My current work in progress:

Rona, by Alice Starmore, knit from Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-Ply, using 3.25mm needles.

Archives for October 2005

Do You Want to Run Away to Fair Isle?

A while back, the Scottish National Trust advertised for two new tenants to go live and knit on Fair Isle. Apparently, a large number of American knitters responded to the ad. I can’t say that I blame them, can you?

Here’s a request. If you are reading this and are one of the knitters who responded to the ad, would you consider talking about your reasons with David Lister, a journalist from the Times (London) who is based in Scotland? You can contact him via this email address.

I spoke to Mr. Lister on the phone today, and told him why I’d love to go live and knit on Fair Isle, but he would be very pleased to hear from you if you were one of the many who answered the Scottish National Trust’s ad. Thanks!

Fair Isle, Take Me Away

After the past couple of days the simpler life on Fair Isle is looking better and better!

Is it just me, or have electronic systems everywhere gone kaflooey this week? Huh?

Some people with whom I have dealt seem to have gone kaflooey as well.

Seriously, Now

I’ve completed the second sleeve of the ribbed sweater. Ah, low-tech processes, you never (or very rarely) fail me! Here it is:


The Long and Winding Sleeve.

Did I sew the sweater together and call it a done deal? Why, no.

I picked this up:


The long-suffering and oh-so patient qiviut scarf. Qiviut, take me away!

An Answer . . .

Connie asked:
May I take you back to your Colinette throws and the edge of the scalloped one, please? I’m making the perugino and carrying the yarn up the side, looks really bad to me. Did you do that?/cut each change of yarn?/crochet up the edge? I’m picky and it’s a gift. Any suggestions, please? Thanks.

I cut at each change of yarn, and wove the cut ends in as I knitted. I made three AbFabs and I believe did that on each of them. I also did that on all the Colinette ponchos I made. Worked well for me!

Lucy Sez


“Please take Mommy’s camera away.”

Why, Yes, That is a Mock Turtleneck

In answer to Karen B.’s comments question.

The top of the sleeve extends to make a mock turtleneck collar. Cool, no?

I did attempt to try on my three-quarters of a sweater yesterday – yeah, that doesn’t work so good. But I did get the impression that I’m really going to like this sweater, assuming it ever gets cold enough here to wear it.

So . . . the second sleeve. Here it is.


Sorta like a deja vu from a week ago, eh?

Well, when I finish this sweater, I hereby swear to myself that I will finish my poor little qiviut scarf. But maybe not right away. I’ve got another fun little project I need to whip out. Soon as the yarn gets here, that is.

Hey, guess what else I’ve been doing?

Spinning! Wheeeeee!


This is a wool/mohair that’s been sitting on my wheel since May. I bought it the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last May from Tintagel Farm. I’ve got 12 ounces of it. I started spinning it mid-May. My goal is to have it spun up by the end of the month.

Yuh-huh. We’ll see.

Hoo-ya, it’s a full moon. Evidenced by the incredible number of things that went wrong today, and the stupidity of our IT department in their bumbling Three-Stooges-esque way of reacting.

Hope Lucy doesn’t decide to howl by the light of said full moon.

Though I wouldn’t blame her. I’m sitting here putting this music onto Neville the iPod nano:


Lucy is sitting under her lamp, trying to ignore me. But when I started singing along with the Small Faces “Lazy Sunday,” she gave me this look:


Aw, come on. My singing ain’t that bad, is it?

Buttered Ghost Hand

Phyl, last night we decided that’s what your husband should rename his band.

We had an elegant soiree last night and had this classy centerpiece on the table.


One of the guests accidentally hit it with the butter knife and exclaimed “Buttered ghost hand! Hey, great name for a band.”

Three-Quarters of a Sweater

That’s what I’ve got. I’ve got the front and back and one sleeve done, so I put those pieces together. Mattress-stitched those seams and the pieces just went together like a dream.


So there you have it.

I’m working on the last sleeve — having a lazy afternoon. I can afford to do so, because Lucy remains ever vigilant!


Wendy Needs

Just for grins, a little exercise that’s been floating around blogland. Google “[your first name] needs” and post the ten best results:

10. Wendy needs every measuring cup and teaspoon she can find.
9. Wendy needs 4 for muffins.
8. Wendy needs mental help.
7. Wendy needs to grow up.
6. Wendy needs our support now more than ever.
5. Wendy needs $300,000.
4. Wendy needs to know that doing whippets can cause frostbite of the nose, lips, or vocal cords.
3. Wendy needs help building a soccer field.
2. Wendy needs her energy for crashing cocktail parties, scoring drugs, and
fending off passes,

and my personal fav:

1. Wendy needs to calm her nerves with a f*ck.


I Am in Awe

I’m talking to those among you who have multiple projects on the needles.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I am so not cut out to have more than one project going at a time.

I direct your attention to my poor little qiviut scarf.


In the past month, I think I’ve knitted six rows. I leave it on my nightstand so I can see it, and grab it for a few rows before I go to sleep. But do I? No, I knit on my “big” project.

I think when I finish the ribbed sweater, I’ll finish the poor little scarf before I start anything new. I’ll feel so much better if I do!

And that’ll stop the scarf’s incessant whimpering. Jeez! Who knew that qiviut could be such a baby?

