My current work in progress:

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


What’s Normal?

Leslie commented:

I’ve a question about sock height. You said you made the Sunflower Socks taller than normal – so what’s normal? I saw somewhere that height should be equal to length of foot – fold the socks in half on the heel and they should match. Is that right (or “usual” may be a more apt choice of words)? If so, then I’m unusual as usual – I prefer mine longer.

What I should have said is that I made the Sunflower socks taller than what is normal for me.

There is no rule for how tall you should make your socks, really. Unless the leg of the sock has a definite pattern that is “x” number of inches tall, that is. It depends on how tall you like ’em. If you like ankle socks, make them shorter and if you like mid-calf, make them taller.

As a rule of thumb, I generally make my socks so that the height is at least equal to the length of the foot, but I do sometimes make them taller. A lot depends on how much yarn I have. 🙂

New Sock!

I started a new sock yesterday.Shocking, no?

This yarn is Shaefer Heather, which is a lovely blend of 55% merino wool, 30% cultivated silk, and 15% nylon. The colorway is one of their “Subtly Solid Botanicals” in “Ash,”which is a lovely grey that has a bluish cast to it. It’s a fingering weight yarn, but a beefy one, so when knit at the gauge of 8 stitches/inch I get a nice solid fabric. It has a lovely sheen to it and is wonderfully soft. Here’s the sole of the foot:


This is destined to be a “guy” sock, so I worked up a design with some solid (but flat) cables interspersed with wide ribbing. So far so good!


Are You Crafty?

Check this baby out:


This is Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts, to be published by Potter Craft on March 31, 2009.

This book covers many many different crafts, including paper folding, quilting, rubber-stamping, candle-making, and many, many more. There are step-by-step instructions for many many projects. Enough to warm the cockles of any crafter’s heart. Here’s a shot of the Table of Contents (enlarge it to read):


And a page from the book at random:


And another:


Want my copy? Leave a comment to this blog post by 4:00pm EDT Thursday March 26, at which time the random number will pick a recipient.

And here is Miss Lucy, protecting her fuzzy rat toy. Awwwww!



  1. Oh! I’d love to own a copy of that book! Please include me when you run the random number thingy!

  2. looks like an awesome book!

    Jen Hutchinsons last blog post..Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl

  3. Sounds like a bible for crafters, a good reference book! Would love to have it, better than a fuzzy rat toy – sorry Miss Lucy !

  4. This book looks like a good thing to have on the shelf! Your new blog design is very sharp and professional looking.

  5. I really like the new sock! Are you going to be selling the pattern in the future? I haven’t tried Schaefer Heather yet but it’s on my list of must try yarns.

    Trishs last blog post..Better Watchin’

  6. I think that book looks awesome-also can’t wait to purchase the sunflower socks!

    amysues last blog post..almost spring

  7. the new sock does look just awesome, great yarn color choice too 😀

    kats last blog post..Knit, Purl, Drink – Free Ship Stitch Markers

  8. Hmm…I generally make mine shorter than the length of the foot, but I have chubby legs!

    Leslies last blog post..Mitts

  9. Aw, Lucy and her rat have the same hairstyle (or would that be “furstyle”?)!

    Julies last blog post..Brackets

  10. I’d love to get my hands on that book. I may have to buy it if I cannot win it. LOL!

    I’m loving how your new sock looks. I am looking for a nice man’s sock pattern, so I’ll have to pay attention.

  11. that book looks amazing!

  12. Thank you Wendy for giving away another of your books! Fingers crossed….

    Do you find now that you’re a pattern creator and sock book author that you feel like you “should” knit socks more than anything? You’ve always knit tons of socks, I know, but it seems like we see fewer of your fabulous lace shawls lately. Just wondering if your interests have changed much, or you’re just in place where you’re balancing the needs of a growing sock pattern business with other knitting.

  13. I adore this sock! I’m not so good with lace socks and prefer a nice solid sock and this one is gorgeous. I hope you will be making the pattern available when you are finished. Martha Stewart’s new book looks very promising. It’s really kind of you to offer your copy as a giveaway. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

  14. MMMM, gray….

  15. I would love a copy of this book! You’re so lucky to get these sneak peeks at what’s new in the literary world!

    Allisons last blog post..Colorful and productive weekend

  16. I’m crafty – but my 10 yo daughter is too – and she’s the one who likes to fold paper, string beads, knit, weave, whatever. I’d love to win this book for her!

