My current work in progress:

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


I Heart Cathay

But first . . .

Thanks so much for all the nice comments about the tennis sweater! I really appreciate them.

I still haven’t dug out my green skirt to see if it matches. I do know that I have a long white linen skirt it’ll look cute with, if the green is wrong.

One more comment about this design and then I’ll move on.

I stated I made the body of the sweater an inch longer than the pattern directs. I am 5’6″ tall, so please take that into consideration when thinking about making alterations to suit your height. Also, I added the inch in the body above the ribbing but before the v-neck shaping — it’s quite a deep v and I think would be a bit cleavage-baring if it were any deeper.

And a comment about the yarn, Cotton Cashmere.

Mary asked in the comments if I found it to be a bit stiff to work with. And I believe the Divine Ms. Em mentioned on her blog the other day that she found it a bit hard on the hands.

This is the third sweater I’ve knitted in Cotton Cashmere. And I’ve had no problem with hand or wrist pain while knitting it. Other cottons have bothered me, but not this one.

In fact, I like it so much, I bought more.


Seven skeins in a lovely bright strawberry pink, for a summer top. Yup. They’ll see me coming in this one, won’t they?

Moving on . . .


This is the back of my new project, a Lacy Cardi being knitted from Debbie Bliss Cathay, which is 50% cotton. 35% viscose, and 15% silk.

I love this yarn. The viscose microfiber in it gives it some springiness and “give,” while the silk adds sheen and that slightly crunchy feeling that I so love in some silk yarns.

It’s DK weight and I’m knitting it to a gauge of 22 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches. Suggested needle size for this gauge is 3.75mm (US 5) but I’m getting gauge with a 3.5mm (US 4) needle. I often need to go down a needle size when knitting cotton and cotton-blend yarns.

The cardi (my own design) has lace at the bottom edge and a simple all-over eyelet pattern.

(I say simple, but yesterday I did manage to screw it up, not paying attention. I lined up two rows of eyelets instead of staggering them and had to rip back a few rows. Doh!)

It will have three-quarter length sleeves, a v-neck, and front ties instead of buttons (I think).

The piece pictured above is the back, of course.

The yarn is made up of many plies, but I haven’t had any problem whatsoever with it splitting while I knit. Even with the few rows I ripped out and reknit.

Yup. I *heart* Cathay. So much so that I bought this:


(Sorry about the blurry pic!)

Six more skeins of it in teal. For a summer tank.

And to think I used to be the girl who knitted fair isles and arans all summer because she hated cotton. I think it’s more a case of cotton changing than me changing.

That’s what I’m telling myself, anyhow.

Lucy believes me.



  1. The back of another sweater in less than a day, oh my! It looks very nice. Can’t wait to see the whole design.

  2. I agree that cottons have changed, but I’ve only been knitting for 1 1/2 years. The new cotton blends are so wonderfully soft. I didn’t care for DB Cathay, but upclose it’s really nice. Have you ever tried the cotton angora?

  3. I LOVE your lacey cardi. I can’t wait to see it finished……and maybe you will sell the pattern?? :-))

  4. I’ve been knitting with Cathay the last two days too. Lovin’it! Your lacy cardi looks great so far

  5. Wendy – do you think your new lace cardi pattern would work up in the Rowan Cotton Cash DK? I bought some in white to do the same Deli cardigan that you did in pink – but I really like your new pattern. How soon will be available? I know – wait until the book.

  6. The new cardi looks heavenly, I love lace!! You are THE fastest knitter I know God Bless you!

  7. Im glad you commented about the Cathay yarn
    been looking for some really great summer yarns and have been disappointed in the past,lots of splitting etc,
    we are planning on moving to Georgia( the Albany area or in about an hour or so from Albany)
    I am moving out of a cold climate ( Wisconsin) and am worried that I will never ever wear and aran or fair isle sweater again.( sob)
    any Georgia knitters out there that can set me straight on this?
    so, I am looking into all yarns cotton now
    one more thing, is it difficult to get the kitty bed pattern? or do you sell it?
    my sister has to have it,,,,,I need something special for her over the hill birthday and this will do the trick, she would LOVE it for her 2 cats!!!!!
    happy knitting to all,,,

  8. Fiona and I firmly agree. Cottons are changing. And in a good way.

  9. You know, I’m still on the fence about the Cathay – when I was at Knit Happens, I loved the colors (especially that rust color), but I wasn’t huge about how the yarn “felt”. That being said, I was told by the girls there that it knits up beautifully. But let’s not kid ourselves – it’s just a matter of time before I break down. I mean, Really.

