My current work in progress:

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


Being Passionate

Today Cassie had a thoughtful post about passions and power. If you haven’t read it (and the just as thoughtful post by Sara Lamb she linked to in her post) I encourage you to go read them now. I’ll wait.

Good, thought-provoking stuff there! And it made me think about my own fiber passions.

I’ve done it all (well, not all, but a bunch): crewel embroidery, counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, sewing and tailoring, quilting, a tiny bit of weaving, (a very little and very bad) crochet, spinning, and of course, knitting.

I think that’s everything. Some of the above needlecrafts I’ve dabbled in, some I’ve been intense about.

The latest non-knitting fiber pursuit I got passionate about was spinning. Didja notice that I haven’t talked about spinning much lately? It has once again taken a back seat to knitting.

(A note about spinning: I haven’t given it up. As a matter of fact, I did a half hour of spinning last weekend. And I joined a qivuit knit-along that begins in September. I’ve got qivuit roving that I’d really like to spin into yarn to use for said knit-along. We’ll see.)

Knitting is, and I think always will be, my first fiber love. Throughout my live when I was dallying with other fiber loves, I was always knitting.

But my knitting passion changes direction. I go through periods: the aran period, the fair isle period, the norgi period, the lace period.

It goes without saying that I’m back in a lace period. Who knows how long this will last? I’ll wake up one morning and decide I’m sick of knitting lace. Maybe I’ll go into a fair isle phase. I’ve got the yarn for Starmore’s Mara and Rona designs in stash, and I’ve been thinking more and more about them lately. I’d also like to knit another Roscalie cardi in the other colorway (the pattern has two colorways).

Of course, there is also the boatload of Koigu Kersti I bought that screams “Cromarty!” at me every time I look at it (that’s your fault, Rachael — no, wipe that innocent look off your face), so perhaps a cable period is next.

But for now, it is all lace all the time.


I’m just about halfway done with the Inky Dinky Spider Stole. So of course I’m thinking about my next lace project. Well, actually, I’ve charted out a design for my next lace project.

I’m going to do a triangular shawl using Jaggerspun Zephyr in a pretty copper color and employ, for the most part, traditional Shetland lace stitches. It’s got leaves and trees, which is why I’m using the copper Zephyr — I’m thinking autumn leaves here.

See? A segue into the Autumn of Lace.

I went to late night at Knit Happens. I was happy to see Phyl-Phyl there. She is always so ladylike.


Lucy stayed home and watched tv.



  1. I was reading your post tonight when my son came up behind me and noticed the “I’m a Bad-ass Knitter!” icon. He thinks you should make it into a bumper sticker, which he thinks would be way-cool for me to put on my car. (Great idea, but I’m not a bumper sticker person, sorry!) ๐Ÿ™‚
    Or what about T-shirts?

  2. It is passion, isn’t it? I just got back to the computer after 21/2 hours knitting with our weekly group. The sharing and passion was certainly there in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. I think that’s one thing I like about knitting and those who knit: There seems to be much sharing and what competetiveness there is is friendly as we each cheer others in their particular knitting passion at that particulr knitting moment. The othere thing that strikes me is how willing knitters are to share their knowledge with others — no “secret ingredients” that go to the grave with the creator.

  3. I too have had many passions. Knitting has been a constant through neeedlepoint, counted thread, Japanese Embroidery and other types of needleart. Most have entailed intense study but knitting was always my release and relief. It is now my main passion. Blogging keeps it fresh and exciting.

  4. Don’t you just love the feeling of fiber moving though your fingers?
    That’s why I love knitting. If the yarn doesn’t feel right or the needles are too thick, I abandon the project and refuse to feel guilty:-)

  5. What’s Lucy doing with my remote control? Is that why I came down and the batteries were dead the other day? Lol!

  6. Starmore? Did I hear Starmore? That’s better than an alarm clock–I’m wide awake now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I am currently working on Cromarty in Koigu Kersti that I got from Erica and absolutely love it! The Kersti knits up beautifully-much better than the Rowan DDK-had tried that a couple of years ago and didn’t like it-am glad I waited. I am working it on Addi Turbos but the joins are bugging me as the yarn tends to catch and I am constantly pushing it along(usually love the Addis) I have some Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamb for a scarf too that I bought at Knit Happens on the way to OBX last month. Then I just pulled out Mary Tudor to check yarn amounts and it is taunting me. But Cromarty is still #1.

  8. Hmm . . . copper-colored Zephyr, huh? Sounds familiar! I find myself more attached to knitting than to spinning–and have also tried the gamut of embroidery, quilting, etc–but there’s just something comforting about knitting. Sliding a threaded needle through fabric can create beautiful things, and fulfill a certain amount of creative need, but it’s not the same as actually creating the fabric itself, with all its intricacies of color or texture. Spinning is close because it’s also an act of creation, but it’s an interim step–as amazing as making your own yarn is, and as satisfying a process as it is, it’s still nothing but yarn until you turn it into something else via knitting (or crocheting or weaving). I haven’t embroidered in about 5 years, I have a 90% complete quilt that’s been languising in the corner of my bedroom for almost three years now, but the knitting, I keep going back to!

