My current work in progress:

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


Random Wednesday

Hey, boys and girls! It’s Random Wednesday! Be forewarned . . .

Okie doke, you have bent me to your will. The pattern for the sock with the gusset increases on the bottom of the foot is here, in pdf format. It’s also linked to from my Free Patterns Page.

Speaking of bending wills, I have convinced my current sock-in-progress to behave. Sixth time is the charm, I guess.



Cotton or Wool?

The KOARC sent me this link to an article about which is better for the earth — wool or cotton. Read and discuss. πŸ™‚

Cute Cat Story

Remember yesterday when I said that back in the dim and distant past I used to bake and such-like? Here’s a story.

First, look at this picture.



That’s my dear departed Kay, a much-loved kitty. He was very, very sweet, but dumber than a box of rocks.

One day I made puff pastry from scratch, and baked it up into a batch of patty shells. They came out looking wonderful. I took ’em out of the oven, put ’em on racks to cool, and left the kitchen.

When I returned, Kay was up on the counter, crumbs all over his face, dumb, happy look on his face. He had taken one bite out of every single patty shell. That was the last time I made puff pastry from scratch.

Can anyone guess why I named my boy kitty Kay? (Hint: I named his litter-mate Arthur.)

Lucy sez:



“Boy, he sounds like he was real dumb. Why would you eat puff pastry when there is Wildside Salmon in the universe?”


  1. Hmmm…Sir Kay? Were he and Arthur brothers?

    Nice sock – in the photo it looks half open mesh and half solid – is it really, or is it my eyes?

  2. It’s so amazing how those kitties have to take one bite out of each and every piece of something! My dearly departed Esmerelda did that once too: ate one corner off all eight loaves of cooling apricot nut bread. The loaves were slated to be holiday gifts. I could cheerfully have screamed. In fact, I may have screamed.

  3. Whoops, just re-read, and he and Arthur *were* littermates!

  4. Any Lancelots in the litter? or Merlin?

  5. I like you more and more every time I read your blog — another Arthurian legend fan, here. πŸ™‚

  6. constant reader says:

    My kitty Josie once ate the top off an entire loaf of banana bread. This was back when she was young and foolish.

  7. Because Kay is King Arthur’s brother?

  8. I don’t think Kay was dumb, I think he was a gourmet! He probably thought he was your “taster” and wanted to make sure every little puff pastry was up to his high standards.

  9. My guess (ask Charlie how I can guess this…She can tell ya) is that he looked a we bit girlish when you met. Charlie has a White spot in that region and dark spots in the same area which when she was about 8weeks old looked just like a set of little boys iffin you know what I mean πŸ™‚ But since Charlie fit her so well she remained so (she has a Charlie Chaplin Moustache). Now the boys were definitally outfitted and there was no question, LOL! Either that or the place you got them from told ya they were both boys, πŸ™‚

  10. Thanks for the Pattern! Cant wait to try the “new” heel method πŸ™‚

  11. Interesting article. Since I live in Alabama where cotton is KING, I tend to vote for cotton but nothing beats wool for warmth. Little lambs are so cute too. Think of all the methane those big herbavore dinos put out a few 100 million years ago.

  12. I *love* that story….and the way Disney drew Kay when they did the movie?!? Wonderful stuff….

    Maybe we should give your Kay more credit….he did manage to count to “one” for every bite!

  13. Love the new sock pattern. I hope when you finish you will post thr pattern or send to the Loopy Ewe to sell.

    Thank you for all your lovely patterns.

  14. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh E.B. White’s book – I have a 1971 paperback that I re-read periodically. Although I must confess the first section, The Sword in the Stone, is my favorite!

    I have had a number of sweet by dumb kitties. Bandito (who we lost in 2006 at the ripe old age of 17) was a cat who would steal anything eatable left out – and I do mean anything! Sometimes he ralphed it up immediately, sometimes not. He was sweet though. Like Kay, he was a tiger kitty.

