My current work in progress:

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


Not So Cold

But the way-chilly air is supposed to be back — tomorrow or Thursday, I think. Along with the threat of some more snow.

Last week “swellmom” asked an interesting question in the comments:

I know this is a dumb question, but I’ve never lived in a cold climate. How do you dress for work? I would imagine it is unbearably cold getting to the train, but then are you too warm on the train? When you get to work do you wear your beautiful wool sweaters in the office throughout the work day, or is it necessary to strip down to a lightweight blouse? How about going to a restaurant? What do people do with all their outerwear while dining?

I’ve lived at the beach in southern California all my life. I love hot, bathing suit weather. I can’t imagine temperatures colder than 45 degrees F.

When it’s really cold, I wear a cotton turtleneck with a wool sweater over it. Bundle up with coat, scarf, and gloves to stand outside and wait for the train. Brrrrr! Then as soon as I get on the train, I’m too warm. By the time I get off the train I’m nauseated from being overheated. Then it’s back outside again to walk across the street from the station to my office. Brrrrr!

Well, at least I’m awake by the time I get to work!

Fortunately my office is not terribly overheated. We are in a cubicle environment, and I have one of the few, coveted, window cubicles — one side of my office is a wall of windows. I also have control of the thermostat to radiators that run along the windows (there’s a main heat source as well, that we the office inhabitants can’t control).

I supervise a team that has four members (including me): two men and two women. While Monica and I are always comfortable, the two guys are bundled up with their outerwear jackets on. What babies. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the past I’ve had overheated offices and I wasn’t able to wear my wool sweaters at all. Or if we have a mild winter, my sweaters stay home.

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, Revisited

Yesterday Monica told me that she was wearing the scarf I knitted her for Christmas when she picked up her mom after work one day. Apparently the scarf was a big hit with her mom, who exclaimed over it and loved it, and said it brought back fond memories of her deceased sister, who was an avid knitter.

I love positive feedback.


It makes a great Lucy blankie:


I’m not bored with this yet . . . while the fair isle pattern is relatively simple, it’s fun to knit and entertains me. For I must be entertained at all times!

And at the risk of displaying “excessive cat sentimentality” here is a photo of Lucy being adorable.


There is an online listing of craft blogs that describes my blog thusly: “if you can cope with the excessive cat sentimentality, this is another good one, particularly if you’re into fairisle. ”

No, it doesn’t bother me. It’s sort of amusing. I gotcha excessive cat sentimentality right here, buddy!


  1. the great lucie blankie is my favorite lucy photo. i hope to see it on the lucy calendar ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. i’m with vanessa – i love the lucy blankie photo! i’m glad the “excessive cat sentimentality” didn’t both you. what is it about us yarn girls and cats? i wouldn’t know what to do with myself if i wasn’t going head-to-head with my cat, strategizing over yarn placement and ways to distract batting paws while i knit away ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Excessive Cat Sentimentality — now, that’s a great name for a band! ๐Ÿ™‚ Bah — they’re just jealous because Miss Lucy is so very adorable.

  4. I love reading your blog. Your fair isle knitting is fantastic, but sorry, I love Lucy more! There’s never too many kitties photos for me – what’s wrong with these people!

  5. Heh – I suppose that person might describe Itzhak Perlman thusly: “If you can tolerate his chattiness, he’s a good violinist, particularly if you like classical music.”

  6. (said like Chandler Bing): Can there BE such a thing as excessive cat sentimentality??

    I’m with Lisa; it’s the perfect name for a band!

  7. I love excessive cat sentimentality! Especially the Lucy and the blanket version

  8. Can I kiss Lucy? I want to hug her every time I see a photo of her.

    Bring on MORE photos!

  9. Boy! Is Lucy a happy kitty or what? Her mommy has made her one happy putty tat.

  10. I found the questions from the woman who has lived in a warm weather climate her whole life fascinating. Having been born in Wisconsin, lived in Pittsburgh, PA as a child, and lived in Cleveland, OH my whole adult life, it never occurred to me that there are people out there who wouldn’t know how to dress for the cold. I am a bit envious of them, but somehow, I still like the idea of winter even though I don’t always like going out in it! There is something very cozy about winter since it is the kind of season where you can curl up on your couch in your warm house, yet still be wearing a handknit sweater while knitting away on another sweater that you just can’t wait to wear. Because I am an “indoor” type of person, something about winter appeals to me. I love summer, but I am glad that I have winter, too.

    I wonder what knitters in warm weather climates knit? I am sure that if I lived in a warm weather climate, I would still knit all the time because I do here in the summer, but it would be discouraging to knit something heavy like an Aran knit sweater and never be able to wear it.

