My current work in progress:

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


The Following Post Is Brought To You In Living Color

ETA: My sock patterns are now up on The Loopy Ewe website for sale. Go! Shop!

(If the title of my blog post reminds you of the NBC peacock blossoming into full color splendor, you are Officially Old. Like me.)

Thanks for all the awesome sock names! It was terribly hard to narrow the field down to just a few.

Okay, for reference, here is the first sock completed, in color.

New Sock 082907

New Sock 082907

The colorway is “coffee bean.”

New Sock Closeup 082907

New Sock Closeup 082907

And here is the poll.

What Should I Name My Latest Sock Pattern?

  • Chutes and Ladders Socks (34%, 480 Votes)
  • Making Tracks Socks (23%, 328 Votes)
  • Trellis Socks (14%, 205 Votes)
  • Crosswalk Socks (11%, 163 Votes)
  • Tread Lightly Socks (11%, 159 Votes)
  • Coulee Socks (7%, 96 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,431

Loading ... Loading ...

Let the voting begin!

Sepia Photos

There was a question in the comments about how I shot the sepia photos. I shot the photos normally and altered them in my photo editing software (PaintShop Pro) — it has an option to apply a sepia tone to an image. It actually has a lot of fun artistic options, but I almost never use any of them.

I’m pretty darn sure that my camera has a setting to do at least grayscale if not sepia as well, but I didn’t feel like messing with it. My camera is a Canon Digital Rebel SLR and I love it, by the way.

More Poo-Free Questions

A lot of you are wondering if going poo-free would work for your hair. I have extremely fine hair (but a heck of a lot of it) with some natural curl. If I blow-dry, it blows the curl right out of it. My hair is dry with oily scalp so needs to be washed every day or it just hangs there limply. And sometimes with shampoo, it did just hang there limply, even right after washing.

Here I am, 12 hours after washing my hair with my WEN Cleansing Conditioner.

Wendy 082907

Wendy 082907

Note the dark circles under my eyes. Yup, I just got home from work. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, and yes, I do need a haircut!

(Incidentally, my hair is not that red. Indoors it photographs redder than it really is.)

There are several different WEN conditioners available, for different types of hair. I chose the Cucumber Aloe as the one I thought would be best for my hair. If you are curious, check out Chaz Dean’s website and read about the different conditioners.

No, I’m not on his payroll. Honest. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of money, yeah, this stuff ain’t cheap. However, I’m using way less than is recommended and my hair is fabulous. I use maybe 3 pumps per shower. L-B said she used a bit more than that, but her hair is considerably longer than mine. I started my first 16 ounce bottle of WEN on July 9, and I’ve used about half that bottle at this point. And I use it every day. It may work out to be cheaper for me than my last shampoo & conditioner I was using (Aveda products).

I do think it’s important to use it as directed in the accompanying literature — massaging it on your scalp, combing through your hair, and leaving it on for a few minutes — to reap the full benefits.

Oh, another claim of WEN is that you may be able to skip washing your hair some days. Not me. But I never could when I was using shampoo either. A lot of this is due to the severe case of bed-head I wake up with each morning.

Lucy doesn’t worry about bed-head.

Lucy 082907

Lucy 082907


  1. Thanks for the Wen-fo. I’m definitely thinking of checking it out. Just chopped my hair (Locks of Love!) and now being about your length, it’s behaving totally differently.

    I don’t know if I’ll be the first commenter, but I was the first voter! I had to vote for my own suggestion, but wow, reading the rest of yesterday’s comments, there were a huge number of great ideas. What a collectively creative bunch! You’re right, the color would have influenced the names, which isn’t as ideal if you’re writing a pattern to be knit in other yarns. Nice color, though! Very rich.

  2. I love sweet gorgia’s yarn, and made a pair of flow motion socks with the coffee bean colorway. Unfortunately, after a couple of washes, they looked like road kill, and the color never stopped bleeding. Also they felted quite easily. I think I’ll use all my sweet gorgia yarns I still have in my stash for something else, not socks. Yours look wonderful by the way.

  3. Like you, I have fine hair but a lot of it. I can only shampoo every other day or else it’s super limp, super fast. I especially hate it when they pump it up with mousse and hairspray at the beaty parlor… I leave feeling like i look great only to catch a glimpse of myself later with ultra-flat hair plastered to my head. Oh well… off to check out you new non-poo.

    PS. Love the new pattern!

  4. And BTW, I am Officially Old, apparently then. When I read, “In Living Color”, I immediately heard the plummy announcer voice and the little chimes with it.

