My current work in progress:

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


Q&A Day!

A buncha questions from Friday’s blog that deserve answers.

First, Critter Knitters questions:

I know the blankets have to be very washable, but I’m finding that I have a lot of 100% wool leftovers. Do you think if I held a strand of wool with a strand of acrylic that the fabric would stand up to washing like a 50-50 blend? This is new to me.

Beats the holy heck outta me! I’ve never tried it. But my inclination is that it wouldn’t work. I think the wool would felt and carry the acrylic along for the ride, mooshing it up as the wool shrunk. But the only way to really find out is to knit a swatch and wash it.

You knew I was gonna say that, didn’t you?

If I pick one of the lacey patterns suggested on the website, do I have to worry about claws getting caught in the lace? I’m thinking about the Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket by Jackie E.S. which is a variation of Feather and Fan… any thoughts?

If it’s a suggested pattern on the Critter Knitters site, I would say it’s okay. And besides, I think getting ones claws into it would be half the fun for the grateful recipient, right?

Halfway through my second blankie I wanna know where do you guys get these beautiful sweater kits?

You mean the sweater kits that are among the wonderful fabulous prizes? I think they were acquired in a number of ways. The kits I am donating were put together by me. I’m pretty sure that the wonderful Hanne Falkenberg kit was ordered as a kit by the generous donater.

Speaking of donations . . .

You guys have been so generous with the prize donations! Wow! There are a couple more on the prize page since Friday. There are still more that are on their way to me.

Liz is planning on hosting several Knit-Outs in parks in NYC when the weather gets warmer, and she plans to have needles and yarn on hand for people who stop by and want to knit but don’t have the supplies.

We think we’ve got a great number of prizes coming in and we thank you all so much. Now, those of you who want to contribute but can’t knit a blanket for whaever reason, it would be great if you could donate machine washable yarn and needles for people who’d like to knit but don’t have the materials.

If you’d like to make donations of materials, you can contact either Liz or me.

And again, thank you!

Questions for Moi

Are you still working on ‘Norfolk’ too?

Um . . . it’s sitting in a plastic bag on top of my microwave. I haven’t touched it for quite a while. Just the ribbing is done. I wouldn’t call it abandoned — I will return to it someday.

I just have to ask – are you one of those people who doesn’t need a lot of sleep? I can’t imagine how you make so much progress so quickly. I know you’re an early riser, so I’m thinking you must get about 3 hours a night!

I wish I didn’t need a lot of sleep. Oh how I wish it. I never get enough sleep during the week and by Friday I’m usually in a serious sleep deficit. So much so that I sometimes do no knitting at all on Friday night, or darn little. I get about 2-3 hours of knitting time in a day.

And since you ask, I have to share. Last Friday morning at 1:42am the fire alarm went off in my condo building. Guess who didn’t fall back asleep after that? And guess who was even more zombie-like on Friday night than usual?

I know you’ve mentioned not being a knitter who likes to change her ways and so I’ll assume you must be pretty good at not getting “ladders” using dbl pointed needles. Any secrets you’d like share on that subject? I love the feel of using dbl pointed needles in my hands but my work looks so much better using the two circ method.

I actually did try the two circular method on a sleeve once and hated it. I think I don’t get ladders using dpns because I always consciously tighten up on the first stitch on each needle. Also using five rather than four dpns makes your work less likely to ladder, I’m told. I think most dpns are sold in sets of five now anyhow, right?

Just curious…are there stripes in your lovely tweed socks?

No stripes, which make them more boring to knit, but they’re gonna be very attractive when completed!

Here’s my first sock, posing artistically in a sunbeam.


Said sunbeam was streaming through the front window of Knit Happens on Saturday. I spent Saturday afternoon there, and what fun I had!

Here’s a candid shot of a customer:


Do you want to see what I bought? I was outta control!

I got some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool — enought to make a vest.


I got some Lorna’s Laces sock yarn in a very girly colorway.


I got some Noro Lily (cotton/silk blend) to make a summer top.


I got a wonderful Elizabeth Austen knitting bag.


And I couldn’t resist. I have been lusting after Kristine’s poncho since seeing her blog entry about it and seeing how wonderful it looks on her. When Kristine pulled out the kit in a teal colorway, well, I went weak at the knees. She just had to wave it gently in my direction and I was all over it. Drooling.


This photo does not do it justice!

The grand opening celebration of Knit Happens is next weekend (March 27-28) so if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by. Kristine and Liz have lots of fun and snacks and prizes planned!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the most fun yarn shop I’ve ever visited. I spent hours there on Saturday, wandering around and fondling the yarn, sitting in one of the comfy chairs knitting, and talking with other customers, comparing options for choosing yarns and colors.

Lucy, of course, had to inspect everything on my return home.



Here’s a close-up!


I’ve worked past the beginning of the armhole steeks.


Happy Monday to all.


  1. You had a fantastic time at KnitHappens,didn’t you ? Some fab purchases there.Well,it’s all fab ! Ilove the bag,and the poncho kit,and the Lorna’s Laces is very pretty.
    My idea of a fun day.
    Flora is looking gorgeous.That colourway is lovely,and very different from the Virtual Yarns photos.

  2. i’m glad you saved the flora photos for last. like the icing on a cake 🙂

  3. I’m actually going to be in the area next weekend and I can’t believe that I won’t be able to go to Knit Happens. Wah. I have to start figuring out a way to convince either my husband, my in-laws, or both, that my attendance at a yarn store opening is actually compelled by law. Hrmmm….

