My current work in progress:

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


ISO: A Gansey or Aran for a Petite Miss

Pam asked:
The person-I-most-enjoy-knitting-for, my 17-year-old daughter, recently asked me to make “one of those white textured sweaters.” Aran or gansey, I thought, I can do that. But as we looked at pictures together, primarily in Alice Starmore books, she — who’s a slim 5′ 3-1/2″ — kept saying that the sweaters were beautiful but too wide and boxey for her.

I ask you, as one of the Queens of Textured Sweater Knitting, if there are any patterns you’d suggest for the petite but not child-sized?

For ganseys, check out this site. They have a pdf version of their catalog you can download, and it looks as though the sizing starts at a 36″ chest measurement.

Beth Brown-Reinsel has a number of beautiful gansey patterns, many that start at 34″. You can’t order from her site, but she lists there many retail outlets that carry her patterns.

As for arans . . .

You might check eBay for vintage knitting patterns. I know Bernat did several pattern booklets of aran designs in the 60s and 70s, and they were sized smaller than the oversized designs you see today. And the ones I’ve seen are pretty classic — they don’t look dated. Check out this one on eBay — it’s one of my old favorites.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for Pam? Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.

Speaking of Comments . . .

There were a lot of interesting comments on yesterday’s entry. I do think we can all agree to disagree about process and the disposition of the things we knit. Bottom line as I see it: We are all entitled to do what we like with what we knit. And no one has the right to impose his/her idea of what we should do onto us and pass judgment on us should we not adhere to his/her idea.

I have decided to become the ultimate process knitter. Every night, Penelope-like, I shall unravel what I have knitted during the day.

(Just kidding.)

Speaking of Comments, Part Deux

I’ve just noticed that I’m approaching 22,000 total comments on this blog. If I were not so lame, I would have noticed the 20,000th comment, but alas, it slipped past me. I shall be monitoring the comments closely, and will send a fiber prize to the 22,000th commenter (unless the 22,000th comment is spam, of course). So comment away!

Oh Yeah — Knitting Progress


Hey Lucy, nice sleevage!


And Now For Something Completely Different

LizzyB asked:
On another note, do you ever get frustrated with Lucy’s “help” when you do your make up? I have been having 2 kitties help me lately as opposed to the one I was used to, and it’s more challenging than just one! Just curious of course and kitty help is always appreciated, if not welcome Lucy. Honest! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh yeah, this is a topic I know something about!

Here’s a snippet from a post I wrote almost exactly two years ago:

I have a lovely antique dressing table that was my grandmother’s, and every morning I sit down at this table, where I have positioned my 5x magnifying mirror, to attempt to apply make-up.

Note to women over 40: 5x (or higher) magnifying mirrors are depressing.

Lucy waits for this moment. As soon as I sit down, she jumps up on the table and immediately turns into a purring, quivering mass of affection. She stretches, she twirls, she butts her head against my hand. Imagine, if you will, attempting to apply eyeliner when suddenly a big furry ass is thrust into your face. The sudden impact of a kitty head against the hand holding the eyeliner. The mirror falling over from another kitty head-butt. I used to use liquid eyeliner. Ha! Not any more, after stabbing myself in the eye with it. I switched to pencil liner, but abandoned that after the first stab.

Now it’s simply eyeshadow applied with my pinky. Mascara? I’m a coward. I apply that standing up.

Update: I’ve gone back to using eyeliner. I now apply eye make-up, standing up, in the bathroom.

Lucy Sez:


“Why doesn’t Momma want my help in applying make-up?”


  1. how hard would it be to downsize/tweak an aran/gansey pattern?

    And what exactly is the difference, btw?

    For a moment there, I thought you had knit Lucy a sweater of her own! lol!

