My current work in progress:

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



It’s about eleventy-billion degrees below zero here. Does that sound like an exaggeration? Well, I am factoring in the wind chill.

Even though it is eleventy-billion degrees below zero outside, it’s close to tropical in the office. Still, I wore my new L-B sweater to work today. All Seasons Cotton makes a great sweater for overheated offices.

L-B says she’ll knit me another one for my 100th birthday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of what we’l be like when we are 100, Alice in Richmond sent L-B a link to a picture that she said was L-B and me in the future.

Because I keep the thermostat set to less than tropical temperatures at home, Lucy has become Velcro Kitty, pasted to me every time I stop moving. Except when she’s pasted to her cozy cushion. I actually ordered her a second cozy cushion yesterday, to put in the bedroom. Lucy always sleeps on the bed and I know she’s chilly in the bedroom. Is she ever gonna be happy when the second cozy cushion arrives!

I do wonder how someone who has a fur coat that looks like this:


can be cold when I am not.

Cromarty Cables

Brigitte mentioned in the comments that Cromarty reminded her of St. Brigid. Me too. I went and hauled out Aran Knitting to have a squint at the cable charts for St. Brigid. And I hauled out St. Brigid, too.


Here is the current state of Cromarty.


Different cables from St. Brigid, but similar, don’t you think?

Sarah asked:
Since you have probably had much more yarn sampling experience, could you think of a substitute yarn for the Kersti that would still “pop” the cable work for Cromarty? I have limited local yarn sources here in Canada, and would have to shop online I’m sure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

You want a smooth yarn that’s dk weight. Of course, I’m drawing a blank on what would be a good one. Anyone have any ideas? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

It does occur to me that if you wanted to make Cromarty out of something other than wool, Rowan Calmer would probably work very well.

And in other news, I turned the heel on the Bart & Louise sock!


Lucy Sez


“Yeah, I love my cozy cushion. You wanna make something of it?”


  1. Would Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool work? I seem to remember that she has written patterns for some lovely cabled sweaters that use it.

  2. We’ve been having a static problem in our house lately. I’m concerned that I’ll accidentally shock Muffin. Do you ever have that problem with Lucy?

  3. Okay, my heart is beating again… When I first opened your blog and saw the finished cable sweater, I thought OMG she finished the CROMARTY she just started! Different color, different cables, I know but I leaped before I thought. Thank goodness you are human and didn’t finish it yet. I’d have to commit hari kari with a dpn if you had.

  4. I do like the color you’ve picked for the Cromarty. And yes, the cables are similar to the Brigid, but it’s easy to see the difference. Lucy looks quite comfy, despite it being eleventy-billion degrees below zero here.

  5. I think the Cromatry would look nice in Black Water Abbey yarn. It is a light worsted weight and very crisp for cables –

  6. Knitpicks Merino Style is a smooth DK-weight yarn. I’ve never cabled with it, but I used it to make the Nina shawl from the Mason-Dixon ladies’ book, and can vouch for its softness and smoothness. And 100% woolness.

    Ooooh, St. Brigid is beautiful! Must buy the book…must knit the lovely Celtic-y cables…

    Alice in Richmond – I love the picture of Wendy & LB! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. How about Zara? It’s machine-washable, too. Or Gems merino in the dk wt (Opal?). Debbie Bliss Merino DK also comes to mind as a good substitute.

  8. Dawne in Canada says:

    is it really eleventy-billion below?? cuz if it is then it must be at least twelveteen-billion below here;)

    seriously, it is currently -31C and factoring the wind chill that becomes -41C … gaah!!

    honestly, I need to remind myself why I live here and that I DO love my country.

    Stay warm & cuddle Lucy – our 2 cats are used to the cold but still try to lick the frozen windows from time to time – definitely not a good thing.

  9. Hi,

    Read your book last week and looked up the blog this week- and am enjoying it. Love the Lucy photos and comments! And the patterns- I wish I had a 45 minute commute so I could knit more. ONly a 10 minute bus ride and hands are too cold this time of year.

    My big (14.5 lbs), old (17.5 yrs) cat with the thick, polar bear fur is also a velcro kitty and can’t seem to stay warm this time of year. I’ve heard that the internal thermostats of older cats don’t work that well. BUt that doesn’t account for Lucy- she must like you a lot!