    In more relevant news, we’re working on blankets here. Hope to have a few to send shortly!

  4. You lucky, lucky lady. If I lived close to Knit Happens, I’d probably move in. It looks so inviting. Love the Lornas, your new bag AND the poncho kit. You scored big time this weekend!

  5. Hoooooooray for prizes!!! I’m such a sucker for prizes…. 🙂 Can’t WAIT till next weekend at Knit Happens…

    And I’ve got tons of uber-washable acrylic that will make its way to blankies… or will get donated — need to evaluate what goes where… but thanks for the info!

  6. I’m glad you touched on holes in blankets. I have a lovely stash buster blanket that I wanted to donate and I was worried about that. I’ll package it up and send it. I’m going to try to do another… but I only have so much knitting time and I’m no speed queen. It took me a whole week (of five hour a day knitting) to get two Dale sleeves done.

    Also- I wish I could go crazy in a yarn store like you can. But you actually get projects done. So it’s not really going crazy.

  7. Hope you love Silky Wool as much as I do! I’ve just started knitting a sweater from it — Yum! I bought mine at Woolie Ewe in Plano, TX, the local version of Knit Happens! (just a happy customer here)

    Finished my first Kitty Blankie this wkend. My kitties approve, and say that holey blankies are more fun to “kill” 🙂

  8. I checked out Knit Happens yesterday; much quieter on a Sunday, I imagine. Kristine was really sweet, and apparently business is very good — she was re-ordering TONS of things. The shelves were not exactly bare, but I could see I had arrived a bit late for the party. 😉 I was very good — didn’t buy yarn (yet) but got a book and a circ needle (so I can, eh, … use up the yarn I have, yeah, that’s the ticket…). Happy Monday!

  9. All of the yarns you bought are exquisite. I would love to be able to touch that silky wool. It looks so soft. Flora is a wow.

    Have a good Monday Wendy and Lucy.

  10. Hey wendy thanx for ansewring my question, i am loving those prizes!!! beeutiful!!!! Flora looks fantastic great stash enrichment love the sock yarn love your blog

    love jocelyn

    ps bennett says HELLO to lucy

  11. I love the colors of Flora, she is going to be beautiful.

    Wow, did you have fun at Knit Happens. Wish I lived nearby. I love the yarn and the bag. I seem to have a bag thing and keep buying more totebags.

  12. another Wendy says:

    Flora looks fabulous! But what a difference between the last two pictures!!! Just the difference in lighting is amazing.

  13. How are the mice from last year’s Mouse-A-Thon selling? I imagine you received enough to keep Capital Animal Care well-stocked for a least a few months more.

  14. Nina Saulic says:

    On my monitor, the colors in your Flora look very muted. Is this how they appear in person? I was not enthralled with the colors I saw when I looked on the Virtual Yarns website, but I like yours much better.

  15. This blanket drive is SUCH a great cause. I think it’s awesome that you and Liz are putting so much energy into it! Thanks!

    And – Flora blows me away every time I see it. I’m a newer knitter …and that kind of pattern boggles my mind. One day….

    That little doggy from the store looks just like my poor Greta that died a year ago…sniff…thanks for the cute pic.

  16. I just bought the exact same poncho kit (same color and all) at a yarn store here in AR! I just couldn’t resist either!! I’ll be interested to see how ours come out!!

  17. Hi,

    I’am jealous !
    Your knitting bag is wonderful,
    Flora is fantastic, I love the colors
    And your new yarns, really splendids…
    You’re very lucky !

    Always happy to follow your projects

  18. Lovely new yarn. I am awaiting my Lorna’s Lace in that exact color. Flora looks great. And Lucy is as sweet as ever. 🙂

  19. I have a question about the ladders with dpn’s. You said you pull the first stitch very tight on each needle. Do you rotate the beginning stitch on the needle every few rows? I have a sock making video that shows this technique, but it makes me confused to try to knit one stitch on to a needle, then pick up another needle, etc.

  20. That is an inspiring haul! And, here I was all proud of myself for buying a teeny tiny bit yarn on Ebay, which I’ve never done.

  21. As you know I’m not from your part of the world, but I do need to rely on the net for my yarn needs, as it has so much more to offer than the local stores.
    However I earn Shekels which is a crappy currency…so for 4.5 shekels I earn, I can get just $1, therefore Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool is somewhat expensive for me. I bought just one skein as I had to see what it feels like and it does feel lovely and I think I could make a lovely twin set from it, that would be nice and warm for winter and also soft on the skin, but I figure I’ll have to buy the skeins 3 at a time so not to spend to much in one go, like each month or other month another 3 skein until I have my twinset complete and when you think about it that would make for one expensive twinset, so perhaps I should just use the skein I already have for a small project, I’m not sure, have not decided yet, I have plenty to do before I get to that anyway.

  22. me again, just corrected the url…silly moo that I am.

  23. I love what you bought Wendy. The Silky Wool really catches my eye.

  24. haha! in my stash: the same Silky Wool, the same Shepherd’s Sock. The sock yarn is destined to become something from Knitting on the Road, and the Silky Wool will probably be either the Viking Knits Collection cover design cardi, or the boxier Liv pullover.

  25. Just wanted to share this amazing yarnamated music video
    I think everyone will love it. Imagine a recording being knitted together, literally