My current work in progress:

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


Summer’s Just Around the Corner

Saturday marks the Summer Solstice (in the northern hemisphere, anyhow), right?

We all know what that means: Summer of Socks. And I haven’t even thought abut what I’ll start with to kick off the Summer of Socks!

I ought to be finishing up my Nanner socks right around the start of SOS. I have the first one almost done:

(It would be completely done if I didn’t spend so much time goofing off over the past few days.)

So I checked my “pending” folder on my ‘puter for sock designs I’m working up and note that I have 76 files in there. I guess I ought to pick one out, polish it up, and designate it the kick-off sock for the Summer of Socks.

A while back someone asked me if I ever knit any other people’s sock designs. The answer is: not any more. In early 2007 I did knit 2 or 3 of the patterns that came with sock club offerings, but since the start of summer last year I’ve been doing my own thing.

Someone else asked me if I ever knit my own designs twice. And the answer to that is pretty much no. I’ve got 76 pending sock designs so I’d better get to knitting those.

Note that I don’t expect all 76 of them to evolve into socks. But more than half of them probably will.

Golden Boy

Thank you to all of you who left such thoughtful and caring comments on the impending demise of Golden Boy. Many of you offered to send me prospective Golden Boy replacements and I took a couple of you up on this offer. I thank all of you who offered.

Many of you shared your row counting techniques. In true Wendy fashion, I have found something wrong with each and every one of them.

While the paper and pen method works well for many of you, it does not work for me while commuting, nor at home, as I have a pen-stealing kitty.

The katcha-katcha on a cord around the neck works well for many of you, but does not work for me on my commute, as I already have a frigging badge around my neck and do not wish to wear any more non-jewelry related stuff.

The mini katcha-katcha pinned to the knitting works well for many of you, but I have tried it on a sock-in-progress and it’s a bit too heavy for comfort.

I am clearly difficult.

On reader recommendation, I purchased a Clover row counter.

It’s not bad . . . it’s not bad at all. Not quite as good as Golden Boy in his prime, but definitely usable.

By the way, I do not need a row counter for my Nanner socks — the pattern repeat is only 12 rows. I only use Golden Boy on very long pattern repeats. By counting rows, I can keep better track of the pattern and therefore memorize it more easily. This means I don’t need the chart, so I knit faster. It’s all a chain reaction.

Lucy sez:

“I do not steal pens. Nail files? Yes. But not pens.”


  1. Lucy is such a beauty. I never get tired of seeing pictures of her! I think I’m going to kick-off SOS with the Nanner pattern. I’ll be way behind all the other plurkers, but that’s okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Opals last blog post..Mission Accomplished.

  2. 76 different socks? That’s 2 or 3 more books worth ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Craftyfrogmom says:

    The look on Lucy’s face here is priceless! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Just curious, are you planning to write up the Twisty Bits patter for The Loopy Ewe? I’d love to buy it.

  5. I see lots of pattern books.
    Including a pattern for BLT socks

  6. I think that once you have plurked – I mean worked – through 76 socks, I shall hand deliver bacon of many sorts to where ever you wish.

    Coffee Boy agrees with the bacon, still struggling against knitting.

    Megan S.s last blog post..Happy Thursday!

  7. Does Lucy steal paper clips too? Our cats (only one currently) have been known to pull them off magnetic holders to play hockey with them. At 3 AM they make an amazing amount of noise caroming off baseboards.

    Looking forward to more of your socks.

  8. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the socks you knit during the summer of socks. Wow! 76 files of new socks, where do you get the inspiration to design so many different socks?

    KnittingKels last blog post..It’s a stream, its a river, no, it’s a flooded street!

  9. That cute Nanner pattern that you’re knitting out of the Banana Peeps (I mean BUTTER Peeps) colorway, and only offering to your Plurk friends? It’s all a sinister plan to draw the rest of us over to the Plurk-side, isn’t it? FPS.

    Sheri at The Loopy Ewes last blog post..Coffee Fickleness and KAL Prizes!

  10. It’s funny that SOS is just around the corner again. It seems like all you’ve knitted since the last SOS is socks. I’m surprised (and delighted) that there’s room in you for more!

  11. Wow, you have a gift for creating, you do. I am getting excited for SOS08 to start as well. I’m sure to be doing a couple of your patterns!

    Danieles last blog post..A Cardigan for Katina and Stick Storage

  12. Wendy...the other one... says:

    try this row counter…very functional and a beautiful piece of jewelry too…good luck

  13. I can’t wait to see how many patterns you create during the Summer of Socks. I’m just hoping I can finish one pair!

    Lynns last blog post..In the event of a wool apocalypse…

  14. I haven’t decided on my SoS socks/patterns/yarn either. Well, except for the nanners! Can’t wait to cast on for those! And, I finally got my dancing nanners! So exciting!!

    Amys last blog post..I’m now plurking…

  15. Barbara-Kay says:

    We understand about the nail files, Lucy. They’re like little portable slivers of scratching posts.

