My current work in progress:

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




Thank you all very much for all your good wishes for Lucy’s speedy recovery!

She is, actually, taking it easy. Being the little busybody she is, she wants to be with me whatever I’m doing, so I try not to move around too much so she doesn’t feel the need to follow me. (See? Excuse number 5,742 for not doing any cleaning. It might tire Lucy.) And I try to lift her down from places when she looks like she wants to jump.

Fortunately, most of the surfaces she gets up on are easy climbs for her — my bed is an antique so it’s quite high off the floor, but I have a cedar chest at the foot of the bed that’s an easy half-jump for Lucy, and then just a step-up to the bed. She can easily get up on the seat of the sofa, and from there it’s another easy half-jump to the sofa table behind the sofa.

When I left for work this morning the Little Princess was getting ready to take a nap on her Cozy Cushion on the bed. She is still limping quite noticeably, and I think she’s figured out that it’s best to stay quiet.

Beverley asked:
We are the devoted owners, no slaves to a calico cat called Patches. In New Zealand of course cats have free range and go outside. You seem to live in an apartment? is that right. [ Just going off your snow pics ] Does Lucy go out side at all? How do you find this? I can’t imagine trying to stop our cat…she is such a good hunter and loves playing in the garden when I am weeding etc. I suppose an inside cat would be used to it. Anyway just wondering??

I live on the 10th floor of a high-rise condominium. Lucy does not go outside at all, and this seems not to bother her a bit. She’s a Ragdoll, a breed known for their sweet, non-aggressive temperament. Ragdolls should never be allowed outside unsupervised, because they will not defend themselves in a confrontational situation. So they are perfect indoor apartment/condo cats.

Brenda commented:
When I was little, my grandmother had a big orange cat, Max, who started limping. She took him to the vet, where he was given a cortisone shot. He was great for quite a while, but then he started holding his paw up again. Before Grandma Frances could decide if she needed to take him back to the vet, she noticed that he did not limp when he thought he was undetected (he was outside on his leash and she was watching through a window), but if she went outside he would start to limp again (he also made the mistake of sometimes changing which paw he held up–little brain). She had a steroid abuser-wannabe kitty. The vet agreed with Grandma that he did not need more meds, and after a few days Max gave up trying and stopped limping. I know Lucy would never behave in such a nefarious manner, but I thought you might enjoy the story.

I did, so much so that I repeated it here. ๐Ÿ™‚

And it reminds me of a former cat I had, who was always underfoot. So much so, that I stepped on his tail from time to time. Every time I did, and he let out a yelp, I’d give him a treat to say I was sorry. He quickly learned that this was a fast way to get a treat and started trying to get his tail stepped on. Soon, anytime I got anywhere near him, he’d let out a yelp as if he’d been stepped on, and then look at me pointedly: “Well, where’s my treat?”

Little con-artist.


EricaLynn commented:
I have been admiring the Alpine lace ever since you started it (I have a weakness for leafy patterns). How do you think it would look in black? I ‘rescued’ some black laceweight from my mom, because she will never use it and wanted me to make something that shape. I love the lighter colors though usually, I’d hate to do all that work and have it look bad.

There’s a photo of a black Alpine lace that I found on a blog a while back. After some mad Googling, I found it, here. Gorgeous, huh?

Regina asked:
I’m also looking forward to seeing it blocked, but it’s looking pretty huge in its unblocked state – do you anticipate that it will grow much in size when you block? (or were you stretching it out a little for photographing and you won’t stretch it much more in blocking?).

While I do stretch it out a little for photos, I’m betting it’s going to grow substantially when blocked. The yarn is very stretchy and springy and the pattern is quite closed up while being knit. Incidentally, it’s not all that huge in real life. ๐Ÿ™‚


Serendipity Sock


First sock is done. And is pretty decent-sized. So yes, you can get a reasonably good-sized pair of socks out of one skein of Zen String Serendipity sock yarn. For reference, I wear a women’s size 8.5 shoe and have wide feet.

