My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Archives for April 2005

The Inishmore Challenge

I’ve had in my stash for over a year some Virtual Yarns 3-ply Hebridean, in the color “Sea Ivory.” This yarn is earmarked to become Alice Starmore’s design “Inishmore.”

My knit-bud L-B and I are going to participate in our own “Inishmore Challenge.”

We will both knit the classic version of Inishmore (as opposed to the cropped version) in size small, both using Virtual Yarns 3-ply Hebridean, both in the color Sea Ivory (as it happens).

We will commence knitting on Monday May 16, 2005. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see who finishes first! We both have full-time jobs and we are both pretty fast knitters. L-B has won prizes for the speed of her knitting at the Virginia State Fair.

Anyone want to join us in knitting Inishmore? Just for fun — you don’t have to join our race, unless you want to.

By the way, there is a Yahoo Group set up, Inishknit, which is a knit-along for anyone knitting sweaters from Alice Starmore’s Fishermen’s Sweaters book. A great place to go for support and camaraderie! I joined the group when I knit Kinsale a couple of months ago. There are some lovely finished Inishmores in the group’s photo section.

Lacy Cardi Update

Here are the front ties of the Lacy Cardi, primly tied together.


I’ve not done much else on it, but I did start the second sleeve on the commute today.



The Divine Ms. Em emailed me today with the suggestion that I need these to go with my tennis sweater.

Oh my. Even my 80’s self would not have succumbed to those.

And kindly note that I managed to jam three links to three different places in one sentence. A new personal best.

Happy Weekend!


As far as I’m concerned, the weekend has begun. I’m off from work until Tuesday. Got stuff to do, ya know?

Even though what I have to do can be classified as work, working at home is far superior to working at the office.

Let’s Tie One On

As I’ve mentioned, I am making my lacy cardi with ties at the front, rather than buttons. Here’s what I did:

When I was casting off the front band, I left three “live” stitches at the beginning of the v-neck on each side, thusly:


(Sorry about the over-exposed picture!)

To do this you simply cast off until you reach the point where you want your live stitches, work across those stitches, put them on a holder, then resume casting off.

Next, I put the three stitches on a dpn and commenced making an i-cord.


Quickie lesson on how to make an i-cord, for the uninitiated:

Using two dpns, knit across the stitches, then slide the work to the other end of the needle. Do not turn the work, but knit the stitches again pulling the yarn over from the other end of the work. Continue on in this manner, sliding the work to the opposite end of the needle after each row, until you have the desired length.


So there you have it: ties for your cardi!

I did finish the first sleeve on my commute today.


So all that’s left is one sleeve.

And to sew the sucker up.

Beth commented:
I’m wondering how you are going to deal with the lace edging when it’s time to sew up the seams. There’s a couple of spots where you will be joining lace to lace (the end of the sleeves, for instance.) Can this be done unobtrusively, i.e. without a wavy or otherwise funny-looking seam?

I’m planning on mattress-stitching the lace together and forsee no problems (famous last words). The way the sweater is constructed is that I knit the lace edging first, then pick up stitches along the straight edge and knit up from there (so the stitches of the lace are at a right angle to the stitches of the body). I started and ended each strip of lace with a plain knit row, so I will have matching plain edges to seam together.

All Lucy All the Time


Agnes said:
I always enjoy the shot of your cat at the end of each post! Are you taking pictures of her every day?

Thank you! I do take photos of poor Lucy every day. I’m surprised she doesn’t run and hide when she sees me approaching, camera in hand. I guess she’s a supermodel at heart and secretly relishes the limelight.

Janet said:
Can’t wait for your book. But the biggest question is: Will Lucy be in the book?

And thank you! Lucy will make an appearance once or twice. She has already requested that her royalties be paid in Fancy Feast and catnip.

Marie asked:
And please, give us the real secret. How do you mix daily life with a chocolate cat and a white sweater?

Two words: clothes brush.

Actually, Lucy does not shed very much. Right now she’s getting rid of her winter coat, so the shedding is at its worst. But it’s still not too bad. Lucy gets brushed around four times a week, and that gets rid of a lot of her loose fur. Fortunately, she loves getting brushed.

A couple of you mentioned that your cats have a penchant for lying on electronics. Lucy lies on my scanner when I’m at the computer — she just wants to be close to Mommy.

But one of my dear departed cats, Tristan, (who you can see helping me block a shawl here) loved to lie on the VCR.

I remember years ago when the movie “A Passage to India” was playing on HBO, I wanted to tape it. It always seemed to be on when I wasn’t home. Every time I programmed the VCR to tape, Tristan de-programmed it by randomly pressing the VCR buttons with his paws. This happened 4 or 5 times. Once I even taped a cardboard box over the VCR to protect the programming, but Tristan chewed through the box and once again de-programmed.