  2. What about this? Not an Aran or anything but it is white and textured.

  3. I love Lucy modeling the sleeve!

  4. Hee hee. Lucy always looks so well-behaved in your pictures that I’m glad to discover her naughty side.

  5. Raye in NYC says:

    This is for Pam. My grown daughter is also a teeny-tiny. And, she only likes things well fitted (as if to tease her mother who IS NOT a size 2 or 4)! Elsebeth Lavold has some lovely cabled sweaters which have a nice body conforming fit. Take a look at her books. Another thing, I’d avoid yarn heavier than DK weight for her build. Better yet, ganseys are done with yarn that is sport weight, and you could put some shaping into them more easily than aran types, which are all over cabled. HTH :-))


  6. The Elsebeth Lavold suggestion is a good one. Lots of fitted sweaters and unique cable patterns.

    Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book, Knitted Ganseys, has ~ half a dozen patterns plus instructions to design your own gansey. It be fun to collaborate with your daughter to design the sweater with her input!

  7. I’d suggest a Rowan pattern, something like Demi from Vintage Style.

  8. I think Lucy needs her very own cape. Not something cheesy like a Super Lucy cape with a blazing red L. Something cabled and textured.

    What do you think? Nah? I didn’t think so. hehe

  9. Since I neither have a cat nor wear make up, I don’t have that problem, but I can tell you that using the bathroom in private is something a dog simply cannot allow its human to do. EVER.

  10. Was it really two years ago that you wrote about Lucy and the eye make-up? Tempus fugit! I remember reading the entry, laughing and thinking a magnifying mirror would be a wise investment for my ailing eyes.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for these past two years: you inspire me with your level of output and inspire me to part with many shekels for kits (Mermaid, it’ll probably take me two years to knit it though), yarn (I priced the cashmere for the Poor Little Qiviut scarf and reluctantly passed on it), and books (Last minute knitted gifts – Hoverson).

    I hope you continue to lead me from the paths of righteousness for many years to come, but if you ever stop I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your opinionated, friendly, cat-loving writing.

    (Am looking forward to reading your book, btw, may it be the first of many.)


  11. I think Lucy would be great help with make-up – she’s such a pretty girl herself. She must use some sort of eyeliner for those gorgeous eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree that is our own prerogative what we do with our knits, so knit on (no ripping!).

    As for Pam, I’ve been looking for a more fitted design as well and I’ll have to look at my boks when I get home. I might have seen something in Loop-d-Loop that would work (or that might not be the right book – sorry)

  12. The make-up response made me laugh! I put on my make-up standing at the bathroom mirror and my 2 kittens have taken to loving on me then (while standing in the sink). I try to pet them both with my left hand while applying mascara with my right…but it’s tricky! I thought I was the only one that juggled that (since my husband gets no kitty sink love!)

  13. For Pam:
    Check out the book “Sculptured Knits” by Jean Moss for some wonderful body-concious textured knitting designs.

  14. Yarnagogo Rachael knit a cute gansey pattern from Silver Creek Classics (FO pics in her December 2004 archive), which looks great when knit with less ease than usual. The stated gauge is 5 sts/in., but from my experience the pattern also looks good at 5.5 sts/in. I think the smallest bust size is 39; so it could work if you knit the smallest size at a tighter gauge. Hope this helps, Pam!

  15. My daughter is also a petite 34″ sweater size. And they must fit. I was considering one of the gansey’s for children in larger size, but then I would have to fiddle around with length and sleeve adjustments, so on second thought that isn’
    t a good idea and I appreciate all the input here.

  16. Though I don’t wear makeup, there is a kitty in my household. She is a fan of going into the bathroom…. when one is indisposed…. to either get pet, or to drink from the bathtub spout.

  17. Everyone in the room just looked at me weird when I burst out laughing at the Lucy’s Makeup story while pretending to work (it is the end of my lunch break, however, so I am entitled). I think she must want some of her own makeup to apply…

    By the way, Pam, I agree with the Elsebeth Lavold suggestion. Many of her yarns have a nice drape to them (I am currently wearing one of her designs make with Silky Tweed) and would, thus, flatter a petite figure. Good luck with your search.

