the traveling stitches look like snakes dancing down a path!

    I also very much like Lisa C’s “Camarsach” but would also propose “Camarsock”.


  60. I adore this new pair! I’m thinking “Stairway to Heaven”…kind of looks like a ladder swirling its’ way upward. Great work! πŸ™‚

  61. How about “Fish Ladder Socks.” They remind me of our fish ladders when the salmon are running. Great hair, by the way.

  62. Ideas for sizing patterned socks:
    ~Usually you’d think of taking out (or adding) repeats 2 at a time to make instep and sole have the same number of stitches, You can adjust by just one repeat by making the pattern on the instep smaller than half the sock, just center it and pad each side with st st.
    ~If using 2 circs you can use a different size for the top and bottom of the foot(works great for lace which often has a looser guage then st st). It works for DPNs too but you’ll need to be careful and will always have an extra needle to keep track of.
    ~If taking out (or adding) a full repeat is too small, change the pattern with some st st, a row of eyelets, or a small cable between the repeats.
    ~Remember knitting is flexible and there are no rules. If you learn to adapt patterns (not just socks) to fit your body it will expand you knitting possibilities and everything you knit will fit better, patterns are modern day guides to knitting, knitters throughout history didn’t rely on them and you can learn not to too, just use them as a guide.

    (sorry so long)

  63. The sock design makes me think of lovely old wrought iron gates. So how about: Portcullis

  64. the end of the summer of socks. it was a long run with many different faucets of the race……
    Marathon is my suggestion for sock name

  65. What about Winding Staircase? They sort of remind me of a staircase at my sister’s old apartment.

  66. OK, I *have* to try that conditioner stuff now. Just ordered a 16 oz. bottle. I’m trying the Almond Mint. I have really long hair, so if it can help reduce the static & fly-aways, I’d be very happy! Thanks for posting about it. Always like to try new stuff πŸ™‚

    As for the socks, I nominate “Run Around” because of the way the looks like it’s wrapping around inside the panel.

  67. Oh, there are so many good names in the comments! I like Crosswalk, and Shoelace, and Ancient Mariner. I also like Mercury, but I’d modify it to Hermes, his Greek counterpart, so people don’t mistake it for the planet.

    But Crosswalk is (probably) my favorite.

  68. I suggest “croisillons” in french or “crossfire” in english

  69. What about Fossil?

  70. I suggest “Lattice” or “Lattices” is lattices the plural of lattice? I don’t know and I haven’t had enough caffeine this morning to figure it out.
    Those are really pretty….mmm wonder what colour they are…you are a wily one aren’t you?
    I am betting you will reach MY magic number of pairs of socks by the end of the SOS! Here’s hoping anyway!

  71. I’m feeling “Chain Gang”…and of course, now that stupid song is stuck in my head!!!

    Love the new pattern and may have to talk wtih LB and see about this going shampoo free stuff…

  72. Looks like little clouds almost. How about Rolling Thunder?

  73. the first thing that popped into my mind was “sidewinder” socks. but maybe the snake reference would put some people off…though they’re pretty cool i think. the snakes. well, and the socks too. ; )

  74. RumpelsTILTskin

  75. How about Skon Sluta — Sorry, I can’t figure out how to do the Swedish “O” — meaning Beautiful Finish in Swedish —

  76. You just gotta tinker and tweak the patterns…or overhaul them and radically change them. Most any attractive stitch pattern can at least be worked into a single panel down the front and center of your standard custom sock pattern. And keep usable notes while you’re working it out.

    My contribution to “Name This Sock”:

    Checkered Flags Socks – Reminds me of the waving checkered flags at an auto racing finish line.

  77. The first thing that came to mind is Ripples Edge.

  78. Chutes and Ladders.
    The sideways ladders between remind me of the board from the game.

  79. They have an Eastern/Asian look to me — how about Zanzibar.

    Never got around to commenting on your new Maruka — it opened a whole new world for me and I’m now a fellow Worker Bee owner (black and gray pods). Picked it up locally (also at a discount, which always sweetens the deal).


