My current work in progress:

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


Ask Hyacinth

Rachel commented:
I’m wondering…is that the Anglo-Saxon pronunciation “HOG-get” or the French, “hoe-GAY?” Just curious…either one makes me giggle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been saying “HOG-get,” but if you asked Hyacinth Bucket, you know she’d pronounce it “hoe-GAY.”

“Why, yes, Sheridan, dear. Mummy has a lovely new Teal hoe-GAY jumper.”

Snicker, snicker!

So my Teal hoe-GAY is coming along.


I’m starting the armhole shaping.


WendyKnits Book Newz

I had a conference call with the lovely ladies at my publisher today, making plans for events surrounding the publication of Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn and venues for book-signings and related events.

We are in the process of selecting LYSs and other appropriate venues. Would you like to host a WendyKnits event? Contact my publicist (heh! I love saying “my publicist”), Liz Keenan, at this email address:

I have conveniently put this information in my sidebar as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Learning to Spin

WendyI asked:
Got any advice for someone who wants to learn to spin? Obviously a drop spindle is the most cost-effective, but is it easy to learn? Maybe one day I too will have hoggett to share…

I highly recommend starting with a drop spindle. It also really really helps if you have someone show you in person how to use it. Maybe it’s just me because I am a highly visual sorta gal, but having it demonstrated up-close and live was the only way I managed to learn (Hi L-B!). I did check out some written instructions, but couldn’t “get” it that way.

There is a website, however, that offers Quicktime videos of spinning techniques — This is a huge help for visual learners.

I think learning how to spin on a drop spindle first really helped me when I started wheel spinning. I understood the concept of “how to make yarn” and the importance of drafting the fiber, and that made wheel spinning far easier!

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch


Lucy is pestering me to make her a CatPope hat.

In the “Things You Don’t Want to See in the Street Outside Your Office” Department


That would be the Washington D.C. Medical Examiner’s van. This was going on in the street, right outside my office window this morning. What a strange (not to mention unsettling!) series of events.


  1. LOVE the keeping up appearances reference. i’m a big fan of english shows, especially are you being served? and the above. hurrah for other people who love ’em too! =)

  2. How do you feel about Wyoming? I’d love to have the LYS host a book signing, but we’re a long way from everywhere (ok, it’s only 2 hours to Denver). I’m giddy just thinking about it. Interesting pronunciation discussion – I just assumed it was HOG-get, but you know what they say about assuming. Very disturbing series of events outside your office. You just have to wonder WTF he was thinking. Jeeze.

  3. I think of Hogget as in Farmer Hoggett in Babe (love that movie).

  4. Ohh, no, not something you want to see… Humm, must go harass LYS about having you visit… I’m sure you want to come see lovely Corona. There is a good Mexican Restaurant down the street…

  5. I trust that your ‘appearance tour’ will eventually include London ? !!!

  6. Lucy looks absolutely blissful!

  7. Oh no, what a sight? I am sorry you had to see that outside your window. Gotta love urban living! Wow!

    On the spinning side: I agree about learning on a drop spindle. I wouldn’t go near a wheel till I mastered drafting fine and thin on my cheapo spindles–6 months till I got a wheel. I now use a wheel and have been able to make very nice yarn in the last couple months of ownership. Thanks for your insights–on everything!

  8. I’ll have to pester the LYS.

    You know…if Lucy wants a CatPope hat that bad, -I- could knit one for her…I’d hate for her to be hatless…her poor, cold widdle ears…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. OOH, I love “Keeping Up Appearences”! “Bu-kay residence, lady of the house speaking” (snicker) I’m going to ask Cheri at The Naked Sheep Knit Shop in Portland OR would be willing to host a vist from you, that would be so exciting! And I would bring you an elephant ear for a snack.

    Lucy, as always, looks lovely. But does she really need a catpope hat when she’s already Queen of Her Known Universe?

