My current work in progress:

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


The Knitter Who Fell from Grace With the Yarn Diet

Yes, I bought yarn yesterday.

But . . . it’s to make Lucy’s cat bed. Which is a gift. Which according to Section 11(c) of the Yarn Diet Act of 2003 is allowable.

I quote:

Sec. 11(c). Exceptions
The Yarn Dieter is allowed the following exceptions–
1. Yarn purchase in support of national security is permissible.
2. Yarn purchase to make a gift for another is permissible.
3. Yarn purchase necessary to maintain physical health of purchaser (with doctor’s certificate) is permissible.

So there you have it. It’s the Law.

I ordered Big Kureyon, in color #7, which is a mix of neutrals — similar to Kureyon #55, which is what my big Booga Bag is made from, so Lucy ought to like it.

I think the majority of commenters yesterday voiced the opinion that Lucy deserves a bed knitted from Big Kureyon. I have to agree. Nothing but the best for my little princess.

I bought some dpns and a circular needle in US size 15 (permissible! It’s a yarn diet, not a needle diet) so when they and the Big Kureyon arrive, I’ll be good to go.

As far as design goes, I think I’m going to knit from the inside out, in a circle, and when I think it’s big enough in diameter, knit straight without increasing to make shallow sides. Sort of like a giant saucer. I like the idea of knitting from the center out, so I can stop when I run out of yarn, if need be. I ordered 4 skeins of Big Kureyon (at 176 yards/skein) and I figure that ought to be enough to make a good size bed. Lucy is a big kitty so I want something large enough for her to lie on comfortably without too much of her hanging off the edges.

If I have a lot of yarn leftover, I’ll knit a blankie to go in the bed for extra padding.

I’m not too concerned with her being too picky to use her bed. When she first decided the Big Booga Bag was hers, it was lying on the chair with two other purses — a Coach shoulder bag and a large Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. Yeah, I’m a slob. I leave stuff out and lying around like that. Lucy dragged the Booga Bag over the other two purses and curled up on it. It was lumpy and bumpy with bits of Coach and Vuitton sticking out here and there and she was happy as a clam. The first time she got off the bag, I pulled out the other purses and replaced them with the folded towel. She hopped back up there and didn’t seem to mind the change, still happy as the proverbial bivalve.

So I think she’ll be happy with her new bed, once it is completed. If she seems to like it alot, I’ll make her another one for the bedroom, so perhaps she won’t curl up on the clean laundry. Yeah, I’m a slob. See above. It takes me forever to put laundry away.

When I start wielding those size 15 babies on the train, my fellow commuters will wonder what the heck I’m making now.

More likely they’ll just ignore me.


Baby, it’s cold outside. And it’s been a while since I’ve had short hair in the winter — not used to having my ears and neck exposed to the elements! I may need to set aside Fern for a little bit to make an emergency Bucket o’ Chic!

Lucy is willing to step up and work on Fern should I set it aside temporarily.


I’ve got a bit more progress to show on the scarf — see?



  1. What a discerning princess-kitty Lucy is…I love it that she dragged the Booga bag over two perfectly drool-worthy handbags! Handknits rule, even in Lucy-land!

  2. Good morning Wendy,
    although I’m not a great fan of scarves, I really like this one!
    But for now, I guess I’m in love with Henry… you know… when I first saw him on your page, the moment I just fell for him, and now he’s mine!
    I can’t believe it! Maybe my passion will calm down once we are together for a while, but so far I just can’t get enough of him ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Just started the main body pattern ๐Ÿ˜€
    Wendy, you showed me that I’m able to do this, thanks a lot!

  3. Usually you’re one of the more successful enablers when it comes to yarn buying, so I was wondering what the world was coming to with you on a yarn diet. Imagine my relief this morning to hear you stepped off the wagon (and for such a worth cause!). And then I got a good giggle, because I bought Big Kureyon in color #7… yesterday! I’m sure Lucy’s bed will be done first, though. She deserves it. The poor princess, having to sleep on a borrowed knitted throne….

