My current work in progress:

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


Got Gauge!

(With apologies to Phyl for stealing her blog name.)

Marie asked:
Wendy, did you have any problems getting gauge with the Alchemy? I love
the Hourglass, but find the 19-stitch gauge a little odd. At 110 yards per 50 grams, the Alchemy seems like a fairly exact substitution for the original Noro, but did you try any other yarns? If so, what happened? I’m trying to come up with a less expensive substitute for the Noro and neither worsted nor aran weight yarns are working out.

First off, an interesting note (well, it’s interesting to me): Every place online where I’ve seen Alchemy Synchronicity listed, it states 110 yards per skein, but on the ball band for the yarn that I have it states 118 yards.


I got gauge. Stitch gauge, that is. With the recommended needle size — a U.S. 7 (4.5mm). 19 stitches/4 inches, yup.

Row gauge? Another story. I get 6 rows/inch, instead of the stated 7. But I’m never one to worry about row gauge. I’m compensating in the pattern shaping, and doing the increases and decreases with fewer rows in-between so that the finished length will come out all right. Know what I mean?


But Wait, There’s More

A pattern modification. Whee. The pattern directs you to knit facings for the bottom hem and the sleeve hems. I thought that facings in heavy worsted yarn would be too clunky, so I am doing seed stitch borders instead. I’ve not decided yet what I’ll do at the neckline — I may do the facing there. Stay tuned. I know . . . the suspense is killing you, right?


Back to the Question of Yarn

Alchemy Synchronicity is, I think, a great sub for the yarn called for — Noro Cash Iroha. It’s a single ply like the Noro and very similar in how it looks. I’d be very happy with this sweater made in the Noro (and I may just have to make me a solid colored Noro version, if I like how the finished sweater looks on me), but I wanted to knit a sweater from the Alchemy. However it’s not a cheaper solution, but a more expensive one.

A yarn to try if you’re looking for a less expensive sweater: how about the single-ply yarn that Brown Sheep makes — is it Lamb’s Pride? I haven’t knitted with it for donkey’s years, but I did make a couple of sweaters from it in the 1980s, and I remember it fondly. It’s a wool/mohair blend and the recommended gauge is 4.5 stitches/inch.

A Clarification

Judging from a couple of comments and some emails I got, I think I wasn’t completely clear about the beading of the Dew corsage. I simply used the crochet hook to string the beads onto the yarn before beginning to knit, rather than apply the beads one by one using the crochet hook method.

Dew Block, Dew Block, De-e-e-e-ew Block, Dew Block!

Sue asked:
Did you block Dew? If so, how? I’m working on my first project with Rowan Kidsilk Haze and am wondering if I should soak it, towel it and pin it out or just pin it dry and hold a steam iron over it and steam it.

What I did (as recommended in the pattern for Dew) was to pin it dry and hold a steam iron over it and steam it.

And here’s the best I could do for a modeled shot. Hard to do by yourself with the auto-timer. But it gives you an idea, anyhow.


Do I like this sweater? Why, yes, I Dew! Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk.

For SkyQueen

A shot of the sky this morning, complete with my office reflected in the window.


Big Congratulations!

L-B’s Rainbow Sheep Sweater and her Inishmore both took first place in the Virginia State Fair! L-B is a star!! Woot! Woot! Woot!

Lucy Sez

Did you know you can send for a free sample of Feline Greenies? Lookie here.

Order a sample for the cats in your life!


In Other News . . .

Rita? That is one huge, scary-looking hurricane. I’ll be watching the weather news and keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not as bad as they say it will be. Those of you in Rita’s path, stay safe!


  1. Oh, Wendy! If you HAVE to work, it may as well be with a sky like that shining for you outside!
    Thanks for that! And the title! Better than other names I’ve been called.
    Dew looks great on you. It looks very comfy too. I hope it gets lots of wear!

  2. Dew looks even prettier on than off!

    Wendy, how do you block anything with a lively kitty around? If I spread a piece out on the dining room table, Mack and Lucy would assume it was a new toy.

    Thanks so much for the Greenies link.

  3. Sweet! Free Greenies, we’ll see if my picky one likes them. And I love the pooling on the Alchemy, love it, love it!

  4. I immediately signed up for the Free Greenies, now let’s see if my felines will like them!

  5. Dew looks lovely on you! I hope you get lots of wear out of it. The new sweater is great. I love the flow of the colors. Lucy looks like she needs more greenies!

  6. You DEW look mah-velous in that sweater. I too signed up for a sample of greenies. Thanks for the link!

  7. DEW is gorgeous and thanks for the Greenies link. Lily, Molly, Spike and Chloe (a.k.a. The Fab Four Felines) thank you as well.

