My current work in progress:

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


Serenity Now

Have you ever noticed that when something goes wrong, it usually goes wrong as dramatically as possible?

Here’s an example: when one’s washing machine dies, it will do so before the spin cycle so that not only does one have a tub of completely soaked laundry out of which one has to attempt to wring the water, but as a bonus, one also has to manually bail the water out of the dead washer.

Why do I use this example? Oh, no reason . . .

Further escalating the situation would be the fact that the old dryer is hard-wired into the wall and one has to get an electrician to come out and disconnect it and install a plug before one’s sparkling new “laundry center” can be delivered, And then one has to fight with the condo office about the delivery date of said sparkling new laundry center. Apparently one needs an act of Congress to be allowed to sully the sacred loading dock and actually having something delivered. Cripes.

But like I said, this is all just a hypothetical situation.

Lucy has reason to bitch and moan, because she was subjected to a trip to the vet today (just a check-up). She spent a good part of the rest of the day doing this:


And despite hypothetical homeowner hijinks which have diverted my attention away from knitting, I did manage to finish the back of Keelan.


Alert the media.


  1. I hate washing machines that fail to perform. That’s why I just got a new LG center – and the dryer comes with one of those new drying racks where I can lay my handspun merino tencel to dry on super low heat – fast! What did you get?

  2. Oh Wendy, I can so relate to your post today. I had a weekend with all kinds of strange things happening too.

    Hope Lucy is fine and dandy. My kitties went to the vet on Saturday and now Bert has the sniffles.

  3. My sympathies to Lucy on the vet visit, and also to Lucy’s mommy on the hypothetical revolt of the laundering devices. We spent the morning at the vet also and that’s where we found out that it’s difficult to knit with an 86 lb beast yanking at the leash you have wrapped around your wrist . . . whoulda thunk?

  4. Keelan is looking lovely.

    Lucy is sleeping the sleep of the put-upon, and well deserved I see.

    Laundry, spin, bail, yuck – been there, done that. Fortunately, I did not have Acts of the Condominium against me. I hope you enjoy your (hypothetical) new laundry center, once you get (got) past the condo sentry!

  5. Wendy I feel your pain. I’ve been there myself bailing a washer full of water… not fun. Enjoy your new laundry appliances. Keelan is coming along nicely.

  6. GAH! That washer thing happened to me over the weekend! For whatever reason, I have to let it sit through the original cycle, and the timer will continue on through the next cycle, and THAT spin cycle will work. Gah.

  7. Hypothetical? I hope it is!

  8. That’s annoying. I’ll play Pollyanna for you. Just think how much worse it would be if you didn’t have a washer at all. Or couldn’t afford to buy a new one when the old one broke.

    Oh that’s wrong. Pollyanna would say she’s glad the washer broke. Well, I’m not.

    Still, it could be worse.

  9. Hmmmm. I find this suspicious. This very morning I had a load of soaking wet clothes that refused to spin. I certainly hope your faulty washer is not influencing mine across the universe ….

  10. I think I know the culprit of the washer woes. It was me. A few weeks ago, we had the same difficulties. Thankfully, it was a simple switch, but gosh I was afraid it was due to felting. Imagine my relief.

  11. Danielle M says:

    Keelan is looking wonderful and I just love the color that you’ve chosen!

  12. Aw, poor Lucy. Looks like she’s resting from the trauma of it all. (I think she really IS a drama queen under it all…ask me how I know.)

  13. And, hypothectically speaking, when one has said washing machine delivered, said machine comes with the wrong drain hose & the delivery person has to call the store to have correct drain hose delivered while said delivery person sits & drinks your coffee while waiting. Just saying….

  14. Thank goodness Mr. Washy decided to lie down at a fairly good time i.e., not in the bitter cold, snowy, icy, otherwise totally inclement weather!
    Trust you’ll show us the new beauties!

  15. Just think how fun it’ll be to break in your virgin washer by felting a bag!

    Keelan’s looking very good.

  16. Yuck, what a major pain in the ass. I’m sending good machine karma your way, so something ELSE doesn’t happen! (such as: discovering that the drain pipe, which is lodged under the concrete foundation and can never be reached, is leaking. A lot.)

    Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Apparently, it’s the week for household trauma. Jeff returned from Japan on Saturday just in time to confront a toilet crisis. Of course, he’ll handle it once he recovers from crippling jet lag, but I can always call the plumber. It’s only DefCon 3 – problem waiting.

  18. Hypothetically, that would all really suck. My hypothetical condolences for your hypothetically sticky laundry situation. (By the way, since you are in the CIA, can’t you get an act of Congress in the blink of an eye? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

  19. Poor kitty!
    And poor Wendy!

    Congrats on the new appliances though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I’m glad you and Lucy had a relaxing day.
    You might want to strew some garlic over the doorway before the new gadgets arrive.

  21. Hypothetically asking – it wasn’t freezing cold, full of sawdust from home improvements (sorry forgot condo) grease from car repairs (sorry forgot condo parking lot- you probably can’t work on your car in your parking lot),water was it?

    Hypothetically extending sympathies but when the new laundry center arrives – speak kindly to it.

    Keelan is gorgeous as is Lucy after her stressful day.

  22. Our washer is sitting in a pool of oil at this very minute, but it still works — for now. It’s actually on the rinse cycle at this very minute. Maybe this weekend we should go washer shopping. Any ideas of what’s a good brand?

  23. Ours did that the other day. There was a bra underwire stuck in it. Hopefully the landlord will pay, but if not then I won’t because it certainly wasn’t mine!

  24. sshhhhhhh….not so loud. I don’t want my 27 year old washing machine and 17 year old dryer to hear of other’s (hypothetical or actual) woes…
    (poor Lucy)

  25. I’m sorry to hear of your washer woes. I’m really glad that Lucy’s checkup went well. She’s my favorite “celebrity” cat. The Keelan looks fabulous!

  26. I’ve always suspected that all plumbing appliances are interconnected; once one goes, they all go . . . bing . . . bing . . . bing down the line. It’s The Boomerang Effect of Plumbing. (It seems to have had that effect with this group.) Please let us see your new ones!

  27. I’m pretty sure that it is written in an appliance rule book somewhere: Washers break down only when full of water and wet laundry…the fuller, the better!

  28. I can can almost see a “Hmph” thought bubble over her head.

    Oh, and I think there are bonus points awarded if the clothes are also very soapy, since then you have to rinse them before you can even wring them.

  29. Kathy in San Jose says:

    And when you’ve finally bailed all the water out and wrung out the soaking wet clothes and the repair guy comes and opens the washer up and says “Uh-oh”, you know you’re in trouble! Glad to know you’re getting some nice new stuff though.

  30. Ann Carpenter says:

    Washers, ah yes washers. Our first was a front loader inherited from Himself’s Mom. Her maid had overloaded it so many times it finally broke apart its springs. However, Himself is a genius fixer-upper so he did, fix it up and it lasted us another four or five years. It’s one bad problem was the front O-ring which failed every so often. I would walk into the kitchen to find torrents of water pouring all over the floor. Oh well, at least the floor got mopped! Hope all gets fixed for you. And tell Lucy my fur children sympathize with her for the trip to the evil scientist ahm,ahm, the vet.
    Ann Carpenter in Dallas, Texas

  31. Well, it really could have been worse. It could have been diapers. No need to ask how I know. I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile, and it’s always a pleasure. Your lacework is amazing, and Keelan looks good, too.

  32. Wow…. bailing water. Not good. You have my respect and sympathy.

  33. elizabeth says:

    I just went through a continuing washer/dryer crisis. Water wasn’t draining so I had to reset & drain each load. Then it progressed to water leaking out of the back to water pouring out of the back. The dryer was always a PITA-would sense when the clothes were dry but of course they were still soaking wet. The washer was only 7 yo & the dryer was even younger. I finally caved-turned in the 2 Kenmores and got Whirlpool Duets. The store ended up selling more of the washer model than the rep had so we got the next model up for the same price. They replaced the outlet and all the hoses at no extra charge-love the front loader & the dryer has a see through front too. The added bonus is that they have fascinated my 2 ragdolls-Mocha-in particular-loves to watch her new “TVs”! There is an added feature for you! Good luck!

