My current work in progress:

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


February Contest

It’s Valentine’s week, kids, so it’s all about love, and mush, and sentimental slop. I give you:

The Excessive Cat Sentimentality Contest

Email me a photo (or a link to a photo online) that shows excessive cat sentimentality and I will enter you in the drawing for one of these fabulous prizes:

First prize: 10 skeins Alpaca Country Fina — 20% alpaca, 80% wool yarn in a pretty pink. This is sportweight and has 150 meters per 50 gram skein.


Second prize: Dale book 109. I understand this is now out-of-print and getting harder to find. Lots of great patterns in this one! This copy was kindly donated by L-B!


Third prize: An 8×10 glossy of Lucy, suitable for framing.

Please note that photos depicting excessive pet sentimentality of any kind will be considered. Get your entries to me by 5:00pm, EST Friday February 13 to be considered for a prize!

Speaking of Dale Book 109 . . .

My new project is Dale 10903. Yes, Lotus won the popular vote by an overwhelming majority. But I wanna knit the runner-up. Partly because I don’t want to knit two cardis in a row — I find button bands to be a pain. So sue me. I’m knitting the pullover version of 10903 in the light colorway.

Hmmmm . . . we gotta come up with a better name for it than 10903.

Steeky Question

Mary asked:

Having never ‘steeked’ myself, I may be asking a dumb question. But isn’t a steek just for cutting open your sweater? If so, then why would it matter if you make a mistake in the pattern of your steek; or, why would it be necessary to have a pattern at all ???

Well, no, you don’t need a pattern. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.
But when you are knitting with two colors in one row, you’ll want to alternate those colors in the steek stitches. Alternating the colors stitch by stitch makes a firm fabric that adds to the strength of the steek after you cut it.

Oh, by the way . . .

I finished the multidirectional diagonal scarf.


Oh, by the way . . .

I finished Abalone.


No one can accuse me of vanity after seeing this photo. Not only is my hair unwashed, I didn’t even brush it for this photo. Rolled outta bed, finished the last three rounds on the last cuff of Abalone, and popped it on for a quick photo shoot before brushing my hair or even washing my face. Forget about make-up.

And Abalone hasn’t even been steam pressed in that photo.

Oh, just to show you I haven’t lost my sense of style, I want you to see that Abalone coordinates nicely with my bruised knee, courtesy of a fall on the ice last Wednesday.


Lucy is appalled.


Oh, there are more photos on the Official Abalone Page.


  1. abalone is stunning! do you like the length? i know you had mentioned that it is longer than most sweaters. sorry about your booboo, ouch ๐Ÿ™

  2. Beautiful work Wendy. I love the colors.

  3. Wow! After seeing you in the new abalone, I think that we should strongly encourage you toward total vanity. You look fabulous in your fabulous sweater, even with the coordinating knee boo-boo.

    Thanks for including *all* excessive pet sentimentality photos in the Feb. contest!

  4. I’m very excited that you’re knitting 10903 – I loved seeing Frogner develop, and this may be just as great. Enjoy – and happy Monday!

  5. I’m so glad you are going to do 10903 as I have the yarn and pattern for that as well. I’m happy you are going to do it as a pullover since that is my preference as well.

    I know there are instructions for it as a pullover in the child’s size but I don’t remember it in the adult size. I’m hoping to watch your progress and hope that you post the changes you make to turn the adult cardigan into a pullover so I can make notes for my eventual knitting of it.

  6. Beautiful sweater–and knee! Hope your bruise goes away quickly. If you have access to a health food store on your daily treks, arnica gel is a great way to make bruises disappear faster.

    I think you should name your new project something tapestry-related. The pattern looks so regal and old-fashioned…I don’t have any suggestions other than Tapestry, but that’s boring. Phooey.

    I’ll watch to see what other people suggest–definitely something more imaginative than Tapestry, I’m sure.


  7. I’m really afraid to type ‘cat love’ or anything similar into google (damn, where has that safe-search button gone?), but lacking a feline companion, a girl must do what a girl must do.
    Abalone is beauteous on you, esp. with your matching-coloured bruise – way to co-ordinate!

  8. blue earth knitter says:

    Abalone is beautiful! Is the the photo contest over at 5 pm on Monday? Which day? My Manx takes time to work himself up into excessive sentimentality, but does a fine job when properly bribed!

  9. Wendy, the things you knit look so much more beautiful on your pics than in the book. Beautiful Abalone!
    Now I am looking forward to see 10903 growing. (And knit along, I hope to get started by the end of this week.)
    I have a question about it right now: there are some really long floats in the flower pattern, like 20 stitches or so. Are you going to weave this time, or use separate lengths of yarn for each flower, or as usual – “just float, baby!” ? ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Oops, the contest is over 5pm this coming Friday, February 13. Sorry, I left that out! I corrected it in my blog entry.

    Zuzka, I’m going to float, baby! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Way to go! Looks fabulous! One of those days I’ll finish my Abalone.

  12. When I saw the picture of you in Abalone I thought; “My, she looks particularly good in that picture!”, and then read the next paragraph about how terrible you think you looked, and laughed out loud. Beautiful work, as usual, and my sympathies on the knee – perhaps it’s an excuse to put your feet up and knit?


  13. 10903 is a great choice; watching you knit up those pretty flowers might get us in a mood of Spring anticipation! And thanks for the steek advice; I think I now understand the wisdom behind patterning the steek.

  14. Renata Holder says:

    Thanks for the Abalone photos. Would you consider posting a photo of the inside of the sweater, near the front or neck bands. I am doing the bands on Firebirds and am wondering how much to trim the steek and whether to cross-stitch it down as the instructions suggest. Do you ever bother to cross-stitch, and if so do you just catch the strands on the inside? I am guessing that you don’t go all the way through the fabric ‘cos that would show.

