My current work in progress:

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


A Journey of a Million Stitches . . .

. . . begins with one tiny swatch.


I posted a photo of that little turquoise swatch yesterday. That swatch is knit from this yarn:


Koigu Kersti, in a pretty, almost monochrome, turquoise. I have 21 skeins of it. (It’s been in my stash for at least two years, I think.) Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what it will become?


In the meantime, I’m just working on the second Slayer sock.


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

Beats me. I am shocked that the Slayer yarn photographs true to color. I’ve taken photos of it with and without flash, and the ones with the flash, indoors, under my dining room chandelier, are the ones that turn out true to color. I’ve never, ever, had any success photographing red before, so this is a mystery to me.

Perhaps the Slayer socks do possess mystical powers?

A couple of you asked about the finish at the top. It’s just six rows (three ridges) of garter stitch, then a knit-wise cast-off. In my Feather and Fan Sock Pattern (pdf) I specified four rows of garter stitch, but on this sock tried six, and liked the way it looked.


EricaLynn asked how the feather and fan socks fit — if they fall down. Mine don’t. They fit me very well and are comfortable, which is one reason why I make so many pairs of feather and fan socks.

Lace Fidelity?

PennyT asked:
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.

And Mt-Mom asked:
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?

Yeah, good questions. I could sorta tell ahead of time that the Maltese Shawl was going to be an arduous knit. It’s about three miles long and is a rectangle, so not much in the way of alluring shaping. Neither the pattern in the center panel nor the edging are particularly challenging to execute. All that adds up to a yawn-fest. I specifically picked this pattern to knit, though, based on the the likes of the recipient.



Commenting on the recitation of my schedule, Bridget was impressed that Lucy lets me do anything when I first come home before feeding her. Lucy is quite unexcited about food and she seems to eat very little. This is a constant concern for me — I wish she’d eat more. Somedays it looks as though she eats nothing all day, but some days when I come home, her dish is empty. Still, she is healthy and happy, so I guess she just has odd eating habits for a kitty.

And she’d like everyone to know that she does move from her Cozy Cushion now and then.



  1. I have a cat who doesn’t eat a whole lot, either. And she has no interest in cat treats. Does Lucy like cat treats? Now Zoe thinks she needs a Cozy Cushion in her life….

  2. Slayer sock pic and first comment from Sheri at the Loopy Ewe—that’s gotta be a sign that skeins of Slayer will be in my future!

  3. Lucy’s eating habits are NORMAL for a cat, not odd. I think the ones that eat everything all the time are the exceptions. Cats are famous for picky, inexplicable eating, my vet calls them the original anorexics! Oh, BTW, love the socks.

  4. That’s interesting; our cat is a complete pig! Whenever she hears the rattle of dry food in the bowl she comes running and LAYS DOWN, face first, in the bowl to inhale. It’s a little disturbing! Obviously we only feed her a normal amount each day, instead of leaving it out. I wish she would eat like Lucy, I wouldn’t have to hide the food when I go out!

  5. Cathy-Cate says:

    Lucy looks as though she’s doing Kitty Pilates today.
    LOVE the socks!! They look fun to knit as well as to wear.

  6. My cat is the same way about eating – some days she hardly seems to touch her food, others she’s anxious to get more in the bowl. I’d agree – cats can just be picky ๐Ÿ™‚

    The sock color is great – I love that red!

  7. PICAdrienne says:

    Our cats can have food down and all times, and have plenty to eat, and yet, if we bring any junk food into the house, one of them acts as if he has not been fed for three weeks. Oh, he likes kitty treats, but he will DEVOUR a cheeto at any time.

    As for that beautiful yarn…well, I think I would knit something along the lines of the cardigan for Arwen.

  8. Socks with mystical powers? I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Alice in Richmond says:

    I want some red socks too!

  10. I have a Lucy cat, also. She’s a gray and peach torti. Lucy has an internal alarm clock. Everyday at 6:30 am and 5:00 pm, we must go to the bowl and put something in it. Even if all of the food from the last feeding is still there, she will pester us until we “worship the bowl.”

