My current work in progress:

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


Ah, That’s Better

The first day back to work after a long weekend is always ugly, I think. Today was a little calmer.

Last week, two hours before I left for my long weekend, I got a new computer at work. While there is nothing wrong with getting a new computer (far from it), it always takes me a while to get things set up the way I like ’em, and I hadn’t quite finished that. So when I came into work yesterday and logged on I was flailing around a bit, looking for my stuff.

I had a busy night last night, too, getting started on the next pattern order for The Loopy Ewe. Boy howdy, I love how you people buy sock patterns! Don’t worry, there are enough for everyone, or there will be, eventually.

Yeah, About the Patterns

A bunch of you commented about how disappointed you were that my patterns were all sold out at The Loopy Ewe before you had a chance to buy. Have no fear — I am sending Sheri a huge pattern order in the next couple of days. A lot of you have expressed a wish that we distribute patterns in pdf format. I had said previously here that Sheri and I had discussed it and decided against it.

One of the main problems with electronic delivery of patterns is that it makes it so easy for an unscrupulous person to send copies along to people who have not purchased the pattern. Now, I know that you and I would not do that, but there are people who do. They buy one pdf and send it alongΒ  to everyone in their knitting group. There’s something about the online world that makes some people think that this is okay. “It’s electronic, it doesn’t count.” But it does count.

(I think these are the same people who think it’s okay to flame people in online forums and in blog comments because it is not “real” — it’s just “online.”)

So, the patterns will continue to be available in hard copy format. For your money (the same we would charge for a download), you get a color pattern in a plastic sleeve. Already printed out, such a deal. (Yes, I know people can make copies of hard copy patterns and distribute them illegally, too. But it’s not quite as convenient as doing it electronically.)

Someone was concerned about the flat shipping charge at The Loopy Ewe if you are just ordering a pattern or two. Well, if you check the FAQs, you will see the following:

When possible, we ship lighter orders (patterns, Handknit cards, etc) in envelopes and will adjust your shipping rate down to the actual cost. In most cases it ends up being just $1 – 2. We will email and tell you when we have been able to save you money on your shipping.Β 

So no worries there!

And don’t worry if the patterns sell out — I can make more! πŸ™‚ And I am making more, so they will soon be available for sale. I think these patterns’ popularity are following the same trend for each new yarn that Sheri gets in. Remember when she first got Apple Laine, for example? It sold out in a heartbeat. But Sheri reorders and reorders, and now you can hop on the site and see a nice selection of Apple Laine yarns.Β  The same will eventually be true of my patterns — there will be plenty for everyone. When we release a new one I guess we can expect a run on it for a while, but it will settle down. And what happened here is we released a whole bunch of them at the same time, so there is a run on all of them. But it will settle down.

And can I say here and now how hugely flattered I am that so many of you are so anxious to get my sock patterns? Thank you!Β 

Okay, no sock knitting for me tonight — I have patterns to assemble.

But here is my Tangled Vines sock, coming along very nicely (sorry about the blurry pic).

Tangled Vines 090607

Tangled Vines 090607

Lucy can’t stand the suspense.

Lucy 090607

Lucy 090607


  1. That Lucy knows what’s *really* important: her sleep!

    I just placed an order yesterday, and heard that it had shipped today. Healthy Spine socks, here I come! I live in Missouri, just a hop and a skip away from Loopy Ewe, so I’m thinking tomorrow night when I get home… whoopee!

  2. Thanks, Wendy (on behalf of all of your impatient fans & followers)!

  3. oh that green is striping beautifully. i like it very much!

  4. I can confirm that Sheri discounts shipping for people who only buy patterns — you authorize a payment for the normal shipping amount, then you get some of that back when the payment actually goes through. No worries there. (And I am completely unaffiliated with the Loopy Ewe, other than being a slightly rabid site-stalking customer.)