  34. Ew…bummer about the appliances! And the ringing out of wet clothes is equally nasty! ๐Ÿ™

    Chin up Lucy! We are 0-2 in bringing Atticus to the vet – attempt #3 is this Saturday.

    I love Keelan! Maybe you’ll make the pattern available?

  35. When ot rains, it pours. Or as I always say, I it ain’t one thing, it’s two things.

  36. My car did that to me this morning. I feel your pain.

  37. Adding my sympathies to the washer woes! It’s never fun is it.

    When my washer died it decided to strew its wash water over the ultility room, the kitchen, the hardwood floor in the dining room, and the wood parquet in the living room. We were drying out for several weeks.

    Keelan is looking fabulous.

  38. Keelan sure looks purty! And Lucy does look like she’s had a rough day — “Calgon take me away!”

    And are you channeling my life? Because just over a week ago, my washing machine leaked all over the floor during the spin cycle. An inch of water in my closet and bedroom. And nothing to sop it up with because I was washing, you guessed it, ALL of my towels. It, and my iffy dryer, are no more — they’ve since been replaced by a set of Whirlpool Duets. Technology so snazzy it comes with a DVD instruction manual!

  39. What did you get? My question is can you felt easily with front loaders? I actually have nightmares where my husband has replaced the washer with a sparkly new front loader and I end up screaming ‘BUT I CAN’T FELT WITH THAT!’ I wake up in a cold sweat. Strange isn’t it?

  40. Media has been dispatched to cover the progress of Keelan and the installation of a brand spanking new laundry center in the home of beloved knitter and blogger Wendy and her lovely cat Lucy. Film at eleven.

    I loved that “Serenity Now” episode on Sienfeld. My daughter, who used to be very high strung, used “Serenity Now” for a while to jokingly get through the stresses of learning to drive in Los Angeles.

    One time a driver in front of us made a pretty knarly, double digit IQ move, and she started to curse the offender but then suddenly shouted Serenity Now, sort of lumping it in with the cursing. It was very funny … you had to be there, but it was very funny.


  41. A question unrelated to today’s post – I am knitting socks for my son using your toe up method as described in Knitty. I’m using the short row toe. When I “unzipped” the provisional cast on, I seemed to find one stitch less than I should – there should have been 28 but I only had 27 and had to pick up an extra one (which was a good thing really because it closed up a gap). Is this because of the “half stitch at each end” thing that I’ve read about when knitting downwards from an existing piece of knitting? Just curious.

  42. Keelan is certainly looking lovely.

    I’m not going to say a word about your hypotheticaly laundry center crisis. I’m afraid my own aging appliances might catch something.

  43. Wendy, I’m late the the ‘marker’ thread, but my fav markers are the colorful bitsy rubber bands that come in packets of 100+ for about a dollar – that are sold at hair supply stores like Sallys -to bind human hair braids. They come in a multitude of collors, are about 7/16 in diameter, and just about perfect for knitting applications. On circular knitting, like a smoke ring, one can use one of a different color to mark the beginning of a round.

  44. Beware the appliance conspiracy.. first the washer, then the dishwasher, then the fridge. I think they all get jealous of each other and want new parts and attention. Ask me how I know this… ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Keelan is turning out very pretty indeed!

  46. hee hee, I just wrote a blog post that has the title “Serenity Now.” But not because of the a crazy washer/dryer incident (though I did recently go through one of my own).

    hope you’re laundry center is installed and doing a fantastic job cleaning your clothes.

  47. I alerted the media, they are going to announce it on the 5:00 news ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh, and it looks very nice.

    Poor lucy, I think you need an extra kitty treat for being tortured so.

  48. Hypothetically speaking, you could threaten to bring things in through the front door and tie up the public elevator all day long with all the ups and downs and holding of the door to get things on and off rather than sully the aforementioned cargo dock. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you ever had cause to need it.

    Also, a fish tank syphon works really well for emptying conked out washing machines. You know, if you ever need to know something like that. Not that I know that for sure, you know, but I’ve heard the whispers here and there.

  49. ooohโ€”i love keelan! very, very nice!