My current work in progress:

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



 (Psssst! Sheri put up more of my patterns for sale at The Loopy Ewe — as of this posting there are still some of most of the designs available. But if you don’t get some today, no worries — I’m working on another order to ship to her.)

Last night I sat down and just powered my way through the remainder of my poor uncompleted sock. So I have now completed my 17th pair of socks for the Summer of Socks. And here they are:

Tangled Vines 091107

Tangled Vines 091107

I’ve named the pattern Tangled Vines. They are knit from Shibuiknits sock yarn in the Seaweed colorway on 2mm needles.

The Shibuiknits sock yarn is quite nice, I must say. It’s entirely possible that I have purchased more of it for future reference.

However, after completing these socks, I returned to my One True Sock-Yarn Love: Dream in Color Smooshy Sock. I do think that by fondling this sock yarn I got my sock knitting mojo back. It’s got magical powers, I swear.

Smooshy! 091107

Smooshy! 091107

This is the “Spring Tickle” colorway. Perhaps not the most appropriate seasonal choice for me to be using right now, but there you have it. I gotta be me.

Here is the sock it is becoming:

New Sock 091107

New Sock 091107

In the interests of truth and honesty, I gotta tell you that’s not the sock it started out to be. I started a textured design, but after an inch of pattern, I could see that it was not meant to be. I thought the yarn was gonna be monochrome-y enough for the texture to show, but not so much. The texture is delicate and the subtle variations in this colorway masked it too much. So rippy-rippy. I’ll save the texture pattern (which in my oh-so-humble opinion is pretty darn cute) for a solid color sock yarn.

Many of my socks in the Summer of Socks have started this way. And I will confess to you here and now that I have three abandoned sock toes sitting around looking lonely. The patterns I tried on them were not just quite right, so I just yanked the needles out. I didn’t rip them out completely, because I’m sure I’ll find the right pattern for each at some point and I can just pick up where I left off.

There. Now you know my dirty little secret.

Lucy’s New Toy

Lucy’s little blue toy pictured yesterday is indeed the tear strip from a gallon jug. Yesterday, my friend Mary stopped by my office with several of these for me to give to Lucy. A gift from her kitties, Jake and Elwood.

Last night, Lucy woke me up eleventy-billion times: “Come on, Momma! Throw my toy for me!”

Lucy 091107

Lucy 091107

“Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! ”

Um . . . thanks, Mary. 😉


  1. Good times…good times. I also get woken up in the middle of the night to play. So cute…but just too tired.

  2. One of my friends has a cat who’s obsessed with those plastic rings and bottle caps, and will entertain us by playing fetch with them. We throw them, and he chases it, bats it around and skitters on tiled floors, than brings it back and drops it at our feet for another round. It’s endlessly entertaining.

    I really like the colour of the Spring Tickle yarn. It really does remind me of the coolness and freshness of a spring day when the new grass is just starting to grow and be noticable. (I have a vivid imagination that brings whole scenes to mind with certain yarn colours, it seems.)

  3. Am I the only one whose computer turns up with a skanky cell phone ring ad when I type in the wendyknits url? Started happening yesterday. Should it be considered a compliment for your site, given how many hits the hijacker expects to get? I’ve temporarily fixed it by cleaning out all my internet caches–hope that works longterm. I’ve read your blog for years, and thank you for all the time and talent you give to it.

  4. That’s why I have so many cats (coughcoughsevencoughcough)! There’s always someone ELSE to play with at night besides me!!

  5. Those tear strips have always been my cats’ favorite toys. Why buy expensive toys when they are happiest with the simple, free things?

  6. PICAdrienne says:

    It is very nice of Lucy to thoroughly enjoy her economical toys. I had a cat whose favorite thing to bat around (on the linoleum) was starlight mints. Every so ofter we would have to move the refrigerator to get them out for him.

    I love the new socks, very spring like.

  7. Tear strips, hair elastics, boxes, balls of yarn. Everything is potentially a cat toy at our house.

    Love the latest sock.

  8. They have these little machines at batting cages – they throw the ball automatically. I think somebody who’s retired and has knowledge of patents and protecting ideas (cough) probably could come up with a design for a cat sized pitching machine, don’t you?

  9. oooh, I totally scored today. I was stalking the loopy ewe website and was rewarded by being able to get 5 of the patterns that I wanted plus some yummy fiesta baby boomerang. My only question being: since I prefer to do socks top down(I love the process of the kitchener stitch), do I just turn the charts on their head and read them that way?

  10. I’m really liking the new sock! Living here in the heat I don’t need to make many socks, only the ones that really catch my eye and that one has just been added to the list.
    The saying around our house is “The world is just a giant cat toy.” As soon as we get used to it, the better off we’ll all be!

