My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Knit ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

I was a bit surprised by the number of comments I got in response to this statement in yesterday’s blog:

A number of you have asked (most of you very politely, one very rudely) when I’m going to stop knitting socks, for Pete’s sake, and move onto something bigger.

I have no problem with people asking questions of that ilk. I’m all about the discussion and the exchange of ideas and free speech, et cetera. I do, however, have a problem with rudeness.

I often have long boring philosophical conversations with a colleague about the sad state of society. We are both old codgers (comparatively speaking) and every day we see behavior in the workplace that just astonishes us. Colleague believes that a breakdown of civilization is imminent, and he may well be right.

I seem to have gotten a bit off track here. My point is — I am always a bit surprised when someone leaves a rude or snarky comment on my blog. It doesn’t happen very frequently, but it does happen from time to time. Why am I surprised? Because I feel that there is a minimum standard of behavior that ought to be observed in any group. I think unprovoked rudeness, snarkyness, and snide insinuations are simply below that standard of behavior. No, I’m not losing any sleep over this — when I get a comment of this ilk, I usually roll my eyes and wonder if these commenters, blanketed in the anonymity of the online world, would say the same things to my face.

(Although given the state of society, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.)

The moderator of an online group I used to participate in once said that the group was like her virtual living room. She asked that group participants behave in the group in the same way they’d behave as a guest in her home.

Well, this blog is my virtual living-room. You can disagree with me, you can ask questions, you can offer ideas and insights, as long it is done in a civil manner. (And, as an aside, if you choose not to notice that I’ve not vacuumed the virtual carpet in a while, I’d take that as a kindness.)

It occurs to me that if commenters are visitors to my virtual living-room, the spam commenters are those pesky door-to-door sales people — the ones who are trying to sell me goods, services, or a religion that I don’t want. The spam filter is my front door with the peephole. Heh.


The bottom line is that I’m still feeling the love for socks. I shall continue to knit them to the exclusion of all else for as long as the sock spirit moves me.

That said, I’m making remarkably slow progress on my current sock. Because I’m having an unusually bad bout with insomnia, I fall asleep on the train. (In fact, the other day, I woke up just in the nick of time to get off at my stop.) So no train knitting. And I’ve had some other things to do in the evening that have taken away from my knitting time.

Behold the second Trilobite Sock.

Trilobite 092707

Trilobite 092707

I can only hope that I’ll have the pair complete by Sunday’s blog entry.

Ann-Rose had a question:

How does knitting toe-up affect your choices in patterns? Do you find that some lace or cable patterns are best done top-down, or do you just redesign a pattern if you want to use it as a toe-up motif?

Actually, I think it’s easier to use existing charts and motifs in toe-up socks than in top down. Cables, for example. They are generally knit from the bottom up, so the charts are already set up for toe-up socks.

A lot of the lace motifs I use are ones I’ve doodled up myself. I’m not saying that someone else hasn’t already created them elsewhere, but I’m not using any thing as a reference. So once again, I just start from the bottom and move up.

And most existing charted lace motifs are, I believe, charted from bottom to top.

violetsunus commented:

I am new to knitting and I started a gray wool sock so far so good. I enjoy seeing your knit socks , I was actually looking for more. But, I have a question, when you knit your socks do you knit them with the RS facing you or the WS facing you? I seem to be knitting wrong side out, is there anything wrong with that?

I do knit with the RS facing me, but I know people who knit in the round with the WS on the outside. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that!

What about you all? Do you knit in the round with the RS on the outside or the WS on the outside?

Another PSA

Aimee is participating in a Lupus walk — go to her blog for the particulars. She’s got lots of great prizes for people who donate — here’s an example of a few of the prizes she has to offer.

Lucy Sez

Lucy 092707

Lucy 092707

My momma keeps it so cold in the bedroom that I need my cozy cushion!


  1. Sadly, I think your colleague is right – the demise of civilization is imminent.

    I’m relatively new to sock-knitting, and I do recall that my first effort had me knitting wrong-side out. I’m a little more experienced now, and I knit with the right-side facing me. I discovered that it makes a big difference in the heel πŸ™‚

    I enjoy your blog, Wendy – if you want to knit socks for the rest of your life, that’s your perogative. If someone is unhappy with that, they can move on. Or here’s a thought – Why not take something valuable from your blog (inspiration from your patterns, or learn a new technique or about a new yarn)? I like to look at all the different blogs because they spark my creativity. I don’t have to knit exactly what everyone else is knitting, but I love checking out the spectrum of possibilities!