    On mornings when we try to sleep in, she goes in the adjoining bathroom to our master and shuts the door, thereby waking us up. Then the entreaties to visit the bowl begin.

    The Koigu looks like it would make a beautiful sweater. Are you a red-head? I love turquoise on red-heads!

    Enjoy your blog!

  11. Cheekiemary says:

    Kitty pilates – hoot! What is it about Ragdoll mixes that makes them lay flat out on their backs so much. My husband calls our Himalyan/Ragdoll, Dewmie, a hussy for some of her positions (lol – guess how she got her name??). The Slayer’s are beautiful, and I just finished reading your book -for which I thank you! What a great read, but I have to believe you have a whole lot more tools than you alluded to in the book. You have definitley whetted my appetite for cashmere and merinos. And my first pair of socks are almost completed (toe up, of course) and I think I will try this cuff edging – it looks great.

  12. I’m going to guess a sweater with some sort of cabling. Kersti would have nice definition for cables.

    I’ve never seen you knit a cardigan, do you?

    Anna M

  13. Let me start by saying I’ve only read the heel part of the short version of your generic toe up sock. I got a little confused because I didn’t know where considered the ‘start’ of the round (I did a different toe). But it worked out. I was interested in the double wrapping, as the only other short row heel socks I made were on the knitting machine, and I was told not to bother doing the wraps on the increasing portion. But I like the double wraps in the handknit socks (I think on the machine, the wraps are too big for the size of the stitches).
    But what I’m wondering is this: the heel doesn’t come up high enough to cup the back of my heel. If I short row to fewer ‘live’ sts in the center, I end up with a little ‘flipper’ (I showed it recently on my blog). Should I perhaps use more than half the sts? I would have to compensate by knitting a little less to where I start the shortrows as the short rows would add more rows to the foot as well as the back of the heel. But I was wondering if it’s possible to just add more short rows to the top of the heel….

  14. Perry Penelope demands to be fed between 4:30 and 5:00 every afternoon – that’s when she gets wet food. Otherwise, she comes running whenever we refresh the kibble bowl. And roasted chicken is any anytime treat. Gosh I love cats – they keep life from being dull ๐Ÿ™‚

    That knitted edging looks nice – think I’ll try it on my next pair. I’ve done sewn off, I’ve done picot and I’ve done ruffle. But I think the knitted would do really well! Thanks.

  15. My kitty Puma is also a fussy eater. Man, she won’t eat anything, sometimes. Other times she begs for Mango Tango juice and peanut butter. She also likes Ritz crackers. The inscrutable feline!

  16. hmm, the Rambling Rose sweater from the Winter IK calls for Koigu Kersti, doesn’t it? (not that I’ve received my issue yet – grr!)

  17. Totally OT, but I just wanted to let you know I got some Lucy in lightweight from STR, after seeing it on your blog, and it is SO much yummier IRL. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to make some socks with it, I am considering some of your feather and fans!!

  18. One of my cats, Sable, eats like Lucy too…if her bowl is empty, she’ll meow and let me know, so I fill it up, and she eats two bites and then goes on about her business. Sable’s got absolutely no interest in treats, either, and she weighs less than 7 pounds.

    My other cat, Zoe, is exactly opposite…loves to eat, can eat all of the time, loves treats, hangs around in the kitchen in case something falls off of the counter. Her food is on a timer, and I’ve seen her run to the bowl when it drops down, hoover it up like she hasn’t eaten in weeks, and then 10 minutes later barf it back up because she ate too fast. Isn’t being a kitty mom fun? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Incidently, Zoe weighs about 15 pounds (her high was about 18, but she’s getting old and losing some weight).

  19. martha in mobile says:

    My ragdoll Opal doesn’t like wet cat food. She gets plenty of cat kibble, but for her morning and evening “snack” she really-really-really wants some of the dog’s wet food. Of course, the dog wants wet cat food. The parrots want human food, and the chickens like parrot food. It’s a confusing situation.

  20. My guess is that the Koigu will become a sweater of some kind. Though I have no idea what kind. :p Whatever kind, I’m sure it’ll be pretty in that shade of turquoise.