  10. I really do think that microfiber (aka viscose, etc.) is a miracle fiber because it makes cotton tolerable…..


  11. Can’t wait to find me some cathay! the white lace looks lovely.

  12. Gotta get me some of that Cathay…

    And I just wanted to say that the more I work with the Cotton Cashmere, the easier it gets, but it is stiffer than I thought it would be. I guess I was expecting something really really really soft, from reading about it here! So YOU’RE to blame…heh heh. I kid. I think I’m just cranky because I’m still on sleeve island, with little time to work on the sweater. Maybe I should start getting up at 5 am…riiiiiiight.

  13. I really like the back of that cardi — I hope you’ll make the pattern available! (Is it for the book?)

    And Lucy’s pic today just makes me go awwwwwwwwwwww!

  14. I hope that you will release the pattern for the lacy cardi. I simply MUST have that sweater. I am drooling just looking at it!

  15. Thanks for the inspiration! The new cardi looks great. I have some sport-weight cotton for a cardigan for my niece, and I have been toying with ideas for it. I was headed toward something like what you’re doing — lace edging with an all-over holey pattern. This will be my first design-it-myself sweater in 30+ years of knitting. Can we say “pushing the envelope”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Pam: look for links to the kitty bed pattern in the Kitty Bed Gallery or in Wendy’s Knitting Gallery (in the right hand column)

  16. Susan Maurer says:

    That Cathay reminds me of a Dale cotton yarn (I forget its name right now), in which I knit a similar pattern (eyelet cardigan with lace edging) in white from a Dale booklet, but it didn’t have a V neck and it buttons up the front. From an older Dale book. Dale’s cotton yarn was nice, too, but not particularly soft.
    I’m going to order one skein of each of these cotton yarns that have appeared on your site, Wendy, and do a sampling, making a washcloth out of each to see which I really like for different projects. I suspect each has qualities that would work well for different things, but I’m really seeking a good next-to-the-skin cotton.
    Pam: I live in Florida and wear wool in the winter. It dips down to 32F or below here; It’s in the 50s these days in northern Florida, and it’s sweater weather indeed. So don’t throw out that wool yarn.
    Still, I’m encouraged that cotton yarns are becoming more user-friendly, varied, and plentiful. I’ve never been a big fan of cotton (funny how so many knitters comment the same opinion), but I hope that’s changing. Out of necessity.
    And Wendy, funny you’d the mention your fair isle days. I was just thinking about how I found your blog – reading your comments on a KnitList (I think), then following the NorgeList list you started a few years back (wasn’t that you?). Is that list still around? I don’t have time for lists anymore, but blogs… well, I’m hooked on yours.
    Sorry so wordy. Have a blessed knitting weekend, y’all!

  17. I’m loving these close-up photos of Lucy. She has such a gorgeous face!

    I don’t think anyone local has Cathay yet. It looks like it needs to be felt to get the full effect. Well, I suppose any yarn does, but this one sounds particularly yummy and hard to describe.

  18. The new sweater is quite lovely. (when I visited Ireland every other word was lovely – somehow it attached itself to me)

  19. I’ve enjoyed working with Cotton Cashmere, too. One sleeve of my Eyelet Cardi is done. I’m going to check out that Cathay, too. Have a super weekend!

  20. Wendyla- will your Cathay lacy cardi pattern be in your forthcoming book? I’m eagerly awaiting both. Been working on my own design, a sweet little intarsia thing-y with needle-felted heads as bobbles on the shoulders. Whaddayathink?

  21. not all those other marthas says:

    I just finished reading your archives (sept 2002 to present). It’s been a fun read. I’ve laughed, I’ve commiserated, I’ve ordered a book (Woolcraft), I’ve wanted to leave comments that would be complete non sequiters in real time. But my question is — where the heck is the Lucy calendar?

  22. Oh the Cathay sweater is JUST the pattern I was looking for last year (and every summer before THAT…) sigh. Cotton certainly has evolved, and for the better….seems that knitters are speaking with their WALLETS ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Please put me on the list if you are taking orders!

  23. Wendy

    I love the loosefit tennis sizing. I would do just the same. (if I had the patience to make that sweater, that is, ahemm)

  24. The tennis sweater looks great!!
    How do you compare the Cathay to Dale Svale? They are nearly the same fiber makeup, but I havent gotten a chance to pet Cathay yet.

  25. What a beautiful sweater!! One day- I’ll be able to make a sweater.