My current work in progress:

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


Lots of Stuff

Email and Viruses, and Worms, Oh My!

Just so you know, I have disabled all email addresses at I was getting many many worm emails, all coming in to fictitious addresses there. I had auto-forwarding turned on to send email through a spam filter into my real email address, but too many worms were . . . uh . . . worming their way through.

So if you want to email me, use the “contact me” link in my sidebar. Okay?

And while we’re on the subject of email . . .

I am now deleting without opening all email from people I don’t know that has no subject or the subject is something like “hi.” If you email me and I don’t know you, please put something in the subject line that has to do with why you’re emailing me.

The spam problem is getting out of hand . . .

It’s a sorry state of affairs when one has to go to such lengths.

And While We’re On the Subject of Email . . .

I’m getting more and more email from people with questions like: “I’m looking for x pattern. Can you send me a copy/tell me where to download it?” And the punchline is that 99 times out of 100 it’s a pattern I’ve never heard of or never used and definitely never mentioned in my blog.

Google, my friends. Google, google, google.

This is not directed at the majority of you. Close your eyes. Okay, to the rest of you:

People, I am not a free search and pattern retrieval service for anything and everything remotely connected with knitting. I am not the knitting oracle. My interests center around what I think is a relatively small segment of knitting as a whole — traditional fair isles, Norwegian knitting, and fisherman sweaters.

And lastly, and most importantly, I will not send you copies of copyrighted patterns. Period. End of subject.

If you have questions and/or want to discuss the type of stuff I blog about, by all means, drop me a line or leave a comment.

Thank you.

Okay, the rest of you can open your eyes now.


I’ve had some questions about why the ThreadyBear sweater is no longer in my WIP list. It’s not there because I’m no longer knitting it. There were problems with the pattern that rendered it unknittable in its present form, so I sent the designer my critique and suggestions for change and sent back what I had completed up to that point.

Susan asked:

Is there such a thing as yarn that cannot be steeked?

Hmmmm . . . I dunno. I think you could steek just about anything, if you were going to machine stitch it and sew in a sleeve, rather than pick up stitches around the armhole. The question is . . . would you want to?

A really bulky yarn or a really slippery yarn are two examples that I would think would not be good steeky candidates. Several of you left comments about this yesterday. Anyone else got any steek stories they wanna share?

Lisa asked:

In regards to the fun fur question, I held some fun fur at the top of a booga bag and it changed the gauge enough that it made the top of the bag loose and wavy…have you not experienced that with the kitty beds? If so, how would you resolve the problem? A few decreases?

Both of the kitty beds I made felted with no problem. Anyone else have any problems? You certainly could do a few decreases around the top if your fur yarn changes the feltability of your fabric. You’d need to do a swatch to test it out — knit with just the wool for a few inches, then top it off with an inch or so of the fur yarn held with the main yarn. Then felt it and see how it turns out.

And there are even more new photos in the kitty bed gallery!

Joanne asked:

I’m starting Amphora in the blue colorway. It’s such a beautiful sweater. I’m worried that the border on the bottom would be unflattering, making the wearer look heavier, or even pregnant. Did you find this when you did yours? If so, would you do the border the same again, or would you change to ribbing?

I had no problem with the border around the bottom — it doesn’t seem to draw attention to that — ahem — larger part of my anatomy. But if you were concerned, you could certainly do a ribbed bottom and make the sweater a tad shorter (it’s sort of tunic length). If I were knitting it again, I’d do the same border as the first one.

Kathleen asked:

Sweet picture of Lucy. How many attempts to get that one?

I lucked out on that! I looked down while she was in my lap, and saw her peeking over my knitting. so I grabbed the camera and snapped her pic.

The moral of that story is: Always have your camera at your side!

Liz astutely pointed out:

I also just noticed that you switched over to those new ebony needles that arrived recently unless my eyes are deceiving me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes indeed I am! And loving every minute of it!

But I’ve started an Abalone sleeve, so now I’m using a 40cm circular. Fortunately, I already had a 40cm long ebony in 3.25mm.

Speaking of Holz and Stein . . .

Susan, my ebony needle fairy godmother emailed me yesterday with this information. She phoned the woman from whom she ordered my needles to let her know a lot of people are interested in ordering.