    Thanks for the great pattern! U R 2 kind!! Luv the Chevron sock!

    Lucy is looking quite dreamy in today’s pic, as if she might really be thinking of salmon! πŸ˜‰ luv.m.

  15. My kitty eating story: KC was an abby and apparently very ambitious. I made a cheesecake for a baby shower for my cousin. It had a sour cream layer on top (I had NO idea this was going to be so irresistable). I went to change clothes, returned to the kitchen and there was a big (like 2-3″) of sour cream licked right out of the top. No time to come up with a replacement so a sister and I covered it with one of those awful big sugar confections from the grocery store (Happy Something!) and cut slices from all around it. And this wasn’t even the cat that used to take a bite from every bagel in the bag πŸ™‚ Gotta love cats!

  16. I really like the Chevron sock that you’re working. Plus, the yarn color is great.

    I feel fortunate that I’ve yet to have a cat that ate anything I made. Perhaps, that’s because I rarely cook. My guess is that, my Henry would be the 1st to eat anything within his reach. I actually think Kay was kind of smart, he did taste them all didn’t he?

  17. The Sword in the Stone, The Sword in the Stone! I love that movie!

  18. …and lovely sock!

  19. Sir Kay/Cei! Adopted brother of King Arthur. Squee. I love the Arthurian legends, and that boy is a real cutie. I have some pretty dumb boy kitties, so I feel for you. ^_^ And thanks for the cool gusset-under-the-heel pattern. I’d like to try that out– it looks really neat.

  20. I had a miniature poodle who used to get into everything. I came home for lunch one day and put a box of coffee way up high where she couldn’t get it (I thought), did my thing, and went back to work. When I came home, there was ground coffee all over the floor, but thankfully she had the smarts to open only one bag when she discovered she didn’t like it! Her daughter is a Merlyn.

    Those new socks look interesting — so you started them over again? Yikes!

  21. I have always had a kitty that liked to pretaste all human food. But my latest thief is Truffles who was adopted from the local shelter. She is a Siamese and was used for breeding then juts tossed away. Anyway when she first came to live with us she was too thin. One morning my hubby was making toast and she hopped right up and stoll it. She usually gets a taste from my husband and she can be patient but if she does not get what she wants she heads down to the kitchen and will open dishes to sleal goodies.

  22. I don’t have any dumb kitty stories, but I do have a dumb bunny story. My bunny took not one, but TWO bites out of my yoga mat.
    I’m sure if you open up her tummy like one of those sharks, you’ll find all sorts of things in there.

  23. I have a similar story about my dad. He used to bake bread all the time, but one day he was leaving several loaves to rise on top of the register/heating vent, and our dog ate them. He never made homemade bread again.

  24. Kay and Arthur, very clever! Interesting article. Sounds like a draw, to me. Besides, I’d hate to think cute little belching sheep are ruining the planet!

  25. love the new sock pattern! Hope you’ll write it up for sale so I can make it, too! πŸ™‚

  26. How did Lucy avoid being Guinevere?

    And, the article was really interesting–but one thing the article neglected to mention? Cotton isn’t cute, but lambs are. How can you resist cavorting lambs? Not to mention occupation for all those happy, exercised dogs. I’m all about keeping dogs happy and fulfilled, you know…

  27. Kay and the future King Arthur were brothers

  28. OK, I’m going to break from the crowd and not go with the legends, but instead try jewelers because then I’ll be the only one who’s right.

    Arthur’s Jewelers, the King of Diamonds and Every Kiss begins with Kay. Because you’re always so blingy.

  29. Wait for it … The Once and Future King. Let’s go way back: Malory is so my man!

  30. I made whoopie pies for a party once…50 of them. Our dog ate every one! And he had to climb on the counter to get them. Okay, I know this is a dog story, but in my mother’s house we had multiple pets… my house there are only cats =).

