My current work in progress:

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


Breaking News!

I have decided to knit the Kolsva sleeves according to the pattern after all. Ain’t that exciting? I’ll be issuing a press release shortly . . .

So. I finished the front last night, and this afternoon very stealthily attempted to photograph it without kitty intervention.


Well, that went as well as could be expected.

Speaking of kitty intervention, I totally agree with Snow that Noro must spin catnip into all their yarns. Lucy is besotted. And it occurs to me that I will have enough Iro when I’m done to make Lucy a kitty bed from it. Because she NEEDS another kitty bed.

(I know I’ll have enough Iro, because I . . . uh . . . discovered 2 additional skeins of it in the same colorway in my stash room that I have no recollection of buying. Hello — forget much?)

Actually, Lucy does need another kitty bed. She needs one for on top of my dresser in the bedroom, which she likes to lounge and bask in the glow from the lamp placed thereon. So there.

But back to Kolsva. I started one of the three-quarter length sleeves. But I’m thinking I’ll pick up stitches for the v-neck ribbing tonight and get a start on that.

I am trying to make the completion of this project coincide with the arrival of the kit I ordered for my next knitterly endeavor. Not easily accomplished, considering the state of the US Postal Service where I live. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the package containing my kit is being held prisoner in my local post office, waiting until our latest mail carrier deigns to schlep it out to my home. If he’d just leave me a freaking note telling me the package is at the PO, I’d be delighted to save him the trouble and go pick it up.

Because I am an “immediate gratification” kind of gal, this makes me nuts. When I decide on a project, I want the raw materials for it now, now, NOW. I want time to pore over the pattern and fondle the yarns before I actually start knitting.

So to kill a little project time, I’m throwing some spinning into the mix.


This is BFL/Border Leicester roving, purchased from Jen at Spirit-Trail. A beautiful shade of aqua, no? I’ve got 4 ounces of roving and this stuff makes for very fun spinning indeed.


Okay. What is this colorwork kit that I keep yapping about? I’m not telling. It’s not that it is any big deal secret, just that I have this totally irrational fear that if I publicly talk about it before I actually have it in hand, something will happen to the kit in transit and I’ll never get it.

Hey, no one ever accused me of being rational.

Question: What is your favorite irrational knitting fear?

Today was a pretty good day at the office. No one swore at me and then exhorted me to have a blessed day. I remember at one point, however, telling a colleague that I was going take all my knitting/spinning stuff and go live in a barn in Vermont. Anybody got a barn for sale/rent?


  1. My favorite (?) irrational knitting fear is that I’m going to end up cutting stuff I couldn’t cut when I snip off dangly bits after weaving in ends. As in, I’m afraid that my hand will slip, and I’ll end up cutting a huge gash in the middle of my knitting. Or that my hand won’t slip, but that I’ll be taken over by an evil and irrational urge to just slice the thing up for no good reason.

    As a bonus, I have this thing about my eyes, and things not pointing at them. If the way I’m holding my knitting makes it so a DPN is pointed towards an eye, it can really bother me.

    Um, maybe it’s time to see about meds. I’m starting to sound a little scary, here…

  2. err, that should say “shouldn’t” not “couldn’t”

  3. My favorite irrational knitting fear is moths getting into my stash. Why is it irrational? I’m not even sure if my area supports wool moths. I’ve never had a problem with them. But I still put all my 100% wool yarn in sealed Rubbermaid tubs and keep considering purchasing cedar/lavendar blocks from the local hardware store to stash in the tubs.

  4. Wendy, I used to live in the DC area, and must agree with you that the local Post Office personnel…um…struck me as uncaring.

    My favorite irrational knitting fear is that I’ll develop some problem with my hands, arthritis or carpal tunnel or something, and be physically unable to knit (or crochet – I do both). Probably because I’m pretty healthy, I really don’t worry about other health problems – just the ones that would keep me from my yarn!

