My current work in progress:

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




When I was a child, one of the exciting aspects of Christmas was receiving packages from far-away relatives. Heck, it’s still exciting!

The package from my paternal grandparents was always particularly alluring, for, along with everything else, it always contained one gift each for my brother and me from the “jultomte” (literally, Christmas elf).

These little gifts had tags written in what looked suspiciously like my grandmother’s handwriting, but she always insisted that the jultomte sent them to her to forward to us as he didn’t have our addresses.

What was inside when we unwrapped them was never anything very expensive — it would be a little box of maple sugar candy or a small toy, but the jultomte gifts always seemed particularly exotic.

And I know now that my grandmother was telling the truth about the jultomte not knowing our address. We haven’t received any gifts from him since her death over 20 years ago.

So today’s blog entry is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Ingrid Frantz Johansson, who put a lot of the magic into Christmas for me.

Cute doggie story

Yesterday on the train into work I was lugging my large L.L.Bean tote bag, filled with scones and coffeecake, carefully packed in Tupperware containers. There was a visually-impaired man on the train with his black Labrador guide dog, a pair I often see on my morning commute. When the man got up to exit the train at his stop, his dog rushed over and stuck his head inside my bag, obviously drawn by the aroma of the baked goods. Not bad, considering everything was wrapped up in airtight containers.

Everyone around us had a good laugh and someone said, “I bet you have cookies in there!”

A nice change from the usual commuter morning demeanor. A nice change from Tales of Transit Terror!

The return of . . .

Old Knitted Crap!

You missed it, didn’t you? Go on . . . admit it!


This is a really old one, 20 years old. I knitted this little gem from sportweight alpaca from a Susan Bates/Jaeger pattern. I remember the leaflet vividly — this was the cover sweater. It’s knitted from the bottom up in pieces, then the front, back, and sleeves are put together on a circular needle and you knit the yoke up to the neck. I finished it one night at about 2:00a.m. (remember, I was young and stupid and NOT TIRED back then) and was beside myself, because there was no one awake to show it to.

Ah, youth.


Here’s a photo of Fulmar with its one sleeve attached.


I lightened it up quite a bit to show the detail.

And lastly, Izzy is still waiting for her scone.



  1. Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. Poor Izzy… is she ever going to get a treat? Like the construction of the Fulmar. Have a good day.

  2. Izzy did get a bit of cheese last night, so she’s not as hard up as she’d like you to think!

  3. Heh, I know that feeling (old fi yoke sweater) all too well – the other night when I figured out my wheel I was just elated. But it was late and when I realized that Bill was sleeping and it was too late to call my mommy I deflated more than a little bit. Hence the late night blogging – I know I can always count on you guys to share my triumphs!
    Have a lovely day! xo

  4. Thanks Kate. It’s nice to know there are friends out there who understand the insanity you’re talking about. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thanks for the heart-warming stories,Wendy! Better perk than coffee this morning!

  6. My pleasure, L-B. It’s great having a “captive” audience! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Pretty Izzy! Thanks for sharing the stories and the scone recipe! I hope to have time to make some after the holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Caroline F says:

    Love the yoked pullover. I made one like that in the late 70s when I was still knitting with acrylic and thought I should wear brown – it was a brown body and the yoke was white with green and blue. Totally hideous. I still have the pattern but I gave away the sweater years ago. It was my first knitting in the round.

  9. Shoulder strap looks great,Wendy! Sewn on or knitted on?

  10. Knitted on ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Good! I hadn’t read ahead to that part, but I prefer that to sewing them on—much neater look in most cases.

  12. L-B, the pattern has you sew them on. But I almost always knit them on instead.

  13. What a heart-warming story about your grandmother. It’s nice to hear of other’s traditions.
    P.S. Izzy is a beauty!