My current work in progress:

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


May Contest

Happy Monday all. May I present . . .

. . . drum roll . . .

The May Contest


Here’s what you gotta do. Using 8 characters or less, email me (see the contact me link in the sidebar) your choice for a personalized license plate. Said personalization must have to do with knitting. One entry per person, please, and I’ll draw a name after 5pm on Friday, May 16.

The Prize

The prize for this contest was generously donated by a reader who asked to remain anonymous. (But I can tell you that it is no one connected with Knitty, in case you were wondering if this was an advertising ploy. It ain’t.)


An adorable Knitty license plate frame and bumper sticker. See how the contest and the prize go together so well? Aren’t I clever?

Lunch with a Knitter

On Friday I had the good fortune to meet in person Pamela McGarvey, a knitter I previously knew only through online contact. Pamela emailed me and very kindly offered to take me out to lunch. We met on Friday and had a lovely lunch, lots of knitting talk, and I got to see her great MDS&W photos. Thanks, Pamela!

Photographic Memory . . . huh? I Forgot the Question

I mentioned last week that I easily memorize charts for arans. In my comments Friday, a question on exactly how it is I do that.

For the most part, aran designs are symmetrical around a center design, one side sometimes mirror image of the other. After I do the set-up row, I scrutinize the chart. It’s easy for me to memorize what the cable twists are and on what row they occur. Generally each pattern on an aran is divisible by the same number. For example, you might have a motif that has an 8 row repeat, one with a 12 row repeat, and one with a 24 row repeat. If the 8 row repeat has a cable twist on row 7, I put in my head that on row 7, 15, and 23 I have to do a cable twist on that 8 row motif. So I define all the motifs according to the one with the most rows. Make sense?

After one pattern repeat, I have each motif memorized (and it usually doesn’t take as long as a full repeat to do that). I just have a really good memory. I can still remember every word of the Christmas pageant my second grade class put on (and that was a million years ago).

A few years ago I won a bet with my brother — he refused to believe that I could recite all the lyrics in the Who’s rock opera Tommy. So I did.

What can I tell you? It was New Year’s Eve and we were drunk.

Oh . . . I almost forgot

I finished St. Mortiz yesterday, didn’t I?


Happy Mother’s Day To Me


Meet my new furry friend, Lucy. She’s a two-and-a-half-year-old Siamese Himalayan mix kitty. She just came to live with me at 7:00pm last night, so we are still very new friends, getting to know each other. More about her tomorrow!


  1. Congratulations on Lucy! You won’t be lonely…Siamese talk a lot!

    And, congratulations on your beautiful St. Moritz! It’s gorgeous!

    What’s your record for completing a sweater? This one must be close to killing it…

    Looking forward to following along in your next project.

  2. Hmm…so now I’ll spend the rest of the day pondering what your next sweater may be. I don’t have a photographic memory; did you mention that already?

    St. Moritz looks great.

  3. What a great Mother’s Day event to receive your Lucy on Sunday! I’m glad for ya! And glad for the lucky Lucy.

  4. That was a sudden finish to St.Moritz ! It looks beautiful.
    Wishing you and Lucy many happy years together.

  5. Congratulations on your new feline companion. And on finishing St. Moritz! That was fast.

  6. Oh my goodness, Lucy is *gorgeous*!! Congratulations! And congrats on finishing St Moritz, it’s beautiful.

  7. vanessa says:

    i hope we get to see lucy’s face soon! she looks lovely.
    st.moritz if fabulous! do you think dale’s are easier to knit than fair isles, or just different?

  8. Hehe..she is adorable!! ๐Ÿ™‚ That is great, Wendy. And as someone else said, she’ll talk a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unless her Himmie side is more dominant, they don’t talk quite as much. Hopefully you won’t have any 3am wakeup calls like I do from Max. I swear there is some Siamese in there somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Moritz looks great!

  9. Well, ain’t she a cute li’l bundle of kittyness! So…uh…will you be spinning any yarn from her coat?

  10. Shannon says:

    Yay!!!! New furry friend!!!!

    Wow! St. Moritz done already? Wish I could knit that quick. I’m still working on my second sock(for 2 months now).

    What’s next?