  10. Jane in PA says:


    I have absolutely fallen in love with the St. Brigid sweater! I never expected to knit an aran sweater (socks and quick projects are more my style) but now I CRAVE that sweater.

    I immediately Googled the book title and…

    JUST ABOUT CHOKED! There’s one on (out of print bookseller) for over $600!!! Amazon has one for – a real bargain! – $463.94.
    There are three on ebay, for a good bit less, but who knows what they’ll be when the bidding ends.

    Alas, my love will remain unrequited at those rates.

  11. I just have to say, I am so glad I now live in Montana instead of Iowa. Who would’ve thought?

    The cables are really coming along! I am bound for home to work on my sweater with offset ribbing (as she softly proclaims while slinking off to the corner). I really need to try something a little more complicated.

  12. I actually bought Aran Knitting way back when it was new, but had mislaid it and then began doubting my sanity, and thinking I hadn’t bought it after all! I was one happy camper when it turned up, I can tell you! Not, of course, that I’ve started anything out of it yet, but I can dream. With temps here in the 90’s there’s not much call for woolies, drat it. Guess I’ll just need to move north!

  13. velcro kitty! love it – my older cat has to lie in my lap whenever i lie on the sofa to watch tv – makes getting up and down during commercials a bit hard. ;o

    hmm, maybe i will have to get cozy cushions.

  14. Alice in Richmond says:

    You know you will be glad to be knitting with L-B when you are 100… Seeing as how I turn 50 this year too maybe I’ll pull up a chair and join you!

    Or maybe I’ll have someone else pull up the chair as we will probably be unable to pull up chairs at 100.

  15. Beautiful Lucy! We just lost our 16 yr old baby girl cat on Sat. I miss her so much. Thanks for sharing Lucy here. Although we have 3 other cats, she was the closest to me like Lucy is to you.

  16. Maybe if one was willing to go merino/silk, the jaggerspun zephyr dk weight would be nice. And you can get it by the cone online for reasonable prices!

  17. For Sarah, isn’t Kersti a Canadian yarn? It comes from Koigu. And very nice and springy it is. Gems merino in the dk would be close, I think.

  18. The Bart & Louise sock is gorgeous. The picture of Wendy and L-B qwacks me up! My kitty Puma and I (we also live in Arlington, VA) are very itchy-scratchy from the extreme low humidity. ::::Scratch:::::scratch::::::: Arghhhh.

  19. Wow, that sweater is gorgeous.
    What is your sweater storage? With all your sweaters, WHERE do you keep them all?

  20. For Sarah, I have nothing but good things to say about Shelridge Farms yarns (made in Canada, available at fiber festivals and from their website: I’ve finished one sweater and started a second with their worsted weight, and it holds up well, the colors don’t bleed, and it’s very very nice to work with. And it’s machine washable! (I swear I’m not their marketing department!)

  21. An entire sweater of Kersti… sounds heavenly! That sock looks like an ice cream flavor.

  22. I’ve never understood the rational behind cranking up the thermostat inside when the weather’s cold and everyone’s already bundled up, likewise for dialing it way down in the summer when everyone is wearing light clothing.

  23. Linda in Maine says:

    May Sarton said of her cat who used to stay outside for hours in the Maine winter: “That’s what it is to have fur.” Read that to Lucy!

  24. I live in Ontario like Sarah & Koigu is only available in major centers. I don’t recognize the name of her town & I’m in the South, so I’m betting she’s in the North. Love that sock yarn.

  25. Kitty trivia: While people have body temps around 98.6 (varies from 97.8 to 99.1) a cat’s normal body temperature is higher: 100.5 to 102.5 is considered normal. That’s why they feel cold (even with their fur)at temperatures that are comfortable to us–they actually need more warmth to feel a comparable level of coziness that we need. Can you tell that I’m owned by several? ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOVE the sweater Wendy!

  26. I don’t know if it is available in Canada, but Brown Sheep Naturespun might work for the Cromarty since it is dk/light worsted, smooth for the cabling, and relatively inexpensive for 100% wool. Comes in some great colors, too.

    It’s very cold here in Iowa (warmer in Montana these days is it Peggy? I’ll bet!) and my three cats are living outdoors in lows below 0 with highs just above. The do love it when the sun shines. Not to worry, the vet says they will be fine, especially since they sleep in a pile – three cat night?

