My current work in progress:

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


It’s . . . It’s . . .


Ribbing! Woo-hoo!

That’s the start of my new project, which will grow up to be an Aran cardi.

The yarn is Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran, in the color #018 “Thatch.”


That’s a pretty good representation of the color — photo lifted from the Rowan website. I’m finding it hard to photograph — with the flash it’s too yellow, without the flash it’s too brown.


I’ve been wanting an Aran cardi that I could use as an outwear jacket for quite a while now. You know — for those days when a winter coat is too much but a raincoat is too little. And I am extremely picky about cables — none of the cardi patterns I’ve seen have made me entirely happy, so I decided to design my own.

I’ve spent the last week or so knitting up little cable swatches and putting them together into what I hope will be a pleasing, cohesive whole. We’ll see.

But for starters, there’s the ribbing. It’s a k1, p1 twisted rib — twisted on both the right and wrong side, which of course makes it a bigger pain to knit. But I love twisted ribbing, and it makes such a nice sturdy fabric. Which is what I want for my outerwear cardi.

I started out thinking of a v-neck design, but realized that for a jacket, I’d rather have a higher, round neck. So that’s what it has. And saddle sleeves. I’m thinking black leather buttons. Button selection subject to change, of course.

I’m calling the design Dungarvan. Why? Because I remember wishing for such a cardi when I visited Dungarvan.

To Frog or Not To Frog?

That is the question.

MJ asked:
Do you frog anything you don’t like, or do you give it away, or do you just put it away? It would be a shame to not wear the jacket [the Bolero Jacket] just because the pattern sucks pond scum!

The only time I ever frog anything is if the yarn is qiviut. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a good question. If I make something that looks atrocious on me, I’m more likely to give it away to someone on whom it won’t look atrocious.

But in the case of the Bolero Jacket, I’m pretty sure that once it has its zipper in, I’ll wear it. I gave it a quick try-on sans zipper, and it looked acceptable. And as I said, the yarn is so yummy!

Hey, Snow!

Snow commented:
I know it’s a revolutionary concept, but have you considered HEATING your place so that Lucy isn’t forced to seek heat from an ordinary table lamp? Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat is outraged on her behalf, I’ll have you know.

I’m sorry Snow, but shouldn’t you be shopping here instead of leaving outraged comments on behalf of Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat?

Lucy says: Spend . . . money . . . spend . . . money . . .



  1. In your defense, Wendy, you definitely said that Lucy was at the SPA when she was under her heat lamp, so it wasn’t due to a lack of heat in her home, it was a luxurious basking in excessive heat. We all know about your “excessive sentimentality” when it comes to Lucy! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. It’s not nice to tempt me to spend money, Lucy & Wendy. Sending a link to the Alice Starmore site is real tease, in fact.

    (walks away muttering “must not spend, must not spend…”)

  3. OK, now you’ve REALLY got my attention: Aran cardi AND Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran in Thatch. I’ll be all over the progress of this project. This is going to be better than Project Runway!

  4. Lucy has magic powers, too? I’m gazing at her adorable face and all of a sudden, I have an incredible urge to look at websites selling yarn! She’d be great in an infomercial, compelling purchases of cat-approved widgets with those big blue eyes…

  5. Beautiful yarn… it has such a chunky, early look to it, but that ribbing looks beautifully soft and pliable.
    I think Lucy is not so much cold as she is a fashionista: the is saying “Must… wear… beautiful… hat…” and the lampshade is the only thing that is available!

  6. Wow, what a beautiful colour! I can’t wait to see what the finished product turns out to be!

  7. The cardigan sounds fabulous. I can’t wait to see the pattern develop. Virtual Yarns is a scary, scary place. Be careful, Snow.

  8. Laughed out loud.

  9. Consider Lucy basking in the tropics……a la Walter Mitty (Kitty?)

  10. I love the look of that twisted ribbing. I can’t wait to see the finished sweater. And now I want to go to Ireland. Of course I’ve wanted to go there for a long time.

    And we know you wouldn’t let Lucy freeze….what she is doing is like what we do when we bask in the sun.

  11. You are EVIL and must be destroyed! But now I have the best excuse ever to go buy the sweater kit I really want and will pretend I might knit for my mother because we all know that I am putty in your hands and cannot resist the things you tell me to buy. Thanks!