  11. Hey guys! Thanks for all your comments on Lucy. She’s still very shy (she was hiding when I got up and left for work this morning) but she did hop up on the bed a few times during the night, purring. She’s had a rough life, so she’s understandably timid — I’ll tell you more about her tomorrow. And I’ll try to get a photo of her face at some point. She has beautiful blue eyes and is slightly cross-eyed, in Siamese fashion. I think she also has a kink in her tail. She has a quiet little non-Siamese voice, but she does talk.

    I did St. Moritz in 19 days — I think that’s as fast as I’ve ever completed a Dale — and there were a couple days I didn’t hardly work on it!

    Next up? Roscalie cardi!

  12. Kristin says:

    Awwwww! Lucy is beautiful. I’m sure she’ll settle in real soon and realize what a wonderful home she’s in now. I’ll bet it won’t take very long either!

    Wow, St. Moritz is already done? Is that a world record? You are SO fast, girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Great job!

  13. Catherine says:

    Lucy is a lovely girl. Have you ever had a Siamese or Siamese mix cat? Now the fun really begins.

    The speed at which you knitted St. Moritz makes my head spin. What a great Kickin’ Around in Jeans and Cowboy Boots” sweater!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    First of all, congratulations on finishing St. Moritz. What can I say-it’s beautiful!!! Now looking forward to your next piece of art.

    Love Lucy! You know, my daughter adopted a mix Australian shephard when she was a sophomore in college so she would have a buddy in her apartment. Guess what she named her? Lucy— I thought at the time, where in the world did she ever come up with a name like that for a dog. Well, it fits her! Here it is 8 years later—Alicia is in Germany and Mom and Dad have Lucy living with them. I hope you get as much pleasure with your Lucy and we do with our Lucy.

  15. Lucy is beautiful! I’m so glad for you. I hate to confess it, but I USED to know every word to Tommy. My best friend and I used to play that album over and over again. Unfortunately, we weren’t drunk…

  16. Catherine, my family has had Siamese cats from the time I was 12 years old to the present — my parents have two sealpoint Siamese kitties right now. I’ve always loved “Meezers” and am so happy to have one of my own!

  17. Lucy is gorgeous! And did you notice she color-coordinates with St Moritz? even the blue eyes.

    I’m glad you had her come on mother’s day, sounds like a very good omen.

  18. Welcome Lucy! What a pleasure to meet you, after hearing so much about your expected arrival! She is lovely, Wendy… I’m sure you two will have many happy times together.

    St. Moritz is complicatedly beautiful (is that a word?) Gorgeous work as always!

  19. She does coordinate nicely with St. Moritz, doesn’t she?

    I had just cast on for Roscalie when she arrived. I got virtually no knitting done after she came, but she did rub her face rapturously against my ball of 2-ply Hebridean.

    Roscalie and all the wool are in a zip-top knitting bag, firmly zipped shut, just in case Lucy thought she might do a little knitting while I’m at work. Don’t know how she’ll be around the yarn and needles!

  20. What a BONUS DAY for you Wendy!! New “baby” and a vew sweater. Both are beautiful. I’m so glad the adoption agency guy was able to fit you into his schedule and bring Lucy home.

    Looking forward to more pics and your new project.

  21. A question before St Moritz fades away… I noted that you knitted the sleeves from the bottom up. I’m sure that is the traditional method for a Dale and probably the correct method. Any reason you can’t pick up stitches from a steek and knit from the top down as in various Starmores? Just curious as to why you chose the bottom up method.

    Beautiful sweater as always.

  22. Anne, knitting from the cuff up and sewing into the armhole is the way Dale sweaters are done. You don’t knit armhole steeks — you simply knit the body as a tube (with neck shaping of course) and afterward, measure down the sides for the depth of the armhole, then machine stitch a four-stitch-wide area for the armholes and cut them open. There are no extra steek stitches, therefore it’s not really feasible to pick up stitches and knit down.

  23. Hi Wendy – what an adorable new kitty you have! I am also very excited about a new pet – my parents just got a new puppy (check out my blog for pics – she’s a sharpei mix) and I will be going home in June to see her. New members of the family are so fun. Wish I could have one myself, but those crazy landlords in New York can be a pain when it comes to pets.

    Your knitting is gorgeous – you’re an inspiration to me as a new knitter who just finished her first project last night (a scarf – not much compared to your St. Moritz. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will get there someday!

