My current work in progress:

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


It’s All About Color


Yesterday in my comments Karen asked:

What type of knitting pattern/structure/designer would offer you a challenge? To keep your interest?

Like the title of this blog entry says, it’s all about color.

I used to love texture and knitting an aran was my favorite thing. But the last few arans I’ve done have bored me to tears. The last aran I remember really enjoying knitting was the last Inishmore I made. Hmmmmm . . . maybe I ought to knit another one and see if I still enjoy it.

Nowadays I’d sooner knit fair isles and Norgis. A design with a non-repeating pattern right now is the most fun I can thing of — like the Virgin sweater I made back in January.

Rest assured — as soon as this aran is outta the way, it’s back to color I go.

And Lucy would like to show off my progress on the back of Max:



  1. And it’s just her color, isn’t it? The look on her face – you KNOW she knows she’s the most popular knitcat on the planet. Uh huh. That’s our girl.

  2. Wendy: I’ve been trying to e-mail you but a message keeps coming up that your mailbox is full! What a popular girl! I just wanted to say that I sent of a dozen English “meecies” to you yesterday and was informed by the PO that they would only take 5 days – so here’s hoping. The “extras” are for you just as a very small thank you for all the help, fun and entertainment on your blog that so many of us “tune into” each day.

  3. Hi Vera – hmmmmmmm, my mailbox isn’t full — there must be an internet glitch somewhere along the line. Are you mailing to jns-wjohnson AT comcast DOT net? (Properly formatted, of course).

    Thanks for the heads-up on the mousies! I’ll let yu know when they get here and thanks so much for sending them!

  4. I’m going to ask this question very quietly,as I don’t want to panic anyone.
    Do you worry that you’ll become bored with knitting ? As the designs you enjoy knitting become more and more complex there’s a risk that you’ll run out of stimulating knitting.Ever thought of designing something really complicated / interesting for your self ?
    Yes,I know about the fair-isle and baby norgi – but they were designed for mere mortals ! :0]

  5. Knitting panic! Knitting panic!

    Just kidding — no panic here. But only because I’m heavily medicated.

    Good question, Emma!

    Hopefully I won’t run out. As long as Dale of Norway keeps doing what they do, I ought to be safe.

    And as you say, I can always design my own. That’s smething I’ll probably be able to do more of once I retire from my job — if that ever happens.

  6. The yarn actually looks scrumptious to knit with, or is it just the ketzela that makes it look so good? deb

  7. I understand what you mean about really getting into an interesting pattern. I try to make make the analogy (to my nonknitting friends) of how they feel when they get into a great book.

    The Virgin sweater is definitely on my to do list, when I get brave enough. I am really addicted to Dale’s soft and luscious yarns. For me it is definitely about color AND feel. Can you suggest a Dale yarn weight substitution for doing the Virgin Sweater? Thanks.

  8. Debala, the yarn is pretty nice to work with, but the ketzela does make a great spokesmodel, doesn’t she?

    Purl, I think you could sub a sportweight wool for the Virgin Sweater — like Heilo.

  9. Not a comment about today’s post at all, but I thought of you cat-lovers, and Wendy especially, when I saw the cat photo at . If I tried all day I wouldn’t be able to capture a cat’s face mid-yawn!


  10. Wendy, when you substitute a yarn, how do you know how much yardage to buy? For example, in the Collector’s Item, Maximilian calls for AS Scottish Heather. Do you know a source for yardages of Alice’s yarns? If not, how do we make an “educated” guess?

  11. Thanks for the b-day greeting, and thanks for reassuring us all that color-work is Your Thing! Hey, it’s Cari’s birthday, too, over at dogs steal yarn…I have a blog-twin!

  12. Purl, yardages for Alice’s yarns were published in most if not all of her books where the yarn was used. Off the top of my head, I think Scottish Heather was 120 yards/skein.

  13. Hi Wendy,

    Will you accept machine knitted (fair isle) mousies? I just bought a terrific brother knitting machine and have been doing a lot of pretty swatches to learn, and I know I can easily transform them into cute little mousies.

  14. Oh that Lucy!

    I first remember you from long ago days on the knitted lace list, Wendy. Did you get bored with lace as well? (or just knit all the good patterns?) *grin*

  15. I got bored with lace. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I’ve still got laceweight yarn in my stash. I may go back to it, you never know.

    Georgina, fair isle mousies sound cute, but I’m afraid they’d be a lot easier for a kitty to pick apart and ingest strands of yarn, since there are more ends. I hink one or two color mice are best. My mouse bags state that they are handknitted, so I think it’s best we stick to that.

    Sorry to be a party-pooper. ๐Ÿ™

  16. Wendy, how long did it take you to learn color-knitting? I’ve just started a baby fair-isle and am very frustrated because I can’t manage the purl side using the two-hand method (I’m a righty). I’m hoping to give this sweater as a Christmas present. Is there any hope for me? Do you have any suggestions on technique? I feel a color-knitting addiction coming on!

  17. Colorwork isn’t really my thing (yet), but I also get bored with arans or chart patterns after working the same row repeat two or three times. It gets a bit monotonous after that, but I still love to knit them because cables always look so spiffy in a finished garment ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I think you should try lace knitting again…. Some of the non repeating patterns are a bit of a challenge and not very boring.

  19. That colour is most becoming on Mizz Lucy!

  20. i’ve been on a lace knitting jag lately, perfect for hot muggy florida summers ๐Ÿ˜‰ the latest is the legends of the shetland seas pattern, only i’m widening it and shortening it to make an afghan, using a lisa souza seaglass colored yarn, it’s flowing off my fingers, i think i’m in love ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Vanessa, I know what you mean — I’m using Seaglass to knit Creatures of the Reef Shawl, and am equally in love.

  22. Catherine says:

    I wonder if you might not find texture work more interesting if it wasn’t a small-ish repeating pattern — or maybe you’d find color work less interesting if it was limited to small repeating patterns?! Agile minds need challenges. I think color work patterns provide more of a challenge right now than texture work does — mostly because a non-repeating texture (like a gigantic, intricate celtic knot) requires a whole lot of thinking and some heinous charting to realize…