    Happy Process Knitting to all!

  18. I have the very book you referenced on Ebay. I have probably had it for 30 years. I used it to knit an Aran with yarn I ordered from England. I am small, under 5′ tall, and the sweater I made from that book was not oversized.

  19. Are you *sure* that’s a sleeve and not a Lucy sweater? She looks pretty comfy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Can’t really help with the pattern search, but Ms. Lucy sure is a good sport about modeling that sleeve.

  21. The makeup routine made me laugh. My cat decides he is not desperate for attention until I begin trying to lull my daughter to sleep. Convincing a toddler she is tired when a cat is demanding attention and walking all over us putting his full weight on every paw is a no-go. Still, don’t think it’s worse than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick (or eyeliner pencil)…

  22. Sirdar has some nice Aran patterns. Some of the pattern books are family books and seem to have a nice range of sizes.

    Lucy looks really cute drapped in knitting.

  23. Lol! I remember laughing about the eye makeup and lucy the first time you posted it – and it made me laugh again – My cats do the same thing!

    All the ladies with the suggestions – you guys are all amazing – and my list of “to try” patterns has grown! eeek ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. One of my favorite tricks for altering sizes is to alter my gauge. If the pattern calls for 4 st to the inch, and you get 5, well voila! instantly smaller.

  25. Yes – there is a gorgeous fitted Aran sweater (cardigan) in the newest Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk book. It is written for aran weight – and I plan to make with Elann’s Sierra Aran. I am also very petite (5 foot 1 inches) and get overwhelmed by huge sweaters..

  26. Thanks for the great gansey links ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sleeve looking good.
    Lucy too (as usual). We’re a cat short at the moment – the old lady passed away last Sunday. It’s really empty here without her ๐Ÿ™

  27. Pam, may I suggest that you take a look at In keeping with what Wendy suggested about the older patterns being available in smaller sizes, I see that there are a number of them on that site that are as small as size 28. And the hairstyles are interesting!

  28. hey what’s there to say but “I love lucy”- my cats are ok with the knitting but one is 20 pounds try having that sit on your lap for any amount of time.I have to kick him off once my legs fall asleep. love the posts! lurking in LaLa land

  29. The Patons Street Smart book has some lovely “modernized” arans–not quite traditional, but definitely less boxy!

  30. Heather M says:

    I’m a fan of Rowan patterns – a lot of them have nice body shaping. This site has some vintage Aran patterns that are closer fitting and come in smaller chest sizes.

  31. Har har… a classic example of being owned by a cat! Me, I sit in a rather uncomfortable position sometimes when knitting to accomodate Zach the cat and his preferred lap spot.

  32. Lucy looks lovely in sleeves.

    My guy, Mister, likes to help my husband SHAVE. He sits at the edge of the washbowl, and when Darren swishes his razor in the water, Mister bats his paw in the water.

    Seconds later, I hear “brrrup?” and *thud* as Mister gets put outside like Dino in the Flintstones credits. Everyday.

  33. Pam (from WA) says:

    I made this suggestion to the other Pam personally (via email) – if I had a 17 year old who wore my knitting, I’d make the Rogue sweater at Girl from Auntie –

    or alternately, the newer Eris.

    And I second the Lavold suggestion — they’re fun to knit as well.

  34. Send Pam to the Clan Arans website ( You can choose a clan pattern, chest size and height and they will customize a kit for you.

  35. I would agree about Demi in Rowan Vintage Style. I recently purchased the Rowanspun yarn for it. The yarn is aran weight but not really bulky.

  36. I have insanely bad luck with contests, and so don’t expect to fin said fibre prize, but I felt that urge to comment anyway. The picture of Lucy with the sleeve draper over her . . . Looks like she’s wearing a cape? Any plans to make one for her so she can turn into a super-kitty? :p

  37. I have to agree that getting FOs off the needles regularly is very addictive. Perhaps I should just aim for smaller knits?! ๐Ÿ˜›

  38. Wow, I’m such a minion that I actually remembered that post as soon as the question came up.

    Kim Hargreaves usually offers smaller sizes in her sweaters. I loved the things she did for Rowan.

