My current work in progress:

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


How Does She Do It?

How do I read and knit at the same time?

Most days at work I knit and read at my desk during lunch. I prop my book open on my desk with my stapler holding it down on one side and my tape dispenser on the other side. Necessity is the mother of invention.


I used to be quite the cross-stitch fanatic, and did most of my work in the 1980s. As I recall, I went through long periods when I did only cross-stitch and didn’t even have anything I was knitting. Some of the girls I worked with were into it too, and at lunchtime we’d get together and stitch.

I’ll post some more cross-stitch photos later this week if you like.

Why did I stop cross-stitching? The main reason is that it’s too hard on the eyes. The sampler I showed you on Friday was completed entirely during lunch hours at work. When I was younger I’d cross-stitch at night too. But low light and aging eyes put a stop to that.

The last cross-stitch I did I completed in October 2000. It’s a sampler of maritime signal flags that I made for my dad (retired Navy Captain) and it’s really cute. He has it hanging in his study. But all while I was working on it I kept saying to myself “This is the last cross-stitch I’ll ever do.” And it probably was.

Glitzy Scarf!

Not to be outdone by Jackie, who posted photos of her fabulous scarf in her blog on Friday, here’s mine.


My scarf is wrapped twice around the neck and is still plenty long. It’s supposed to be cold this week, so it’ll be put to good use!

Thanks again for the beautiful, fun yarn, Becky!


Contrary to my plans, I did not get to the front neck shaping on Frida. Due to very poor planning on my part, Frida and I were in one place, and my off-white yarn was in another, so I ran out of my current skein of white before I ran out of knitting time. Sigh.


But I did use the time to start both the sleeves!


See? I’m not a complete idiot.

Here is Lucy, being totally non-judgmental.



  1. Nathalie (Australia) says:

    yes please – I for one would love to see photos of your beautiful cross stitch masterpieces – I also did cross stitches in preference to knitting before moving completely across to the other side

  2. lucy is looking to me like she can’t wait for flora to start 😉

  3. Lucy really loves her pillow! Does she ignore her mice? I’ve done silly things like ‘leave the yarn or sewing needle, etc. at home’! Makes you feel really smart. Glad you didn’t waste your time, I wouldn’t have been that smart or had my short needles with me!

  4. Greetings!
    Can you tell me which book to look in for the pattern of the heart pillow so I can make one too? Thanks!

  5. blue earth knitter says:

    Wendy, I made little catnip mice for all the family cats for Valentine’s Day. They were quite a success! The little cable mice seem to be the feline preference, but the bobble-eared mice are human favorites. Thanks for posting the patterns!

  6. I enjoyed the portability of cross-stitch and still have every color thread (well, those available up to 3 years ago), but was certainly grateful to find another hobby that didn’t require extra magnification – I only enjoyed cross-stitching very fine linen. I was never as addicted to cross-stitch as I’ve become to knitting however. I don’t know why I didn’t knit when I was younger – except for a baby sweater I started and never finished when my son was an infant. Maybe because the patterns and yarn were so uninspiring? And perhaps because I only saw yarn and patterns at places like Wal-Mart?

  7. So you’ll be sewing these sleeves in when you’re done then? I’d thought you picked up the sleeves and worked them off the body.

  8. I was a crazed mad cross stitcher before I took up knitting. For ten years I lived and breathed cross stitch. In fact, I think I just burned myself out! I needed something less tedious to work on in the latter part of my 3rd pregnancy so I picked up my childhood hobby of crocheting but found that the knitting patterns were more interesting. I finally found a friend who could show me English knitting (I never could get Continental) and I was off like a shot! Haven’t touched cross stitch in about 4 years but still tuck a crochet project in here and there.

    Do you ever crochet anything?

  9. Looks like Lucy has found a permanent buddy with that catnip pillow.

    I would love to see some of your count cross stitch work. It is funny how a lot of knitters also do cross stitch. I have the same problem as you though, tired eyes. Have a good day.

  10. I guess once you’re a crafter, you try a lot of different forms of it. I’ve dabbled with crochet, and I used to cross-stitch a lot, but only stamped cross-stitch. I’ve always had bad eyes, so the stamping makes it easier. Although I do have to take my glasses off and hold the work close to my eyes. It’s a great way to block out the rest of the world! I still like it, but usually only pick it up when the weather gets hot and it’s suffocating to have yarn in my lap. But I really don’t get into it as much as knitting. After all, there’s not much to do with it once it’s done, while a sweater you can wear!

  11. Whew! Great cross-stitch…but still like your knitting the best. I, too, did cross-stitch once upon a time. I made samplers for my friends weddings. Seems like everyone of those couples divorced, so I took it as bad Karma — especially since I run the universe. My cats got online without me last night. Want a heart for catnip. They’re holding my next project hostage. Help!

  12. I’m glad to know someone else reads and knits at the same time. I’m a humanities graduate student, so I spend a lot of time reading, and I find I’m much happier about doing so (and less prone to falling asleep!) if I knit while I read. I need to have a pretty straightforward project, though; I certainly couldn’t do FI while reading!

  13. For Christmas, Dad made me a metal stand that sits over my lap, holding the book open while I knit. He tried to put a wooden prop on it that would hold a cup of tea. It doesn’t, and I shouldn’t have tried. But it’s VERY cool. I love to read and knit. Cromarty, with its gajillion little cables makes it hard, but I can read lighter stuff.

  14. Wendy,
    I use a leather bookweight to hold my book open while knitting. Googled “book weight” and found a similar one on this web site: ( has another one which is more expensive, and although it says it’s leather, it looks like plastic.) With it, most books will perch on a wide sofa arm so they’re at the right height for reading.
    Your Frida is looking great. I’m going to be frugal and wait for the Daletta to go on sale to start mine.

  15. Frida is gorgeous. Are you going to do that Lotus one we all seemed to like so much? I just wanted to say that it is because of you that I have started my first attempt at 2 color knitting. Visible here:

    It’s no Frida, but I’m happy with it just the same. Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. The answer for me has been audiobooks. Hands are completely free for knitting, and I’ve been able to “read” tons of books I would not otherwise have been able to while knitting.

  17. I had to laugh since I do exactly the same thing at work with my stapler and/or tape dispenser.

  18. You can get a decent metal book stand (“study stand”) from Office Depot for under $5. I like it because it’s stable perched on a blanket in my lap when I lounge knit, plus it works well with cheap paperbacks. I try to knit a quota of rows before turning the page. My dad says I need to rig a foot-pedal page-turning device… Maybe you can train Lucy to turn pages?