    I’d actually thought one reason behind selling printed patterns rather than pdfs was to create demand — we’re all panicking that we might not ever be able to make our own pair of Loopy Laces so we race everyone else to the patterns. But I’m a cynical sort. πŸ˜‰ Electrotheft is a real problem, and it’s completely fair that y’all want to avoid it. (Even though I prefer pdfs, since I back up my data and have a tendency to lose sheets of paper for long periods of time…just this morning I had to tear the house apart to find a biometrics appointment sheet that had been sent to us weeks ago…)

  5. Love the green striping on the vines.

    I missed out again on the patterns. Rats. Perhaps you can work out a pre-order option on the patterns since you are filling the orders so rapidly? I love .pdf format, but since I would never think about sending it to someone else, that didn’t occur to me.

    Lucy looks like she’s missing her styrofoam treat!

  6. Marianne Y says:

    I love your sock patterns! I am hoping that you will be sending along extra Loopy Laces patterns, since many of us especially love that one, and this is the first week they were available, so there is more unmet demand there, I would think? πŸ™‚ Thank you for clarifying the lower shipping charge for just a pattern or two at TLE.

    New computers are always exciting, although they are a lot of work to personalize them just the way you want them. I hope you enjoy yours.

  7. Nice sock- I like the snaggle toothed/claw pattern (the partial stripe) on the foot, just below the ankle.

    I agree with you on the pdfs. I’m hesitant to share patterns I’ve purchased with friends- that’s somebody else’s hard work & income! I manage a journal and we get requests to post published articles online. Sorry…. you can list the reference and people can purchase the article from the publisher. (they’re pretty pricey- fewer worries about ‘sharing’ when they cost so much!)

    Back to sleep Lucy!

    Oh, I do appreciate the free patterns you have!

  8. I ordered a shawl pattern a few weeks ago (not from the Loopy Ewe, the name escapes me at the moment) and was initially disappointed that it didn’t come in a pdf format, but now that I have the thing in my hands… I like it better the printed out way it came. Heck, I would have printed the pdf out anyway to work on it!

    It came all ready to go into my 3-ring knitting binder, nice pictures… I really like it, and I totally understand why you’re going that route as well!

  9. The Tangled Vine is looking great!

    I was lucky enough (actually it wasn’t luck – I was stalking LE all day when your first patterns were about to go up) to get patterns from the first set, but not the second. But I completely support your decision to sell hard copies only. And what the heck, there’s no way I’m going to get the patterns I already have knitted up before the next ones I want are available! I don’t knit as fast as you.

  10. It’s a shame that people don’t recognize that something on a screen is just as much a person’s property as something on a piece of paper. The price of the electronic age, I guess. With so much free information at our fingertips, some people take it to extremes and assume that everything is thus free. :/ Makes it harder for the honest people, but I can definitely understand your precautions. I, personally, prefer hard copies to downloads, since I don’t have ready access to a printer. Works out perfectly for me!

  11. I can respect your reasons for not offering PDF files. In fact, I don’t blame you one bit. So many people out there seem to think it’s o.k. to make their own rules when on the internet, and ruin it for everyone else. If you are only going to offer them in print can I make a few suggestions? It would be nice if you could have the patterns printed on a slightly heavier paper. It’s quite distracting having all the print show through from the back (yes, when knitting the pattern, if the paper’s laying flat, it wouldn’t show through. But it still bothers me.) Also, would it be possible to print it with clearer pictures? My pattern pictures are somewhat washed out, and hard to see many of the details. I hope you aren’t offended by my suggestions. Some may call it “constructive” criticism, but I truly *love* your patterns so I can’t say it’s a criticism. Just constructive I guess πŸ™‚

  12. Hi all! Just wanted to let you all know that I ALWAYS miss out on anything Wendy EVER sets us all off and running to get (besides the Chaz Dean conditioner) and she’s right, eventually we will all get our patterns. I can say this because for the first time in history, I got all the patterns yesterday! WHEW! Can’t wait to get them in the mail! Thanks Wendy!


