My current work in progress:

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


Mmmmmm . . . Butterscotch!

That’s the thought flitting through my fevered brain as I knit this glorious creature that is Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in color #25008.

Here’s the back of my sweater.


I think I’ll call her Laura.


I sewed Eloise together Friday night, and put buttons on her.


The buttons (an eBay purchase) are glass, with a hint of color in them — aurora borealis. They go very nicely with this colorway.

I’m wearing Eloise to work today, over a white tee and denim skirt. It’s a very soft and cuddly sweater.

A word of warning to potential Eloise knitters: I made the sleeves a full 2.5″ shorter than the pattern directs.

I made the second from the largest size, which called for ten skeins. I used 9.5 skeins, with the shortened sleeves. I think it would have been close had I made the sleeves as directed.

But check out the photo. I think the sleeves are the perfect length.

Reader Questions

Susan asked:
Do you have any advice on the care (and blocking) of Silk Garden items? I know the label says dry clean only, but I’ve also heard that some have washed Silk Garden with no ill effect. What do you recommend?

I have always had very good results gently handwashing items marked “Dry Clean Only.” Silk Garden is no exception. I think others have handwashed their Klaralunds — anyone wanna jump in here?

And Toby asked:
I’m fairly new to knitting and have a question that I was hoping you’d be able to answer. When a pattern says to end with RS facing, does that mean the right side is facing away or towards you?

Good question! I interpret that to mean that the right side should be facing you for the next row, meaning you just completed a wrong side row.

Ungodly Hour of the Morning

I’ve been getting a lot of comments and emails lately asking me why the hell I am up and posting at the ghastly hour that I do.

I leave home to go to work at 5:00am. You do the math.

Lucy thinks I’m nuts too.



  1. Ooh! Eloise looks great and I love the buttons – could we have a close up please.
    I’ve handwashed my Klaralund twice now – once to block and once again. She’s got softer each time with no ill effects to size or shape.

  2. Sally, I tried to take a close up. With the flash you just get a blaze of light, without the flash you get a blur. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Eloise looks beautiful on you! Such a lovely colour!
    I too have had no problem washing Silk garden, I hand wash it in ‘Woolite’ not sure what the US equivalent is , I rinse it throughly and finally rise in fabric conditioner. I then run it though just the spin cycle in the washing machine and lay it out to shape and dry flat on a towel.
    Well that’s my Martha Stewart bit for today.

  4. Sorry should have been ‘rinse’ not ‘rise’!

  5. eloise looks gorgeous. i really need more cardigans and i love the v-neck on her. great fit and wonderful color as always. and as far as klara goes i’ve washed it twice already without and probs. i hand wash everything. i took a sweater to a dry cleaning place once (and i know this has nothing to do with washing, lol) referred by a yarn shop to insert a zipper when i first started knitting since the owner said she didn’t put in zippers and couldn’t help me (go figure and yes, i bought the yarn and took a class there, but she couldn’t help me one bit.) do you detect the lingering bitterness, lol? anyway, the place destroyed my sweater. my mini wouldn’t even wear it. it was too bad for even a child’s taste. so i had to rip the zipper out and add buttons and loops and then she would wear it and now i have a thing about taking my knits to cleaners. i know there are prob some that do a great job, but hand washing hasn’t let me down even once so i don’t feel the need to try it again.

  6. I have washed my Klara with Eucalan and it has been just fine. And it smells great now too!

  7. I’m with you… I have to be into my office by 6am so I’m up before 5 am doing all that needs to be done. However it’ worth it to work a 4 day week!
    I am curious, do you wear a sweater every day to work? I look at all the beautiful things you have knit over the years and can’t figure out how you could not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Eloise = yummy!!! And, gosh — a pattern for which I actually wouldn’t have to lengthen the sleeves to fit my gorilla arms! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Go Sox, baby!

  9. I just have to say that Eloise came out so wonderful! I love that type of sweater…it looks so comfy.


  10. Eloise is perfect on you! I love the deep ribbing, and the sleeves are the perfect length. Thanks for the sleeve advice – it seems like a good thing to watch in general.

  11. Hey Wendy. Happy Monday *sigh* wick cummute thing you got going on. Not much better here in NJ … I leave the house at 7 and am up at 5:30 to kitty alarmlocks.

