My current work in progress:

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


2005 Knits Review

Penny commented:
I’d be interested in a retrospective evaluation of, say, the garments you’ve knitted in the last year or two: which ones do you still like a lot, which (if any) turned out to be duds, etc. Or perhaps this issue doesn’t apply because it’s the process, not the product, that matters most? I think your insights would be instructive.

And Lori asked:
While you are answering questions, I was wondering what you do with all of your wonderful finished objects. Do you give a lot of them away as gifts or do you just own a very good selection of sweaters? I have recently been pondering one of my first sweaters that I made in high school. While it was nicely knit it was made out of cheap acrylic yarn and I never wear it. I don’t know if I should let it go. Do you ever “let any of your finished object go” after some time?

Heh! Since you ask, here’s 2005 in review. This is most of the stuff I knitted in 2005 — I left out some of the small projects.

Sonata Gloves — I’ve never worn them because I don’t want to get them dirty. I am lame, no?
Grape Arbor Shawl — sample knitted for my upcoming book. I gave the sweater to my mom after the photo shoot.
Fingerless Mitts — happily worn last winter. I’ve not worn them this winter because it hasn’t really been cold enough.
Lucy Sweater — sample knitted for my upcoming book. I gave the sweater to the model after the photo shoot.
Mohair Scarf — happily worn last winter. I’ve not worn it this winter because it’s a very warm scarf and it hasn’t been cold enough.
Kinsale — have not yet worn.
Fir Cone Scarf — sample knitted for my book — never worn.
Vince — sample knitted for my book — never worn.
Rebecca Wrap Cardi — given away as a birthday gift.
Melody — sample knitted for my book — never worn.
Revised and Improved Kitty Bed — sample knitted for my book — Lucy tested and approved.
Deli (Rowan) — worn once and I don’t like it — too big. My own fault.
Tennis Sweater (Debbie Bliss) — not yet worn.
Laci Cardi — not yet worn.
Aurora — not yet worn.
Mahi Mahi tank — not yet worn.
Inishmore — not yet worn.
Deborah Newton Lace Shawl — worn a number of times. Love it!
Tina Shawl — worn once — love it but don’t want to get it dirty.
Peacock Feathers Shawl — never worn — given away as a prize
Inky Dinky spider Stole — worn once — love it but don’t want to get it dirty.
Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl — worn a number of times. Love it!
Autumn Woodland Shawl — given away as a birthday gift.
Vårblommor Shawl — not yet worn.
Dew (Kim Hargreaves) — not yet worn.
Hourglass Sweater — not yet worn.
Skye — not yet worn.
Debbie Bliss Ribbed Sweater — worn once but too warm for inside wear!
Vinternatt Mittens — donated to charity.
Mermaid — not yet worn.
Poor Little Qiviut Scarf — not yet worn.
Frostrosen Mittens — not yet worn.
Skeppsta — worn once so far — I like it!
Kolsva — not yet worn.

So there you have it. Most of my poor knits languish unworn, but for the most past not unloved. Some are given as gifts. I can see from this list that my lace shawls get the most use.

So far we are having a very mild winter, so I’ve not felt like wearing sweaters. Well, no matter. I am, after all, a process knitter.

So here’s my process-progress report on the Halcyon Aran.


Still working on the front. I didn’t do much knitting last night because I kept dozing off. Today was my first day back to the office since December 22 and I was hoping that said dozing off was an indication of a nice long night’s sleep. I was wrong.

But, I did knit during my commute and at lunchtime, so some progress was made. I am cabling without a cable needle, as per usual, so that makes things move a bit faster.


Lucy Sez


Lucy would like to apologize for her Momma’s stupid joke in yesterday’s blog entry. But isn’t her cousin Sami a handsome boy?


Her cousin KoKo ain’t half bad either!



  1. Wow…that’s a lot of FO’s.

    Sorry…kind of overwhelmed. You’re so my hero.

    Sami and KoKo are both beauties (but they’ve got nothing on the lovely Lucy.)

  2. Woah. I’m with Imbrium. Woah.

  3. Mason, my Siamese, is getting quite jealous of all these cat pictures on your blog. I think he’s expecting similar treatment on mine. That’s an impressive list!