  9. looks like you need to monitor lucy’s tv watching, she looks rather shocked! I couldn’t have said anything about passions and knitting better. I love all my fiber obsessions. But they always take a back seat to my knitting.

  10. Very timely…thanks. My quilting is just lying there – has been for a year and I am finally in the process of boxing it up and clearing out things that I don’t love. It is wonderful to go to a class and not have to carry a sewing machine, a bag, a box, and a cutting mat and then. I sold my spinning wheel before I left Wyoming 6 years ago, but never had a yearning in that direction until I saw all the roving you could buy. (I bought a fleece from a sheep named Spike and the processing brought me to a halt). But I have always had the urge to do something with yarn, even when I was doing other things. So now I am advancing in my knitting expertise.

    I do think of my cousin, though, who took up stained glass about the time (1980s) I started spinning. She has worked with glass all this time and now her work is art. I always wonder if I hadn’t just done one thing would I excell now in something instead of being a dabbler.

    But I just finished reading Knitting Heaven & Earth and loved this – “life is short, wear cashmere.” After feeling some cashmere yarn in the shop this week – I definitely agree and the only way it will happen is if I make it myself, so there ya go.

  11. What is really fun for me is to watch my 15 year old daughter starting her creative journey. She is hosting her first open house this weekend to sell her jewelry (!). She knits and does other things, but jewelry and beading really hooked her. I think I must have done something right — I would never have had the confidence to do that at her age!

  12. Wow, this topic hits soooo close to home. Been knitting for 15 years but about 5 years ago I had to stop for ONE YEAR because of ulnar nerve pain in my arm. So I started quilting, rubber stamping and scapbooking. I work full time but always need something creative going at home. After a year of no knitting I came back to it and haven’t had ulnar nerve problems since. All the quilting, stamps and scrapbooking stuff just sits now. They never really took the place of knitting. Wish I could sell all my other crap but haven’t had the time to do it.

  13. Obsession, man. It’s what life’s about.

  14. Had fun “snuggling”…eh hem, I mean knitting… with you yesterday BBKF. Not to worry Ian…she’s all yours!

    (Note: Six flags music is playing in the background of this comment)

  15. Kathleen says:

    Your comments and the links really got me thinking. I’ve done the gamut too – embroidery, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, quilting. but I always knit. Now, knitting is all I do. But I was starting to feel kind of blah about my knitting – too many “have to” projects/gifts. Also, I’ve reached a certain age where my usual sweater style is impossible. Then I found the Summer of Lace group and my passion has been stirred again. I can’t stop knitting lace, shopping lace, reading lace, thinking lace. So, I’m on my second FBS using lace weight yarn (the first was on sport weight – I was chicken), started socks with a lace pattern in it, did a baby sweater with a lace edge and have other lace projects in the planning. Having a passion about something really makes you feel alive.

  16. Well, this started out as an innocent request for advice, but I’ve felt drawn to comment on my obsessions (crafty ones, that is!). I was a cross-stitch fiend from a young age (even sold things through a commission gift shop when I was 10), and insisted to my knitting-obsessed mother that I could *never* knit a *whole* project because cross-stitch moved along so quickly.

    Well…I started knitting washcloths, moved on to gloves, hats, and then sweaters before you knew it.

    I actually felt a HUGE sense of relief when I found a cross-stitching friend to whom I gave my entire collection of supplies. This makes me an official knitting convert with no ties to cross-stitch. Who woulda thunk it?!

    Okay–on to my request for advice:

    I’m going to attempt my very first lace project. Yes, Wendy, you got me hooked! It’s a faroese shawl (designed by Lucy Neatby, if you want to look it up…the Flower Shawl), and the site says it uses fingering weight yarn. Well, I found beautiful lace weight yarn at and ordered it…

    Should I double the lace yarn to make up for the difference between lace and fingering weights? Make the pattern with one strand of the lace yarn and bigger needles, assuming it will just be airier? Reserve the lace yarn for another project and find appropriate fingering weight yarn?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you-all can give to this lace-knitting rookie!


  17. thank you for the links and your comments. Always great things here and with Lucy too!

  18. I’ve been reading your site for a while, Wendy, and love it. I am in absolute awe at how fast you finish stuff, it’s very inspiring. However, I felt moved to comment on today’s post because I hope you won’t move on from lace until you have done at least one of the Simply Stunning patterns in Kidsilk Haze. I’d love to know how you get on with this yarn and if you had any tips on it. I love the patterns and yarn, but find it really difficult to knit with, although I have started a wrap (unbelievably simple pattern) with it held double, which is working surprisingly well, although it does not of course have that ethereal effect of the single strand. Anyway, I’d love to observe your no doubt masterly efforts!