My current work in progress:

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


Archives for August 2004

Lucy’s Dad


Lucy is staying with me while her mom is away this week. If you’re part of the minority who thinks there’s too much feline content here, and that WendyKnits should be all knitting all the time, don’t go away just yet – there is knitting content today – just scroll down a bit.

I feel like someone with the bumper sticker “Ask Me About My Kitty.”

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of Lucy – from last July (2003) when she last stayed at my place. A natural-born retriever, she loves to chase thrown paper balls or balled-up napkins and bring them back. She’s a kitty on a mission.


And here is Lucy relaxing at my place this week.


I recently picked up a copy of zoologist Desmond Morris’ (out of print) book “Cat Watching.” Although I disagree with some of his theories, I do agree with his assertion that domestic cats need to satisfy their hunting instinct. And that’s exactly what Lucy does by chasing and retrieving paper balls.

Just a bit about me. I’m in the independent testing group (software testing, that is) for a small federal agency. Here’s where I work.


Here’s where I live.


And here’s my ex-cat Loretta, who would be nearly 30 years old if she were still alive. No, she’s not stuffed! That’s just her posing, circa 1978.


And for something totally absurd, here’s the price reduction on a half gallon of ice cream, spotted at my local stupidmarket. Yeah, I think I’ll buy a new Ferrari with the savings.


My website (such as it is) can be found here. The guys on the front page are my brothers.

Knitting content? Well, here it is. Wendy taught me some basic knitting in July, and I finished a 22″ square blanket which – as she mentioned on August 3 – we sent to Critter Knitters.

Here’s a close-up of SBSP with the WIP.


The blanket was created from Plymouth Encore Colorspun Chunky Bulky Knitting Weight yarn – 75% acrylic, 25% wool, color 7128 (“Santa Fe Print”), using a 26″ Crystal Palace #10 bamboo circular needle. It took about 2 1/4 100-gram skeins (143 yards each). Yeah, that’s way more than enough info!

Whoops, not quite enough info – here’s a very interesting page showing some of the steps involved in the manufacture of Crystal Palace (single pointed) needles (which some of you have recently indicated have had some quality problems).

Lovely variegated yarn, that Colorspun Chunky Santa Fe, eh? I hope the colors don’t upset the poor animal that ends up with it. And speaking of the ability of cats & dogs to distinguish colors, check out the Cecil Adams 1987 article on the subject here.

I’m currently working on a scarf… er, muffler for myself, and here’s a close-up.


This one is being done with Brunswick Just Sheep 100% wool, color 60 (Shale) using a 26″ Crystal Palace #8 bamboo circular needle.

I hope everyone in the Richmond area (Lindsey Brooke, etc.) is okay. That part of Virginia got hit yesterday with over 10″ of rain from tropical storm Gaston.

Tune in tomorrow for yet another guest blogger – one who has known Wendy way longer than I have.

The Last Monday in August

Excuse me, but wasn’t it just May?

Twas a glorious weekend, albeit a bit warm. We were really lucky this summer — only a few unbearably hot days. I keep expecting the other shoe to drop. Like a wicked hot Indian Summer well into October. We shall see.

A bit of knitting progress this weekend. Liam is chugging along. The front is almost done.


It seems to be taking freaking forever. Why? The answer is “moss stitch.” Love the way it looks, hate knitting it. But I shall pesevere.

But Liam is getting a week’s rest. Why?

Because I’ll be working on a stealth project this week — a giftie for my Secret Pal. Shhhh!

RAOK Abound!

I was the grateful recipient of three, count ’em three, random acts of kindness this weekend.

First, I received this beautiful little coin purse through the mail anonymously:


Isn’t it great? Thank you, whoever you are!

And then these:


Spongebob notepad, post-it notes, and page markers! And a catnip cigar for Lucy! These were sent to me by Nancy — thank you so much!

And then this!!!!

This adorable little poodle was sent to me by Greta, who said her own little Sandy Poodle picked it out for me. Awwwwwwww!


You three have really brightened my day! Thank you!!

I Am Outta Here!

In an hour or so I’m leaving for the airport and going to San Diego for the week. Not for fun, for business.

Lucy is spending the week with her Daddy — we took her over there and got her settled this weekend. Here she is, lying in the middle of Ian’s dining room table.


“Of course, Daddy. Mommy lets me do this at home.”

