My current work in progress:

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


April Contest

The April Contest is here. And it’s an easy one. All you have to do is send me an email to be entered in the drawing for this:


A copy of Dale Book 126, which contains the pattern for Ingeborg, the sweater some of us will be knitting next month in a knit-along. Didja want to knit along but didn’t have the pattern? Look no further — you can win it here.


I have set up an email address specifically for contest entries — Click on the link to send your contest entry. Please do not send entries to my regular email address — use this one.

And one entry per person, please.

Send entries by Friday, April 9, 2004, 4:00pm EST to be entered in the drawing for the Dale book 126.

This is a great pattern book, by the way. It’s got a ton of nice patterns!


Does Lucy have her front claws? My kitty loves my knitting as much as Lucy seems to love yours, but recently she loved something I didn’t want her to love. I was blocking this lovely tangerine and lime sweater I made for a friend’s child, and Jazmine decided to sleep on it…and subsequently snagged it. It’s 100% cotton and I’m heartbroken and have no idea how to fix it. She managed to snag it on two sides, and not a whole stitch mind you, just a thread from the
yarn. It’s not broken, but it definitely ruined the perfection of the knitted cotton and I’m not sure what to do now. Any advice, other than keep her off my knitting? Does Lucy ever snag yours? thanks, and thanks for keeping the blogiverse interesting for a lot of us!

Lucy does not have front claw — she was declawed already when she came to live with me. And surprisingly, she doesn’t seem to want to knead and love my knitting they way all my other cats have in the past. She loves to sleep in my lap while I knit, so that my knitting lies on top of her, and she loves to sleep in her kitty beds. But I’ve never seen her demonstrate any potentially destructive behavior towards knitting. Yet.

Now, about what to do about your snagged sweater. That’s a toughie. I’ve got a couple of ideas. One is to duplicate stitch over any snagged stitches. The other is to carefully cut the yarn and pull out a few stitches, then reknit the area with unsullied yarn.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Could you address a question about the charts for Fair Isle knitting?
You have been knitting FI (beautifully) for awhile and must have used
different charts. For AS designs in her original books she used a
different symbol for each color in a design. It was very easy to copy for
the magnetic board and follow along. Jamieson followed suit for books I
and II. Ann Feitelson’s book seems to have started the colored charts
craze. Colored squares are used for each stitch which makes it difficult
(almost impossible) to copy for use on a magnetic board. This method
has made it necessary to rechart with symbols for each color on Excel.
Sometimes it is very hard to tell the colors apart even with a good
color copy. These charts are just confusing to many of us. Do you have a
preference? Do you rechart the color graphs? Are VY charts symbols or
colored? Writing to Jamieson to complain might be an option here.

Colored charts in fair isle are a huge pain in the butt! I can understand that it cuts down on unauthorized copies being bandied about, but all it does for me is to make me not want to knit the pattern.

Starmore fair isles are all charted in symbols. Old designs and Virtualyarns designs. Thankfully.

Ages ago I knitted a fair isle or two from charts that were color blocks, but they were relatively simp0le charts that I memorzied quickly. I have test-knitted a design that was charted in color and it was hell. The colors were too similar and the print quality was poor. I ended up recharting it in symbols, which was a major nuisance.

I think at this point if I saw a fair isle design that was charted in color, I wouldn’t even consider knitting it. Life’s too short.

Flora Update

Here’s my weekend progress:


A close-up of the collar:


And a close-up of the bottom of the front bands:


I picked up stitches and worked a row, then cast off, at the bottom of each of the front bands. I thought it gave it a more finished look.

And I started a sleeve:


I Hate the Time Change

I’ve been cheated ut of an hour of good knitting time. Grrrrrrr . . .

And Lucy was too sleepy last night to catch up on her email.


And last but certainly not least . . . there are more prizes posted on the prize page And check out the blankets received page!!


  1. Flora is gorgeous! Woohoo a contest, I’m sending my email asap! LOL! 😉

  2. To the person with the chart question: Color photocopies are, I think, fine for the color square charts. If you don’t have a Kinko’s in yr area where there is a self-serve color copier, there is probably a non-chain copy store that will be good about copying it for you. Call ahead and ask. Don’t even bother with Office Depot; they won’t do it. This is OKAY FOR YOU TO DO; it’s fair use, a necessary step to use the product you’ve paid for. In fact, redoing the chart in a computer program is probably more of a copyright violation. Somewhere in the murky grey area is the possibility that you could scan the chart and then print it out in color.

  3. I love Flora but I adore Flora’s collar!
    She a beauty!

    Wishing you great Monday!

