My current work in progress:

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


Extreme Knitting!

I wish some television producer with megabucks would approach me to do a tv show. It could be a new reality show. Just have a cameraman follow me around and film my knitting throughout the day. On the subway, in my office at lunchtime, in the evening watching television. It wouldn’t cost much at all to produce. So they could pay me a huge salary to star in it.

Whaddya think?

Well, actually, the title of my blog entry today does not refer to my desire to be the newest reality television star. Rather, it refers to my new project for commuter knitting: Geane‘s Extreme Hedonism!

Kate was gonna do a knit-along for this project starting September 1 and I said I’d be knitting along. Well, the starting date slipped, so I’m starting it now.

I’m using the yarn Geane used, the Furlana possum/merino blend. Actually, Geane very kindly sent me the yarn, so I really am using the yarn she used! The very same. I started it using a US size 2 (3.0mm) 12″ circular needle according to Geane’s recommendation, but switched to dpns, as I find I can knit faster on them on projects with a small diameter.


Last week I ordered the flax seeds and some herbal teas to mix for the filling. The place I ordered from sent me someone else’s order, so I ended up with two bottles of tincture of echinacea. That will not do — the order is getting sorted out and I should have the proper filling before I finish knitting.

So any other Extreme Knitters out there? Jump on the bandwagon! The pattern is free and this will make a great Christmas gift! That’s what mine is destined to become.

But I may have to make another one for me . . .


All this should lead you to ask what the heck happened to the socks I was knitting for my dad. I actually finished them — see?


Knitted in Silja sock yarn, color 329 on size 2.75 mm needles. I liked this yarn very much and will remember it for the future when I want to knit socks in something a little heavier than sock yarn.


JoJo asked in my comments yesterday:

I’ve been watching Marina’s progress (as I did for your last few projects), as I am stuck in a knitting slump. Since I’ve been reading, I don’t think there’s been a time when you’ve “slumped”. Do you ever get the doldrums, and put down the needles for an extended period of time, and if so, how do you snap out of it?

I’ve not had a knitting slump in years. I’m pretty sure I’ve always had somethng on the needles and progressing for the past 12 – 15 years. How do I avoid a slump? By only knitting designs that I really, really like. Nothing is worse than slogging through a project that doesn’t send me. So if someone were to ask me to knit a specific design for him/her and I didn’t absolutely love it, I’d say no.

Of course, the people who know me well enough to ask such a thing know better than to ask anyway.

Mouse-a-thon Update

Mousies received from Noriko in Vancouver, WA, Julie in Monrovia, CA, Claire in Pittsburgh, PA, and Karen in Snekkersten, Denmark! Thank you all!

International knitters — remember that you can send empty mice if you can’t find catnip where you live. Email me and I’ll hook you up with one of our volunteer mouse stuffers.

Lucy offered to work on Marina last night.


I said “no thank you” and she took it well. I’ve done the front neck steek and have started the front neck shaping. Marina pix tomorrow, God willing and the crick don’t rise.

One More Thing

Betsy Kleger, if you’re reading this, could you email me? I need to say a very big thank you to you and can’t find your email address!


  1. How many garments (excluding socks and accessories) do you make per year on average? You seem to be ever so productive!

  2. Anne, I’d say 10-12 sweaters per year. It takes me a month to six weeks to complete a sweater.

  3. Hey – I was going to ‘talk’ about EH today too. I can’t find 12″ circs near me so I’ll just go ahead and start mine on 2 circs. so I can get going already.

  4. Great minds think alike, Kate!

  5. I love your blog so much, sweetie – and I so love the photos of the cats & mice. I must make one for Mr. Butkis.

    You make me so proud to be a knitter. I’d watch your show in a heartbeat!

    Hey – fun fact – I tried to get on the new reality show “Starting Over” as a woman who wants to start her own knit design business.

    Got turned down REAL fast – the first cattle call I went to was only really interested in selecting potential gospel singer (no joke, those were the only women who were asked to stay – must have been gospel singer day)

    When I answered the query, ‘what do you do?’ with, “I knit!” the very young and not-very-sensitive producer chick rolled her eyes at her colleagues in vaudvillian style. Nice, huh?

  6. Wendy,

    On the last row of a fair isle type garment (at the shoulders), do you bind off the steeks? I know that on my current WIP I want the shoulders stitches live for 3-needle bind off after the steeks are sewn and cut….but I’m wondering if the steeks themselves should be loosely bound off. When using Shetland yarn not binding off would not present a problem but I envision steek sts laddering down with yarn that is a bit slippery or smooth. Advice?


