My current work in progress:

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


Aran Doldrums


A good phrase, coined by Kristin in yesterday’s comments. I’m in the midsts of Aran Doldrums.

To try to combat the doldrums, I’ve abandoned (just temporarily) my sock-in-progress and am schlepping (didja hear that, Debala?) the aran to and from work for commuter knitting, to try to make it go faster. Hey, an extra inch or two a day is an extra inch or two a day!

Yeah — I say that now. The temperature was slightly cooler yesterday — high in the mid-80s with lower humidity. Wait’ll we get back in th the 90s with 90% humidty. I’ll drop that woolen bad boy like a hot potato and be happy to have my little sock on the metro!


There’s nothing like a new book to beat the doldrums. In this case, an old book. Lookie here!


This is a Swedish knitting book that my friend Johanne in Sweden sent to me. One I’ve never seen before. There are lots of great charts inside for traditional Swedish designs. Lots of hats and mittens, as well as a few sweaters.

Max — X-treme Close-up!


For Cat, who asked nicely yesterday, a close-up of the funky side pattern on Max. It’s sorta squares with little bobbles in the center of each square. Not huge, gnarly, knit-back-and-forth-til-it-drives-you-batty-and-you-wanna-puke bobbles, but little dainty four-stitch bobbles.

Not as heinous. But bad enough.

Mouse-a-thon Update

More mousies in the mail! I’ve received mice from Pamela in Los Angeles, CA, Naomi in silver spring, MD, Stephanie in Beaverton, OR, and Debbi in East Lansing, MI. Thank you!!!!!

Fashion Crisis!

And in addition to my Aran Doldrums, I’m smack dab in the middle of a fashion crisis. Ever get that way? When suddenly everything in your wardrobe looks hideous and you want all new stuff?

Please note that this crisis does not extend to my sweater collection, so kindly do not bother to ask me to send you one or more of my sweaters. Thank you.

What is worse than a fashion crisis? A fashion crisis coupled with the desire to simplify. This has happened to me in the past. There have been times when I have taken Hefty bag after Hefty bag to Salvation Army in my frantic attempt to rid myself of Stuff. And I feel one of those urges coming on.

Help! Save me from myself! I have a huge roll of black plastic garbage bags and I know how to use them.

I am a Woman on the Edge.


  1. Jeez Wendy I can sooo relate regarding the simplify issue. I too have been having that urge….”where did it all come from? how could I possibly have bought TWO of those??”
    I am beginning to think “eBay=SELL not buy”!!
    I’m so swept up in the culture of constant spending, warehouse shopping and “gotta have it now, don’t care when I’ll use it” that it’s depressing.
    Is it just me?

  2. UGH! I get into “eject mode” too often and then months later ask myself “why did I get rid of that suit, I need it for work?” DOH! Usually, I buy myself one new suit/outfit for each hefty bag full of stuff I dontate (nice way to justify, eh?)

  3. I’m stuck at the other end! I lost about 20 pounds a while ago and still have clothes that I can’t bear to get rid of but are way too big to wear! I have half a closet full of dresses I *hope* will never fit again. So why can’t I just get ’em outta there?!

  4. Oh, Wendy, I know what you mean about getting sick of everything in your wardrobe. Perhaps it could be a “can’t wait until fall to wear all those nice sweaters” kind of a feeling?
    The bobble-lite pattern is nice…. doesn’t look as hideous as real bobbles.

  5. I need coffee…. the wording in that last sounds awful. I didn’t mean to say it looked hideous at all… I meant I thought bobbles were hideous (which makes them silly with all the work)… that texture looks neat.

  6. Re: Aran Doldrums…have you tried any of Sally Mellville’s patterns that are a sort of patchwork? There’s a vest pattern in a 1998 Knitters that looks nice and will keep you going.

    Re: fashion crisis…it’s hot, it’s August, and summer clothes never wear as well or look as nice as cool weather clothes. Wait til the weather cools down then you will pitch without a jaundiced eye.

  7. Dear Woman on the Edge,
    Wellll – never a dull moment in your blog. Just got back from vacationing in Atlanta and first thing I had to do was catch up on alll your goings on since I’ve been gone.

