My current work in progress:

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



Whazzup on the knitting front?

Fern, from Rowan 36.


I’m using Shade # 835 in Rowan Kid Classic — a pretty purple. and so far so good — see?


Questions from the Comments

I am just wondering why you made the smallest size 32-34 if your
bust is 38. I think I remember you saying that. I am not trying to be mean
in any way I am just getting frustrated with knitting patterns and
sizing because I never know which size to make and I am wondering why they
would make a size 32-34 that is not meant for a 32-34. 🙁 How can you
really know which size to make to give you a good fit. Even though you
said you made the smallest size it still at least from the picture looks
big, well not very fitted at least. Just wondering if you can offer any
help on sizing issues with different patterns.

Good question!

The smallest size of Lara has an actual finished measurement of 40″ around. This is not an unreasonable amount of ease for a wrap sweater for someone with a 32-34″ bust. Yes, I have a 38″ bust. But my ribcage directly under the bust is 31″ around. I also have a small waist.

So I looked at the style. The size medium is 44″ actual size (as I recall). I thought that would be a bit too much to wrap around and pin.

The bottom line is that you need to look at both the style and the finished measurements and decide what suits you best.

The color I used is # 25010, by the way. But I wouldn’t call it orange. More of a deep salmon. My photo doesn’t accurately depict the color.

Another question:

I have an Aran question. How do you determine how much yarn you need
for an Aran when you are designing one? I can guesstimate for a plain
sweater, but I don’t know how to account for the yardage that the
cabling eats and I haven’t found a good book with that info. I’d like to
design an Aran out of my stash, so I only have a finite amount of yarn to
use. (Otherwise, I’d just overbuy at the LYS and either return or use
the leftovers in another project.)

The best way that I know of estimating yarn for an aran is to look at an aran pattern that has about the same depth of patterning as yours and guess-timate from that.

There’s a formula that says to allow about one-third more yarn (Is it one-third? Anyone know?) for an aran than a plain sweater in the same size. But I find that too vague — so much depends on the amount of cabling in your design.

I happened to have a boatload of Freestyle yarn, which was what I used for Liam. I didn’t worry about estimating yardage, I just kept track of what I used.

Thank You . . .

For all the nice comments on Lara. If I’ve enabled just one more person to knit it, well, I feel as though I’ve done my job.

And More Thank Yous!

To my Secret Pal 3, who sent this:


Mmmmmmm . . . exquisite French chocolate and a pretty postcard with a sweet little note. Secret Pal 3, you certainly did your homework on my blog, because yes indeed, I was sent some Bonnat Chocolat a while back by a pal, and YES INDEED I love it!

And to make sure I was completely spoiled, I got a package from my Secret Pal 2! Inside:


A beautiful quilted purse! Secret Pal 2, you sure did your homework too, because I love bags! And I love green!

This bag is quilted with pink thread — for a Knit Happens theme! — and lined in a pretty ivy print fabric. The handles are knit from a delightful fuzzy green yarn and it has a magnetic snap to close it.

It’s perfect! So cute and girly!

And inside:


Yarn! Some yummy laceweight mohair in a steel blue, and some fun ribbon yarn in a refreshing light green.

And there was even a knitted toy for Lucy. Awwwwwwwww . . .


Lucy says “Meow! Thank you very much!”


She loves things she can easily pick up and carry in her mouth, and this is just the right shape and size to tickle her fancy.

Thank you to both my wonderful Secret Pals — you guys are great!

And if that weren’t enough . . .


Spongebob stickers from Betsy in Colorado! Wheeeee!!!!!!! Thank you!

State of the Ankle

Thanks also for your inquiries about the state of my ankle. It’s getting better, though it’s still swollen and an odd color!


  1. how do you knit so much, so quick, and mostly of projects that I want to make too?? It’s like living vicariously 🙂

    thank you for the info on the sizing for Lara, I think I am going to have to go learn how to down size a pattern as I would want it to wrap a bit tighter.

  2. I think we must both have good taste! Your two lastest projects are ones that I am intending to do!!
    Do you start knitting before dawn to get knitting done so fast!!!!! I am in awe.

