My current work in progress:

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


Distraction Technique

Ooooh, lookie here. Pretty sweater. Ooooh.


This is the last Inishmore I knit, almost four years ago. I’m slapping a photo of it on the blog today to distract you from the fact that photos of my current knitting are somewhat boring.

I hauled this sweater out to measure the length. I did this because I looked at the Inishmore pattern the other day for the first time since the last time I made it, and noticed the finished length for the size small is 25.75 inches. I know that’s an ootch longer than I like my sweaters. So I suggested to L-B that we make our Inishmores an inch shorter. L-B is a bit shorter than I, so I didn’t think she’d have a problem with that. She didn’t.

My last Inishmore is an inch shorter and I like the length. At least, to the best of my recollection I do. The one and only time I wore it was to work on Monday, December 31, 2001. It was cold that day.

(Yes, I have a bizarre memory. I can remember stuff like that, but I can’t remember if I turned the lights off when I left the house five minutes previously.)

I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to try it on again.

So for those keeping score at home, we will be making our Inishmores an inch shorter than the pattern directs for the longer version (as opposed to the cropped version). We will also be making the crew neck, not the rolled neck.

That last Inishmore is knitted from a handspun Corriedale/Merino single ply yarn that I bought at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival the first year I went — 1997, I think? I have no idea who I bought it from, but the labels were handmade, and I bought all that they had in the natural cream color. The skeins were of varying size. Happily, I had enough with a bit to spare. I loved knitting with this minimally processed yarn.

Current Knitting Project

I made it past the armholes on the Mahi-Mahi tank. Alert the media.


A Question for Y’all

Here’s what I was thinking of using for my Nantasket Basket:


Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs & Butterflies in the Black Purl colorway. (Though I may change my mind and use a different colorway. It may not surprise you to learn that I possess mulitple colorways of Bullfrogs & Butterflies.)

The yarn is held double throughout. Whaddya think about holding a variegated yarn double. The variegations in each strand will not not match. When it’s felted, will it look uber-cool or horrific?

Because it’s not self-striping but variegated, I think it’ll look okay. Whaddya think? Huh?

Now . . . must see if I can find an mp3 of “Bitter and Twisted” (from the “McVicar” soundtrack) for Irving the iPod. I need more tunes to put me in the proper frame of mind in the a.m.


Lucy sez: “Happy Cinco de Mayo!”


  1. Susan Maurer says:

    Uber-cool! Uber-cool! Jah, I vote for uber-cool! I think you oughta throw some German band in Irving. Who sang that tune, 99 Sicht Luftballoons? Remember that one? Ach(tung), I’m sure I mispelled something there, but oh well. Maybe you ought listen to something foreign like that, punk your hair out really wild (or is it already there at 5:30 in the morn?), and that should keep the friggin’ friendly folks away … ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. the varigated will look great! I used a varigated for a felted bag, and it ended up looking like watercolors–blended, no splotches. can’t wait to see what you do!!

  3. Double stranding would actually prevent pooling and flashing, wouldn’t it?

  4. Ooh… don’t know what would happen if you doubled variegated yarn. You *could* do a test swatch with double variegated and one with variegated/solid to see which would work better.

  5. Nice photo of Lucy today.

    She’s twisted but definitely not bitter.

  6. Doubling multicolored yarn doesn’t always work the way you think it will. My mother made me a lovely scarf in a wide (6×6?) rib out of some Drop Spindle mohair boucle — the stuff that’s designed to stack with a zigzaggy stripe up the front if you knit an unshaped sweater in the round. She held two strands together thinking they’d mix, and they did in the garter border, but then they synced up and argyled…not perfectly, but recognizably, with occasional “fuzzing” as they slipped out of sync. It came out really nice and probably better than if they’d mixed (the colors were dark green with brilliant red-orange shading to burgundy as the accent), but it was unexpected.