    Must get some Noro – apparently my Gracie will be very fond of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Saw Julie’s post and just wanted to reassure her that there is knitting after carpal tunnel syndrome… er, WITH carpal tunnel syndrome. Actually, I’ve had CTS for twenty-five years and a woman learns to adapt. Wrists bothering you after that 40-page report? Pick up a new knitting magazine and knit again another day.

  6. kelly in new mexico says:

    I have two questions….
    I have never spun yarn and have noticed your yarn after being spun takes on the most beautiful sheen. Does all yarn do this?
    Second question….
    We took a vac to D.C. 3 yrs ago and rode the Metro, how in the world do you concentrate on a pattern and not make mistakes in your knitting while commuting on the subway?
    My greatest Knitting FEAR….cutting a hole where it shouldn’t be and ruining my knitting.
    Same as Rebekka except I don’t have the eye thingy….yet?!

  7. kelly in new mexico says:

    Hey Alix,
    You’ve got to watch out more for crickets they love wool more than moths.

  8. My fear (altho I’m not sure how irrational it is since it has happened more than once) is running out of yarn and then finding that the yarn is either discontinued – since I’m a slow knitter and by the time I get around to making something – years can go by – or else I can’t get a matching dyelot.

  9. My greatest fear is that I will run out of yarn for a project, and, further, that I will run out of yarn with an inch or two to go on the second sleeve, in other words, at a point where it’s too late (without frogging) to punt and go for 3/4 sleeves.

  10. Barns are cold, Wendy. Barns in Vermont are wicked cold. They’re a bit warmer when there be cows in them, but that raises a whole new set of problems for the would-be knitter/spinner only one of which is that cow hair is too short for spinning.

    But the condo next door is for sale.

    Lots of windows for birdwatching and an open staircase; Lucy will love it.

    Oh, and the irrational knitting fear? That I’ll die and whoever ends up with my stash won’t appreciate and love the yarns as much as I do.

  11. My biggest irrational fear concerning knitting? That my dog will get a hold of some completed — probably lace — project and eat it. Or at least chew a hole in it. Maybe — actually — it’s not so irrational after all. She did once eat a sock.

  12. Hey Wendy,

    My irrational fear? Being stuck somewhere where all power, transportation and communication is lost and I did not have tons of knitting (or spinning) to do to keep me sane. I actually do carry at least 3 projects with me at all times-you never know…hurricane, earthquake, nuclear bomb….the possibilities are endless. …Kathy

    PS-beautiful spinning by the way.

  13. I’m with Kim – my border collie regularly eats bits off of blankets, comforters, duvet covers, and any clothes laying on the ground. We can’t make our bed for she’ll eat anything hanging off of it! So, naturally, I’m terrified that she’ll get up on the couch (although she’s afraid of the furniture) and have a snack on the knitting.

  14. My irrational knitting fear: One of my kids pulling something off the needles and unraveling it down to the slip knot. This is irrational because the only child I have stupid (suicidal) enough to do this would be my two year old son and he has shown ZERO interest in my yarn or knitting. I think this fear stems from the time when my then two year old (now 12) daughter used embroidery scissors to gouge a huge hole in the middle of an insanely complex cross stitch project. It was a model for a shop, no less: The only time I ever felt the urge to commit major child abuse. I resisted that urge but I still think we are both scarred for life!

  15. I really LOVE knitting with wool and my irrational fear is that all the sheep will get some funky virus and start dying off. Actually that is more of a nightmare isn’t it? eeeek!

  16. Can’t think of any irrational fears – mine are all rational. I have multiple sclerosis (was diagnosed at the tender age of 19) and could lose my ability to use my hands at a moment’s notice. And I’ve already gone through the experience of breaking my right index and middle fingers, but I was working on a crochet project at the time and just changed what fingers I held stuff with.

  17. My fear is that once I pick new yarn and a pattern and if I tell someone what it is going to be, the project is never going to be finished. And this is so tricky now that I have started to blog… I have to be so careful all the time. I should always say “the yarn and pattern permitting I might some time in future be able to accomplish this…” and at the same time with humble eyes gaze at the floor.
    BTW we have a small guest cottage, it has a fireplace but not much else, would it qualify as a barn in Vermont?

