My current work in progress:

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


ISO: A Barn in Vermont

Why did I mention that I want to go live in a barn in Vermont? I am probably being influenced by my current lunchtime reading: The Good Life by Helen Nearing.

I must say, the Nearings’ lifestyle holds a lot of appeal, but I am enough of a realist to know it’s not right for me.

Irrational Knitting Fears!

Thank you all for sharing your irrational knitting fears. Running out of yarn for a project and not having enough WIPs to see you through a trip seem to top the list. And a special shout-out to those of you who mentioned a couple of irrational knitting fears that I had managed to bury deep in my subconscious. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lucy’s Cat Blanket Kolsva

I did indeed do the ribbing for the v-neck last night — I’m very pleased with how this turned out.


Excuse me, let’s try that again.


I’ve written up my modifications to the pattern for the v-neck, and posted them on my site here. Kindly note that this page describes only how to do the v-neck — you need the pattern for Kolsva to be able to knit the whole sweater.

And I finished a sleeve. Whee.


I’ve got a bit done on the second sleeve. I should have this baby done before Saturday. If the colorwork kit hasn’t shown up by then, I will be forced to start another project.

It will likely be a kitty bed for the little princess.



Kelly in New Mexico has two questions (the first of which is spinning related):
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?

Funny you should mention the sheen. As I was spinning the BFL/Border Leicester I was thinking to myself “Wow! This stuff has a lovely sheen when spun!” It is definitely “sheenier” (heh!) than the glorious blue/purple Portland that I finished last weekend. So my answer is that I believe it depends on the fiber.

Answer to second question:
The metro is not always a hair-raising experience. My morning commute is very early, so most of the commuters are half asleep and quiet. And there’s always enough room so that I get a seat. My afternoon commute is not as peaceful, but I still almost always get a seat, so I can knit. I will from time to time not knit on the trip home if someone large sits next to me and smooshes me against the side of the train. As for concentration, my iPod is my constant commuting companion, so I block out auditory distractions with ease.

Work Does Get in the Way of Knitting

Kenny commented:
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.

We-e-ell . . . I knit on my morning commute, during my lunch break, and usually on my afternoon commute, so I do get a good chunk of knitting time in during a normal workday. It’s probably just as well I can’t knit all day because I’d no doubt have aching hands and wrists all the time.

But I do yearn for more knitting time. This morning when I changed trains, the second train of my commute was ten minutes later than usual. My first thought? “Yay! Ten more minutes of knitting time!”

Heifer International

For the past two years I’ve been worked with other bloggers on a fundraiser for Heifer International.

And each year, the lovely Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review arranges a year-end fundraiser for Heifer International as well. When the Knitter’s Review newsletter hit my inbox this morning, I thought that rather than doing a separate fundraiser, I would point you to Clara’s efforts, documented in her current newsletter here. I’ll be sending my donation to Knitter’s Review, and I encourage as many of you who are able to do the same.

Birthday Month!

Cara, whose birthday is January 1, has declared a birthday month for the month leading up to her birthday. In honor of her birthday, she’s gonna hold a contest on every Saturday between now and her birthday. What a cool idea!

Naturally, I must copy her.

You see, my birthday is one day after Cara’s birthday, on January 2. January 2, 19- ::cough, cough :: So, knowing a fun idea when I see one, I’m gonna have weekly contests too, up until Black Monday my birthday. The contest will be announced on Thursday, the winner picked on Sunday. Hey, it’s Thursday. How ’bout that? I guess that means the first contest starts today.

Here’s what you gotta do — answer this question:

What time of day was Wendy born?

Submit your guess (one guess per person, please) to The Official WendyKnits Contest Email Address by 3:00pm EST on Sunday, December 4 with your guess for my time of birth. The person who guesses closest to the actual time of day wins! In the event of a tie, all winners will get a prize of some yummy yarn!

I just pulled my birth certificate and checked the time of birth. Huh. My guess was off by 3 minutes.

Winner(s) will be announced Sunday afternoon!


  1. Ooh fun, a contest. I’m off to vote. Noro really must put catnip in their yarn because Lucy seems overly interested.

  2. Great Capricorn’s think alike! BRING ON THE BIRTHDAYS!!!!

  3. Wendy! My birthday is January 2, too! What do I win? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I kid, I kid. No birthday favoritism. Gonna go post my guess now, though, and I hope my irrational knitting fear didn’t rattle your subconscious!

  4. I read all the Nearing’s books and loved them. After a number of years and a 2-year stint outside Cheyenne, Wyoming, I am very clear that I want bright lights and bookstores and yarnstores nearby and really, deep down, don’t want to do everything myself. My daughters found an old list where I was writing down ideas to get closer to the “simple life” and have yet to stop laughing. Guess it’s not me. But the books are really enjoyable and I like the 4 hours per day for work idea.

  5. kelly in new mexico says:

    Yahoo I’m a capricorn too but mines in Dec.
    My guess of the time of your birth is….

  6. Does Lucy ‘borrow’ her Mommie’s knits? This almost looks like she’ll ‘borrow’ ‘Coleslaw’ for her daydreams while you’re away working for (cat)food.

  7. April in CA says:

    Hmmm … was I the only one that thought “Cow Rescue” when they read Heifer International?

  8. The Kolsva colorway is beautiful. I love Noro yarn but I am a little compulsive about trying to make everything match when I’m using it. I really am a “that’s a bug, not a feature” girl when it comes to “mismatched” sleeves, cardi fronts, etc. Obviously you don’t have the same problem! Thanks for sharing all your beautiful work with us.

