My current work in progress:

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


Wendy at the Improv*

So here you go. A photo of Kinsale progress.


Alrighty then. I’ve got a bit more than 20 inches, so I’ve got about 5 inches left before the neckline shaping. Amazing how long it takes when you only knit one pattern repeat (16 rows) a day.

Knitpicks Yarns

A large number of you have asked me for my opinion of the Knitpicks yarns since I posted the photo of the samples I got last week — Thursday, I think?

I’ve not knitted with any of them yet, so I cannot yet offer an opinion, other than a quick superficial one. But as I’m a superficial kind of gal, here you go: A close-up photo and a one-liner for each of the yarns.

Wool of the Andes – wool, worsted weight, feels like it’ll be a nice basic wool that’ll wear well.


Merino Style – merino wool (duh), dk/light worsted weight and very soft.


Andean Silk – Alpaca/silk/merino blend, worsted weight, soft and lovely.


Andean Silk Twist – Alpaca/silk/merino blend, worsted weight, three-ply — each ply a different color.


Andean Treasure – Alpaca, sportweight, nice heathered color and incredibly soft.


Alpaca Cloud – baby alpaca, laceweight, lovely heathered color and so soft.


Elegance – Alpaca/silk blend,dk/light worsted weight and very soft.


Shimmer – Alpaca/silk blend, laceweight, lovely variegated color and sheen.


Simple Stripes – wool/nylon blend fingering weight sock yarn — reminds me of Regia.


Sock Landscape – merino wool fingering weight, lovely soft, variegated landscape colors.


Sock Garden – merino wool fingering weight, lovely soft, variegated garden colors.


This will have to do until I get a chance to knit some swatches.

Someone had asked what I was planning on making with these yarns. The answer is, test swatches. No, wait!

I know a certain little kitty who has a birthday next week who is in dire need of knitted catnip mice.


Okay, this afternoon at work I fished an empty Pepsi bottle out of the recycle bin and took the cap because it had the code for a free iTunes song. Don’t judge me — I’m under a lot of stress.

But now I really want to raid all the recycle bins for winning bottle caps.

Must . . . resist . . . urge . . .

*That’s what L-B said my week at work is like. She ain’t far off. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. If you angle the bottle just right, you can tell if you get a free song even before you open the pepsi bottle. If you see any combo of random letters or the word free then you can be sure that its a winner. This was something i figured out the last time pepsi was doing this, and they haven’t changed it yet!

  2. People dumpster dive in Texas all the time. Give it a try if it appeals to you. Early happy birthday to Lucy, too.

  3. I only found out that Pepsi was doing the itunes thing again yesterday, and now I must find caps!

    If you think it’s bad looking in recycling bins…a few years ago, Pepsi did a thing where you entered codes under the caps and you saved up points that you could redeem for various things. My husband (then boyfriend) and I desperately wanted this computer game and were low on cash, so we not only went through recycling bins and garbage cans, we drove around and when we saw a bottle, we stopped and grabbed the cap. We also looked under bleachers at game fields. We learned 2 things: persistance pays off, and people really can be pigs! Happy cap-digging!

  4. i’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks & it’s awesome! i just started knitting & enjoy reading it! tell lucy i said happy birthday!

  5. I rarely drink soda, and when I do, I prefer Coke, so I’ve been doing the same thing you are here at work! I also used this method to snag Monopoly game pieces from McDonald’s wrappers, though I’d try to ask the person for them before they hit the trash. (such a gulf between the recycling bin and the trash can!)

  6. Those close-ups and your tantalizing descriptions make me want to rush home to knit the rest of mine! Great idea about the catnip mice! I was thinking coasters.

  7. cant wait to hear what you think of those yarns ๐Ÿ™‚

    and hey if it is a song, then it is a song!

  8. I second the “check the cap” method of purchasing Pepsi – I have no problem with looking a little odd in the grocery store if it means I get a free song out of it. Be aware that if you “pre-check” before purchase, they’ve added a “buy one Pepsi, get one free” option, so you may see that as well – don’t be fooled ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I’ve got a scarf started using the Kint Picks Merino Style. It knits up very nicely and feels wonderful. Not sure I’m liking it colorwise for what I’m making now, but I would definately use this yarn again. Haven’t tried my Andean Treasure or Alpaca Cloud yet.

  10. It’s funny how suspicious we all are of what seems to be a too-good-to-be-true deal with the knitpicks yarns. As for me, I AM waiting for someone to actually knit and wear them. But I also have this problem with touching things, I have to do it to buy yarn. I hadly ever buy over the internet, and then it’s something like Jamieson or Silk Garden, which I know about already. I would do well, Isuppose, to follow your example and send for a sampling.
    Thanks for the report anyway, Wendy.

  11. The Wool of the Andes is wonderful to knit with so far. At least my swatch was. You might want to wash Lucy’s new toy before stuffing it. The color I bought is a dark one and I did have some color in the water on the first wash of the swatch but not on the second wash. And dumpster diving can be fun!

  12. Wow, I didn’t even know KnitPicks had a dk weight alpaca/silk blend. Now I want to try that even more than the Andean Silk! How would you compare the feel of Elegance to other alpaca/silk blends like the Debbie Bliss or Blue Sky Alpaca Silk?

  13. I’m knitting with the Andean Silk & it’s just beautiful. 4.5 st/in was way too loose, but 5 st/in is making a lovely soft fabric. There was a misprint in the catalog saying a skein had 110 yds when it only has 96, but I think the website is correct. I’ve always been satified with KnitPicks so I felt pretty confident trying their new stuff.

  14. I’m glad to see that the KnitPicks yarn is nice to work with. I broke my own yarn diet and ordered a boatload of the Worsted Wool, the Merino and Alpaca Silk, some of the Cloud and a couple skeins each of the sock yarn. Can’t wait to try them out. I love the fact that I can make a Debbie Bliss sweater without the Debbie Bliss prices.

  15. Thanks for sharing info on the Knitpicks yarn. I ordered some of the lace weight as the colors were too beautiful to pass up. I’m waiting for it to arrive. After your report I might have to order a couple more yarns!

  16. I’m knitting a bag with the Worsted Wool and it’s working just great. Soon will find out how it felts!

  17. o/t, but thanks for the tips section of your blog! I’m making my first pair of cabled socks and your method of cabling w/o a cable needle is super helpful!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I have been reading your blog for some time now but hadn’t posted a comment until today. Actually, it is more of a question for you since you have so much experience with Alice Starmore patterns. I have yet to make one but am so tempted by St. Ciaran in Aran Knitting that I must try it soon! I thought I would ask you if you have a good recommended substitution yarn for Scottish Heather, as I know it is no longer available…

    Thanks for any feedback, as it will be greatly appreciated! Your Kinsale is looking wonderful and has tripped my trigger for finally starting a Starmore pattern, although it is summer here in New Zealand. Perhaps I could finish it by the time winter reaches the South Island…


  19. What a lovely deal I saw today at our local store. Handmade thrummed mittens, pure wool, Cdn $20. I can’t imagine doing all that work for the $15 that the knitter is likely to get for her materials and time. The wool felt like Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, wool. I wish I could remember the name. I once made a hat from it and remember the feel.