  18. Caroline M says:

    Irrational fear – running out of yarn. I can do the maths and know that I have enough in skeins or yards for the pattern, get both stitch and row tension and still I worry. I like an extra five balls, just to be on the safe side.

  19. HOLD THE PRESS!!! She is going for the 3/4 sleeves.

    I still want to make that sweater but me I want the U and the collar (even if it is a tray for the food crumbs. I mean really how can you not love a U neck??

    If only I could choose a yarn and then a colour. I think I might go with one like yours but… GAH!

    As for irrational fear. I have no knitting related ones. I have an irrational (or rational if you grew up in my family ๐Ÿ™‚ of silence. I have an irrational hatred of La Poste… beyond that we are at zilch Chez Tink. I am a complete rational being thankyouverymuch. Shut it… I am too ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Knitting fears:
    There are a few, my daughter now 8 used to have a cutting fetish. Even when I tried and hid all the scissors she managed to cut holes in her clothes. Luckely never into anything hand knit.
    Then there is the cat, he may one day just decide that he wants to ‘knit’. Like the other day when he decided to attack the bathroom rug, I don’t know why. That rug now looks like a knitting mistake.
    Oh and the usual fear about running short on yarn. Or the world running out of yarn altogether. Better go and order some more.
    I did order from Bea Ellis, just waiting for the pattern book to arrive here in London.
    I wait for you Wendy to start your Turin Olympic Sweater, and see which type of yarn you choose.
    Lucy looks very well behaved lying on your sweater, but she is a girl.

  21. Wendy! I’ve been so behind, and finally am catching up with blogs. And you have a BOOK! It looks so so cool!!!! So proud of you! A squinch for Lucy.

    I love Kolsva. It does sound like Coleslaw but looks nothing like it. Beautiful colorway.

    I agree with Kathy – my knitting fear is to be traveling and have no knitting. So I pack like three things to make. At times, I have nearly run out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. I wouldn’t exactly call this a fear, but I often worry about my skeins not being the same color, even if they have the same dye lot number. It’s probably impossible, but I think about it just the same.
    Thanks for all of your knitting information. I’ve learned a loat from reading your blog.

  23. First of all to Alisa, I am so sorry to hear about the real struggle you face everyday!

    As for all of the irrational fears, I have had a few of the ones already listed, but the one I always laugh about is the fear I have that when I go on a week’s vacation that I will miraculously finish all the projects I bring with me and run out of things to knit! ha!

  24. Alice in Richmond says:

    I thought you were applying to live in a croft on Fair Isle? That would be better than a barn I think.

  25. I have many knitting fears, but most of them are well founded as they are based on prior stupidity =P

    I must say though, on the topic of animals and yarn, that apprently there are doggie drugs in Cascade 220. My dog has never expressed the slightest interest in yarn until last night when I had a ball of Cascade. She was fascinated with the strand I was knitting with so I let her smell the ball. She promptly attempted to take a large bite out of it. Then we had to have a long talk about how we do not defile mommy’s yarn. I don’t think she got it.
    Note to self…no more yarn for the puppy.

  26. I don’t really have any knitting fears to speak of. Maybe my biggest worry is that if I’m making something for one of my kids that he will get too big before I finish it, but so far I’ve been okay. I have run out of (discontinued) yarn, I have suffered moths, I have injured my hands (fingers) and I admit, it all sucks. But there always seems to be more yarn and more knitting to be done, and I get over it. (Fortunately the hand injuries have never been more serious than a broken finger.) Or maybe I just have a very short memory, so I don’t realize I should actually worry more? Eh.

  27. I guess my fav irrational fear of all time is going blind. I would rather go deaf than blind. With relation to knitting, if I were to go blind, what would I do? How could I glory in all of the fabulous colors? Obviously I would have to be more in tune with the texture of yarns but it just wouldn’t be the same.

    Besides, I can’t imagine not being able to read or watch movies again. Scary to me.