  24. Wow, Wendy, that was fast! Congrats on another beautiful sweater!

    Lucy is a beauty. I’ve always loved Himalayans, and it’s so great that you were able to rescue a kitty who needed a good home. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun getting to know each other. Watch out, though — those young cats have a lot of energy. (Mine are almost 5 and they still thunder around the house like a stampeding herd of elephants!)


  25. Hi, Wendy! Congratulations on Lucy! She looks just lovely. If she’s brave enough to stretch out on a chair with you already, she’ll settle in very quickly. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a happy start for her. You blew me away with St. Moritz, too. It was like “Poof! Presto magico! Finito!” ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. What a sweet bashful kitty. I am sure she will be posing for the camera just like Izzy. The St. Motitz looks great. Wow you work fast!

  27. Shirley says:

    Both Lucy and St. Moritz look wonderful – congratulations. I had a Siamese cat with a kink in her tail for 22 years. She was the true ruler of the household, and helped me raise two children and various other critters that came into the house. Don’t let Lucy’s tiny voice fool you – I rescued a Chinese Crested puppy two years ago that had been mistreated and was told she didn’t bark, only made a small sound. Ha! She is the noisest dog I have ever had, she just needed confidence and love to bring it out.

  28. Wendy I have a question re Aran knitting and blocking. Before I started the Aran Pullover from “Knitting for Baby”, I swatched for gauge in seed stitch as directed (I’m using Mission Falls 1824 wool). However, after knitting 11″ of the back, I measured the width and it’s off by 1&3/4″. This is my first Aran and I’m wondering if I just block it out to the correct width, or if I should just go down a few sizes to get the correct length to width ratio?

    I’m so grateful to you for adopting an older kitty – it breaks my heart to see the older ones in Petco. St. Mortiz is georgous and blends beautifully with Lucy.

  29. WOW! The St.Moritz is wonderful as all your other knitted sweaters! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Lucy looks lovely, I hope you become great friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. WoW!
    Congrats on finishing St. Mortiz (beautiful!) and on the new addition to your family!

  31. Cheryl F. says:

    We Love Lucy!! Congrats! St. Moritz is awesome–your needles must still be smoking from the fast work you made of it. Inspired me to start back on the sleeves for my Dale cardi.
    I’m sure Lucy will come around. Our 17 lb Maine Coon (Mr. Bigglesworth-but he’s not bald)would hide behind the pillows on our bed the first week we had him–he has a little kink in the tip of his tail, too.

  32. I’ll add my congrats to you for the quick finish of the St Moritz, and also for bringing home your new baby.

    Your speed and skill amaze me.

  33. St.Moritz is beautiful. And super that you’ve got a new friend. I’ve always liked Siamese and I know you’ll be happy with her.

  34. Barbara Syvia says:

    When I knit an Aran I copy the chart or translate the directions onto graph paper. When I am done doing this, I have internalized the pattern and rarely have to refer to it. This seems to work for visual learners.

  35. HOORAY! Lucy’s lovely and no doubt loving and lovable. I bet your percentage of cat hair in sweaters will increase, and that’s A-OK. And your St. Moritz will still be beautiful when autumn comes and it’s cool again to wear it. Congrats.

  36. Roi, I wouldn’t count on blocking to correct the dimensions. I never block arans because I don’t want to smoosh the texture patterns (just a bit of steam here and there as needed). I think you’ll be happier with the results if you adjust needles size.

  37. Oh, congratulations on finishing St. Moritz and on your new kitty friend! Lucy looks beautiful – I hope she is settling in ok!

  38. Yay Lucy!

    Siamese cats are the *best*. Seriously. My family had them all through my growing up years – they are smart and funny and talkative and have really distinctive personalities.

    Sam, the cat we had when I was growing up, had a hard life prior to coming to us – he spent a couple weeks holed up under my mom’s dresser and only came out at night to eat and use the box. Eventually, though, he realized he could trust us – and he became the biggest sweetest baby ever.

    I bet it won’t take long for Lucy to really become affectionate.

  39. Suzanne says:


    Not only I am impressed by the beautiful knitting in your St. Moritz, but you amaze me with how quickly you do your seaming. You don’t seem to procrasinate at all like a lot of my knitting friends and I do. You just sew it together right away and complete it! That is definitely something I need to start doing.


