My current work in progress:

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


Who’s That Whacko With a Tape Measure?

If you are in Northern Virginia and happen to see a strange woman in the grocery store measuring the circumference of all large cylindrical objects with a tape measure, please stop and say hello to me.

What am I up to? Why, I am in search of the perfect blocking aid for bucket hats, of course.

The Skye Bucket was blocked on a china cachepot I have, but was just a tad too big. So I rewashed it and felted it over a bowl that was a tad too small with a towel taped around it to make it big enough.

So on Saturday I brought my tape measure to the grocery store and measured everything in the store that looked like it might work.

I quickly came to the conclusion that Bonne Marie has a dainty little head if she can use a 2-lb coffee can to block her hats.

Did you know that people look at you funny when you measure stuff in the grocery store?

I ended up buying a tin of Danish Butter Cookies (you know — the small blue tin) in the Rite-Aid (on sale for $1.99) because I thought it was perfection. But guess what? It’s just an ootch too big.

After watching all this, Ian thoughtfully did an online search for hat forms for me, but I didn’t see anything that was exactly right.

So I was back at the grocery store with my tape measure last night. Nothing new since Saturday, but hope springs eternal.

New Scarf


Oooooh! Yummy, yummy!

This is handpainted cashmere knitted in a simple feather and fan stitch. Cashmere purchased from an ebay seller — link to her store in the sidebar.

I’m just winging the pattern. Want it? You know you do.

Simple Feather and Fan Lace Scarf

Cast on 58 stitches.

Rows 1, 2, & 4: Knit.
Row 3: Knit 2, (knit 2 tog) 3 times, *(yo, k1) 6 times, (knit 2 tog) 6 times — repeat from * to last 8 stitchs, (knit 2 tog) 3 times, knit 2.

Repeat these four rows until the scarf is as long as you want, or until you run outta yarn.

Couldn’t be simpler, right?

Confession is Good for the Soul

This came in the mail yesterday:


As did this:


The first pile o’ yarn is to make another kitty bed for Miss Lucy. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill-Potluck Bulky-blues greens and Trendsetter Shadow in shade 1003. And I started the bed, on size 15 needles with the yarn held double:


The second pile of yarn is “Forest Handpainted Cloud 9 Wool Yarn” purchased on eBay from Over the Rainbow Yarns and all I can say is Wow! Wowie wow wow wow! No concrete plans for this wool . . . yet.

Alrighty kids . . .


This is probably my last post for the week. Happy Holidays to all!



  1. Happy holidays to you and Lucy; the pups send woofs, I send hugs! We wish you a yarn-filled new year, along with plenty-o-peace, prosperity, and perfect health. Enjoy your time away from the office!

  2. I have made several purchases from Over the Rainbow yarns and they’ve all been fabulous. I am especially fond of the shawl I did from a couple of hanks of her loopy silk-wool-mohair blend.

  3. I have made several purchases from Over the Rainbow yarns and they’ve all been fabulous. I am especially fond of the shawl I did from a couple of hanks of her loopy silk-wool-mohair blend.

  4. I’ve first gotta tell ya that you’re a nut! I can imagine you in the store measuring everything; and deliberately not explaining yourself as to why you’re doing this to the people who are staring at you in wonder…just to keep them wondering. I’ll bet you’re just a tad bit mischievious aren’t you? Truth is, it sounds fun to me…and I would’ve enjoyed it as well. It reminds me of the Candid Camera show. I love taking people by surprise…just to see the expression on their face.

    I’m not sure if the reason that you’re not finding the right sized can at the grocery is because they are all too small; but if so, you might try Sam’s Club or Costco if you have one in your area…they carry larger cans of food for restuarants. Or may I suggest the bathroom decor isle at Target; perhaps a small waste basket turned upside down would do??? It might be worth a try.

    I take it, you like the green wool? It must be extra soft and luxurious…sort of buttery? Can’t wait to see what you do with it. Maybe make Lucy a throw for her new bed? (just kidding)

    I swiped your scarf pattern…it’s quite lovely. I would like to know what size needles you used on this particular scarf though…perhaps you could mention that in Friday’s post.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family…see ya Friday on the blog.

  5. When I made a felted hat several years ago, I was out measuring balls in stores to find one the right size to use as a blocking form. That wouldn’t work for you since you need a flat top on your BOC. I’m pondering a hat design of my own that I’d like to use that brim on. It appears to me that sts are picked up and knit outward to do the brim. How many increases per round and how frequently do you increase it to keep the circle growing outward? My hat won’t be felted so do you think one layer of worsted weight garter stitch will make a stiff enough brim?

  6. Seasons Greetings.Happy Yuletide.May 2004 be full of happiness for you,Ian and Lucy.

  7. Lisa, thanks for the suggestions for blocking forms!

    I’m using a size 7 needle on the scarf, btw.