  13. Kate/Massachusetts says:

    Yesterday I ordered a few of your patterns. I was a bit torqued to pay $5.95 shipping for two patterns but I wanted them so badly that I ordered anyway. Today, I log on and discover my paypal account has been credited $4.95 and I was delighted. Loopy Ewe only charged me $1.00 for shipping/handling of the patterns I bought. Yeah Sherrie!

    I can’t wait for Happy Trails and LBees sock pattens! Your designs are stunning! I much prefer a hardcopy pattern over pdf. I think it was a good decision! Thank you for all your hard work, Wendy!

  14. Skeetshooter says:

    Glad to hear about the new shipment. . . . one of these patterns will be my very first “hard” sock pattern attempted. (from someone who has never done a cable or read a chart–but has finally mastered a kitchener’s stitch.)

  15. You are, unfortunately, correct about the ease of unauthorized copies of patterns being distributed. People just don’t realize that a copy is a copy and an original authorized copy is something of value. As had been said before, the internet has brought out some ugly things in people.

    But I shall wait a bit before I order my patterns. I’m a slow knitter so it’s not necessary for me to get mine first! Now if it were a picture of Lucy that would be something different, but I can wait for another sock pattern πŸ™‚

    Thanks for publishing them, Wendy. I shall enjoy them when I do get around to knitting them. Please give Lucy a scritch under her chin for me.

  16. I undertstand your reasons for not making your patterns available by .pdf download. However, I think that $6 to $7 is a lot to pay for a sock pattern (after shipping charges are added). Also, when I checked the Loopy Ewe site a few minutes ago, your patterns were sold out again. So I guess I won’t be buying any Wendy Knits sock patterns at the present time, no matter how much I may like a particular pattern.

  17. Well…Thank you. I agree completely.

    I do like .pdf, but…when I lost my computer back in the spring, I was in deep doo-doo. Because I had not printed my patterns out. I’d have been happier if I’d either printed them all out or at least saved to CD. (I did manage to save my hard drive and data – eventually – but I have had HD’s fry and then lost everything.)

    But I’m an old-school copyright person. So many folks think “oh, it’s only ONE…so what’s the beef?” It’s unethical. And it’s illegal.

  18. It is interesting that the work it takes to design a unique pattern – and one that is accurate – is so disrepected by women!…….women ripping off women: you’d think that there would be respect for earning money and valuing the time, effort, and ability it takes to make something from scratch…….maybe it’s the “entitlement” thing, but hopefully karma will be at work!

  19. Completely understand and respect your position on the pdf distribution. So sorry I missed you mentioning it before.
    I’ll now return to stalking The Loopy Ewe so I can catch the next update.

  20. I like getting a hard copy of the pattern. I know this probably sounds weird but I like to be able to “hold” something when I buy it. Right now my printer is not hooked up…… computer and printer but forgot the usb cable, I think that what it is anyway……… I would not be able to print out the pattern. Well I checked the patterns, then got interupted and I swear it was not an hour later and there was only one pattern type left. Could not get Paypal to work and some other lucky person got. I am once again waiting for your order to arrive. That is also good to know about the shipping.
    Congrats on selling out!!
    I love Lucy’s little face!

  21. Sounds like the patterns are doing great as they should be.

  22. the internet really has increased the desire to “share” without paying. heck, we get people at the LYS i work at trying to convince us that we should copy patterns from books for them. “but i can get almost the exact same thing for free online!” good for you. then do the work and find it for free online.

    i think people don’t understand that they are paying for so much more than the pattern. it is the designer’s time and creativity, the testing and corrections that make it a “good” pattern, the photography and editing, etc.

    you deserve to be compensated for your talents, miss wendy!