  7. Annie, thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€ I guess I’d better not hold my breath on becoming a tv star, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joan, Yes, you do bind off the steek stitches, usually on the last round before you finish off the shoulders.

  8. FYI: I was reading thru the newsletter for my knitting guild yesterday. They had reprinted your ‘Catnip Mouse’ pattern. Yes, your name was there with copyright and year but no mention of the Mouseathon, which tee-ed me off a bit….of course, you may not want every knitting guild to take the Mouseathon on as a project – you and Ian might have to rent storage space for all the meeces…

  9. Teresa, I gave the editor of your newsletter permission to use my mouse pattern. I believe this was before we started the mouse-a-thon.

    I can see me driving up to a storage facility in my U-Haul now . . .

  10. I’d watch your reality show! I gues, with the way you knit, it would not be called ‘Rippin’ Reality” or anything like that …maybe ‘The Great Pace’ or ‘Welcome to Fair Isle Fantasy’? Ugh..I think I need coffee! But really, I’d watch!

  11. I could see them making a Knitting Reality Show.

    You may have been able to get flax seeds locally at the health food store. They sell them in bulk at the ones near me, I’ve used them in baking before. (Of course, I can identify with the convenience of mail order versus actually going out and doing errands at places you might not go for any other reason. When I can do the same thing for the same price with mail order, I always prefer that.)

  12. Hi Wendy:

    Your show would be better than Opray’s any day. Since you have been knitting “all your life” where are all those projects? Could you, would you open a Wendy’s Smithsonian? I would go to it.

  13. Lucy, that is one of the most fetching photos of you ever! And how kind of you to offer to help!

  14. Hi Wendy, Just wondering if you’re going to the National Knit Out in D.C.?? I’ve never been and am seriously considering it. Hope it’s as great as it sounds!!
    Beth in Richmond

  15. Your “crick” comment brought back memories for me. I remember when I was a kid, old people would often say “crick” instead of “creek”. I hardly ever hear it anymore.

  16. That Lucy is so cute! Also the socks look fabulous. :^)

  17. Wow, Marina is breathtaking! The colours are just scrumptious! Wow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Oh Marina, Marina, Marina how I would love to have you in my stash of yarn…… I was going to hold myself back and order the yarn for this later, but I am just going to break down and get it! Did you get the yarn thru Virtual Yarns?

    Love the little Miss Lucy… I bet she is a warm and cuddly as my little Maggie! Do you consider her a lap cat (like Mags) or an active cat (like Sam… he thinks he’s a dog)?

  19. Rose, I got the yarn for Marina from Jamieson & Smith in Scotland.

    Lucy is half lap cat and half dog. She’ll sleep in my lap for hours while I knit, but she’s also very playful and loves to play fetch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Hi Wendy,

    I’d love to join you on a herbal neckroll Knit-Along… those would be great stocking stuffers for my family. Thanks for the link to the pattern!


  21. What a day for Blogger to take a dump on me! I can’t get my blog page up! Thanks for the mention, Wendy! Enjoy!:)

  22. Joan S in Reno says:

    Your Lucy photos are beautiful; they show off her fur and eye color so well. They don’t look like you used flash. You must have great lighting, a very good camera or are a better photographer than I. ๐Ÿ˜€

    If I make EH I’ll have to buy new panty hose just for that because I don’t wear them anymore. ๐Ÿ™ I’m into comfy, not glamorous, now. (Ah, relief!)

  23. Just thought I’d share an interesting tidbit, nerd that I am. I have read that the phrase “God willin’ and the creek don’t rise” is actually “Creek” with a big “C,” meaning Native Americans, not a swiftly moving small body of water. Apparently it comes from our colonial past. Just thought I’d share. . .

  24. Hey Ingrid — that’s good to know. ๐Ÿ˜€ I dub thee “Research Queen.”

    But in my case, the “crick” I was referring to is the Potomac River! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Love, love, love Marina! I’m a new knitter and seeing all the work you put into your sweaters is insiring. I just read this article which made me realize how much time people put into knitting things and how many (most) people don’t realize all the effort put into it.

  26. Sign me up as a faithful future watcher…I think we need to campaign to get you and Lucy on PBS!
    either that or MY favorite….SPEED TV!
    Stay dry….

  27. Add me to your list of fans who watch Wendy’s Knitting! I’m in love with your Marina design and wished I could knit like you. I’m still a newbie and am starting off with scarves :o)

  28. Does anyone have any suggestions of other yarns that might be nice to make the herbal neckwarmer with?

  29. I am a beginner knitter…your blog is so impressive! It’s an inspiration to those of us just starting out! Keep up the great work, take care…regina