  11. I knew it, I knew it! Glad to see that my cat isn’t the only insane one. I’m relieved to know that there are others out there who will continue the tradition of…”No, we can’t throw that away, the cat plays with it.” I say anything that keeps the cats away from my yarn is a good thing. Now if I could just keep my kids away from my crochet hooks.

  12. Thank you thank you thank you!! Third time’s a charm. – I managed to get all the patterns I was hoping to (8 of the 11!). Plus I grabbed some Wollmeise & Yarn Nerd while I was at it. Have some Dream In Color & several colors of Shibui waiting for me at home already (among many others)… What to knit next?!

    I can relate to being woken up by 4-legged friends. With 2 dogs & 3 cats, I’m usually awakened by one of them wanting my attention, or by their antics with each other. One of my dogs consistently hides (loses) any bone or toy I give them, so the other dog suffers because of it. The cats like all the same toys everyone else has mentioned, plus one of the cats loves to stalk & steal straws, from cups or lying on the table.

    Hope you’re feeling better, & don’t let the weather get to you!

  13. Skeetshooter says:

    What a wonderful way to end the day. After getting home from a 4-1/2 hour hair appointment (student hair dresser), I just skipped over to the pattern page to “just in case check” as it wasn’t mentioned here yet. And Lo, the knitting angel smiled upon me and I got 4 patterns! Ha! (Of course, now will be the adventure of actually being able to do them as I’ve never done charts, cables or fancy — but I can do a basic sock eyes closed. )

    Thank you! Now off to knit myself a new hair-do.

  14. I love ‘We can’t throw that away, the cat plays with it.’ When I was growing up, it was ‘I can’t do that (answer the phone, make a cup of tea, whatever), I’ve got a cat on my knee.’

  15. With the denoument of the Summer of Socks, can Socktober be far behind???

  16. I love the Tangled Vines socks. I think it’s really cool the way the green striped their on the bottom. Well, I’m off to the Loopy Ewe. See if I can nab some of those patterns.

  17. Spring Tickle is indeed a beautiful colorway. Your design looks somewhat like BW’s quad diamond which I knit in Interlacements Toasty Toes, sans the border designs. On another pair, after about the 4th try to find a suitable design with some KPPM, I completely rewound the yarn. I had 2 toes started, 64 sts around, what was I thinking?!?

    I wonder if Lucy sees double? We’ll probably never know!

  18. Alice in RIchmond says:

    Well…wake up and throw the GD toy for pete’s sake!!!! You slacker!

  19. Cutest. Lucy. Picture. Ever. I think she is doing her sea otter impression there.

  20. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    My cat loves those, too. Fortunately, she’s happy to play by herself at night since those things skitter nicely across hardwood floors!

    Great new socks, and I love the Smooshy color!

  21. Simply put re: Miz Lucy? Roll On Floor Laughing My (Expletive Deleted) Ass Off. Too, too funny.

    I just ripped out my first sock attempt because the cuff was too loose. The yarn has elastic in it. Or maybe I should say it HAD elastic in it because I’m pretty sure I have stretched that sucker beyond endurance.

    Trying again.

  22. I think those milk-jug rings were made just for kitties. My dear old former cat Mr. Dibs used to love those – and that Lucy-pose really reminds me of him with his fave toy. When he was done playing, he would very neatly drop the ring into his water dish. Sometimes there would be four or five in there. And when he wanted to play, he’d go fish one out. It was pretty funny (and cute of course). He dropped his other toys into his food dish, but the milk jug rings always landed in the water. (he was a terribly tidy cat, unlike all my others who leave toys strategically on staircases & so forth).

    I *finally* got some of the patterns! yay! though I’ll have to keep stalking for the ones I wanted the most – Healthy Spine and River Run. I’m being philosophical about this. It will be another order to get me on my way to Loopy Groupie status. 🙂 (I think I’ve already got Wendy Groupie status. :-)) And of course I used the opportunity to score some sock blockers & some yarn.

  23. I also LOVE Dream in Color Smooshy yarn, too. So far, I’ve only knit 2 pairs of socks with it, but I have 3 more colors in my stash. My goal is to knit a pair of socks in every color. The only problem is that I don’t want to give any of them away. I want them all for myself.

  24. I love the Dream in Color Smooshy, too! I can’t believe how great it feels when I am working with it.

    Like Lucy, our cat also prefers the low-tech toys. His favorite? Drinking straws. Occasionally we have to lift up the couch and sweep out the 50 or so straw he has chased under it. My daughter always wants to buys him expensive cat toys, but we just point out that all he likes are straws anyway, so why spend the money? A big box o’ bendy straws from Costco and Rudolph is one happy kitty.