  39. Thanks so much for printing the links to smaller Aran and Gansey patterns! I’m small and it’s extremely helpful to know that those things are out there. I love to knit, but when I wear one of my handknits, I want to still look fashionable and my own size. So thanks!

  40. Now I have a new book I need to look for! Thanks for the link to Beth Brown-Reinsel’s info! ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. I just made my first pair of socks and I am working on pair #2. I want to try Aran knitting next. Any suggestions for a beginner? I love Lucy ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. I read in a book a while back that when Barbara Bush (after being first lady) was traveling in the former Yugoslavia while it was at war, she found a woman in a refugee camp who would knit a sock, the unravel it, so that she could knit it again. She only had enough yarn for the sock, but didn’t want to stop knitting. For some people, it is the process.

    For me, it’s both. It took me months to finish my Highland Triangle shawl. I love it, but I don’t wear it very much; I like it when I do.

  43. Patons Street Style has some good ones, youthful-looking, methinks, and smaller, more ’70s-vintage looking.

  44. Lucy seems to be a very patient model!

  45. I have thought about (still haven’t executed these plans…) using the child’s sweaters from the Starmore books. Some of the larger sizes in Fisherman Knits are similar to the sizes I wear.

    Stormy isn’t so much a helper in the morning make-up routine as a participant. When I pick up the hairbrush, I must also brush her. And when I use a brush for powder, she lifts her face up for that as well. And the bathroom sink is not available for use most mronings as Stormy uses that as a convenient place to curl up and watch the action.

  46. Mary in Maine says:

    Now that you are getting through the sleeves for Halcyon, what will your next project be?? I don’t want to sound demanding (I’ll apologize up front), but when will we see Torino? The Olympic Games begin next month!!
    Lucy is lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Regarding white textured sweaters – no time like the present to design your own. Check out some of the Classic Elite patterns. They aren’t always traditional but very interesting.

    I’m a process knitter too, to the point that sometimes all I do is swatch and consider it fun. However, today my Large Collar Bohus sweater kit arrived. I’m dying to start it but, alas, have other things to do first. However, I did wind one ball and am – you guessed it – swatching.

  48. I wonder if Pam’s daughter would like this, except in white:

    As far as process vs. product, you’re so right: Everyone should do what they want with their finished sweaters. And who’s to say you won’t use them sometime in the future? (And whose business is it anyway….lol)

  49. See? That’s the advantage to dogs–they tend to stay on the floor . . . well, there’s the sofa, of course, or jumping up to say hello . . . but generally speaking, there are at least two paws on the ground. Certainly not up on the table!

    Oh, and the boxy Aran? I think one of the biggest problems with highly-cabled sweaters is they add visual bulk to the wearer. Even tiny models sometimes look a little chunky in thick, cabled sweaters. Unfortunate, but true; what can you do?

    Congrats on almost 22,000 comments . . . wow, my mind boggles!

  50. Does Lucy help you blog, also? Puma can not get enough of “typing,” unless, of course, I’m not typing!

  51. I’ve no advice for Pam but will check out your (and others) suggestions.

    I can only imagine what Lucy thinks about your makeup routine and how much she looks forward to that part of the day!

  52. I have a Birman that looks surprisingly like Lucy but with white feet (and he is male..LOL). He insists he has to help me talk on the phone. Whenever it rings he is right there purring just as loud as he can and getting in my way. Starkitty ( – the big guy on the window ledge) just loves Lucy ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Honestly, I couldn’t afford to knit sweaters nobody wears if I wanted to, and I don’t have room in my postage-stamp size house to store them. I envy those who have the means to do so.

