My current work in progress:

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


Of Hats and Cowls

Yesterday I mentioned needing to make an emergency hat to shield me from winter cold. In the comments, Peg offered an excellent idea:

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.

Great idea, Peg! I’m not sure I have any alpaca in my stash, but I do have some cashmere . . .

The yarn I have earmarked for bucket hats is Araucania wool I bought from Elann. I got two skeins each in the colors “sable” and “fresh olive” specifically to make felted bucket hats.

Maybe I’ll make hats and a cowl both. I wish I had the month of December off from work . . .

In the Meantime

I did knit a bit on Fern.


Lucy must have been reading the comments yesterday and saw that a couple of you suggested that she must work on my knitting when I’m not around. Because when I got home yesterday, Fern was on the floor and a considerable length of yarn was pulled out from the skein. No damage was done, but when I interviewed Lucy about the crime, she feigned innocence.


Who, me?

Where Do I Buy My Yarn?

A couple of questions about this. I am an equal opportunity shopper. I buy from all over. Usually I comparison shop to see who has the lowest prices. If an item costs the same everywhere, I look to see who has the best shipping prices, or who is closest to me geographically so I’ll get my yarn asap! I bought the Big Kureyon from Carodan Farm because they are in Virginia and stuff usually only takes a day or two to reach me from them. Big Kureyon was the same price everywhere, pretty much.

We’re supposed to have a snowstorm this weekend, but right now it’s rain. I think temperatures are borderline here — it’s snowing just a few miles away from me. Location is everything. The Government is open, so off to work I go.

Happy Friday to all! The December contest will be announced on Monday, so y’all come back now, you hear?


  1. I think the cowl is a great idea and it will also keep your neck and ears warm since your new hair cut is shorter and has left them exposed to the elements. Have a great weekend; can’t wait to see fern all completed on Monday! Oh, and by the way, I had to look up the meaning of squalor…had never heard that word used before, so I learned a new word yesterday. Got a kick out of your response…you’re a hoot! Wish we were neighbors!

  2. Lisa, if you were my neighbor yu could see the squalor in which I live firsthand! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Thanks for sharing Peg’s idea! I’m planning on making a cowl out of alpaca and, finding myself without a pattern, was wondering how I should do it. Now I know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It’s funny you mentioned Carodan farm and how quickly your package arrives from them. I too like to order because of their fast service and great prices (IMO). I live in Colorado and it seems I get my package in 3 days tops!

  5. Gosh, it’s hard to stay on a diet around here! I’ve resisted buying any yarn since what, Tuesday? But Carodan is having a 10% off sale — how — will — I — resist?????? AAAUUUGGGGHHHH — MY SISTER WOULD JUST LOVE A MULTIDIRECTIONAL SCARF FOR XMAS, WOULDN’T SHE????

    (be strong… think about baseball…)

    Curse you, curse you, Wendy!

    P.S. Does Lucy knit English or contintental? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. ooooh maybe I’ll try a cowl rather than just another scarf with the mohair I just bought. Hmm…… ideas ideas ideas. It’s a wonder I ever get anything completed!

  7. Does your Lucy ever get off of the Booga Bag? She is a darling kitty. I think the cowl idea is great because – baby it’s cold outside.

    Have a great weekend.

  8. The cowl is a great idea. I made one a few years ago from a free pattern on the web. Last year I decided I might want to make another and couldn’t find the pattern again. I think I changed some of it so that every one I looked at online didn’t seem familiar. I think I will make another after the holidays to match my winter coat.

    Lucy is adorable as usual.

  9. Andrea, Lucy won’t knit in my presence, so I’m not sure of her knitting style. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Barb, Lucy gets off the Booga Bag to sit on my lap, but she does spend a lot of time on the Booga Bag!

  10. Wendy,
    You can’t imagine my great surprise when I wandered in to work out of the cold and chill,logged on to your website as I regularly do first thing and found my suggestion for a cowl noted first thing on your blog. What an honor. I’ve learned so much from you that I am so glad to offer a knitting suggestion to you. Many thanks.

    Re alpaca for the cowl – you can use any yarn – wool, wool & mohair, mohair, Rowan felted tweed, you get my drift… I’ve never tried cashmire – but I’m sure it would and be luscious and warm. I’ve used the K1P1 pattern, a K2P2 pattern and my favorite cowl to wear these days is an alpaca cowl in navy and orange based on a fair isle pattern from Nancy Bush’s sock book.

    Have a wonderful weekend. You’ve helped to make my Friday a day for celebrating.

  11. Wendy/Peg, what gauge are we talking about for the cowl (and the 166 stitches!)?

  12. Lucy sitting on the felted bag has given me an idea. What about felted cushions for my dining room chairs? Please consult with Lucy and let me know.

  13. Lucy thinks felted cushions would be fab! She wants to know if she can come to your house for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alison, what I would do is figure out how big around you want your cowl (like maybe 30 inches?) then do a gauge swatch in the yarn and stitch pattern you want to use, and figure from there. That’s what I think I’m gonna do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Wendy and Alison,
    The cowl I’m wearing now is 6 stitches to the inch. I don’t remember the size of needles I used but it was probably based on the recommendation on the skein. Phylis, a good friend, has asked me to tell you how many cowls I’ve knit over the years. Other good friends are less polite – “not another cowl!!!” Let me just warn you that knitting cowls is addictive….and fun.

  15. Lucy is welcome for dinner, but i don’t think my Risha will give her a warm welcome as she really doesn’t like other cats….

  16. Jenny (in Davis) says:

    Wendy, the weather coming to the east coast looks yucky! Stay warm and safe. Happy weekend!

    Finished my first Booga Bag! I see why you all love them so, that kureyon is so yummy to knit with!

  17. Karen in MN says:

    Is a cowl similar in concept to a moebius scarf? A google search seems to confirm that, but I’m wondering what your cowl would look like?

    At any rate, said google search brought up this free pattern at Ozyarn which looked neat.

  18. Karen, I would say a cowl is a moebius without the twist. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Wendy, I was thinking about the cat bed some more and wanted to pass the thoughts on to you… If you’re doing it from the center bottom outward, once you get to the “walls” you may lose some of the striking color patterning because you’ll be doing “long repeats” around the circle. Have you thought of knitting a “band” to encircle the completed bottom, but making it back and forth the short way, to show off the color changes? And attaching it afterwards, or doing some kind of modular knitting attachment as you go? But of course then you’d have to consider how that would affect the felting… it’s been bugging me so I had to write. I’m sure you’ve already considered it. Have a great day.

  20. Mmmmm. Araucania wool. My favorite yarn ever. Socks, hats, bags, sweaters. You name it, I love it when it’s made with Araucania.

    I’ve never worked with cashmere, but it sounds like it would work into a very lush, wonderful oh-so-elegant cowl.