1. The woman also received a lot of emails with questions in the last 2 days.

2. The needles are still produced and available, but the producer is very busy and can’t handle such a big interest right now, so delivery will likely take some time.

3. The shop-owner will create an english site with information about the needles and the charges (postal etc.) so it will be much easier to order.

4. She speaks good English so everybody can order by email.

What more can we ask for? Thank you Susan!


Here she is, with all the bands completed. (Man, you had to read down far to actually get a photo today, huh?)


And here, for Mary, a close-up of the neckband:


I picked up the stitches for the neckband, and knitted back and forth. Then for each of the front bands I picked up stitches along the front steek, extending up and picking up stitches on the neckband edge. Each front band is knit separately.

And last night I picked up the stitches for a sleeve.


Lucy shows approval of Abalone so far.



  1. you are my knitting oracle ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Re booga bag. I’m made a couple felted totes recently and one I topped with fun fur. I did decrease about 1/5 of the stitches to account for the increased bulk of fun fur – two strands of fur for a really fluffy look. It worked perfectly. A questions to Wendy, though. Did you line your booga bags?

  3. Abalone’s perfect symmetry is mesmerizing! Lucy looks like your quality control inspector. It’s flawless,isn’t it,Lucy?

  4. Oh Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear about the virus/worm troubles. The internet can be a blessing and a royal PITA at the same time, can’t it? Sheesh, if the people who create these things spent half their time putting their knowledge to good use, think of the advancements we could make? OK, rant over!

    Oooh, Abalone is this/close to being completed. I know how fast you are with sleeves. I’ll bet you’re done by Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚ You ARE the Fair Isle oracle…LOL. I’ve updated my blog with my Luskentyre WIP. You Luskie FO is a source of inspiration.

  5. I had to wipe the drewl (sp?) off my keyboard before I could type this – Abalone is just stunning. I bow to your Needlenes and thanks for sharing your talent.

  6. Oops, entered the wrong link above.

  7. Thanks a million for all the steek information and especially for the detailed photos of the bands and stitch pickups. Reading the directions is one thing, but once I get to actually doing something, I find that written directions are often open to interpretation. (Or maybe my mind just works funny :). Anyway, seeing how the finished product should look is a big help.

    Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Pacific Coast Highway were reissued? Seems like everyone would win.

  8. Please post the email address or website of the shop where Susan got the US#3 circular ebony needle for you! Did I miss this somewhere? If memory serves me (that’s highly questionable these days), the web search I did a few months ago came up with a few places where EVEN size needles could be purchased but NOT ODD sizes. (Hmm, or was it vice versa?)

    Wendy, your productivity is a real inspiration! Thanks for maintaining this blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Wendy is completely correct about slippery yarns not steeking well. I am working on my first project that will require steeks and a friend was kind enough to let me see some steeked items she has knit. One was with a yarn with a significant rayon content — beautiful and shiny, but likely to shred. All of the little plies of rayon were unraveling and then worming their way out of place. She had machine stitched the steek but not securely enough for this yarn.

    It is a beautiful sweater but it surely taught me at least one thing as a beginner — go for the shetland wool!

  10. Donna Boucher says:

    Wow! Your sweater is amazing! What a talented knitter you are!!!

  11. Hi Joan,

    the link is in the comments of yesterday or the day before.


  12. Cheryl F. says:

    Wendy the Knitting Oracle–
    I like the sound of that! Maybe you should change the name of your blog. I’m sure Lucy would oblige by donning an appropriately snazzy turban (much more flattering than those aluminum foil hats), and you could both gaze intently at the camera.
    I see also that Lucy is doing your QC on Amphora, ensuring that the correct amount of kitty hair is in each sweater you so lovingly (and beautifully) knit. What a thoughtful girl! Stay warm and don’t let the bureaurocrats get you down!
    Cheryl in AL, where it was in the 20’s last night (you should have heard them on the news–sheesh!)