    When I want to make something pretty to look at, I knit a doily. Actually, I don’t have much room to display these, either, so most of them end up as gifts. But I scan them in before they go.

    Wendy, we are the same age and I think you have better vision than I. If you can do shawls, you should be able to knit doilies with size 10 thread. I dare you.

  54. My cat does that makeup thing to me. He waits on the bathroom sink every morning and then bats my eyeliner when I put it on. My all traveling and telecommuting job has almost eliminated this problem, and now he waits at the sink for me to put on my makeup, but alas, I am either not there or not wearing makeup. It’s quite sad, actually. I’ve just depressed myself.

    As for Pam, what about C3?

  55. I have the solution for kitty assistance with makeup. For whatever reason, Loreal moisturizes make Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat run. They don’t smell foul to me, but he will shake his head and launch himself away as soon as I break them out, not to return for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Crude, but effective. Go figure.

    Oh, and Margaret Atwood has a marvelous treatment of the Penelope myth named (aptly) The Penelopiad. Just in case you’re looking for something interesting to read/hear on iPod.

  56. Homer’s “The Odyssey” Ihaven’t read that book since High school. Now I am inspired to find my copy and re-read it.
    I also have Beth’s book “Knitting Gansey’s” on my bookshelf and love that book, I read it like a novel. When the book first came out I made the mini practice gansey and then put it on a teddy bear for my niece.
    Pam if you choose to knit a Gansey that is a great book to have. Beth simplified every detail very well.

  57. i’m a total chicken… i apply my makeup in the car. of course, it’s 2 minutes worth, and i still have those lovely 23-year-old eyes…

    does lucy seem to have a preference with knits? fair isle or cables, alpaca or 100% wool? ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. WOW – What a flashback. i had that Bernat book back when it was new! And I knit myself a sweater out of off-white fisherman’s wool just before I went to college, and the dress that’s on the cover out of a dark green while I was auditing an art class at UCLA. They weren’t too practical for Southern California wear, but I know I was quite proud of myself for making them! Wish I still had them (not that they’d fit me now).

  59. Thanks for pointing out the Bernat patterns!

  60. Ha! I remember reading that post about the makeup routine, though I think it was from reading the archives, not the daily posts. Mine is ever-so-helpful in trying to trip me up when I’m cooking anything with eggs.
    Love Lucy’s new cape! LOL!

  61. My kitties are always around to “help”. Something in the mocrowave? Must be mommy warming wet kitty food from the frig! (Yes, I am a slave to my cats) Mommy going to the bathroom? Kitty can’t be too far from mommy, let’s run in with her! Mommy getting into bed? Kitty must be on pillow or at mommy’s feet. Mommy brushing teeth? Ooh, kitty would love a drink from the sink. Mommy sitting in her chair? Kitty needs to be on mommy’s shoulders!

    ALL DAY LONG. I wonder if I have the most codependent cats ever?

  62. There is something about the process of knitting that draws you right in, isn’t there? I knit so much for other people, mainly because I don’t really care if there is anything left for me to use at the end of a project, so long as I got to do the knitting along the way.

  63. And the idea of unraveling the day’s knitting makes me want to cry. *weep*

  64. I would suggest the Patons Street Smart booklet. There’s the Must Have Cardigan (which has been very popular in blogland, although I don’t quite see the attraction with that one) and a hooded zip-up cardigan, which is what I’m really looking forward to knitting. Both aran.

  65. I am not usually a big Paton’s fan, but a friend made this Urban Aran and it looks really good. You could just use a better yarn

    There are some other fitted aran options in that book as well

  66. I’m looking forward to when I have enough time to start knitting a lovely Lavold pattern with the yummy Silky Wool I bought a while back. But first…I have to finish my fair isle sweater. I’m having to take myself by the hand to get this one done (and it’s soooo close that if I were a Wendy-like knitter it would be done by tomorrow). I’ve got a lace shawl cast on and the first couple rows in, but decided I was WAY too busy at work and working too much overtime to attempt anything other than idiot knittng (socks, mainly). I find I’m not good at following patterns when I’m tired.