  7. Hmmm . . . if you double the LL you may end up with a muddy looking basket instead of an uber-kewl variegated one.

  8. Wendy, when you shorten/lengthen cabled sweaters, do you take out/add a specific repeat (subtract 1 repeat before the waist shaping, for example) or do you subtract a repeat’s worth of stitches proportionally throughout the sweater? Sorry if that is a dumb question (or doesn’t make sense) but I am trying to add length to my first cabled sweater, so I thought I’d ask the pro!

  9. Okay Wendy, you must tell us minions (chapter 14) and sycophants (chapter 16) why you wore your last Inishmore just once. Did it spontaneously catch on fire (the way, supposedly, yarn does in Alexandria)? ๐Ÿ™‚ … Oh, and a belated congratulations on having your manuscript turned in!!!

  10. The unnerving thing is that your Inishmore looks better/nicer to me than the one in the book. Must be all that sheepy goodness in the wool. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I might have missed this, but… um… why Inishmore #2 (or whatever) when you’ve worn #1 (or whatever that one was) once? I’m confused. I’m also confused about why you’ve only worn that fab sweater once. I think the B & B doubled will look muddy but in a good way.

  12. Mahi-mahi is a fish?!! I just saw it in a recipe book and had to google to confirm it.

    Is it the colour that inspired the name?

  13. Watch out with the 2 strands of variegated yarns. It seems like it would be a cool, good idea but my past experiences have resulted in all the colors cancelling each other out resulting in an icky muddy gray.

  14. Are you gonna knit that basket at “Wendy Speed”? I think I would take a week alone just staring at that gorgeous yarn.

    Wish Lucia Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

    p.s. found out tonight that Saber (our dog) LOVES hot sauce. There! We now have proof that our giant sheltie isn’t a shetland sheep dog at all, but a really REALLY ginormous hippie chihuahua!

  15. I think it would look great. It would be preferable for the two strands not to match (or even come close), as that will give you less pooling… more of a nice mottled effect.

  16. Hello,
    I Wont use the yarn, think it wont look too cool. More like a mess and in my humble opnion I think its a to expensive yarn to “fool around with” ๐Ÿ™‚
    For Susan it is spelled 99 Lufballons or Neunundneunzig Luftballons ๐Ÿ˜‰ Its a song from the band Nena and the former singer Nena is having great succes here over in Germany with her solo carreer. Doing songs for Kids and some Pop for the elder ones. But you cant call the old song punk.
    Ah Wendy I discovered that I am doing the sweater deli, you did weeks ago. Have you been happy with the yarn? I am a little disappointed because its looking a bit shabby knit up.



  17. Having made a Nantasket Basket with two solid yarns (lime and purple), and having used LL Black Purl for socks, I vote against using it for the basket. By the time you doubled it *and* felted it, the yarn would retain none of its original beauty. Of course, you can always buy more Black Purl …

  18. I vote a resounding YES for trying the LL B&B in Black Purl on your Nantasket! And I’m lookin’ forward to seeing Mahi Mahi as it progresses–love the color! Have a fantastic weekend!

  19. Good Morning, Wendy. I would hold the B and B double with another single color yarn (one that coordinates) so the varigation of that skein can shine. I get so fussy holding two varitated strands together, always trying to match them up — type A varigation dh calls it.

  20. I tried to convince Wendy that I should be given a head start since she’s a “ringer” with Inishmore. No such luck. Wendy is a harsh competitor—proven by taunting me with the photo today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Great sweater! It was a single? hmmmm Must’ve been quite alot of skeins.. The bobbins are not huge on most spinning wheels so smaller skeins yes especailly after plied! Singles though?? that mucst’ve ttok lots of patiencea and time for your sweater! BEAUTIFUL!! I bet the merino/corridale X is abousolutely lucious!

  22. Your Inishmore in the picture looks like you prefectly came out with the pattern repeat, I would guess that may also be a factor on how long to make the sweater? If your row gauge is a bit tighter it will get shorter, I would not add or subtract a whole inch on the ribbing, no?

  23. I vote for ubercool as long as the verigated is of similar colors (as it is with this colorway, all purples and blacks). If it had a massively different color thrown in there I think it could lean more toward the horrific side(if there were contrasting colors it could look like an icky brown color in the felting).

