My current work in progress:

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


Welcome to Sleeve Mountain

You have to be “this” tall to get on this ride read this blog entry.

We enter the WendyKnits Theme Park and see it looming in the distance: Sleeve Mountain!



Please to keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times. For there be beasties lurking on Sleeve Mountain!


At the start of the ride, please to note the neat ribbing pattern, simple yet elegant.


As we continue on, the sleeve gently flares out from the increases.


Until we reach . . .


The armhole shaping! Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!! Raise your arms and scream!

Nice neat decreases above the cast-off.


But wait! What is this?


The shoulder shaping is worked in the center of the sleeve.

Scream along with me! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Okay. We’re back on the level ground as we reach the neck. Please to remain seated until the ride comes to a full stop.


Well, what did you expect? It’s awfully hard to squeeze an exciting blog entry from a ribbed sleeve.

Here’s a sloppy preview of how the sleeve will be attached to the body:


Here a Dale, There A Dale, Everywhere a Dale Dale

Snow asked if I ever have used Hauk. I haven’t, and I’ve never even seen it up close and personal, I think. I have reservations about a yarn that is treated with the same stuff as my mom’s favorite frying pan. Just sayin’.

Barbara asked me which colorway of Torino I’m making — I’m making the lighter colorway, because the design has some texture in it — at the bottom. I thought it would show up better in the light colorway.

And Diane asked:
I was thinking of knitting a Dale sweater. Are they very hard to knit and what size needles do you use? How did you know how much yarn to order or is it on the web page some place?

Are Dales hard to knit. There are Dales and there are Dales.Some are easy, some not so easy.

The easiest colorwork Dale I have knitted was a Sirdal pullover I made for a friend. Just two colors and very easy to knit. I also knitted a Sirdal Cardigan for myself — a bit more complicated because of the front steek and application of embroidered braid.

Some of the more complex Dales? Lillihammer is one. As I recall, it has some three-color rows in it. The pattern is quite complex, but immensely fun to knit.

How does Torino rate on the Dale difficulty scale? I’d say it’s one of the more difficult Dales, as I did note that they sneaked some three-color rows into it, and the pattern is fairly complex and non-symmetrical, so it is more challenging.

The ski sweaters are made from Falk or Heilo yarn, which is sportweight, knitted at a gauge of 6 stitches to the inch. I usually knit my Dales on US size 2 for the ribbing or bands, US 3 for the plain areas, and US 4 for the patterned areas. You go up a needle size for the colorwork because the gauge tightens up a bit when you are stranding.

As for how much yarn to buy, I bought the pattern first, then ordered the yarn. But I just as easily could have called or emailed Bea Ellis and asked her how much yarn the pattern took, and bought it all together.

A word of warning about the yarn amounts specified in the pattern. I always buy the amount for one size up from the one I am making, because Dale of Norway is notoriously stingy on the amounts they specify for each size.


Check this out:


A pen that looks like Lucy, a gift from Ria. Ria, I can’t find your email address (hello, dork here) so please accept my thanks here!

This pen is so going to work with me tomorrow. I think I’ll use it to take notes during the job interview I’m conducting. That oughta freak out the applicant, huh?

Movies and Knitting

Suzanne asked:
Is your reason for not going to the theater much to watch movies related to your knitting at all? Even though, I can easily knit on simple stockinette stitch projects in the movies, I am finding that I don’t enjoy going as much I used to now that I am so passionate about knitting. I enjoy sitting at home with light and working on my more complicated projects while watching a movie these days, and I only go to the theater if it is a movie that I feel that I really need to see on a big screen.

While that makes perfect sense to me, my avoidance of movie theaters has more to do with my general disenchantment with the whole “going to the movies” thing. And my love of comfort. Ain’t nothing quite so wonderful as sitting on the couch in your jammies watching a movie. And one can pause the movie should one feel the need to waddle into the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream.



  1. CatBookmom says:

    You are so right about the ‘going to the movies’ thing. I admit that the effect of the big screen just doesn’t translate to the average home TV, but the company is better – cats ARE allowed! – and the noise level of other viewers is easily regulated. Plus the cost of drinks and popcorn is much lower. The movie studios fear the ‘jammies crowd’, really fear them (us?).

  2. I agree about going to the movies – it sure is more comfy to watch it on DVD in my nightshirt with my knitting and maybe a glass of wine – but some things need to be seen on the big screen. Like the wonder and beauty that is Orlando Bloom. *ahem* perhaps I will be going to see Elizabethtown quite soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Agreed, especially since now my 9.75 will doesn’t save me from a 5 minute fanta/revlon ad. Ugh, I don’t have to sit thru commercials at home, why would I pay to do it?a

  4. I love the theme park trip! Thanks. I needed a laugh today.

    Ack! Steeks! I will never do a sweater that requires me to cut my knitting. Sorry. You’re a much braver knitter than I.

