My current work in progress:

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


Remember That Weird Opal Yarn?

Remember my hijinks with the Opal yarn that looked nothing like the sample photo supplied by Opal? I was discussing it in my September 6 blog entry. I offered the yarn to the first person was asked for it, so I sent it off to a good home. End of story?

Well, the retailer I bought the yarn from emailed me and offered to take it back after reading about it on my blog. Although I assured her that was not necessary, she contacted the U.S. Opal distributor who checked the photos on my blog and agreed the yarn was mis-labelled. Opal credited the retailer for the yarn, and the retailer in turn gave me a credit for the full price I paid for the yarn . . . even though I didn’t return it.

Really, I think this goes in the “above and beyond” category of excellent customer service. So Sheri, you and The Loopy Ewe can consider me a customer for life. Just sayin’.


Kimono Jacket

Wow! Thank you so much to those of you who have purchased the Kimono Jacket! Looks like I’ll be able to make a nice charitable donation from the proceeds! And thank you to Christina and katomliz who asked questions about the fit and difficulty rating — I’ve added that information to the information page for the pattern.

It’s Still All About Lace

Brigitte asked me what kind of needles I use to knit lace.


I actually tried several needles when starting Wing-o’-the-Moth. I didn’t bother trying my Addi Turbos because I was pretty sure they’d be too blunt at the tip for easy lace knitting. I tried both bamboo and ebony, but they were both too “grabby” on the mohair, so I switched to an Inox grey, which was also too grabby. I ended up using an Inox Espress — which is a shiny metal needle. The mohair moves smoothly across the surface, and the tips are pointy enough.

I finished the Twin Leaf pattern and did the set-up rows for the edging pattern last night. I’ve started the edging pattern. So I am now hoping I’ll have a photo of the shawl blocking in Sunday’s post.


Lucy’s looking forward to lying on it while it is blocking.



  1. Nice flock!

  2. Another Olympic event – kitty lace blocking! Dang but that Lucy is on the cutting edge of every trend ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m off to buy my kimono jacket! Thanks so much for putting it up for us, Wendy.

  3. I agree about the nice flock. Where did you get them. My birthday is coming up in November and I am trying to get a list together for hubby. Those would make a nice addition.

    I read about INOX on another blog and bought my first pair today to finish my lace scarf. They do seem more pointy than any others I have tried. It only took two rows flying off the ends to know that the Addi’s were not going to work.

  4. Wow, seeing your shawl in a heap like that made me realize how big it’s going to be! I’ll be interested to see what the final post-blocking dimensions are.

  5. Thanks for the info on the needles, what is the joint on those Inox Express needles like and where do you purchase yours from? I just happen to have some Alchemy Haiku somewhere in my stash and you have inspired me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. That sounds like a YS I can support! I’ll be checking out their site for my next purchase.

  7. I am bookmarking The Loopy Ewe. I took my sock in that was knitted with Opal Rodeo to show them where the dye ran out making the last inch of the sock simply off-white but I got no response. It is encouraging to hear of such good customer service.

  8. 1. I love the Loopy Ewe!
    2. I’ve downloaded the Kimono Jacket pattern. From looking at the schematic, it doesn’t look like it would be too hard to just increase the width (since I’d like a larger measurement across than 50″.) Am I right?
    3. I’m thinking of knitting it in SWTC Bamboo. I can’t get it tight enough for a tank but I think a loose jacket like this would be great. Any thoughts?

  9. Don’t you love service stories like that? I had a similar one with I had bought ONE skein of koigu, lost the label, THEN decided that I needed another one. That poor woman hunted all over and called me TWICE (I missed her the first time). Of course I bought something else too! So I recommend them heartily.

    Also, don’t know if this has been mentioned, but I really like the new Knitpicks needles for lace knitting. The points are very sharp and I’ve been happy with the cord, too. Not too “loopy” you know?

    Enjoy your weekend, I’m looking forward to the moth! (Also, I ran out. With just one edge row and a bindoff. DAMN!)

  10. Sheri and the Loopy Ewe ROCK!! In fact I was gonna do a “this is my new favorite vendor” post soon too! GMTA ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. LOLOL! I love that collection of little lambs!

  12. Yay for outstanding customer service.

  13. Thanks for the link to a great yarn shop. It helps to hear a good recomendation.

  14. Talk about eye candy! And and new place to shop.

  15. That is going above and beyond by that distributor.

    Lucy sez: Yes twin leaf will be wonderful to lay on. If I lay like this with my tail fully extended to the side I can cover more area with my cat fur adding to the beauty of it all. Tis a tough job but some cat has to do it.

  16. I hate to say it, but it would be hard to forget that weird opal yarn. The story of what the retailer did, the lengths to which they and the maker went to handle the situation is wonderful and heartening. Good of you to share it as well, so others know.