  31. My Daisy, a Westie, is wild about those salmon treats – she’s with Lucy — why eat pastry when you can eat salmon?

  32. Thank you SO much for the pattern!!! I have a question on the kf&b increase. Do you knit the first stitch, then kf&b, then knit to the next to the last stitch, kf&b in that stitch and then knit the last stitch? Do you worry about the stitches mirroring each other, which I assume they wouldn’t if you kf&b at each end? I try to to a left or right slanting increase, but sometimes am not quite sure if it matters.

    I’m probably making this harder than it needs to be, but perfectionism does set in, you know!

  33. Correction:
    T.H. WHITE, not E.B.WHITE. Which explains why I am a medical librarian, not a public one! πŸ˜‰

    The Once and Future King! Wonderful ! luv.m.

  34. Kay — a bit of a bumbler in Camelot if I recall! So appropriate, given the puff pastry crumbles and the box of rocks analogy! πŸ™‚

  35. I love the story about the pastry kitties…I love the socks in your picture…they are wonderful…thanks for the new pattern!!!! Thanks again, Wendy

  36. I REALLY like that shawl and the chevron pattern of the sock!

  37. I had a cat that like hummus. But we didn’t like the cat when he got into the hummus. It’s a drift that you never want to get, ever.

  38. Theresa in Italy says:

    Too funny—although I can see why you never made puff pastry from scratch again! I’m guessing with the Sword In the Stone crowd—I read and re-read T.H.White many summers ago (where’s Lancelot? Gawaine? King Pellinore?).

    Our current dog has been known to liberate freshly baked muffins, paper case and all.

  39. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for the pattern and all that you do to make knitting in cyberspace such a fun place to be.

  40. Funny! I can just see the look on his crumb sprinkled face! Kay wan’t dumb, he was a very clever kitty. Sample each just to make sure they are all “contaminated” so then he can have them all. Oscar does the same with butter.. I also think that the satisfaction in out-foxing the humans with a successful clandestine operation is a big part of it too.

    I really do love that sock! Vampish.

    Thanks for the article. I have followed Global Warming for a long time and one thing comes through time and time again. To many people who do not, or will not take responsibility and think about the long term and not accept the fact that the earth is a living entity. Sheep or cotton? Both! But only with responsibility.

  41. Perfect name for him if he was dumber than a box of rocks! I loved the way Disney drew Kay in The Sword in the Stone.

  42. I”m with Kay. I’d take the puff pastry any day.

  43. My ditsy calico used to love olives, and if I left a salad on a table unattended, you’d see her run across the room with something black or green in her mouth. I never could buy olives with pits.

    Do you know about “Let’s Wear a Sweater Day” on March 20, in honor of Mr. Rogers? I read about it this AM and posted a link on my blog.

  44. Current kitty “Jingle” fell into our fishpond twice! Once I could understand, but twice? Our other kitty “Magellan” also fell in a few years later. It is surrounded by large, flat rocks and is not slippery. There’s nothing like an embarrassed, disgruntled, very wet cat!
    Growing up we had a Siamese mix named Casey who was somewhere between mentally challenged and truly deranged — but he made for good fun. Once he knocked some freshly boiled eggs into the sink, rolled one around until he got most of the shell off and devoured it. He also had a taste for Pringles. Another time he jumped up on the stovetop and ate half of a mincemeat pie my mother had just taken out of the oven to cool. My brother and I suddenly heard her shout (and she never swears) “CASEY YOU AS$HOLE!” We cowered in our rooms for awhile before venturing down to find out what had happened.
    He also climed the slatted basement door during dinner every night all the while serenading the entire family with an endless variety of meows (until he fell off of the slats and retreated, grumbling to the basement.)
    Your story about Kay (Sir Kay, to be sure) brought back some good memories of the entire family, helpless with laughter and entirely unable to eat, listening to that crazy cat complain about being shut away from the fun for the evening (the cats slept in the basement and Casey just wasn’t trustworthy enough to leave upstairs once dinner was being cooked!)

  45. Hi Wendy. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing up the sock pattern with the gusset increases on the bottom!