  2. I knit my first sock with the wrong side showing, but obviously I screwed up somewhere, as I started out Right side facing and suddenly, I don’t know how, i was knitting back the other direction, wrong side facing. To this day I can’t figure out how I managed to do that! Anyhooo.. I love sock knitting, I miss my socks-in-progress while at work, I just bought MORE sock knitting needles, I’m wearing a pair of hand knit socks now. My feet are happy, I’m happy… I could go on.. but you get my drift…. πŸ™‚

  3. Perhaps I am too old or raised too deep in the South but I was raised and raised mine to follow a few rules… no phone calls before 9 AM or after 9PM,
    Yes, Maam/sir, no Maam.sir, and if you don not have anything good to say about someone, do not say it at all. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, your comments, and your socks. I am in envy of your sock-pertise! Please continue and have no compunction to delete any comment that is rude.
    Thanks you for many happy blogs.

  4. Amen and well said!

  5. Um… Hello? Isn’t 2007 the year of knit from your stash? and under those rules aren’t sock yarns exempt? Ergo… Watching the Summer of Socks was fun. I think you should challenge the KOARC to come up with a photo op for all the SOS socks.

  6. I have one thing to say: YAY SOCKS!!!

    It’s your blog and it’s your time, knit what you want, blog what you want. If people don’t like it, they can go elsewhere for their knittertainment. Me? I loves me the socks! And you’ve completely blown my mind with all of the patterns you’ve come up with so quickly.

    You go girl!

  7. Maybe the next pair of socks need to be “Troglodytes” πŸ˜‰
    Not that you want to dedicate patterns to the dim-witted or rude, but it made me chuckle!

  8. I like that analogy. Sometimes an attempted joke has the opposite reaction in text. At least my foot often ends up in my mouth. Too often, though, people say these things just to be rude. While I would like to think they wouldn’t say it to your face, sometimes I’m not so sure.

    I knit socks with the RS on the outside but the other way looks like it would be just as easy.

  9. Wendy, thank you for reminding all of us to be more polite in this world. I work in a public library and while I have many great interactions with people, there is one in every crowd that can seriously ruin my day. I wish everyone would remember that we are all human and to give space and empathy.

  10. Dear Wendy,

    I read your blog all the time, and enjoy its everyday inspiration. Thanks for inviting us in your knitting room!

    Caroline, the SockPixie

  11. You know what? It’s your blog. It does not matter what people say. Your knitting doees not harm people. We human gets bored easily and yet we don’t like to come out of our comfort zone. Those critics can produce their own blog and knit their own things.

    I don’t knit socks but it does not matter to me even if you knit a lot of them. Maybe one day I will. But meanwhile, you have produced so much more other things such as gifts to your grandchildren. And you have knitted well.

  12. It sure would be nice to see your “Summer of Socks” book published. You could also include the detailed toe-up pattern and the cast on advice from the Knitty article. What a great boon to sock knitters to have all that socky goodness in one place!

  13. Keep knitting whatever you feel like knitting, whenever you feel like it. It relaxation and entertainment, right? Apparently, your rude commenter thinks she is paying you to do the job of knitting so she can read about it, so she gets to tell you how to do it. I read your blog because I enjoy it. I feel privileged to be invited into Lucy’s house so I can see what her family is up to. If someone on Lucy’s staff wants to knit socks (so many I couldn’t win the guessing contest) then she should be able to knit socks. Any way she likes. With or without mates. Matching or unmatching in color and/or pattern. Over and over. Why not ?

  14. Some people doesn’t understand the joy of knitting socks! πŸ™‚ It’s not about bigger or more complicated. I think your archive of FOs attests to your skill. There are other blogs/websites devoted to knit socks, so you’re not alone! πŸ™‚

    I like to knit my socks with the RS facing out. I like being able to try them on and see how they look & fit! I adore your short-row toe up method, by the way!

    Socks that fit are very cool. I’ve got small feet. so when I bought one of those socks in bulk for cheap packs, they can end up too big. πŸ™

  15. Clearly the rude person has not been assimilated to the sock knitting world. Perhaps we should off them the fun fur and size 19 needles? I kid. But seriously, if you’re the hostess here, and this is your living room – dammit I’m thirsty where’s the beer? πŸ˜‰

  16. I so agree about manners and rudeness. We are forever educating our five year old as she repeats things or the tone of older children/people. I can’t believe someone was rude. As for you knitting socks, I look at you blog and am thrilled. I wish I could manage to knit that many socks, I think it is wonderful! Hope the rude people stay away in future.

  17. Snarky commentors beware – the knitting fairies will leap into your knit bag at night and make half your stitches fall off the needles, then gleefully unravel them to the point of hysterical laughter.
    Your socks are lovely, Wendy. and who the h??? has the right to tell anyone else what to knit? ye gaads.
    creepy crawlers.. heh heh – I remember my brothers taunting me with those. Man – what a flash back πŸ™‚ giggle.
    Sorry to hear you’re still aching and sleepless. I hope the MD’s get you some help soon.

