My current work in progress:

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


Noro is Like a Box of Chocolates


You never know what you’re gonna get.

Lorraine asked:
Do you ever try to deliberately make the stripes on your sleeves match with self-striping Noro, or is that just too much of a pain to figure out?

Very good question!

I used to attempt to make everything match up when knitting with Noro yarns, but not any more. Because Noro is sneaky. You’ll think you have matched up your sleeves, you are knitting happily along and then . . .

. . . a knot in the skein. A totally different color that disrupts the striping sequence has been tied in. I’ve also noticed that the striping sequence isn’t consistent in whole skeins of the same dyelot, anyhow. So now I just let it go.

When I started knitting Bettina, I was a little annoyed by all the shades of grey in the colorway of Silk Garden I am using — 226. I looked at the color swatches for Silk Garden on the Knitting Fever website, and the swatch for 226 does not show a whole lot of grey. (This is a good reason to buy Noro yarns only after seeing them in person I guess).

But the more I knit, the more I like it. I think the bands of neutral really set off the bands of color. If the whole thing were purples and blues and turquoise, I’d be wearing my sunglasses while knitting it.

So I guess Mr. Noro knows what he’s doing with his colors, huh?

Here’s the progress on Bettina. I finished another side front and started a sleeve.


Yeah, it looks like I’m making a lot of progress here, but remember — the last couple of things I’ve been working on are large gauge projects so they go very quickly. Catch me on a fine-gauge colorwork project. Then you’ll see slow.

Why, yes, I do sleep. Not as much as I’d like to, of course. But no, I don’t sit up all night knitting!


Kathy asked:
I was curious about your sweater blocking methods. Do you wait to block your sweater until after it is sewed together for a particular reason? My last knitted sweater (cardigan) I pre-blocked all the parts before sewing it. That was 1981 and I still wear it occasionally. I’ve tried to find information about this without much luck since I’d like to resume knitting sweaters again.

Did I say that I wait until after my sweater is sewn together to block it? Because if I did say that, I lied.

I block before sewing (if indeed I block at all) and then just gently steam the seams post-sewing, if they seem to need it.


Ha! It was pathetic. There were widely varying reports of the amount of snowfall, but in my immediate area, it looked like less than two inches. No snow day for me.


I have a thermometer in my office. If I put in on the windowsill, it registers 59 degrees. If I put it next to my computer monitor, it goes up to 66 or 67. Yeah, it’s nippy in there! But it gives me a chance to wear my sweaters and to indulge in some layering, as Norma suggested in the comments. These are de rigeur:


Beaded qiviut pulsewarmers, knit for me by my friend Johanne. Let us be both fashionable and warm, dahling.

I think I may need some fingerless gloves knit from Jade Sapphire cashmere as well, though.


A good thing about having a sub-arctic office? No one who comes in to annoy me stays very long! Heh heh heh.


Julie asked:
I have a spinning question for you: Do you usually do 2-ply when you ply?

So far, all my handspun has been 2-ply!

L-B said:
I will dare to suggest that you begin a handspun skein listing under your Completed Works! Or, am I the only one who rolls back through your blogs trying to recall colors/fibers you’ve spun?

Great minds think alike, because I’ve been thinking for a while that I ought to do something like that. Not because I expect you to gaze upon my skeins of handspun with rapt attention, but rather because it will help me remember what I’ve spun and how much I have of it. So here you go!

Handspun Gallery

It’s linked to from my sidebar and from my main knitting page as well. I’ve only gone back to the beginning of November of this year. Because I am far too lazy to go back any further. And also because my earlier spinning attempts are best left to obscurity.

Lucy agrees.


Holy Guacamole, Stop the Presses!

Because fifteen minutes ago, the angels of mercy who work in my condo office phoned me (90 minutes after the office had closed) to tell me that our less-than-stellar postal carrier was there and had a package I needed to sign for. My anxiously-awaited colorwork kit! Instead of letting him just leave me a note in my mailbox so I’d have to go to the post office to pick it up, these lovely ladies phoned me to come down and sign for it. I’ve got my colorwork kit! I’ve got my colorwork kit!

What is the colorwork kit?

Oh, I’ll tell you tomorrow.


  1. I’m not going to embarrass myself by telling you how many times I refreshed today…

    Glad to know it finally arrived!

  2. Congrats on getting the kit. I generally keep my house around 67 or maybe 68, so you’d be wearing those gloves all the time here. Although I will admit that our general outside temps are a heckuvalot warmer than yours!

  3. We still have to wait! You’re torturing us!
    Doesn’t Lucy look fine.

  4. We got about 2-3 inches of snow down here in Richmond, but a lot has melted already. Still makes for scary icy roads in the morning.

    Question: Is qiviut as soft as I’ve heard? I’ve never seen or touched it in person…. (And how does one pronounce “qiviut”?) The wrist-warmers are sure pretty.

  5. Oh, you wicked tease, Wendy! As if we wouldn’t all be here checking tomorrow anyway.

    I’m so glad it got there. Amazing how much energy can be expended waiting on a particular something, isn’t it? Enjoy!

  6. I am a brand new spinner and knitter. I linked to Ebay from your Flying Ewe link. I was reading about all the roving that they had for sale. How do I know as a new spinner what a good price per ounce of roving is? I bought some Thanksgiving weekend that was Romney and it was $15.00 a pound. It’s not dyed yet but I want to learn how to do it myself. Did I get a good deal and from now how will I know if it’s a good deal?

  7. You’re keeping us in suspense!

  8. Oh to enjoy the yarn that is Noro. I’ve never had any, but its colors are so beautiful and unpredictable. Some day I’ll get some and will make just the right project with it.