At the last minute I decided not to take my laptop with me, to use the week as a break from blogging and email. So I’ll be offline all week.

But I have lined up entertainment for you whilst I am gone. I am a thoughty gal!

Guest bloggers! Woo-hoo!

For the rest of this week, my blog entry will be written by a different guest blogger every day. So if you are so inclined, tune in each day to see who is running Wendyknits for the day.

Just don’t expect them to post at the insane hour of the morning I do — ‘k?

Um . . . I guess I should go pack now. Hmmmmm, what shall I take with me?

See you in a week!

Get Me — I’m Spongeworthy!

I must have very spongey karma lately, because I got two very fun gifts on the same day!

First, this!


This delights me beyond reason. You press a button on the base of the statue and Spongebob twirls around (firmly grasping the anchor in which his lollipop is mounted, of course). This little beauty was sent to me by High-Energy Jenny. I guess it makes sense that he’s a high-energy Spongebob, huh?

And then, this!


Ohmigod! Ohmigod! It’s a Spongebob mousepad. Sent to me by Colette in Washington (state, not city). Not only is it a mousepad, but it’s a memopad too — there are 60 tear-off pages in three different designs.

I of course brought it to work and am using it. See?


Jenny and Colette, thank you both! You have brightened my day more than you can imagine!

Wendy the Math Wiz?

I laughed out loud when I read Rossana’s comment yesterday, saying I was a math wiz.

In college as a liberal arts major I had to take one math course to get my degree. I took a course entitled “Concepts of Mathematics” and the textbook had pictures.

Need I say more?

But seriously folks — this just proves that if I can do it, you can do it too!

Speaking of Liam, here he is.


Lucy Sez


Have a good weekend. Stretch out and relax!

How Does One Design an Aran?

Yesterday Megan asked:

I have a vision of a cute cabled cami in my head that I would love to make but am kind of afraid of the cables–how do you account for the loss of width to a garment when you add cables? is there a rough guideline or is it just a guessing game? Swatching seems like it might help but I would end up having to swatch the entire width of the shirt several times, right?

Yup, you do have to swatch. But not as extensively as you think. Here’s what I did for Liam. It’s relatively painless.

I had the idea for an aran in my head. I did a rough sketch of the basic design.


Then I charted each of the cables. And then I knitted a swatch of each of them. I decided to use double moss stitch for my “filler” in between the cables, so I did a swatch of that.

Then, I measured each of my swatches. I noted the width of each of the cables plus two stitches of reverse stockinette stitch on each side of the cable. Then I measured my stitches per inch gauge on my double moss stitch. I added together the width of the three cables I used, and subtracted it from the total width I wanted for the garment. That resulting number was divided by four, as there are four moss stitch panels. The resulting number is the width in inches of each of the double moss panels. Multiply that by stitches per inch for double moss.

Presto, chango, you’ve got your aran design. Here are my numbers:


And for the ribbing, I deducted 10% from the total body stitches.

Oh, and here’s my progress on Liam. I apologize for the sucky photo.


I went to Knit Happens last night and hung out with the girls. When I got there, Kristine was out on an errand and Axel was in residence.

Do you think he was missing his mommy?


Every time someone walked past the door, Axel checked it out.


A good time was had by all, as per usual. Shelley is making great progress on a toe-up sock!


As usual, jocularity and hilarity ensued. Carol and I admired some new books. 😉

Lucy Sez


Mommy came home muttering “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Can any of you tell me why?

Bamboo Needles

Wow! A lot of interesting observations on bamboo needles over the past couple of days. I can see that people’s experience with different brands of needles varies widely.

And it’s piqued my interest. I have bamboo circulars in three different brands: Addi Natura, Clover, and Crystal Palace. Last night I hauled them out to take a closer look at them all.

Addi Natura

Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.



Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.


Crystal Palace

Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.


I need to get my paws on some SR Kertzer bamboo circulars (called “The Collection”) to give them a try. I think those are the ones Jessica mentioned in yesterday’s comments as being nice.

Liam Progress

Liam is progressing, albeit slowly. I’ve made a start on the front.


I’m made a solemn oath to myself that I won’t start another project until the beginning of the Klaralund-along. Well, apart from some stealth knitting I’ll be doing. A gift for my Secret Pal, doncha know! Tee hee hee!

Lucy is strangely unimpressed.