  4. Cheryl F. says:

    Hate the time change, too. Regarding the snagged sweater, I had that happen with a Dale I was blocking that my 17 lb.kitty decided to knead–It was wool, but it should work with cotton. If there’s just a ply or two from the yarn pulled out, why not try putting a crochet hook up from the back and catching the loose strand and pulling it to the back of the work, where it can be worked in. I’ve had some luck with that in the past.
    Love Ms. L and Ms. F, they go so well together–Lucy must think she has the most expensive beds in all of kittydom! Have a great week!

    Cheryl in AL

  5. Flora is looking lovely and has a most gorgeous collar.

    I totally agree about the colour charts.The colours are never different enough,and they’re even worse under artificial light.I hate them.At least Rowan will send black and white charts if you ask.
    I won’t knit things with coloured charts – don’t have the time or inclination to make it workable.I,also,won’t knit un-charted cables.

  6. Wow. I mean, WOW. Just freakin’ wow. (Flora, that is.) I can’t wait to see it in person at Knit Happens (assuming work doesn’t blow up on me). As for the time change, it’s a lot easier to live with if you have small children. It means if they usually wake you up at 6, then you really get to sleep until 7. It’s all a matter of perspective.

  7. Not so easy to live with when your children are school age. They’re supposed to be up and getting ready, but they’re still just little sweet lumps of sleepiness. So yes, I hate the time change too. I threw in the towel last night and went to bed at 10:30, which I never do (especially when my body says it’s 9:30), but I’m grateful this morning.

    Flora is gorgeous. I’m in such a state of envy at the moment that I can hardly stand it. Praying for stash cash so that I can order a kit from VY. I had been thinking Henry VIII, but I don’t know now… Flora is very compelling and gorgeous. Thank you for the April contest. As I already have my book I will stand aside so that others may have a chance to win.

  8. I can’t believe how many prizes you have in the Critter Knitalong stash. At this rate, you’ll have more prizes than blankets knit. Then what?

  9. I can’t believe how many prizes you have in the Critter Knitalong stash. At this rate, you’ll have more prizes than blankets knit. Then what?

  10. Thanks Wendy for answering my question. I’d rather rechart than make a color copy and will stick with patterns that have symbols, too. Next FI will be a VY pattern so it’s good to know it won’t need to be recharted.
    Flora is just gorgeous! You will surely enjoy wearing her as much as you have enjoyed knitting her.

  11. Just as everyone else mentioned, Flora is gorgeous. I love the collar.

    As for the time change, as a mother of two young children, I still don’t like the time change. Although they sleep a little longer in the morning (not much), they also want to stay up later at night. That cuts into my knitting time! I like the extra light, but wish that the kids were immune to it, somehow, so that they would still go to bed at 8:00 p.m.!

  12. Flora is awesome. A real beauty.

    I agree with the colored charts. Good grief – why would one want to deal with cross eyes when trying to Fair Isle??? Some manufacturers need to rethink their chart ideas.

    Have a good Monday – Wendy and Lucy.

  13. janet d says:

    I didn’t think Flora could get any better, but the collar & button bands are so beautifully detailed! I’m jealous…..

  14. Barbara says:

    Flora is magnificent! I need an Ingeborg consult. I just took my measurements and the largest size will be skin tight in the bust!
    (No cheering, please.) Do you think I could knit the body of the sweater to gauge 6.5 stitches to the inch and knit the sleeves to a gauge of 7 stitches to the inch?

  15. Barbara says:

    Sorry, the email address on my post was incorrect.

  16. How cute! Lucy is holding onto your mouse cord in today’s pic. Beside being beautiful she is smart, too. How precious.

  17. Barbara, re: upsizing Ingeborg. Are you planning to use Daletta? I would swatch it and see if you get the stitch definition you want at that gauge.

  18. I think my favorite style of fair isle charts are the ones where the chart just shows an open square or a square with a dot in it, then there’s an index… “Row 1: Empty = Color A, Dot = Color B” and so forth. So easy to read. And yes, Ann Feitelson, though her book is lovely, has really hard to read charts…

  19. As for the charts:
    I prefer to buy charts with symbols (because you can photocopy them), but I always work from colored charts. I have a crayon-box with 120 colors, so I hand-color the photocopied charts in the actual colors I knit with. This makes it very, very easy to see at the first glance where you are in the pattern.

  20. I agree with Cheryl on using the crochet hook to fix the snagged stitches. I’ve done it to fix snagged strands on a cotton blend sweater and it worked fine.
    Congratulations on the huge response to the Critter Knitters knit-a-thon. I doubt you have to worry about there being more prizes than blankets; by the last week of July, Liz will probably be receiving three or four boxes full of them each day.

  21. I use plain white for background and a large black dot for contrast yarn. Appropriate colour changes get wirtten in at the right hand side, one column for background and another for contrast. I usually keep number of colours down to six or seven.

    There is a pack of blue Colinette waiting to be knitted into a throw using domino squares. I will probably give in on Saturday.