My current work in progress:

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



Hey, thanks for all the nice comments about Cromarty!

There were a couple of questions about how Cromarty looks being worn by a “real” person. Well here you go.


The color’s a little off – it’s a richer teal. (The person is a little off too, but we won’t go there.)


Warning: Opinion ahead.

Nope, it’s not haute couture, but I don’t like haute couture knitwear. I like a sweater to look like a sweater. It seems lately that there is a movement to design knitwear that’s more fitted, with design elements you would find in tailored clothing. That may appeal to a lot of people but it is not for me.

I love traditional knits. While I see nothing wrong in updating traditional knitting for modern wear, some of the stuff I’ve seen recently takes the idea a bit too far. A heavy cabled sweater or a stranded fair isle is a warm sweater, and I don’t think they lend themselves to being extremely fitted. I like my warm sweaters to be relatively loose-fitting, otherwise they are too warm for me.

End of opinion.

There were a couple of questions about how I fitted the neckband. Without the neckband, the cast-off edges of the square neck on Cromarty really spread out. So much so that it was falling off my shoulders when I tried it on.

I measured the width of the cast-off edge of the neck, and knitted the band to be an inch and a half shorter, then pinned it in the neck and mattress-stitched it in place, easing in the fullness. Worked like a charm. And it made the neckline much more reasonable. While a wide neck might look attractive, it’s not practical for the type of sweater Cromarty is — a winter sweater knit from wool.

While knitting it, it occurred to me that Cromarty would look great knit from Rowan Calmer. And in that case, a wider neck would be more appropriate.

Rockin’ Socks!

I finished my Inside Out socks. Here’s the out-side out:


And the in-side out:


Totally reversible!

The toe, foot, and heel were knit with a size 0 needle, and the leg was knit with a size 2. Because the leg is cabled, you need to work it loosely so it wn’t be too tight. These came out perfect for me.

What’s Next?

Can anybody identify what this is the start of?


Lucy Sez


“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .”


  1. Wendy, I have fallen in love with your blog, your book, your Cromarty sweater, so much so that I ordered the Celtic Collection so I could make Cromarty too…I am currently knitting Enchanted Forest…loving it! Unfortunately, the sizes are too small (for me) in the Celtic Collection and I wondered if you had any tips on re-sizing to make a size 50″ bust. I did buy Starmore’s Fisherman’s Knits, which does seems to have some larger sizes,,,but loved your Cromarty.

  2. I love your socks!I must get busy knitting mine.Seems lately everyone else wants socks too.But the rule around here is-you want socks,you buy the yarn.I never guarantee WHEN they will be done. ;)Love Cromarty.Can’t wait til I am brave enough to cast on for something that big!

  3. Love Cromarty , I don’t like fitted sweaters, they show up too much of me that it is kinder to remain hidden . Would you be starting to knit ‘ Alpine Knit Scarf’ by any chance ????????

  4. I agree with you about fitted sweaters. It might just be because I have a less-than-appealing body type (read: I’m very overweight), but I prefer my sweaters to be somewhat loose-fitting rather than clingy. Then it conceals an unflattering body as well as warms it.

    I’m glad to see some more lace on the needles. I do love reading your adventures in lace-land!

  5. Shirley, in PA says:

    I like loose sweaters too, and long enough to cover my belly button. Your socks are wonderful. I just did my first short row heel and am on the leg. Thanks for your detailed instructions on how to do the heel (and toe). I think I might be a convert to toe-up.

  6. My earliest arans were bainin and close-fitting. After working on boats off the West coast of Ireland, I only knitted them as dark tunics, as the ever-practical fishermen wore. But, Cromarty is probably too elegant to wear for mending nets and tossing sacks of potatoes on the piers!

  7. i like the look of that garter heel/toe.

  8. I love your Cromarity! I might have to go back and adjust the neckband on mine in the same way.

    Your current project is either the Alpine Knit Scarf (which I was working on, but sent to the frog pond last week) or the Framed Sampler Shawl from Victorian Lace TodaK

  9. That looks like one of the Victorian Lace today pieces. Maybe the sampler stole with the wide border option or the alpine lace I think it’s called? I don’t have my copy handy.

  10. Fab Cromarty on! The Socks Rock as well. I have club envy.

  11. Patricia says:

    Nice sweater. And I think you have started a lace shawl…

    I prefer close (but not tight) fitting garments- I’m on the slender side and get lost in looser fitting items. I do appreciate your comments on the extra warmth of cabled and stranded items and will keep that in mind if and when I knit one- I’ll go for slightly more ease.

    And despite liking fitted garments- I do have a couple or three “nuclear war sweaters”- comfy, very loose fitting sweaters for wearing around the house, yard work, etc. The cat likes them too, and it doesn’t matter if they get covered in fur. I call them n-war sweaters because that’s the kind of garment you want in the bunker- warm, comfy, last forever, and tradeable. (they are Goodwill specials, not hand knit)

  12. sonja poor says:

    I’m thinking it looks the Alpine shawl that I’ve had going for way too long. If you start and then finish that before I do, I’ll give up! Just kidding. I can’t wait to see yours.