    The NYTimes had an article about a woman documenting her cooking journey through Julia Child’s classic “The Art of French Cooking”. I think that they should write about your blog and your wonderful writing.

    Pitch – don’t pitch – hey, we all live in a material world and there’s more where those clothes came from but knitting buddies are forever!

  8. The only cure is color color color on your next sweater.

  9. Ohhh, I like the “get rid of the summer stuff” phase of the year. Too bad we all know there is one more Gawdawful hot spell coming, no matter when we put it all in the basement. I never look so odd in clothing as in the summer!
    Aran blahs–sock blahs–I am stuck right now too. DOn’t feel like castinhg on something wlse that will just sit around not getting finished. Better go clean out the closet, see what’s in the “old” stash that I haven’t fondled for a while.

  10. I’m looking for your blog archives because I remember you mentioning a good lace shawl pattern to start with and I’ve got the urge to knit one.Would you steer me in the right direction? Thanks and have a wonderful day.

  11. Wendy, I’m no help, since I’m currently prepping to empty my own house of random items via yard sale (and I just took bag after bag of clothes to Goodwill). Best advice I ever got? Do not buy something unless you are prepared to move with it – twice. I am virtually certain this does not apply to yarn.

  12. Thanks for the close-up of that nifty side pattern. Texture knitting bores me to tears lately, but these are the sweaters I wear most often so I keep knitting ’em.

    True confession: I love baubles of all sizes. And I occasionally tint my standard poodle lavender when he’s freshly groomed.

  13. Looks like you struck another nerve, Wendy! I just got a new walk-in closet set up by those people who put lots of shelves in your closet, and it’s so EMPTY (um, because I haven’t moved my stuff in yet). I am considering making a rule for myself, like if I haven’t worn it in X years, it can’t go in the new closet. I feel ruthless, and I, too, have a Price-Club roll of black bags… mwahahahaha…..

  14. vendala,
    bubbeleh, sit down, take a deep breath, I bring you some tea und de mandel bread. Maybe you need a juicy beach read vit lots of de shtupping und some retail therapy. A leetle break from de knitting vill be gut for de carpal tumul!!
    love de Yentala

  15. Cheryl F. says:

    Wendy I feel your pain. I usually buy clothes on sale and then never wear them but can’t bear to part with them. I’ve been fantasizing about Wayne and Stacy from TLC’s “What Not to Wear” giving me some fashion savvy. I blame it all on my Mom–(after all we had matching made from flowered bath towels pool cover-ups)!!
    Speaking of your sweaters, how do you store them? Are they in drawers, your closet, in bags in your closet or just loose on the shelves?? I’d love to hang mine, but know that’s a no-no! (besides where do you have the room with all those cowboy boots??) VBG!

  16. “Speaking of your sweaters, how do you store them? Are they in drawers, your closet, in bags in your closet or just loose on the shelves??”

    Yes. And in a cedar chest, too.

    My cowboy boots live on shelves put up in the guestroom (on two walls) just for them.

    Cat, you have 5 kitties AND a poodle? Wow! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Charlotte says:

    Take a break from sweaters and socks and knit a fancy scarf. One ball of an Eros type yarn (I’ve been using Scala), size 11 needles, cast on 28 stitches. Knit 4 rows, do a row of k2tog across and then knit garter until most of the ball is used up. At this point, I usually unwind the ball and measure off the last 5 yards and mark that length with a safety pin through one of the little “flags.” Once that length is marked, knit up the rest of the yarn until you reach the pin. Increase in each stitch across, knit four more rows and bind off, Viola! A cute dressy scarf with a little ruffle on each end which will impress everyone who sees you working on it and bemuch more portable for commuter knitting than a sweater.

  18. I have it too! This urge to weed out the clothes must be the summer version of Spring Fever. But I’m going to put it off until after I finish wearing some of the summer stuff & looking at the stuff I don’t want to wear. Then maybe I won’t have so much to put in the winter storage boxes.

    And I’ll always be willing to move with my yarn (twice, even!).

  19. Help! I’m having the urge to throw out all my husband’s clothes. And I suspect he won’t go along.

    I did a good purge of my stuff this spring, so his stuff is probably a delayed reaction.

