My current work in progress:

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


A Good Yarn

A blog reader (Hi Karen in Atlanta!) emailed me to ask about the yarns I use for my designs: are there characteristics of some yarns I don’t like. She asks “Is there a lot of functional difference in wool fingering weight sock yarn?”

Yeah, I think there is.

My most favorite type of sock yarn is one that is pretty firmly spun with a tight twist. The yarns that use Louet Gems (or a yarn like that) for their base are my faves. My current “yarn crushes” for this type of yarn are Tempted Good Grrl, Sanguine Gryphon Eidos. ShibuiKnits, and Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock. Others I like are Fleece Artist Merino, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, and Claudia Handpainted Fingering.

This type of yarn is wonderful for texture work, like my current sock project, my Einkorn socks. The firmly-spun yarn really makes the texture “pop.”

But I also love Dream in Color Smooshy Sock, which has a totally different spin. I’m not sure what you’d call it, but it works very well in texture as well, but I particularly like it for lace work.

What I don’t care for when I’m knitting patterned socks are yarns that have a fuzz or “halo” because that will of course obscure the patterning to a certain extent.

And yarns that are loosely spun and soft feel lovely, but unless you knit them at a very tight gauge, work up into socks that won’t wear very well.

There’s my 2 cents on the subject.

I’ve started the second Einkorn sock:

Lucy LOLCat

Yeah, sorry, there’s no way I can choose. Y’all vote for your favorite among these captions (these are my favorites) and I’ll send each of the top three caption-writers the WendyKnits sock pattern of his/her choice. Voting will close at the time I post to my blog tomorrow.


Lucy is feigning indifference and having a snack.

I sometimes wonder what the building engineer thinks when he comes in my condo twice a year to replace furnace filters and check the smoke alarms. Apart from the spinning wheel and yarn everywhere, this is not an uncommon sight:


  1. Oh my gosh, there’s definitely something creepy about all those mannequin feet! YIPES!

    I love all the LOLcat submissions. I got a good giggle out of all of them. My favorite was definitely “i gots bild own hooman kit…sum asembly rekwired. ” LOL

  2. so now I’m wanting a foot of my own more than ever, but I want one of those perfect ladies’ medium size foots. And it’s unlikely that any of my cats will bring one home. (Gophers, mice, rats, birds, butterflies…still alive…pork chops, bagels and mystery meat…not alive, yes, feet, no) I’ve tried google, they don’t seem to describe sizes.

    claires last blog post..Tastes of India class, June 28th

  3. first?
    i also wonder what my maintenance man thinks…between the cats, cat toys, yarn, more yarn, instruments, music, etc.! i sometimes wonderful if i should post a disclaimer on the door! :o) “i haz catz, yarn, violins. beware!”

    megs last blog post..2 of the four seasons…

  4. Those are some excellent lolcat quotes.

    Kellis last blog post..Swedish Block Children’s Mittens

  5. I will never forget the day we got a shipment of hands AND feet at the yarn store where I used to work. Now that was a creepy box to open.

    Sandys last blog post..Freedom and Nanners and Plurking (Oh My!)

  6. He looks in the refrigerator to see if that’s where you keep the rest of the bodies.

  7. Oh my gosh those feet are to funny. What does Lucy think of when she see’s all those feet? There really were some very funny captions.

  8. Juanita says:

    I was going to submit one, but got sidetracked. Mine was something like:
    “Dis not my size at all!”
    Ah, well…that’s what happens when you snooze!

    Beautiful sox, tho….

  9. Patricia says:

    If I were the maintenance person, I’d be wondering too.

    good photo punchline!

  10. I agree that a nice twist is great for texture work, but the DiC Smooshy calls me. And the Fiesta Boomerang – I have socks in the Baby Boom and plans for the Boom – I mean other than cuddle time.

    Aimees last blog post..Solar Power

  11. Shawnee says:

    We share the same opinions about sock yarns. I’m knitting a pair right now using ShiBuiKnits in a wonderful shaded solid. I really must try The Sanguine Gryphon Eidos sock yarn but someone (?) is always beating me to it over at the Ewe. (At least, in the colorways I like.)

  12. Thanks for all of the sock yarn information. I will have to try a few of your favorites.

    Love the little kitty dishes!