  17. Come on, random number generator, momma needs a win! 🙂

    I really like that color of yarn! Maybe because it’s the predominant color of the Pacific Northwest Winter…

    Karens last blog post..A man and his tractor

  18. that looks like a really interesting book, and I would love to get my hands on it!
    best wishes from Iceland

    Fríðas last blog post..Fremgang på farveladen / Progress on the colourbox

  19. The new socks look pretty, the yarn looks so soft. I always make my socks the same length. I have a tattoo on my calf and I like the very tops of my socks to hit just under the lowest part of the tattoo, I’m actually really anal about my socks being that length.

    Marlanas last blog post..Something New

  20. Awesome book!

    One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make socks that go over my [rather muscular] calves and actually stay there… Thus far if they go over my calves they’re too loose at the top to stay up!

  21. martha in mobile says:

    Very Nice Gock (guy-sock)! Please enter me in the drawing for the craft book. Because one can never have too many crafting hobbies.

  22. Donna in Ely says:

    Love that yarn color, Miss Lucy’s fuzzy rat toy looks like it is the same?? Would love the book, (let’s not kid around here, I love all books, especially free ones!) Thanks for the chance.

  23. I *so* want your copy.

    Kats last blog post..Celluloid love

  24. Adrienne says:

    My next knitting goal is a pair of manly socks for mah man…these may just be exactly what I am looking for!

  25. I never thought I would be excited about a Martha Stewart book, but heaven help me! That book is exciting, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this time I get lucky.

    Taras last blog post..Two Socks and Some Cupcakes

  26. That is a very handsome man sock. I like to knit socks for my husband, but there are much fewer patterns for mens’ socks than womens’.

    I would like to be part of the drawing for the Martha Stewart book. I love Martha!

  27. Nice yarn and a great color. Looks like a winner of a sock for a man. Hope you will have it up for sale. Have a great night.

  28. I can hardly wait for your book – but in the meantime, I’d like to win this one. Thank you!

    melanies last blog post..Poetry Monday

  29. I love that gray sock you’ve started. It looks so soft. It may be destined for a guy, but that pattern would work just as well for a woman too. Lovely.

  30. That book looks very cool, please include me in the drawing. I know for me, when the leg is as long as the foot, that’s getting close to when I have to start worrying about increasing for the calf if I keep going. It’s also pretty much when I start to run out of yarn doing toe-up socks.

  31. Your new sock looks great Wendy, and so does the book.

  32. I like to think I’m crafty….

    I love the sock. cool AND masculine… and such a purty color too 🙂

    craftycaroles last blog post..did you know?

  33. Sure I’d like a copy but again, want to see what kind of avatar I get today!

  34. I WANT to be crafty and reading blogs like yours and seeing books like that inspire me to even craftier heights. Please consider me in this drawing!

    P.S. LOVE the sunshine socks. I’m so getting that pattern when it becomes available!

  35. I like just above the ankle socks. On the plus side there is usually enough left over to either make another pair for me or one of my kiddies (depending of course on the yardage)

    The book would make a great b-day gift for me! =)

    Qutecowgirls last blog post..A little sewing!

  36. I always enjoy seeing what Lucy is going to be up to in every blog post. And I’m going to have to get my hands on that Schafer yarn in “Ash” as it will be perfect for my husband!

  37. Lynn Judge says:

    Wow that looks to be quite the book – i promise i would give it a good home and put it to good use!!

  38. Please include me in your random draw! That book looks amazing.

    Also — I have been coveting your sunflower socks from a distance… I can’t wait until I am a skilled enough knitter to do something like that!

  39. Love, love the sock!!! Great color, great pattern! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  40. I’d love to have that book! Thanks!

  41. I love the new socks! I’ll be taking my first sock class at my local yarn shop sometime next month, and will hopefully be able to make lovely socks like you do. I can’t wait for the release of Socks from the Toe Up, it looks like a spectacular book! (Love the cute pic of Lucy and her fuzzy toy rat!)