    Jo Ann

  27. My kitties like anything warm. It’s not that they feel cold, they just like EXTRA warm. I had one kitty (sadly not with us anymore) who used to sit in the sun until you could see the heat shimmering off her! If you went over to her, she would look up all groggy, happy-like and “mreow?” at you.

  28. Those cables are fabulous, both sweaters. I’m not a fast knitter but they sure are tempting.

  29. Stitchin' Mary in Ga. says:

    Although I’m only a beginner and have never knitted cables before, St. Brigid would be all the inspiration I’d need. Wow! Can’t wait to see your Cromarty; it looks like it’s going to be gorgeous!

    Love the top down raglan pullover L-B made for you. It looks like just the kind of sweater I’ve been thinking of for my first sweater project.

    On a show about cats, it was said that they regulate their body temperature by way of their belly. When they are all hunkered down with their paws and tail tucked underneath, they’re preserving body heat. When a cat contentedly sleeps by the fireplace with her belly toward the warmth, she can afford to stretch out and relax.

    That might explain why Lucy has turned into Velcro Kitty. You are her cozy cushion when you’re at home. She’s literally sharing your warmth.

  30. any idea how to proceed with an intarsia motif on a sweater you’d like to knit circularly?!

  31. I think Lucy needs a Florida vacation!

    Your Cromarty is gonna be so pretty, the color is stunning.

    For Sarah – My suggestion for a Kersti sub – RYC Cashsoft DK! I love this yarn, super soft and amazing stitch definition…I’m using it for the first time now for some cabled wristers and it is just YUM! A whole cabled sweater in this stuff would be unbelievable! (pics of cabled wristers on my blog)

  32. Love seeing your St. Brigid and Cromary -I’ve knitted both years and years ago, when I was a beginner and didn’t know celtic cabling was supposed to be difficult ๐Ÿ˜›
    I feel the urge to re-knit either one, as those two have mysteriously disappeared in the course of two cross-country moves.
    Stay warm, the two of you, it’s only -25 plus wind chill here in Turku ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. the cables in the cromarty actually look to be more delicate than the st.bridgit. i was lucky to find the book in a hurt book sale for $20. it has an excellant tutorial on cables and it is not allowed out of the house. I do wish Ms. Starmore would republish some of her older patterns. I keep drooling over Bodega Bay in the Pacific Coast Highway collection. I just do not have the book and cant see paying over $300 for one pattern.
    as to little Miss Lucy i can understand her being chilled in her fur coat. some breeds only get the showy outer coat where others have weather proof coats like the siberian,Mainecoon, and even the turkish van. i have a cat that will walk me thru snow while her litter mate hid in my coat. then I have the beach kitties that like to watch surfers-which is tomorro -surf city usa!
    Take care -love the Blue

  34. I can second the comment about KnitPicks “Merino Style”. I’m currently knitting a sweater with this yarn and I simply love it. Very soft, 100% merino, great price and it should make cables pop on a size 5 needle.

    To Jane in PA who was lamenting the price of Aran Knitting: your local library can be your best friend! Most libraries have an online search, look for Aran Knitting. You can check out the book and knit the sweater. That’s what I had to do with Pacific Coast Highway. Can’t find a copy for under $300. So, when I want to make anything from it, I check it out from the library. You usually get it for 2 months and can extend your use until you’re finished for a whole whopping 50 cents ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Love those cables! What is it about elaborate cabling? Yummy!
    I am planning on doing her St. Ciaran wrap. I was able to get gauge on a #6 using Chester Farms 3 ply. They call it a sport weight, but with my tension, its more DK. The swatch washed up nice and soft. I did a few practice swatches of some of the cables just to see if they would pop. Oh, boy! Yes indeed. Lovely yarn too…with all the flecks of color. Price is right, and it is from my stash, ha!

    I do have a Lucy question. Does she turn into a Drama Queen? My boys are polar opposites. Oscar gets more friendly, but sulks. Elliot on the other hand is Poor Pathetic Pooty, and clings to his daddy. The look on his face is just like the little kid “More soup, please, Sir?”

  36. I love how you do cables!! so so beautiful! I like that fringy finish.

  37. I’m in Canada, and it’s been getting chilly here. Last night, Packet slept on my legs. She NEVER does that. And she’s got fur like Lucy’s.