  5. With all this talk about the wild Sleeve Mountain ride, now would be a good time to play that great song “We Like to Party” from the amusement park commercial, and cue that dancing bald-headed geezer character! (No, I’m not talking about me… I can’t dance!)

  6. I LOVE going to the cinema. I love the whole process, laughing as a group, crying as a group, seeing a film at the cinema for the second time and listening for the gasps when something shocking happens. It’s brilliant.

  7. That pen is up that cat’s butt! I am alarmed!

  8. kelly in new mexico says:

    Love the description of “sweater mountain”!!!
    How refreshing to read something that would be otherwise boring in description, made into a wonderful adventure. Thanks it sure made me smile………..Oh and by the way I LOVE the sweater and the colorway of the yarn…yummy?!?!?

  9. Weeeeeeeeeeee! That was so much FUN!! You’re quite the creative one, Miss Wendy!! I’ve been admiring the rib pattern and finally had to look up the yarn you’re using because it looks SO BIG — like a chunky. Is the shine from the silk in it? It looks like it’s super soft.

    Thanks for the warning about the “beasties” along the way on the ride — although without that mouth wide open and teeth showing, she looks pretty harmless — sweet Lucy.

    And like Christina, I noticed the pen is going up the cat’s hind quarters — no wonder its front legs are sticking out straight! MEOWWWWWWW!

  10. I am using Hauk right now to knit Hardangervidda. I have previously used Dale Falk (for Bjerk) and Dale Freestyle (for Ask).

    I much prefer the Falk, however the water resistant quality is nice. My husband specifically requested it for a ski sweater. It makes my fingers sweat when I use it and this sweater is going very slow because I don’t want to knit it for long.

    I adore the Falk and love that I can throw the sweater I made with it in the washing machine. (Although I do it on delicate… I’m worried about it.)

    I’m excited you are going back to the Dale’s. I also like lace projects, but I love watching you knit Dale’s.

  11. I have a dale sweater I started on last winter, and plan to finish this winter. It’s called Chamonix and I would say probably the simplist color work in any dale sweater ever ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s s uper sexy ๐Ÿ™‚ and Kidsknits is my favorite dale supplier! They reccomend that frying pant teflon stuff for ski sweaters for being waterproof. I opted for Dale “Daletta” becase it’s washable!! I thought it knitted up really pretty.

    Have you ever tried Sisik?? It’s the most lovely yarn! So tweedy and squishy and yummy.

    I love dale yarns! I don’t think they are to pricey either…

  12. Wheeeeeeeee! That was a great ride! Let’s do it again. More than twice and I might have to get off and throw up, though.

    I ordered color cards today for Heilo, Falk, and Hauk. I need to feel the teflon-yarn, even though I can’t really see myself knitting something with it. Maybe we can pass the card around and marvel at the yarn’s weirdness when I’m done with it.

  13. Hi Wendy, I am wondering if you can tell me what the design is in the Torino. Every site I’ve seen it on shows it so small. I am wondering what the picture is that is inside that triangular pointed shape (like a house shape) on the front? I am thinking about doing this but before buying the pattern I want to know what the design is! Also I found it interesting that you go up a needle size for the stranded area because your gauge tightens. I need to go down a size sometimes because my gauge loosens. I found that out the hard way knitting a Dale, but it ends up being okay because my husband is very broad shouldered and I think it’s going to block out fine…now I’m just sweating out the yarn amount for the sleeves since hubby has gorilla arms and as you mentioned Dale is stingy on the amount needed. (I wonder if that has something to do with their meter/yard conversion?) Anyway, if you have a minute could you let me know what that design/picture is in that area? Thanks! Love your blog! And Lucy too!

  14. With slitted eyes and front-pointed ears, Lucy sure does look like a mountain guardian. Thanks for the ride! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I am dealing with the Dale-yarn-stinginess right now. I’m making an Ara yarn sweater and I bought the yarn for my size. I;ve finsihed the body but I still need to knit the sleeves and the turtle neck, and there is not enough yarn. I thought it was just me. I kept counting and recounting the yarn ball tags…did I get enough? I think so…maybe not…well…

    Thanks for proving I’m not crazy. At least in that way.

  16. Wow, that ride was fun! I did use Dale Hauk once–and only once. Not because it was horrible (it reminded me of their other wools), but I didn’t think a sweater coated in teflon really sounded all that appealing to wear. I used my one skein for a knitted hood to wear while playing out in the snow with Chappy–a little water-resistance is good for keeping the head warm, you know what I’m saying?

