My current work in progress:

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


Lifelines? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Lifelines!

Okay, that title really has nothing to do with this post, but I like saying “We don’t need no stinkin’ [insert appropriate word here]!” Here it’s used in agreement with a commenter who surmised that L-B and I are not using lifelines in our knitting.

We are battle-weary at this point. Spattered with blood and gore (and wool fuzz), limping along, trailing our battle-axes (and needles) behind us. Hands throbbing.

That’s a bit of an exaggeration. All except the last bit: hands throbbing.

I stopped knitting at 9pm last night because of hand pain. I dreamed about my hands all night. So much so and in such startling scenarios that I was happy to see that they were still attached to my arms at the wrists this morning. And this morning? Not so painful, surprisingly.

Poor L-B is not so fortunate. She’s having some more serious hand pain (though I defy her dreams to rival mine), so she has been forced to cut down on her knitting time. But she’s still knitting along and making excellent progress, I think.

My Progress

Very very close to having the second sleeve done.


Sunday afternoon I sewed the first sleeve to the body. Because that’s the part I hate. So what’s left for me is to finish knitting the second sleeve, sew it to the body, sew the side seams, pick up stitches and knit the collar.

And In the Unofficial Knitalong

Vanessa finished her Inishmore on Sunday! Isn’t it gorgeous?


In L-B’s and my defense, I might point out that Vanessa was not working 40+ hour work-weeks whilst knitting Inishmore, as we have been. That said, she is a wicked fast knitter and we raise our needles in a salute to her knitting prowess!

Oh, and her hands hurt too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s Next?

The completion of Inishmore is almost upon me. Hmmmmmm . . . what to knit next? Something light and lacy, I’m thinking.



  1. vanessa says:

    thanks for the needle salute ๐Ÿ˜‰ hands hurt? hah, i should send a photo of the calluses. thank god for advil!

  2. I think that you and L-B should reward yourselves with special hand massages when this challenge is finished.

  3. Your knitting is soooo beautiful! I could never knit something as complicated as an Aran sweater in that speed. I, too, salute you with my knitting needles. Excellent work!!!

  4. Alright you ladies have me convinced. I have knit other sweaters from this book, but after seeing pictures of your progress, I feel I must knit this one! Your photos are a better representation than what is in the book. Amazing work Wendy and L-B!

  5. Owie! What you girls will do for the greater good! I hope your and L-B’s (and Vanessa’s) hands heal very very soon.

  6. So sorry to hear about the sore paws– but the work is beautiful. Best wishes to you both….

  7. I am sooo inspired!!!! Perhaps I CAN get beyond row 5 of the ribbing (yes, from CHART A — the first 3″ of the BACK)!!! Glad I wasn’t in it for real!!! I told someone at the LYS I was playing along – this being my first garment, my first cabling, my first (LARGE YARN PURCHASE!!!)… The clerk gasped, winced, suggested I …. whatever, here I am… he he he It’s so fun to pretend I’m L-B or Wendy (or Vanessa)… he he he.

    And my favorite “we don’t need no stinkin’…” was on my friend’s overweight dalmatian’s collar – “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Leashes!!!”.

  8. I second the hand massage advice and would add a good wallow in a hot tub. Does my hands worlds of good. I wouldn’t be able to knit Inishmore in a week, even if I didn’t work full time. I don’t know how you do it.

    By the way, do you ever use lifelines? I don’t.

  9. Hi Wendy:

    Are you suffering from carpel tunnel. I have it too. My doctor said to take some asprin or motrin before I knit or spin as it will keep the swelling down. of course you then run the risk of a stomach ulcer. But that’s my two cents worth.

  10. You both are some crazy knitters! How can you finish a sweater so fast? Scary!

  11. WOW! I am impressed that you ladies can get that Irishmore done in record time like you have!! May the day come that I am as accomplished a knitter.

  12. Hi Wendy, I just finished a pair of your fingerless mitts. Thanks for a great pattern. Jane

  13. wow.
    Vanessa’s is wonderful…
    is there a plan for a Photo shoot
    of the finished Inishes?
    Please do be careful with those
    aching hands…
    we want lots more

  14. Wow, it takes me a month to finish a plain st stitch sweater! You guys are all amazing. I just received the book and definitely have to try this. I figure if I start the cropped version now, maybe I’ll finish by winter. But I’m not committing to which year that’ll be!

