My current work in progress:

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


Video Killed the Radio Star

Hey, thanks for all the nice comments on our little Cabling Without a Cable Needle video. I’m glad that some of you found it useful. I’m a visual learner, so stuff like that would have been very useful to me when I was learning to knit.

Teej asked:
I have a question though about more complex cable crossings, like some of the center crossings in the Rogue knotwork where the middle stitch stays the middle stitch, but two stitches on either side of it cross (I think, at least; I don’t have the pattern in front of me). I managed to do it with a cable needle in one direction, but it was very futzy. Do you also do these more complex cables without a cable needle and if so, can you shoot another video to show us your technique?

I documented a complex cable without a cable needle as part of the tutorial on this site. Here is the direct link to the complex cable.

If you search through YouTube, you’ll find a whole lot of videos on knitting, by the way. Just doing a search on “purl” returned a whole bunch of results. Cool, eh?

A number of you commented on my odd knitting style. This video is not that best example of my “regular” knitting, because I was executing a cable, but at some point I’ll do a little video of me just knitting straight stockinette so y’all can point and giggle. Yes, I really do knit that way. (Told you it was not something you want to emulate. Told you.) It comes, I think, from learning to knit as a very small child and improvising to get what worked best for me. While it may look awkward, it works well for me, I can knit for hours without pain (unless I’m doing some very heavy cabling), and I can knit fast enough to satisfy the only one who cares — me. I’m really not a fast knitter, but I’m happy with my results so I’m not going to change how I knit at this point in my life.

I do like Operakatz’ idea:
How cool would it be for whatever bloggers who can shoot short videos with their digi-cams to shoot quick demos of their knitting styles? I think many of us have been told at some point that we “knit wrong” and I think it would be very fun and validating to see just how many different styles there are that still accomplish the same thing…

I think this is a great idea!

Here’s Cromarty.


The current skein of Kersti I’m using has had two knots in it so far, so I’m a tad cranky.


A couple of you have asked about the Log Cabin Blanket I was knitting from leftover sock yarn. (“Was knitting” is the operative phrase here.) I’ve not worked on it in ages, therefore no progress to report.

Tracy asked:
I was wondering if you’ve seen the new Favorite Socks book from Interweave yet. I managed to get a copy yesterday and love it (and not just for the patterns, but it’s in a great spiral bound format). I was surprised to find it since it’s still listed as having an April 1 release date (maybe an April Fool’s joke?). 17 of the patterns are reprints though so this may be a book for new knitters like myself and not such a good bargain for people who have been saving sock patterns from Interweave over the last few years.

I’ve not seen it. I have very few sock books, because 99% of the time the socks I knit are plain socks from my own pattern. Socks are my mindless commuter knitting, so I’m not too interested in sock patterns.

This, of course, is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

Speaking of mindless socks, here is the state of my second Bart & Louise sock.


Lucy Sez


“I’m sure there’s something in this bag for me . . . “


  1. Love the video, love Kersti and thanks for now having that song play in an endless loop in my brain ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Oh wow, Cromarty is coming along beautifully. That yarn is so gorgeous.

    I love the mindless sock. I so have a sock yarn addiction. I am becoming quite addicted to The Loopy Ewe.

  3. I was just checking out the cozy cushions, and they make some for dogs too!!! Quite a bit more expensive, but I am thinking about it anyway.

    Cromarty is looking fabulous!

    I tried lace for the first time last night. Was not successful. I am trying a scarf from Its relatively simple, but somehow I kept dropping my yarn overs and loosing my place. So, I had to tink back half a dozen times on the same row. After that, it just didn’t look right at all so I ripped it out completely. Perhaps I will try again tomorrow.

  4. Sometimes I’m amazed at just how quickly your knitting projects come along. I wish I could knit that fast! Just how many years have you been knitting, anyway?

    Everyone seems to have their own unique style of knitting. Me, I tend to brace my right needles against my legs or stomach (I have a very large stomach, you see), and primarily just move my left needles, while throwing the yarn rather than picking it. (Maybe that’s why I don’t knit so fast, come to think of it. :p) From what I’ve read, some of the best knitwear designers don’t knit the ‘correct’ way, so maybe your odd knitting style is just a sign of your talent. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. hey, if I could knit as quickly and create the beautiful items you do and make it all seem so effortless, I wouldn’t care what my knitting style was. Cromarty and Bart & Louise are looking great. Hi Lucy!