  5. I bet Lucy would look good even if she did have bed-head.

    I’m rather lucky with my hair in that it can stand up to not being washed every day, and it’s thick enough to not go horribly limp in humid weather. My mother has very thin fine hair that would go limp at the slightest bit of a moist or hot day, but I got my dad’s hair, thankfully. I rather like having a head of thick hair. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I love this new pattern too. I’ll have to check out the website and see what would work best for my hair – its long, thick and can get quite tangly these days – I really think I need something for frizz control because that’s what happens when I blow dry my hair – I’ve been resorting to pulling it back everyday while we’re still having heat and humidity issues…

  7. Wow! What a sock! I love anything that even resembles a coffee bean, though sock chewing is not acceptable here;-) Thanks for the link again, it would probably do me wonders!

  8. What a great pair of socks! Another great pair, I should say. I’m another that will be looking for the pattern when you’ve published it.

    I thought you might like to know that one of the patterns knit by the SixSoxKAL group a couple of years ago was Chutes and Ladders. The pattern was quite different from yours, but you may want to avoid any confusion, namewise. Y’know.

  9. I ordered the WEN products from QVC after reading about it from you. I have short, thin, fine, highlighted hair. I have been using it for 3 weeks, and my hair looks GREAT!! It has never been so soft, shiny, bouncy, etc., and like you, I was using Aveda. I also use less than the suggested amount (10-12 pumps), and have been thrilled with the results. I would recommend it to everybody.

    Thanks to you, I am becoming more fabulous, as I become a more fabulous knitter!!

  10. Tigger's Mom says:

    I am also Officially Old!

    I ordered the WEN fig no poo from QVC yesterday. My hair is dry, thick, curly and can get frizzy (sounds great, right?) and the fig is supposed to be hydrating. I hope so because I swear I hear the little strands screaming for a drink! I also ordered the WEN sweet almond minty hair balm.

    Maybe Lucy has bed-tail?

    Love the new socks!

  11. Lovely sock pattern! No matter what the name, it looks great.

    And thank you for the info on the WEN products. I’ve been thinking about it since you mentioned them the last time, and I think I might try them next time I run out of shampoo.

  12. Hi all,
    Just a quick comment about WEN. I am interested in it as well and found it at for considerably cheaper! Check it out. The socks rock by the way. Love the color.

  13. You know, that Coffee Bean reminds me a lot of J.Knits Iowa colorway. In fact, when Iowa came in, I snagged one for myself. Now I know which pattern I’m going to knit with it. I love this new one!

  14. I just bought most of your patterns at the loopy ewe – thank you! now I am looking forward to this new pattern and to Loopy Laces!
    and thanks for the Wen info – i am a product junkie as well as a yarn junkie and now must try it!
    Thanks again!

  15. Melissa F says:

    I just bought your Snapdragon pattern ten minutes ago! I can hardly wait to get it. It was hard to not buy all of your fabulous patterns but I have never knit a toe-up pattern before. I am starting with one and I will see how it goes. Thank you for making your patterns available!

  16. I did a google search for “cleansing conditioner” and came up with some forums where people talk about using regular conditioner just like the Wen stuff…I tried it this morning using my Aveda Rosemary Mint conditioner (NAYY) and my hair came out way better than when I wash and condition.

  17. If bedhead is the problem, try just “washing” with water. I’ve been totally shampoo and conditioner free for 5 months and on days I don’t need to vinegar rinse or wash with saltwater but I need to do SOMEthing, I just use warm/cool water and massage my scalp. My 16 year old son has longer hair than I do (and much thicker) and he uses conditioner only. It works great for him. For frizz control (for one of the other commenters), a few -drops- of coconut oil does amazing things.

    Also – I really love those socks. When my hands decide I can knit again those will definitely be my first socks.

  18. I have nothing invested in how this comes out, but you should know that there is already a Chutes and Ladders sock pattern out there.

    Your socks are great!

  19. I love those socks – funny thing is when I saw them yesterday in the sepia tones, I thought Trellis.

    As for WEN – I wonder why the dermatologist never reccommended such a product for excezma or psorraisis of the scalp – they use to give me every prescription product out there and nothing worked – then I got the Tea Tree Cleanser and within a week, I have to say it’s 90% gone – I’m sold, lock stock and barrell ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Wendy, love those socks, they are beautiful, can’t wait for the pattern. I just bought a couple of your patterns from Sheri. Yarn too. Even though I said I wouldn’t. Love you hair it looks so nice and full. I have fine hair but very thick and am going to order the Wen. Thanks so much for sharing so much.

  21. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Your patterns are going fast at The Loopy Ewe! I got three of them, and several that I wanted were already sold out. So yay, Wendy (and Lucy, too, of course)!