    One thing that I do is create a “maybe” pile to look at again in six months. I’ll sometimes pull something back out, but most of it gets donated.

  20. See? You are not alone out there on the edge. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m right there with you, as are many others who read your blog apparently. The things I HAVE to keep make up a short list. The rest is stressing me out – life is too short. It’s gonna get chucked out soon! The pets stay. The rest??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Regarding Aran Doldrums… in your archive from last week you indicated that you found this pattern easy, and you suspected that you, indeed, might become bored with Max.

    What type of knitting pattern/structure/designer would offer you a challenge? To keep your interest? You’ve done so much and have so much expertise already; what type of project would you consider that might enhance your wonderful knitting talents?

  22. How funny that so many are feeling the same! I wonder why we developed this urge. Why would cavewomen need to clean the cave before the winter? I guess it was really a necessity back then, since they probably had alot less closet space than we have today.

  23. Can I have your sweaters? ha-ha ; )
    I did the big house and closet purge before we went away – it felt good – so I say go for it!

  24. I’m working on mice, and I had a question: are they stuffed with just catnip, or should we put something else in there as well? I saw that in your pattern on that you recommended putting the catnip in a stocking bag- do you recommend that for these?

    Also, I played with the pattern and have been knitting my mice from the narrow end to the wide end, which lets me knit an i-cord tail as an integral part of the mouse (I dislike picking up stitches). If this isn’t too obvious or detrimental a change, would you like a copy of it?

  25. Lydia, I stopped using a nylon to stuff catnip mice with — I was advised that if a cat got it out of the mouse, it could swallow it and cause potential harm.

    I’ve been stuffing my mice with just catnip.

    I think knitting a mouse from narrow to wide and doing an i-cord tail is an excellent idea, and I’d love a copy of it!

  26. Catherine says:

    An alternative to stuffing with leaf catnip, which can work its way out, is stuffing with cotton plus some compressed catnip pellets — they’re pretty readily available at larger pet stores and a good alternative to leaves for kitty toys.

  27. And a golden retriever.

  28. Wendy —
    I DID use my big roll of white garbage bags this weekend! It must be something in the air or having to do with the weather….. I cleaned up our basement and and reorganized my personal stash and the BIG stash I keep for the charity knitting group I lead. I was working like a crazed woman in the Chicago heat – even though it was a tad bit cooler in the basement. My husband thought I had completely gone nutso — and kept telling me so as I brought up bag after bag of stuff to the trash or to the trunk of the car to take to the charity shop. But what a feeling of accomplishment to see it neat and organized! I can get on the treadmill again!!! I am now eyeing all the bookshelves in our living and dining rooms…… look out!!

  29. Ida Marovich says:

    I am a recent born-again knitter, after many many years of personal apostasy. I reaffirmed my knitting vows on a pair of socks last winter (thinking that I would get done with them in a comparitavely short time – as opposed to knitting a sweater – and also, wanting a wee challenge, as I had never knit socks before. Since then I’ve knit four additional pr. and am in the finishing throes of a red wool vest for myself, and have begun a multi color cardigan for my grand-daughter. I’m itching to get another pr. of socks going, as the last pair (knit on Kroy sock yarn, size 2 and 3 needles) is my favorite fitting (in spite of the unfortunate color). Just last week, while searching google for “knitting socks” I discovered your blog (I had never heard the term before) and from there I’ve been visiting others. My thanks to you… I love your blog. I live in Boise, Idaho. Can you tell me the general location of your life? My love to your cats.

  30. I’m with the people who suggest ebay – if you don’t want to waste the time listing every little thing, list in lots of 5-20 items. (i’d run the lots by size and clothing type – like, M shirts, sz 10 pants, whatever.) don’t get rid of anything you need. but if there are things that you don’t feel good in, don’t keep them around – life is too short & you can always try a new style of pants or whatever. anything “in doubt” could go into storage for a few months.

    unlike most other people, i have yet to regret selling any article of clothing that i’ve sold on ebay. there are some i regret *buying* from ebay, but I haven’t ever missed anything that earned its place on the cleanout pile. (the other thing I do with stuff I don’t want is to take it to a local humane society thrift store – all the profits go to feed homeless animals and maybe keep them around a few days longer while they wait for a family.)