    Danieles last blog post..Hook Addiction

  13. Glad you liked the LOLCat idea.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see headlines on the National Enquirer “Noted Sock Designer Keeps Stash of Human Feet!” Just let us know where to contribute to your bail! VBG!

    Barbara-Kays last blog post..Tell them about me, Meowmy!

  14. Thanks for yarn suggestions. I’ve found that the tighter spun yarns make for a much nicer fabric. The ones you mentioned that I’ve used/worn also are very soft. I love smooshy and even though the spin is looser it makes a nice “sturdy” fabric.

  15. Cathy Johnson says:

    Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for the feedback on good fingering weight yarns; I love the tight twists too.
    I need to recuse myself from the LOL sock titles; I teach middle school and I hear that LOL language ad nauseum. Sorry, but it is July and I’m a teacher…and, possibly becoming a curmudgeon.

  16. My guess is that he would be aroused, if he is a foot fetishist.

  17. Mary Lou says:

    I am currently knitting with Cherry Hill yarn and I LOVE it! Glad to hear that you like it also. Great LOL cats comments! Funny stuff.

  18. Knittyo11 says:

    it was really hard to choose which one to pick, they were all good.

  19. You like a nice tightly spun sock yarn, then? You should try Briggs and Little’s Durasport. It’s a sport weight and it’s a touch rough when you knit with it, but it softens up beautifully and wears extremely well. Cables really pop in it too.

    Your Einkorn socks are beautiful as is Lucy even in her indifference.

    Bet your condo maintainer goes home and tells the wife about the crazy lady’s condo. Bet the wife wishes she could have your stuff.

  20. Have you tried Tess’ Designer Yarns sock yarn? I really enjoyed working with it.

  21. Claudia Hand Painted is one of my favorites, not only is it lovely to work with it is wonderfully soft on the feet! I have some Louet Gems Opal in my stash and some CTH and I cant wait to use either one 🙂

    Danielle from SW MOs last blog post..Back after a day, or 2, away

  22. Where do you get your feet? I have a glass head that I love and use for looking at my hats and would love a foot for my socks.

    Jewels last blog post..Trip to the Smokey Mountains

  23. there’s something to be said about not having a maintenance man, after all!

    Knitnanas last blog post..Still Here…

  24. Your yarn thoughts are great, very helpful – thank you! I personally am glad that we don’t have many strangers come through our house as I don’t know what people who don’t know us would think!

    Jennifers last blog post..On the needles, off the needles and looking toward the summer

  25. I never imagined Lucy speaking this way. She seems a more precise cat than this.

  26. christa says:

    I, too, am wondering why everyone assumes Lucy (or any cat, for that matter!) would speak that way–my cat Fred is a goofy guy but he always speaks in full sentences!

  27. I love the LOLcat captions, but I have to say that I’ve always seen Lucy as more of an ‘evil genius’ type cat, without the evil, but with perfect diction and grammar, which would naturally lend itself to perfect spelling. Just sayin’.

    As far as the legs, I figure your furnace people have seen weirder things. I know mine have. I used to have the whole bottom half of a ‘male’ mannequin that I ‘won’ at a white elephant christmas party. Really. Those fix-it guys? They’ve seen crazier. As long as none of the little legs have skin or bones protruding out of them, I don’t figure they look too hard. 😀

    Miss Knottys last blog post..Trends and Themes: or, Okay, I’ve identified it, so what can I do with it now?

  28. wow, that is a lot of feet. did you accumulate them while trying to find one that would fit your socks?

  29. I seem to like the same characteristics you look for in a good sock yarn and I’m glad you provided the list of some of the independents who have the preferable base yarns. To me, that’s the hardest part of trying a new hand-dyed or handpainted sock yarn — I’ll fall in love with a colorway (or the NAME of a colorway! LOL!) and then the yarn arrives and a test swatch yields disappointing results. I do find, however, that a sock yarn that I might not end up loving . . . another knitter will.

    Janets last blog post..Oh blog, how I’ve missed you

  30. Just out of curiosity, who might your supplier of molded feet be? Yours appear to be of good quality so I thought I’d ask. Gracias.

    Karen B.s last blog post..Lacy Crochet Shawl