  11. I love sweater weather and can’t imagine living somewhere where it’s warm all the time. As it is, here in the Pacific Northwest, our winters can be fairly moderate and we can’t wear sweaters that are too heavy. I just got the pattern for Kongsberg from the Yarn Barn and think I’m going to tackle it. Part of the appeal is that is a cardigan and can be shed easily if necessary, and it’s lightweight. As for the “excessive cat sentimentality” – I say go for it! And I’m not even a cat person (love those doggies). Keep it up.

  12. Wendy,
    Half the reason I love your blog so much is because of Miss Lucy!! She pulls it all together so beautifully!

  13. Excessive cat sentimentality??? NOT!!!

    The only thing that could top Lucy’s adorable extent would be Lucy as a kitten.

  14. I like the way you can see her little tooth sticking out under her lip in that last photo. Tee-hee!

  15. Obviously the person who made the “excessive cat sentimentality” comment has never loved a pet (the way we do ours).Who gives a rat’s “a-double s” what he/she thinks anyway…and it’s too bad and sort of sad that “they” don’t have the pleasure of enjoying the sentimentality of having a pet. The whole purpose of having a pet is to spoil it with love and to enjoy the love it gives in return…what could be wrong with that? I proudly display my over zealous sentimentality for my poodle…and that’s not going to change either!

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system…

    Question: When you are doing colorwork such as you are now with Abalone, do you have to look at the chart for each row, or do you memorize it and just know when to change colors by looking at your work on the needle?

    I enjoyed reading about your daily travels to work. I find other people’s lives interesting to hear about. Especially when they are so different from mine. I couldn’t help but think how you must have to apply extra deoderant for the warm train ride…and how the men just think they are cold now; wait and see how cold they are when (or if) the day comes that you and Monica are dealing with hot flashes! (Tee-Hee…I’m so glad to hear that the woman is in charge for a change..another giggle)

  16. We ‘warm weather knitters’ often find our wool sweaters the “just right” weight for cool evenings outside, cold temps in resturants, or ummmmmm trips to colder climates. I knit every day, and wear my wool socks to prove it…. Central Florida has some cool days when a wool sweater is just the ticket.
    I miss my widdle kitty, 12 years old and gone for 3months now so, the kitty-less among us thank you for sharing Miss Lucy….I am still puzzling over why kitty sentiments serves as a review of a knitting site, but then Miss Lucy does assist you with her expertise…. how could one not recognize her appreciation of a new kitty bed, and modeling Abalone for us is just delightful…Not so bad to be assigned as a kitty lover, huh?

  17. Excessive? Excuse me? This person has no perspective. I mean, he or she must not have looked at too many other knitting blogs before characterizing your “sentimentality” as “excessive.” Humph.

    What a nice compliment you got on the scarf. That’s the kind of thing that really makes knitting gifts worthwhile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I LOVE LUCY…

  19. I don’t think anyone has mentioned silk long underwear. I am a cold running person and wear silk long johns (both top and bottom) from December through February here in New England. I also do scarf, gloves, and hat while outside. I love to bundle!

    Lucy is great! Have you met any hunters that didn’t find dogs to be the cream of the crop pet? Maybe for knitters, cats are the cream of the crop!

  20. ECS – could be the name of a band or…a knitting blog – because I have 4 cats myself and they bring so much to my life, I also agree that there is no such thing as ECS.

    So, this being primary election day in Washington, DC, where we have taxation without representation, I cast my vote for MORE photos of the lovely Lucy. Keep up the great work Wendy!

    Also, silk long johns and knitted cowls have saved me in this cold bitter weather (as I prepare for the next cold wave).

  21. Ok, here’s my two climate perspective: I was raised in eastern Massachusetts, lived there, lived in Baltimore, now live in South Florida. As Sue, above, said and as I’ve mentioned before: a wonderful handknit wool cardi is the perfect thing in December, January, Feb, and into March, when the nights and early mornings can be quite chilly. We are in the high 40s, low 50s, every morning right now. I certainly don’t miss the New England or the Baltimore dampness, but I still dress seasonally, just not as big a difference. We full time residents wear dark colors and different fabrics in the winter than we do in the summer. In the summer, I usually knit shawls or lighter projects, but in the winter (now) I’m enjoying working on a wool gansey. Whether I wear this sweater much or not doesn’t really matter. I’m happy to be making it.

  22. First of all, love your blog! Every little bit of it, including any and all cat stuff. If I had a blog, you can bet my pets would be on it as well, including my llamas!
    To go with the warm/cold weather discussion, I’ve lived in both a warmer climate (Gulf Coast of Texas) and now Southern Indiana. Even though I love to knit with wool, I cannot wear a wool sweater anywhere unless it is VERY cold. I wear short sleeves to work even in the winter as I overheat very easily (I would probably pass out on your train if wearing a sweater). I can wear cotton sweaters but again only when it is quite cold. If I’m going to be active at all, the sweater has to go. Still, I knit with wool simply because I love it, along with other natural fibers.

