My current work in progress:

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


We Have a Neckband

Yesterday evening I seamed the shoulders of the denim sweater, picked up stitches, and knit a neckband.


(The color is a bit washed out.)

I used denim yarn I had washed and dried, so it is pre-shrunk. I briefly considered doing a ribbing or seed stitch neckband, but decided, rather, to go with one of my favorites for casual sweaters — I picked up the stitches, then knit 1 round, purled 1 round, knit 1 round, purled 1 round, then cast off knitwise. I am very pleased with the results, and it even fits easily over my head. Heh.

That reminds me of a sweater I knit in my early days of knitting. After knitting the neckband, I discovered it was too tight and I could barely squeeze my head through it to put it on. Did I rip it out and re-knit it? Nope. Every time I wore it, I had to take my earrings out because the neckband was so tight it would have ripped the earrings out of my ears as I attempted to jam my head through it.

So I am always careful to make a not-too-tight neckband these days.

I’ve mentioned that I used Sweater Wizard to figure out the calculations for this sweater. A couple of days ago, someone left a comment asking about Sweater Wizard and can you actually get a usable pattern from it. (Of course I can’t find the comment now.) But the answer is yes, you can. I find that it really helps to have a very good idea of what you want before you start tinkering with the design in Sweater Wizard. I very rarely use it to just blindly design a sweater. I do find it extremely useful to calculate a sweater and get some idea of the yardage I’m going to need for what I have in mind. It was very useful in the calculations for the denim sweater, because the gauge I plugged into Sweater Wizard is the washed and dried gauge, not the knitted gauge, and the program will tell you the number of rows you need, as well as inches. In this case, I’m knitting according to number of rows and ignoring the inches.

Lorraine asked the other day:
Here’s a question for you- how do you decide what projects you want to do- where do you find inspiration? Is it driven by what’s in your stash, or more seeing a new yarn or pattern?

Yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ All of the above.

Sometimes I have a particular yarn and get an idea of what that yarn should be. (The Kimono Jacket fits this category.) Sometimes I have an idea for a garment I want and search for the appropriate yarn. (Keelan is a good example of this.) Sometimes things happen entirely by accident!

New Sock on the Needles!

This is my new sock in progress:


The yarn is All Things Heather merino tencel blend in the Rosewood colorway. This is one of the wonderful new yarns that the lovely Sheri at The Loopy Ewe has gotten in recently. Go see! She has a bunch of wonderful new sock yarns from indy dyers! I may have . . . uh . . . placed more than one order with Sheri in the past week. Just sayin’. Did I mention I love Sheri? Talk about fantastic customer service! No affiliation, in case you were wondering. I know I keep yammering on about how great The Loopy Ewe is. But with good reason. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhow, Sheri got in some merino/tencel blend All Things Heather yarn, so I ordered some because I was intrigued. It’s fingering weight — 8 stitches to the inch, and lovely to knit. Very soft and silky. And I love this colorway.

Speaking of Socks

I had Friday off from work and my mom came over for a toe-up sock lesson. Did my mom knit a toe-up sock toe?


Why, yes, she did. And against all odds. Picture, if you will, attempting to master a new knitting technique on size 1 needles with fingering weight yarn while a very furry cat is standing in your lap, head butting your hands, purring and meowing: “Pet me, Grandma! Pet me! Pet me with both hands!”

Just sayin’.

Lucy would like to thank you for the positive response to her calendar. She worked very hard on it, and she hopes lots of people will buy them so we’ll have a pile of money to donate to animal rescue!


Speaking of charity, Cathy asked:
I love the calendar! Speaking of charities, are you thinking of collecting donations for more Heifer International “knitting baskets” this year?

As it happens, yes I am. I’ve got some fun ideas for a Heifer International project and it’s almost ready to go. I’ll be announcing the whole thing in a couple weeks time. Like the first Monday in November, maybe. So stay tuned!!


