My current work in progress:

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


Some Random Stuff

Yeah, like this isn’t all random stuff.

Some Qs and As:

Jon asked:
Do you always do a three needle bind off for your shoulders? Have you ever grafted the shoulders together?

I can’t remember ever grafting shoulders together. I always do a three-needle bind-off . . . or on rare occasions I’ll sew them together.

Wanna know why I never graft? I suck, suck, SUCK at grafting! The word has not yet been coined that describes the extreme suckiness of my grafting skills.

There. I’ve confessed. Please don’t hate me.

I think a three-needle bind-off is more sturdy than a graft. At least, it is when I do the grafting.

Mary Tess asked:
I am wondering why you prefer the non-washable Dale yarn to the washable. I haven’t tried either so I have no opinion, yet.

I prefer Heilo (hand washable wool) to Falk (superwash wool) because the Heilo feels nicer to me. Falk has, in my opinion, a not-so-great “hand” because of it’s magical superwash qualities. Just my opinion. Those of you who have fondled both . . . whaddya think?

That reminds me. Oh, Snow . . . lookie here!


It’s my pattern for Torino. Oooh! You know you want it.

I finished the first Skye sleeve and started the second on on the morning commute.


I might just attach the first sleeve to the body tonight, so that I’ve got that bit out of the way. But then again, I might not. You just never know . . .

So . . . what’s next? I do have an idea for a lacy sweater swimming around in my fevered brain, but it’s nothing more than an idea, at this point. I need swatches and ciphering and such-like. So, for immediate gratification, I may cast on for the Debbie Bliss sweater I pictured here, in my chocolate brown Alpaca Silk that I’ve been dreaming about since I bought it at Knit Happens a month or so ago.

Speaking of Knit Happens, I am taking a sanity day tomorrow and shall not be heading into the orifice office. So Holly, if you’re reading, be forewarned: I’m heading your way tomorrow! Providing we don’t have a monsoon, of course.

A Question for Lucy

Martha in Mobile asked:
Is Lucy’s back always that dark, or is that her winter look?

Yesterday’s photo was a somewhat dark picture of Lucy, but her fur is pretty shaded. When she first came to live with me she was not fully mature, and her body fur (apart from the points, of course) was almost completely cream colored. As she’s matured, her fur has darkened to her current toffee-color.


Cool looking sky this evening!



  1. GAH! I declare a temporary moratorium on yarn purchasing and you taunt me this way? You are evil and must be destroyed, I tell you! I will avert my eyes! I will not…oh, but isn’t it lovely? BUT WAIT! I can’t use a sewing machine to save my soul! Although there’s this lovely Ashley from SnB who is absolutely pro at…NO…noooooooooo…must…not…buy…Torino…gah!

  2. Torino is lovely, but I don’t think I’m ready for a fair isle sweater yet.
    Twinkie’s fur is doing the same as Lucy’s. She was cream all over when we got her, and now her face, feet, tail and ears are brown, and she’s still getting new dark patches. I hadn’t noticed how different she looks until we were looking at old photos.

  3. Hey Wendy-I vote for Falk over Heilo. I know what you mean by most superwash not feeling…well..natural. But I think Dale got it right. I was quite surprised how soft it is. Plus-if you decide to knit the lighter pattern-you won’t have to worry about all of that white getting dirty. LB thought of that when she purchased that Falk -she is knitting the lighter version. Pretty sky pics-Kathy

  4. I’m with you — I generally don’t like superwash wools. I haven’t ever knit anything with the soon to vanish Mission Falls 1824. I love the colors but I hate the crinkly roughness that results from superwash treatment. I make an exception for Koigu, but even some batches of that doesn’t feel all that great.

  5. See? When you start looking UP, you can’t stop! ๐Ÿ™‚ I gasped. At that cloud.
    And Lucy. And knitting, too, yeah, yeah!

  6. The Dale trunk show came to our LYS today. The ready-to-wear version of Torino was included. It’s a handsome sweater!

  7. I have a sweater question for you: What would you advise someone to start with in the sweater patterns? I have never done a sweater until now, and I am working on the Simply Simple Sweater featured in the current issue of Creative Knitting. It’s very basic- front, back, two sleeves (duh) and then seaming. I also have the pattern for a top-down Vneck pullover from Knitting Pure and Simple, as it has been recommended to me. I have seen many sweaters that I am dying to try now that I have the courage to try them, but should I work up to the cool ones by way of the basic ones, or just jump in and learn as I go?

    Kim in NC

  8. The Dale sweater is going to be gorgeous! Are you planning on putting a zipper in? I’ve never had much luck combining knitting and zippers.

