My current work in progress:

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



First of all, look at this adorable button that Marit made and displayed on her blog:


Isn’t that cute? Of course I love it! Thanks Marit!

And I noticed that Teresa, bless her heart, displayed it in her blog yesterday.

More on Conspiracy

Okay you guys. I finally read through all the messages you have sent back and forth about my birthday conspiracy. Wow, what fun that was! Some made me laugh, some made me (almost) cry and some made me go hmmmmmmm. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to be suspicious when Ian was gleaning information about what knitting periodicals I subscribe to and stuff like that.

So once again, thank you all. I am amazed that you all would go through all this just for little ol’ me. And I am mighty impressed by Kate’s sneakiness and powers of organization. Kate, if you ever get sick of knitting I know I could get you a job with the U.S. government if you ever wanna relocate to DC and become a U.S. citizen.

And of course, if it wasn’t for Amy, none of this would have happened in the first place. So thank you Amy, not only for this, but for giving me a creative outlet in Knitty.

And Caroline, I printed out the database per your instructions — thanks!

It’s hard to know when I figured out what was going on . . . early on someone made reference to “Wendymonth” which made me remember the exchange on Amy’s blog. So I guessed that the whole thing started in Toronto . . . and I was right.

Once again, thank you all. I love you guys. Sniff, sniff.

I’m an Ore-Goner

I’m working on the little trees on the Oregon cardi. I love this. Fair isle is so totally addictive, dude! For the trees you change the foreground color every two or three rows, which keeps things very interesting.


And here, in response to requests, a photo of the wrong side.


To Float or To Weave?

That is the question. I used to weave. But no longer. Now I float, always. Even for long stretches, like ten stitches. As long as I make sure I’ve got my stitches spread out well on the needle while I knit, I have no problem with tension. I find that weaving sometimes shows on the right side. At least it does when I do it. When working with shetland wool, floats adhere to the back side of the work with no problem, so you don’t have a bunch of messy loops like you might think.

What do you all think? Are you floaters or weavers?

Sock Doldrums

Yep, I’m still knitting socks! I’m coming down the home stretch of a pair I’m making from the Lang Jawoll that Sabine sent me. It’s taking a little longer than usual. I only knit on my socks during lunchtime at work and on the train. Lately I’ve been having more problems than usual with motion sickness on the train (blurk!) and therefore am getting less knitting done. (Probably more than you wanted to know, eh?) Sigh. So the socks are progressing more slowly.

Virgin Sweater

Thanks for all your kind comments about said sweater! I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, myself.

Izzy Sez Meow

And she’s very flattered by all your comments about her photo layout, frolicking with her mouse. But the truth is, she’s a tad embarrassed that you all saw her behaving in such an undignified manner. Here she is being proper.



  1. Wouldn’t you still get a slight weave effect if you’re knitting two-handed? Even if you don’t deliberately weave the right hand yarn, you’d still get a bit of it happening with the left hand (or have I got that backwards?)

    But no matter which hand, you still have some weaving happening –?

  2. I’m a two handed strander ! Don’t get any ‘weave effect’ and don’t see why you would.You don’t bring the wool up under the other strand.No more reason to ‘weave’ than if you were stranding with both yarns in one hand.
    I really,really like Oregon.
    Could we not have an international lending circle for the pattern ? ;-]

  3. Hey!

    Glad you liked the blinkie.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The pics of Izzy with the catnip mouse looked strangely familiar. My cats are crazy about that stuff too, and they’re hilarious to watch. Funny how they seem to understand that we laugh at them, and act very offended. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Weaving and floating?! Wow… I’m learning new English knitting terms every day here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t know if I understand the difference though…? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  4. I’m lefthanded, and carry both colors in my left hand — the background on top and the foreground on the bottom. Maybe it’s something to do with the bizarre way I knit (and I do knit in a bizarre way) that makes my weaves look bad. But my floats are just fab.

    Marit, the difference is this — when you are working in two colors and have a long stretch of one color, some knitters catch the yarn not in use under the working yarn halfway through to anchor it — a weave. Other knitters do not — they leave the nonworking color loose over the stretchof the other color being worked — a float. I float. ๐Ÿ™‚

    There’s probably a better way to explain it!

  5. I am a weaver but you are my guru so I think I might convert!

  6. dear wendy, oregon looks fab! for us newbies, could you please show a photo of what your stitches look like as you stretch them on the right needle? thanks, in awe, vanessa

  7. Vanessa, you can kinda see what they look like in today’s photo — they’re stretched out on the right needle there.

    Melissa, if weaving works for you, stick with it! But it might be fun to try floating to see how you like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. i think i’m trying to stretch them too much ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Emma, I think what I mean by “weaving effect” with two-handed knitting is that the yarn held in the left hand ends up passing under the yarn in the right hand when a colour change takes place. It doesn’t seem to happen with the right-hand yarn. But no, it’s not the same as deliberately tacking down one colour mid-float…

    Although I’ve never worked a Starmore that has long floats — I can see from Wendy’s pictures that they must exist in that leaf or fern section right above the little border of crosses, where there seems to be 7 or so stitches of one colour. My inclination would be to weave, but as Wendy points out, one does risk getting some show-through which doesn’t always block out.