  1. That rosewood colorway is really nice. Gotta try that toe-up method one of these days.

  2. Applause for your Mum’s toe-up! Looking forward to the progress!

  3. The yarn arrived today, and it’s even better than in the photo. THANKS! Guess I’ll have to make the Wendy toe up socks with this one ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. mmmmmm …. just love me them toe-up sox! and so do Kiki and Coco… who send their nose kisses to ms lucy –


  5. I’ve attempted several times your toe up pattern. I can’t seem to master picking up a purl and a wrap let alone two wraps. The knit side is perfect but the purl side is a mess. I’ve read your tutorial on Knitty but can’t seem to figure it out.

    Any hints you might offer the befuddled?

  6. I too…uh…placed more than one order at The Loopy Ewe last week. Three orders to be exact. I got the All Things Heather merino/tencel yarn in Midnight Frost and Clover. The subtle sheen of the tencel is lovely, isn’t it? That Rosewood is de-lish. May need some of that. Congrats to your mom for learning the toe-up sock! I’m sure her teacher had something to do with her success!

  7. 3 cheers for Mom……multi-tasking goes on and on!… the link……temptation beckons…..and also finished a collar….turtle neck on Sunday!

  8. Wendy I didn’t think about this from the post the other day when your sweater looked like a tank design after you washed and dried it (and were cheated on by your dryer). But my brain has caught up to your process, do you recommend washing and drying the pattern of most of your garments before doing the neckline and sleeves or is it more of what the properties are for the individual yarn your using?

    Good for your Mom.

  9. Like daughter, like mom! Does she knit as fast as you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was me asking about the Sweater Wizard & thank you! This will definitely be my Christmas prez this year. Also thanks for the “connect” to Loopy Ewe, she’s got a good thing going there.

  10. I think when you mention something from Loopy Ewe- it must cause a mad rush of shopping. By the time I get there it is sold out like DPN’ on back order.(just saying(:)I do not see the Rosewood Colorway either.

  11. I think when you mention something from Loopy Ewe- it must cause a mad rush of shopping. By the time I get there it is sold out like DPN’ on back order.(just saying(:)I do not see the Rosewood Colorway either.

  12. What a pretty sweater. I haven’t made one yet, but my biggest worry has been making the neck hole too tight. Now I’ll know to be even more careful when I attempt it.
    I love the colorway of the sock yarn. I’ve been checking out The Loopy Ewe, and as soon as I have some extra money, I’m ordering…LOTS…LOL
    Congrats to your mom for tackling toe up; I’m just learning to do traditional toe down, but I’m anxious to try toe up after I finish the first pair I’ve “sort of” designed.

  13. Must be nice having your mom over for a knit and a cat head butting session. The pink colorway for the new socks is very pretty. I’m asking Santa for the Sweater Wizard for you know what.


  14. Lucy is a calendar girl for sure! And that new tencel blend yarn looks tre luxe. Can you help me find something? I saw this great little rope making do-dad at MS&W this year and now I can’t remember what it’s called. I thought I could use it to make a dog (or cat) leash.

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  16. Glad to see the comments are working once again!

  17. That tencel yarn is gorgeous! Such a beautiful color. I bet it would work into a wonderful lace shawl…

  18. YAY! Teddy!!

    I have missed him; does he only model socks?

    (from yesterday’s post–why does Lucy’s daddy have his own washer and dryer? Is he not the fabulous Wendy’s husband?)

  19. Just wanted to second the recommendation of The Loopy Ewe. She’s fantastic!

  20. That rosewood colorway is lovely! Have you made anything with merino/tencel yarn before? I’m wondering if it pills more than pure merino would. I made a vest with a cotton/tencel blend, and while it’s wonderfully soft and lighter than all cotton would be, it pills a lot at the sides, where the friction is. Just wondering….

  21. It’s great that you were able to teach your mother a new technique. My mother won’t go near a pair of knitting needles or anything that I can teach her. For good reason though, as we tend to snarl at each other within ten minutes of trying to offer each other something like patient pearls of wisdom.

  22. Just had to say I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has a fuzzy child whose mother is “grandma” to said fuzzy child. ๐Ÿ™‚