  28. One word: fire.

  29. My greatest fear is that, while stash diving in the storage closet that is home to more yarn than anyone need know about, the boxes will suddenly avalanche, burrying me alive under a mountain of yarn, and I shall have no needles with which to knit myself out.

  30. I mostly fear that if I don’t buy whatever-it-is RIGHT NOW, the company will go out of business, or stop stocking it, or the mill that makes the yarn will burn down. Etc. (And it’s not even a wholly irrational fear, as any St*rmore lover knows.)

  31. Actually my aunt has a very nice stone and clapboard barn just outside of Burlington….

    of course, you would need to share it with two llamas, the occasional pig, a pony, and miscellaneous barn cats.

    But something tells me that Lucy isn’t of the ‘barn cat’ variety. She might take exception to her living conditions, being a discerning and cosmopolitan feline.

  32. Hi Wendy, it’s funny you talk about not having a bad day at work. Finally, someone who actually has a job other than knitting. Everyday becomes a bad day at work for me because I can’t knit at work. All day long, I obsess about knitting and all the knitting that I can do if I didn’t have to go to work. Do you do that to?

    And as soon as I get home, the needles are out till I have to go back to work the next. Drive me nuts. But you seem to knit so fast, doesn’t matter if you spend 1/2 your day at work or not.

  33. My fear (and it really isn’t irrational) is spending so much money on yarn that I end up in the poor house. This could actually happen to me – I’m not a budgeter. I can’t wait to see this colorwork you’ve been yapping about – must be divine. And I can see that Lucy totally needs another cat bed.

  34. Ha, ha…My irrational fear is since I only learned to knit two years ago (my mid 30’s), I will not live long enough to knit all the things I want to. I know, a rather morbid thought, but I seriously think about this all the time when I’m enjoying my knitting. At my eulogy they will say, “Poor Shelley, she died without ever getting the chance to knit a Starmore.”

  35. My fear is that one day I won’t be able to knit due to health issues. Although, I also have a fear that I may die before I get to use all the stash, in which case I would hate to see it go to the local thrift store (Deseret Industries) and the person who buys it may not recognize its quality. So, I am thinking of writing up a small “will” of whom should receive my yarn if I happen to die before I use it all up.

  36. Wow, I just got what the 0452287324 this meant. Man, I’m dim… took me like days of staring at it to figure it out….

    hee hee. Well, I’m not the brightest bulb in the bunch…

  37. Love that roving and the resulting yarn. No, that’s not quite accurate. I love, love, LOVE it. Gorgeous. If I could buy it from you, believe me, I would.

    Favorite irrational knitting fear? That I’ll never get any better at it, I guess….

  38. I was going to attempt to answer the question you posed about irrational knitting fears, but I have none. My fears regarding my knitting are numerous, but they’re all perfectly rational. Like, “Will I get this thing done in time for the company party?” and “I’ll never figure out which Rubbermaid bin I put the rest of the Kidsilk Haze in because I’ve just got too much yarn.” All perfectly rational.

  39. Jon – I understand your fear of going blind. My mom is legally blind now and I’m walking her through knitting a poncho. It’s amazing what you can do if you are really, really stubborn, er, determined.

    I’m more worried about arthritis in my hands preventing me from knitting. Sometimes the pain gets pretty intense in my left hand – I’m too stubborn to stop for awhile.

    Wendy, I agree, Lucy must have another kitty bed – princesses cannot have too many kitty beds!

  40. I’m with Tam and the fear of small children getting into the yarn. My oldest daughter likes to knit as well. She’s not been too careful about making sure the chosen yarn in my basket isn’t connected to anything. So far she’s only ruined a scarf and half a mitten. Though I do think she’s probably learned her lesson by now.

  41. Mary Tess says:

    I have a question about the kitty bed pattern.

    You use a yarn that has a recommended needle size of U.S. 15 and yet you suggest knitting the bed using a U.S. size 11 needle. Usually felted items are knit on needles that are larger than the recommended size for the yarn being used. Why did you use a smaller needle?

    I love the pattern and am now making my 4th kitty bed, but I’ve been puzzled about this needle size issue.