My current work in progress:

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


How Could I Not . . .

. . . buy this?


Entirely apart from the allure of its name, I highly recommend it. Not cheap, but a little teeny tiny bit goes a long way. And it smells like grapefuit, which I love.

I bought mine at

Small Project

Here’s what I cast on for last night for commuter knitting.


A scarf! Wheeee!

I’m doing a herringbone lace pattern and knitting it from Trendsetter Kashmir — that’s 65% cashmere and 35% silk. So soft and yummy it oughta be illegal. But I’m glad it’s not.

Julie asked:
Are you a fan of modular projects? That would solve your commuting needs and provide a use for the small bits of handspun. How about a shawl constructed of diamonds of different hues?

No, I never have been a fan of modular knitting. I’ve tried it and just have never cared for it. But I think your idea of a shawl constructed of handspun diamonds is quite brilliant. It definitely merits further thought.

Speaking of Shawls

The handspun shawl is progressing, albeit slowly. See?


I’m at the point where each row seems to be — oh — 100 miles long. And to my mind there’s nothing more boring than 100 miles of stockinette stitch.

So, to amuse myself, instead of purling the purl rows, I’ve been knitting backwards. Do you ever do that?

I learned to knit backwards a very long time ago. Up until now, I’ve used it exclusively in the creation of bobbles. You know, where you have to work on a few stitches back and forth a few times and then cast off all stitches into one to make the bobble.

Last night I started knitting backwards on one of the purl rows on my shawl and made two amazing discoveries.

Amazing Discovery Number One: Knitting backwards instead of purling does not change my gauge.

Amazing Discovery Number Two: I can knit backwards faster than I can purl.

Both of these Amazing Discoveries . . . well . . . amazed me. I heartily encourage any of you who do not like to purl to try knitting backwards. If you do a Google search for — you guessed it — “knitting backwards” you will get a number of sites with instructions, some with photos or video.

Lucy seems unimpressed.


P.S. to Caroline

I bought handcarders last week.


  1. I adore knitting backwards. I learned how while teaching a lefty and now I don’t have to turn my work. Not turning big stockinette pieces is a major time saver.

    Do you still knit with the yarn in the same hand or do you switch hands to knit backwards?

    Happy knitting

  2. I am so happy that you shared the knitting backwards information. I didn’t you could do that (I’ve only been knitting about a year, though.) I googled it and now am completely in love with it. Thanks so much.

  3. I’m one of those enfuriating knitters who knits backwords all the time. It’s the lefty thing, though I came about it through my own devices, as I was taught to knit right handed and then taught myself to go the other way. I find it way more natural and it’s a good thing for me I think. I means I can’t share projects with people really, but that’s ok.

    I taught myself to knit back backwords (from my perspective) when I was learning to do enterlac knitting, and use it from time to time.

    I hold the yarn in the same hand no matter which dirrection I’m going, (I’m generally a continental knitter).

    I purl looser than I knit, and I purl/knit backwords at about the same gauge.


  4. Count me impressed. I tried to learn from a friend but failed miserably. Might need to give it another try. I don’t mind purling one bit, however. You are really turning into a spinner….carders? I just gotta learn!

  5. I also knit backwards for entrelac. Very handy, especially as the work gets bigger. If you do try modular knitting, knitting backwards works well for that, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. You cast that scarf on **last night**?! Holy cow, you’re fast! Knitting backwards is one of the best things I ever learned… knitting-wise that is….

  7. On my last shawl, I started at the long edge and decreased to the point. I know the entire project took the same amount of time that it would have had I started at the bottom, but psychologically it was much better for me to see those rows getting shorter rather than longer!

  8. Handcarders..hehehehe. I bought myself a Fricke’s Finest drum carder on my year anniversary of learning to spin. I wonder how long you’ll hold out. Handcarders will only do so much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    When you’re ready for full fleeces, let me know and I’ll point you in some excellent directions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I haven’t learned how to knit backwards yet, but maybe it’s because I don’t mind purling (and I HATE bobbles!) Still, seems like something I should learn.

    Is the “Rat Nest Head” a leave in conditioner? I’ve been growing my hair out for over a year now and it’s been getting more and more out of control. That conditioner sounds like it’s up my alley.

  10. Bwahaha! the vortex seems to be spinning particularly fast in your general vicinity… Have fun!

  11. Oh, I love handcarding! You should try buying a bunch of mohair locks, perhaps dyed, and spin them after just flicking them with a flick carder and pulling them apart a little. I actually just use an old cat brush with few bristles and it works great.

    Your shawl looks beautiful. I’m very impressed at the randomness of your random stripes.

  12. And I was just thinking on the plane Sunday how I really don’t care for purling. I’ll have to try knitting backwards…after I master knitting forward. HAH!

  13. Yay! Wendy gets further sucked into the world of spinning!

  14. Yay for knitting back backwards on long stockinette stitch rows!!! My husband loves stockinette stitch sweaters….and he’s a tall man. Knitting back backwards on the purl rows is great way to relieve the boredom, not to mention speed things along.

    My gauge doesn’t change either, and you can’t tell the Knitbackbackw. rows from the purl rows.

    I taught myself – just spent time staring at my work, imagining it from the other side. Gave it a few (failed) tries and then one day something clicked in my brain and I’ve been KBBing ever since.


  15. I knit back backwards and purl back too. makes chart knitting a breeze because the right side is always facing.

    Now that you’ve got handcards you’ll be wanting a drum carder. and combs. and a picker. do you have a clock skein winder yet? (no, it never ends.)

  16. I’m a lefty and I can write backwards, upside-down, and upside-down backwards. The latter two take some concentration, but I can write backwards in cursive almost as fast as I can write normally.

    Knitting backwards would ROCK!