    Sorry no snow day, but the color kit – it’s here! it’s here! Hooray! Isn’t there a saying about “cold hands, warm pulse”… or something like that? πŸ™‚

  9. I hate the online swatches of Noro’s yarn sometimes. I ordered some Kureyon (#170) because it showed lovely shades of turquoise/light aqua/bright pink/light pink… and when I received my yarn, at least 1/3 of the skein was green/yellow/flamey orange. *loL* I managed to work it out so the yellow/flamey orange/green were the bottom of the bag I was knitting & the rest of the bag was the aqua/pink stuff, but still. *lol* πŸ™‚ I still love that yarn, thougH!! πŸ™‚

  10. elizabeth says:

    I’ve knit with Noro yarns alot and love them-but the coloring can drive you wild. I think the yarn looks better in the skein. The one that I love the most is Shinano-it is tweedy & colorful but doesn’t have that color change that is difficult to match!

  11. I have multiple pairs of fingerless gloves for work in my own freezing cold federal government office in DC, I highly recommend them.

  12. This is such perfect timing! I just started spinning this weekend & was going over some of my favorite blogs of spinning knitters to see what their early yarns looked like. I went back to your posts from the Knitters Review Retreat last year & marvelled over how adventurous you were with different fibers! I’m too timid to dive into the alpaca top I purchased, but I’m getting close. You’ve inspired me for 2 years now & I constantly refer back to your past posts – especially now that I’ve discovered the wonder of Alice Starmore!

  13. We have 9+ inches of snow and it is -1 as I type this. You would get a lot of use from your sweaters and shawls (multiples of both, at the same time!) if you were here. If you want some of our snow and cold you can have it!!

    Jo Ann in Iowa

  14. I can’t wait to see what this colorwork kit might be. Except I tend to get sucked into buying things you knit, which is bad for my current yarn budget. Still, I’m excited about knitting Torino after the first of the year (once I get done with this blasted gift knitting), so perhaps I don’t mind playing follow-the-leader all that much.

  15. Hi Wendy, related to your answer to the blocking question. What about sewing up? Am I correct in thinking that you usually use backstitch, and if so, are you happy with your own efforts? I’m making something up with backstitch at the moment, and whilst the seam seems stonger than a mattress stitch one, it definitely isn’t as pretty.

  16. Hi Wendy,

    I was wondering if you ever have any allergy problems with Noro yarn. I knit with it a couple of years ago and I thought I had an eye infection. I went to the doctor and was prescribed some expensive eyedrops. I was very worried I was allergic to wool – but suspected it was the Noro. Monday, a couple of skeins just convinced me that they wanted to come home with me again and I thought I would give it a try, but after one night I woke up with bloodshot eyes again and had to use eyedrops continuously all day yesterday. So it is definately the Noro.

    I decided to pack it up and not continue knitting with it because I work in the yarn store now and I don’t want it to become over sensitised to it. I have noticed that when you open a fresh bag of Noro there are some moth ball type odors associated with it. I’m thinking that it is not the wool, but something else that they do in the processing or packing of the yarn????

    Just wondering:)

    Also – I love your new spinning gallery!


  17. Susan Maurer says:

    You are such a tease! Colorwork me! Colorwork me! Colorwork me NOW! Sigh.
    Love those quiviut wrist warmers. The beads really set them off! And a great way to use quiviut (which is a pretty penny).
    Speaking of which, vlb5757, Romney at $15 a pound is high. I think I used to buy Romney at $5 a pound or something like that. Especially if it’s not already dyed for you. Is it perchance a blend of Romney and some luxury fiber (angora, mohair, etc)? Those can start to get pricey.

  18. I was just wondering if there was a particular reason why you like to block the pieces before sewing them together? I noticed that a lot of knitters on the blogs do it this way. I have alwyas knitted the pieces together and then blocked with a lot of success and was wondering if there might be some advantage about doing it the other way that I am missing.

  19. Ha…the handspun gallery was something on my Christmas list too! πŸ™‚ That L-B is such a smart woman.

  20. I’m hazarding a guess and thinking the kit is Olympic-related…

    Only because the Olympics are on my mind!!! Can’t wait. πŸ˜€

  21. My guess is it’s Virtual Yarns related and had to come from overseas. I hope it’s a really complicated fair isle! I love seeing your progress each day.

  22. Don’t ya just love mail? I can’t wait to see/hear all about your colorwork kit.

  23. I think it might be Torino. It’s been a while since you did any Dale knitting. Now I’ll have to check your archives–I know you mentioned buying the pattern, but I can’t recall if you purchased the yarn at the same time.

  24. I just worked with two different colors of Cotton Kureyon, and one skein had one knot in the three-quarters I used, and the other had six (count-em, 6!!!) in the same amount of yarn used.

    It’s always an adventure with Noro! But I luv the colors changing!!!

    Beautiful work as always, Wendy!

  25. Having only seen wristlets in the knitting magazines and with funky clothes, I could not understand why they would be needed. Seeing your picture, reading about your office temps, reading the name pulsewarmers, and imagining quivet, I finally get it. And they are beautifully beaded.

    Speaking of pictures. I see the camera you use to take pics of you in your sweaters in the mirror. I assume it is digital, because you get the pics up on your site so quickly. Question: Is this the same camera that you carry around to take pictures on the subway and out your office window? I just can’t picture carrying that around with your knitting (and I assume some other bag for work) and just whipping it out to take the pics, even the daily shot of Lucy.

  26. OMG! Those Jade Sapphire cashmere wristlets will be SUPERB – you will setting the Office Trend to be sure…

    It is so cold here in Chicago, I thought my nose actually left my face completely for about an hour this morning – and that was just over coffee…

  27. I know!I know! But I’m sure I’d get a hefty kick in the shins if I tell! Hmmm…would that be worth asking for the highest bidder? πŸ™‚