  4. That’s quite a list you have there. But, they’re all lovely (or at least the ones I’ve seen are).

  5. So many beautiful sweaters but still unworn! You need to move to Minnesota where the weather is more… well.. ah… ‘brisk’ in the winter. Will your job let you work remotely?

  6. I’m surprised you haven’t been wearing the tennis sweater! It looked great on you.

  7. Sami and KoKo are nice cats, but I think Lucy has got them beat in the beautiful department.

  8. So, when a sample is knit for the book, but not worn, how do you know it works in real life for those of us who … well… um…. WEAR our sweaters (cause we’re not afraid of getting them dirty)? I mean.. I’d like to know the patterns I knit from are not only knit-tested but WEAR tested — does this shoulder still work if I raise my hands high enough to say…. drive the car? or knit??
    Just wondering…
    Cause I sure can’t compete on the completed object list…

  9. Sami and Koko are, indeed, extra-special cats (for Siameses, that is). But as far as distinct personalities go, they register about a 1.0 on the 12 point Richter Scale, while Lucy is ca 12! Not an exaggeration – just the truth.

  10. OK – this is really silly but I think that the Siamese are Lucy’s aunt and uncle and not her cousins. The way I see they are your parent’s children – your siblings. Lucy is your child and your siblings would be her aunt and uncle.


  11. Wendy , you are depriving yourselve of so much joy by not wearing your shawls,because they might get dirty….and yes I can understand that, but if you don’t wear them who will? may-be some day, some-one who will not appreciate the time and effort you put into them!!Love

  12. As always, I am in awe of the amount of knitting you get done. I know, you’ve poo-pooed this in the past, saying you don’t so much knit quickly as just put in a lot of time . . . blah blah blah. But ultimately, the number of FOs . . . doesn’t matter if it’s speed or persistance, I still remain in awe!

  13. Each to her own, but I would rather knit one nice sweater in an inexpensive, but easy-to-care-for yarn such as Wool-Ease than to knit a dozen sweaters out of expensive stuff that I am afraid of.

  14. Hey, I’ve been knitting a cabled scarf, and about halfway through, I decided to try your no-needle technique. It works!! Thank you for posting such a good tutorial. I like using a cable needle, as I enjoy the “toys” of knitting, but I’m a little tired of working on this scarf, and just want to wrap it up, so skipping the needle and trying the new technique is a way to make it more fun.

  15. Just now starting to recover from the false Lucy pic. Scared me!

  16. Hi Wendy

    I do not quite understand, why you knit so many items you never wear – not even once. I really do not see the point in spending so much time in creating wearable items if you do never actually wear them.

    For me, it has to do with respect – this beautiful garments made of wonderful yarns deserve to be worn. If you do not like to wear knitted garments, sell them, give them away as presents, or go and knit art objects that are not intended to be worn.

    Greetings from Switzerland, Katia

  17. I can’t stop chuckling at the fear of getting things dirty.

    Assuming that you don’t roll around in mud, how dirty could they get? Sure, a little Metro grime may happen to a frequently worn scarf or gloves but washing is a wonder!

    What a list of FO!

  18. heh, heh… I also have two shawls I made this year (Charlotte’s Web and Birch) – all folded up nicely in my dresser in the dark free of dust and dirt. I have a really bad habit of not wanting to ruin my FO’s. Then again – my Clapotis and Peddler’s shawl are folded up in my drawer at work since I sit under a draft. People see me knitting at my desk over the lunch hour and wonder what ever happens to all my stuff!

  19. Autumn Woodland Shawl has been, is and will be worn proudly! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. patty Bolgiano says:

    you might consider doing a trunk/booksigning adventure. Take the sweater etc. that you have done for the book and when you tour to support the book bring along the actual items to show people. Sometimes something doesn’t look good in print, or the knitter can’t visualize something and you can show them by using the sweaters, etc. as examples. You can also explain why a certain technique works well on said sweater etc.