  9. Hey Wendy and Julie, all three of us share a birthday! Mine’s the 2nd too!

  10. I know! You popped out at 12:01 AM clutching knitting needles and a ball of yarn, and yelled “Hey, gimme some help casting on would ya? I can’t do everything myself – I’m just a kid, dammit!”

  11. Having lived outside of DC for a few years, we moved our happy selves and the kitties to a dairy farm in Vermont. And while I miss the Ethopian restaurants, the Zoo, and the Smithsonian, I do not miss the commute, the traffic, and the stress of the city. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. My daughter’s 40th birthday is coming up, and her request for a “big” present is… a sheep for the Heifer Project. Her two little daughters are giving a goat for Christmas, too. Hmm… maybe I need to ask for a sheep, too!

  13. I love the way “Coleslaw” is looking. I have been looking at colorway # 40 for quite some time now, and you are making it look even better to me!

    I have not had as much trouble with wool yarns with my kitties, it’s the roving they want to smooth against and roll around on, in, and with, when I try to work with it. Our medium hair likes mohair-blend roving particularly! However, alpaca yarn blends seem to affect our orange tabby like catnip. He can’t stay away when I am trying to knit with it. It is cute, but the quality of the gift made with such yarn may decrease somewhat due to changes in tension when a cat is pulling on the yarn the same time that I am!

  14. The sweater is lovely – you’re coming up to the part I dislike – putting it together!

  15. I’ve visited the Nearings’ place in Maine. The outhouse is real nice but still, I’d rather have a bathroom inside the house. I can’t imagine using the outhouse during Maine winters no matter how tough one is. There were some very interesting sculptures of cats on the garden walls.

  16. My cats don’t care about the yarn – they want to chew on my needles!! Ack!!

  17. How fun! A birthday month with contests! My birthday is February 3rd…I think I’ll start a contest on January 3rd, so that when yours and Cara’s are over, someone will still be giving stuff away!


  18. My guess: 12:47 pm. Contests are fun!

  19. Thank you for having a contest that us non-bloggers and novice knitters can get in on! It’s fun to watch you all swap your gifts and win things, but it’s even more fun to be a part of it!

  20. My guess is 5:28 am – you must have been born early in the morning to be able to get up so early now…..

  21. Louise in Maryland says:

    The nice thing about a Jan 2 birthday (and beng a fed) is that in the event your birthday falls on a Monday, its a paid day off. Both of my sons were born on Jan 4, 4 years apart almost to the minute.

  22. I can’t keep my cat off my wool, either. Especially when it’s a wet sweater! I have finally caved in and let him have the sweater rack (it’s now called the kitty hammock) and have placed a mohair/wool blend throw that I won as a door prize in it. Nope, my cat isn’t spoiled.

  23. I’m with Kenny. It drives me nuts that I have to spend the best and most productive hours of my day working for The Man. Then there’s the cooking and eating and cleaning-up of dinner, etc… more valuable knitting time lost. Suppose I then get to sit down and use what energy I have left to get in a few rows on my latest project. It seems to be going well, but then I notice a mistake several rows back, so it’s ripping-out time. By the time I get all the stitches back on the needles, oriented correctly and without any split plies, it’s time for bed. Net knitting accomplishment of the day: 0 rows. ๐Ÿ™

  24. I read the comments today…I was also born on January 2!

    Maybe the next contest should be to guess how many readers of Wendy Knits share Wendy’s birthday!

  25. Hey, Wendy! Love the blog!

  26. Hi Wendy. I heard somewhere that you said you were going to take all the b-day presents your blogger freinds send you and auction them off and give the money to a charity. Is that true? What a fab idea!! You rock!!

  27. I ususally celebrate my birthday for a full month, too…the month of my birthday. NOT the month before. Doesn’t this mean you are really jonesing for two birthday months!?

  28. I really like how the striping worked out on either side of the v-neck – really neat. That colorway is just wonderful. I don’t blame Lucy one bit for her love of it.

  29. I like your idea. But now I have to go and find my birth certificate because I have no clue what time I was born. And with 2 birth certificates, I hope both times match. And I love the idea of celebrating the month leading up to your birthday. Although mine always starts on Christmas Day. January birthdays are always fun.

    And Lucy is not spoiled. She is getting what she deserves.

  30. Thanks for all the pictures of your beautiful kitty! She reminds me of my own Ragdoll. Amazingly wonderful breed. Nice to see she’s so interested in your work.

  31. another wendy says:

    Maybe I should start a blog on things I love about the Nearings, and things I just can’t imagine. I’m glad to read other knitters share the odd fascination. For me, I’m always thinking about how every morning, they ate the same thing, and I think for lunch, too. But, oh Helen and Scott, I love your get up and get out of town! Enjoy it, Wendy!

  32. I’m guessing 5:32 am.

  33. Ooops! I guessed here and then saw there is an official place to guess. I sent my guess there.

  34. Wow…my birthday is January 2 also! Finally I’ve found a handful of people with my same birthday!!!

  35. Put 23 people in a room, and the odds are at least 50% that two of them share a birthday:

    Kolsva is gorgeous!

    I love Lucy’s furry toes.

  36. Wendy, you are a font of knitting information. How difficult is it to set in sleeves? I only have experience with raglan and drop shoulder. Thank you!

  37. 2:45am. Trying to be different, guessing on the nightliness of many babies.

  38. the sweater is awesome!
    the contest email link does not work on my computer, is there any way that you could type the address out for the contests?