My current work in progress:

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


Nancy’s Socks

I completed the socks I was working on last week.

A close-up:

And proof of the second sock!

I am calling this design “Nancy’s Socks.” This is for the simple reason that I designed and knit these socks for someone named Nancy.

Nancy is the mother of one of my closest friends. Last month she moved from her home into an assisted living facility in another state (close to her daughter). I went with my friend to see the facility a few days before her mom moved in. It’s a very nice place — clean, cheerful, and with a very friendly staff. But still, I know it is a tremendous upheaval for someone to move from her own home into such a different situation. I wanted to do a little something for her, sort of a “welcome to your new home” gift. Hence the socks.

I’m offering the pattern as a freebie on my site. The pdf is available for download, here. It is also linked to from my free patterns page. It is a very easy pattern, and I thought quite fun to knit. It is made from fingering weight sock yarn and I’m offering the pattern in a wide range of sizes. I think it will look equally nice knit in a solid color or variegated because it is a simple lace rib.

I hope that some of you who download it will knit a pair for someone in assisted living, or in a hospital, or heck — just knit a pair for a friend! 🙂

And here is proof that Lucy does move from time to time.


  1. Nancy’s daughter is very lucky to have you for her friend 🙂
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..The Naked Men =-.

  2. I will take you up on that challenge! Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

  3. I’m planning to knit a pair for my friend, Nancy. Thanks.

  4. That’s lovely Wendy 🙂 Nancy’s lucky to be getting such special socks from such a special person *hugs*

  5. You have a generous heart. The socks are lovely and so are you!

  6. That is a lovely gift for someone going into assisted living. It is indeed a huge life change, a giving up of a bit of independence and usually a lot of possessions. Socks made by someone who loves her will give her a ‘warm and fuzzy’ each time she puts them on. How kind and thoughtful of you.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Her Royal Cuteness =-.

  7. Nancy's Daughter says:

    Oh, Wendy, they are so lovely!
    But your love behind them is even more beautiful!
    Thank you so much for starting this chain of love socks and naming them in Mom’s honor!

  8. Very Sweet!
    .-= LaLa´s last blog ..My July- In Pictures =-.

  9. KathyM in SE VA says:

    Socks are a great idea for the “more mature” folks. Circulation issues mean cold hands and/or feet pretty much all of the time. I was knitting socks in a waiting room when a also-waiting lady with heart problems said she wished those socks were for her since her feet were always cold. (This, on a day it was in the upper 90s!) I wished that I had been knitting her size.

  10. So sweet of you! Thanks for making the pattern a freebie. I think Nancy’s Socks would be perfect for a couple of people I know. Just finished your Laurel socks and love them, btw.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Friday photo- Meet Tilly Lynn =-.

  11. How totally nice of you to knit the socks for Nancy, and then to share that pattern with your readers. Thank you.

    Hugs to Lucy.

  12. Thank you, Wendy!
    .-= janna´s last blog ..But wait – theres more! =-.

  13. Thanks so much! Will make a pair to give away as well!

  14. Wendy, thank you for the lovely sock pattern. My friend will love these socks.
    .-= Bess – Texas Knitter´s last blog ..In Memory =-.

  15. Thank you so much for this!
    Will make a pair for my mum cos she will like them.

  16. This is a beautiful pattern, and thank you for sharing it. What a nice idea too – to make socks for someone in a nursing home or assisted living. A cozy pair of hand-knit socks. (Warm the feet and the heart!)
    .-= Christina Bieloh´s last blog ..Summer at the Waterpark =-.

  17. Thanks for the free pattern. Next time I need to knit power socks I’ll use your pattern.
    .-= southparknitter´s last blog ..Double Double Dressin’ Trouble =-.

  18. You know what a rockstar we all think you are, but if we had any questions, this just proves the point! You are one of my heroes.
    .-= Lynda´s last blog ..I was doing so well =-.

  19. That’s very sweet; what a wonderful gift.

    But wait! How do we know that’s a second sock, and not just a second picture of the first sock?


    Good on ya.
    .-= pdxknitterati/MicheleLB´s last blog ..knitting a blue streak =-.

  20. These are beautiful socks. Thank you for making them for your friend’s mother and for making the pattern available for us.

  21. Beautiful socks,love the color. As I have said many times, you are extremely generous and loving. What a nice thing to do for someone. Thank you for the pattern.

  22. Sandra D says:

    Nancy’s socks are lovely. Thanks for making the pattern available. I’m going to do as you suggest and make a pair for someone.

  23. Irishwasherwoman says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pattern, Wendy. Nancy will be quite the fashion maven in her new home.

  24. Celestine says:

    What a nice and generous gift. When I had to place my mother in an assisted living facility, I asked permission for my knitting group to meet there. The residents really enjoyed participating with the knitters because it gave them the opportunity to tell us about all the things they had made thru the years. We always had a show and tell for them and they loved touching everything. Yarn can speak to the heart.
    Win/win for all of us.

  25. Very nice! And socks are like a home coming, cozy and warm…and they are pretty to look at, not to mention feel very good on the ole feet!

  26. Beautiful! Thanks for the pattern!

  27. You are a very special person in many ways and thanks for making the pattern available – I have 3 different colorways on order and didn’t have a pattern in mind – was going to start looking through your books but I am certainly going to use one colorway for this pattern. and glad Lucy found time to spruce up for her photo.