    Do you ever have that problem? When your mind is so busy from the overload at work that you dare not attempt a complicated pattern?

  67. Moonshadow (our black cat) would like to tell Lucy to give up on the makeup–try the toothbrushing! He tries to head-butt me when I am using my dentist-recommended sonicare toothbrush. I wouldv’e thought the noise would deter him, but no.

    My question is, and you’ve probably addressed this at some point, but I’m a new reader, how much time do you spend knitting and how do you find the time? As a novice knitter and spinner, I get very frustrated because I just don’t have the time.

  68. Pam and Wendy,

    There are three nice patterns in Interweave KNITS backnumber, which I am interested in myself.

    The first one is “Lush Cables” by Kathy Zimmerman, from KNITS Winter 2004. It starts 35 and half inches at bust.

    The second one is “Byzantine Bazic” also by Kathy Zimmerman, from KNITS Fall 2003.

    Last one is “Cafรฉ Bastille Cables” by Leigh Radford, from KNITS Fall 2003. (from the same webpage as above.)


    Kathy Zimmerman

  69. Pam,

    I forgot telling you tha Interweave has two free patterns with cables.

    Designed by Debbie Bliss

    Designed by Shieley Paden


  70. I see I wasn’t the only one to think “super kitty” when I saw Lucy in the sleeve. She needs some kind of royal (yet knitterly) cape to indicate her courtly status. She looks quite regal in what she has on already. Maybe you should just make a THIRD sleeve and let Lucy keep the one she has. . . .it’s the process, right? So another sleeve shouldn’t be a problem! ๐Ÿ™‚


  71. Oh my GOd, you cracked me UP with that post! How true….. what you wrote is exactly how Lizzykitty acts… when you’re trying to do something… a purring, quivering mass of affection… and a big furry ass thrust into your face….

    Can I use that line sometime????


    TOO good Wendy!

  72. Thank you so much for the link to the aran and gansey patterns. I am also one of the fortunate ones to own a copy of Alice Starmore’s “Aran Knitting” book. My question has to do with yarn – how do you know if a yarn will be good for knitting an aran sweater with? Do you have any favorite brands? Yarn choices are always the hardest for me.

  73. Perry the Bi-Polar has the same routine – almost. Knitting? Well, she wants to lap sit so I knit with my arms around her. Make-up? She’s there with the purring, the plume of a tail tickling my chin, the head butting the hand.

    But there’s nothing to beat going to sleep with a purring cat right at your head, occasionally licking your forehead and rubbing it dry with her own. She may be occasionally bi-polar but the good side is also known as “the sweetest girl in Franklin and Worcester counties (MA) combined”.

    Knit on, Wendy, and do whatever the heck you want with the finished goods. They’re yours, you made ’em and the disposition is in your hands.
    Blessings to you, Lucy and the King.

  74. Susan Maurer says:

    When I read all of your suggestions for a smaller Aran/gansey, I thought ‘wow, wendy does get around the web!’ Your thoughts on resources are amazing. I’d also suggest doing a search on for ‘aran’ or ‘gansey’ or any manufacturer of same (eg Bernat). They often have good resources and free shipping over $25 on some items. There are also some good book sites (alibris and others), including some specific to knitting and needlework, that may have similar items.

  75. All I can add about knitting with Kitty assistance is think about the extra warmth from the stray hair you are knitting into the project.

    Also, while sewing at my machine, my daughter’s cat, who visits occasionally will sit directly under my working lamp. It is a very warm and very close sun in her mind.

    Try stitching while maneuvering the quilt top and the cat. Tigra refuses to give up her sun lamp!

    Knitting with a cat is safer

  76. Wendy! Reading your blog, AND the comments is just like goin’ to college! I gain so much Knowledge! I am itching to knit a gansey sweater and you and your readers share such a wealth of information and’s just the best thing ever .. read it every day with my morning coffee!