  13. I love the inside-out socks. I hope BMFA makes the pattern available when the sock club is over, so the rest of us can join in the fun!

  14. Is that a Candle Flame Shawl? Whatever it is, it’s very pretty. Love the socks & Cromarty too! Oh hell, everything you knit is great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I’m not sure what that is you’re knitting next, but it’s very interesting looking!

  16. You’re knitting a lace bathrobe!!!

    Uh … no?

  17. Your Cromarty turned out beautifully and it looks good on you.

    I can’t imagine what you are onto next, although it does look shawl-like.

  18. Humm…looks like a lacy stole to me. Can’t wait to see the progress. Love your sweater…I agree that most sweaters are not meant to be fitted.

  19. Wendy- I agree 100% about the shaping- you’re meant to be showing off the cable work-

    and fine cable work it is too!

  20. It’s….lace!!

    I think Cromarty is a perfect piece of completely wearable art. It’s beautiful!

  21. Considering my poor near-vision and my inability to concentrate for very long, it looks like a beautifully done start of a migraine! You are amazing!

  22. I love slightly fitted to tighter knits. I have t&a, but a waist. So if I hide my middle too much I look much larger then I am. Especially with bulky cables. Cromarty is fab on you, but I fear it would be a trash bag on me. *sigh*

  23. Totally the Alpine Lace Shawl from VLT. So very very pretty.

    Also love the socks. I must get in on the Rockin’ Sock Club next year.

    As for sweaters… I’m a tiny person, so I get lost in unfitted sweaters, and am more inclined to knit more fitted garments. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of an oversized wool sweater on a cold day!

  24. Great looking sweater and Thank you so much for all the help you provide!

  25. Beautiful sweater – love the socks.

  26. The new sweater looks great, another masterpiece!

  27. Cromarty looks very nice on. I tend to agree that I prefer loose sweaters, because they just look better on my ample physique. But, I have to say that Eunny Jang’s fitted fair isle sweaters are quite lovely and look fabulous on her. I could never wear one, though. I just have to admire her genius from afar.

    Your socks came out nice, too, but that’s no surprise!

  28. I love Cromarty! It’s cable-icious.

    I just ordered some Berkies yesterday so I can wear them to show off my handknit socks. I couldn’t resist the easy pay option! I remember the picture you took of your feet one day in your Crocs…do you ever wear Birkenstocks? I’ve wanted them for years and I can’t wait to get them! I got blue…I love blue.

    Next year I’m going to try to get in on the Rockin’ socks club.

  29. Those socks are seriously cool. I adore them. I think you’re knitting more lace! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lucy has the right idea – I swear I am still not fully recovered from DST. Blech.

  30. anonymous says:

    I personally like the reverse side (the inside-out side) of the socks; it looks more wavy at the cuff. (Does that make sense?)

  31. I’ve been lusting after the Lindisfarne sweater from The Celtic Collection and was wondering if you’d have any thoughts or suggestions, in general, regarding substituting yarn? The pattern calls for all manner of Rowan yarns, from wool/silk to donegal tweed, do you think a basic fair-isle-appropriate wool work? Any advice?

  32. cromarty is cableiscious ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Cromarty is beautiful, and the fit is perfect. Your hair looks cute, too! Hmm, Cromarty in Calmer – sounds like a great idea!

  34. I’m with you on more traditional fit and styling. Last week Eunny Jang had a gorgeous fair isle on her blog with a scoop neck – lovely to look at but I thought, if it’s cold enough to wear a stranded sweater who wants your neck and chest flapping in the breeze? Some *fashions* like that simply make no sense!

    Now a nice, cool fitted cotton shell with a scoop neck, that’s another story.

    You already know how juicy I think Cromarty is ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Cromarty is downright handsome and “we” should be pleased. I agree with you on keeping sweaters a bit looser. If not, I would just melt. If I want fitted, I’ll put on a designer jacket. Gotta love Lucy, the sleeping cat.

  36. BTW, whatever the lace is…I LIKE it!

  37. Theresa in Italy says:

    Cromarty is a work of art. I agree that a cabled wool sweater should not be too form-fitting and that you might not want to show off too much skin at the neckline. (But the photo of you yesterday in the “before” boatneck-type version was very flattering.)

    I’m willing to venture that the new project is lace….

    Poor Lucy, still struggling with the time change. This worries me—Europe changes its clocks this coming Sunday…!

  38. This may sound odd, but I love fitted sweaters, and yet I also loved reading your differing (from mine) opinion about them. I guess I just find it interesting to hear what other knitters think about knitting and knitted objects, and why. Viva la difference!

  39. Fabulous sweater Wendy! A work of art and no mistake. Have no idea what the new project is, but it looks complex. Lucy is, as always, a sweetie! Luv.m.