    Nice ewes, by the way. Pretty moth wing thing.


  17. Yes-Loopy Ewe will get business from me!Their sock yarns look especially beautiful. I constantly discover so much from you (:Thanks

  18. That was very nice of Opal and the yarn store. Now everyone is happy! What great customer service!

  19. Wheee!
    Finally saw Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Wererabbit last night. What fun. The bunnies were so cute.
    On a knitting note: have you ever not be able to get gauge? I want to make that girly pink sweater from S&B Nation. The bottom is in Rowan All Season Cotton. It was months ago now, but I went down 3 needle sizes and still didn’t get gauge, I’m gearing up for another attempt. But what would you do in a situation like that? If I just roll with the recommended needle, it won’t fit. sigh.

  20. Have you seen this yet?

    there is one for calicos too which is how I ran across it. Wish there was one for torties…

  21. An excellent recommendation for The Loopy Ewe. Sounds like a person who values quality products and service.

    Cute sheep collection.

    So Lucy is adding the lace blocking event to her Olympic dance card is she? That makes her a triathelete.

  22. Wendy – I love the kimono jacket and have put it in the queue. Seeing that a small one takes 900 yards of worsted weight yarn raises a question, do you find the yardage requirements included with most patterns to be accurate? I always seem to have a lot left over, and some knitting magazines’ patterns consistently call for what seem to be outrageous amounts of yarn, considering the item. Any thoughts?

    I got nostalgic thinking of you at the Martha Washington Public Library.

  23. I’m always inspired by the A.D.D.-reminiscent variety of genres you knit through — lace, beads, clunky (in the best sort of way!) felting, reverse stockinette, aran, fair isle, endless reverse stockinette plus the quest for the perfect, single button … but I’m curious about your perspective on needles in general. Me, I’m a natural-fiber snob who’s tentatively exploring a few mindful blends (Rowan Calmer, etc.), and I hear about these zooming Addis Turbos and stuff like that, but I’m pretty attached to the warmth of bamboo and the like. I’ve got a couple sets of Addis Naturas, and I like them just fine because the join is indeed smoother, but what is it about metal that should make me consider it? I don’t feel any need for speed; I’m a process knitter, finding time in the cracks between things. But I sometimes get wallered in said process. So maybe I do need to explore speed. Hep!

  24. ooo, Ooooo, OOOOOOO! I love the sheepy figurines! But the picture doesn’t let you click to see a larger image…..anything you might, perhaps, be able to DO about that….? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    One of your many (I’m sure!) loyal, shepherdess fans ~


  25. Love your sheep collection!

    Have you tried the Knit Picks needles? They are slick and have nice pointy needles for lace…. everyone I’ve heard of trying them is raving about them!

  26. I realize your feelings about,
    and I agree with your reasoning. However, the
    “Clothes on My Cat” section is adorable, and I’m sure none of the animals in it animals were harmed, though they may have been a bit grumpy.

  27. Cool beans! Little Bo Peep’s got nothin’ on you.

  28. Have you tried the KnitPicks needles? The points are pointy, and the surface is slickery. I have not had a chance to try out the size 5 I bought which has the detachable cable, however. My experience is based on doing a lace sock on #1 and #2.

  29. wendy, this is totally off-topic, but i i couldn’t get your other mail system to work — no idea of isp etc.

    i read your book (loved it!) and had a question about the charity knitting projects that i hope you or another experienced knitter can answer:

    i’m making/have made about 3 dozen winter hats and scarves for a shelter for domestic violence victims, some from stash and some from bargain finds. i am about to donate them, and though it was a labor of love and stash reduction, there’s a tax issue. (don’t you just hate when that happens!)

    i have to itemize taxes because i have a minority share in a family business. its/my accountant always wants itemized lists of in-kind donations, with valuations, whether it’s used clothes and toys, canned goods or whatever. how should i value these items for tax purposes?

    i know that shorter, narrower scarves of fancy yarns bring about $40 at local art/craft fairs, but while these are 6-foot long, 8-inch-wide, serious scarves for cold winter days, the yarn in each probably averages only $5 at retail. everything’s synthetic for easy care/hypoallergenic qualities, but each takes about 5 hours to make — two evenings of tv, since i don’t have a subway commute to devote to it (lol).

    so how much should i value these at? your advice — and other knitters’ — would be most welcome. i want to wrap this project up pronto, because i’ve got at least three sweaters to make between now and christmas.

    thanks! and please keep inspiring us.


  30. nice flock of sheep you have there…. Great service from Opal!

  31. Wow, that’s amazing customer service!

    Looking forward to seeing pics of Lucy body blocking the lace. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Okay, not fair to post the photos of your sheep and hold back details! Share Share that’s Fair!