My current work in progress:

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


Whoa, There!

Judging from a couple of comments and some emails I got, a few of you got the impression that I was going to abandon the Maltese Shawl. Not at all! What I said in yesterday’s blog post was that I thought I would keep it for weekend knitting because, for me, knitting a lace edging is not something I want to do in small bits of time snatched here and there during the week.

I actually have very little knitting time on weeknights. That pesky “working for a living” does get in the way. A typical evening:

1. Come home from work. Lucy is at the door to greet me. She waits very impatiently while I take my coat off. Sometimes I am allowed to change clothes before playing with her, sometimes not.

2. Sort mail, deal with that which needs to be dealt with immediately. File the rest for future reference. If laundry needs to be done, start laundry. Perform other household tasks.

3. Half an hour of knitting time, interspersed with taking photos of knitting and of Lucy, and checking email.

4. Compose blog entry, download and edit photos, post blog entry.

5. Make and eat dinner. Clean up after dinner.

5. Another hour of knitting time, interspersed with watching television and answering emails.

And that’s it.

I always try to get all my “chores” done on weeknights so I have long stretches of uninterrupted time on the weekends to do with what I will. I run errands on the way home from work and do what little housework I indulge in during the week.

The shawl edging has a repeat of 30 rows. It behooves me to do a full repeat in one sitting without interruptions. This is next to impossible on a weeknight. Much more do-able on a weekend. That’s why I decided to save the shawl for weekend knitting.

In the interests of project fidelity, I will not start another big project until the shawl is completed, although I reserve the right to change my mind about this at any given time. We’ll see where I am after this weekend. For now, I’ll work on socks during the week.

As I mentioned before, this shawl is destined to become a gift, and I don’t need it for nearly two months. I don’t feel any sense of urgency to finish it up asap.

I did, however, finish one Slayer sock.


Close-up of the top:


Bonnie asked:
Have you changed your toe up wrapping/unwrapping protocol? I finally mastered the technique after many, many tries and love it! I have been dragging around a copy of your knitty article with instructions for multiple toe up starts which is dog-eared and mangled and highlighted, but goes with me as a lucky charm in my knitting bag, even though the pattern has been committed to memory.

I recently printed a copy of the new, unabridged, row by row, toe up pattern. I read it. I noticed that you have different instructions for unwrapping the wrapped stitches.

I don’t think I’ve changed how I do it — rather, I described it in more detail in the new pattern.

Photo Hijinks With Lucy

Knitnana commented:
I wish I knew how you get such scrumptious photos of Lucy without having her appear to be possessed by “red-eyes!”

I use a Canon digital SLR camera that takes really good photos, but sometimes I do get a bit of Lucy red-eye. I used image editing software to correct the red-eye. I am currently using Paintshop Pro XI. It has a red-eye removal tool. I use the “freehand” option and carefully edit any red-eye zoomed in at 600 — 900%, pixel by pixel. Yesterday’s photo of Lucy was edited for red-eye.

See why I don’t have too much knitting time on weeknights?

Lucy sez:


“Catering to my every whim is far more important than any stupid knitting!”

Be that as it may, I still found time to doodle up a wee swatch. Hee hee!



  1. I’m with you on not getting much knitting done on the weeknights. I really only get to knit on the weekends unless I wake up and can’t go back to sleep in the middle of the night. That’s one of my favorite times to knit, but I try not to get too used to it – makes it hard to work the next day!

  2. Well, I knew what you meant. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m working on a lace scarf with a 16-row repeat, and I also like to do a full repeat in one sitting. Or two or three repeats, if the sitting is long enough…that’s why my lace knitting is reserved for when my kids are at school or asleep!

  3. Love those Slayer socks!

  4. Christine says:

    Wow you must knit super fast if we’re only talking 1 1/2 hours a night!!! I snuck that in today while my daughter was napping and got no where near the progress you get.

    I have due to your inspiration knit my first sock. Snuck in time between the kids “rest time”, sitting in front of the fireplace at night and did it over 4 days. I can now see why it is addicting and why it is the perfect project for on the go – size and simplicity of remembering what comes next. No I haven’t gotten it memorized after one sock, but I could easily get the hang of basic sock.

  5. Love your Slayer socks. The color is beautiful and feather and fan is my favorite pattern.

    Twyla Twinkle Berry had her annual vet visit today. She weighed in at 14.6 lbs. Oops, I sense a need for a kitty diet. The vet suggests supplementing her food with canned pumpkin. We will see how Twyla & her 2 feline friends like that.

    I knew you wouldn’t give up on the shawl. I bet you have fewer UFO’s than most knitters.