  25. “Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy! Wake up! Throw my toy!” LOL LOL My Puma does that with bottled water caps. MEOW MOMMA, puleez throw my toy! Doncha love the widdle beasties?

    So happy you love Smooshy!

  26. Saw the new sock and went Huh? Sometimes I wonder if you change your mind just to see if I’m reading the blog! Tee hee! 😉

  27. OH yes, do I ever know that kitty face: DEMENTED CAT ALERT!

  28. Waaaayyy cute – she looks like a little seal pup in that position!

    My cat used to love those too. He’s now 18 and considers himself too mature for any kitty toys (except loose catnip).

  29. I lucked out and picked up a few of your patterns in today’s Sneak Up. I might also have bought a few – okay, more than a few! – skeins of yarn. Must knit faster.

    I wish Lucy would talk to my cat about the joy to be found in simple toys. Chloe’s favorite is any unwatched ball of Kidsilk Haze. It’s the only yarn she’ll actively seek out. I can’t fault her taste.

  30. Two responses to earlier comments here:
    1. Linda’s comment (#3) indicates either that she was typing the wrong url, or that her computer has inadequate security. I suggest she check all her security settings and install a product such as Spy Sweeper.

    2. Leslie (#8) – Unfortunately, that certain someone is prohibited by law from doing so. Too bad, too, since he’s got a lot of good ideas. However, there already is a device such as you describe – it’s call “Human Arm”. ;^)

  31. Aww, I loved that colorway and texture together.

    Sorry about the silly kitty, mine is fat so he only does about 15-20 minutes a day and that’s it, other than the running from the children.

  32. My kitties LOVE those things too!

  33. Oh my next kitty will def. be a Lucy. She is so pretty! I love her! Oh and the socks are nice too. LOL!

  34. Aww I had guessed you would knit 17 pairs this summer! I won’t win, but I am close!

  35. Lucy sounds like my kindergartener!

  36. I’ve fallen in love with the Smooshy Sock too.. I’ve dropped ENTIRELY too much cash at the Loopy Ewe getting it in the last couple weeks, lol.

    I love how the sock is coming. I’ve got plans for my skein of Spring Tickle- the september Mystery sock on Ravelry. But I might end up using beach fog since its a color I’m not totally crazy about and that way if I hate the sock I wont’ feel bad for using yarn I really like..

  37. LOL! Go Lucy!! May’s big on toy throwing, too – but unfortunately for her, the meds I take to sleep prevent her from waking me up. Of course, I do sometimes wake up covered in furry toy mice, as she keeps bringing them, hoping that one will be THE mouse that will inspire me to play with her.

  38. Great pic of Lucy. I love the manic look on her face.

  39. Why is it you can knit a cat a cashmere catnip mouse but their favorite toy in the whole-wide world is the cheap plastic ring from the milk jug? *sigh* It’s my two’s favorite toy too! And they have a whole basket of expensive cat toys!

  40. That photo of Lucy is hilarious. The cats I had growing up all loved those little milk gallon rings. The funniest “toy” one of them had though was socks. He could open the sock drawer in my dresser, and would steal folded socks and growl at you if you tried to take them away. If he was still around, he’d have a fight on his little paws if he stole my handknit socks though LOL.

  41. My cat, Eilonwy, whom I’ve been missing for about 6 years, now, used to store those rings between the cushions of our couch! I wondered why she kept digging at the cushions, til I finally pulled them off, only to discovered a dozen milk rings! We felt so bad when they changed the bottling, she never liked the plastic tabs as well.

    And I still wish _I_ could get a vertabrae pattern! Maybe mine will be in the next batch…

  42. maybe we can have a blog of people who can not sleep at night due to demented cats. one of my cats lost her best friend (due to cancer) so now she insists on “kneading” into me all night, and bumping her head into me, and finding things that make noise in my room (a very messy room)
    we have other cats, but she doesnt care for them as much as keeping me up at night. too bad we have to be functional during the day!

  43. HA! “Wake up, Mom, throw my toy! Or I’ll sit on your chest, purring loudly in your face, until you do!”

    Not infrequently, I get to the office and find one of those plastic thingys in my bag. Kitty email!

  44. I like this one! I like them all…I finally got my paws on a pattern of yours, mwahahaha. Lucy must be calling Linus and telling him to wake me too. ugh

  45. Anyone who thinks dogs are the only pets that fetch are crazy… my cats have been the most enthusiastic and persistent fetchers of all time. One of my late, great, cats had a little woolen hand-knit toy (no catnip) that we called growly-toy, because he growled at any other cat that tried to take it away. He fetched, and fetched, and fetched, and fetched, and fetched, and fetched, well, you get the idea. I blame him for my intermittent rotator cuff problem.