  23. I completely understand about selling the patterns as hard copies. You should definitely receive your due compensation. Now that I know that Sheri also refunds some of the shipping costs, I’ll be even more likely to purchase your patterns. I’d planned on doing so, but figured I’d wait for the excitement to die down as I don’t “cyber stalk” Loopy Ewe for any of their yarns/patterns. I never seem to be on the site at those right times, so I’ll wait for everyone else (and their grandmother) to get what they want and then I can buy a whack of them at one time. πŸ™‚

  24. I really do like the striping in the yarn you’re using for Tangled Vines. Very nice.

    Ah, Lucy looks so calm – Chaos is growling at a thunderstorm right now…

  25. Tangled Vines is another great sock πŸ™‚ I don’t blame you a bit for doing the patterns in hard copy. Makes getting them all the more exciting anyway! I love it when Lucy is beside herself in anticipation ^-^

  26. Love the way the Tangled Vines sock is turning out. The striping onthe bottom is very cool! I fully support the way you are handling things – I kinda like getting hard copy patterns – I’m old school too! Sometimes I get things the first time around, sometimes I don’t. Can’t let it get me down. Life’s too short, ya know?!

  27. The people who will just pass along a PDF file pattern are the same people who will photocopy a pattern for a friend. I don’t think having a pattern in a PDF file makes it any more likely that an honest person will make copies of it. I prefer PDF patterns because I like getting them right away; I like not having to pay shipping & I like being able to store patterns virtually – it’s easier to organize them & they don’t take up any space.

  28. Just wanted to share my Wendyknits pattern-stashing. There are enough out there now to start filling a binder, so I bought one that has a clear pocket on the front. Wendyknits patterns go inside the binder and the cover pocket is reserved for my favorite picture from Lucy’s calendar!

  29. I’m looking forward to purchasing your L-Bee sock pattern when it is available. I agree about the pattern sharing… I’m writing a sock pattern myself and it is taking major time, plus I am ‘paying’ two test knitters in sock yarn. While I LOVE the convenience of PDF patterns, I think it really only works for free ones, for the reasons you’ve stated. I’ve still not figured out what I’m going to do…

    And Lynne E. – read the post all the way through. Wendy mentions that you will get a reduced shipping charge of only $1-2 for just patterns. Not to mention Wendy works a full time job (until she quits to become a knitwear designer *grin*) and has to print, sleeve, box, and mail all of the patterns. That takes time, and the demand is high. You’ll get them… just not rightthissecond!

    By the way, Wendy, I hope life and stuff are all going well and your pain is becoming at least manageable, if not improving. I bought a new skein of sock yarn today – Pagewood Farms. Only $18 for 450 yards of goodness… the colors are really pretty too! Here’re some examples of the colors (very koigu-like, I think):

  30. I can’t believe people actually pass them around. Although I know I’m a notorious photocopier, when I knit any pattern I photocopy it off the hard copy because I make so many marks and such that I like to keep a hard copy pristine so if i make it again I can start a fresh. But I always buy the book/pattern/magazine its in. And I for one really like the hardcopy mail out PDF doesn’t always like me, and I like tangible things.

  31. I ordered the pattern for your Crotolus? ( sorry I think that spelling is wrong) socks (the only ones left!) along with a few other items from the Loopy Ewe. I know from experience that Sheri is always very good about postage and packing especially for those of us from far away. Look forward to being able to buy some more of your patterns Wendy and I too appreciate having a printed copy.

  32. you mean someone can make a purchase from Sherri withOUT it including yarn??? you people have waaaaay more self control than I, LOL.
    I’m so excited to start my pagoda lace pair!

  33. i totally agree with you about making it more obvious to people when they are pirating someone else’s work – the clearer it is the better. so many hours go into what you create – anyone who doesn’t actually buy your pattern should be doomed to knit knots for all eternity (hah!)guess that sounds a bit harsh, but at least honest.
    love your patterns – they are beautiful! And they have inspired me to learn toe up once I can return to knitting.

  34. I understand your position on the patterns. I’d just like to point out that this makes it a bit harder for those of us outside the US. Postage costs increase with distance, download costs don’t. No big deal either way: you have lots of US customers, there are lots of sock patterns available online. But I thought I’d point it out.

