My current work in progress:

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


More Lace Yarn

I stopped by Knit Happens for a couple of hours of late night last night and was delighted to find that Kristine has Helen’s Laces yarn in the retail store now (she’s had it in the online store for a while). She even brought one skein of each colorway in stock to the table for me to look at — so as not to interrupt my Inky-Dinky Spidering, you see. Now that’s what I call service from a LYSO!

I succumbed to this colorway:


Gold Hill. What lovely autumnal colors! (Of course now I’m wishing I’d also bought it in the Aslan colorway.)

I wound it into a ball in a fever of anticipation:


I was planning on knitting my next lace project from some Zephyr in “copper” but I think I’ll use this Helen’s Laces instead. The next project is a triangular shawl that I’m designing, in a combination of tree and leaf patterns, so I’m thinking autumn leaves here.

Good segue into a question from the comments.

Sue asked:
Your inky-dink spider stole brings up a question (at least to me): how do you go about deciding when a multi-colored yarn will work for lace-work – or even aran/cable work? Some multi-color yarns are so distracting they take away from all the fancy stitches…. but not so with your stole. Do you have some criteria such as gradual color changes or colors that last at least so many inches before changes?

Nah, it’s just dumb luck. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously though, I think the more complicated the lace pattern, the less variegation you want in your yarn. I used a variegated for the Peacock Feathers that was mostly shades of blue and that worked.

The variegated for Inky Dinky is all muted colors and they seem to work too.

It’s funny, because for years I avoided handpainted and variegated yarns like the plague. I think I was scarred by the old “ombre” yarn — remember that? Dime store acrylic in ombre colorways. Ow! I think I just put out my mind’s eye!

Kirsten said:
I am thinking you don’t have a problem with changing needles mid-project, but do you worry about how changing needles will affect the finished stole? I myself worry about that (and whether the fact I knit backwards or not will affect my gauge, etc……). If it’s interesting to you , I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For some reason, and I have no idea why, changing needles doesn’t seem to change my gauge.

I was a solitary knitter for years and years and pretty much did things my way. (Cue Frank Sinatra here.) I was fearless about everything. Or too stupid to know to be scared. You pick.

Like, when Alice Starmore told me in her pattern directions to cut a steek in my fair isle knitting, it never once occurred to me that this was something that could go terribly wrong. Yeah, I’m trusting like that.

Ah, the innocence of the pre-Internet days.

But anyhow, I’ve changed needles mid-project many times with no problems. As long as I am using the same size needles, I get gauge and there’s no perceptible change in my knitting. Go figure.

Up to Camp

My dad emailed me last night and said that he thinks we used the phrase “up to camp” because to get to camp from the city (Worcester, MA), we had to ascend “Dead Horse Hill” — a not insignificant hill on the route to camp. I guess you can figure that out from the name, huh?

I’m Almost Inky-Dinked Out

As evidenced by this photo (taken and emailed to me by the lovely and amiable Maeve — thanks!):


This project seems interminable. But I am past the freaking spiderwebs and onto the spiders . . . the last pattern before the edging on the bottom!

Still, I have the song I Will Survive running through my head. Move over, Gloria Gaynor.

Lucy wants to be a Disco Queen.



  1. Wow. I actually contemplated the Aslan colorway last night. Came darned close too.

  2. I like those Boye needles, too. I am knitting a sweater for my nephew with them. My only problem is the curl in the circular and I am too lazy to stop and take the sleeves off and boil some water.

    Love that autumn colorway. Very pretty. I bought some Lorna’s Laces a few weeks ago and love the colors.

  3. Hi Wendy

    I’m glad you don’t find a difference in your gauge when you change needle brands.. because I never have either. So when I started reading all about the stress it caused other people on the net, I began to worry what was wrong with me! Without being rude, I’d love to know how much do you roughly spend on knitting supplies each week/month?

  4. That’s just what I needed, Wendy, a link to someone selling Helen’s Lace with lovely photos. Aaargh!

    I’m sure Lucy can be a Disco Queen if she’s so inclined. I can just imagine her in a Saturday Night Fever pose!