  10. Of course you’re coming to ImagiKnits in San Francisco, right? Right? Puh-leeeaze come to SF, we won’t make you leave your heart or anything.

  11. One man’s TARget is another woman’s tar-ZHAY!. Ha! Hilarious! Thanks for humoring me.

  12. Have you considered coming to the southern part of New Jersey or Philly? Lotta knitters in this area. Also, any tips on Aran knitting?

  13. Either Nashville or Atlanta, please. Knaughty Knitter is in Murfreesboro, a really good shop that also teaches spinning. I go there all the time!

    OT: Have you ever spun Ingeo? I have about 8 oz that I keep staring at… but I’m sort of afraid to use it, since it’s exactly “my” color and I can’t get more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Emily Alexander says:

    Gee, given the events of this morning in DC, I’m willing to bet you work somewhere near the 3rd street tunnel. That was so gross!

  15. Are you coming to Pittsburgh? Please?

    BTW, thanks for postting the Teal Hogget pattern, I’m adding it to my “to knit” list!

  16. Pick us! Pick us! We’d love to have you come and visit us on a tour. We’re right in the heart of Silicon Valley, so the weather’s great and the knitter’s are ablogging.

  17. How exciting! Can’t wait for your book. I’m sure your tour will include New York City, right?

    Can’t wait to see more of Rose, so pretty.

  18. Wendy, our Colonial Heights, VA knitting group of 9 votes for a visit to Richmond (we’d prefer Lettuce Knits, Knitting Basket or Yarn Lounge). There’s another un-named shop that has problems with service and smoke in their fibers, so we don’t shop there. The Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg is also a wonderful place to go and they’ve recently moved to much larger quarters.

    We also understand that Stitches East will in be Baltimore this year, down near the water – wouldn’t that be a great place to spend a few days?

    I think you get the idea – we’d love to met you and we’re very pleased you’ve got a book coming out!

    Carol in Prince George, CA

  19. I think that Sheridan would be so proud of you for reminding all of us the proper way to say ‘Hog-gay’.

  20. I am with Carol. Come to Williamsburg or Richmond. I live in Virginia Beach but will drive anywhere for yarn and a good book signing!

  21. Lucy looks fabulous in teal!

    Book signing tour YEAH!

  22. Yikes. That explains the sirens outside my place today.

  23. Oh dear! What a horrific incident below your window! Traumatizing! I think everyone in that building should get the week off to “cope” (or knit).

  24. Leslie - knitting therapist says:

    And up here, in the Great White North, Value Village is known as “La Village” and Goodwill is “Bonne Guille-homme”.

    and people under a sheet in front of your office is never a good way to start your day.

  25. Any chance of a western Canada visit? Or even Washington? I’m willing to harass your publicist if there is!

  26. Teal is definitely Lucy’s color!

  27. Another vote for Southern New Jersey. We have a lot of knitters here:-) – and book stores, too.
    Keeping Up Appearances is one of my favorite shows. but how would Hyacinth pronounce Lucy?

  28. I had big difficaulties with the drop spindle, and did learn to spin properly first when I got a wheel. So, don’t give up if you just don’t get the drop spindle spinning.

  29. Love the hogget model – no matter HOW you pronounce it!
    I’m a HUGE fan of Keeping up Appearances. Even named my angora rabbits Daisy and Onslow (they’re my kind of people).
    Hope you can make it to Louisville, KY. I’ll pester the LYS (Sophie’s Fine Yarns).

  30. Thanks for publishing and answering my question!

    I will do my best to pester our LYSes — there are three in my area here in Baltimore!

  31. I LOVE Keeping Up Appearances!

    Great sweater!

  32. Three votes for South Jersey! Yay! There are some great little yarn stores around me that I could pester about sponsoring you.
    The teal hogget looks great! It knits up so evenly. I agree with Maud. I had a drop spindle first and could only sort of get a handle on it. A few months ago, I bought a Babe wheel. (laugh all you want. It’s cheap and it works.) It took a little time, but I finally got the hang of it. I taught myself and the trick that I learned is to take breaks when you start to get frustrated. Trust me…you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
    Sorry for the long comment. Have a great day everyone!

