My current work in progress:

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


Tales From the Stash, Part Deux

Here is the shortlist of people who have been in my stash room:

Rosanna (I think? I can’t remember. Rosanna, did you take the stash room tour?)
A Washington Post photographer (What was I thinking? Fortunately the Post did not print the stash pix!)

I think that’s it.

Speaking of Gifts

Lynne E. asked:
Do you give away most of the items that you knit? (Knitted stash = stuff to store.)

I don’t give away most of the stuff that I knit, but I do give away some of it. For Christmas 2006, every member of my family received socks. Two members of my family received scarves. And two members of my family received Noni bags. A friend received the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl.

And I give stuff away spontaneously throughout the year. I’ll often knit something just because I wanna, although I know it’s something I will never wear. Those knits are completed and set aside to lie in wait for the appropriate recipient to wander on to the scene. (This is why I often don’t post a modeled shot of a completed knit.)

I used to give family members a sweater every year, but I’ve sort of stopped doing that — I don’t want to foist too many handknits on these poor people.

Speaking of Gifts, Part Deux

My family birthday dinner was last night, and a good time was had by all, and by me in particular, because I got lots of great gifts. My brother, of course, had to make a lot of lame “over-the-hill” jokes (and I would like to point out here that he has no room to talk because he is two years my senior), but I forgave him instantly upon receipt of a pair of gold and diamond earrings from him and my sister-in-law.


They gave Lucy a fancy necklace, so she wouldn’t feel left out.


“Curtsy when you enter my presence!”


Lucy also particularly likes a soft blue throw that my parents gave me.


Here is my mom with her parrot kitty, Koko.


A Question

Siouxz asked:
I did have a question– oh yes, i was going through my collection of patterns for yoke style sweaters (DALE of NORWAY) and they were bottom up not top down, are they usually written this way?

I’ve seen them both ways. The first sweater with a fair isle yoke that I knit was done bottom up — you knit the front and back and sleeves, then stuck them all on the needle and started knitting around. I remember this sweater vividly. It was a Jaeger pattern and I knitted it from sportweight alpaca in the early or mid-1980s. I remember I finished it at approximately 2:00am and was totally jazzed. But I was home alone and had no one to show it to.

Speaking of Questions

Mary asked:
do you make other sock patterns besides your toe-up? when you make other sock patterns, do you do toe-up, or follow the pattern as written? in other words, working a pattern written top-down would have to be knit in reverse going bottom-up.

I almost always knit my socks toe-up, and use my own pattern. In fact, the only time in recent histroy that I did not do a generic toe-up sock was for the Whiskers and Paw Prints Socks, which I knitted according to the pattern, top down.

A Quiz

Q. What is more tedious than black stockinette on a 2.5mm needle?

A. 1×1 black rib on a 2.0mm needle.


That’s the bottom of the front of the Bohus (picture washed out by the flash). As soon as I finish that, I can start the last sleeve.


  1. ummm is it me, my monitor or true— your Mum’s cat is wearing EARRINGS??????? Between Lucys necklace and koko’s earrings and handknit socks for Christmas gifts- I think I need to be adopted.

  2. I really like the idea of knitting items that will be gifted to someone, even if you don’t know to whom while you are knitting it. It’s a great way to stock up on Christmas gifts.

  3. Wasn’t Lucy a lucky kitty? She looks so sheek and your Mom’s cat is just the bomb!! (Sorry to use such an outdated phrase but I still love it.) What kind of cake did you have?

  4. Lucy looks quite regal with her fine pearl necklace.

  5. “…foist too many handknits on these poor people” – that’s a good one.

  6. Lucy looks regal in her pearls!! So great.

  7. I learned that black-stockinette lesson the hard way a few years ago, working on a Dale of Norway sweater. It was so bad I could only work on it in daylight, which led to my very first Ott Lite.

    On the other hand, I am going to be sooooo jealous that you finished your Bohus way ahead of my two-month timeframe, that I may have to make some snarky remark about you deserving black stockinette.

    …nah, no one deserves that.

    But I’m still jealous.

  8. Lucy knows the throw was meant for her, your family was just trying to make your stack look bigger. : )

  9. Your earrings are beautiful and so is Lucy’s necklace. That’s a lovely photo of your mom with her kitty. I’m fairly certain Koko is wearing earrings too?

  10. Oh, that picture of Lucy is just too funny! Congrats on the earrings, wow…gotta have a chat with my family about gift giving in the future, heh heh.

    Any yarn prezzies?!

  11. Gad – the Queen of England and her little dogs had better move aside – Lucy is THE ultimate picture of royalty, Queen Victoria reincarnated.

  12. Hey, Wendy, any progress on your log cabin blanket? Just wondering…

  13. Lucy looks like such a little furry princess in that picture. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sure she demanded that you treat her like one, too! *laughs*

  14. Tedious? I got some dark brown seed stitch over here that might give you a run for your money! *wink* LOL

  15. Your earrings are gorgeous! And, what can I say about Lucy … she is stunning in necklace. My cat would bite off my arm if I tried to put that around her neck. Lucy is MUCH more of a lady.

  16. hmmm – visitors to the stash room – was Ms Lucy left out on porpoise? yuk yuk and HNY
    ps earring – gorgeous –

    bohus – outstanding!!