Book Giveaway

I have another book to give away. This is Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson, who is one of my current favorite mystery authors.

Would you like it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 1, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a lucky recipient. Once again, anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter the drawing.

Lucy Sez


“Come pet me, Momma. I’m injured, remember.”


  1. Thanks for the link, Wendy! Her shawl is indeed gorgeous (although I personally prefer the white). My mom wears black though, and I think it’ll be perfect!

  2. I think I will be ordering Victorian Lace Today. I just can’t stop wanting everything in it! A Gathering of Lace looks equally promising, so I think I will get that too.

    Poor kitty. Glad she is taking it easy.

  3. Wendy- It’s true, that when treats are in the offing, cats can figure out very quickly how to get them from us.
    Kitten-Chow is also an indoor, much adored, spoiled kitty. Outdoor cats don’t have long lives because of our fox and coyote problems.

  4. So glad to hear that Lucy’s doing well!! And, don’t think that cats have the monopoly on tricky behaviors to get treats and attention . . . dogs are quite good at that, too (grin). (Guess how I know!)

  5. I’m so sorry Lucy isn’t feeling up to par! At least she still looks magnificent;-)

  6. Poor Lucy! I do hope she mends quickly. That is quite the tummy display. Does she like to have it rubbed? We have a huge white fluff monster who is the sweetest thing until you try to rub his tummy and then those big ol’ hind feet start kicking. All the others love belly rubs, though.

    I’ve been sick for a while so I’m catching up on the previous posts. The Cromarty turned out so well and I can’t wait to see how the Alpine lace looks when it is finished and blocked.

  7. Glad to hear Lucy is feeling better. Beautiful lace!

  8. I think I’m quite thankful that my cats aren’t as manipulative as that steriod-abuser-wannabe! *laughs* They are manipulative little buggers, but that’s part of their feline charm.

    Of course, I wish that feline charm wasn’t manifested by them taking flying leaps onto my pillow in the middle of the night, or trying to prevent my roommate and I from leaving the house by lying on our alarm clock, thus muffling the sound of the alarm.

  9. That’s a wonderful story about Max: I wonder which part of going to the vet and getting an injection he was eager to repeat. We had a tom cat that we were advised not have fixed because he ‘only had 6 months to live’. I don’t know he convinced the vet of that, but he lived for at least another 3 years. I say ‘at least’ because we left him behind when we moved house. We reckoned we would have been taking him away from all the other people who fed him; this way he was only losing us. We still had his mother, who regarded him as a perpetual embarrassment, and she came with us.

  10. Poor Lucy, I hope she feels better soon! Awesome socks! I can’t wait to see the Alpine Shawl finished and blocked, it’s beautiful so far ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I have 5 cats, all indoor only, despite living in the suburbs. I remember reading in the various cat books/magazines that indoor cats live 12-20 years, and outdoor cats tend to live more like 5…on average (yeah, there are extremes that defy the statistics, that is what makes them statistics, after all!). So most cats I know are indoor only. Makes the disease/flea issues easier, too! They don’t seem to mind. Mine are great hunters…we do get mice in the house…but not for long!

  12. Love the pooling on that sock!

    Hee hee – for some reason, I had a vision of you carrying Lucy around in a Baby Bjorn to make sure she didn’t aggravate her leg…

  13. It’s amazing how smart our pets are. They know how to let us know when they don’t feel well and they know how to get us to give them treats, etc. I absolutely loved Brenda’s story of her grandmother’s cat Max. What a character. Wendy, your story of the cat who tried to negotiate treats is also funny.

    As far as indoor cats, I have 3 of them. They’re very happy, they play with each other. When the weather’s nice they spend hours looking outside.

    Hope Lucy heals as fast as my Mirabel did. She’s totally fine and hopefully will stay that way.