    Hope you’ll send more patterns to Sheri soon–

  22. It was a tossup between the NBC peacock and that show when Fox started out that had the Wayans brothers and Jim Carey when he was about 16 and J lo was nobody and did the dances.

    It’s mandatory to have straight hair in this house (Dr. Pig excepted because he has no hair), but Bean manages to wake up with wicked bedhead every morning. It’s astounding the height she achieves.

  23. You look MAHvelous… and so do the socks!

  24. I was going to suggest trellis for the sock name, but never got around to it. But I actually like the chutes and ladders name better! So I would not have even voted for my own idea! And I love the Lucy photo… I love them all, but I always love when they snuzzle their nose in their tail!!

  25. Marianne Y says:

    This is another beautiful pattern, Wendy!

    When I bought my pattern (Spocks) from TLE an hour or so ago (I am still planning to get several others eventually), there were 6 patterns to choose from. And now, 4 of them are already sold out! I can’t wait until your Loopy Laces pattern is available. Do you know how long it will be before they will be restocked by Sheri?

    Many thanks for all of your creativity & your hard work. Take care of yourself! Marianne Y

  26. I always wonder why it is that some people wake up with severe bed head and others don’t.. Even when I had shorter hair (the kind prone to bedheaded-ness) I never really needed to do much with it when I woke up..

    Yay for patterns being available! I’m on a Loopy Ewe purchasing binge in honor of my birthday so I’m uber excited about them!

  27. Oh my! They just keep getting better — I am so in love with each and every one of your new socks — you amaze me!

    Off to check out the Loopy Ewe!

  28. Healthy Spine is sold out already! I wish these were available as pay-for-download, because 1. they wouldn’t sell out so quick and 2. I wouldn’t lose them!

  29. I would love to try out the WEN, but unfortunately, I was robbed of all my hair when I was in high school. Great time to go bald, no? I’ve long since given up on wigs and turbans and gone out topless. It’s who I am, so those people who don’t like it don’t need to bother with me.

    I was wondering if there’s any way I can get a signed copy of your book. I’d love to buy it, but it seems like such a shame to not get your autograph when you’re so close (relatively speaking, that is).

  30. I made a sock called the Chutes and Ladders Sock about two years ago. It was one of the sock patterns used in the Six Socks Knitalong for reference.

    Happy knitting!

  31. Bonnie H. says:

    Did I miss them all (but one)? I just went to The Loopy Ewe and they only show the Crotalus socks! I like them but I really wanted to make a couple of the others. Will there be more?

  32. Your hair is just like mine, I think — fine, but lots of it, with some natural body, but in an unpredictable way. I ordered the “sampler pack” of un-poo and the styling creme last night. So, we’ll see!

    Oh – and I’m Officially Old, too…

  33. Dude, they take PayPal! That’s just dangerous. And yes, I gave in and bought the sample pack, too. I need to try the scents in the 6oz size since I need to smell before I buy in volume.

    Love the socks you’ve been designing!

  34. Wendy, beautiful socks! I can’t believe that there were so many former Chutes and Ladders players reading your site,
    Thanks for the hair/wash update. You had my curiosity up with the first post (looked at their site) and then I went and spent $$ after this one! I believe that they should be sending you a gallon shortly! I listed “Wendy knits” blog in the referral section. Hope they check out your site. I do envy your curly hair!!! It looks wonderful – and at the end of the day. Many thanks, Susan

  35. Great color for the socks. They look really yummy.

    Our digital SLR does the sepia and grey scale. I love it. It is so much fun to play around with . There is just something about a grey scale photo that I love.

  36. I bought the Wen conditioner as soon as you mentioned it the first time. I’ve been using the cucumber aloe and LOVE it! I just ordered the almond mint to give it a shot too. I saw on the website that some people mix different conditioners because of each of their benefits and use them all at once. I want more shine so I”m going to try the two together. I should try using less. I’ve been following the instructions in the hopes that I wouldn’t have to wash every day because I too have the oily scalp and dry ends. I still have to wash every day.

    by the way, love the new socks and I’m not even going to bother going over to TLE, because it appears that the sock patterns are basically sold out. I knew there would be a shortage of paper.


  37. Barbara-Kay says:

    Dear friend,
    there already is a sock named Chutes and Ladders. I know, I knit it as part of the Six Sock Knit-along. See a picture of someone’s finished sock here:

  38. This officially old person loves your newest socks and sends healing thoughts to your poor back. Pain is so demoralizing, so I admire how productive you’ve been despite it. I seem to fall in love with each new pair as you make them. I knit quite a bit slower than you do, so your summer of socks may keep me busy for years to come. I’m hard at work on Cabletini, and they’re so nice!