  38. Is the Kersti no longer available? Because it IS, afterall, Canadian! There are lots of great places to buy yarn in person, and on line, in Canada. Perhaps Shelridge Farms? I think they have a DK yarn. And Ram Wools has a great catalogue and many reasonably priced yarns in their own line. And, of course, there’s the deadly!

  39. I’m suffering cable-envy! Must.resist.cables.

  40. Patty Bolgiano says:

    Another suggestion is Jo Sharp. She has dk weight yarns in wonderful colors.


  41. You make me want to try St. Brigid. I spent the weekend holed up with the LoTR trilogy, and now St. Brigid reminds me of the armor of the Rohirrim. Or at least something Eowyn would put on if it got to be particularly cold in Edoras…

  42. RE Cosy cushion – Thank you so much for giving the link in a previous posting – I ordered some for my 4 cats and they’ve been a great hit. You are the best! What a resource. Love to Lucy!

  43. Hi Wendy and Lucy:

    The cables are very similar indeed.

    After reading your blog today and some of the comments, I’m now concerned my old kitty (18 yrs) is at home cold. She has never been a lap kitty but she snuggles with me every night once I get in bed. With it being so cold as of late, she doesn’t leave my side all night long. Sounds like a cozy cushion is in her near future!!

    Keep warm!!


  44. Hi Wendy it’s me again.

    Just wanted to ask how are the connections doing on your options. Any trouble?

    You are officially my Knitting Guru!

    I’ve been knitting with the Options Classics but it is a fixed cable. I love them by the way. Holding off on the others for fear of having them come undone while I knit. Love those points.

    I just read on the internet that little splurges are ruining your budget – – NAHHHH, not me!

    Thanks Wendy.


  45. Both Debbie Bliss and Jaeger have 100% merino DK yarns. I think the DB one is just called “Merino DK”, not sure about Jaeger. Both would make yummy cabled sweaters. Rowan also has a wool DK called “Pure Wool” and another 50/50 blend called “Wool Cotton” that might be nice if someone is looking for a less wooly sweater!

  46. I cast my vote for Zara also as a nice DK substitute. I just started working with it this past year, and I have a two projects planned for it (one is an Elsebeth Lavold pattern, which I think predates Silky wool, and another is from Jean Frost’s Jacket book). The yarn is soft, but it has great stitch definition.

    Thanks for showing the cables up close. I’m swatching for a cardigan for my husband, and I was thinking that a plaited cable would look good with a bigger open one. If it is good enough for Alice Starmore, it is good enough for me.

  47. In response to Sarahs question, Lily Chin’s Gramercy which is a DK weight superwash merino would work well.

  48. Beautiful cables and it looks so warmmmmm. Are these new cusions of Lucy’s stuffed with chick feathers?

  49. Beth Theis says:

    Sarah asked about substitutes for Kersti, saying “I have limited local yarn sources here in Canada, and would have to shop online I’m sure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”
    My suggestion is to phone or e-mail Koigu – they’re in Ontario, I see from her blog that Sarah is in Ontario. has their contact info
    Don’t know that they do mail order but Sarah might be able to arrange something. Nice to buy Canadian when we can.

  50. I have had very good luck knitting Starmore cabeled patterns with Cascade 220 – great yardage, lots of beautiful colors, reasonably priced, and just enough lighter to make the cable twists and turns easier for a beginning knitter (or any of us whose fingers get tired of tugging) side benefit – this results in a slightly lighter garment, one more suited to indoors wear. Hope this helps!

  51. Velco Kitty looks so fluffy and adorable! I love your cables too.

  52. I second the Jo Sharp DK wool suggestion- it knits up soooo nice with good definition.

  53. For those who want to use the books but cannot afford them (like me), remember your local library, and if your local library can’t come through from its own collection, remember that they probably have interlibrary loan. They’ll be happy to get one for you.

    I speak as a librarian — trust me on this one!

  54. Hello, Wendy! I am trying to teach myself to use a spinning wheel. What would you recommend as a good fiber to begin with? The wheel I have doesn’t come with anykind of video just a half sheet of paper (yellow from age) for “learning to spin” (ha!). It is an heirloom from the family – but nobody remembers anyone spinning on it. Any good resources you could recommend would be great. thanks! Teri

  55. It looks like St. Brigid and Cromarty have the same cables in different places.

  56. I would highly recommend Jaeger Extra Fine Merino. It is yummy and really pops