  40. Hey Wendy; Good work finishing Hank 8.

    ooops. You cranked out another one while I wasn’t looking! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’m kidding of course) I’m so glad you enjoyed your Xmas/B-Day present, but couldn’t you have stretched it out a little longer… ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. 1/2 siamese are fantastic, they talk to you about everything! I adore them, she looks beautiful too, have fun with your new friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Congrats on your new feline family member! Did she come with the name Lucy or did you name her that?

    I used to have a Himalayan-Birman mix & she wasn’t a big talker..a big cuddler though… our 2 cats, Liberty & Dumbledore are a strange pair of brothers: Liberty has the siamese coloring but not the body shape: he’s fluffy & soft & his fur is sooooo soft…Dumbledore is black & white & sleek & sphinx like & has a piercing voice & sometimes gets a bit loud…

    It’s a good thing that you get to skip the kitten stage: L&D sometimes tear through the house at top speed and it doesn’t matter who or what is in the way… I’m quite looking forward to the lazy slug stage (and yes, I know adult cats can be playful: one of our 3 yr old girl-cats ir pretty playful!

  43. Thanks Wendy, I’ve never blocked Aran before and since I love the depth of my cables as compared to the pics of this sweater in the book, I’m not going to change needle size but just knit to the dimensions diagramed in the book – which means I will be knitting to a size smaller than for the number stitches I cast on for. The engineer in me loves the challenge of doing things differently than instructed:)

  44. Hooray for Lucy! and Bravo from a fellow cat lover!
    Hooray for St. Moritz! and Bravo for creating such a beauty in a flash
    Hooray for Wendy – as Cole Porter wrote, you’re the top, you’re the colliseum, you’re the top, you’re the Louvre museum!

  45. Hi Wendy,
    WELCOME HOME to Lucy!!
    She is just SO beautiful!! I must say I am a wee bit prejudiced as My Teakie and Soonie are Siamese and I work with Siamese Rescue. They are, truly, the loves of my life!! I wish you and Lucy the very best of everything and the most wonderful life.
    Beth (and Teakie and Soonie)

  46. beautiful cat, beautiful sweater… and that nice, light fur will be a lovely addition to your *next* project. happy mother’s day! selma

  47. What a great kitty kat! :^) So glad you have a new pal & I love the St. Mortiz sweater — it’s awesome.

  48. Oooooo….. I love St. Moritz!!! But I must admit I love Lucy a bit more!! Congrats on both! If I had my way… I would have a himmie right now but my hubby shreiks at the thought of long haired cats (though Maggie is shorter haired of the two, she sheds like CRAZY!!!). I have had long haired cats all my life (IMAGINE: HUGE Maine Coon cat with LOTS of fur…. wish I had the fur for yarn…), and my hubby has always had short haired cats. We are always debating about this… Perhaps when we decide on a new baby….

    I am so happy for you!! And right on Mother’s Day… What a wonderful fate! Many fabulous wishes for you and your Lucy!

  49. St. Moritz is beautiful, as is everything you do!

    Talk about knitting animal hairs into sweaters; that will be happening on a grand scale now!

    Good luck!!

  50. Congrats on Lucy. She is so cute. My grandmother had a siamese named Ting a Ling when I was a child, a really nice cat. I will enjoy seeing more pics of Lucy.

    St. Moritz is beautiful. Can’t wait to watch your next project unfold.

  51. Barbara says:

    Sounds like you had a good weekend! St. Moritz turned out beautifully. And I’m glad Lucy arrived for you. From what I can see in the picture she is a very lovely kitty.


  52. Fitting to makes friends with a new kitty on Mother’s Day. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure she’ll be a delight!

  53. WOW!!! Gorgeous!and it practically knit itself…

    Pretty kitty. I can’t wait to see more of her.

  54. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful day you had! She is one of the most beautiful kitties I have ever seen (Isolde and my cat of course being on the list as well). Enjoy her, she looks like a sweetie. Congratulations on St. Moritz as well, it is so well-done. Your work on it makes me want to knit one myself.

  55. By the way glad you got to meet Pamela, she has great taste in wine. ;->

  56. Corinne says:

    Lucy is beautiful!