  15. I salute any and all knitting that can take place on top of a 40+ hour workweek. I pulled out my knitting (not nearly as intense as Inishmore) at lunch, and realized I should be grading papers instead, so all I did was rescue a few stitches that fell off the end of the dp needles I was using. Too many stitches per needle, but I finally found my 5th needle in the wrong knitting bag! As for the next project, I vote for light and lacy! It should be interesting as a pattern and less taxing for the hands!

    P.S. Go Vanessa! Beautiful work!

  16. I agree, a hand massage & some motrin (take ice cream to protect your stomach from the motrin) Cut back on the knitting races. It would be a shame to develop carpal tunnel and not be able to knitfor the hand & wrist pain.

    Kathy in Mpls

  17. What you need to get are paraffin wax baths for your hands. I am a cellist and spend hours beating up my hands, and trust me a hot wax bath for tired and sore hands/fingers is the way to go. You can probably get one for $20-40 and ideally you could wax your hands in the morning and then at the end of the day, or anytime you are feeling fatigued… ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I’ll have my camera at Nirvana for Knitters on Wednesday. Hope I get to take a photo of you wearing it!

  19. You and L-B really really should consider getting massages. You all deserve them!

  20. Last night was not productive.I had to take a dive into the frog pond because I’d gotten cocky with the charts (Wendy, your photographic memory gives you a definite edge!) and my hands cramped into lobster claws earlier than I wanted to give in to sleep. Okay, so I’m hovering in the third repeat on the front. But I’m still knitting! ๐Ÿ™‚ Three cheers for Vanessa’s Inishmore!

  21. Susan Maurer says:

    “We don’t need no stinkin’….” references to movies. I think that phrase hails from the movie “Gotcha.” Anyone see that? Cool movie… “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.” I don’t know if the phrase originated elsewhere. Wendy, I almost guessed that it would take you 10 days to finish Inish (hence, putting down Wednesday as my guess), but I didn’t. I figured you’d pull some all-nighter somewhere and end up wearing Inishmore this past Sunday. Sigh. Should have stuck with my original thought. I’ll bet you wear it to KH Wednesday night. Unless it’s too hot, that is. Ok, wear it as a scarf!

  22. For fun, beautiful lacy knitting, you could try some Fiddlesticks patterns. There is even a knit-along going on at:
    Unless, of course, you are going to design your own.

  23. Wendy, I know you’ve said your preferred method of seaming is the backstitch, do you backstitch your sleeves on too?
    And beautiful Inishmore!! It’s making me want to knit an Aran!

  24. Wow! Fantastic progress, Wendy, L-B, and Vanessa! And, of course, gorgeous work.

    My semester at school just ended, so I’m looking for some knitting to do. I think it’ll be a lace cloth/shawl.

    About the reference to “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”, that’s from the great movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with Humphrey Bogart. Here’s a url with sound bites…

    Take care all,


  25. Amazing progress, all of you! No wonder your hands hurt. One of my favorite remedies for soothing aching too-much-knitting hands is bag balm. It comes in little green tins with a little cow photo. But it soothes aching fingers as well as udders and stuff.

  26. Stephanie says:

    You guys (including Vanessa) are awesome! I’m not sure if I’m inspired by you or am going to consider this a cautionary tale! My hands are aching in sympathy.

  27. Hand pain is reason enough not to knit until you drop. Remember the Ergocise link!!

  28. This is madness, isn’t it Margene? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve written the hand surgeon’s phone # on my wrists! I rested my hands last night and am knitting the better for it today!

  29. Wow, that is awesome. I’m trying to get a pair of socks done in the time you are working these sweaters, and I don’t think I’ll make it. And I have 3 children and 3 dogs to help me out. (I’d use yard work as an excuse, but its been to nasty and rainy for that)

  30. Sorry about the hand pain! I have a parrafin spa thingy I got for probably $30 a few years ago. Well worth the $30. I think Homedics makes them.

    And sorry for the double post yesterday. I have twitchy fingers!!

    I know you’ll both be done by the weekend, that’s for sure. But good luck with the hands!

  31. L-B and Wendy,
    Please accept my appology for my assumption that it would take you more then a week to knit up the full pattern; my guesses are waaaaay beyond what it’ll take you to (both!) finish the sweaters, and the only excuse I have is that I must have suffered a stint of “what if *I* was knitting the sweater non-stop” instead of thinking like either one of you. I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to insult either of you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. The Yarn Loungers says:

    Go LB go!!! We’re rooting for you! Take some ibuprofen and knit knit knit!!!

    Looking forward to seeing you again.

    Stewart and the Loungers

  33. Thanks, Yarn Loungers! Hands are rested and I’ll return to warp speed tonight! Wendy will surely be claiming victory at any time,but I’ll forge on!