  15. What colors are involved in the light colorway for your Dale 10903 – is it the colors shown in your pic?

    Your Abalone is a master piece and your friend’s diagonal scarf is too.

    Did you get any TLC for that nasty bruise on your knee or did Vodka do the trick (har).

  16. That scarf is gorgeous, but ABALONE…hello! Simply *stunning*, and you look wonderful in it. (I love your hair in that chic layered ‘do!)

    So sorry about the fall on the ice. Ouch ๐Ÿ™ Heal quickly, poor knee!

  17. Besides being a most excellent knitter…you must be the quickest knitter on the planet.

    You are The Amazing Wendy!

    Now be careful twirling…you don’t want a matching bruise :o)

  18. Wow. Abalone is just lovely…

    Looking at 10903… I’d call it “Mr. MaGreggor’s Garden”, just because I can see peter rabit wriggling in under that fence to get at those lovely flowers…

    But then again, I’ve been told i’m kinda odd.


  19. I wish I could send you the Feb 3 issue of “Woman’s World” magazine. There is an article in there that DEFINES excessive cat sentimentality.

    Abalone is FABULOUS and looks great on you, even first thing in the morning. haha I am SO SO glad you are doing the Dale pattern. I want to do it so bad I can’t stand it but need the pattern book. (crossing fingers that I win second prize)

    All the descriptive names for that Dale sweater I can think of sound corny. How about you just “name” it? Like “Grace” or “Helen” or something? hehe I, like you, have an excessive number of coats so I named my favorite one “Edna”. Now when I forget where I put it I can just say, “Anybody seen Edna?” and everyone knows which one I mean. Why not name a sweater?

  20. Abalone – beautiful
    You in Abalone – very beautiful
    Lucy – Priceless!

  21. Congratulations – you and Abalone look beautiful together.

    10903 looks like a “Wendy” to me.

  22. I’m a longtime listener, first time caller. I’ve always wanted to say that. Your kitty pictures never cease to make me smile. Your knitting makes me horribly jealous. I’ve decided to try 2 color knitting because of you, and then hopefully fair isle. Yes, it is your fault. Thank you, by the way, for posting what you do. It really is inspiring.

  23. If I looked half as good as you when you wake up, I’d rule the world, I really would. You’re like Lucy, a natural beauty. And gorgeous Abalone only enhances what’s already there.
    I am amazed, as usual. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  24. The Ab is certainly FAB! I think Lucy is mocking the clumsy bi-ped…kitties never fall…okay, hardly ever…(actually it looks painful, sorry…try to get a prescription for a tropical vacation).

  25. Beautiful work, Wendy, as always! Sorry about the bruise — looks painful. ๐Ÿ™

    I guess the good news is that the weather is improving somewhat. Spring can’t be too far away!

  26. Ooooh, Abalone is stunning!

  27. Gosh, Abelone is beautiful! And you look damn fine, brush or no brush!

  28. Wendy! Abalone is incredibly beautiful. Started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago (new to the idea of blgging) and now you are finished with this amazing sweater in such a short time. 10903 is wonderful, too. Perhaps you’ll entice me to knit a Dale. One Fair Isle under my belt and loved the stranding, two hand knitting. Dale has so many beautiful sweaters and you picked a winner.
    You look marvelous!

  29. Owie on the knee, but Abalone is easily one of the prettiest ones you’ve done — and that’s saying something. I adore complementary colors, and love purple, so I consider that sweater to be a REAL stunner. Kudos on you, girl!

  30. On the sweater: Wow!

    On the bruise: Ow!

    On Lucy: Meow!


  31. OMG!!!! a nekid woman! Being in biological sciences, women don’t wear make-up & us blokes take it for granted that this is normal. When I do see these professionals with coloured poly-filler all over their face, I feel sorry for them. I personally don’t think it enhances their beauty at all.

    Does this mean you have to regularly bruise yourself when you decide to wear Abalone? & Boy! do you hate your knees.(reminded of escalator accident) Why not just have them removed & be done with it. :-p~~

  32. The Abalone is gorgeous!! Wish I had the courage to attempt something so beautiful. Hope the knee feels better soon.

  33. Abalone looks wonderful, lovely colors that really enhance your skin tone (bruised and unbruised, hehe)

    I LOVE your new project…after Frogner, I think its my favorite Dale! How about calling it “Flowered Lattice”? Kinda poetic and catchy, dontcha think?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. julia f-c says:

    Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Who says you don’t get any complements?
    I wouldn’t mind an interior shot of Abalone too, just because I always wondered what a real steek looked like in real life. But then again, I asked Kaffe Fassett to flip his jumper for me too. And he did.

    And 10903 looks like a Persian Lily to me. I like it very much.

  35. Wendy, Abalone is beautiful and you look gorgeous even without your hair and makeup done properly. Glad all you got from your fall was the bruise, a friend of mine broke her leg on the ice a few years back.
    Re: sentimental cats… too bad I just deleted the video of my cat with a Ben & Jerry’s tub from my website to save space. Maybe I’ll have to find room to put it back up temporarily because it is just so cute. You can’t get much more sentimental than sharing your Ben & Jerry’s with your cat, can you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. Your sweater has left me speechless — it is absolutely stunning!

  37. Hey, Miss Gorgeousness! Congratulations on the FO! Abalone is perfectly perfect! I remember ordering abalone soup once at a Japanese restaurant..not nearly as colorful! :)..not all that tasty, either..

  38. I think you should name Dale 10903, “In Bloom”.

  39. What a work of art, Abelone is just stunning! And to think I was lucky enough to see it in the yarn, so to speak, I bet it is just amazing in person all finished.

    Jealously signed,
    K ๐Ÿ™‚