    Charlotte, for a non-felted hat, I’d double the yarn for the brim. I hestitate to post the instructions for the brim here, because the pattern I used, Bonne Marie Burns’ Bucket-o-Chic, is a for-sale pattern and I believe I’d be violating copyright by posting part of the pattern. I hope you understand.

  8. Lucy looks so content to know she’ll have two beds to choose from! Since people compare nutritional info. on grocery products and figure out W.W.Points with their calculating cards, the manager might be wondering what newfangled diet requires measuring the package! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Beautiful scarf Wendy. It must feel sooooo soft to knit. How many yards of fiber do you think you will use?

    Happy and healthy holidays to you and all you readers!

  10. Purl, I have 400 yards of the cashmere and will probably use it all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wendy, that’s a beautiful scarf pattern! It looks so cozy. One question – how will you finish it? I’ve never done that pattern, how do you bind off to keep the wavy-ness?

  12. hope you have a wonderful holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wendy, have a great holiday. I’m so relieved to see the beautiful Lucy without Santa hat or other holiday adornment…not that you would EVER. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. jen in orange says:

    happy holidays!

    in fruity voice:
    may your needles never chip and your yarn never split!

  15. I have the PERFECT hat blocker …

    I just fulled my Bucket-o-Chic (with a brim variation which didn’t work out the way I wanted) and it’s drying now, stretched over a cone of yarn — one of those squat, fat cones for machine-knitting. Just happened to have one the perfect size on hand. I may never use the yarn, but just keep it around for drying fulled hats!

    My brim experiment was to add some Funny-Lux. I used your idea to garter-stitch the brim, Wendy, adding the Funny on the purl rounds. That part worked fine — it’s furry and fuzzy and funky, just as I thought it would be. But it’s still wavy, like your Colinette Sky hat.

    I have a funky cousin-in-law who learned to knit this year who will love the hat just as it is. I think I’ll buy the pattern for her and send it along with the hat.


  16. If you are looking for permanent hatblocks… has low-cost blocks and they work great/last forever. Happy Holidays!

  17. Who makes my Season bright?
    You do!
    Wishing you and your wonderful Family a Happy and Glorious Holiday Season!

  18. Wendy – hope you, Ian and Lucy have a wonderful, blessed Christmas. You give us a lot of joy throughout the year! One of the ladies in my knitting group actually went to Walmart and started trying different buckets and bowls on her head!! Of course, she could get away with it because she’s this darling little elderly English lady. I applaud your persistence. My one experience with getting a hat to fit was frustrating, but I love doing Booga bags that don’t have to fit! Merry Christmas to all and to all happy knitting.

  19. Wendy,

    Happy Holidays to you and Lucy. Thank you for your wonderful blog with tips and ideas. I enjoy reading it daily.

    Lucy…..another bed…..could she be spoiled????? Not!

    Wishing you and Lucy a HAPPY NEW YEAR.



  20. Wendy, first happy hoho! Second, I just put towels over the coffee can to make it wide enough–I actually made it wider than my head so it wouldn’t mess my hair. Then I covered it in a plastic bag and slid the hat on. Since I refelted it, it was a bit small, and a tight squeeze, but the fabric stretched and I have a perfect bucket hat.

    Hope that helps–I was measuring stuff in my house but hadn’t ventured to the store–yet.

  21. Wendy and Lucy, my best wishes for a very happy Holiday!

    Another suggestion for a hat blocker. Go to your local wig shop, and buy a styrofoam head. They usually cost less than $5.

  22. Happy Holidays Wendy and to Ian and Lucy, too.

    Too bad you don’t have pictures of the supermarket measuring outing as I’m sure it would be fun to see.

    Can’t wait to read about the yarn you get over the holidays.

  23. LOL – I can just picture you in the grocery store with a tape measure. Merry Christmas & Happy New year to you … have a safe & happy holidays with lots of knitting! Love the new scarf! ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. Wendy, Merry Christmas to you!!!! I just wanted to thank you for this fabulous blog. You are truly one of the most gifted knitters I’ve seen. But even better than that, you are a kind person with a warm heart. I hope the New Year brings you much happiness ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Wendy: try this for a source for hat forms: They’re designed for needle felting, but might also work for drying your hats..someone else mentioned wig forms, which sound like a good option, too…

  26. I love your scarf pattern. I’ve been looking for a fast baby blanket pattern that would suit an interesting-textured yarn that I have and this might be just perfect. Can’t wait to knit up a swatch tonight!

  27. Mannequin head!!! They have some selling on ebay. Also, I remember seeing glass heads at Cost Plus. Or was it Pier 1? I saw one set up in a fish tank once. I have been meaning to pick one up for myself for a while now.

  28. I was going to suggest Home Depot. PVC comes in many diameters, especially longer ones. You could get a foot of it for petty cheap.

  29. Have you thought of going to a tupperware store? They have all kinds of sizes…

    I have a question about your Kimono Shawl… I saw you used a different yarn for it. How many skeins did you have to order?