My current work in progress:

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


A Knotty Issue

Over the weekend I got email from a knitter who is also a knitting teacher, Sarah Peasley.

Sarah mentioned that different designers have you do different things with the weaving in of the ends of wool. She reminded me of the following:

In Ann Feitelson’s book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, she suggests, when changing colors, break off the old color and knot the new color to the old with a square knot, leaving an end 1/4 inch to one inch long. She goes on to say that the strength of the square knot combined with the slight felting that occurs when the garment is washed makes this work and stand the test of time.


I remember hearing about this technique but had forgotten it again. I’ve never tried it because, like so many knitters, the idea of tying a knot in my knitting seems like heresy! But I also don’t like weaving in ends because of the slight added thickness it creates. And time I spend weaving is time that I’m not knitting!

Hmmmmmm . . .

In Oregon the colors change at least every second row, so I’m thinking the sleeves of this sweater will be a very good place to try out knotting instead of weaving! Aren’t you all excited?

Good Knitting Karma!

That’s what I must have, because look what I got in the mail:


What a nice surprise! This was sent to me by my blogbuddy Joe, of Simply Knit. This is the new Simply Knit Jamieson book that Joe has talked about in his blog. It’s a beautiful book, beautifully photographed, with beautiful designs. Did I use the word beautiful too many times there? My favorite design in it is “Stuffed Olive” and not just because I like martinis. By the way, I got a Patternworks catalog in the mail yesterday too, and this book and kits from this book were available there.

Thank you Joe!

And if that weren’t enough:


Ohmigod! Ohmigod! Ohmigod! I’m hyperventilating here. I got this in a trade with the lovely and generous Caroline. Thank you Caroline! I spent a fair amount of time drooling over this gem last night.

Yesterday on the train I was working on my sock. I looked down, and noticed how great it looked, lying against the scarf Emma made for me:


Don’t they look purty together?


  1. please, please, tell all about the starmore chart book. unless i win the lottery, i don’t think i’ll ever see it!

  2. Hi Vanessa — I’ll do a review of it tomorrow.

  3. Wendy, glad you like the book. I was impressed with it as well. Just so you know, I placed an order with Joselyn for some of the yarn you’re doing your sock in. Two hanks in two different colorways. I can’t wait to start working with it.

  4. Cool! Another reminder of how much fun Wendymonth was! Everyone did a great job on the variety of gifts, but the color coordination was serendipity!

  5. Joe, I got my new patternworks catalog in the mail yesterday — have you seen it? The Simply Knit kits look great in there too!

  6. Forgot to say — I got email from Joslyn yesterday, thanking me for the flood of orders she’s gotten after I mentioned the Dancing Feet sock yarn on my blog. Joslyn, if you’re reading this, I’ll gladly take my commission in yarn! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Caroline F says:

    I love Ann Feitelson! She’s so practical. I do exactly what she says, I just tie my knots at the color changes and trim them short and leave them there. No ends. I always thought this meant I was lazy but if it’s in someone’s knitting book then it must be OK!

  8. I’ve used that square knot theory with spit-splices too. After I separate the plies,I square-knot the strands together at staggered intervals before I do the spit splice and I never notice the knots–it’s a smooth join.I’ve only done it with fine wool though.

  9. What I want to know is how could Caroline *BEAR* to part with that AS book?!!??!! I think they would have to bury me with it!!!

  10. I’m looking forward to seeing the posts today…I’ve been doing a combination of cutting and leaving the ends and spit-splicing where it seemed to work best. Meg Swansen talks about spit-splicing in Sweaters From Camp. I love it – makes me feel like a salty Appalachian woman spitin’ and knitin’!

    L-B you write that after you separate the plies, you square-knot the strands together at staggered intervals before you do the spit splice…I’m trying to envision where you are making the knots.

  11. Teresa, I unravel about 3 inches and say if it was 4-ply, I’d knot 2 of the plys at 1 inch and 2 at 2 inches. Just so the knots don’t lay on top of each other when I spit–I love that part too—permission to be unladylike!

  12. Hi Wendy – I’ve been using Feitelson’s square knot method on the Fearless Fairisle too (because I’m lazy). She says in her book that that’s the technique many Shetland knitters use. I’m looking forward to seeing how you think it measures up against weaving in the ends.

  13. It’s nice to see that there are some “knotters” here. I look forward to trying it out!

  14. I almost always weave in my ends, just because almost everyone says you’re supposed to. I’ve done some spit-splicing, too, but it sure gets you funny looks if you knit in public. Occasionally, though, I’ve found an existing knot in a skein of yarn, particularly novelty yarns, and I just knit right past it. It’s made me feel like I can make knots if I need to. (For example, a moth or *something* bit or cut through one strand in the cuff of a sweater I made my son before it was even finished — I pulled the ends out just enough to tie a knot in it on the inside, and I dare anyone to criticize it!!!)

  15. Just reread your entry – have you ever tried the Philosopher’s Wool color change? You weave in the new color as you knit and then weave out the old as you knit — no ends at all. You just have to remember to pick up your new color 6 stitches before the end of the round. Doesn’t get over the thickness issue, though.

  16. Okay, I confess, I spit splice when changing colours. Occasionally I don’t, but this is only when the colour I need to be changing to is a vast change in tone (dark green to light green). But if it’s a dark to a dark, I spit splice to have the colour mix fall at the steek, if I’m steeking.

    I may be lazy. It’s likely. But I’m blind enough that I can’t see it from several feet away even with my glasses on, so that’s good enough for me.

  17. Hey, if it works for you, Katherine!

    Andrea, I haven’t tried the weaving method — because i’m a floater, weaving is abhorrant to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Oh,Wendy, can’t we convert you to the world of knitting and spitting? ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Hey, I spit. I cuss and drink, too. I’ll spit splice a one-color sweater, but it’s too labor-intensive for a fair isle where the color changes every other row. Call me lazy.

  20. I mostly do the spit-splice on lace knitting. The cussing and drinking method has come in handy on the Fulmar sweater!