  40. I have to side with Patricia who pointed out that some of us lilliputians (sp?) get swallowed up by big sweaters. I actually started knitting because store-bought sweaters are too big for my chest, or lack there of. I’m pretty disappointed that my first sweater still manages to be all saggy in the chest and shoulders making me look like a football player without the pads. ๐Ÿ™ That’s not to say that I don’t have my comfort clothes. I especially love an oversized sweater on snow days or apres ski. Now I want some hot chocolate!

    I love the look of designer sweaters – perfect for the office in the winter. Not that I can afford to buy them or have the experience to make anything that Eunny designs. Still they’re stunning.

  41. I looks just lovely, and the colour really suits you! And Gandalf approves, as he’s pawing away at the monitor as I type this. Or maybe it’s Lucy…

    I agree with you too – a traditional sweater is meant to show off the traditional designs.

  42. I agree with you completely about sweater shape, and for a while I attributed it to “old age” (and have a blog entry about that). But I think the “boxy” sweaters are very comfortable, and those that are form fitted are less so. And I’ll bet that the fashion pendulum shifts away from the form-fitted sweaters relatively soon. I knit my sweaters “for life”, and I expect them to look good and fashionable for decades. So I will consider one or two with modest shaping (as Elizabeth I), but for the rest, it will be more traditional styles.

    Cromarty is beautiful, and it looks beautiful on you.

  43. I’m with Lucy, but I know it will be lovely, whatever it is.

    Your Cromarty sweater looks beautifully comfy, and just right for you. Rowan Calmer is such pretty yarn, and it is tantalizing to imagine Cromarty in Calmer.

    Sorry, but I am more for the fitted sweaters, and love the advent of beautiful tailored details on knitted items. However, a comfy sweater that fits like Cromarty, and can be layered under is nice to have on hand as well.

    Have a great day,

  44. I definitely second your “opinion.”
    Some of your readers mentioned Eunny Jang. I love her work, but her very fitted look won’t flatter my “larger than most” shape. In her new role as editor of Interweave Knits, I hope she will keep in mind that we are Not All Thin.
    Cromarty is gorgeous.

  45. Congratulations, your sweater is fabulous. What a master Knitter youar to do suach a complicated pattern. It is beautiful. Well done.

    Your socks are also great and I love the pattern of the leg on the inside out pair.

    I rally enjoy your blog and start my day reading it.

    thank you

  46. Cromarty looks wonderful! And it looks like Kersti offers some drape..really pretty. I like the idea of a wider neck, and was also thinking Rowan Calmer would be a great yarn to try–thanks for confirming that idea.

  47. Ooh! More lace! Go Wendy! I’m sure whatever it is it’s going to be beautiful. And your socks came out great. I have about 10 more rows on the second one and I’ll be done. I didn’t have any problems with these either (despite a lot of comments over on the STR blog). Did the toe, heel, and leg on 1’s and the foot on 0’s and they feel great. I think I like the inside out “side” best. Shows up the cables more. Cromarty looks great on you. Nothing quite like a good comfy sweater!

  48. Wendy, I can’t wait for you to tell us about your current GORGEOUS project!

    Do tell Miss Appley!


  49. Cromarty is to die for – so beautiful – the color – the cables – A+++ – and it looks beautiful on you. Can’t wait to see your lace as it progresses. I’m really enjoying knitting lace – working on the Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls, using Sundara’s lace weight. Love to Lucy!

  50. I’m just a lace newbie but that looks like you’re doing one of your own designs with the Candle Flame lace pattern.

    Cromarty: gorgeous.

  51. It’s all a matter of taste when it comes to fitting knitwear. I don’t know if I’d like cables on a fitted sweater, because I’d look like a mess of lumpy bumps, but then some others would like that. Plus, I just get itchy with knits worn next to the skin.

    Can I just say again, Cromarty is FABULOUS. And that teal is growing on me, woman.

  52. When I see your new project I a want lacy cardigan for summer… but maybe it is a shawl like most others say.

    Just got some socks that rock yarn and want it on my needles tonight! but alas I have sock on them right now ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love your handbag from a few posts ago… maybe if I am a good girl I can have one when I grow up.

  53. love the socks. I think I prefer the inside out. I can’t tell from the pictures – how are the 2 ribbings different?

  54. Beautiful work as always. Is there a lot of excess at the underarm of the sweater? How is your leftover sock yarn log cabin going, or should I not ask? I am working on one, inspired by you, that my granddaughter has claimed. It is now about 44″ X 46″ and she says it’s not big enough. I am going into virgin balls of sock yarn to continue. Also waiting for my attention is the Forest Darkness Bohus, also inspired by you. I put it aside about a year ago to work on other things. My bad boys Billy and Neil send love to Lucy.

  55. Is that the Alpine Knit Scarf from Victorian Lace Today? If so, I’ve got one on the needles, too! If not, ummm, well…I don’t. heh.

  56. Lovely Cromarty…you know it was actually a.) the first sweater b.) the first cabling and c.) the first Alice Starmore I’d ever done? Oh, how we learn…I do want to go back and knit another, sometime, this time for myself. We’ll see what happens.