My current work in progress:

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


Cat Days


While “technically” we are in the Dog Days of Summer, I am declaring our current hot spell the Cat Days. Why? So that I can give this blog entry a title other than “Monday.”

The truth is, I’ve got nothing. Well, very little, anyway.

I am happily knitting along on the Shetland Garden Faroese shawl. I am in the second to last chart. While this sounds like I’m nearing completion, do not be fooled. I’ve got 55 or 60 rows to go, and the rows are, of course, getting longer as I knit.


But as it is a very fun knit, I’m cool. As cool as possible, anyhow.

So . . . some stash enhancement photos.


I went a little nuts buying Kidsilk Haze. (The colors are Jelly, Trance, and Lord, three skeins of each.) But I bought the Simply Stunning Collection of patterns, so I’ve got lots of uses for Kidsilk Haze. However, I don’t plan on knitting with it until cooler weather hits.

My next lace project is going to be the Inky Dinky Spider Stole.


Knitted from this:


Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca in the Java colorway. Yummers. Drinking coffee may make me feel as though my heart is going to explode, but I can still knit with it!

A Book Review

A while back I was sent a copy of Maran Illustrated Knitting & Crocheting and I’m now getting around to reviewing it. This looks like a very handy reference book for new knitters — there are lots of very clear photos accompanying detailed instructions for the basics of knitting, plus information on more advanced techniques, like knitting lace, cables, intarsia, fair isle, and working short rows, and fixing mistakes.

There’s also a section on crochet that I know I’ll find useful (being a crochet amateur). There are also a number of projects in the book, ranked according to difficulty.

All in all, a good basic reference book on knitting.


  1. Barbara says:

    Since you mentioned a book, have you read “No Idle Hands A Social History of American Knitting” by Anne L. Macdonald? 361 pages of knitting stories, from the Colonial period to the 70’s.

    It is one of my favorites. I just loaned it to my son’s teacher (a history major) She really enjoyed it.
    By the way, “No Idle Hands” should be your motto. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Just went over to Heirloom Knitting–wow! Those are amazing shawls and I hope that one day I’ll be able to knit something just as beautiful and easily as you.

    But honestly, I think you need more KSH! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. That is my all time favorite shawl and I just love the colorway that you have chosen! I can’t wait to see it finished. I only wish that I could knit 1/4 as fast as you can!

  4. To echo Barbara, I am reading “No Idle Hands” right now, and enjoying it a lot. It gives a great perspective on how necessary knitting was in the early years of the country. And I assume, when I get further into it, it will talk about knitting becoming more of a leisure activity. But I’m still in the middle of the civil war, so I can only speculate on that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I read “No Idle Hands” about 10 years ago and still remember it fondly. I think your next shawl choice is lovely–and really, what’s wrong with having a stash of KSH?? But I’m sorry. Chappy objects to your “Cat Days of Summer” and respectfully requests that he (and, somewhat insistently, I) continue to refer to them as dog days. He said the name was the only thing the heat and humidity had going for them, and since he’s missing out on all his walks, I’d really rather humor him on this one!

  6. I love that alpaca, I wish I wasn’t allergic ๐Ÿ™ It will be stunning with the Inky Dinky!

    I got that book in the mail as well and since I’ve seen it reviewed on at least 4 blogs already I think I’ll refrain, but it is a great book for basic knitting skills and I would highly recommend it to new knitters. Don’t you agree?

    Pumpkin loved your title and sends Lucy some kitty love!

  7. I love that alpaca, I wish I wasn’t allergic ๐Ÿ™ It will be stunning with the Inky Dinky!

    I got that book in the mail as well and since I’ve seen it reviewed on at least 4 blogs already I think I’ll refrain, but it is a great book for basic knitting skills and I would highly recommend it to new knitters. Don’t you agree?

    Pumpkin loved your title and sends Lucy some kitty love!

  8. You are really the winner in this summer of lace. My dogs say they hate this weather more than Lucy.

  9. Why is it that every time I see a picture of your WIP or FO, I have to catch my breath? The shawl is lookin’ yummilicious!