  46. Hahahah! All I can see is that picture of Lucy with a thought balloon over her head saying “My Precious…”

  47. Lil Lucy!!! I’ve got 3 cats (one is named Lucy) and they come RUNNING when I open a new gallon of milk. Luckily they have learned how to scoop it up themselves with their paw so I don’t need to keep throwing it. I don’t even know where all of them have gone… probably in some special kitty hiding place.

  48. Cheap thrills for Lucy!

    Wendy, I have to say that I really admire the way you are able to design/select a pattern that goes really well with the yarn you have. How do you do it? I have had to rip out some of my socks before I find (if I find) the pattern that works. You do have a gift.

  49. I feel your pain with the whole fetching thing. Picasso is KEEN and would prefer I threw things 383286125907204 times a day for him. Yet he’s a snuggler. Bigtime.

    Somehow he lives with the dichonomy….

    Designing socks is something I do admire! Maybe you’ll do a mini-tutorial? Because dude.

  50. The new sock is beautiful already. I’m cheering for you to finish three more pair after that, no more cheering. You’ll have surpassed the number I figured for you. Of course I’ll still be eying up your new patterns.

    Lucy is so cute with her new toy. The stuff we want to throw away is always the stuff they love the best.

  51. I love that new sock…spring or not! Will you publish this pattern when it’s done so I can purchase it from Loopy Sheri (I stalked the site and got several of your patterns…let’s hear it for toe-up sock-knitters!)

  52. Theresa in Italy says:

    I agree with whoever said Lucy looks like she’s thinking “My Precious…” Too funny.

    Love the look of the new sock! I will add it to my list of Patterns To Be Purchased From The Loopy Ewe As Soon As the Frenzy Dies Down. This must be the 3rd time I’ve raced over to The Loopy Ewe only to find that your patterns have been cleaned out already! Just keep cranking them out for Sheri so I can get my hands on them one of these days.

  53. Hej Wendy!
    I think today´s picture of Lucy is the best one you´ve ever taken!
    But I guess you didn´t get much sleep last night.

  54. anne marie in philly says:

    I daresay this is lucy’s best pix EVER!

    steven says that “milk jug rings are the best playtoy in the world! but I never wake my mommy cause she can be a grumpy bear at 3am!”

    meredith has never been interested in milk jug rings – “I like my furry mice instead! I like to push them around on the hardwood floors in the middle of the night and wake everybody up!”

    gotta love the cat kids.

  55. I love the new sock – can’t wait to see the rest of it. I’m totally taken by the colourway – it’s gorgeous! And it’s Spring here in Australia, so I think it’s totally appropriate for you to be using it now. Our national colours are green & gold (for the wattle tree), so maybe you could name the sock after us? Spring in Oz, perhaps? 🙂

  56. Ha! My cat loves those milk jug rings too. He also likes wadded up paper. Cats are so funny.

  57. WHat did you expect? “Wake up! Knit!?”

  58. That really is a priceless photo of her, the look on her face with the ring!

  59. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy – don’t you know you are supposed to let your mama get her sleep at night, so she can feel better? Thanks for the chuckle over your cute picture today.

    Speaking of free pet toys, my two little dogs love the caps for aerosol cans, like Shout stain remover. (I know, we use very few aerosols these days, but they get the lids for the few.) Caution, though: these plastic caps are big enough to be quite noisy as they toss it around and chase it. 🙂

    I got two of your patterns today, that I really wanted: Loopy Laces and Pagoda Lace, along with some Cider Moon Taos and some Zen String Anu. Usually I find a TLE sneakup before I see my email, but the timing caught me totally by surprise, so thank heavens for the email!

  60. Mental Rose says:

    My cat – well, CATS, now – love those things. We call them “milk rings”. Milk jugs, orange juice bottles, whatever. They’ve had screaming hissy fights because there was only one milk ring on the floor and both cats wanted it.

    It’s the cheapest bestest cat toy around!

  61. Love the latest completed pair! I even like the color which is so not normal for me. 😉 And I can’t wait to see where the new one is going too. That lace pattern is really intriguing already!

    Lucy and Simba obviously have something in common. A misunderstanding as to why we humans lay in bed all night while they do it all day! 😉

  62. Aww, those plastic rings were my cats’ favorite toys growing up. Just wait until you find 10 – 15 have accumulated under the fridge.

