My current work in progress:

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


A Christmas Sweater Story

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I knit my brother Dave a sweater. It was in a gawdawful bright blue acrylic I bought at Kmart. Knitted in a cable and rib pattern. Not a bad-looking pattern but the heinous yarn makes the sweater heinous.

My brother still has that sweater. Thirty-odd years later.

It’s got fuzzies and pulls and snags all over it. It’s matted in places with cat hair embedded in where Dave’s old tomcat used to sleep on it. But it’s in surprisingly good shape with no unravelling or holes.

In the event of a nuclear holocaust we ought to have bomb shelters knitted from Kmart acrylic.

Believe it or not, not only does he still have it, but Dave still wears that sweater.

A few years ago, his wife went on a campaign to get rid of the sweater. It offends her delicate sensibilities. Dave adamantly refused. “My sister knit this for me,” he’d explain patiently to her.

A couple years ago I knit Dave another blue sweater. This one in a soft medium blue out of Encore wool/acrylic blend, so it was still machine washable. I did a shaker stitch raglan pattern. It’s a thing of simple beauty.

I suggested that this new blue sweater could replace his old blue sweater.

And my sister-in-law tried again to get Dave to throw away the ratty old sweater. He still refuses, and he still wears it.

It does my heart proud! I’ve knit him many sweaters since that first atrocity, but that one is still his favorite.

More about Pepparkakor

I just remembered something else about pepparkakor. Make a wish and put a pepparkakor in the palm of your hand. Push down in the middle of the cookie with one finger until the cookie breaks. If it breaks in three pieces you will get your wish.

Have any of you pepparkakor lovers ever heard that one?

The Christmas Tree

In my family, my mom would always put the Christmas tree up a week to ten days before Christmas . . . with help/hindrance from my brother and I, of course. We must be pagans at heart, because every evening leading up to Christmas Eve, my brother, my mother, and I would indulge in “tree worship.” We’d have the lights on and lie on our stomachs under the tree, gazing up through the branches and inhaling the pine scent. My mother would always put the gifts under the tree as soon as they were wrapped, so we had those to consider as well.

My brother and I (egged on by Mom) would spend many a happy hour, digging through the wrapped gifts, making little mountains out of them, and deciding which on we’d open first at Christmas, which we often somewhat irreverently referred to as “The Grand Opening.”

Swedish tradition dictates that you leave your Christmas tree up until St. Knuts Day, which is around January 16, I think? But my mother always took the tree down the Sunday after January 2, which is my birthday, so I could have my birthday gifts under the Christmas tree. This always pissed off my brother, whose birthday is four weeks after mine. He thought the tree should be left up until after his birthday.

Socks in Progress!

I started working on the first sock from the handspun sock yarn Tracy sent me. Here’s a pic:


As Tracy mentioned in her blog, this is denser than commercial sock yarn. It’s wonderful to work with but it’s too dense for socks for me. I could knit it using larger needles but instead, I’m going to save it for another project, like fingerless gloves.

Happy Holidays All!


I’ll be blogging intermittently from now until after New Years. Stop in when you get a chance!


  1. That’s why I make stars from my pepparkakor – easier to break in 3.

  2. Now that’s a great pepparkakor tip! Trust another Wendy to come up with such a good idea 😀

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Izzy!

  4. Merry Christmas Wendy!

  5. Merry Christmas to you and Izzy

  6. Lindsey-Brooke says:

    God Jul, Wendy! Meowerry Christmas,Izzy!

  7. Hey, thanks you guys! Merry Christmas to you all from Izzy and me!

  8. Dear fellow pagan … !
    Wishing you and your loved ones every happiness over Christmas, and in the year to come.

  9. Merry Christmas, Wendy and Izzy. Hope your cookie breaks into 3!!!

  10. Merry Christmas Wendy! and to Izzy, too. I have been sharing all the Swedish stuff with my mother, she is really enjoying it, me too.

  11. Gorgeous Fulmar!! Merry Christmas everyone! I miss you. I have an incredibly slow connection at home. Hard to check in.

  12. Hope Santa, or whomever, was/is extra good to you and Izzy!

  13. Kathy Merrick says:

    Merry Christmas! I am part pagan as well. Few things are as satisfying as coming in from the cold to the smell of evergreen. And sniffing that enchanted scent while gazing at sparkly lights is heavenly. If only Christmas didn’t have to mean way too much time with way too many ghastly relatives. Ah, well, I’ll come home to my lovely tree and my not-quite-finished Koigu cardigan, and be quickly transported.