    And, three-color rows? Evil. I was completely astounded that the Dale “Bjerk” sweater–which looks so simple–had three-color rows. I suffered through it for the body of the sweater, but when it came to the sleeves? Duplicate stitch, baby. Much, much better for my sanity!

  17. All of your tips on the Dale sweaters are great. I was wondering, do you think that the Colorado Springs sweater would be very difficult? I have been working on a Philosopher’s Wool sweater and it seems to be knitting up pretty well. I know that the tension would be different.

  18. I agree with you on the movie theaters, but the reason is that I do not care to listen to booming bass! All that loud suround sound gives me a headache:-(

    The Lillehammer sweater is stunning!

  19. Is that some special rib stitch? Unless my eyes are going … a possibility … the sleeves in your photoes don’t appear to be ribbed to me, at least not in any rib pattern I recognize.

  20. If I were Lucy, I’d be afraid of that pen. It looks like a cat’s worst nightmare….a giant thermometer at the Vet’s office.

    Instead of “wheeee” are we supposed to shout “sleeeeeeve”?

  21. Wendy, you crack me up.
    I can’t wait to see your Dale progress! It should give me motivation to finish the Jade Starmore I’ve been plugging away on for waaayyyyy too long.

  22. I’m a smidgen under the height limit,but I read the blog anyway–I live dangerously! Wheeeeeeee!

  23. Hi, Wendy. Your Debbie Bliss ribbed sweater looks luscious! What a beautiful color and soft squishiness – snuggly soft. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m curious why it’s not knit in the round as a traditional raglan without all the seaming, though. Seems like a lot of extra work to me. ???

  24. Heheh, I’m glad the pen got there safely, and as quickly as it did. Enjoy! *grins*

  25. You weren’t kidding about the Sirdal being the easiest I guess — from the timing of your finishing of Salt Lake 2002, 11/14/01 to your finish of the Sirdal pullover, 12/05/01 = 22 days! Wowzer! It’s Super Wendy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Diana & Orion says:

    You’re too funny.

    Thanks for making me spew my coffee through my nose this morning.

    Cool pen btw …

    The sweater’s looking awesome. I hate going to the movies too. Have a great day.

    Best, Diana & Orion

  27. Diana & Orion says:

    You’re too funny.

    Thanks for making me spew my coffee through my nose this morning.

    Cool pen btw …

    The sweater’s looking awesome. I hate going to the movies too. Have a great day.

    Best, Diana & Orion

  28. Diana & Orion says:

    You’re too funny.

    Thanks for making me spew my coffee through my nose this morning.

    Cool pen btw …

    The sweater’s looking awesome. I hate going to the movies too. Have a great day.

    Best, Diana & Orion

  29. Hold the phone!

    “You knit that Lillehammer in a MONTH?!?” he asks incredulously. “A freaking MONTH?”

    You are the Gawdess!

  30. Hi Wendy –
    You have inspired me to try Fair Isle, then Peacock Feathers (I had the most fun doing that!). Now you are helping me see the excitement of ribbing again. How I love amusement parks… Your blog is the best.

  31. I was screaming my lungs out at the shoulder shaping. This sweater is going to be tres flattering. xox Kay

  32. Thanks for the input on the Dale. I too will be knitting Torino, purchased it a while back. Or if any of your readers would like a more upclose picture of Torino, I pictured some of the closer pics on my blog Tuesday this week. Snow suggested, although I think jokingly, a Torino Knitolympics, although I’m sure you’d get the Gold, sounds like fun to me. Although I must state I do expect to keep my amateur knitting status even after a knitolympics.

    Love the pen.

  33. I did a Bohus sweater that stranded 4 colors in some of the rows — jeesh!

  34. Just beautiful! I love that stitch pattern. Yum!

  35. ok- you are just plain FAST. i am dying to touch that sweater- looks like pet-able chocolate to me!!!!! great job- keep it up—-


    I totally take a small clip light- led- SUPER bright- but focused— to the show with me—- honestly- CLIP it to MY BRA STRAP……..

    aim— and knit away- so far can pretty much knit anything….. yes- I’m bad- and will probably be first knitter thrown out of the theater.. (maybe not the FIRST) though- would sure be tempted to toss the light to my toddler- and act as though he had snuck it in!!!!!!!!! time knitting away with grommit- the other night- actually!!!!

    had a great

  37. I have a question. Do you ever knit both sleeves at once?

    I love the color your using. Very pretty and very autumn. As a Floridian, we like any autumnal reference or rememberance we can get!

  38. I thought that bit on the front of the Torino sweater was a ski gondola lifting Olympians up the mountain. From descriptions of other Olympic sweaters, Dale seems to try to incorporate designs that relate to the region named by that sweater, and a ski gongola would fit that theme. But then again, it could just be a nice design!