My current work in progress:

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


October Contest!

The October contest is all about socks.

Here’s what you have to do:

Email me (“Contact Me” link in the sidebar) the URL of your favorite free sock pattern on the internet (apart from my free pattern, of course!) with a brief description of the pattern.

Please, just one email with one URL per person.

Doing this will earn you an entry in the drawing for this:


A kit to knit llama socks!

The kit was generously donated by Jo in NYC — thanks Jo!

Kureyon Striping

Thanks y’all for telling me your experiences with color striping in Kureyon yarn. It seems to be all over the map. I think I’ll stick to using Kureyon for felted bags and other small projects only, as the randomness of the striping would drive me batty knitting a sweater.

Interestingly, several of you reported a lot of “organic” matter in Kureyon. Of the three skeins I’ve used so far, there was nary a bit of anything in it but wool. Huh.

But I did (cough, cough) buy more. Here’s what my next Booga bag will be knitted from, color #88:


And I scored a bag of 10 skeins on eBay for a nice low price (50 bucks) so everyone will be getting Booga Bags for Christmas! Ian, I hope you like yours!

Just kidding.

And Margaret in Manhatten sent me a photo of some yummy Kureyon she’s using — Color #51. So now I need this, too.


Must . . . buy . . . more . . . Kureyon . . .

And Speaking of Booga Bags . . .

Here is mine in its pre-felted state.


Because today is a government holiday (and it didn’t come a moment too soon) I will be felting it today. Fun fun fun! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.


Jenny writes:

A question (or two): I was thinking about you last night as I was knitting on my St. Ciaran Starmore design. (I’ve only been knitting about a year and this is my first Aran project.)

First Question: Have you ever knitted this design? (I didn’t see it on your gallery page, but I know you’ve been knitting longer than you’ve been blogging!)

Second Question: You’ve said that you have a photographic memory and can often memorize the Aran patterns fairly quickly. Now, can you memorize them quickly because of the exceptional brain in your head, or is it something that just comes with experience, with learning how all the cables work together?

Right now I’m beginning to think that you are a knitting goddess, as with the St. Ciaran I have to have my pattern with me at all times, each step of the way!

Okay, you knew I had to post that because of the phrase Jenny used: “the exceptional brain in your head.” That should now read “the exceptional brain in your swelled head.”

Answer to first question — I haven’t knitted St. Ciaran.

Answer to second question — um . . . all of the above.

Yeah, I’m intelligent. I am a member of Mensa and I didn’t even cheat on the IQ test to get in. But I sort of consider myself an idiot savant when it comes to my memory. I have a photographic memory about some things and I’m a total drooling moron about others.

In thinking about it, most of the stuff I remember perfectly is visual stuff. Like charts. Remember the Dark Side of the Moon sweater I posted a photo of a few months back? I created the chart for that with colored pencils on graph paper. I didn’t keep the charts, but I can see them in my mind’s eye as clear as day, down to variaitions in the pencil strokes. There is no doubt in my mind that I could sit down and draw the chart again if I wanted to (I don’t).

So any sweater I’ve knitted from a chart that has a repeating pattern, be it cables or fair isle, I could probably re-create from memory. I think the way I memorize charts is from the logic of the design — if that makes any sense. Once memorized, it’s probably stuck in my brain forever.

Now I did not commit totally to memory the chart for the Virgin Sweater — that’s a non-repeating chart. And now that I think of it, same for most of the Dale Olympic sweaters. The ones that have a complicated yoke pattern. I sort of switch my brain off for those, because I know that memorizing won’t do me any good. When I knit stuff like that, I do more or less memorize one row at a time, but I seem able to erase each row as I complete it.

Okay, I just said the photographic memory bit is mostly for visual stuff. But I remember every phone number I’ve ever had from childhood on. I remember the entirety of my second grade Christmas pageant that I had to memorize when I was 7 years old. I can recite the rock opera Tommy from start to finish (and did on a bet from my brother when we were drunk one New Year’s Eve. He was impressed.)

So there you have it. A peek into Wendy’s brain. Is anyone else as frightened as I?