  14. How do you manage the comments you receive? Do you just set aside an hour, or two, or three each day to read them all and then respond accordingly? Or do you read them periodically through the day? I have to admit, you seem to be one of the best comment-acknowlegde-ers I’ve seen!

    BTW love the shawl!

  15. I like yours better (re the black Alpine).

  16. What funny cat stories! Thanks for sharing those.

  17. Okay–I’m coming out of lurkdom to ask for advice you’ve probably given a million times before, but this is really killing me.

    I bought drop-dead gorgeous lace-weight yarn at Stitches East. It’s a single 100-gram ball of 2400 yards of stunningly variegated 100% merino thread, practically. The colors are deep plums and auburns and blues–very autumnal.

    I want to challenge myself and make a stunning lace project with this yarn, yet I’m so overwhelmed by the choice that I haven’t been able to do anything but stare at it.

    The vendor is a Russian couple and the name of the booth (and site) is Skaska Designs, if that helps place it. I’ve looked for a photo of the yarn online and can’t even find it on their site.

    Anyway–I’m nervous about ruining the yarn, but also about choosing just the right lace pattern to show off the variegated yarn. The color changes are slow from what I’ve seen so far.

    Any ideas? I’d love to see/read what your readers might suggest, or to learn if anyone else has used this yarn.


    Our boy, Henry (big, dumb dog) wishes Lucy a speedy recovery because he knows how hard it is to lay off the running and jumping–he cut his paw pad once and couldn’t run for a whole week. Torture for everyone involved!

  18. Awww, poor Lucy, I hope she back to normal soon. I so love seeing her by your knitting!!

  19. I love how you love Lucy, much in the same way I love my Spike. There is something special about knitters and something even more special about animal lovers. Put the two together and you have some pretty awesome people.

  20. I love Inspector Banks! I am waiting for the most recent book to go paperback to get my latest fix!!

  21. I love that “flying kitty” pose! I love those new socks but I’m such a sucker for green ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. You said that you’re “extraordinarily picky” about the lace projects. I’m curious about what makes a pattern acceptable or not acceptable. I’d love to hear your criteria. Thanks.

  23. Poor Lucy! Lucy’s boo-boo and the other stories reminded me of the time my horse came up lame; he milked it for all it was worth until we caught him tearing into the barn to get dinner! Our old dog, Lassie, did that too. I had caught her quick once, very slightly, when doing her nails; she didn’t let me forget that for years.

  24. Look at her working it!! LOL

  25. Love the sneaky kitty stories! They are smart little beasties. I live out in the bush and my cats do not go outside for three reasons, too many dogs running loose, deer live around here (where there are deer, there are ticks) and they don’t have claws. They are happy and healthy cats who love living here.

    That shawl looks good in both black and white.

  26. I love your Serendipity socks. Yet another colorway I will have to keep an eye out for and try to snap up a skein of. Love your Alpine Shawl. I’m still dithering about which pattern from Victorian Lace Today to start first.

  27. Olga M Trujillo says:

    Your cat Lucy is precious, I just lost my siamese cat of 21 years in part to the food tha was contaminated and I was forced to put him to sleep. I miss him so much that when I saw yours I had to send you a note. Hope she gets better soon.

    God Bless

  28. Thanks so much for enjoying and sharing my Max story! I’m glad Lucy is taking it easy. Cats can be pretty smart that way, much smarter than most people in that regard.

  29. Boy, I miss a day, and all hell breaks loose at Lucy’s household! Here’s hoping she recovers quickly. One of my girls has a few extra pounds on her, (like her mama), thanks to an over-fondness for Cat Chow, and every time she jumps down from something she gives a little “oof” sound. I worry about her joints, but thus far in her 13-year life, she’s been fine. I try to put little step-stool type things in her path so she doesn’t have so far to jump from things.

    Those con-artist cat stories are hilarious.