  10. I’ll be interested to see how your Inky Dinky Spider comes out in that colorway. Those are gorgeous colors.

    I’m never quite happy with lace I attempt to knit in varigated colors. Maybe I need to quit worrying and wait to see how it looks blocked, but I always wind up ripping it out, so I never get that far.

  11. You have such beautiful lace projects! Very inspiring… good job! I’ll have to start a fun lace project. Any suggestions for a beginner pattern?

  12. Speaking of book reviews — when’s your book coming out? Soon now, isn’t it? As for “cat days of Summer,” I was just walking from my kitchen to my office, tea and toast in hand, when I looked outside and saw one of my cats (the one who’s a really good killer) threatening a skunk!! Managed to hustle both boys into the house (against their will, I might add) while Mr. Le Pew looked quizzically on. Yikes!

  13. Wendy,

    Thanks for the link to the Simply Stunning collection. I ordered several patterns to go with the KidSilk Haze I have (Meadow, Trance and Blushes).


    Jake, Emma and Baby say ‘stay cool’ to Lucy.

  14. I’m knitting a narrower version of Inky Dinky (think 7 “webs” instead of 9 across), in Misti Alpaca. It’s one captivating pattern, my favorite lace yet.

    Does the CTH Suri Alpaca shed a lot? I have some CTH Glitter Alpaca (in Java too), but with the amount of fluff that comes off it I end up shoving it back down to the bottom of the stash.

  15. Even when you don’t have much you’re busy. Lucy looks quite content to sleep through the heat – lucky cat. The shawl is coming along nicely and I can’t wait to see how the stole knits up.

  16. I’m practically dreaming about Kidsilk Haze after seeing it on everyone’s blogs… going to have to hunt some up, I think.

  17. Love the shawl… love the summer of lace. I was just wondering if you have designed any lace patterns of your own on your own. Might be a dumb question, since I know you were designing your own sweaters during winter/spring months. Keep that gorgeous lace coming!

  18. If you keep posting lace, I am going to have to knit some lace again. And I really do think that Lucy and the other cats think that summer is their’s. Of course, they think fall, winter, and spring are their’s are their’s as well.

  19. Kate F. says:

    Hmmm…”dog days” got its name from astronomy…it is when the Dog Star enters the night sky in the northern hemisphere – usually August I think – has nothing to do with heat/humidity. What I want to know is…is there a Cat Star and when does it enter the night sky? ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Wow- the shawl looks really beautiful– where do you find all of these patterns?! Anyways, I had a question: recently you have been talking about all the time that you spend knitting, and I was wondering (being the ADD person that I am who must multitask) what you do while you knit. Do you watch TV? Listen to audiobooks? Or what?

  21. teehee…does Lucy have a cool bed yet?
    (I mean BESIDES the awesome knitted ones…)
    The poodles got theirs at petsmart.
    You fill them with COLD, COLD water and the gel
    soaks it up and mmmmmmmmmmm.
    Much better!
    You can even put it in the fridge for *recharging*
    Now if it only came in MY size
    The Heirloom Knitting site is one for the bookmark page…I’ve got some kidsilk haze stashed for when the temps drop below 990F.

  22. The shawl looks great. When do you think you will start the Inky Dinky one and what are you going to make with the great Kid Silk Hazy? I love that stuff? I tried to make the Marie Ann sweater from Rowan 37 but ripped it out. I needed more practice in something that didn’t tangle so much.

  23. I’ve read about 3/4+ of Rutt’s original version (skimmed a few sections) and enjoyed it very much. Should add though that I’m a history buff, so I’m not sure of the draw for a knitter without that interest. Read somewhere that the photo reproductions in the reprint are not as good, but I’ve not compared the two.

  24. Helle From Denmark says:

    I think i will just go sit and look at the tv now! This Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca in the Java colorway…..that is just so YUMMY……holy shit ( sorry ) ….WAUW! You better start knit the Dinky now……that one i just gotta see!!:-))