My current work in progress:

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


I’m Blue

I’m not sad, I’m blue. Literally.

This is one of the idiosyncrasies of working with denim yarn. The dye rubs off on your hands. If I were using wooden needles, the dye would rub off on the needles. I am not — I am using my beloved Signature circulars with stiletto tips. The blue does wash off the hands with a bit of scrubbing!

The yarn is Rowan Denim, in the Memphis colorway (colorway 229). This is the medium blue. I have a ton of it and it is a good thing because I have embarked on a large project.

This is the back in progress.

It’s going to be a jacket or a coat. I guess you’d call it a coat because it’ll be long. The pattern is my own — I put together some cable motifs and started knitting.

The jacket/coat will have an a-line shape and will have a crew neck, long sleeves, and button down the front. While I’ve got a fair amount of work done on the back, there is still a lot left to knit. So this is most definitely a “long haul” project.

In the meantime, if I have to have blue hands, I wish the stain would form itself into pretty patterns like this:

(Those hands belong to a coworker — she got them henna-ed over the weekend.)

The Sock Report

You all have seen The Sock Report, yes? It’s an online magazine/pattern store. The patterns are not just for socks, but for items knit from sock yarn. The inaugural issue has socks, shawls, a pair of fingerless mitts, and some very cute toys.

Like Twist Collective, you can buy patterns singly in electronic format. You can also buy an electronic version of the entire pattern collection. And now you can also buy a hardcopy version of the pattern collection:

I received a review copy of this pattern booklet on Monday.

It contains all the patterns in the summer collection. It does not contain the articles and advertisements (apart from an ad from a sponsor on the inside front cover) — just the full color photo layouts and complete patterns for all projects. It’s a lovely production, printed in full color on nice paper, just like any paperback knitting book.

If you are someone who wants hard copies of patterns and you wanted more than two of the patterns in the issue, this is an excellent deal. Individual patterns from The Sock Report are $6.50 each. You can purchase either the electronic collection or the book for $16.00. For that $16.00 you get all 16 patterns, so that’s a deal. If you buy the hard copy, there is also a shipping charge, and rates vary depending on whether you want it sent priority mail or the slower and much cheaper media mail. And of course there are different rates for international shipping.

You can order copies of individual patterns, the electronic pattern collection, and the print pattern collection from this page.

As I said, the book is very pretty and very nicely produced. I did notice some oddities, however.

There is no Table of Contents or Index. The large photos of all projects come first in the book and the patterns follow. I think it would have been nice to include a Table of Contents for the patterns so you don’t have to flip through the book to find the instructions. At the very least, on the photo spread pages, it would be nice to have a notation: pattern starts on page xx.

All the patterns are charted and for the most part, the charts are nice and clear. But the pattern charts for each design vary in size, as they are shrunk/enlarged to fit the space on the page, something I find slightly jarring to the eye. For a few of patterns the charts are reduced quite a bit in size so that they will fit on a page. There are a couple that I think would have to be enlarged on a photocopier to make them usable.

Still, $16 for 16 very pretty patterns is a very good deal!

Lucy is checking for blue dye.



  1. That’s how my hands look after a knitting session with Swans Island yarn dyed with indigo!!

  2. Wow, the single patterns are very expensive. How would you rate the quality of the patterns?
    Molly by golly´s last blog post ..Unpredictable, but logical

  3. I do love a couple of the sock patterns and one of the scarfs. I would pay $16 to buy it all EXCEPT for the fact that I really don’t like to knit cuff down. . . I really like to be able to try on the sock as I go and make it to fit my foot. That means I can make the leg portion long as I can so that my bare “frog-belly white” leg doesn’t show when I wear pants. . .wouldn’t it be nice if they noted “toe up or cuff down” for each pattern.

  4. I had not heard of the Sock Report. Thanks!
    kmkat´s last blog post ..What is happening here?

  5. Gee, I wonder what the henna would look like with a blue overlay?

    I once went to a college football game in a pair of new jeans. It poured, and we just about waded home from there. I’m sure you can guess – when I took off the jeans, where they had been creased inward, I had dark blue stripes, along with an overall bluish tint. This would not have mattered, except that evening was one of the rare occasions when I had to wear a dress – so I scrubbed like mad to get the blue off.

  6. Also, if you look at the online version – there are short stories (not obvious but hidden in the list of patterns), and at the bottom of the blog there is a graphic for a ‘desktop’ calendar with images from the booklet, to be released a month at a time for use as wallpaper.

    Thanks, Wendy – rather a fun find.