  8. Right away I used the link for Greenies you provided and signed up for the freebie! Maybe picky Nikki will like them, too. Do the Dew! (Couldn’t resist.)

  9. Dew is gorgeous!

  10. I think the auto-timer worked out just fine. Dew is lovely.

    BTW, thank you so much for the Greenies tip. My Niki and Sylvia love treats and, from the way you’ve described Lucy’s reaction, I’m sure they’ll jump for joy over Greenies.

  11. Just wanted to let everyone know, particularly Marie… I knitted the Hourglass Sweater as my very first sweater (I’m actually wearing it now!) It came out very successfully using Classic Elite’s Renaissance Heather (I used “red snails”) It is a 100% wool, at 110 yds per $7 skein, I used 9 skeins and found it *quite* affordable. It’s certainly not as soft as the Noro or Alchemy, but I’ve worn it with only a cami underneath.
    thought I’d add my two cents *plink, plink*

  12. You do beautiful work. My Sassy insisted I order a Greenies sample for her. She has her mommy wrapped tightly around her furry little paw.

  13. Nice flashing ya got there, Wendy! Thanks for the link for the Greenies sample; Molly and Cheswick sez thankee.

  14. Hi Wendy. Thanks for answering my question about gauge. It’s interesting that the single-ply character of the yarn was important to you. I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the suggested substitution (and you too LORi), although unblended wool and mohair may be a bit warm for my Pacific Northwest climate. To make the sweater work year-round, I’ve been looking at wool-silk, wool-cotton, bamboo, and linen or rayon-ish blends. In the end, since I want to knit between sizes, I may take a true aran weight, and jiggle things with the neckline. It’s a nice design, though, I really look forward to seeing yours. Thanks again.

  15. Thank you so much for posting the modelled shot! It gives me a much better idea of what a finished one looks like.

  16. The furry kids thank you and Lucy for the link to the free Greenies!

  17. On the subject of Greenies and Lucy . . . I had a weird dream last night that I ran into Lucy on the street (this was, of course, after the alien invasion has been thwarted), and she was rubbing against my ankles, telling me telepathically that she wanted me to feed her Greenies. O_o

    I think I’ve been reading this blog too much.

  18. I just wanted to mention that I have recently completed a sweater using Lamb’s Pride and absolutely love it! It is a wonderful yarn to knit with and is very economical. If your reader is looking for a cotton/wool blend that gets that gauge, she might want to consider Cascade Sierra. That is another great yarn that is fairly economical, but not as economical as Lamb’s Pride.

  19. I found sample packages of the Feline Greenies at my local pet store yesterday, thanks to your tip. ๐Ÿ™‚ They were only $0.69 per package, and although the free sample did tempt me, I decided the 69-cents was worth not giving them my personal info.

    But, in case any of your other readers might be interested, check the pet store!

  20. Oh, yes, and my cats? Also snarfed up the Greenies. Thanks very much for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I think Cascade 220 would also work (220yds/100 gms) It’s very soft and economical (~$10/skein) — 100% Peruvian wool, comes in a ton of colors, and is about as soft as merino.

  22. Dew looks so dreamy. Happy sigh. And thanks for sharing the fantastic news about L-B’s first place finish! Have a great weekend!

  23. dew is beautiful! and big congrats to lb ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Wendy, do you always use a cable cast on (you mentioned it when writing about Dew)? It looks like it on the bottom of the Hourglass Sweater, too. It’s my cast on of choice, but most knitters seem to use the “longtail” or “slingshot” method.

  25. Dew is simply GAW-GEOUS!

  26. Thanks for the kudos on my State Fair wins! Now, everyone mark your calendars for 1:00 next Thursday and send speed-knitting vibes my way for the Nimble Fingers contest! We need to talk Wendy into that contest one year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. So much goodness in one post, it’s hard to process it all. Dew looks fabulous, but I totally understand the auto timer problem – it really should be easier than that. Hourglass is looking great – I love the colors. Lucy? Well Lucy is always charming.

  28. thanks for the greenie tip. the chickie loves her greenies. wonder if annabelle will be similarly enamored. *tries to catch up on months of blogging*…*goes insane-er*

  29. Whoa! I bet the Greenies site is trying to figure out why they had so many “hits” today!! Thanks for the link.

    Beautiful Dew, BTW.

  30. Lucy, Mimi thanks you in advance for the Feline Greenies hint. She loves treats too. And you are looking very relaxed today.

  31. So I’m kinda wondering how many thousands of requests they’ll get for free samples. I requested a sample for my boss’ cats.

  32. OMG! Dew is BEAUTIFUL!

    I am thinking that I just might … no. No more yarn. No.

  33. Dew is just gorgeous. I will never be as good as you… ๐Ÿ™ Maybe if I stopped knitting sweaters and socks for my kids, I could move on to sweaters for me???