  63. Heh, heh. Throw my toy. I came down to a bell wearing kitty tearing around the living room. I thought she had found the kitten’s ball, until my older cat went tearing for the door with a tail hanging out of his mouth. yup, another mouse discovered. Part of me likes the toys that don’t require help from me, but there is the part that rebels against the circle of life and says Ewww. The finished socks are beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how the new ones turn out!

  64. My mom would go nuts over that Spring Tickle colorway. That’s her favorite color in the world. 🙂

    Would you consider shipping larger batches of patterns to Sheri? Every time you’ve posted that new patterns are available, they’ve sold out within twelve hours at the most (i.e., before I can get to them!), which has been rather frustrating.

  65. Michele in Maine says:

    Your momma needs her sleep so she can make more patterns ‘cuz I missed them Again! Garrrrr.

  66. Lucy is one high-maintenance girl, that one.

    Love the Spring Tickle colorway. Sweet!!

  67. Michele in Maine says:

    Go, Wendy, Go! 21 pairs is my goal for you. Knit up those little orphan socks! Eight socks in nine days – totally doable!

  68. Darn. Missed your patterns again. How is my back supposed to get better if I can’t get any Healthy Spine socks? (Sigh)

  69. Rather reminds me of a comment made by a friend when her 2-year-old had his first ‘real’ Christmas — “Why did we buy the (expletive deleted) toys – when the only thing he’s played with are the boxes?” And according to my cat-adopted friends – the whole world is one giant cat toy, and that includes us people.

  70. Better be careful, Lucy, or your momma will only wake up half-way and will accidentally throw you… 🙂

  71. My kitty luvluvluvs those plastic thingies from the milk jugs. And somehow he knows when there’s one in the recycling bin, and will rummage through until he finds it and I call him a bad kitty while I clean it up and he looks at me with that “I’m just a cute kitty-cat” look.

  72. Hi Wendy. Any chance Jake & Elwood are Russian Blues? Love that new sock yarn.

  73. That is the cutest picture EVER!

  74. Haha! I know what the “Wake up and throw my toy!” game is like. Packet has an additional tactic, which is jumping up and stepping with her pointy little toes on my leg-bones, walking up my legs, and standing with all 4 of her pointy little paws right on my bladder. As soon as I open one eye to glare at her, she looks purposefully at me and begins to make biscuits. Then, since I’m up and walking to the bathroom anyway, I can certainly throw the stupid toy for her.

    She’s very happy with all the hockey up here in Canada. Not only does she like milk rings, but she likes the caps, too. They’re shaped like hockey pucks, and her Canadian Daddy coached her well in the ways of the goalie. If we play hockey in a doorway, she’ll keep the puck from getting past her. Admittedly, there are a lot of rebounds, but she knows that’s what keeps the game from ending.

  75. I’ve loving your newest sock already! And, I agree, that Dream in Color Smooshy is some great stuff – I love how it feels while knitting. How do you decide how a pattern/yarn/colorway will work together? Trial and error? Experience? A little of both? Sometimes I have trouble with this issue. Right now I have one sock on the needles that I’ve done 3 pattern repeats and still can’t decide if its the right mix. Maybe you’ve covered this before, I’ll do a search and check it out – I like to research and answer my own questions… And, that photo of Lucy is too cute! : )

  76. bigevilgrape says:

    I am breaking with my lurker status to say that several of my cats have loved those gallon jug thingies as well. The especally loved batting them around the slippery pergo floors in the kitchen.

  77. Michelle from Arizona says:

    I like Tangled Vines very much so far and will be looking for it someday at The Loopy Ewe. :>) You are so imaginative.

  78. One of these days I will score your patterns at The Loopy Ewe. So far I haven’t been fast enough. I’m glad Lucy is having fun with her new toy. My sweet girl, Mia, is too lazy to play with anything other than her food.

  79. Just dropping in to express my genuine surprise at learning that cats will play fetch.

    OK, and to say that the sock looks like it will be really cool.

  80. WAH!
    Loopy Ewe is OUT again. PLEASE get more printed next time!

  81. My cats are not crazy about the milk rings. My Simon loves ponytail holders and hand knit (only hand knit mind you) socks. He actually has a early pair that are his to play with.

  82. I had to de-lurk to mention that that’s got to be THE best Lucy pic I’ve seen recently. So cute!

  83. My kitty’s favorite toy is a hanger. She will chase it and even fetch it and bring it back (if the mood strikes her). Ahh, the simple life!

  84. Hannibal and En Esch, my two feline hooligans, will sometimes decide that their individual missions in life are To Keep Kat’s Nose Clean, which apparently I don’t do well enough. Nose-licking at 3am blows, let me tell ya…