  4. That Lucy is a true princess! It may be ok to have Coach and Louis Vuitton handbags under the bed, but just don’t put any dried peas under the Kureyon bed!

    Happy knitting,

  5. Thanks for clarifying the rules–I can tell you work for government!

    Can’t wait to see the cat bed–is it going to be felted?

  6. You’re crackin’ me up with the “knitting for national security” — too funny! :o)

  7. So what if your house is a mess. You can get a lot more knitting done if you don’t worry about housework.

  8. Love the scarf. I have nothing on my needles at the moment and I’m itching for a new project until the yarn I ordered this morning arrives. I should be stitching up my last jumper but, like most knitters, I like the knitting not the making up. This looks like a great stash buster.

  9. Aha – the truth comes out! That’s why you’re so speedy – Lucy is your ghost knitter. I can just see her slaving away with her little cat paws whilst you’re sleeping!

  10. Not so fast Missie,
    The other day, your response to my question “What is the penalty for falling off the Yarn Diet?” was that half my purchase should be sent to you. (Can’t do it – it’s a kit for a Hanne Falkenberg coat. Half a coat would look peculiar.)
    So — unless all the above rules protect you, I shall be peeking into my mailbox, looking for a half-share of Kureyon. On second thoughts – consider it my contribution to Lucy’s new “lit de chat.”

  11. Does Lucy not follow the Feline Prime Directive: Things not intended for them are always preferable to things obtained specifically for them, no matter how similar?

  12. I don’t think you’ll have to put Fern aside — it’s going to take DAYS for that BK to get to you, isn’t it? (Or did you pay for Fed-ex delivery?) I’m curious where you ordered your BK? There are so many yarn websites out there, how does one choose (unless there’s a sale or other discount)?

  13. This little cold snap is turning my thoughts to hats big time. I’m also playing with the thought of making a second bucket. What yarn are you using?

  14. As a fellow Fed, allow me to thank you for the specific regulations covering the matter of “yarn diet”. I’m wondering whether there is a “yarn doctor” who will write such certificates and to whom one gives them.

    Joking aside…the scarf is loverly. Thanks for the latest updates.

    Where do you order your yarn and needles?

    Re short hair and cold weather: I highly recommend a cowl knitted out of alpaca – they’re very light and very very warm. And I don’t get flat hat hair after wearing it. Directions: cast on 166 stitches on a circular needle and K1P1 or make up your own pattern for 17-21 inches.

  15. Question: Is Lucy’s bed going to have a pillow form or some other stuffing inside the felted exterior…therefore becoming a kitty pillow bed?

  16. Your scarf reminds me of one of my Grandmother’s Log Cabin quilts! She made one in the 1920s from wool fabric in those colors. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I like that shock of blue—the “surprise” colors in Kureyon are so much fun!

  17. I was just going to say what Dorothy said! And as for BK.. Just touched the stuff yesterday at my LYS. Oooooo, Lucy will love her new bed!!! I may have to get some to make Mags a new be-, ahem, throne! Sam has a huge throne I made out cat print grey fleece (looks just like him), that he will share with her once in awhile. She needs to stop sleeping on my fuzzy feet. (Perhaps its’ the organic material a number of commenters spoke of awhile back that attracts Lucy and Mags to Kureyon???)

    Love the scarf, but alas, I am on the yarn diet and working to hard on Xmas gifts…. How many days is it till New Year’s?!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. I liked your comment about the laundry baskets because not only do I leave the folded clothes in them for days (sometime weeks!), but I also leave the clothes in them unfolded for a day or two after washing. I hate to fold clothes at night after work and putting kids to bed because it seriously cuts into my knitting time!