  23. Hey Wendy! Someone’s reviewing your blog?! Now you know you’re a great site! I visit every morning along with tons of other people. Your popularity is evident by the charity events you hold…very successful to say the least. Have you ever thought of designing a sweater of some sort (Baby Norgi was wonderful) and selling it as a downloadable for charity? I bet that would be really successful, too.

    As for Lucy…keep it coming! I have a friend who knits her Siamese sweaters…ah, the good life. I bet he’d prefer a nice felted kittybed.

    And for the climate? I live in Texas but have a wool fetish. I love fairisles as well as heavy aran jackets, etc. It does actually get really cold here some days it just doesn’t stay cold for long. But I am always amused at people’s ignorance when they remind me (with a chuckle) that I live in Texas. They just don’t get it….

  24. With looks like that how can you not photograph Lucy? She is so cute! I just loved her fancy pants shot last week. I think there is more than enough knitting photos! Some people just have to complain about something!

  25. Just some perspective- I live in coastal North Florida and my job requires me to be outside quite a bit. Today I am wearing about five layers- including warm socks, thermal underwear, cotton tee, dress, denim jacket, coat, scarf, gloves. Left my hat at home, but it’s warmer now so I’ll survive without it today.

    We get to knit lots of wool stuff, and I am thankful for it at this time of year! Although I do dread the layer adjustments required when going in or out I appreciate the warmth, especially when the wind is whipping off the bay.

  26. I am glad to be enlightened by the warmer weather knitters who say that they still knit with wool in the warmer climates and even get to wear the sweaters at times. This brings me great comfort since my husband always dreams of retiring in Florida some day since golf is his passion. I have always had visions of the two us having many arguments in our later days when I would be focused on wanting to spend my days knitting away somewhere! Now, maybe that won’t happen.

  27. Hi Wendy

    I only recently discovered your blog as a link from Kristine’s! I ADORE your kitty pics! Before my ex husband and I split, we had two cats, who I loved to bits! Since then, he has given them to a new home – he never realised how much “work” it took to feed them, clean up after them, and retrieve the wee animals they brought in during the night until he had to do it himself!

    On the subject of cold weather, I’m in Scotland – we’re having some chilly weather right now and woolly jumpers are just the thing right now! I do boil a bit on the bus, like you on the train, but appreciate my woollies on the walk from the bus, into the office, by which time, the only cold bit of me is my face!!!


  28. I am sorry if anyone is really bothered by my comment about Wendy’s blog. It’s just one person’s opinion; please don’t let it upset you or spoil your reading pleasure.

    I grew up in a house full of cats. My mum has always had between two and four cats. She was known as the person to bring strays to if they had no home. I started a new job a couple of months ago and we have a lovely office cat who spends his days wandering around taking naps on people’s desks and whoring for scritches. I am planning to make him a blanket so the poor thing doesn’t have to keep sleeping on people’s bags (though he probably will anyway). So yeah, I like cats. I’m just not that interested in Lucy. I’m interested in Wendy’s knitting.

    I’ve not done much fairisle because I prefer plainer garments, but I’m thinking of incorporating a small fairisle border into the next jumper I invent. Does this sound sensible? I’ve only really done stripes and slip-stitch colourwork successfully. I did some intarsia a long long time ago but it was always horribly uneven.

  29. Another warm climate person here. I find Sydney’s climate way too mild for heavy sweaters & so am now knitting vests. I like to modify those lovely sweater patterns & just not do the sleeves. I was 18 when I lived thru my 1st autumn (fall). It was so exciting to see frost on the ground & russet leaves. Fall in Sydney is roughly 1-2 weeks long with virtually no frost.

  30. What gives with these clowns that dictate how our blogs are written & their content?? When have we forced folk to read them?? Next it will be authors. Can you see me getting away with: I want the Old Testament rewritten in subsequent editions – I think there is too much violence in it! Yeah, sure!! hehe

  31. Don’t listen to that person about excessive cat sentimentality. I don’t think you can have too much Lucy. She’s beautiful, and I enjoy the pictures of her. I love cats.

  32. we all need the unconditional love our pets give us….so pour it on Lucy!

  33. There is no such thing as EXCESSIVE cat sentimentality.


  1. On being cat single

    Okay, as mentioned before, Sarah Hatter’s explanation of “cat single”. It’s everywhere. Apparently, we can’t help ourselves. It’s disgusting….