Betsey asked:

Great tattoo, Wendy. Where do you have it?

It’s no my right shoulder blade and has been there a little over four years.

Pamela asks:

Lucy is a real cutie and much more photogenic than my little cat Pushkin.
How do you get her to stay still????

I get Lucy to stay still by pointing a camera at her and crooning “Who’s Mommy’s widdle cutie-wootie puddy-tat?”

Lucy usually stops what she’s doing and stares at me — probably in disbelieve at the inanity of my conversation and the nauseating tone of voice I use.


Hey Kathy, remember at the cottage last summer when you all laughed at me for saying to Suki “Who’s a cute widdle doggie-woggie?”

Do you also remember that Suki was gazing at me with rapt attention? Huh?


We delivered two more shopping bags of mousies to Barbara on Saturday. And this weekend I received mousies from KeriAnne in Northampton, MA and Christina in Arlington, VA. Thank you both!

Mouse-a-thon Raffle!

The drawing for the raffle will be done next weekend! So the wait is almost over.

PiS Sweater

Some progress over the weekend. Lookie here:



  1. “Dark Side of the Moon”? Cue Rod Serling. I was listening to this very CD as I was reading your blog. I’m a huge Pink Floyd/David Gilmour fan… even named my blog after them. Fun sweater! The PiS is gorgeous. Mine has slowed down a bit in favor of working on Kashmir. So many great sweaters, too many hours at the day job! *L* A momentary lapse of reason… I actually like my day job! Do you like the Hifa2 wool?

  2. Wendy, would you please share your experience felting the Kureyon bag. Also any tips with assembling the straps would be so appreciated. The instructions for the knitting of the bag were very clear, but I would be scared of felting that beautiful finished product!

  3. Have you felted Noro before? If so, what was the surface texture like when you finished felting? It looks like it should be a bit hairy, but I used a similar yarn a while back and found I got a few ridges. I’m not sure whether that was due to the yarn composition (merino tencel) or whether it was the effect of the thick singles.

  4. Siow Chin says:

    Having seen all those beautiful Noro sweaters on the Internet, I was thrilled to find some Noro Kureyon at the yarn store here in Hong Kong. Out of the three colours available, I chose the boldest #87. After 3 balls and changing patterns twice, I finally realized that the colours, although gorgeous, are just too vibrant for me to wear as a cardigan. I am now making a Booga bag too which is working out just fine! I think I would try to i-cord cast-off to prevent the edges from curling.

  5. Hi Wendy, thanks for putting up my Kureyon colors. Now, I need to know, WHAT kind of box are you going to use as a base for the felting? Oh – wait – I forgot – you probably have a million boxes from the mouse-athon hanging around your house?

    curious in manhattan,

  6. Hi Wendy,

    I read that London is your favorite city in Europe, so maybe you can give me some advice. I will be going there in two weeks, also Rome and Paris. Question is, is there a lot of savings in buying Rowan and Bliss yarn there? Do you know any special LYS there? Also one that sells other British yarns (like the wools you use for your sweaters) ?
    How about Paris and Rome? Do you or any of your readers know of any yarn shops I should go to?

    I really look forawrd to getting some great yarn on this, my first trip to Europe. I will be there a total of 16 days.

  7. Wendy, I’ve done a vest just for fun with Noro Kureyon. It was great fun and I used FOUR different colors, not dye lots. I never worried about colors or repeats and it turned out great. See my website for a peek. This is just amazing stuff.

  8. I just bought color #88 this past weekend for my bag! I can’t wait to start it!

  9. Hi Wendy,
    Where can I get the pattern for the Booga Bag??

  10. I can see why the PiS cardi would be boring to knit. However, it looks *SO* pretty. You’re going to get a lot of compliments on it when you wear it.

    Oh, those Booga Bags are starting to tempt me now. I must resist, I must resist…LOL! If I buy any more yarn off eBay, my DH is going to go through the roof ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wendy: Your PiS is FABULOUS. You are tempting me badly to run out and buy that book

    Amy: Your Kureyon vest is just amazing. Beautiful job.