  18. Please keep knitting socks! I am a self-taught knitter and have not been able to master this art. So I am left to live, vicariously, through others! I love your site and seeing your latest project – whatever you have chosen. So give Lucy a “kitty kiss,” pick up those kneedles, and knit away!!

  19. Wendy, I so appreciate the effort you put into this wonderful blog. That effort and commitment deserves our respect at the very minimum! Thanks.

    About that fiber guessing game. Did I miss the answers? I guessed Angora for the top skein, and mohair for the bottom skein. I’m quite curious about the answers.

    Take good care.

  20. wow.. I am in shock, though shouldn’t be I guess. After a day of a unbelievable number of rude drivers on thursday, I did get to see a rare sight .Friday night, I had to stop to add oil to my car, I had a gentleman, stop to help(not that I needed it, heck I have changed a tire 3x on an interstate and had no one stop). Then yesterday our battery in the newer car wouldn’t stop and a gentleman stopped to give my husband a jump start.
    BTW if you knit finger condoms(what we called them in the OR) I would be in utter amazement!!!
    Your socks are a thing of beauty!!! and anyone to be fortunate to beable to read your blog should be so very grateful for the advise you share freely out of the goodness of your heart!

  21. Hello Wendy,
    I hope that alot of people read this .My sixteen yr old son ran away 4 wks ago , to live with a 16 yr old girl , who’s family welcomed him with open arms .Legally if I go drag him out of their home it would be kidnapping . At school he got a very good education first the D.A.R.E program where he got a drug ed. then they make sure that the kids are aware of their rights and the parents lake of said rights.We are resposible if they do wrong even if they are living where you can’t touch them.
    This is our societys future they show no respect not even for their selves .And they are not held responsible for their wrongs . Is it a surprise that they would be so rude on-line ?
    Knitting socks is saving my sanity right now , you knit to your hearts content I need those patterns, espesially snapdragon(wow).With all that said lets knit on.

  22. femiknitzi says:

    Not trying to be rude or snarky here, but I don’t think the analogy between a blog or open online group and a living room is particularly apt.

    Because you have the choice of whom to let in your living room. If your blog or your group is open to all visitors, then they’re more the equivalent of you setting up a stand on a street corner, or at a craft fair, talking to people and showing them your stuff.

    Most people will be nice. Because hey, look at those socks! Really! Most people will be awed by the socks (me, for one–your devotion to socks socks socks is the precise reason why I visit your blog). Most people will “ooh” and “aah”.

    But to expect polite behavior from everyone in that situation seems to me to be unrealistic. You are going out into the great big world with your blog, rather than the reverse. And the great big world is not your living room.

    What I’m trying to say is that if you hold the great big world to the same standard that you hold people in your living room, you are bound to be disappointed.

    And you really don’t need to be.

  23. Fran MacHardy says:

    For Heaven’s sake, what business is it of anyone’s if you want to knit sock after sock after sock…..? Does it hurt anyone? Not one bit, and it brings pleasure to those of us out here who are sock knitters, or who aspire to sock knitting, or who just admire knitted socks…take no notice AND KEEP KNITTING THE SOCKS!!! I am all of these, I love your socks, and seeing them grow, and I love seeing Lucy too. I hope you haven’t taken offence from these silly comments, and that you’ll keep on knitting (all things, INCLUDING socks) Best wishes from the UK, Fran

  24. I knit socks with the RS facing out. I once did see someone knitting a sock WS out. I had this urge to tell them they were doing it all wrong–but I stopped to think for a second (if only everyone would stop to think before saying something rude) well why is that “wrong”? In the end she will still have a sock. So I kept my mouth shut.

  25. It blows my mind how someone can come in your house and tell you what to do with your child. but even more so they tell you what to do with your hands. I for one enjoy your socks and you cat and that is why i have you on a live bookmark. If someone doesn’t like what you do in your house I would suggest they not visit you. but if they feel they must (because they know they cant stay away) then have respect for you and keep there negative opinion to themselves. pat Lucy on the head for me.

    Thank you

  26. It is so upsetting when something like that happens. It’s your blog, your space, you can knit what you want, when you want, where you want. If people don’t like it, they can move on. You are paying for the hosting fees after all!
    Anyhow, I love the socks – and it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t! (and I sure as heck wouldn’t say anything if I did.)
    Common courtesy is becoming like common sense – not common at all, which is a real shame!

  27. Hello from Sweden Wendy

    I just found your site and let me tell you, itΒ΄s wonderful.
    I just began to blogg. I have a site about Gothenburgs history.

    Thank you – Tack