  12. Oh my goodness! I have never been so in awe of knitting in my life- those sweaters of yours are fabulous!
    I’m beginning my first Starmore, Lochinver from Fishermen’s Sweaters. I haven’t gotten very far at all yet (day 2) but I’m already loving it. It’s my dream to someday knit St. Brigid.
    Do you think that it is worth the money to get the kits from Virtual Yarns? I looked at the colors, and they are really lovely, but I’ve heard so-so reports on the quality of the yarn. Maybe they were just fussy!
    Beautiful site, and yes, you are evil for posting that link- trying to tempt us into credit card hell, are you?

  13. I don’t think Lucy is under the light for heat. I think she is under the light because – she’s clearly a diva and the light is her personal soptlight. She knows how good she looks with the right lighting and like any star she is exploiting that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. my cats enjoy their spa lamps too – no matter how high i have the heat turned up. though they do make good ‘thermostat alarms’ when they start cozying up to my laptop…

  15. Ribbing! That was my guess! (Wow. It’s so nice to be right once in a while.)

    I think Snow is in trouble now . . .

  16. That brown yarn has an interesting look . . . it looks like your knitting with wicker or something. At first when I saw the picture that is what I thought it was. I really like that effect.

  17. Ouch! Wendy 1, Lucy 1, Snow 1. Hmm.

  18. I love twisted ribbing on Aran sweaters. It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s worth it. It just stands up to the rest of the decorations better than ordinary rib.

  19. Oooooooh, yummy color. I’m looking forward to seeing this design!

  20. hahaha colour Thatch… I read it as Natch… The Natch Sweater hee hee. And such a pretty colour for it too.

    Ok so I am a dirty and easily entertained one… what of it ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. i love the thatch ๐Ÿ™‚ can’t wait to see your progress!

  22. Or how about antiqued bronzey Celtic knot buttons to go with your theme (Dungarvan, thatched roofs, Aran cables…)? And please remind Lucy to wear her protective goggles if she is going to spend a lot of time under the lamp. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Oh my stars!!! Today’s photo of Lucy is darling. I started reading your blog for the knitting — now I’m not so sure that it is as much for the Lucy update than anything else.

    My Dexie girl loves the lamps too. She has definately rubbed her face on every shade in the house that is within reach. One of her more recent favorite places to snooze is on the heating pad. Why don’t you put one out for Lucy — she’d probably love it!

  24. Britta asks about the quality of yarn from Virtual yarns. I only have one experience – I am currently about 80% complete with knitting the Adult’s Beadwork. I have found the pattern challenging, understandable, without errors, and the yarn amazingly consistent in texture and without vegetable matter. I wondered when the kit first came if there would be enough yarn. However, now that I’m far enough along in the sleeves I can see that I will have most of two balls of yarn left over when the garment is complete. With this experience I would buy from them again.

  25. yum – Aran cardi….
    Collar or no collar?
    Drop shoulders or not?
    How about a shawl collar – leave it down for the v-neck look but can be put up for chillier days.

    Can’t wait to see the work in progress!

  26. I love the name of your new cardi because Dungarvan is where my mother’s parents were from! Been there several times myself. Looking forward to your progress – will probably be your most beautiful sweater ever! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Lucy is so wise;-)

  28. Your bolero jacket is wonderful,I like the colors .I can’t wait for your cardi,cables are my favourits.

  29. Oooh…I can’t wait to see Dungarvan develop.

  30. I have been longing for an aran cardigan jacket type thing forever. The only ones I’ve seen have a v-neck which I don’t like the look of. I am so excited to see this. Will it be boxy or fitted? Collar? A lot of arany-stuff or just a bit? Traditional twists and cables? I can’t wait. Will we be able to buy the pattern?

    PS – love your blog

  31. Ahhh…Virtual Yarns…Where everybody knows (my) name. Their yarn is magnificent, and does not irritate my little girly hands! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wendy, is it possible (or even recommended) to knit an Aran in the round? My apologies if you’ve answered this before.


  32. Ohh, I have been coveting the pink Razr….but mostly I want the Bluetooth, I am tired of holding the phone up to my ear! How’s it work? I’ve heard it can be so-so in quality!


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