    Georgina: When I was in London about 12 years ago NOTHING was cheaper there than here. I remember that every single purchase I made while there was breathtakingly expensive. Your mileage, hopefully, will vary!

    Okay, okay. I couldn’t help myself. I bought color #116 in Kureyon and started my BoogaJ bag. If anyone wants a really subdued colorway, this is your color. I’m making this bag for my ultra subdued SIL who would NOT go for any of those wild colors. I think she is going to adore this.

    I walked into Threadbear NeedleArts shop (which is a half mile from my house, aren’t you jealous??) the other day and started digging through the Kureyon and Rob immediately said, “So you got tempted to make a Booga bag by Wendy too, eh?” hehehe Busted.

  12. Tam, I ordered my Kureyon from Threadbear to make my Booga bag. And Rob knew what I wanted it for .. hehehe.

    Beth, here’s the URL for the free pattern for the booga bag.


  13. Amy’s vest from a few posts up is absolutely FAB! O.K., I had told myself not to buy any more yarn till my trip to Europe, but I will have to get some balls to make this vest. I love it Amy!
    Noro Fever, Noro Fever (Bee Gees)

  14. Amy, I agree that your vest is amazing! Do you recall what pattern you used?

  15. Okay, okay…. I am going to start my Booga bag (color 89)! I was going to wait till I finished some of my projects but I can’t resist anymore!
    As for PiS… Bought the kit! Oh Wendy, please stop knitting such beautiful sweaters, I’m going broke here!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Ooohhh LOVE that #51! Need it, must have it, want it NOW!
    I love following your endavours into knitting because myself I don’t get too much done though thinking a lot about it. Just keep up, it almost feels like being there oneself when you make such interesting things.
    The Fair isle’s are prtty, but not a thing I would make. I totally dig all the small things you do aside of all the Fair Isle’s.
    That Kureyon #51 WILL soon land where I live,that’s for sure that I want such a luscious brown bag!

    Thanla again for your blog
    Lene from denmark

  17. Oops, sorry for all the typo’s, I know yuo are a ‘grammar avenger’ and don’t want to seem stupid… :o)
    It was from my hurry it happened.


  18. I did something very similar to the booga bag because I was so enchanted by the way Kureyon looked felted, based on a Christmas stocking I saw at Stitches. Unfortunately, Kureyon doesn’t come in any color combinations that I consider Christmassy.

    I used 2 skeins of Kureyon and one skein of black Lamb’s Pride Worsted. I worked the garter bottom and maybe the first 10 rows in black. I also put a black I-cord bind-off around the top, and knit the Icord strap in black.

  19. We can only hope Wendy continues to use her powers for good.


  20. I bought enough Kureyon to make the RoundTrip on page 80 of the newest Knitters…and a bag to match. I’ve knit up ~3 skeins, and had 2 knots in one, one knot and a few little sticks in the 2nd. I love the colors in it, #92. Sort of a modified spectrum.

  21. I’m knitting a Booga Bag with Kureyon #91 — another completely gorgeous colorway, btw. And I have to say that it drove me nuts that the skeins start in different spots in the striping sequence. So nuts that I *did* pull out yards and yards in order to match it up…obsessive much? Maybe a little. But it made me feel better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Oh Wendy… please don’t give up on Kureyon just yet! Part of it’s charm is the super long repeats… it is pretty common that the color pattern is longer than the 100 yards in the ball! I’m a Kureyon addict, as you know, and I have to forget my Type A personality and just let the ball dictate what colors come next… and I love the results no matter what. If I want the sleeves to match, I just pick out two sets of matching balls at the beginning of the project and set them aside. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for knots, I only run into one every 8th or 9th ball, if that. Haven’t found that much natural matter in them either, aside from once in a great while.

    I predict that making a few more of those gorgeous Booga J bags will turn you into a Kureyon devotee. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. D’oh! Can’t participate in the contest, since your own toe-up sock pattern is the only one I’ve used! I’m partway through my second pair of Wendy socks, and I love the pattern so much that I can’t imagine any reason to look for others.

  24. Yay! The mice arrived!

    I hate making socks (I know, sacrilege), otherwise I’d submit.