  30. many wishes for a speedy recovery for sweet lucy.
    I just hate it when my kitties aren’t feeling totally okay.
    give her some loves from us!

  31. My cat is part Ragdoll too (amongst other things, she’s a catly mutt) and I must agree that she just isn’t built for outdoor living. She’s very timid and non-agressive and when she accidentally got let out by a visitor to the flat she spent the whole time hiding under a bush and avoiding other creatures!

    I really hope Lucy gets better! It’s sad when cat friends are unwell! ๐Ÿ™

  32. All right. That is SO CUTE that you try not to move around a lot, for the sake of the kitty. SO CUTE!!! I like the Serendipity sock. Fantastic colors.

  33. There’s a whole blog comitted to Victorian Lace to day!
    Lots and lots of pics of finished projects. Here’s a pic of Alpine in red:
    I think it looks great in red too!

    Thanks for a great blog!

  34. Ah they certainly can be con artists! But they’re such sweet furry little things, it’s hard to get mad at them, huh?

  35. Here’s something the princess might enjoy while she’s recuperating: [also available through Amazon]

    We had to peel our cats off the TV screen!

  36. It happened again. I was knitting in the doctor’s office (SeaCoast yarn in BubbleGum colorway). Nice person sits down next to me and asks “what’s that?”. I say “I’m knitting a sock”. Finally we are through the why-would-anyone-knit-a-sock conversation, she decides that the sock is very pretty and I should open up a booth at a craft fair and sell my socks. When I knit for other people I charge between 10 and 17 cents per yard. Add that to the cost of the yarn and I’m working on a $60+ pair of socks. When I quote her a price she exclaims – “Oh that’s too much. You should charge $15 for those socks. People will buy them for that price.” And then she starts the why knit socks conversation. I was never so happy to be called in for a mammogram.

    Are you ever asked to sell your socks?

  37. I’m glad Lucy is taking it easy. Give her a pat from me.

    The Alpine Lace just looks like it’s turning out perfectly. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  38. Cute kitty!!!! I hope she feels better really, really soon!

    Hi, I’m new to the blogopshere ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Hey as a Canuck, I LOVE Robinson…great writer and love his books! So of course I am sure I deserve the book :)!!
    Love that shawl, can’t wait to see it unblocked and modeled…knit on!

  40. Poor little Lucy! I remember bringing our cat home after she was spayed, with strict instructions from the vet not to let her jump. And I had no idea how to do that! She’s a cat, cats jump everywhere, and that’s just how it is. And she did proceed to jump all over the place, but fortunately she was just fine–no pulled stitches or anything. But I never did figure out how one keeps a cat from jumping, short of confining it to the carrier.

    Anyway, I hope the limp goes away quickly. Lots of naps should help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Our korat limped for a short time after roughhousing with our daughter. Which led to a discussion of what to do and not do with a cat.

    However, she has a long-standing problem that is referred to in our house as defective or broken legs. When we come home at the end of the work/school day, or at other random times, she runs into the middle of a carpeted floor area, and suddnly her legs no longer work. She just falls over. And lays there. Until she gets petted. And chucked under the chin. And gets her nose bridge rubbed. And gets petted some more.

  42. Lucy, I highly recommend playing your Person for all that limp is worth. Works for me!


  43. I remember when my first Basset Hound sprained a paw. Of course, we babied her, gave her extra hugs and treats. She seemed to take forever to heal, until one day we caught her limping on the wrong foot and called her on it. Ruh Roh! Caught in the act. They call them dumb animals, but some of them can be very clever.

  44. I love the sock! The colors are great. And all the cute cat stories made me smile.

  45. Lucy is a cutie. And the lace shawl is lovely. Funny stories! I have a devious dog. Who (before her sister came to live here and while her bro was visiting) tricked her bro into leaving his food dish (he says…oh! an excited bark! around the corner! better go see!) so she could sneak back quickly and gobble his meal up.