  7. And a link for something called “String Theory”.

  8. Make that “Skein Theory”.

  9. Susan Shelly says:

    Oh no! Hope Lucy isn’t blue too! Love the Sock Report. Thanks.

  10. Who do you think you’re kidding, Wendy? You know you robbed a bank. Thanks for the Sock Report link, I hadn’t heard of it. BTW my hands were permanently blue while knitting Mystic.

  11. Tell Lucy she’s all good!
    Cleo´s last blog post ..The One and Only

  12. First I really like your coat/jacket pattern. 2nd thanks for mentioning the sock report, I hadn’t heard of it till today. You mentioned that there is no Index, that does make it inconvenient when looking for something in particular. What concerns me is I recently had an experience with an electronic product from Interweave, that too had no Index and it is done in two sections, cast on’s and bind offs so there is a lot of material to go through to find the topic you’re looking for. Hope this is not a trend of the future.

  13. Can’t wait to see your coat finished! I’ve never seen yarn do that but, it is very pretty! I will have to go and check out that web site. I like sock yarn and am always looking for something to make with it.
    FoFo´s last blog post ..WIP

  14. You have an evidence that you are knitting. On your third photo, I like the design that is on your palm.
    Alyson Hawk´s last blog post ..Try These Awesome Tips For A Great Smile

  15. I’ll have to check them out. While I like it when I can get a pattern for free or cheap, one of the things I love about Ravelry is being able to buy individual patterns from any designer who wants to sign up. The patterns I’ve bought have ranged from about $3 to $14 (and worth every penny).
    Seanna Lea´s last blog post ..The very model of a [insert anything here]

  16. My hands end up several colors after dyeing fibers( you’d think I’d learn to remember the gloves). I LOOOve the henna-ed hands.
    brandi´s last blog post ..Oh The Fiber – Irresistible Ile de France Wool

  17. I have a question, which may be dumb, but still worth asking. If you’re wearing the sweater with, say a tanktop of a short sleeved shirt underneath it, (as I wear most of my sweaters) would the demin dye rub off on your arms, the same way it does you hands? Maybe it does to a lesser degree, just kind of a blue tint, like you’ve been eating too many blueberries.
    garret´s last blog post ..Things are a little dim in this ole’ tavern

  18. Garret, not a dumb question at all.

    There are several easy ways to minimize dye transfer. In fibers like the Rowan Denim, a good soak in most wool wash formulas will release some of the “loose” dye or color that’s not fully affixed to the fiber. You can see this, because (in this case) the soak water will be tinged blue and the knitted garment may be slightly lighter in color.

    Adding vinegar to the water will help fix more of the dye to the fiber and reduce (but not necessarily eliminate) the amount of color released in the soaking/washing process. If the garment is constructed with multiple colors, some or all of which are likely to “bleed,” I would soak it first in the vinegar-water solution to try to set as much of the dye as possible before I soaked it in wool wash.

    Hope that helps. I’m sure other readers have their own handy tips to share…

  19. Sandra Kerr says:

    I bought the ebook a week ago! I loved all the shawls and the pocket pals, and I’m very excited to start on them.
    Didn’t realize it was such a recent release.

  20. I am already excited to see the final result of your knitting. Go!go!go!.
    Marcia Kin´s last blog post ..You Are Sure To Be Impressed With The Results Of These Teeth Whitening Tips

  21. Maybe it does to a lesser degree, just kind of a blue tint, like you’ve been eating too many blueberries.I like the color of this shawl…
    Abegail´s last blog post ..hydrogen peroxide

  22. If you are serious about henna hands, I’d love to do henna for you! I’m nearly local and would be happy to travel to you.

  23. Hi Wendy. I came to your site to look at your Ragdoll and I found that you have beautiful knitted items. Gosh, you are talented. Love the denim jacket. Anyway, we’re getting a Ragdoll kitten (that we put a deposit on) tomorrow. We have to drive deep into Amish country to get her from Amish breeders. I do not know enough about Ragdolls to know what coloring/pattern she is. I keep looking at her pic (on the blog) and think it looks like she’s a blue point bi-color. But I’m not sure. But no matter—I’m so happy to get a Ragdoll that I don’t care if she’s purple with pink polka dots. Your Ragdoll cat is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
    Bo´s last blog post ..Yay! We Got The Call!!!

  24. Wendy, have you ever considered doing a denim yarn book? I love denim yarn but not most of the patterns. Mary in Cincinnati

  25. I hadn’t heard of the sock report either – thanks for sharing!
    Robin V´s last blog post ..11/22/63