    The beauty about being dumb as a box of rocks when you are a kitty with a wonderful Mama is . . . . . who cares???

    Have you had good luck with Claudia Hand Painted? I almost bought some yesterday from the Loopy Ewe but read some very negative comments on Ravelry, so opted out.


  46. Sir Kay was not only Arthur’s brother (though an adoptive one rather than biological in the legend), he was also the “dumb one” (at least as portrayed by Disney!).

    As to the article about cotton vs. wool, interesting indeed. I had always heard that wool was more environmentally friendly, but they seem much closer. I wonder how organic variants of both would come out? It seems like there is a bigger advantage for organic cotton than wool, as the downsides of cotton (nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides) go away when you grow organic. The biggest negative with sheep (farts :-)) doesn’t go away if the sheep eat organic grass.Also, the natural-color cotton doesn’t even need to be dyed, yielding another advantage. (though the same could be said for wool from different-colored sheep.) I’m sure the water issue is still there though. Interesting indeed.

  47. I had a cat once, it’s name was Muffin (a girl) until we found out it was a boy and changed it to Duffer. It was a Siamese/Persian mix, looked like Lucy. We had 4 cats at the time and didn’t know that all the destruction, eating food off the counters and especially getting into the trash, was all done by him, until he passed away. He would open the cupboard doors and dig out the trash! It was kind of irritating. I do miss that cat, he was a lover.

  48. I read that article a while back, and found it emphasized the sheep farts and de-emphasized the enormous environmental costs of cotton as it’s grown today. If ALL cotton were grown organically, it might be worth calling it environmentally more friendly, but as it stands, that just isn’t the case. Cotton uses more pesticide than any other crop and damages our land and water! Certainly there is a way to use both wool and cotton (which serve vastly different purposes as fiber, imho) and treat the planet with my respect?

  49. What is it about male cats that makes them …um…let’s say mentally challenged, but really sweet. My sister has a sweetie, who is, literally, dumb as a tree stump. In fact, the stump probably has a few IQ points on him.

  50. Michele In Maine says:

    OK, here’s a partial list of the things my dogs Jake and Newton have eaten over the past 14 years:

    coffee beans (1/2 a pound), yeah, really
    birthday candles
    barbie hands and feet (many)
    library books (many)
    zip lock bags (in case they contain any baked goods)
    1/2 a chocolate cake (before getting caught – and it was even frozen!)
    hair scrunchies
    any vegetable

    the list goes on…. the cats just look on with amazement.

  51. Heehee! When you called Kay a “he”, I immediately thought of King Arthur’s half-brother. Not the most handsome or brightest knight of the round table, but certainly one of the most loyal. He’s got such an angelic expression on his face in that photo! Love the sock color, too.

  52. Interesting article, although it reminds me of the old “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” sort of discussion. The amount of greenhouse gasses produced by sheep is, I suspect, immaterial compared to those produced by automobiles and factories. I’ll go for wool in the winter and cotton in the summer and ride my bike. It will all be good for the environment πŸ™‚

  53. ~snort~ Poor Kay. Didn’t want to be Ray. Can’t say he wasn’t cute! Looks like spring time socks are in the making, it’s really nice!

  54. Was your Kay as big as the big dumb Kay who was foster brother to Arthur? At least he wasn’t mean like the one in the movie. I loved the Sword and the Stone movie as a kid and T.H. White’s book was wonderful too.

  55. Oh, too funny, and it brought me a sweet memory –

    I had a Lucy myself once (I think I mentioned this on the RSC blog last year), a seal-point meezer. She LOVED baked goods, but wasn’t too neat about them. A Timbit would keep her amused for hours as it would roll away across the floor every time she tried to bite it. Eventually she’d suck up all the crumbs she made. She once did exactly what Kay did, only with an entire tray of croissants – ate all the pointy ends off. And once, she opened a tray of buttertarts somehow, and very evenly ate all the edges of pastry off them – didn’t touch the filling.

    thanks for the laugh.