  35. i’ll keep checking at loopyewe – thanks for re-stocking! i didn’t know about the downside of pdf patterns….i love your patterns….

  36. I totally respect your right to publish patterns as a hard copy. Do what you gotta do girl!

  37. Glad today was calmer. I’m still in a whirl after a long weekend, thank goodness I have my old computer! πŸ™‚ I’m glad to see the patterns are doing so well (not surprised, however). Lucy continues to be adorable!

  38. Personally, I don’t buy patterns from PDF files, don’t like them, never have. I want a hard copy that I can touch, feel, scribble on *grin* Glad you made the decision that you did with your patterns, now I have to get over to Loopy Ewe and buy some before they are all sold out again! Problem is, if I go there, I will not only buy your patterns, but lots and lots of sock yarn to go with them. My sock yarn stash is close to overflow now!

    Lucy looks so cute I just want to kiss her on her little nose.

  39. Michele in Maine says:

    Wendy, thank you for calming the screaming masses about your patterns with your reasonable explanation. I will try to be patient and wait for the rush to subside!

  40. When you mentioned the striping before, I couldn’t really see it well. This picture shows it much better, and I agree that it’s really attractive. I’m waiting on buying patterns for a little while — still hoping you’ll do a new book of Wendy Knits Socks!

    BTW, I’ve wondered this for a while now (pretty much since you published your book) — have you seen any potential for quitting your day job? I guess if you’re anywhere close to retirement (which is NOT old here in the federal gov’t, everyone!) it would make more sense to stick it out, and then this would surely make a comfortable supplement to the pension.

    Have a great weekend!

  41. Oh, I know I’ll get your patterns in due time. Just gotta wait until the dust settles a bit.

    Since we live in such a “gotta have it now” society, I was just playing my part in being impatient and whining about missing out on the early shipments.

    Like I don’t have anything else to knit in the meantime…

    Thank you for taking the time to put them in print and sharing them with us!!! Otherwise, we would only be able to sit and drool at the pictures on your blog. What fun would that be?!

  42. Whew! Yes, some things at the Ewe get easier to get, but not everything. Tell me when woolimise gets easy to find. πŸ™‚

    I respect your decision to not distribute via pdf, but crooks will be crooks one way or another. I usually scan my paper patterns. I’m not sure if it’s %100 kosher copywrite-wise, but I only use it for a personal backup and never give it to others. (I managed to lose both the working copy and an original pattern once. I’m a dingbat).

    But I bet people do this to “distribute electronically”- especially with “text” modes on many digital cameras and cheap home scanners.

    pdf patterns IMO are going to become the expected standard. I would argue that more people are willing to buy them at the same price as printed ones. They have an impulse buy, immediate gratification appeal. So even if a few more are stolen, I think you still win out, especially after saving labor in shipping and assembly.

  43. OMG Wendy, I know EXACTLY what you mean about the new computer. I tend to put up with a pretty fair amount of crashing or other issues before I will let the Help Desk reinstall Office because I lose ALL my settings. And even worse are the upgrades (and they’re pushing to do that now too; I keep pushing back until I have a week that is fairly quiet). Dealing with those changes just adds lots of little frustrations that can really turn an “ok” day to a bad one, doesn’t it?

    I’m looking forward to picking up some of your patterns although I’m not worried about the shipping since it makes sense to get a little more yarn at the same time, right? πŸ™‚

  44. It’s the poor orphan socks again. Two queries: Will you be willing to post a picture en masse of the little loners so we can see your glorious output? And, what was it about the first socks that didn’t capture your soul so that you did not complete those pairs and moved on to others? Thanks, sweetie.

  45. Lucy to me looks like she’s thinking that, if she keeps very still, and doesn’t open her eyes, Wendy won’t put her to work assembling patterns! I love pdf’s, in fact, I scanned all my patterns into the computer – but that’s because I have limited space in my home, and that frees up shelves. Plus I often need to blow up the tiny graphs so I can see them, and it’s so easy to do that from the screen!