  21. 21 skeins of Koigu Kersti? My bet is a cardi of some kind…perhaps with a hood…it’s an awesome color, for sure/

  22. Love the socks and I can’t wait see what that gorgeous Koigu is going to be!

  23. I really like the feather and fan socks. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

  24. You and L-B are so funny. Now what about the handband, ho?

  25. Cats are definitely a law unto themselves. They sure do make life more interesting, though.

    My guess is the thermal sweater from Knitty.

  26. Love, love, love the red socks! Someday I MUST make me some! As for Lucy’s diet, well, I’ve owned (and known) many cats, some gobble and barf (ain’t that special) while others pick and choose. Lucy is a dainty eater, no doubt about it.

    Can’t guess what the new project is… am looking forward to the pics though! luv.m.

  27. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what it will become?

    A cozy for the state of Wyoming? ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. My Gracie is the same with water. Some days she will drink just fine – other days – I wonder. Ragdoll trait – again, I wonder.

  29. I wish my cat(s) were like Lucy! Babar and MoneyPenny are basically the most voracious cats known to humanity. On more than one occasion they have opened the refrigerator!

  30. anne marie in philly says:

    beautiful yarn from the stash – some sort of lacy shawl, perhaps? or something cabled and highly patterned/textured in a sweater?

    meredith is a dainty eater – two bites, walk away, do something else, come back, eat two more bites, etc. sweet little girl…

    steven dives right in and whorfs it back up if he eats too fast. typical guy…

    gotta luv those puddy tats!

  31. My girlcat Faye (as oppposed to my two mancats Reggie and Arthur) is very ambivalent about food.

    If we could all be so puritanical, we’d all be so trim and gorgeous as Lucy and Faye, I suppose.

  32. Another Inishmore?

    Despite the P-Man’s well fed look, he’s a dainty eater too. Some days his dish looks unchanged and I worry too. Now he does usually get some sort of treat daily – either the chicken, tuna or turkey breast his Mom is willing to share.

    I never told you but he HATES the Artemis “regular” he’ll only eat the “fresh” kind – he’s become quite adept at picking out only the ones he wants and making a horrific mess in the process – thank goodness we only have the fresh kind on hand from now on!

  33. Hmmm, I can only hope that the turquoise Koigu will become a cabled sweater of some sort. Perhaps another Starmore? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. Thanks so much for posting the feather-and-fan socks. I’ve admired those you’ve photographed, and I’ve never tried a toe-up sock–so this pattern will provide all the guidance I need. And I have two large plastic boxes with sock yarn, so I can definitely “knit from my stash” to make a pair.

    Your turquoise yarn is gorgeous. My first guess, also, was something with cables. But if you’ve gotten a sneak preview of Lace Style, then perhaps it is something from that book.

  35. 21 skeins and that swatch…I’m going to guess afghan. although I could be wrong. That has definitely happened before. Also, I have a theory that those socks photographed in actual red because they are on a background of blue and white, and because of the black flecks in the yarn. But that’s just a theory. They could just be magic socks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Your turquoise yarn is gorgeous! It would make a beautiful cardigan sweater, maybe of a modified Aran-type?

  37. If it were up to my guys, I would come through the door after work with their dinner already in their bowls!

    Food in the dish? What’s that?!

  38. Beth P. in Maryland says:

    Twenty-one skeins.

    That means about forty-two ends to deal with when the knitting is done. Don’t you wish they could make bigger skeins? The small ones are fine for socks but for larger items it would sure be nice to have fewer ends!


  39. Not a clue as to what the yarn will become, but whatever it will be, it will be beautiful!

  40. I got a skein of Slayer from Felicia when she was still selling her yarn on etsy and she had JUST started the colorway. Of course your photos are really giving me the itch to finally get it out and make myself some socks with it but … priorities… priorities… calm calm calm… Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to make it into a yarn cake. Yeah. Couldn’t hurt anything.