I recently bought “A Passage to India” on DVD.

Aside: I’ve never met a David Lean film that I didn’t love. I have most of his films that are available on DVD. I wish they’d hurry up and release the rest of them. My VHS tape of “This Happy Breed” is decidedly crappy quality!


That’s the number of stitches I picked up to knit the band that goes up a side front, round the neck, and down the other side front of the Lacy Cardi.

I picked up the stitches in sections so wasn’t thinking about a total number. I think I’m glad I didn’t add them up until after I finished. If I’d known there were so many, I would have whimpered and whined all through the knitting. But not knowing, I just knitted along , not thinking about it.


I finished the band last night, whilst watching lame television. When I bound off, I left three stitches live on each side, at the point where the v-neck starts. These will be used to make the i-cord ties, as I won’t be using buttons on this.


And here’s my commuter-knitting sleeve progress.


Several of you have commented on how quickly this is working up. I hadn’t thought about it, but yeah, it is going pretty fast. I started it at 10pm last Tuesday night.

I think the reason why I’m zipping along is a combination of loving the yarn and enjoying the eyelets. It would be considerably more boring if it were straight stockinette. Having an eyelet row every fourth row definitely adds some “zing” for me!

I leave you with . . .


Almost-Still Life with Scanner and Wireless Router.

What’s That Landmass Dead Ahead, Captain?

Yup, it’s Sleeve Island!

I sucked it up and finished the second side front of the Lacy Cardi last night.


And I cast on for a sleeve.


These are going to be three-quarter length sleeves, or there-abouts. I’ll knit until I like the length, then bind off for the sleeve cap.

But before I get hunkered down completely in my deck chair and commence yelling at the cabana boy for margaritas, I am going to knit the front and neck bands.

I’ve picked up the stitches, so I’m good to go.


(Note that the sweater is indeed white. The color in the photos varies depending on the light where I took the photos.)

This way I can be knitting on that at home and the sleeves can go on the road with me.

As I mentioned previously, this pattern will not be in my book, as the draft of that is just about purty near done, yes indeedy.

The writing of the book has become a part of my daily life. I’ve been working on it for the past eleven months. Soon I will enter the rewriting portion of our programme.

I had a couple of book questions in the comments. It is a combination of stories (or essays, if you will) along with patterns. And it does have a working title:

WendyKnits: Adventures with Two Needles and an Attitude.

My agent came up with the title, not me. And when he suggested it to me I said: “What? You think I have an attitude?”

He laughed.

Lucy has an opinion on that subject but is wisely keeping it to herself.


A question in the comments about whether my book will be available in Canada, and if I’ll be selling it.

It’s being published by Penguin, so they will be taking care of distribution. I’m assuming it’ll be available outside the U.S., but I’m a newbie at this so the truth is: I dunno. But any information I have, as publication date nears, I’ll be sure to share here.

This is a totally new experience for me. All my professional writing up to this point has been stuff for work, and no one has ever wanted to see that published, I can tell ya!

Cotton Angora Question

A question in the comments about Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora — how does it hold up after laundering?

Anyone have any experience? I have one sweater knitted from Cotton Angora . . . and I haven’t worn it yet!


That’s what I think about Cathay. Yum.


On Friday, Anne-Caroline made this comment:
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.

Resistance is futile, my dear. But seriously, I know what you mean about the yarn when it is “in the ball.” It doesn’t jump out and grab you (apart from the luscious colors it comes in) until you start knitting with it. When I was at Knit Happens a couple of weeks ago, Kristine kindly let me knit a swatch with her Cathay (that she’s using to knit Harriet) and I fell hopelessly in love with it.

More Questions!

The project I’m knitting right now from the Cathay is a lacy cardi, as I said in my last blog entry. It will not appear in my book, as I have that finished. Done, done, done — apart from some final tweaking. The manuscript goes to my editor at the end of this month. This month. Yikes.

However, that does not mean that the lacy cardi pattern can’t be sold as an individual pattern or go in a future book . . .

Ricki asked if I thought this design would work up in the Rowan CashCotton DK. I believe it would, nicely. I’m working at a gauge of 22 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches, and I believe that the CashCotton DK will knit at that gauge as well.

Renada asked if I’ve used the Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. I have! I made “Ice” (from Rown 27) from it — there’s a pic in my knitting gallery (see the link in the sidebar). I liked knitting with the Cotton Angora very much!

Here’s the cardi progress. The back she is finished.


And a side front is finished as well.


I’m working on the other side front now. And hoping that I’ll remember to reverse the shaping when I get to the armhole. I can only hope . . .

Lucy had a nice weekend. Lucy always has a nice weekend. Here she is indulging in one of her favorite pastimes: being brushed by her daddy.