  6. Thee Slayer socks are gorgeous! I love the colour of your new swatch. Is it going to be a sweater or another pair of socks? or maybe a pillow for Lucy?

  7. Wendy, I Love the Slayer sock. It looks so “clean”. My tension is always allover the place.
    Have a great night!

  8. I love the color yarn in that swatch, what are you using and what colorway is it?

  9. Have you figured out what makes a lace pattern boring? Why, I wonder, is a knitter (e.g. you) fascinated by a pattern like Wing o’the Moth and not by the current one? It must not be the border, entirely, since you said you were bored by the middle section as well. I’ve done only one big lace project, Icarus, so I don’t have much experience in choosing, but I have lots of laceweight yarn and would appreciate some insight.

  10. I see that the Cozy Cushion is Lucy’s new best friend :o)

    Elvis loves his, too.

  11. Lucy really does love her new cushion! I kind of miss the photos of Lucy all fluffed up, but I’m glad she’s warm now.

  12. The Slayer socks are great! But how do you photograph the red so that it doesn’t look like a flaming foot?!

    And of course Lucy is correct about her every whim. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Whoa there indeed – I’m no slouch, but woman … you are making me feel slow! What is this day job of which you allude to?
    I love seeing what you get done everyday!!

  14. Wendy,

    The socks are stunning! What did you do at the top? Are they hemmed? It’s a lovely top edge. Please share… ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!


  15. Ooh I love the Slayer socks. I am sure Buffy would give them two thumbs up!! I am also among those that love the color of your new swatch. I can’t wait to see what it is for!

    And I just love the photos that you are able to capture of Lucy. She is such a ham. My oldest cat was quite the ham in her youth. Anytime I had a camera in my hands and I would come near her, she would immediately start stretching and posing like mad. Such delightful creatures cats are. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Thank you so much for the pointer to Paintshop. I’ve been struggling with the pet red eye problem with my Pembroke Welsh Corgis. I’m downloading the trial as we speak and hopefully this will make my photos better. I’m also hoping it will help with knitting photos as sometimes my colors end up a bit off.

    Also, fabulous explanation of your knitting schedule, makes me want to get organized!

    Anna M

  17. I’m starting to think that Lucy is permanently affixed to her new cushion! Methinks I would like a Sharon-sized one of those…how big do they come? Seriously, your knitting is so inspiring Wendy. My very next pair of socks will be knit using your toe-up pattern. I’ll cast on as soon as I find some Slayer-esque yarn. I NEED a pair of red socks!

  18. Your Slayer sock is five by five!

  19. The sock is great – color and pattern!

    Wow, Lucy lets you “do” stuff when you get home before feeding her??? Our cats expect you to feed them anytime you walk in the door. And RIGHT AWAY!

    I can’t blame you for taking all the pictures of her, though. She is photogenic, but also pretty funny – her comments are usually just exactly what it looks like she is saying or thinking!

  20. I love the socks! I am wondering, though, how do feather and fan socks fit? I have wanted to try some, but I am worried that they might fall down. That yarn sounds nice too, I haven’t yet ordered from Loopy Ewe but I know it’s only a matter of time!

  21. I live for your “Lucy sez” remarks and pictures! Not to mention your WOWza socks!

  22. Awww…… left off the knitting at lunch & the knitting on the way to work……and some of those stories…..especially on the train….are a hoot!……….but yes, detailed precise work is best left for weekends………otherwise what I call “nervous nellie” work……stuff that is simple and quick is best during the week……..

  23. I loved the Slayer yarn so much that I now have some on order! But remember “sock yarn doesn’t count!” Wow, what gorgeous yarns they have. Does laceweight yarn count?!! Are you sure?

  24. Weeknights are tough. I’m looking forward to some semblance of normalcy so that I can start knitting longer stretches at a time. The socks are yummy.

  25. haha…two things: one, i do the same thing for red-eye, and it takes forever! but it’s worth it usually. two, is it a sad statement that i can tell from the mousepad on your laptop that you have a dell?

    and i LOVE those socks!

  26. Yes, yes, do tell about the Slayer sock-top. Could that be garter stitch?

    And, about how some lace patterns can get boring, while others can retain their hold on one’s imagination: can *you* tell ahead of time? Trial and error? Or does it have to do with the repetitiveness?

  27. My goodness, has Miss Lucy gotten off that cushion since it arrived home? I may have to invest in one of those for my girls. It looks so appealing. And maybe it would keep Chloe off me some of the time.

  28. Hi Wendy
    How you achieve as much as you do in the time you have has always amazed me. I very rarely post as I really don’t have a lot to say, but would never miss a day’s posting of your blog. I truly enjoy your knitting, writting, question and answer time and of course, the beautiful Lucy.
    Thank you for sharing your knitting and some personal life with us.
    Chloe the kitty sends lots of warm wishes and purrs to Lucy from Oz.