  41. Well, Lucy obviously has her diet and exercise plan down, ’cause it’s working for her!

    Oh, the turquoise, how I do love turquoise! I’m thinking that it will be something with a cable?? (’cause that’s probably what I would do …)

  42. With that much Kersti, I’m thinking something tunic length, or a jacket? And seeing as how you don’t like things to be boring, since it’s “almost monochromatic” that’s a dead giveaway that there will be complex cables or some other kind of texture built in.

    Does the correct guesser get the leftover yarn? LOL

  43. I guess a giant sweater! Or afghan with a really cool stitch pattern. Either way, you are bound to have left overs. Willing to share?

    A kitty that eats just enough is much better than a feline piggy. My boyfriend’s cat has always eaten tons of food and he finally figured out why, tapeworms. Yuck!! He gave his cat pills for it and I gave some to my dog just in case.

  44. I am not at all certain what you are making with the Kersti. I am certain that it will be something I want to knit and I will want to make the same thing. Matter of fact perhaps I should just go check my stash.

  45. Thanks, that’s all I needed to hear. I have a skein of STR lightweight that really wants to be knit up, although it makes a great decoration:). I think I’ll finally give up and do some feather and fans-yours are so pretty!

  46. For me, the boardem factor is all about progress. If I can see it moving it’s fine. I did great on my first lace project, your fir cone wrap since I could knit a repeat and see that ‘Wow, i did this much today’ I think I would hate something wide that had hundreds of stitches per row. Still looking for my second lace pattern.

  47. I would hazard a guess of a sweater coat. Maybe a blanket. Or a crap load of socks! ๐Ÿ˜›

  48. I’ve found that I get bored with lace patterns that are square a *lot* faster than I do with trianglular lace patterns. I think it’s that the unchanging repetition; with the triangular patterns, you at least have some increase/decreasing in there to keep things interesting.

  49. I am so envious of your beautiful yarn but how in the world do you store it, keep it from getting dusty (I have a dust allergy that causes asthma), and keep track of it all? My little supply is getting out of hand!

  50. Hmm, that’s a lot of Kersti. I’ll guess knit bodysuit to match Lucy’s eyes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. Thank you for posting the feather and fans sock pattern. I am going to add them to my to do list.

    I can’t wait to see what is next on your list.

  52. nicole-sweden says:

    soo i’m staring at that swatch thinking how in the h… do i think i can guess your next project off a plain vanilla reverse st st swatch; soo i try to spy out what pattern page may be underneath sort of cheating when suddenly i spot it.
    gosh is this an action shot of an adorable magnetic needle holder actually in use there on the edge of the table?

    i’m in a next project quandary myself. guess i’ll just concentrate on my own swatch and feel happy and special/n

  53. Well it is a shit load of yarn for a sweater. I’m thinking something BIGGER – – a throw?

    Thanks for the feather and fan sock pattern. However, I didn peek over at your free patterns and low and behold there it was. Funny, I couldn’t find it yesterday.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Lucy – – she looks so healthy and happy. I have four kitties – – two are lil’ piggys and the other two are more picky and they all don’t look like they have missed ANY meals.


  54. Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy says:

    Older cats (>10 years) need to see the vet if they stop eating or drinking for more than a day.

    Younger cats like to pretend they’re lions or tigers. They’ll bring down a whole zebra, then lie around and feast for a days. They’ll go hunting again when they’re hungry.

    Lucy clearly prefers wildebeasts. Or giraffes.

  55. Twenty-one skeins! I’m guessin’ a slipcover for the couch!

  56. I have three cats, and they range from the constant food beggar and treat guzzler, to the hungry at mealtimes but not too pesky, to the highly indifferent to mealtimes and oblivious to treats. They are all healthy and happy…all rescues, too. I suspect that the availability of food when they were very young has some impact on this.

    I love the slayer socks…most because of the colorway name.

  57. I”m guessing an Arwen cardigan with that koigu kersti. My Tuxie loves his dry kibble but doesn’t know what table scraps are. He actually turned his nose up at some turkey from christmas dinner.He was a rescue cat as well, and I guess he never had the chance to develop a taste for human food. Gotta love him though. Between him and my two corgis, life sure ain’t dull.