  21. Susan Maurer says:

    I’m a process knitter too. My closet and hope chest are stuffed silly with probably between 50 to 60 cardigans, sweaters, shawls, socks, hats, you name it, of gorgeous handknits in good yarns. I knit because I love the process. I knit because I love the finished product, too. But it’s too hot most of the time in northern Florida to wear them. That doesn’t I won’t travel though to places where I can. And I just love fair isles and knitting challenges. As well as simple k2,p2 fare. So on I knit. Mostly for myself, cuz knitting big items for folks who receive them as gifts hasn’t always resulted in the appreciation that such items deserve (I’m not speaking lauding of self here, but rather the joy that comes from receiving something handmade. It just wasn’t there.) So I figure only make socks for others. They’re usually appreciated. Even handknits for my kids just weren’t worn. Lesson learned and I continue to knit for self. That doesn’t mean things don’t get given away (like in Wendy’s case). Recently, I hosted two high school graduates for lunch in my home and I let the girls cull through my collection and pick whatever they wanted. (I did put a few items aside as heirlooms for my daughter before letting the girls pick.) That’s the kind of thing I want to do more of. But in the meantime, until such opportunity presents, I – like Wendy – will just knit cuz I love it. When I die, the knits will go somewhere and someone else will enjoy them. Until then, I enjoy just knitting them and looking at them and occasionally wearing them.

  22. I totally understand not wearing something because it might get dirty, since I have a talent for spilling and dropping things.

    After seeing Sami, I was really glad you didn’t shave poor Lucy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Talk about traumatic!

    What I want to know is if you memorize charts when you knit? Do you keep them handy and glance? When or if you do have them memorized, do you count as you knit?

    I also really do want to know what Sue E. is going to do with her 5 skeins of Kureyon, because every time I decide what to do with my 5 bought on a whim, I change my mind! ๐Ÿ˜€ Five skeins are just enough to do something fun, but what? I’d like to know, What Would Wendy Do?

  23. I worry about spilling food on my knits, as well. If I were practical, I’d probably make everything out of superwash, but it’s got such a squinchy feel to it.

  24. You’ve probably already seen this but shaving cats isn’t extremely uncommon for medical reasons. They always look so pathetic, sad and very indignant.

  25. I’m a process knitter too and I love working with wool. Dallas doesn’t require a lot of very warm sweaters (except the over-airconditioned indoors). Most of the things I’ve knit don’t get used very often – except my wool socks – I wear them year round.

    Wonderful list of finished objects! Looking forward to seeing some of them in your book.

  26. I like that you “left out the smaller projects”, ha ha. I could only dream of leaving out my smaller projects. Your posts on cabling are so timely, I’ve been meaning to knit a Starmore for a while now.

    Belated Happy Birthday, Miss Wendy!

  27. The other day I described your blog to a friend as “the Law and Order of knitting blogs.” You know, long-lived, fast pace, recurring characters and location, no whining, great plots — it’s all about the knitting.

    I’m not sure where “ripped from the headlines” fits in ….

  28. I only wear most of my knitted things (minus hats and mittens) a few times as well and always felt weird about it. I have a few sweaters that are rough and tumble and get lots of wear, but very pretty things I’m afraid to get dirty too.

    The lace I’m more worried about- pulls and snags- so I wear that even less. Funny you wear those the MOST.

    It’s also nice to commiserate and see not all your projects came out exactly as planned. I guess it’s true, everyone has a too-big sweater in the closet.

  29. I love your list of knitted items! There are things I have knitted but haven’t worn yet either. I am so glad I am not the only one. I think I tend to give away alot of my work. That actually is one of my New Year’s Resolutions to do more knitting for myself.

    Oh, the Bohus is coming along very nicely. I finished the back and am working on the sleeve now. So pretty. The large collar and yours are on their merry way from Sweden. It might just be a Bohus year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. What an impressive list! How do you store them all so they’re well protected from pests and moisture?

  31. Love the “Siameeses”…but my Meezer approves of all the attention your Lucy gets on your site, and is especially happy to meet Lucy’s cousins! She vies with my fingers for the keyboard whenever I’m checking your blog from home. I think I might be a process knitter myself Wendy, and am happiest and most at home wearing my shawls, too! This HAS been a weird, warm winter!

  32. phew… that is some knitting.

    I too am just getting over seeing the photo of Koko and thinking it was Lucy…

  33. Dang that is a lot of finished projects in one year…. and they are big ones too. just how do you do it?