  6. Oh my. Cromarty is just gorgeous!! And I loved the video. I watched it three times, and by jove, I think I’ve got it! Thanks to you and KOARC for putting that together for us. Now I want to go cable something……

  7. I have been knitting over 40 years now. Cables, lace, you name it. I was getting the last cabled stitch loose on a regular basis. Tried it without the cable needle and now the stitches are all nice and even. Thanks!

  8. Amazing progress on the Cromarty. Thank you for the video. The real question is: what IS in the bag for Lucy : )

  9. Operakatz’s idea is great! I apparently have an odd knitting style – in a class from Annie M, she stopped by to scope out what I was doing… I’m with you – I think it’s the self-taught thing! Works for you, works for me…

  10. It’s how I learned how to knit also. It came from putting the needle between my legs and using it as a post to knit off of when I was little. Now I’m able to hold the yarn in a more continental way, but I often tell people that I knit (or used to knit) as a Continental Thrower. Confuses the heck out of them. When I saw your video I was surprised. I figured I was the only one that knitted that way! Now I’m not so lonely (lol)

  11. Need help!….

    Couldn’t find an email link, so this was the next best way.

    I’m not a completely new knitter, but I’m not all that experienced either. I have a few very easy projects under my belt.

    Anyway, I’ve decided to make socks, and I’m using your generic toe up pattern. I’ve just started, and I’m already stuck!! I am at the toe beginning, “Row 1:Knit 29 (31) stitches. Move the working yarn as if to purl. Slip the last, unworked stitch from the left needle to the right needle. Turn the work.” Does this mean the same as a purlwise-slip? Sorry if this is a dumb question!!

    Also, when I read through before starting, I saw a lot of places where you state to wrap the yarn. What’s this mean?

    I really want to try socks!

    Btw – I just recently read your book. I thoroughly enjoyed it….it was really comfortable…like a chat with a good friend.

    Oh, and Lucy is adorable. I’m enjoying your blog.

    I appreciate any help you can give me!! Thank you.

  12. Ohwahoh, you were the first one Ohwahoh, now you’re the last one!

    Love the Buggles. For a further musical flashback, I heard Pop Music by M this morning. (London, Paris, New York, Munich; everybody talkin’ ’bout mmmm pop music.)

    Cromarty is gorgeous beyond belief. And I’m jonesing for some of that Bart and Louise!

  13. Wendy, I read the comments about your knitting style, but frankly didn’t see anything odd about it. In fact, it looks awfully familiar because I hold, drop and throw much like you.

    Could be because I was primarily self-taught (aside from the very basic cast on and knit stitch) and I worked out what worked for me to produce the results I wanted.

  14. Oooo! You have a Minstrel? I lurve my Minstrel. *drool*

  15. I smell a new meme! And I for one would love to participate. I absolutely LOVE watching other people knit. I find it so so fascinating.

    Show how you knit. Brilliant!

  16. The Cromarty is just gorgeous! The color is beautiful!!! Makes my hands ITCH to get into a cable project…. however, I promised myself I would finish up several cross stitch projects this year. These have been hanging around the house for “awhile” now. However, I do take a break and knit a little on a sweater I started last fall.

    The lovely Lucy is, as always, Love-er-ly! luv.m.

  17. Like EZ said… there’s no wrong way to knit. I enjoyed your video. I’m still amazed at how much knitting you churn out. My little people demand so much of my time! LOL

  18. We had an older lady show up at our SnB, normally we’re very welcoming but this one insisted in a very loud voice that I didn’t knit properly. I held my tongue, barely & continued knitting my way ignoring her, probably well intentioned, advice. She never came back again, I was relieved & later said so, the girls laughed themselves silly & said from the look on my face she probably realized her life was in danger!

  19. Your Cromarty is beautiful! One of the many things I love about my knitting group is, we all respect each other’s styles and mediums. If you get knitted fabric in the end, it’s ALL right. I like to see others knit just to learn tidbits. We are a many styled knitter in our group.

  20. I would love to see your “style” of knitting in some future video. I taught myself to knit as a kid, after a few years of crocheting, and my knitting style–called weird by many–turns out to be sort of “combination knitting.” I’m curious to see if you knit like me. I hold the yarn in my left hand and ‘scoop.’ To each her own, eh? P.S. You knit verrrrrrrrrry fast!

  21. And P.S. Lucy is so cute in that pic, for a change!

  22. Beth P. in Maryland says:

    As I always say, “If the end result is right, then the technique was right”! We each have our own way. People tell me that I knit “weird” also.

    Has the additional ball of pink Kidsilk Haze come yet? I really want to see that finished shawl!

    Happy knitting!

  23. I think the knitting videos are a good idea. My MIL always insists she knits (and crochets) “wrong”. I keep telling her that you can’t tell the difference from the finished product, so it can’t be wrong. Just like handwriting is different, so is knitting!