  28. Thank you for the sock pattern! It is beautiful, just like you. I feel sure that Nancy will enjoy wearing them and feel the love that is knitted into each stitch. It will help to make the transition a little easier ( although it never is). You rock!

  29. Wendy,
    Thanks so much for the “freebie”! Socks have been my favorite knit ever since I found your book on toe up method. At last I can knit the durn heel and not have big gaps. so a second thanks.

  30. Once again, thank you for your generosity in giving us the pattern for the
    lovely Nancy’s socks.

  31. Thanks–especially for the increased gusset (hate picking up stitches) and the lace pattern in words (don’t like charts much, either!) I’m going to knit this at the family reunion in two weeks, and I’m sure I’ll get orders from all the sibs and sibs-in-law (and maybe for a few elderly MILs, too!)

  32. Mary Tole says:

    I’m sure the socks will cheer her and she will be the envy of her neighbors. Thank you for the pattern as well.

  33. Wendy, thank you for this lovely pattern.

  34. Thank you so much. I have a rent-a-mom, named Nancy. She has always been the closest “mother” to me. My mom and I have never been close, and Nancy has filled in daily since I was very young. She loves me just like I was her daughter, she taught me how to quilt, shop and survive the real world. I have been thinking of what to make her now that I have a few years of experience in knitting and then this morning all of it was solved, what a lovely gift for a lovely and very loving person. She could never have children, so I was her rent-a-daughter and we shopped and did things that mother/daughters do. I have been so blessed by her and now I can give her a very special gift.

    Thank you!!

  35. Scarlettcrafty says:

    I hope Lucy does not use up too much energy cleaning & moving around. She needs her beauty rest! Speaking of socks… I always have socks going- rarely without one on a set of needles. I quilt with a group of girls and we have been great support for each other as none of us have our mothers/fathers nearby. We made a “comfort quilt” (blocks the group made & then pulled it all together & one of the gals quilted it) The comfort quilt has been through a child going off to the navy/ a child in trouble & going to court/ one of the quilt girls has leukemia/ parents passing away. I’m sure you get the picture. This year I am making socks for each of the girls for their birthday. They are my family away from home.

  36. Those are terrific!
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..making put in extra fun =-.

  37. Thanks Wendy! that was very nice of you.

  38. Elizabeth J. says:

    Thanks so much for the sock pattern. I’ll probably name mine Chrissy’s Socks for my daughter. I’ve only completed one pair of socks that exactly fit me. It took a lot of trial and error for me to accomplish that! I am much better at knitting socks for other people.

  39. Thanks for the pattern, Wendy! I will definitely knit a pair for someone in need. What a great way to “pass it on.” You’re the best!

  40. Thank you for the sock pattern – it’s so pretty!

  41. Thanks, Wendy! You’re so good to us. Lovely sock!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Week 31- Beautiful Death =-.

  42. Bertha Mallard says:

    We are all blessed to have you in our lives. Thanks for the sock pattern.

  43. Once again, thanks, Wendy, for sharing! These socks are lovely, and the pattern looks like one that even I can handle. I have a couple of “mature” friends who complain about cold feet, too, so I’ll probably make several (even one for me)!

  44. Thank you for your generosity…for your lovely gesture to Nancy and sharing the pattern with us!

  45. A very sweet and thoughtful gift. Thank you for sharing the pattern with us and I look forward to knitting them for someone.

  46. thanks for the sock pattern…will be making a pair to give…..glad you are knitting socks again…my favorite…

  47. thanks so much for the Nancy sock pattern! Will definately use the pattern for a gift to my friend who completed her cancer treatments!

  48. Oh Wendy, what beautiful socks and made in my favorite colorway. I don’t have an elder person around me but when I do I’ll make them a pair of these socks.

    Thank you for giving us this pattern.

  49. Thanks for this beautiful pattern. Nancy is one lucky lady to have a talented, thoughtful friend like you. This is the perfect pattern for some hand painted yarn I bought in Lancaster County over a year ago. I’ve been waiting for the perfect pattern and finally I’ve found it. I wanted summer socks. Thanks so much for the extra small size. I have a size 5 1/2 narrow foot and it’s hard for me to cut down a pattern when the needle size is a zero. Thank you for making this one on size one. That gives me some wiggle room.

  50. Theresa in Italy says:

    What a thoughtful gift, and what a lovely pattern to express it. Thank you!

  51. Thank you, Wendy, for the lovely pattern, and the wonderful idea to knit a pair for someone with cold feet. You are a very generous person besides being such a talented knitter and designer. And it is nice to know that Lucy moves once in a while!

  52. Wendy thank you so much for the link to Knit Circus. They give terrific customer service and I am all set printing out patterns and enjoying what a wonderful treat this online magazine is. Thanks, Bunny

  53. Hi Wendy –

    I’d love to see you write about how you determine heel stitch counts based on different total stitches of the socks (ie – when you have a sock with 64 sts, or 66 sts, or 56 sts, etc). Is there a basic formula for calculating the heel rows when you start the shaping? On the same note, determining the number of stitches to cast on for the toe.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Cuddly Wuddly =-.

  54. Thank you for the pattern – indeed because of the ease of the pattern I will easily knit this up for a cousin (who unfortunately has just started a battle w. breast cancer). Your thoughtfulness is truly appreciated!