  9. I consider myself warned… Woo! I’ll have company tomorrow! Torino is going to be fab – my vote is for the Heilo, simply b/c I’ve knit with it, lol.

  10. Hi Wendy-

    Altho I like looking at Fair Isle I’ve never felt moved to knit any but some of those Dale sweaters…mmm mmm mmm! Torino will be stunning!
    Now if I only had someone in a cold climate to knit for!

    Pumpkin crossed the green line today! I brought home some Greenies (on Lucy’s hearty endorsement of course!) and the P-Man fell HARD! He says, Meee-ow baybee, thanks for giving Mom the hint!

  11. Oh, Snow, resistance is futile! Torino awaits you! As for the Heilo/Falk debate, I think Heilo knits up firmer than Falk, but I chose Falk for Torino because I’m going to knit the light version and,well, I’m succumbing to the machine washable siren song.

  12. Your neckline on Skye looks tailored and simple. Would you share your “technique”?

  13. I’ve had 6 Siamese-marking cats, and that seems to be a trait; they are born cream colored, and darken on the points and then gradually all over. Lucy is so gorgeous!!

  14. Susan Maurer says:

    I too prefer Heilo to Falk. The former seems a bit ‘stiffer’ to me. Maybe a better word is ‘crisp’ to describe it. Stitch definition is better with Heilo, and it holds up better in my hands. Falk by contrast is a little more limpy wimpy, although still a fine yarn. I also don’t like what happens when I wash superwash yarns. The knitted garments seem to wilt. They stretch out more and just look a bit more blah.
    Re: Alpaca Silk, yes, yay, and amen! Cast on that chocolate brown garment! Chocolate lovers are waiting for the temptation fo what you’re going to show us! And please do comment on what you think of the yarn as it works up. (Like I need more temptation and more yarn!)
    Bon weekend a tous!

  15. Hello
    I think both Heilo and Falk are excellent yarns. Heilo has long been one of my favorites and I have made at least a dozen sweaters with it. I subsequently made a sweater using Falk because of the color I wanted. As I knit with it, I felt that the yarn had a ‘greasy’ feel to it that annoyed me the more I worked with it. It also did not have the life and bounce that Heilo has.
    The sweater was ‘limp,’ more like cotton. I used the same size needles and type of pattern as with Heilo. Maybe it just me, but I won’t use Falk again!
    Of course, this was for a sweater for me. I don’t get very dirty, so hand washing is simple and sufficient.

  16. Thank you for confessing that you suck at grafting. I also suck at grafting and I hate to admit it. I once had to graft seven lousy stitches and it took me an hour of trying, ripping, and starting over. It was the only time that I have EVER thrown my knitting across the room.

    I agree that the 3-needle bind off for shoulder seams is better than grafting is. Shoulder seams need to be sturdy, especially on heavier sweaters. (And I don’t think this way because just because I can’t graft.)

  17. Re: zippers. I have sewn in many zippers and was pleased to see great instructions in the Knitters Handbook. If you go to their website (, get to the knitting books and click on the handbook, they show you excerpts from the book. They include the zipper section so you can see some really clear directions about how to place a zipper in a sweater.

  18. Have you decided on colors yet? I saw a forest green one rather than navy that looked nice, but my favorite is the white.

  19. Have a lovely day at KH. That fair isle sweater looks scary, but I have no doubt you’ll make it fabulous.

  20. ok- have been watching your progress- absolutely beautiful- ut could ya hurry up? i’m dying to see this puppy- or should i say kitty?? finished!!! beautiful!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. I prefer Heilo as well, I don’t like superwash at all.
    But, I have to confess, I love to graft. LOVE IT. I do all my friend’s toes on her socks, all my sweater shoulders. Obviously, it’s some weird sickness. I’m doing a sweater and was disappointed that the shoulders utilize a three needle bindoff. I tried to decide if it would look better with the graft done in garter stitch.
    I have a problem.

  22. hey Wendy, ummmm

    well, it’s like this ……

    Snowball is over there saying stuff …

    about you.

  23. CatBookMom says:

    The Greenies people may have to start paying you a sales commission! Based on Lucy’s comments, I bought a couple of packages yesterday. Even our dubious Midnight, who considers her sister Shadow to be the Mikey of the house, started gobbling them down immediately! Now I’m on a quest to find a better price!

    BTW, have you tried the Kitty Kaviar on Lucy? They’re dried bonito flakes and our cats love them!


  1. Patterns don’t count

    I blame Wendy. She made me buy the pattern! And this book as well. The best part is that I haven’t yet ordered the yarn, so my self-imposed moratorium on yarn purchases still stands. Pattern books that Wendy makes me