  24. Beautiful Cromarty! I was wowwed by that same Kersti Cromarty a while ago, but am not yet advanced enough to tackle it.

    Thanks for your knitting video. The range of knitting styles is so personal and fascinating. I have recently forced/taught myself to consistently hold my yarn tensioned in the left hand, after a lifetime of standard English right-handie knitting at a snail’s pace. My speed has increased dramatically! And ribbing just flies.

    A question: how do you do 2 color knitting? I would *love* to see a video of your *fair-isle style*! Again, many thanks to you and to KOARC.

  25. I love the color of cromarty! the cables are singing to me!!! I like the idea of shooting a short showing how each individual knits. I learned by watching my Monster-In-Law. She always did beautiful work. Though she did knit way way way too tight. I inherited her knitting needles and they all look like pretzels! Lucy looks great photographed with that blue bag. Her eyes looks gorgeous!

  26. When I was a teen, my mother’s friends always made fun of the way I knitted, which I now know is “combined”. I also hold the yarn oddly (between my thumb and forefinger, not wrapping it around my fingers). But my stitches were always so even and my work was done so quickly that they couldn’t understand how I did it. The only problem I had was interpreting instructions to take stitches “knitwise”, and I just focused on the results rather than the process to get there. I think it is good thing that knitting dictators are being deposed–it’s the results that count.

    I’d love to see how you knit. I think you go at lightning speed!

  27. If you knit “oddly” then I must knit oddly too, because what you were doing in the cabling video is almost exactly how I knit, lol. And for the same reason, too.

  28. First of all, you do knit quickly even though you constantly say that you don’t; otherwise, I can’t see how you could make so much progress on your projects in the limited time you have to knit them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, I am so tired of everyone in our society putting such a premium on speed whether it comes to knitting or anything else in this world. In my mind, knitting isn’t about speed. In fact, I do it so that I can slow my life down a bit and focus on one thing at a time. What does it matter how long it takes as long as I am enjoying the process. I admire those who take time to retrain themselves in order to use another knitting style to improve their speed if that is a goal that they truly want to achieve. However, like you, I have been using mine too long (English style with yarn tensioned over the index finger, under the middle finger, and over the ring finger) to try to change now. I have practiced the traditional continental style in order to use it in two-color knitting, but it never feels right to me. When I sit down to knit, I am more interested in having that wonderful familiar feeling I have from my style of knitting than being a speed demon in my knitting. Besides, one of the fastest knitters I know knits using the English method, so sometimes it has more to do with the individual than the method.

  29. I knit the Combination style so I definitely knit “wrong”. I sort of drop my stitches for the purl side but since the yarn is so wrapped around my left hand, it doesn’t drop all the way. I also am not crazy fast, but I have zero interest in changing how I knit just for more speed. I like knitting. Finishing is just a bonus.

  30. Cromarty is gorgeous. I’m happy to hear that you knit in an unusual way. I learned from a book and I tried to emulate what they showed but I’ve gotten a few funny looks so I’m not sure that I really use any of the “accepted” methods. It works for me though so I’ll keep on. I just decline all requests to try to explain it or to teach anyone else how to knit.

  31. Another one that didn’t see much unusual in your knitting style. I love watching animals and bags!

  32. Lucy…That bag is soooooo you! (Or me, for that matter) The blue is Puuurrrrrrfect for our eyes! Don’t let Mom take it away, now…

  33. Hi Wendy and Lucy. I would love seeing a video of you knitting stockinette! Thank you for all that you share! I did notice that you didn’t knit using the “typical” styles (continental or American). I LOVED IT! You are so amazing with all that you know about knitting, how fast you are, and what beautiful items you produce. It was the icing on the cake for me to see that you had a different style than what most (or a lot) of people consider the norm. I know this is going to sound cheesy but you’re my knitting idol!

    Oh and I went to my local pet supply store on my way to work this morning and asked about the Cozy Cushion. They are going to order some for the store!! Wooo hooooo!



  34. Love the video, it all makes sense and I can’t wait to try it when I start the Irish Hiking Scarf.

    By the way, I knit just like you. Learned from a kids’ book (but a good one) a couple of years ago and had no one to show me how to hold the yarn for tension. It’s all in the fingers! I worried about it for a while until I compared my work to pictures and saw, yes, I *was* making garter stitch, I *was* making stockinette, etc.

    Just bought your book yesterday when I needed a non-yarn fix. Love your style and can’t wait to try the patterns.

    Hi Lucy!