  77. I’m the 77th or whatever here, but I recommend Beth Brown-Reinsel’s pattern ‘Celtic Dreams’. I made it for myself and it is the least boxy and saggy aran sweater I have. It’s also a very interesting knit.

  78. Thank you, Wendy, for the clear and useful suggestions for finding smaller aran and gansey patterns. Those are resources I would never have come up with on my own. I am grateful to you for taking the time to help me out.

    And thanks to (the other)Pam, Nancy, Raye, Margot, Stephanie, Loren, Lauren, Lara, Tonia, Heathre, Shelley, Andrea, Norma, Shanti, Suzanne, Elspeth, Ricki, Elaine, Ashley, Heather M., Kat, Norah, itgirl, Miki, Sarah, Dani, and Susan.

    You all are wonderful. I have enough websites to look at and patterns to think about to keep me happy for for quite a while.

  79. Although not exactly traditional Arans, Karabella has some VERY nice cabled sweater patterns that are shaped and would probably be more appealing to a 17-year-old. Kpixie just got some new ones in, you can check them all out here

  80. I got quite a giggle out of that response Wendy! I knew you had mentioned that lucy “helps” you put your makeup on, but I didn’t remember that it was 2 years ago! I’m also even more amused to read that you move and apply around her! ๐Ÿ™‚ I do the same thing. I step back from the bathroom vanity counter and they cry and vibrate and stretch their paws out to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very cute, but very distracting, and as you know, the father away from the mirror you get the more umm challenging it is to get the eyeliner and mascara on! ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it nice to know that our babies love us so? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mine also help me spin. I truly think they like the rocking motion my leg makes when I treadle. Now if only they weighed less…

  81. Another knitty one is here:

    She’s probably looking for more fitted and waist shaping than just a smaller size.

  82. Penny Straker has a few patterns that start at size 34″ (

    Or have you seen the Crossed in Translation knit along?

  83. there’s even a few with 32″ as the smallest size.

  84. I thought of the Penny Straker patterns too for Pam in her request for Aran patterns. Another thought would be to talk with the owner of the oldest yarn shop in her area. Your suggestions of vintage patterns is probably the best and most store owners who have been in busniess for awhile know to keep everything as someone will come in someday wanting to knit “another of those sweaters that you helped me with 20 years ago”.

  85. I don’t ever post comments, but I just wanted to commend you on the grace and class you exhibit in responding to blog comments. I’m a new knitter, still knitting scarves and felting purses, but I love seeing your works in progress and dreaming of the day I can knit more complicated pieces. You’re an inspiration. My goal this year is to learn how to knit socks and perhaps (perhaps) knit a sweater. Keep up the good work!

  86. Hee,hee. Lucy looks so beautiful in the sleeve. Regal too. Perhaps you should knit her her own queenly cape! After all, we all know who really rules the roost over there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. My 5yo daughter loves Lucy, and often asks me to turn on the computer so she can see her. When she saw the sleeve pic, she said “Look, it’s SuperLucy. She even has a knitted cape!!”. Of course, her next comment was “Can we knit me a cape like Lucy’s?”. Hmm. Maybe after we knit a couple of red scarves for the college age foster kids (see Interweave or NowNormaKnits for info), finish several WIPs, and clean the house after the “invasion of the college kids”, we can search the stash for yarn for a SuperLucy cabeled cape!

  88. Penny Straker’s Aran sweaters are very “classic” patterns knit to fit much more closely than the typical oversized Arans we see nowdays. I’m knitting a cardigan Penny Straker in Harrisville shetland and it will be rather fitted. (I just lost 120 pounds and am enjoying being able to wear things that fit!