  33. How awful! Life in the big city, I guess.

    Anyhow I hope you are coming to a LYS near me for your book tour. It ought to be exciting to tour a lot of the US. Can’t wait for your book!

  34. Katherine says:

    I went to Merriam-Webster online to look up the pronunciation of hogget, and when I clicked on the “hear it pronounced” icon, it took me to a new window with a Google ad for this site: Seems to be a scandinavian folk costume website. Thanks for sending me on a lovely stroll in cyberspace!

  35. I have yet to start spinning on a wheel, but I completely agree with everyone that it is a very good way to get the concepts down. Spindling allows you to get a feel for the fiber and process. Once you get to the wheel you’ll be really good friends with both and I’m sure it’ll make the transition beautifully smooth!

    Wow, that is definitely not a good scene to witness!

    Oh, and Wendy please consider coming to Maine!

  36. Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat is now pesting me for a Kitty Pope Hat. Furthermore, he thinks I should make three others, so that the other cats in the house could be his Cardinals. He’s expecting to be canonized, too. Sheeeesh! Look what you started!

    You need to visit Colorado when you do your book tour. There are some great yarn shops here, you know. Like Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder.

  37. I would like to forward your contact information to the Minnesota Knitters Guild. At each monthly meeting there is a presentation, and you would be a highlight! The meetings are the third Tuesday of every month — usually 50-70 people attend! Lots of book sales, Wendy!

    In addition, every April the MKG sponsors “Yarnover,” which is a set of all day knitting workshops (and vendor fair!). There is always a keynote speaker and lots of knitting classes with well known teachers, both local and national.

  38. You must come to SLC. Everyone from ID, WY and other surrounding states can get here easily and we’d love to have you.

  39. I’m a little late on the draw, but the next time youknit fair isle, could you do a photo tutorial showing how you hold both yarns in your left hand? I want to try color work soon, and would rather learn the fast way right from the start!

  40. For your consideration, I think there is a copy/paste snafu in the 1/30/6 version of your Teal Hogget. In the instructions for the Back, just before the first “Work 19 rows” you decrease away two stitches near the edges for a bit of shaping. Then after 19 rows you increase 2 stitches near the edges. Then 19 rows later there is another “increase 2 stitches row” but you’re supposed to be back at the same stitch count as the caston. Considering the smaller size numbers:
    74 – 2 + 2 + 2 = 74 is not true.
    The increases and decreases have to balance out to come back to the start. Sorry, born proofreader here.


  41. Come to Boston! …and bring Lucy!

  42. I love the CatPope hat. I LOL to see Lucy in it.

    Scary events outside the office. More scary that they didn’t even know he was missing. Yikes!

  43. Hi Wendy…I haven’t written you a comment in a while, but today I laughed out loud at the reference to Hyacinth Bucket. That show just kills me, I laugh outloud, and my hubby just shakes his head at me. Also, I think I can heartily agree on what you do not want to see outside one’s work window.

  44. See I loath and despise drop spindles. I learned on a wheel in about a day, but thats more to the credit of that fiber goddess Mary Kelly (yeah rhinebecks Mary Kelly, I am truly blessed by the fates) than any noticeable talent on my part.

    To me the insane amount of winding involved (winding as you spin, unwinding it into a ball so you can ply, unwinding it from the spool ect) is just insanity, I want to spin! not play ball winder. actually thats an idea, use a ballwinder to cut down on the time, its still way cheaper than a wheel and sinse every one need a good winder it wont be wasted when you invest in a wheel!

  45. Hi Wendy
    I’m with Carol(same group actually). Richmond or Williamsburg or Va Beach even…But let’s not forget Holly Spring Homespun just outside of Richmond. I know that you have used some of her beautiful yarns and I think fibers.

    I love to read your blog and I greatly admire your work.