  80. I’m going to go with Climbing Rose socks, since the smaller side pattern looks like it’s growing out of the ladder-y pattern.

    Also, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your epidural kicks in. I went through the same kind of thing with my back (oddly, my back never hurt, it was all in my leg — or not so oddly, given the physiology of the area), and it was just resolved fairly recently, so I really sympathize (note: no details, no advice, no gory stories — just good wishes! πŸ˜‰ ). Hang in there.

  81. Bonnie H. says:

    Pattern name: I don’t have a suggestion for a name for the sock pattern, but I like ‘Coulee’ which I have seen with an accent over the first ‘e’.

    Narrow feet: I also have AAA width feet. I am not too comfortable altering patterns, but it is something I need to work on because of my narrow feet. So far I have been able to compensate with smaller knitting needles or some minor adjustments in the patterns. I am in the Rockin Sock Club and was very glad to see the number of sizes offered in the Solstice Slip pattern. That pattern size was adjusted by simply omitting or adding repeats of the cable pattern.

    Poo free-ness: I may just order some of that product and give it a try!

  82. Well, if the colorway is “Speed Demon”, then these are Racing Stripes.

  83. Heather R. says:

    My pattern name idea is “Sweeping Willows.” That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the beautiful swooping stitches along the foot. I also like the play on words. Those willows aren’t weeping… they’re sweeping!

    Heather R.

  84. Skipping past all the other 180+ comments but — what about Making Tracks?

    And your hair does look great! It’s WEN, did you say? I shall have to look that up, wonder how it works on dyed, dry hair . . .

  85. Ooohh! I just came up with another one:

    Road Trip!

  86. Jane Skoch says:

    Classic Elegance

  87. About narrowing socks – I wear 11 AAAA (try to find shoes, forget the socks!):

    Depending on your knitting skill – ribbing (k1,p1) SHOULD skinny down the sole, without affecting the overall pattern. I’ve done this on many occasions to narrow down what would obviously be a wide pattern. I don’t like the cuffs of socks tight, so I leave the rest alone. Also, the two circular method allows a smaller needle on the sole, with a larger on top leaving any patterning perfect with the yarn (using too small needles can make patterning invisible). I hope this helps.

    I haven’t been in on the discussions about the hair products, but have seen them on QVC and am intrigued as I have very long hair that needs washing daily because of oily scalp. Does this conditioning method actually de-oil the scalp while keeping the hair from becoming too dry?

  88. I think that top/side picture looks like a fern frond… too cliche? Anyway, my name idea is “frondly socks” or after my fave fern: “Maidenhair”

    Neat pattern!!!

  89. Speed Bump

  90. My first thought was Chutes and Ladders–I see that suggested a few times already. So, another idea, which may also have been suggested: Tread on me

  91. Anyone come up with “hair pin” yet? As in a hair pin turn.

    Sorry the “speedy” nature of the yarn influenced me.

  92. Pat Kennedy says:

    My suggestion for a name for the pattern would be
    Makin’ Tracks
    (And I’m standing in line to get this pattern!)

  93. I think the pattern looks like “Blowing Kisses” …. Lovely pattern Wendy – as usual!
    Love Helen

  94. Oh, the hair is just fabu!!! I’m getting some of that stuff!

  95. I say call the wave runners.

  96. I think the cables combine to make it look like you have a bug crawling up your foot! I’d call them Millipede Socks (or maybe Milli-Peds?)

  97. I like all the road/bridge suggestions!

    Crosswalk to agree with another entry…
    Bridge Cables…

  98. My suggestion is that you name your sock “The Road Not Taken” (one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets). The pattern reminds me of winding pathways with road barriers interspersed here and there.

    I love WEN, too. Have you tried different kinds and made your own “recipes?” My favorite is a mixture of Tea Tree, Cucumber Aloe and Almond Mint. Just right for my fine, straight hair.

  99. The socks are great. I propose “Up the Down Staircase”.

  100. For some reason when I looked at them, the first thing that popped into my head was “Magic Staircase”. You were my inspiration for my first sock, and your incredible designs keep inspiring!