  5. I don’t worry about changing needle brands, but I do have a notable difference in gauge between metal vs wood/bamboo (I don’t knit enough with plastic to extend the comment).

    I guess it’s analogous to the brown vs. clear liquor rule ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Chronic mid-project needle changer here. If I find that a set of needles is too slippery/too sticky/not pointy enough/too pointy I just knit that project right off onto some other set. I guess I have been too dumb/brave to worry about it, too. I had heard that is was a “knitting no-no” but then I never listen when people say that anyway. ha Who’da thunk that cheapo Walmart Boye needles would turn out to be the winner of your lace needle experiment? Go figure.

  7. I am making some socks with Gold Hill and just love the color! I am making the Retro Prep socks.

  8. I’m trying to curb my anger at the fact that I’ve never ever seen anything like that colorway of Helen’s Lace yarn locally. Because, of course, I don’t really need anymore lace yarn.

  9. I love that pic of Lucy! SOO CUTE! hee! Disco Diva!

  10. He he, I sometimes buy Lorna’s Laces just for the name of the colorway ๐Ÿ™‚ Aslan’s on my list partly because it’s lovely, partly because I love Narnia. I really like the Gold Hill, I wish I could fine someone to carry the lace near me.

  11. That shawl pose’s got to be classic!

  12. Will you now be known as Spiderwoman seeing as how you have a superknitter disguise ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Is it just dumb luck or confidence -I also knittd my first Starmore in 1998, from superwash wool without a clue that steeks are scary. Its still in use after years of wear and washing.

    This could be relalted to the fact that I knit a lot -so if one sweater doesn’t come out perfectly, it’s not a disaster ๐Ÿ™‚
    Besides, I have enough experience to fix most mistakes -or just not care! hmmm…. that’s why I love you blog, Wendy.. living on the edge…

    Happy weeknend from
    Turku, Finland!

  14. Is that an April Cornell hiding demurely behind the Inky Dinky Spider?

  15. I remember Dead Horse Hill! We used to go over it all the time to get back and forth to Grandma’s house!

  16. *laugh* That’s a great picture of Lucy, again.

    Just wanted to comment and say that your blog continues to inspire me. And I especially liked your opinion on using variegated colorways for lace–I’d been wondering the same thing myself.

    I look forward to seeing your opinions on the Helen’s Lace. One of my LYSes has carried it for a while, but I’ve been too hesitant to spring for any.

  17. Always a boost reading your blog. Have a great weekend. Love to Lucy!

  18. Stephanie says:

    That yarn is beautiful. It makes me want to go out and buy more yarn to sit in my craft room and wait for me to finish the 10-15 projects waiting to be knitted already. Lucy is beautiful but don’t tell my cat, Millie, that I said that – she gets jealous. I like the progress on your shawl and can’t wait to see it finished!

  19. Watching your shawl progress, I’m wondering: Is Inky-Dinky much more complicated than your last two shawls? I know you knitted up each of those fairly fast, and Dinky seems to be taking much longer. Just for future reference, in case I want to try knitting any of those. Inquiring minds, you know…..

  20. WOW. That color is so gorgeous the picture qualifies as pinup status.

  21. I continue to be stunned by the lovely things you knit.

    Out of curiosity, do you find that slogging your way through a project that you’ve lost interest in makes you value it more or less when you’re done? Does that resentment linger, or do you love it more for having persevered?

  22. You brought back such memories for me when you talked about your family’s camp in Spencer. I went to WPI back in the seventies and one of our crowd use to rent a house on that lake in Spencer. We use to have some pretty wild parties out there!

  23. Lucy doesn’t look much like she wants to be a Disco Queen. She looks more like she’s contemplating taking over the world, or pooping in your shoes. lol Love the Helen’s Lace and am hoping I can find some. The color is perfect!

  24. Hi Wendy, your post gave me a much needed kick in the butt to start on a new pattern I’ve been hesitant about. Thanks once again for the inspiration.