My current work in progress:

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


June Contest

It’s that time again, guys and gals!

To enter the June contest, you must email me an answer to this question:

What do you think would be the perfect vacation knitting project?

Email suggestions to me via the “Contact Me” link in the sidebar. Everyone who emails me a suggestion by this Friday, 5pm EST, will be entered in the drawing to win this:


What I definitely will not be doing as vacation knitting!
A kit to knit a tiny beaded purse. Everything you need to complete the purse is included, even the needles. Knock yourself out.

Steeks for Arans?

Last week a reader asked abut the possibility of steeking an aran. I knew I had answered this question at some point in the past, so I went to Google, typed in the words steeks in arans, and my blog entry on the topic was the first result that came up. And I quote:

Now for arans, I always knit in pieces. There’s really no reason you can’t knit them in the round, but I can think of some good reasons why you wouldn’t want to.

First of all, it’s easier to keep track of your cable pattern if you’re purling back on alternate rounds. 99% of the time there’s no patterning done on the purl side of arans (except maybe for twisting some stitches). So you just knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

Reason number two is that if I’m making an aran out of worsted or heavier wool, that’s a heck of a lot of weight to be dragging around on your circular needle. Puts a lot of strain on your needle, not to mention on your hands.

And the last reason, I think a heavily cabled sweater benefits from having side seams. It adds stability to the garment.

And there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.



Yeah, I finished the first sleeve and started the second sleeve. Lots of good weekend knitting during two movies: Girl, Interrupted, and About Schmidt.

The end is in sight!

Lucy is a big help.



  1. Kristin says:

    Go, Wendy! Roscalie is looking fab, you’re so close ๐Ÿ™‚ Lucy seems to love snuggling up to your knitting…awww!

  2. you’re the speediest! i’m frustrated because i just sat here knitting a halter strap for the over-two-hours that is Shakespeare in Love… and I’m not done with it yet. you are my goddess of multitasking if you can manage to follow a chart, knit that quickly, and watch a movie at the same time.

    you popped up in a dream i had last week… and what do you think you were doing? finishing Roscalie, of course! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Miranda, couldja dream me winning the lottery? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Hi, Wendy. I really love Roscalie. I was looking at the Virtual Yarns website and saw that they don’t have it as a kit. Did you just let them know what you wanted and they put together the kit out of their new yarns? I’ve liked Roscalie since I first saw it. It’s what prompted me to track down a copy of In The Hebrides. I was just curious about obtaining the correct yarns. Any info/help will be appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Debbi, if you check Virtualyarns out-of-stock page:

    you’ll see that they list Roscalie as one of their kits that is temporarily unavailable.

  6. Chandra says:

    Thank you for the aran/steek answers, Wendy–and I promise to google my next question to make sure I’m not re-visiting prior topics . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lovely work as always Wendy… and tell Lucy not to strain herself with all of her “helping!”

    I appreciate the explanation for why Arans are not ideally worked in the round. I was considering working Cathering Parr in the round, but your advice has made me rethink the idea. I think working in pieces is just easier in general.

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog.

  8. On Aran Steeking…indeed, way too much work to knit those suckers in the round, and for the exact same reasons you mentioned. Caedmon has a few parts where I worked the wrong side row twice, I’m almost done the first sleeve and have a TON of sweater on the needles, and unless you feel like slipping stitches every other row you’ve just got a seamless heavily cabled tube. But, that being said, at at least there are no sewing of seams to worry about at the end!

  9. Cheryl F. says:

    The girls (Lucy and Rosecalie) are beauteous as is expected! Question: I know you don’t like cardigans, but I see a few Dales in your gallery. I’ve been tearing my hair out over the buttonholes in the stockinette stitch band with a facing. How do you do your buttonholes – leave stitches on waste yarn and then graft both (front and facing) together, or do them separately and blanket stitch or some other manner together? I’m ready to stick these needles into DH if he asks me once more, “When are you going to finish that thing?” Arrgh!!

  10. OOOhhh!!! You’ve now entered the Twilight Zone…

    You Googled on a Topic and you were Googled right back!

    How does it feel to be such an icon and I don’t mean like those sitting on my desktop?

    Just an enigma,
    Bonne Marie

  11. Too bad the fab kitty in the picture does not come with the kit!!

  12. Maybe cos I’m a bloke, but I like doing Arans in the round. I do a side seam (p1)& for the current vest, am playing with steeking. I’m going to have a look at your Fearless FI to see how you set up a steek, cos Ron Schweitzer assumes you know how to do that & I don’t.

    What gives with you leaving the Norgeknits moderator? I moderate justdoitknits, so won;t take on another.

  13. Lucy is so lovely, and Roscalie looks wonderful – yay! I’m not saying what I think is perfect vaca. knitting (ok, a lace scarf from that Artisan Merino Lace on, in a clear tote, like they had on the cover of their catalog…) because no way do I want to win that beaded purse kit -that’d kill me.

    But I *am* considering beaded socks…

    Your vacation knitting would be my concentrate-at-full-focus knitting, anyway, so I dare not make a suggestion!

    Have a great vacation, tho’!

  14. I have done arans both ways. It depends on the pattern and what wool I am using. I prefer doing arans in a slightly lighter weight wool than worsted, and don’t have that much trouble with the weight.

    I usually do them from the top down – because I prefer either saddle-shoulders or raglan sleeves on my arans. In this case I don’t need to steek – and unless I am doing a (very rare) cardigan it will be in the round.

    I probably would do anything superfancy back and forth, just for the row counting. My other way of dealing with row counting is putting a moss stitch diamond somewhere in the pattern and using it as my counter.