  46. I’m happy to know that Lucy is recovering and taking life easy. The Serendity sock is awesome.

  47. Your socks look like something about… mint? chocolate? or something else ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just love them…
    Hugs from me to LUCY and you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. Love the sock colors! And thanks for your comment a short while back about “stepping outside your color palette” when it comes to sock yarn… you inspired me to go with a more vivid red-blend than I would have otherwise bought. Lovely yarn… which may even spark a search for sweater yarn in the same colors.

    Have a great weekend!

  49. I love reading stories about how diabolically clever our cats are. Mine don’t have occasion to fake-limp or trick me into giving treats (although Mister is terrific at feigning starvation), but Packet is quite the princess and somehow gets us to do the most shockingly servile things without even trying. If she doesn’t feel like making a jump from a high window sill or dresser, she’ll sit on the edge and sigh, and someone will either come to set her lightly upon the floor – OR, we’ll bend over at the waist so that she can climb onto our backs and ride into the next room. She actually sits facing in the direction she wants to travel, and if you can look over your shoulder or feel which direction she’s pointing, it can go on for quite a long time until she’s done sightseeing. It’s half fun, and half Very Wrong Somehow.

  50. Wendy, thanks for a terrific blog – I read it every day. Your devious treat-seeking cat stories reminded me of one of my own: My kitty, Joy, is a big scratcher of everything, including furniture. So when she uses the scratching post, I give her a treat.

    Anyway, a while back, I had her spayed. While she was healing, she started biting and pulling on her stitches, so the vet prescribed an oral antibiotic to prevent infection. The first time I tried to give her the medicine, I gathered her up in my arms and tried to reposition her flailing, furry limbs. I held a treat tucked into my hand to give her as soon as it was over, to say “thank you” and “what a good girl!” She was very squirmy, and she must have smelled the treat. Before I could even get her mouth open, she quickly squirted right out of my arms … and ran over to the scratching post, thinking she was being asked to do her trick in exchange for a treat. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Really love the blog; thanks for sharing your life with us!

  51. None of my cats go outside. (Well that is unless Bosco manages to escape to the porch.) I live in a 3 bedroom town house and they are all quite happy indoors. I live next to a busy street where people frequently speed so I feel it’s just much safer for them.

    Now I have to do the Alpine Lace in black. Simply stunning!

  52. I’m so far behind! Poor Lucy! She looks gorgeous under your new lace. I know she’s in good hands.

  53. Wendy, thanks for the compliment on my shawl. ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it great fun to make?

  54. i made a very large square shawl in the morehouse laceweight and it did not grow all that much when i blocked it (it grew from a 60-inch square to a 72-inch square, after pinning, and shrank back to about 70 inches after unpinning).
    i mean i COULD have blocked it out more aggressively, but on its own, it did not grow that much (not like, say cashmere, linen, or alpaca would). it seems as if the springiness of merino or cormo actually helps the yarn stay stable, whereas a lax yarn like cashmere just grows like crazy . . . is this thinking incorrect?

  55. Whew! I just hopped over and had not seen the previous post on Lucy. For a moment I was concerned about tainted pet food. I’m very relieved to hear that it is not a poisoning problem and that she is on the mend.

  56. MiniCheviotLoverGrrl says:

    Wendy, I just read you book and it prompted my visit to your blog. The book was superb and I’m planning on buying it now. (I got it from the library originally) Anyways, I was wondering if you could reccomend a blog host. I want to start a blog, thus the question. My cat, who could be your cats twin and I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

  57. How is Miss Lucy? Its one of my kitty’s birthdays (15 big ones!!) today, and it makes me think kitties, and makes me send good karma for Lucy’s sore wheel. I hope she is feeling better…

  58. Alpine Lace is looking beautiful. It is on my list but now I have the wheel my knitting time has… um… decreased somewhat. Hopefully a balance will soon be found between the two ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you manage?