My current work in progress:

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


A Very Good Yarn

I recently received a review copy of this book.


Knitting Nell, written and illustrated by Julie Jersild Roth. It’s recommended for children age 5 – 8 years old. The hardcover book is 32 pages long and is illustrated with full-color watercolors by the author.

I sat down to read it last night and was utterly charmed by it. It’s the story of a shy little girl, Nell, who sits and knits and listens to others, but never says very much. She quietly knits items for other people, and is eventually recognized for her charitable good works, and also finds her voice as she teaches her friends to knit.

Now at the best of times I’m a cranky old bitch, but I actually felt some tears welling up as I finished reading this story — it was just so danged sweet. It also has a nice message about doing good for other people and how rewarding that can be — but it doesn’t cram the moral down your throat.

The illustrations are adorable, and they are plentiful. There are many full-page pictures, and some pages with a number of small, captioned, pictures.

I think this would be a wonderful book to read with a very small child who is interested in learning to knit, or to give to slightly older knitters to read on their own, and then discuss with them later.

Julie, the author, has a website with more information about the book, and a link to The Good Scarf Project website, a charitable project that would be great for children. Go there and read all about it!

Sock Pic!

Per a comments request, the inside of my sock’s picot edge:


I did not cast off, but sewed the loops of the live stitches together with the back of a row of stitches on the inside of the sock

A Dilemma

I had a choice: clean up my home, or complete the finishing work on my Noni Baguette. What to do, what to do . . .

Yeah, I know I’m not kidding anyone.


And here it is, posing with its little brother:


And here it is open, to show off my mad sewing-in-the-lining skillz:


Lucy says:




  1. I must say that I find the lining to your latest Noni bag utterly charming. Enjoy it.

  2. Glad to see that in the housework v. sewing contest the bag won conclusively. It’s lovely and I hope you get a lot of pleasure out of using both it and its sibling.

  3. I love both of your Noni bags, but I especially love the pink one with the adorable lining. Good work, as usual, Wendy. I would be tempted to buy that book for myself. Sounds wonderful!!! What an inspiration to young knitters!

  4. Those bags look great! Enjoy using them.

  5. I love the lining fabric. I’m working on a baby quilt right now with some neat cat embroideries on it for a cat lover friend of mine. The bags turned out great!

  6. Your bags are EXCELLENT!! Love the linings!

  7. Hi Wendy- Geez, for someone who isn’t into sewing, you did a nice job. I’m beginning to see the point of knitted bags- I really didn’t before.

    I love kids books about knitting- I have one called Amo’s Sweater- so adorable.

  8. Your Noni bags look great!!!!! I am stuck on the directions on how to knit the ends of my bag. Where did you find your zipper? Good job!!!

  9. I need a lesson in bag finishing with Wendy. Perhaps in the next book? LOVE the bags!

  10. That bag sure has a cool lining!

  11. L-O-V-E that pink/green bag!!! The lining rocks!

  12. Sherilan says:

    I’ve been watching for Knitting Nell. I recently got “Russell the Sheep” from the library….it is a counting book for little ones, but I sure enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for the review.

  13. I’m sure Lucy’s feelings about cleaning are the same as my own (and Perry’s too) — as long as the litter box is fresh and the food/water bowls area clear of litter who the heck cares about the rest of the place?

    p.s. the bags are great! You’re making me think about trying it ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. “I did not cast off, but sewed the loops of the live stitches together with the back of a row of stitches on the inside of the sock”
    Sewed? could you explain a bit more, or point to someplace where that’s already been done? thanks

  15. You did a great job with the bags…I just wish I have the patience for the finishing part of it, like sewing the lining, attaching the handles and so on. I am not very fond of the finishing process in general (like putting together sweater sleeves etc.) so I really enjoy knitting this huge afghan…no need to sew!

  16. I just don’t think you can be described as cranky or crabby……you are too kind in sharing…..and the book looks like fun… for the bags: will this be a family of Noni bags……can’t wait to do one….great colors….and you make the finishing sound worth it in the end…..

  17. The bags are BOTH fabulous! You have good skills at sewing, too.
    The sweet little book will soon become part of my children’s book collection. So many have wonderful stories and beautiful illstrations. Thanks for the heads up!

  18. I think you are falling down on your interpreting what Lucy says skills. She clearly said, “send one of those bags to Ann”.


  19. Great bags! I will HAVE to get the Noni book now…I have to agree with Babs on your sharing nature…We always get to see your awesome side ๐Ÿ˜‰
    As always, thanks again for sharing. Housework? yick..

  20. I’m with Phyl, a tutorial on bag finishing would be great, you are obviously very good at it (despite not liking it.) Your bags are inspirational, so professional looking and I love the colors.

  21. Thank you so much, Wendy, for showing the pic of the inside of the sock, as well as for the description.

    Oh, and you’re pink and green Noni bag is Absofabudorable.

  22. kelly in new mexico says:

    LOVE the purses, LOVE the socks!!! I want to felt a bag too but am afraid I’ll mess it up.
    Did you learn from books how to felt or from the computer or a class??

  23. Great, Wendy! Love the bags, the book review (which I will check out) and Lucy, of course.

  24. tres chic!

  25. Lovely work Miss Wendy, but I refuse to fall under your spell! No felted bags for me! No no no!

    However, as a knitibrarian, I LOVE that you are featuring this book. I am already looking forward to ordering it for my library.

