My current work in progress:

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




That’s a close-up of one of the sleeve steeks on Abalone, in response to a question yesterday about how I knit my steeks. As you can see, this is knit in stripes. But I have knit steeks in a checkerboard pattern as well. It really makes no difference. I’ve been knitting in stripes because it makes a neat line that’s easier to cut. That’s all. There’s no difference in the steek — either way you are alternating the colors every other stitch, so the “quality” of the steek remains the same.


And that’s the first sleeve at the start of the cuff. It’s on a 12-inch needle. I started the sleeve using a 16-inch needle and about halfway down switched to the 12-incher. And won’t have to resort to dpns to finish the sleeve. I don’t like using dpns on fair isles — I’d much rather use a circular if I possibly can.


The mere thought of using dpns just wears Lucy out!

Yesterday’s Lucy photo was an action shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her fall asleep on her back.

There’s another storm heading towards Washington D.C. Right now there is no precipitation and the pavement is dry. Yet the government is operating on a two-hour delayed arrival. I think I’d rather go in now when everything is dry, rather than wait two hours until everything is a mess.

But that’s just me.


  1. Wendy, I agree with you on traveling in the bad weather. I work for state gov’t (NY) and we don’t have travel delays here in Rochester. I’m calling my own travel delay b/c the weather has already hit here. I guess I should have gone in 2 hours early instead!! Ha! Like anyone would care!

    I did work on one WIP this AM: I’m making Rosedale in a lovely Kureyon shade. Am doing my first corrugated rib…and wishing I had a small circular to do it, DPs are definitely fussy when knitting with 2 colors.

    Stay safe in this crazy weather!

  2. Ugh, they’re making you go in? I think it’s all fine & dandy to require people to go to work in bad weather when your city is equipped to handle it on a regular basis (like Chicago, Minneapolis, etc.) but in States where it doesn’t snow that often, it makes commuting VERY hectic & dangerous. I’m glad you get to ride the train instead of drive. I’m not from Chicago but I’ve lived here for 12 years and I STILL can’t drive in the snow…LOL!

    I agree with you about using circs on sleeves for fair isles. I don’t like stranding with DPNs either. Good luck with your morning commute!

  3. Pardon me for being so uneducated in the steeking department, but how on earth do you keep your work from unraveling when you cut it with sissors? The thought of it makes me sweat!

  4. Lisa – my suggestion is to knit a fair isle sample. Then cut the sample vertically and see what happens. Then, cut the sample horizontally and see what happens. The sample will not unravel when you cut it vertically, but will do so when you cut it horizontally.

  5. Cheryl F. says:

    Such progress on Abalone! Gorgeous as usual. Speaking of gorgeous, you’ve got to try the bubbles on Lucy (if you haven’t already). I saw in the pet store the other day that they sell catnip flavored bubble mixture.
    My “little” (18 lb.) guy whines and fusses when we pull out the bubble bottle. Good luck with the weather. DC civil servants are tougher than their counterparts further north (name of city unmentioned to protect the wimpy–this I know from personal experience).
    They once called a snow day in the middle of the afternoon, and it took 2 hours just to get out of the parking lot –not from the snow, but from all the fleeing GS workers!! Take care

    Cheryl in LA (lower Alabama, where it’s supposed to be 60 today, but rainy!)

  6. Hi Wendy, I searched your archives and FAQ and can’t seem to find this question, but I do hope I am not being repetative. Last night I tried your cable without a needle method. I understand how it works, I just couldn’t figure out how to hold the stitches in one hand (off the needle) and knit the stitches off the left needle without dropping the stitches in my hand. Am I missing something (like a third hand?) or does it improve once the lenght of the fabric increases? Thanks, Amy

  7. Amy – go into Wendy’s gallery page of her finished works and projects along the side bar. She has a page of cabling without cable needle.

    There is some pretty cool stuff on that page.

  8. Hi Wendy. I was DTW (dead-to-the-world) at 5 am, but if it was dry, then you made the right call! By the time I woke up at 6, it was rainy and yucky, but that’s all. My kid really has it made — when *I* was a kid, they made us go to school if it rained!

    In my 12+ years as a Fed, this is the first time I believe I’ve ever seen “delayed arrival.” It’s a good thing they did it today, because we needed extra time to deal with water getting into our basement due to frozen gutters. Traffic was no problem, though!

    Abalone is beautiful as always. Still waiting to see the Norfolk progress! 😉

  9. I find using dpns on cuffs really tough since you’re trying to get an attractive, even edge for your sleeve. On my Dale “Sapporo”, I used two 24″ circs instead of dpns and they did the job admirably. I was using two colors of Heilo and following a chart and it made my life much more pleasant. Just remember to knit the stitches with the opposite end of the same needle, i.e. you’re not knitting onto the “other” needle.

  10. Barb, thanks, I printed those instructions out last night, but must have been a bit to tired to fully comprehend them! Sorry for wasting everyone’s time.

  11. Maureen in Fargo says:

    OK, I’m getting a little tired of the Federal Employee bashing and whining…I’ve been a Fed for almost 30 years, a Med Tech in VA Hospital labs in Albany, NY and now Fargo, ND and never had work delayed or cancelled due to weather… hard to do that when there are Veterans to take care of. Does that mean us Federal healthcare workers are tougher than other Feds? During our flood/blizzard in April ’97 I worked 24 hours straight…alone in the lab…because no one could get here to relieve me…everyone else got their absense excused by our Center Director, I got a Thank You letter.

    OK, off my soapbox now…I’ve got a good start on Marina and am loving it…I’m also trying to finish my top-down Aran and I almost have to force myself to put Marina down to work on it. I guess I am truly bitten by the Fair Isle bug!

  12. Selma in Woodstock says:

    Wendy,Abalone looks lovely. Studying it raised a question for me. Since there are not a gazillion different colors in it, it seems as though it would be fairly obvious at any given point in the knitting which color you’d treat as background and which you’d treat as foreground. I wonder, though, in sections of a fair isle when it’s not quite as obvious, how do you decide which is which? Is this something painfully obvious that I’m missing?