    *sighs* The electronic world. Some people seem to lose all sense of sanity when they enter it. They attack others, say things they would never think of saying to someone’s face, and break every rule/law in the book just because they can. So sad.

  46. I just ordered 4 of your patterns and can’t wait for new ones. I never thought about the PDF problem…kind of like when you buy a purse or a plastic container in the store and the clerk searches inside to see if you put anything “extra” in there….it always takes me a few minutes to figure out what they’re doing! =).

  47. Hey, is this new sock pattern empire is cutting into your knitting time! If you don’t knit how are you going to design socks?

  48. Would it be possible to use a service like or CafePress’ POD department to take care of the production issue, and still make it possible for you to ship hard copies. You’d almost certainly turn a lower profit, but you wouldn’t have to handle printing/shipping/etc all on your own which is certainly worth something.

    While I have yet to work out a way to use the “creative commons” type model for knitting patterns I have to think that there’s a way. (For more info on the model see cory doctorow’s latest Locus Magazine Column: ). Designers deserve to a) not get ripped off, and b) make money of their craft/patterns, but at the same time, I’m not sure that selling patterns is the best way to accomplish this. There has to be a better option, really, there does.

  49. Much as I sympathise with you about the nasty dishonest people who photocopy and pass on, I do agree with dichroic that it makes it harder for those of us who don’t live in the USA. I’d like to order some of your patterns, but once I do actually manage to find then in stock, I will then have to pay more and wait longer for them to arrive. Would it be possible to come to some sort of compromise for those of us outside the UK? – looking at the size of my sock yarn stash, i’m going to need quite a few patterns! πŸ˜‰

  50. Wendy –
    Your comments about making pdfs available hit a hot button for me.

    I think you are absolutely right about the unscrupulous copying of patterns. What people don’t realize is that the reason things cost as much they do is that the designers of the patterns are trying to make a living from their work. Unsanctioned copying and distribution of patterns costs the designer of them money (income they do not get). If we all “share” our patterns via copying – then there will be fewer and fewer patterns published because the people creating them will not be able to earn what they deserve for their labors. I do not “lend” my patterns and books out for that purpose. I know a few acquaintances have gotten mad at me when I would not lend them for this purpose.

    Whay do those who do the copying think that they “can’t afford it” but you can?

  51. Yeah for more patterns. I always am too late to buy, but I’ll be checking A LOT in the next few days!!!

  52. It’s always nice when people share their goodies with us and I don’t blame us one bit about the PDF decision even though that is my preferred method. I usually buy books, but the one pattern that I have purchased on line, I have made a deal with my knitting friend. I will show it to them to admire, direct them to the site where the designer has a similar one for free and let them know that they too can have my pattern if they order like I did or buy the book. I think that is only fair.

    Like the designer I reference, but won’t name, you share the majority of your patterns and tips with us for free. No one should begrudge you the price of a pattern that we would pay (or choose not to pay) in our local LYS. I’m currently designing a sock pattern and it’s taking while and a lot of work so the price is well worth it.

    Good luck on the pattern sales and the charity with which you are sharing proceeds.

  53. Is there any chance we might see a Summer of Socks pattern book? I think that would be really awesome.

  54. Although you probably don’t need it, I”ll add my two cents to the PDF discussion. It is so important that we respect the time and effort of the designers whose hard work gives us so many choices and sources of inspiration. Copying any pattern for any friends is a violation of copyright laws and is a form of theft. I know that many do not like to look at it in that way, but theft it is! Besides, it is in our own self-interest not to take others’ work — if there is no profit in designing, what motivation will designers have to continue sharing their work? Jo

  55. Yeah, my husband is a musician and it really burns his buttons when people don’t get the whole idea of intellectual property!

  56. i’m so happy about your patterns wendy! and glad they are selling well . . . i hope it goes on and on for you; they are all adorable.

  57. I like the Garden Path pattern very much – very clever design. I guessed 18 for the number of pairs you will knit this summer. I am starting to get my hopes up.