  39. I love the colour of your new sock. Rich and muted all at once.

    My hair photographs redder than it actually is too.

  40. Oh my gosh, those are my favorite socks yet this summer. (And I am mightily bummed that so many are sold out at the Loopy Ewe!)

  41. The sock looks great! And so does the hair. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Old. Me, too.

    Thanks for the Wen info, ‘Wen’dy – I’ve been all Aveda, all the time for years, but this has piqued my interest…

    Also, there’s a link in your last post to Sweet Georgia which is rather, um, interesting – putting my cursor on the words causes a pop-up to show about a movie called ‘Sweet Georgia – Hooker’ – uh, huh, that’s what it’s about – no knitting content that I can see… similarly, the words ‘coffee bean’ show one about actual coffee, but I thought the other one was much more curious – is it just me?

  43. I never even got the chance to buy your patterns – they appear to be all sold out. Will they be getting more at the Loopy Ewe? I agree with one of the other commenters that it would be nice to be able to download them like so many others that are sold.

  44. Congratulations on selling out almost all your patterns on The Loopy Ewe SOOOO fast last evening during the sneak up!!!!! I am thrilled for you as you must be. We TOLD you you were GOOD!!!!! Thanks again for all the GREAT patterns. I just love this new one!!!

  45. Oh, I got up to the select your country box on the WEN ordering page, but it only lets you select one country…. and it’s not the UK!

  46. I was smitten by your socks in sepia, and even more in color!!! Really love them, are you going to sell the pattern? (Pleeeeaase)

    And your hair rocks! I can’t believe that is 12 hours after washing it!!!! I am gonna have to check the budget…have that fine hair that loves to cling to my head, like you I have plenty of it, but it just lies there.

  47. I have been reading your blog for a while now. I don’t think I have ever commented though. I do have to tell you though I am in complete awe of how you knit socks so fast! How the heck do you do that? Do you sleep????

  48. Michele in Maine says:

    I will definitely check out the Wen products when my current supply of shampoo is gone.

    I was so sad to see that all your patterns, except one, are completely sold out on the latest sneak up! I really wanted to snag those Healthy Spine socks! Will you be making more copies for Sheri to sell?

    Have you tried the Zig Zag sock pattern by CavyShops? I’m doing two pairs now using Zen String Sport weight and they are zipping right along. It makes me feel almost as fast as you!

  49. Since I notice you have lots of readers who like to vote on socky things, why don’t you remind them to head over and vote on their favorite Sock on Vacation at the Summer of Socks page! There’s not too many votes there yet.

  50. First thing this morning (after coffee, of course), I went to purchase your patterns on Loopy Ewe, and all but Crotalus are gone! I was really hoping for Healthy Spine and the Asparagus Cables … I don’t suppose you’d thought about offering the patterns on Sheri’s site as ever-available PDF downloads …?

  51. Heh. When I was little we had a black and white tv. Remember those? Every time the announcer would come on with “In Living Color” my dad would say “Oh boy! We get to watch this one in color!” He was a real yuckster.

    I had to lookup the definition of coulee and thought it was absolutely perfect. It’s also in keeping with your tendency to name things a little less obvious. Loved the name of the crotalus socks. Another one to look up and also perfect for the design.

    And…. dadrat it woman! Stop with the pictures of your hair! I can’t afford to pay for any fancy shmancy hair products right now and your hair makes me want to!

  52. There already is a very lovely pattern called chutes and ladders–don’t know if it’s protected or anything, but why have your lovely pattern be confused with some other lovely pattern?

  53. Ok first it was Norma’s comment on Irish Spring and then your comment on NBC’s peacock. Knew them both. Guess I’m officially old. When did THAT happen???

  54. I’m officially old, too…but I see I’m in great company, so it’s all good! Love the new socks…wish I had bought some Coffee Bean when I had the chance! Happy knitting!! Meows to Lucy!

  55. Well, I jumped over to The Loopy Ewe to grab some of your patterns, but alas, they are already sold out. I figured this would happen, which is good for you BUT sad for me.

    I’m guessing you will be sending her another shipment? Please? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ahhh…to be there when the sneak ups actually post…

    Lovin’ your current sock project as well!