  19. Wendy,
    I finished my diagonal scarf in record time, may have even beaten you, 27hrs. I used 3 skeins of Silk Garden in color 86, 34 sts, on 5.00mm(#8) needles. The final dimensions: 5.5″ wide and 63″ long. The really interesting part was the mistake I made and ripped out about halfway through. After I had finished a short row section I worked 1 row even before starting the 1st row of the next short row section. This gave me a new triangle that turned the corner at 90 degrees. Now that I’ve finished the original scarf I think I may have made a serendipitous mistake, the scarf would have curved around my neck and fit better than a simple long rectangle. What do you think? I’m off to give it a try.

  20. Mmmm – maybe you should just make yourself another big Booga Bag. Maybe Lucy likes the versatility of the bag . . she can sleep on top *or* inside! Does she burrow under covers?

  21. Wendy —
    My cats LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fleece and Polarfleece. They keep hogging the ones I made for my husband and me on our bed. So to go in their favorite kitty napping spots, I’ve taken pieces of fleece (folded up to give lots of cushioning!)to make a sort of “towel replacement” cushion. They absolutely love them — the fleece seems to retain their body heat better than a towel. You might want to think about that to put inside Lucy’s new bed!

  22. Well Lucy is one lucky kitty! I’m sure she’ll love her new bed…I love that directional scarf! Great use of the Noro color blocks.

  23. Now I know how you knit so fast. I didn’t know that Lucy knits at night for you. Truly I am amazed at how quickly your sweaters go. I guess riding the train helps give you more time to work on them. You are an inspiration to me. Nancy

  24. Now I know how you knit so fast. I didn’t know that Lucy knits at night for you. Truly I am amazed at how quickly your sweaters go. I guess riding the train helps give you more time to work on them. You are an inspiration to me. Nancy

  25. An Aussie yarn manufacturer – Superfine – are having their 1/2 yrly sale. So, under Sec.11(c)3, I qualify for some enabling. (Well, I’m almost a Dr) I’m happy to sign any certificate that helps maintain a fibre fantatic’s physical wellbeing.

  26. An Aussie yarn manufacturer – Superfine – are having their 1/2 yrly sale. So, under Sec.11(c)3, I qualify for some enabling. (Well, I’m almost a Dr) I’m happy to sign any certificate that helps maintain a fibre fantatic’s physical wellbeing.

  27. Yes! I made the same “mistake” as Gwen and turned a corner in my diagonal scarf while doing mindless TV knitting. If I had noticed it right away I probably would have ripped and not discovered a style I like even better than the original. The lucky thing is it happened exactly at the back of the neck. It makes a nice “collar” hugging your neck and sits just right. Have made two for gifts already.

  28. Peter: I don’t think Dr of Botany counts ๐Ÿ˜›
    Wendy: I remember reading somewhere that it’s a good idea to decrease on the last round of the sides of a kitty bed if you want it to stand up a little. But if Lucy prefers flat she probably won’t want that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Do post that kitty bed pattern when you’re done! I have a bengal who is in serious lust with any Kureyon I have in the house: she drags the balls (or projects) out and sucks on them, then falls asleep on them. I think this is yet another cat who seriously deserves a felted Kureyon bed!

  30. Dear Wendy
    Some time ago I asked you for permission to translate your sock pattern into Polish, to post on my prospective website. So now your pattern has gone Polish…:-)))

    thanks a lot

  31. So happy to see the comment/suggestion re the alpaca cowl as I didn’t think about this as a hat/scarf solution to avoid hat hair. One of my WIPs is the Boundary Water shawl (by Two Old Bags) knitted with Haneke Select (75% Merino 25% Alpaca) and since I erred (in my favor) and ordered too much yarn, I have enough to do a lacy mobius. Even tho this fiber is only 25% alpaca, I’m amazed at how warm (and light) the lace shawl is, so I think it will be perfect for a cowl.

    Thanks, Peg, for the idea – I probably will use one of the scarf patterns from Stahman’s book and just double the lace portion width.