  3. Thanks for writing up about the sizing info–that is something that I was wondering about myself. I have yet to make a sweater that really fits me… maybe I can now! Hope your ankle gets better fast–you were missed at KnitOut (but you can see some of the pics on my blog!)

    Have a good Tuesday!

  4. Fern is a gorgeous pattern. I’ve been trying to hold off from that exact pattern until I finish, finish, finish at least half of what I have going on. Lovely color too. I think that’s the color I have in my stash. I can’t wait to see it. And thanks for the sizing info too. That is one of my biggest challenges right now. I went from tooo big to a tad too small in my fit, but your answer to that email should set me straight. And awesome gifts from the post. Glad you ankle is feeling better.

  5. Didn’t get to say so yesterday, but Lara is excellent. I wasn’t too sure from the picture, but I really like the fit on you. I love the color too. Beautiful choice!

  6. I’m not a big fan of the wrap around sweater but the shade and shape of that one is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finished project!

  7. I really like the new wrap cardigan- the lavender is really pretty. I’ve always wanted to make the White Lies Designs ‘Angelina’ cardigan, and this reminds me of it.

    BTW- I made my cats one of your mice last night- I should have made them each their own because they all looked so sad when another would take it away to play with it! My foster was even doing these flippy twists in the air because of it! I used unwashed, greasy sheep fleece and catnip to stuff it (my cats go CRAZY for anything that smells like farm!)— I need to make more of these!

  8. I am also tres curious about how much you knit and how quickly. Do you knit at work? Do you sleep at all? You are a knitting machine!!! (and an inspiration to us all…)

  9. Hi Wendy, What wonderful questions and answers today. Most informative. Lara is beautiful and fits you to perfection. Love the color. Now awaiting the completion of the lovely Fern—which should be by the end of the week, I’m sure 😉 Your color choices this summer have been beautiful, by the way.

  10. What a great mail day! I can’t wait to see that sweater on a real person. Although Rowan does a pretty good job photographing their designs, it’s still a bit too “fashion-y” to be able to tell consistently what the garment really looks like.

    Glad the ankle is feeling better. Was anything broken?

  11. Does anyone know how to make that twisty cat toy? Thanks!

  12. About the knitted cat toy.. I do.. :o)= Just drop me a line. :o)

    Wendy, I´m glad you liked it :o) _This SP thing is fun :o)

  13. Hang in there with your ankle. I did a very bad sprain on mine about 20 years ago and I very distinctly recall that it took nearly three MONTHS for all the discoloration to recede. I was black and blue from foot to nearly knee and WOW did it HURT! (One never realizes how much twisting of a healthy foot one takes for granted in daily life until it HURTS to do your ‘thing’!)

    Good thing you can knit when other things can’t be easily accomplished.


  14. Contrary Mary says:

    Hey, I’m swatching up Freestyle for an Aran baby bunting right now! It feels a little “squeeky” on my Addis, but I like the way the fabric looks.

    Question – what gauge did you work it at for the texture work? I normally work yarns a little tighter than the ball band says, but I don’t see this going much tighter than 4.5 st/inch.

    Anyone else work with Freestyle?

  15. Ooh, I’m jealous of your measurements…. 🙂

    an extra 1/3 sounds right for an aran. The BEST thing to do in my opinion is to actually knit a large swatch, measure, unravel, and measure again. But that wouldn’t work that well if your pattern depth changed a bunch throughout the sweater.

  16. What do you think about Fern for a beginner?

    I hope you have a speedy recovery with your ankle!

  17. Hi Wendy

    I don’t think I’ve said Hello yet – tho’ I’ve stopped by often – so excuse the past omission !

    Your Lara is lovely and I’m so tempted by this knitalong, especially now I’ve seen that it looks as great on a real person as it does on the model.

    How did you find the yarn quantities worked out ? I recently knitted Debbie Bliss’ “Poppy” in Cotton Angora and found the quantities were way out and I had loads left. Not a problem really with a baby sweater but could be expensive if the quantities for an adult sweater are off-beam !

  18. To Secret Pal2:
    Your link didn’t work; can you please try again?