    I do have a question for you, if you can spare a moment from your cleaning frenzy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Awhile back, you shared the alpaca lace yarn that LB gifted you from Hollyspring Homespun (love this place!). I picked some up in the same colorway (Pat O’s) a short time afterwards & have been staring at it ever since. I was planning on making the Paisley Lace Shawl from Interweave Knits Spring 2005, but I’m torn on whether a variegated yarn would distract from the pattern.

    Do you have any suggestions for working with a yarn like this? I have never worked with lace, so the best I can dream up is garter stitch for texture that won’t be lost in the yarn.

    I appreciate any help you (or your readers!) can give me, so I can put this beauty to good use.

  26. A seamstres as well as a fantabulous knitter? I’m so impressed!

  27. Be still, heart!

  28. I don’t comment often, but had to today. I adore both of your new bags. And thank you so much for the book review. I have a 7 & 9 year old and know they would love this book. Thanks again!

  29. Thanks for featuring the book! I especially love that Julie, on her website, includes the indie bookstore group Book Sense as a purchase option. Just as we all support our local LYS, we need to support other local businesses, too! So I buy my knitting mags at the local newsstand (he’ll even order some in for me!) and my coffee from the local roaster, and my books at the local bookstores. Not that the online businesses don’t get some of my $$$ but even then, it’s often the “little guys” who get my vote. Just my 2 cents worth! But I do notice that a lot of times you’ll plug the smaller shops, too, and the indie designers!

  30. Those bags really do rock… But, the sewing thing…

    Hey, I’m with you on the cleaning part. Not going to happen.

  31. the nonibags are lovely!!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    The Noni bags are gorgeous. And I like the KA-dyed socks. They’re cheerful.

  33. The baguette is lovely–and the grosgrain ribbon attachments look wonderful. I’ve been thinking about the idea of using interfacing between a lining and a felted bag, given what you said about small sharp objects penetrating the fabric. Since I don’t have any hands-on experience with bags like yours, do you have any thoughts (pro or con) on how that might work out? A heavier weight (or something like buckram) might work for the bottom. I guess you’d have to preshrink the interfacing.

    I like the attachment of live stitches. In the book by Katharina Buss (The Big Book of Knitting), there are instructions on attaching live stitches when you fold down and attach hems, and when you attach shoulders. She doesn’t do this on a picot edge, because she shows you knitting it at the bottom (when you start a garment) rather than at the top, as you have done. I’ve always been too chicken to try this, imagining that the stitching might pull out and the knitting would ravel.

  34. I seem to see a distinct relationship between the Kool-Aid socks and the Noni baguette bag, anybody else? And they’re all lovely as usual.

  35. I love the bags! For someone who doesn’t like sewing, you’ve done a great job with the linings. Do you think you’ll carry them much?

  36. Ah,Wendyknits variety! I’m getting Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test vibes from the socks and that Breakfast at Tiffany’s feeling from the Noni Baguette!

  37. Those bags are adorable, and I love the lining of the open one. Nice work!

  38. Wow! Wendy If I could knit and sew as well. Thinking back on the shawls, sox, the bags and everything. Well all of the things I have seen that you have knit I think I would be afraid to use those beautiful items. I think I would put them in a museam and have the theme be about (what beauty a person can achieve just by perfecting an art as best as a person can.) Wow, Wow, Wow I am soooo impressed.

  39. I just love the fabric lining the pink bag! They both look great.

  40. Both of those bags are really cute. Enjoy them!

  41. Your Noni bags look great. Now I will have to forego cleaning tomorrow and finish the bag I have the lining, button, interfacing, etc.etc. for. ๐Ÿ™ Thanks alot!

    The picot finishing tip is great. Not only does it reduce the bulk but it’s more elastic!

    Thanks for it ALLLLL!

  42. Today’s Lucy picture made me giggle. That definately looks like a “sheesh” to me!

    I confess to not understanding the picot edge thing either. I’ve googled, but I don’t quite get how it works. Is there a good tutorial that I’m missing?

  43. Those two bags are great! I love that kitty lining. It’s adorable.

  44. I never thought I would like a felted bag, but your Noni bags have been slowly winning me over. I may have to eventually try on for myself.

    They look great! And housework can wait…

  45. LOVE the Noni bags! Gorgeous!
    Wanted to drop by and say thank you for posting the “sock blockers”! Got mine earlier this week and will be posting pictures of my (finally) finished Cedar Creek socks later today! I heart these things!

  46. i love love love the bag! it is so sweet, as is the younger sibling. i have to say i am smitten with the socks as well.

  47. The cats on the lining are just too perfect. You sly fox you.

  48. Both bags came out so beautiful! I hope that mine will come out as nice in terms of the felting and shaping. You are scaring me with the lining and the zipper, as I don’t know the first thing about machine sewing. I can hand-sew all right, and I’m hoping that’s all I’ll need to do.

    Did you or can you reveal your source for the specially-sized zipper?

    Thank you!!

  49. Those Noni bags are adorable! Love them!

  50. Sheesh! is right!! W-O-W. I’m speaking of the bags AND Lucy. Beautiful!


  51. I too chose knitting over housework last night. And unfortunatly the night before I chose cooking over knitting- and I ended up with burnt hamburger and a house that smelled like burnt hamburger. When in doubt choose knitting.

  52. Wendy – how exciting to see your book featured on Knitpicks e-mail ad.

    I loved the book and have two copies. One is a keepsake and one is a working copy.

  53. The Noni bags look wonderful! So utterly precious, makes me want to make one .. or three .. or nine …

  54. Mycroft (my Siamese) and I are sooo jealous over Lucy’s new yarn!

    Question about the yarn you dyed: what would have made it more appealing to you? Less white and more color? More pink and green variations?

    Wendy, you are an inspiration to us all.