    Siamese are part cat/dog/and human. We have two: a lilac point (Lilac Lavender Ears) and a seal point(Brown Sugar Magnolia). They are very *active* and loving. Congratulations,

  57. Yea Wendy and Lucy! I have two color-points (Siamese mixes, a blue and a lynx)they are wonderful. We got them from Va Siamese Rescue Center 2 months after we lost our two “geezers” within a day of each other last fall.

    St. Moritz is gorgeous!

  58. Hi Wendy! Lucy looks just like our cat Ariel. We don’t know exactly what breeds she is, we just call her the Burmese cat because she fits the personality description-she always wants to lay on us and is very loving! Ariel also doesn’t make the typical Siamese noises very often, instead she chirps! At night, she comes looking for us and you can hear, “Brrp, brrp,…” She has the same blue eyes that you described on Lucy that are just slighty cross-eyed. If she’s anything like Ariel, she will be extremely loyal to your family and very aloof to everyone else. Hope you enjoy her!

  59. Colleen says:

    Good afternoon,

    Lovely new kitty… I looked at her picture this morning and know that her name is Lucy. However, I keep thinking that her name is Grace – very strange. I am looking forward to more pictures of her soon.

    Lovely St. Moritz too.


  60. Lucy (I *love* the name!) is beautiful. She looks like a ragdoll. Can’t wait for a “full face” shot. She looks like a real sweetie. And, about the St. Moritz…shall we just call you “wendy-whiz-o-matic?”

  61. Aww Lucy is lovely. Can’t wait to see her face and see her all settled in.
    Congrats on the finish of St Moritz. I really wanna knit one……….your fault. ;o)

  62. Lucy’s beautiful. Congrats on finding a new friend and happy belated mother’s day!

  63. Lucy is absolutely beautiful!!!!! congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚
    St. Moritz is too pretty!! can’t wait to see you modelling it too ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. What stuns me is how people can abuse beautiful loving pets. Lucy obviously has a loving nature & is already adapting to you – otherwise no stretching out on the sofa or you taking a pic. Why can’t we euthenase [sic] these monsters? Except for my childhood pal – Mitzi the corgi arrived about 2-3 months before I was born- all our subsequent animals have been rescues. A bit of love, attention & healthy living & miracles happen. Our current 2 – Joel & Jezabel are perfect examples. Have fun with Lucy & watch her blossom.

  65. Congrats on St. Moritz and being a new mommy! Enjoy them both.

  66. Congratulations on Lucy! I look forward to seeing new pictures of your friend. I’ve never regretted adopting the Aby we got a few years ago — he was also shy at first, but now he’s such a lovebug we have a hard time getting him to stop purring. Adopted cats are so very grateful; they know they’re loved and wanted by their new parent.

  67. Cynthia says:

    Happy mother’s day indeed. She’s lovely. Congratulations on your new arrival!

  68. Valerie says:


    So happy Lucy found her way into your heart and home. My sweetie pie Marty came from the Humane Society–in good shape, unlike poor Lucy. I agree entirely with your descriptive punishment of her previous owners and I am not into revenge.

    A question about knitting. I am currently knitting a Guernsey Sweater and so far so good–The directions call to bind off the shoulder stitches and put the neck stitches on a holder–can I just put the stitches on a holder and NOT bind off and do the three needle bind off on “live” stitches instead? Hope I am making myself clear. And finally, I would love to make a cardigan next–did not see it on the Virtual Yarn site and what color is that you are using–looks like a deep red.

    Thanks as always for a great site!


  69. Shirley says:

    You are an enabler! I have Poetry in Stitches but was just using it for eye candy until today’s blog entry. So what did I do – ordered the same kit because I also love that cardi.

    Aran cat and mouse knit-along – sounds like fun. I’m in.

  70. I’m in on the catnip mouse knit along. I have oogled the Poetry in Stitches books too. Congratulations on your promotion!

  71. Shelley says:

    I got so excited when I saw the Poetry in Stitches picture on your blog. I bought that kit a month or so ago from a Norgeknitter member who wanted to sell it. Then yesterday (talk about yarn calling to you) I ordered kits for sweaters on page 124 and 118. Don’t know when I will get through all the sweaters I have stashed away, but-you understand. Right now I am making Luskentyre, and I love it, it is going very quickly. I will enjoy checking on your Poetry in Stitches progress.