  89. I’ll second the suggestion for Rogue. I haven’t knit it yet, but it’s on my list. If you do it in something with a bit of drape (silk/wool?) it will take a lot of the boxy out of it, and the stockinette middle lets you go nuts with the waist and bust shaping. I’m tall, but I feel your daughter’s pain, Pam. Most sweater patterns are boxy, so they’ll make me look pregnant. (I’m all for looking pregnant if and when I am pregnant. Now? Not so much.) My mom’s side of the family (who are quite short) and I stick to either stretchy knits or the shapliest seams they can find.

  90. I’m doing Mariah from Knitty in Elann’s Sierra Aran, and cabling without a cable needle is just killing me with this yarn! I have had no trouble doing it with 100% wools, but the 20% alpaca content makes the yarn just a bit too slippery. Since you’ve made the most incredible cabled sweaters I’ve ever seen, I was wondering if you have any advice on cabling without a cable needle when using slippery yarns.

  91. There is a knit along starting at They are swatching and measuring right now. There are suggested cables, but they can be changed if desired. Very similar to the Son of Aran from years ago.

  92. Kitty help is a mixed blessing. My kitty loves to help when I’m on the computer by sniggling in front of my monitor.

    My theory is that they know when we’re concentrating on something, which takes attention away from them. Mr. Darcy is most affectionate whenever I am focused.

    And Lucy, we all appreciate the reminders when kitties let us know they need attention.

  93. Pam should check out the current issue of Interweave Knits (Winter 2005). There is a cabled bandeau designed by Veronik Avery as well as a turtleneck aran pullover designed by Kristin Nicholas that might be flattering on a slim, petite figure.

  94. I have just started following a few blogs and found yours today. ALl of the others that I read have been posted by the owner. Yours seems to be much more interactive. How do you keep up and still have any knitting time? By the way, I admire the work that you have shown….lovely. Along the lines of Gansey patterns,have you looked at the Blackberry Ridge site. They have some lovely patterns that seem less fussy and less boxy. Knit on!!!

  95. does Lucy ever try to undo your projects? She seems to be the truly perfect cat

  96. Why do cats always think that you would like their butt in your face?

    By the way, I loved your comment about your knitting being a work of art which can be appreciated even if not ever worn. What a great way to look at it.

  97. Since I’m cheating by commenting from work, I’ll be bad and not double check to see that no-one’s already said this:
    Boxy sweaters are usually that way b/c they have drop shoulders … even modified drop.
    However, the same sweater looks much less boxy if you covert the sleeves to set in sleeves. Suddenly, it looks much more tailored/fitted. It’s a bit fussy at first, but SO worth it. I’ve even had the temerity to modify an Alice Starmore to set in sleeves (the Mendocino for those who care — and I did keep the shoulder tab thing whose name I can’t dredge up right now).

  98. Of course, I have to comment again cuz I could be the millionth customer served here at McWendy’s, BUT didja notice? 97 comments today! (This makes 98.) Yesterday was 47, and three days prior were 33, 33, and 32. Hmmmm…

  99. Gladys Thompson’s book Patterns For Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans has some aran sweater patterns in the back, which start out small in the sizing if I recall correctly. Alternately, you could pick some of the book’s aran panels for the front and back, and 2×2 rib the sides for some shapely hug. Combine that with the above set-in sleeves and you’ll have a really snappy sweater. (There’s a great chapter about building your own Aran in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac.)

    The Thompson book does most of the Aran work at rather fine gauge yarns; so stitch counting will become important if you’d like to scale up. Of course, the fine gauge will be less boxy. (but I’m not often that patient ๐Ÿ™‚

    Knitty has an article on set in sleeves here: Part 1

    Part 2, set in sleeves

    Knitty also has an artice on short rows (for things like bust shaping, if applicable) here:

    Hope you have fun, whatever you decide!

  100. stell from nz says:

    I have been a bit lax catching up with your blog so have a bohus question, which btw is fabulous, (I am envious in a good way and have started saving already), did you knit it on the dpn’s and how did that go, were you at all tempted to knit it on cirs or don’t they do 2mm circs big enough?