  16. Cathy Johnson says:

    Hello Wendy,
    I am curious as to what you do with all the socks you knit. I live in Minnesota; my husband is a skinny runner and skier (read always cold) and even I can keep him knee deep in socks. Hmmmm and you are a prolific sock knitter. What’s the deal?
    Cathy J

  17. Cathy Johnson says:

    I forgot to tell you that my daughters, ages 21 and 23, are devoted to Lucy. At this point in all of our lives, we are unable to have a cat; therefore, we “live” vicariously off Lucy’s poses and shennigans…Please keep the pics current.
    Jenny, Jill and Cathy

  18. Nancy and Peggy want to tell Lucy that kitty soccer is very fun with pens, but EVEN MORE FUN with the little yellow foam bullet shootee things (pencil thick, 3 inches long, very light) that their big brothers shoot from guns, but don’t anymore because N&P stole them all….

    Colleens last blog post..Graduation

  19. I’m glad that you’re getting replacements for Golden Boy. I love the Boye row counters too and just found that the local Walmart sells them. I bought another package of them, just in case!

  20. Wendy have you thought about row counter bracelets? There are some lovely ones on Etsy (Nope, I don’t have anything to gain by telling you this either). They count up to 99, aren’t vulnerable to kitty theft, and they’re jewelery. I’ve got about 7 that I’ve made for myself and I really enjoy them.

    RobynRs last blog post..WWKIPD

  21. Timmie B says:

    Row counting–different strokes for different folks. If we all liked the same one, only one row counter would exist. I can relate to the pen stealing feline. At my house, the cat pushes the pens to the floor where the dog grabs them and chews them up. Needless to say pen and paper don’t work well here. Glad you got a new counter.

  22. Lucy must be related to Margarita. she loves nail files but she also loves pens.

  23. Pretty sock ๐Ÿ™‚ My kitties don’t go after pens, but shoelaces are in danger whenever they are near.

    Micheles last blog post..I can haz frogs

  24. Lynette Holzer says:

    The Rowsary is the only counter I can remember to use, probably because I’m a bead freak.


  25. Theresa in Italy says:

    76 pending sock designs? Sounds good to me!

    Glad to hear you’ve found replacements for Golden Boy. It’s so frustrating when a beloved and reliable tool finally gives out. (I myself can get away with paper and pen—the dog wouldn’t steal either one unless they were smothered in sausage.)

  26. Clover also make a tiny weeny thread cutter/needle threader that works on yarn and is an excellent alternative to scissors or other terror related cutting implements when travelling on planes. Just in case you’re interested.

    Also, Neptune is OBSESSED with nail files, they’re like catnip to him. I can’t leave any lying around or he goes into an LSD-style frenzy clawing and biting and purring and licking. Then he goes and starts playing with the nail file ๐Ÿ˜‰

    alisonmcs last blog post..spend whore no more

  27. Liz in IN says:

    You can knit on something with a greater-than-12-row-repeat (therefore requiring the row counter) …while *commuting*??

    I bow before you.

  28. have you tried using stitch markers as an abacus ala Kim at String & Nothing?,guid,08941506-d36d-99b2-aaf3-0007e96ddfa0.aspx

    Lillians last blog post.."my" year

  29. as for row counters, after buying some gadget that was supposed to help me with my big cabled sweater project, i ended up running a contrast yarn between the rows every so often (possibly every repeat). this was the easiest row counting trick i’ve ever used!

  30. Michele In Maine says:

    Lucy you are looking lush today!

    It’s a foggy wet day here in Maine too. Better for staying inside and lolling around!

  31. What is it with kitties and pens?! My fluffy girl loves to bat them off the sofa or table onto the floor, where she proceeds to play with it fiercely. Until she inevitably loses it under the TV stand, behind the bookcase, under a low chair…. But do they play with the toys we buy for them? Of course not! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I can def relate to the pen and nail file threat of cats!! The boys not only steal them but they have developed a fondness for bic style lighters too. I am frequently having to replace a lighter only to find the one that went missing somewhere nearby with one or both boys grinning like fools! “Never trust a grinning cat” esp when you are missing a knitting tool!

    Danielle from SW MOs last blog post..WWKIP Day take 2โ€ฆ actually its not butโ€ฆ

  33. Bonnie H. says:

    Our first Lab would steal toast out of the toaster if you were not there when it popped up. Our second one would wait in frenzied anticipation for you to put the lid on your empty plastic drink bottle and then toss it down on the floor for her. It clattered and skidded across our wooden floor quite nicely! Our present Lab has a sock fetish and will try to take them off your feet. He does know the difference between hand knitted and store bought and never tries to take my hand knitted socks.

  34. Yup. Lucy is not alone…Nail files, pens, paperclips. The Meezer absconds with them all.
    So far? She shows no interest in the little rubber rings I use for stitchmarkers these days…
    CAN’T wait for SOS! And your pattern there is on my list for knitting. About to turn the heel of my 2nd sock to finish it before Saturday.

    Knitnanas last blog post..Another of My Idols Falls…

  35. When my Marbles was young, we had a dog that was caged during the day while we worked. Marbles used to find interesting things to take down to the basement to give Heidi through the bars. The two items that I remember are Playtex living gloves (which Heidi promptly shredded and partially ate) and silk poinsettas (from my gluing silk flowers on sweatshirts days). Marbles also once took 3 long-stemmed red carnations out of a vase in the kitchen and hid them (all facing the same way, stems unbroken) under a couch cushion in the living room. I discovered them about 6 months later when searching for items she had batted out of the printer’s tray that hung over the couch. The were perfectly pressed. I miss that cat-she was a riot and lived to just shy of her 20th birthday.


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