  42. Kate (the enabler) says:

    OOh – lovely sock. Lovely book – lovely ‘new’ layout to the blog (I’m a bit behind…sorry ) Crossing my fingers for the giveaway!

  43. What a lovely book!

    spillyjanes last blog post..Thanks again, and Socks

  44. Why yes, I do want it!

    Annikas last blog post..Big Money!

  45. I love your current sock. I’m always looking for flat cables as I love how they look but not how they feel on my sensitive feet. Oh and thanks for the giveaway.

  46. Shirley. in PA says:

    Yes please, I do what that book.

  47. Martha Stewart always has such beautiful books….

    And Wendy Johnson always has such beautiful socks ….

    Mos last blog post..Seeing Green

  48. Gee, that sock looks nice. You’re always giving me ideas for socks I *must* knit when I’m really much too impatient to be a good sock knitter! Don’t know why I have such a hard time with a size 0 or 1 needle but it

    Martha put her name on another book? One that might be interesting? Gee, let’s see if the random number thingie works for me this time.

    And — thanks for the answer 🙂

  49. The sock looks great! I love the color 😀

    Molly/nerdclub2000s last blog post..Pithy

  50. I love the sunflower sock pattern and would absolutely love a copy of the new MS book! Thanks for an awesome blog…keep up the good work.

    Kelaines last blog post..I finally finished this baby sweater! It’s a gift for Aunt…

  51. Here’s a technical question: In pouring over your completed socks I’m always struck by how well your heel/heel flap joins the instep at the top of the “triangle.” That is, you never seem to have even a tiny hole or stretched stitch at the ankle point where you resume knitting all the way around. Do you have a special technique to accomplish this?

  52. I love the socks and loved seeing them in the two colorways. I often have trouble deciding how tall to make socks, particularly because I usually knit them top-down.

    I would love the copy of the book! Thanks for offering it up.

  53. Wendy, I knit on size 0’s for socks, which I think is also your preference. As you knit, does the dense fabric cause wrist pain? Seems I battle wrist pain alot. Sometimes I have to put the knitting aside.

  54. How nive that you’re offering up this book! Count me in.

  55. oh my goodness, i want, i want! thanks for the chance. 🙂

    melissas last blog’re a woman, you love to weave*

  56. Hey! I’d love to take a look at that book. And I love your sock patterns. They are beautiful.

  57. Great socks – as usual. The MS book looks wonderful – very pretty and I’m sure informative. I always enjoy reading your musings. Thanks Wendy!

  58. I like how the Schaeffer Heather yarn looks in your new socks. Funny, lately I am knitting men’s socks for my DS. The yarn looks perfect and so does your new pattern.

    Yes, I am “Artseycrafts” and I like most crafts.(vbg) Please count me in on the book giveaway.

    Shirleys last blog post..In the Mail!

  59. I’m curious about the book! Add me to the random generator, please.

  60. As if I needed ANOTHER crafting book and the possiblity of picking up another hobby… Those sample pages look yummy!

  61. If I had Martha’s book it would make many people happy because I do craft (and other) programs for teens at a public library! Yes, I have taught lots of teens how to knit.

  62. Cassandra says:

    Man, I love Martha! She cracks me up… would love to win that one! Also, love that grey yarn… beautiful.

  63. The book looks wonderful. I always need more inspiration!

    Katies last blog post..You know who

  64. Cynthia A says:

    The manly sock looks good!

    Thank you for running a contest for the MS book, I would love to be entered for the draw, please.

  65. Please add me to the list. The book and socks are very nice.

  66. Nice to see a sock designed for men – they can be so hard to please and this one looks great. It has enough detail to make it an interesting knit, and the pattern seems subtle enough that the guy will not shy away from it. That Martha book looks great too. If I don’t win it I may have to run right out and buy it!

  67. Holy Horse! Is there a craft that Martha Stewart HASN’T done? And yet, that book looks so good! Thank you for having the draw. Count me in, please.

    Jens last blog post..Siren Song

  68. Yeah. I’m crafty, baby.

  69. Ok, I’ll bite. Those necklaces embiggened did the trick — they are beautiful. Thanks for the offer. The new socks are very handsome (since they are guy-ish) but I do think they would be wonderful for a woman as well.