  35. When I watched your video, I said, “hey, she knits like I do!”

    The rest of the world doesn’t know what it’s missing, eh?

  36. I worked at a store called Skein Lane that shot a short video of several different people knitting. All the styles were different and all the knitters did what worked for them. I think it is still out there at

  37. Just a comment about the log cabin afghan. I knit a log cabin afghan for my nephew for his wedding, out of stash yarns, sometimes not the same type of yarn. BIG MISTAKE. I also used a newfangled device to weave in the millions of ends which worked fast (but also loosened up over the years). I had an opportunity to see it again this Christmas (he lives in a different city) now 6 years after gifting. It was coming apart in many many places. I think the fact I used different yarns had something to do with it–the tension of all those different pieces pulling in different directions. And then the weaving in of ends was not back and forth, locked in, as I usually do. Sally Melville’s log cabin pattern in the Knitting Experience, uses Paton’s Classic Wool, and then she fulls it so that stitches and yarn ends would be locked in better. I think I might consider knitting the squares together for a firmer bond. I promised my nephew a replacement (after spending about 14 hours mending the original) when I finish my current “to knit” list.Anyway, just thought I’d share this experience with another log cabin afghan knitter.

  38. Well, you’re going to think this is crazy, but after watching your little video and seeing your unique left-handed kntting technique I immediately tried it with some fair isle I’m doing. I keep having a diastrous time keeping the left yarn in proper position of my index finger.

    Well, after using your tenchique I’m now flying right along!! It helps me maintain a rhythm I couldn’t get before.

    Thanks from a convert to your knitting style. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. You knit almost exactly like I do!!!!!!!! I loved the video. It drives my knitting hubby crazy. I get asked all the time if I am a picker or a thrower. I have no idea – I don’t even know my left from my right, but I explain that no matter how I do it I still get a sock (or whatever led to the comment about my knitting style)

  40. I have a cat named Lucy also. She’s an Ocicat (and has a brother Linus). She likes to hold down my knitting. I got a picture of her on Sunday night holding down an afghan blocking on my guest bed (just in case the afghan decided to jump).

    Cromarty is looking great. I borrowed the book from the library this weekend to take a look at the pattern. There was a mass of talk about it during a knitting clinic I took at Yarnzilla a week and a half ago.

  41. Having watched your video and one of Annie Modesitt (sp?), I think you two knit similarly. Having learned to knit continental (or what is now known as Eastern uncrossed), I am fascinated by how you maintain tension this way.

    Keep on!

  42. How is your Maltese shawl coming along? Did you get your extra ball of KSH?
    I have a couple of questions about that stole: do you think the KSH yarn ‘makes’ that stole or would it look just as attractive with a ‘non-hairy’ laceweight such as Zephyr?
    Also, I considering making that shawl but I’m not sure I want it as long as what is pictured in the book. Do you think it is a very easy pattern to knit shorter and adjust the edging accordingly?

  43. Oh I LOVED that song and now I can’t get it outta my head LOL…..Thanks for taking the time for the video, it is really good!!!

  44. Ok, now I’ve got that song stuck in my head. Love that song, but still….

    Cromarty is looking so great. I’m not real familiar with Kersti so I have a question. Cromarty looks lightweight (for a cable thing) not as thick as some cable/aran style sweaters. Is it kinda lighter?

    Ok… that question just made zero sense didn’t it? Sorry.

  45. At last, someone whose knitting technique is as crazy as mine! In fact, whose knitting technique is almost identical to mine! Huzzah!

    I chalk it up to the fact that I taught myself from an article in (dare I say it?) Martha Stewart Living – their diagrams showed the logistics of where they yarn should go, but without showing the hands doing the work.

    And I, too, can knit for hours without pain in my hands/wrists/arms.

    Yay for us!

  46. Is that a Kromski Polonaise in the background?

  47. You knit just like I do! My knitting style comes from being taught to knit by my boyfriend. He knew how to do a lace cast-on and to make knit and purl stitches but not really being a knitter he didn’t know that you were ‘meant’ to hold the yarn in any particular way. Although the way I knit has occasionally freaked people out at my knitting group it’s never particularly bothered me that I don’t knit in one of the two main styles. And now I know I’m in good company!

  48. Three cheers for you Wendy! I was so charmed to watch your video and see someone knit the same way that I do. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said I should be holding and throwing the yarn with my right hand. I love my left handed technique, and I wonder if you accomplish the same thing I do? When you throw, are you actually pulling on the yarn as you throw? The reason I ask is that my slight pulling action as I throw accounts for my even tension when knitting. Right-handed throwing for me is a disaster!