  29. I love the Slayer socks – they are really rockin’ hard!
    Your fidelity to just a few projects is a real inspiration, and it’s my new year’s knitting resolution for 2007 – thanks so much for your great bog!

  30. Love the Slayer sock! I know how the week night routine thing goes. If it weren’t for work, imagine how much knitting would get done! But then imagine how much more yarn we’d probably need in the house too…

  31. I just LOVE those socks!

  32. I love that Slayer sock. The color is incredibly rich and deep. Your weeknight routine is one I can relate to.

  33. I made socks using that Slayer colourway and Cookie’s Monkey pattern on Love them. Though, they are a bit big so if I knit that pattern again, I’ll go down a needle size.

  34. Thank you! I’ll check out the Paintshop software but I think I’ll have to make do with my camera (an Optio S from Pentax)…I hand edit the red-eye, too, with what I have, but it doesn’t always look so realistic on The Meezer as it does with Lucy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe I’m just not as good a photographer??? lolol!

    The Slayer sock is GORGEOUS (as usual).

    I put 2 second socks OTN last night – both are your patterns…will post photos tonight, but they’ll just be toes at this point! I’ve never had 2 pair going at once…they are so addictive…and I credit YOU with my new sock obsession! I am sooo glad that sock yarn doesn’t count on my Knit from Stash guidelines! *wink*

  35. The Slayer socks are amazing.

    I’m (almost) more intrigued by the Swatch. The yarn is beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  36. Its nice to know that Lucy will leave her new bed to say hello when you come home.

    The sock is awesome. Gotta try feather and fan someday soon.

    Love the color of the swatch. What is it to be?

  37. And my, what a pretty color is that doodled up swatch! Yummy stuff. I imagine we’ll get more details soon.

    Last night my Hap shawl book arrived, along with the first skeins of Apple Pie sock yarn (in Blue Bayou). You’re certainly an influence (the jury’s out on whether it’s for good or ill)!

  38. The Slayer socks are gorgeous. I have some of that colorway and your pictures are enticing me to start a new pair of socks.

  39. Do you normally knit a row of garter stitch around your swatch? and if yes, when figuring gauge do you just use the stockinette piece in the middle. sure makes sense, if that is the case, as I hate that little piece of curled up swatch and trying to get it to lay flat so I can count stitches.. -patti

  40. O.K. – – you get all that knitting done that you show us during the week in just 1 and 1/2 hours a night!!!! WOW! Please tell me you knit at lunch! I knit at lunch despite the razzing I get from the man folk in my office. I knit at least 1/2 hour before I leave for work, at lunch if I’m not running an errand or going to the yarn store, and after my kitties, dog, child and myself have had dinner and it has been cleaned up, any errands that may have to be run, a load of laundry is underway do I sit down at night to knit. I get done more on some nights than others – – depends how tired I am. I could NEVER keep up with you. You knitting needles must fly! It would be fun to see a movie clip of you knitting. Please tell how you did the top of your Slayer socks. I love them.


    P.S. I bought two skeins of Apple Pie in the “Painted Daisy”. CAN’T WAIT FOR IT TO ARRIVE!

    P.S.S. Your pixs of Lucy are always awesome. Her little comments make me smile everyday.

  41. That sock os gorgeous! I love that color.

  42. The Slayer sock is awesome! With what shoes would you wear such bold socks?

    An opinion question: I knitted a scarf, even wove in the ends… and I don’t like it. Actually, I hate it! I love the yarn and wish I had used it for something else. Am I completely insane if I rip the whole thing out, rewind the yarn, and start over on another project?

  43. Yeah, this blogging thing takes a surprising amount of time, doesn’t it?!

  44. I love knitblogs, and knitting, and blogging, and blogging about my knitting, and reading other people’s blogs about knitting – but when I find a job up here, that’s all going to have to change. ๐Ÿ™

    I try not to use the flash when photographing my cats. I’ll use software to adjust the lighting if the photo’s too dark, but that way there’s no red-eye (or zombie-eye, as cats get).

  45. Lucy actually gives you time to take off your coat? Lilith doesn’t even let me do that! The moment I come in I have to pick her up and give her snuggles or else she starts crying and trying to climb up my leg.

  46. Lucy does have a point there. Pretty sock, pretty Lucy.


  47. Thank you for the Fir Cone Wrap pattern. I am starting it now in Handmaiden Sea Silk. But I have a question as a novice. Do you recommend that I slip the first stitch in every row for this pattern? I do not usually see this written in patterns, but have heard that it makes a nice edge. Anyway, any advice on this will be heeded….