    (oh yeah, they work thru weekends *lol*)

    GREAT choice on the Eloise buttons. I would like a close up too. With all that color going on, I think the glass really sets it off. Good for you. BTW, Eloise does look awesome on you. Good for her.

    And Lucy just looks awesome always. Mega kisses on that belly from her fans up north!

    FYI, both my kittybed side are caving in … resident cattle refusing to give them up to Petfinders … will have to spirit them out during the weekend MoleFest outside.

    BEst, Diana & Orion

  12. Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. Oh for your sleeve issue. I’m currently making the Rapunzel jacket from Rowan 34. If you look at the model in the magazine, the sleeves just cover her hands. I have had to add two inches on to the sleeves and they are still dangling at about wrist-length. And I’m only short too…..

    I’m thinking of selling myself to a museum. Or a freak show.

    KB (The missing link)

  13. Absolutely butter+scotch.

  14. Eloise looks beautiful! I love the colorway and the buttons sound perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have you tried using a tripod for taking close-up photos? I bought a really cheap one that does the job…my close-ups are much, much nicer now, i.e. they actually look like something ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Hubba hubba! Look at that fabulous Eloise. The sleeves are the perfect length for a cardi. They hit at just the right point, imo.

    P.S. I’m glad that you answered that RS facing question. I’ll be honest: I would have thought that it meant to end on a RS row (although I always end on WS rows if it’s stockinette stitch, garter or straight stitch pattern, no matter what the instructions read). Your interpretation makes sense.

  16. Seems like the Ellison designs run a little long in the arm. I wonder if that is supposed to be part of the design or if she just has some odd proportions assumed for her average model?

    Eloise is lovely. Blossom looks like a neat yarn to work with. Must…keep…credit…card…in…wallet…

  17. Wendy…Eloise turned out fabulous. I’m going to cast on for her today. Now I’m not sure what to do with the sleeve length. Ummmm! Maybe we should measure our arms and compare! LOL I just finished seaming Klara…will post later today…so Eloise, here I come! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Eloise is a triumph!!
    Thanks for the hints on the care of the Blossom.

  19. Eloise envy! Eloise envy! This must stop. I must go purchase yarn and make my own.
    The color for Laura is dreamy. I can’t wait to see the design.


  20. OOOH! Thanks for naming Laura after me! I, too, arise at about 5:30 to get to work by 6:45, but I get out at 3:15, so I love that! And I’m a morning person, so it’s all good!

  21. Wow – Eloise is fabulous! Perfect fit. You are blazing fast as usual. *bows down*

  22. Eloise looks great. I picked up the Ellison book at Stitches, but now I’m thinking back again to the DB Noro book. Hmmm…

    Meanwhile, I’m chugging along on Lara — the alpaca silk is to die for! Half of me wants to finish it NOW and half of me wants to keep knitting it forever. I guess they’ll meet in the middle, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Love your stuff Wendy! You seem to be a big Alice and Jade Starmore fan, as am I. I have a question for you, I hope you can help me out. I noticed that when working their designs, you sometimes use yarn not purchased from Alice Starmore’s site. She doesn’t give the amount of yarn required – so how do you know how much to use?

  24. Wendy, I love the fact that you post so early. I am a night owl – actually the entire family is, so I look at it this way: you are posting on time and everyone else is posting waaaaaaay late!

    Take care,

  25. Encouraged by your Noro purchases and projects recently, I got me some Blossom too – same colourway – and its soooooo nice. You’re a bad influence!! I’m waiting for the patterns to arrive, then Eloise will be mine as well. I’m glad you went for the glass buttons, and thanks for the feedback on the sleeves!

  26. I think Eloise is most flattering! And if I had your bod, I’d be knitting flattering sweaters!!

  27. Thank you, Wendy, and all who commented about the washing of Silk Garden! I bought some to make an infant sweater (from the CT Hamilton book) but didn’t notice the dry clean only label until I got home. Now I feel confident that I can use the yarn for the original purpose. . . and if I like knitting with it, Klaralund may also be in my future!

  28. Love Eloise. I’ve been resisting that as my next project, but it just might have to be. Help, I’m a Noro addict! It happened so fast…

    I have been blogging up a storm about not just *washing* silk garden, but washing it IN THE WASHING MACHINE. I actually think a good water wash *improves* the fabric enormously. Not to hawk traffic over here, but really, check out my Klaralaundry story at, and a photo of the post-laundry fabric at . My advice: wash away! Cate (off to shop for blossom, lol)