  56. i have a question. i was looking at the pattern for the southwestern socks and was goiing to adapt them for top down socks. I noticed on your version you quit increasing at 52 stitches and I was wondering why that was when the pattern repeat is over 11 stitches. If i were to do these wouldn’t i want either 55 or 66 stitches. thanks

  57. I love the color of the yarn! It’s so perfect because I was thinking when I saw the photo yesterday in sepia that the pattern reminded me of a lady’s thick brown braid. I wasn’t quick enough or clever enough to come up with a fitting name with braid in it so I was a tad disappointed to find no names like that to vote on. But I think the chutes and ladders fits close enough.
    By the way, I love your blog! I stumbled across it just before you started the summer of socks and I have been enjoying reading about and seeing your sock creations. Lovely!

  58. Wendy, it was very fortuitous when you first posted about Wen cleansing conditioner – I was having a very bad hair day. I too have very fine hair, but tons of it, oily scalp and dry hair. I was skeptical, but I knew I could return it to QVC if I didn’t like it. A week after I started, I wouldn’t go back to shampoo, ever. My hair dresser couldn’t believe the difference when he cut my hair yesterday; he insisted I couldn’t have spent the summer swimming in a chlorinated pool (he’s wrong). So even though I read your blog for the knitting and spinning, thanks for sharing your conversion to pooless-ness!

  59. i usually only wash my hair every other day, or every third day, because it makes me crazy to wash it more often. when you have a mop like mine (i can sit on my hair easily), it’s insane making to wash it daily. i will have to give this stuff a shot. i’m already buying expensive stuff for my hair, so maybe?

  60. Now i understand why you went sepia yesterday. You got great suggestions from that, but the actual color would have influenced people.

    So thanks for the info about Wen – I’m poo-free, too, mostly, but I just use Suave conditioner. I shampoo ONCE a month, if that (the bottom part of my hair, down by the nape of my neck, seems to get a buildup). Then again, my hair is nothing like yours – coarse, really long, naturally curly. Goin poo-free really makes my hair enjoy its curliness again, and I don’t know how to explain that.

    If anyone wants more information about going poo-free with curly hair, I recommend this book:

  61. Hi Wendy –
    I started using WEN too when I read about your experiences. I like it, but I could never go a day without washing my hair. I have a fairly oily scalp. But my hair feels so much softer now! My husband likes it too! We are using Cucumber Aloe as well, but I have more in order, so I’m excited to try another type.
    I love the new socks and I hope to, someday, score a copy of the Pagoda Lace socks pattern, but alas, Sold Out.
    How are you feeling these days? Hopefully better.
    Best, Juliet

  62. I have very long hair, mostly silver, oily scalp and dry hair – I can’t wash more than twice a week because it takes hours to dry, and it breaks easily. I’ve ordered some of the WEN. You SHOULD be on their payroll – when I placed my order, I suggested they send you something because you’ve mentioned them several times. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think l like this sock pattern the best so far.

  63. P.S. Maybe Loopy Ewe could sell downloadable PDFs? Then they wouldn’t run out . . .

  64. O.K. your hair looks awesome – – I know you claim it is fine, but you would never know it. It looks so full and beautiful.

    I read your first sentence in your blog this morning and clicked over to the Loopy Ewe immediately and what the !!!!!!!!! They are already sold out of your patterns!!!!! I was so bummed. I want your flippin’ Asparagus socks pattern so bad. Oh well, I guess I have to wait like everything else. Too bad we couldn’t pay and then click for download.

    Love your socks in progress by the way. Even though I was unable to buy your patterns I did get some sock yarns. Looking forward to receiving my package!!

    Smooches to Lucy.


  65. I would buy that pattern.

  66. skeetshooter says:

    No patterns for me either. . . . and I’ve been hoarding sock yarn for just such an occasion as their release.

  67. Okay, I voted, but now that I see the color – they look eve MORE like Arroyo Socks to me!

  68. Chutes & Ladders has been used, there was a pattern by that name on the SixSox KAL about a year ago, created by Pam Gordnier. It’s on Ravelry here:

  69. I love these socks! I think they are my favorites you have knit in this Summer of Socks!

  70. shucks! loopy ewe sold out of your asparagus cable sock pattern! will you ever be able to sell as a download? i love your new socks – i voted for ‘making tracks’ – btw, i love the color….

  71. I love your blog and read it constantly. Please tell me how to get that cast-off edge so that it’s not binding when doing toe-up socks. I usually do a K2 P2 cuff and then bind off as loosely as possible but I really has no give at all. Regards, Phyllis

  72. Was on your site looking at beautiful socks and read your post about WEN for the second time (first time I said to myself–“her hair looks nice, but you have enough shampoo) and then this time, I said, anyone with such wonderful socks is to be trusted–so i just ordered a sampler from QVC–alas the cucumber was not a part of it, but it seems that fig is probably right for me and this gives me three kinds to try.

    Will check back after i get it. Thanks for the wonderful socks and the hair tips


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