    However, I think I’d have to work much harder at achieving even tension like Wendy does in order to use floats effectively without the weave. Which of course, means knitting as many of them as Wendy does….(probably not possible in my lifetime……)

  10. Katherine, I think the longest float on Oregon is 8 stitches. amazing, I just knitted the leaf border this weekend and already I’ve forgotten. Sigh.

    I’ve been known to float over 12 stitches on a Dale with no problem.

    But I do have very even tension in my knitting — I think I’m lucky, I must have been born with it because I’ve never had any problems with tension nor do I remember ever consciously thinking about it.

  11. OOooooh, I love, love, love the Oregon cardigan. It’s my new favorite. i think you’ve convinced me to try floating instead of weaving on my next fairisle. I’ve only done one, so I don’t have a preference,yet.

  12. I’m a floater, definitely. I’ve tried weaving a time or two and they always show through on the right side ๐Ÿ™ Oregon is looking GOOD!

  13. I’m working on a Philosopher’s Wool sweater that calls for weaving every stitch. I’m carrying one strand in each hand. Weaving produces a very firm, dense fabric; but it’s not undesirable given the heavier weight of the yarns. However, watching Oregon grow, I am looking forward to getting back to lighter weight yarns, floats, and carrying both yarns in the left like you do.

  14. Michelle, I’d heard the the Philosopher’s method has you weaving every stitch, though I’ve never tried it.

  15. The PW method is fine once you get the hang of it (very hypnotic), but I think you might get pretty frustrated with it given the speed and ease of your current technique. If you ever do decide to try it, start with something small.

  16. Wendy,this is torture looking at Oregon progressing when I know I may never have the pattern! But, it’s oh, so beautiful! Alice has such an amazing knack for combining colors! My father(a very talented artist)was the same way and would suggest alternate colors that really enhanced my knitting–I miss that now that’s he’s gone. Re:strand vs.weave, I strand with both yarns in my right hand, but I’ve always weaved halfway across anything 6 stitches or longer. I’m going to try your way of just all-stranding on the St.Moritz and see how it looks. You’re reverse side is amazing!

  17. Proud Sponsor of Floating since 1989.
    I never got the hang of weaving anyhow! lol!
    The Oregon is wonderful! Drooling over here!

  18. Caroline F says:

    I carry both colors in my right hand (foreground underneath and background on top) and I usually float – but if I have a carry longer than 6 stitches, I’ll make a halfbaked attempt at weaving (by passing the foreground color over to my left hand and taking the weaving stitch according to the philosopher’s method, which I could show you but can’t describe). When I made my cover vest from Folk Vests, I just floated, then caught the float from above on the next row – which unfortunately caused a little showthrough when it was the light color that was woven.

  19. I LOVE this blog – this is just the kind of discussion I needed – to float or weave??? After buying the PW book, thought weaving was a more advanced method I should learn. Now feel I have permission to go back to floating, which I’ve not done in over 25 years when I knitted baby sweaters. Thanks Wendy for the pics – I love Oregon and as soon as I finish my Opal Southwestern socks and the lace stole I’m working, will “float” through my first fair isle cushion cover to hopefully bigger projects.

  20. Wendy…you must have been reading my blog while I was reading yours. Thanks for the Rosecalie info. Me thinks I’ll sign up for Fuzzy Feet today.

    The back of Oregon is awesome! And I’m lovin’ Oregon’s colorway. Yes…FI is addictive. I’m hooked. When I told Cherise the other night that I had ordered the yarn for the Shirt Tail Hemmed FI she said “you’re never going back are you?”

    Tally me in the floater catagory but I’m wondering if my vote really counts since this is my first FI and I’m a steek virgin? It’s seeing your work – especially the back – that seals my floater fate and sets the standard I’m striving to knit toward.

  21. A floater, most definitely. Although I do know how to weave, and do it occasionally for longer distances (did a sweater once with *very* long floating areas, like 20-30 stitches, and I got very good at weaving with that one). But I can’t imagine weaving every stitch.

    I’ve been having trouble with FI on small circumferences (socks, gloves), and weaving has been suggested to me as a solution, especially weaving the last stitch on each DP needle. Course knitting on two circulars has also been suggested, and although I resist this in general (I love my DPs), I’m willing to try and see if it helps working with two colors on smaller circumferences.

    And the blinkie is great! Yeah, Marit!

  22. Floating for me, for sure. I’m not a two-handed knitter, and my stranded knitting is quite presentable, but slow. I’m just not handy enough to accomplish nice two-handed results. Anyway, I don’t like the peep-through result either.
    (Wendy, I hope I didn’t make you feel brow-beaten at Joe’s place yesterday, and sorry to do this here, but don’t have an e-mail addy for you. The thought of flamees being intimidated hadn’t occured to me. Sorry)

  23. I’ve been a weaver b/c I thought it was the right thing to do but have never been entirely happy with the results. Now with The Blessing From On High, that does it: I’ve woven my last.