  70. Thank you SO much for the chance! The book looks like fun.
    However now Ozzie and Zeus want fuzzy rat toys, too. I have to stop letting them look at Lucy!

  71. MS magazine often has a craft that catches my eye – would love the book. I am finally attempting my first pair of socks using two circular needles!

  72. Danielle Meder says:

    Love the socks!!! I’ve preordered your book too and am so happy it’s only a matter of weeks!!!

    Count me in as a entry for the MS book too!!! 🙂

    My three spoiled kitties say hi to Lucy!

  73. Oh, please enter me in the drawing for the new Martha Stewart Craft Book please!

    My Boogalu LOVES her fuzzy tailed raffia mouse too!

  74. Forgot to add that I love the new socks you’ve started, makes me almost want to start knitting a pair 🙂

  75. Your new socks are beautiful! Then again, they always are 😉 The pattern looks like something I might even be able to get my husband to wear. I have yet to knit him a pair of socks – It takes so long just to knit a pair for me!

  76. I would love that book. I’m not a big Martha fan but I’d love a book that covered all those “minor” crafts, just for reference. I hope your random number generator generates my random number. HA!

  77. Oh my gosh, that book looks so great! I’m a big crafter, if you can make it, I’ve either tried it or plan to at some point.
    I’m going to have to put it on the birthday list, unless I win it that is. 🙂

    Give Lucy some chin scritches for me.

    Amy D.s last blog post..Zipper foot fun

  78. Wow… another giveaway? You are very generous! Count me in – I love Martha!

  79. Love the sock! I appreciate the info on that yarn too, I want to try it out.

    (and yes please, enter me in your book drawing 🙂 )

    Loribirds last blog post..Come one, come all…

  80. Wow, that is a book with my name on it.

    Hillarys last blog post..Francie Socks At Last

  81. I know you’re calling it a guy sock, but I think it’s really pretty! I love that color and the simple pattern 🙂

    A craft encyclopedia sounds intriguing… I’ll have to remember that next month when I walk into a bookstore (but on the off chance I might win, sign me up for the giveaway anyhow :P) Thanks!

  82. I know that others scorn Martha, but I love the sound of her plummy voice 😀 I’d be happy to be the recipient of her book.

  83. Thanks for letting us enter!

  84. Ooh, I love the manly sock! I need to do a pair for my DH for our wedding anniversary, and I don’t like plain old socks, but it is so hard to find a good, manly pattern that still satisfies my need to knit interesting stitches. Can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

    And the book looks wonderful!

    Gretchens last blog post..My new gig

  85. Love the blog! Please enter me in the drawing.

  86. I like the bottle cap frames idea. That looks like great fun. I like the look of your new sock, pattern and color. Best to you and Lucy.

  87. Okay… I’ll nibble on this prize. Lovely grey sock color!

    Nicoles last blog post..a dip back into the internet.

  88. Oooooo Martha. Drooool. 🙂 I’m in!

    Phoebe, my feline muse, is currently guarding all the pillows on the bed.

    camelamas last blog post..Grey (Gray!) Cat Week

  89. ChristyH says:

    I love the new socks, You styles are very elegent…at least I think so and not cluttered.

  90. I can’t wait for your book Wendy. I pre-ordered it from Amazon yesterday.

  91. You are always so generous with the give aways! Loving the new sock too!

    leahs last blog post..So I promised you a story….

  92. I love your site, and would like the opp to get this book. Thanks for the fun and interest you bring to my days.

  93. I like the new sock! Finding good patterns for guys is always tricky, but yours looks perfect!

    Ellens last blog post..Diamond Lace Scarf

  94. I am crafty and secretly love Martha!

    Amys last blog post..EZ love

  95. Debbie G. says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the MS craft book. Count me in!

  96. knitopia says:

    That grey sock looks great!

  97. Wow, who knew Martha Stewart had it in her. Sign me up with the random number generator.

    Julies last blog post..Reading Roundup – Week 12

  98. Nice sock! I have sockophobia, though, so I can’t do socks. Also, since I have hobby ADD, go ahead and put me in the drawing for the book. I always seem to be able to fit in another project!

    Sarahs last blog post..Switching Rooms Around – now I know why I kept putting it off

  99. oh oh pick me pick me!