  24. Andrea says:

    Mahi-mahi is not just “a” fish — it is the filet mignon of fish. Absolutely delicious, pretty much whatever you do to it. (Except over-cooking.) Mmmmmm…

    I don’t know how the variegated felting will go — I’d be cautious just because LL is so expensive. But I do love the Black Purl colorway.

    Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow at the fairground!

  25. Maybe I am missing something, but if you already have an Inishmore in about the same color that you have only worn once, why are you making another? Just curious, really. I feel sorry for all of that wonderful wool that is lying dormant in your cedar chest. Maybe you could gift some of those sweaters away to charity or something so the wool has the life it is meant to have of keeping people warm.

  26. Susan Maurer says:

    Speaking as one who lives in Florida, where fish is on just about every menu in the state, Mahi-Mahi is not just any ol’ fish, but dolphin (if I’m not mistaken). Sounds better than putting Flipper on the menu. Or flippin’ Flipper. Or friggin’ Flipper.
    Or Bambi for that matter. We did get some Rudolph from hunter friends this year around Christmastime. I’d never eaten venison before. I guess it tastes like regular meat, if you can get past the smell when it’s cooking. I couldn’t…
    Sorry about that. Got carried away on the Mahi-Mahi tangent. Such a fishy name. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. As a short knitter, I would love to know how to modify a pattern like Inishmore just an inch! Start the body pattern an inch worth of rows up the chart?

  28. Mahi-Mahi is the Hawaiian name for dolphin the fish, not the cute mammal. Dorado is the Spanish name for the same fish. They are bright yellow/green/blue and can get very big. The name “dolphin” may confuse, but the mammal, the big gray cute thing, is entirely different, and we don’t eat them.

    I’m also confused why you’re making a 2nd sweater if you don’t wear the first one… It’s really beautiful though.

  29. Oh thank you thank you thank you for showing the pictures of Inishmore. I had already decided to knit it back in NOvember when I came home from Ireland with my Irish wool, but the pictures in the book really don’t do it justice I see. Now I can’t wait to cast on for mine. It’s really quite stunning. So why haven’t you worn it more?

  30. Maryann says:

    Try it! I would really like to see how holding the 2 variegated strands together works out, because…. well…. I’m not brave enough to do it myself!

  31. I hope Lucy seez Happy Mothers day to you.

  32. Rebecca says:

    Why did Van Gogh keep painting those haystacks when he already had a picture of them? Wendy you are an artist. I would love to be as talented (and speedy) as you are, but recognize it would take many years of practice.

    As for the B&B – it’s beautiful, but I don’t know how it will look held double & felted. I think holding a varigated with a solid would give a pretty cool effect though. Your call though. You can always frog it if you decide you don’t like it.

    Lucy – you are freaking me out – I didn’t know cats could bend like that!!! Feliz Cinco de Mayo. Where’s my margarita??

  33. I think it would be fabulous – the closest I’ve done is a baby blanket with doubled KPPM, and it was gorgeous (and I’m not just saying that, the recipient said the same thing). I can’t see why it wouldn’t be just as lovely felted.

  34. Wendy is blissfully off to Md.S&W while I’m home agonizing over my Inishmore gauge swatch. With 7s, I’m getting the correct row gauge,but way off on the stitches. With 6s,I’m spot on the stitches,but way off on row gauge. ๐Ÿ™ In desperation,I even tried knitting alternate rows with a 6 and 7, to no avail. I have two swatches soaking now to see if there’s some improvement after washing and blocking.At this rate, Wendy and I may compete with the same number of rows and stitches, but I may end up with a cropped Inishmore. Just thought I’d entertain you with my angst while Wendy’s away! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. i dont know what happens when you felt a double strand of variegated yarn but here is an example of regular knitting with double stranded variegated yarn === the top part is knitted with two strands of variagated yarn and the middle and bottom parts are knit with one strand solid color and one strand varigated

    let me know what you think