    I carry a color in each hand and hate, hate, hate to weave, especially the right-hand color. It interrupts the rhythm of the row. (And it sometimes peeks through.)

    Why didn’t I just say, “Feh!” and go with the floats? Uh … I dunno.

    Working on “Snow Sky” from Sweaters from Camp, no need for weaves or floats on this one, but look out! Next in line is the Poetry in Stitches cover sweater. I’m gonna float that sucker.

    Izzy, I love you, you little Catnip Slut.

  24. Catherine, in addition to being a Catnip Slut, Izzy is also a Ham Whore.

    Kathy, I welcomed your comments over on Joe’s blog. What a great discussion. As I consider myself a genteel lady, I knew better than to take your comments personally as they weren’t directed at me personally. Being genteel and all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I have been a floater and weaver and after seeing your thoughts on it I will weave no more! Floats for me from now on, especially the Coke float type! I have never cared for having my yarns get so snarled from weaving. So now I have no fear of floating. Which is good because a Poetry In Stitches child’s cardigan is coming soon.

  26. Yea, Wendy! Ta.

  27. I am working my first FI now — also a PW kit, and I am using their weave method. It is not hard at all — the only hard part has been learning to hold yarn in my right hand (I’ve always knit continental). I do get some peek-through if I don’t pull the floating color tight. I’m happy enough with it that I’d like to do another one, even though I’m still on the first sleeve!

    Wendy, you are truly inspiring! I just hope you won’t have to sell any of your sweaters to support Izzy’s catnip/ham habits! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  28. I have a Poetry in Stitches sweater that is quickly rising to the top the cue. Some of the floats in that design will end up being a little too long for my comfort so I’m probably going to catch them here and there. I think when weaving in (or catching) a float, it makes a difference whether the float is pinned by one ‘leg’ of the catching stitch or two. The PW method holds the floating yarn both sides of the stitch, that’s what makes it less flexible.

    When people say that they used to be floaters, do they mean that they used to weave every stitch or only floats longer than 5sts (or an inch)? Also, when you wove in, did you catch the yarn with half the stitch or both halves of the stitch? Clear as mud?

  29. I have to sort of vie in with Teresa. I’m on my first FI project, and I’ve had wondeful luck with weaving. Granted, much of the reason that I’m weaving is that I became interested in FI knitting after meeting Anne and Eugene Bourgois, so it just made sense to follow her technique on her sweaters. I’ve really had little trouble with my woven carries showing on the front, but our local guild coordinator swears that she can’t get any yarn but Philosopher’s not to show. I had good luck with Cascade 220 on my original practice swatches, so I’d have to say it’s a personal choice. Some folks simply don’t have very good luck with weaving. For now, I’m sold. I’m not the most careful boy, and I think I’d have to sit down and cry if I broke a thread in a sweater that I’d stranded. Yup. I weave because I’m a coward. I’m looking at the new Jamieson’s 2 book, though, so maybe I’ll give stranding a shot in some future project.

  30. Matt, I agree that it’s a matter of personal preference. To misquote Judy Collins, “I’ve looked at colorwork from both sides now” and I prefer floats. Just my preference. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nuthin’ wrong with doing whatever technique seems right for the current work in progress either.

  31. I am a floater. I forget how long my longest float is but it was when I was making the nordic christmas stocking for the hubby (which is still hanging in my living room LOL). The Dale doesn’t have many long floats — I think the longest is 8 so far, but that was just because of where the pattern met up under the arms.

    It is so lovely that everyone organized in honor of you. The only person who gives me knitty gifts is my boss!

  32. I’m new to floating and weaving. I did notice on the St. Moritz sleeve that when I weaved/twisted the yarn one way it showed through less than the other. Can remember which way now. Anyone else believe my theory?

    In Izzy’s defense, that is some powerful catnip! I have to double bag it at my house or my 16 yr old kitty, who normally has no sense of humor will shred the bag and scatter it all over the house. I triple bagged it when I sent it to Wendy because I didn’t want Thunder Kitty to get her mouse confused with the bear. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Floater or weaver? both – if it’s for me, I float; if it’s for my kiddy winkies, I weave. They’ll get caught (even if it’s very small) and just yank until it breaks. Who said they were delicate fleurs?!

  34. I’ve done both, but I think I prefer floating. I wove (weaved?!) ๐Ÿ™‚ on a white yoked sweater with fair isle (blue) colour work and some of the weaves were visible on the outside of the fabric. And I think most fair isles are designed to not have too much of a long float distance on each row. Once I get to the colourwork on my St. Moritz (I’m nowhere near that point yet), I plan to float. I also think it makes a much nicer inside of the sweater.


  1. Sleeve On

    I’m frustrated with my Oriole vest. I’m using the two-handed method of fair isle that I learned from Philosopher’s Wool, and that’s working fine – even though I’m working back and forth because the vest has a solid back so…