  13. Since you brought up worms/viruses/spam I guess that makes it fair game for comments? I hope! I wondered if anyone knows what these emails are that I’m getting. They have a “real person” sounding name in the name section and then random words as the subject. If I open the email the content is just more random words. It looks like they just dumped the dictionary on the page! My daughter, husband and I are all getting them. Should I be frightened? No one I know has any idea what the point of these are. I’d appreciate anyone who can tell me what this is and how alarmed I should be by it. Thanks!

  14. Cheryl F. says:

    Abalone, abalone, abalone I meant–I’m not worthy!

  15. Juli Furgeson says:

    I’m planning to start my first aran and wondered about needles. Do you use addi turbos or do I have an excuse to order the ebony ones?

  16. Hi Wendy! I know what you mean about the spam/worm problem. I can’t believe these people can’t find anything better to do with their time! >:( (Best mad-face emoticon I could come up with.)

    Abalone is indeed stunning. I really like the two-color garter bands. They’re much nicer looking than corrugated ribbing, IMO. I’d like to see how Norfolk is coming! I’m also curious, have you been tempted at all by the latest craze — the Rogue Knit Along? I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. At least I’m using wool from my stash (although I did order some to replace it).

  17. I’m sorry but you can’t change the beliefs of the people who have witnessed the truth, Wendy, but you are the Knitting Oracle.

    I understand it takes those who are truly asked to bear the gift a long time to accept it so we, those who have seen the miracles with our very own eyes…we will wait patiently until you claim your rightful place.

    Your grateful subject,

  18. Wendy! If it weren’t for the gorgeous Abalone, your entry is quite similar to something I was working on this morning.

    1. Inane questions about where to find X pattern… I’ve had many of these so far this week! I don’t understand why anyone would email a blog writer who has nothing to do with what they’re searching for! Argh!

    2. Spam – my goodness, it’s getting out of control. Like you, I’m getting loads to fake email addresses at my domain.

    Anyhow. I feel your pain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I have found that large felted bags tend to flair out at the top so I added a 4 stitch atttached I-cord around the to edge before felting and that did the trick. As for the fur trim, I haven’t had any problem with it but I think that the density of the “fur” makes a big difference. I’ve used fur in the cuffs of felted mittens. My LYS carries about 15 different kinds of fur, which for us wool knitters is amazing. I hope that some of these new scarf knitters evolve into wool knitters when the scarf craze is over because they are keeping many LYS’s profitable.

  20. Ack. The people who can’t use google.

    The livejournal knitting community gets a lot of those. Occasionally, someone will simply post ‘How do I cast on?’ and then the bitter hordes descend.

  21. Tam — those “gobbledygook” emails with no understandable content apparently sneak in a trojan virus. Guess how I know. This happened with yahoo mail, just by opening the mail (not an attachment or anything).

  22. Many thanks for the info re steeks – you explain it sooooo clearly. I really appreciated it.

    Abalone is beautiful – it’s a pleasure to see it “develop”.

    Question: Is there a link for the knitting needles?

  23. Abalone is very beautiful – I am always amazed at how much more I like some sweaters after the trimming is put on.

    Worms and Viruses, ugh. Sorry you are having so many problems with them, right now my husband is out there trying to solve all our worm problems ๐Ÿ™‚ (our, being all internet users, as he works on a team doing research to find ways to prevent these people from causing such destruction) I don’t understand why some people consider destruction like this entertainment.

    Anyway, happy knitting. I hope the weather is getting better.

  24. Wendy, I totally feel you on the situation with people emailing you looking for patterns. I get that all the time too. Most of the time I ignore it. But, sometimes I have responded. Usually I tell them to check out my free patterns website ( where I have links to most of the free patterns out there on the web (though, I’m always adding more).

    But, it’s like people think that if you have a blog you have all the time and resources in the world to cater to their needs. Blah! Do your own damn research!

  25. Wait, you and your blog are not here to do our bidding in regards to all knitting information? And copyright MEANS SOMETHING to you? Boy, I’m just not sure about you, Wendy.

    I hope you are staying safe in that wretched weather. I laughed out loud when I read about your commute yesterday. I work in transit, and it’s not a good sign when the driver announces it’s likely that ‘we’ll make it.’

  26. Thank you so much Wendy! Your picture provides what I was unable to develop in my imagination. This should help me over come my Luskie-block!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks again. tons.