  17. Since I’m a constantly knitting Norwegian, used to work in the design department of a Norwegian yarn factory, and have tons of Norwegian patterns, I’ll dare to add an answer to Siouxz: You hardly ever see Norwegian designs knitted top down, neither set-in sleeve nor yoke style. I don’t know of any Dale yoke style sweaters knitted top down. In my 8 years at the design office we had one top down sweater, and it was not yoke style. I’m not saying bottom up is better, it’s just what we’re used to ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Glad to hear you had a good birthday! I think that brothers feel it is their “duty” to give sisers a hard time about their age!! Mine sure does to me!!

  19. What gorgeous earrings! Lucy’s kitty necklace is pretty, too. I quite enjoyed my visit to your stash room. I learned the value of buying enough yarn for designing sweaters and shawls. It is organized (especially compared to my stash) with lots of beautiful and inspiring yarns. As reluctant as I am to part with yarn, I realized that if I do not love something in my stash, I should find it a new home.

  20. Gorgeous earrings!

    I adore some of those Knit From Your Stash! 2007 buttons. Very nice orange yarn pictured.

    Your stash room is amazing, incredible and beyond unbelievable. I’ve seen stores not as well-stocked.

  21. thanks for the info on socks.

    i will be 50 this coming november, and i KNOW no one in my family will give me diamonds! (no one else will, either, unless i get VERY lucky)

    i made your fingerless mitts pattern with black yarn — K2P2 all the way. for a man. i plan to make something similar — one mitt — for my dad; on 1/13 he will have had a stroke 13 years ago and is 24/7 disabled. he cannot use his left hand and it is now in a “claw”. so when we get him out we always have to find something to stretch over the big fist.

    i have made 3 other pairs of mitts from different patterns in the last week, too. and am on another. i am in a simple knitting mode right now. small projects. this particular current pair are from alpaca yarn. another pattern is made using Heavenly from Artful, and the pattern is on the yarn label. a good way to use a fun yarn by buying one skein. (of course i bought more — like 5 or 6 more skeins to make more mitts and a scarf; the yarn has a bit of a glitz in it)

  22. Your birthday earrings are just gorgeous, Lucy looks great in her divine pearl necklace, but no mention of her being in your stash room, what’s up with that? Well, OK, a kitty in a room full of yarn could, well, become quite a disastrous situation. Happy knitting!

  23. Lucy wears her pearls with grace. And IS your mom’s cat wearing earrings?

  24. You and Lucy made out very well for your birthday! You’ll have to turn the big one, more often;)

  25. anne marie in philly says:

    pretty and lucky lucy – it’s your birthday and she gets the prezzies.

    nice earrings for you, though.

    did you join AARP yet?

  26. Lucy looks quite regal! What a great picture.

  27. congratz on the haul!!! and yeah i first thought earrings on the cat then when i looked again thought ridges to the earcanal but the effect does look like butterfly earclips on KoKo.
    Thank you for answering my question. i’ll lable the pieces so i remember what they are and not think they are a pillow top for the cats ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. I’ve finished your socks, come and get them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Hi, Wendy! Oh yes indeedy, I got to enter the inner sanctum, “The Stash Room.” Definitely impressive. I am humbled. =)

    You gifted me a pair of Regia skeins of sock yarn from The Stash Room. They are the only “unopened” yarns I brought to HK with me. And they happily reside on the 47th floor of a room with an ocean view. (just so you know that I’m treating them with the respect they deserve)

    Thanks again for the very happy afternoon!

    And those birthday earrings are GAWGEOUS!

  30. I don’t think you’ll get to use that throw, Wendy! It’s been confiscated…(besides, it matches her eyes!) And we ALL know about the imperious nature of the pointed-cats!
    Koko is a shoulder-sitter! I love “shoulder kitties…”
    And the gems are gorgeous…

  31. Love your “Knit from Your Stash” plan and I’ve signed on for a modified version. We’re also going a KnitUFO group to finally get the UFOs out of the pile – clean workbaskets by the end of 2007! And I’ve decided to run more regular contests as a way to give away some of the stuff, doing one now with a cashmere/alpaca prize! Great way to destash ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. My BF does not understand the whole – “I knit this because I wanted to knit it but I will never use/wear the item so I am giving it away” thing.

  33. Lucy looks just BEAUTIFUL in her gorgeous pearl/diamond collar, ahemm, necklace.

    What a gorgeous pair of earings for you! Happy Belated Birthday to you.

    Your Bohus sweater is to die for. You’ve done an absolutely fab job knitting it up.


  34. Lucy looks MAH-velous in her necklace! Glad you had a good birthday with your family. I really laughed out loud at you “foisting” sweaters on your family. Hah. We all should be so lucky!!

  35. I am currently fixing a sweater that I made 23 years ago and am reknitting the bottom ribbing in 1X1 rib in black. It’s on size fives and I’m having trouble. Somewhere in the last round I’ve messed up and need to rip back to see where the seed stitch has come from… I cannnot imagine doing it on needles that tiny! (Well, maybe for a new project, but not for a repair!) I feel your pain.

  36. I am just so impressed with how quickly you finish projects. I am knitting a baby sweater right now that isn’t as far along as your Bohus, and I started it at about the same time. I know part of my problem is too many projects at once, but even then . . .

  37. Oh my goodness that picture of Lucy is too cute. All she needs now is a crown and she’ll be the queen we all know she is.

  38. Koko is a shoulder-cat! How adorable! My Packet used to sit on my shoulder wherever I went – in the car, around the house, at PetSmart, at the vet – and people just loved how I “trained” her to sit there. I didn’t; I just winced when she dug her claws in and smiled when she found her balance. She doesn’t like sitting on my shoulder anymore, now that she’s over 10 lbs.