Speaking of the ribbed sweater, in answer to a comments question, yes indeed, it is ribbed (for her pleasure) — on the right side you k1 p1 across. On the wrong side you purl across. Makes a very pretty rib pattern.


There was another question asking why not knit it in the round. So I will now subject you to my Seams Lecture, here.

In the case of the ribbed sweater, I think seams are very much a Good Thing. This is a thick, heavy sweater. The seams will definitely give it stability.

More on Dales

A couple of you commented/emailed, verifying that you too have experienced yarn shortages for Dale patterns. Several years ago, I emailed Dale to bitch inquire why that was. The reponse I got was that Dale knits each sample sweater in one size, and then estimates yarn amounts for the other sizes. I think that they need to get a new yarn estimator!

Theresa asked:
I am wondering if you can tell me what the design is in the Torino. Every site I’ve seen it on shows it so small. I am wondering what the picture is that is inside that triangular pointed shape (like a house shape) on the front?

I’m not sure what the design is supposed to represent exactly. Even though I have a bigger picture of it. There’s a decent-sized photo on the Allegro website here — along with a not-terribly-descriptive description of the design elements.

Violet asked:
When knitting Nordic sweaters and there are a one stitch of a different color interspersed, do you carry the color along or do you add the colored stitch with the duplicate stitch? No one has ever offered to explain how to do this.

Sometimes I duplicate stitch. Sometimes I cheat in other ways. See this old blog entry for details!

I do so love a blog entry where I can regurgitate stuff from my archives!


Welcome to Sleeve Mountain

You have to be “this” tall to get on this ride read this blog entry.

We enter the WendyKnits Theme Park and see it looming in the distance: Sleeve Mountain!



Please to keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times. For there be beasties lurking on Sleeve Mountain!


At the start of the ride, please to note the neat ribbing pattern, simple yet elegant.


As we continue on, the sleeve gently flares out from the increases.


Until we reach . . .


The armhole shaping! Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!! Raise your arms and scream!

Nice neat decreases above the cast-off.


But wait! What is this?


The shoulder shaping is worked in the center of the sleeve.

Scream along with me! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Okay. We’re back on the level ground as we reach the neck. Please to remain seated until the ride comes to a full stop.


Well, what did you expect? It’s awfully hard to squeeze an exciting blog entry from a ribbed sleeve.

Here’s a sloppy preview of how the sleeve will be attached to the body:


Here a Dale, There A Dale, Everywhere a Dale Dale

Snow asked if I ever have used Hauk. I haven’t, and I’ve never even seen it up close and personal, I think. I have reservations about a yarn that is treated with the same stuff as my mom’s favorite frying pan. Just sayin’.

Barbara asked me which colorway of Torino I’m making — I’m making the lighter colorway, because the design has some texture in it — at the bottom. I thought it would show up better in the light colorway.

And Diane asked:
I was thinking of knitting a Dale sweater. Are they very hard to knit and what size needles do you use? How did you know how much yarn to order or is it on the web page some place?

Are Dales hard to knit. There are Dales and there are Dales.Some are easy, some not so easy.

The easiest colorwork Dale I have knitted was a Sirdal pullover I made for a friend. Just two colors and very easy to knit. I also knitted a Sirdal Cardigan for myself — a bit more complicated because of the front steek and application of embroidered braid.

Some of the more complex Dales? Lillihammer is one. As I recall, it has some three-color rows in it. The pattern is quite complex, but immensely fun to knit.

How does Torino rate on the Dale difficulty scale? I’d say it’s one of the more difficult Dales, as I did note that they sneaked some three-color rows into it, and the pattern is fairly complex and non-symmetrical, so it is more challenging.

The ski sweaters are made from Falk or Heilo yarn, which is sportweight, knitted at a gauge of 6 stitches to the inch. I usually knit my Dales on US size 2 for the ribbing or bands, US 3 for the plain areas, and US 4 for the patterned areas. You go up a needle size for the colorwork because the gauge tightens up a bit when you are stranding.

As for how much yarn to buy, I bought the pattern first, then ordered the yarn. But I just as easily could have called or emailed Bea Ellis and asked her how much yarn the pattern took, and bought it all together.

A word of warning about the yarn amounts specified in the pattern. I always buy the amount for one size up from the one I am making, because Dale of Norway is notoriously stingy on the amounts they specify for each size.


Check this out:


A pen that looks like Lucy, a gift from Ria. Ria, I can’t find your email address (hello, dork here) so please accept my thanks here!

This pen is so going to work with me tomorrow. I think I’ll use it to take notes during the job interview I’m conducting. That oughta freak out the applicant, huh?

Movies and Knitting

Suzanne asked:
Is your reason for not going to the theater much to watch movies related to your knitting at all? Even though, I can easily knit on simple stockinette stitch projects in the movies, I am finding that I don’t enjoy going as much I used to now that I am so passionate about knitting. I enjoy sitting at home with light and working on my more complicated projects while watching a movie these days, and I only go to the theater if it is a movie that I feel that I really need to see on a big screen.

While that makes perfect sense to me, my avoidance of movie theaters has more to do with my general disenchantment with the whole “going to the movies” thing. And my love of comfort. Ain’t nothing quite so wonderful as sitting on the couch in your jammies watching a movie. And one can pause the movie should one feel the need to waddle into the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream.