My current work in progress:

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


It Miter Be a Sweater

There were a lot of interesting guesses as to what the new project is. Some of the guesses sent me to google. A lot of guesses were for a mitered blanket, and a number for a log cabin blanket.

There were a number of guesses for a crayon box sweater — close guess!

Yep, it’s gonna be a mitered square sweater, but it’s one I’m sort of making up as I go along. Here’s the progress so far.


I have at this point decided that I like it, so it will be allowed to live. You may choose to dislike it. Even dislike it intensely, if you so desire. But it works for me, and I think I’ll like it more as I go along.

I picked out 16 skeins of sock yarn from my stash — all in shades of browns and greens (with a little bit of other colors here and there) and started making mitered squares. My squares are being knit on US size 2 (3.0mm) needles and I start with 25 stitches. Working in garter stitch, this creates a piece that’s about 2.25 inches square. I’m knitting each square onto the previous one and alternating predominantly brown with predominantly green. I’m not keeping the colors in any sort of order, but I’m trying to use each colorway an equal number of times.

At the moment I’m thinking pullover, but I may change my mind and make a cardigan. I’ve got time to do so, as I’m working on the back right now. A cardigan would be great, but experience tells me that I wear pullovers much more than cardis.

In Other News

If you haven’t already, check out the Loopy Ewe’s Q2 Quarterly Challenge, that Sheri posted today on her blog. A most excellent idea, I think.

Vision Quest

Thanks for all the comments on the glasses!

As I mentioned last month when I went for the eye exam (March 14 blog entry), I had Lasik 6 years ago, but my distance vision has deteriorated a bit since then so I need the glasses for distance. Here’s the full story (feel free to skip to the Lucy photo):

Got my first glasses when I was in the second grade. Got my first contact lenses when I was 15 years old — hard lenses. Got gas permeable lenses when I was in my 20s, soft lenses when I was in my 40s. Then I suddenly could no longer tolerate the contact lenses, so I got glasses. My eyes were so bad (severely nearsighted with astigmatism) that the lenses were mega-thick and the glasses gave me headaches. Got lasik and got corrected for monovision. (And this was the best move I’ve ever made — the joy of being able to see without corrective lenses was intense.)

Now I can see perfectly close-up (and computer), but the distance vision has gotten a bit fuzzy. This was made clear to me when I barely squeaked by on the vision test for my driver’s license renewal in January. (Actually, I think the lady at the Division of Motor Vehicles should not have passed me.) I got progressive lenses so I can wear the glasses to watch tv and still knit without having to look “under” them.

Here endth the story of my vision.

Lucy’s glad it’s over too.



  1. Shirley, in PA says:

    Does this mean you will use up all your sock yarn for this sweater? Then you will have to buy more sock yarn. Sock yarn doesn’t count, right, even if it’s used for something other than socks! Clever Wendy.

  2. I like the mitered sweater from sock yarn idea. I just knit up a mitered tank top, and using all the same yarn got to be a bit old after awhile. (Though it was neat to watch how the variegation changed with each square.) Enjoy your miters!

  3. I love the idea of using sock yarn to make the sweater. I am a fall color person, so I am really loving those colors. I can’t wait to see if finished!

  4. Oh, Wendy! I’m so glad you told your Lasik story because it is MY Lasik story. Only I kept coming up with rationalizations for why my distance vision was deteriorating (apparently, I didn’t pay attention when they said there could be a 10-20% regression, and that’s a lot when you start at -9 diopters!) — I was wearing cheap sunglasses, flourescent light is no good, it’s a faulty projector . . . anyway, I have added glasses for distance as well, but at least now I (we) can wear good-looking glasses instead of those other things. I just got progressives, too. I haven’t quite got my sealegs, but I’ll get there.

    Tell Lucy Hi!

  5. Love the sweater – my fave colours for clothes. Might have to steal the idea as was looking to use up stash sock yarn for an afghan I like the look of your sweater!
    I have been glasses for nearly 20 years and contacts for 15 – but I love wearing glasses and right now prefer my look with them on. I have a pretty big prescroption -6 (very short sighted) and having to get ‘thinned’ lenses almost triples the price over here so theya bout ยฃ100 before I even choose frames.
    Can’t wait to see the finished the sweater.

  6. Lucy needs some sort of “Behold! I am a Creature of the Night! Mortals beware!” caption. Teehee.

  7. My husband wears contacts all the time and then adds “relaxing” glasses while he uses the computer. This pulls back the prescription a bit while he’s doing close-up work, which the doc says makes his eyes work a little harder and therefore not deteriorate so quickly. It seems to be working, as his standard prescription hasn’t changed in the last couple of years. I wonder if knitting would count as similar close-up work, eye-wise.

  8. I think the sweater will be gorgeous. I look forward to watching its birth. Doesn’t Lucy look cute in all her squishy goodness?

  9. Enquiring minds want to know: what was your original prescription? Mine’s -7. I used to wear contacts but can’t anymore, so I’ve learned to love the funky glasses look. Getting builtin light-sensitive sunglass tint helped immensely, but that’s me. I hate light.

    I love the idea of your mitred sweater! How will you handle the shaping for neck/shoulders? I assume this will be a rather boxy sweater, yes?

    Any particiular reason why garter stitch vs stockinette?

  10. The miter sweater is a neat idea. The sock weight yarn will make a sweater that’s not too warm … which will be nice as the weather changes. Have you noticed the past 2 days I’ve mentioned the weather warming up? I’m just hoping it will. (It snowed here in Boston today.)

    A few years ago, I got “Magic Clip” glasses. They have magnetic sunglasses that attach to the frame
    of my prescription glasses. I love them. Thanks for the info on the Lasik surgery. I didn’t realize that there could be regression after the surgery.

    We need an update on how Lucy is doing … hopefully the limp is gone.

  11. I love the colors!
    I am interested to see how the sweater turns out, I am having difficulty picturing the finished product. What will the neckline look like?

  12. It seems that everyone has miter square fever at the moment and is making something with them. It’s enough to make me want to start if I didn’t have a whole bunch of must finish big projects lined up…

  13. Debbie P. says:

    I love the sweater beginnings. I am making my toddler a cardi out of Moda Dea Sassy Stripes. I bought it for socks but absolutely hated toe stripe pattern. It looks gorgeous mitred.

  14. Annette says:

    Purple… you need purple accents to liven it up! Purple likes the brown, lime green and turquoise. Just my 2 cents.

  15. Hey Wendy, thanks for posting my question on Monday! I’ve been looking through all the suggestions and now I’ve got some choosing to do. (Would that I wouldn’t want to knit ALL of them!) Thanks again!

  16. Looking forward to watching your sweater progress in coming posts! What a delight Lucy is!!

  17. I picked up mine yesterday Wendy, so I’m with you all the way – watch those stairs, they’re tricky! And don’t you love the way they call them “progressive lenses” now instead of bifocals? I think it’s so we don’t feel old!

  18. I like it, I agree with Annette that purple accents would be nice. I’m curious as to the names of the colorways that you are using.

  19. Glad you mentioned Sheri’s Q2 challenge–I really like it ๐Ÿ™‚

    OK, so…how do you handle shaping with a sweater like that? Like sleeve decreases, necklines, shoulders? Inquiring minds and all that.

    I just want to sneak up on Lucy and bubble some raspberries against her tummy!

  20. Love the sweater to be. For Xmas ’06, I made my nephew an afghan out of mitered squares. I enjoyed making them so much (64 of them) that I sketched out a sweater on a sticky pad at work. I still have that sticky in my pocket calender in my purse but haven’t taken it any further yet. I think the sewing of the 64 squares and then weaving in ends took a little of the thrill away for now. The squares I knit were worsted and about 6 inches.

    I will be watching yours grow and maybe by summer, I will want to start my little sticky sweater. I love the idea of sock yarn for it.

  21. If it’s any consolation to the myopic (near-sighted), as you get older you’ll find you get less myopic. That means thinner (and, maybe, cheaper) lenses. Plus, the correction for reading is just a weaker version of the distance prescription and most of us can get through a lot of our lives in our reading glasses, at least until we get behind the wheel. This doesn’t last forever, but it’s nice while it does. Single-vision lenses are a lot easier to use than are bifocals, which is why I wear reading glasses most of the time.

    I’m going to turn 60 on Monday, so this is all first-hand experience. I’ve worn glasses since I was eight, with brief digressions into both hard and soft contact lenses.

  22. I like the sweater.. Though I would choose the cardi route- I would wear cardigans 24-7 if I could (weather permitting)

  23. Oooh-mitered squares! What fun! I love it so far :~)

  24. The squares are like little individual paintings put together to form one big one. Love what you are doing.

  25. Angeluna says:

    LOVE the mitred squares. Inspiration. And LOVE your new glasses. I have almost identical vision story, though the chronic disease of iritis, though in remission, keeps them from letting me do lasik. Darn. But with progressive lenses, I still have to take them off to see the knitting up close.

  26. Too chicken to do Lasik…have done contacts……don’t mind glasses……..LOVE the cardigan concept…… very chic & individualistic…….like you………

  27. 'stasia says:

    the mitered sweater is just criminally luscious. i can’t wait to see how it develops.

  28. Heh, I also thought that the DMV lady should have flunked after my vision test. I think we have disinterested bureaucracy to thank, though I suspect we probably shouldn’t thank it too much.

  29. Love the mitered sweater — yum! I’m mostly done with a mitered baby blankie in very contrast-y colors (I’m blogless but Mason-Dixon Kay and Ann put a pix up on their blog from their Portland visit). I’m wondering — are you using sock yarn oddballs or are you – gasp! – using a bit from ‘virgin’ skeins? Will it be so little that the skein is not ‘ruined’ for socks? Thanks!

  30. I have loads of Koigu and was going to make the mitered pants until we all decided they were fugly and not easy to manage. So I plan on watching your sweater closely because I am thinking that it might be the way to go with the Koigu. So knit on sister! Can’t wait to see it.

  31. Ooh! I like the miters. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. My friend knit a mitered corner vest last summer using sock yarn in greens and browns and it is,gorgeous.
    Am I aloud to askwhat about Knit Happens. Did I miss something? No need to comment, just wondering.

  33. I like the sweater. I also like being right too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My Aunt’s story is very similar to yours. She was legally blind before getting the surgery (she was the 15th person in Canada to get it) and enjoyed 20/20 vision up until recently. She is 56 though so even if she hadn’t had the surgery chances are, she’d still have to get glasses. Especially in our family.

  34. Have you seen the book “Knits From A Painter’s Palette.” It basically could be renamed “101 items to make out of mitered squares in Koigu, from sweaters and jackets to a pair of trousers. If you like the look of your sweater, you’ll love that book, if for no other reason than the pictures.

  35. I’ve been considering the lasik procedure for a year or so now…how content would you say you are with the overall results? and how expensive was it (if you don’t mind me asking)? Also, how long ago was the lasik? My eyes aren’t terrible, but contacts are a pain in the tush, and my glasses are pretty darn thick so they actually hurt my head to wear them.

  36. Your LASIK story is practically identical to mine, up until you started losing your far vision. I had LASIK 7 years ago. Although my far vision isn’t as amazingly magical as it was then, I’m still very close to 20/20. However, I’m beginning to lose close vision. So far, it only seems affect things like reading the shampoo bottle, so, unless they’ve changed the ‘lather, rinse, repeat,’ I’m fine for now!

  37. Lucy is so photogenic. My cat, Miki, always slinks away if he notices the camera coming towards him.

    This sweater is going to be beautiful! I think a pullover would be/look coziest for this!


  38. I like these mitered squares, which seem to be all the rage these days. Thanks Mason-Dixon! I like how what you’re doing isn’t all matchy-match at this point, but instead, is nicely balanced. While I agree that purple likes green and brown, I kind of like what you’re doing w/o the addition of purple. Looking forward to seeing this adventure in progress!

  39. The sweater idea is interesting. But I might just be too old (remember granny squares?). Now a vest, designed like a watercolor quilt…and to use up leftover.

    Hey, a legitimate reason to have a forever WIP!

    Both Lasix and PRK are excellent considerations for most people. Especially for those who are active and going nuts with glasses falling off their face. But your lense continues to age and this will affect accomodation after a while. (meaning reading or computer glasses). Additionally, some people’s vision will regress.

    still- it makes a world of difference for a lot of people


  40. Your vision story is the almost the same as mine. I started wearing glasses when I was 6 and vividly remember that when I first got them it was just before Christmas. When I came out of the optician’s shop with my brand new little red glasses I was amazed that all the Christmas lights were individual bulbs rather than one amorphous glow. I’ve just had to get glasses again for TV, cinema etc as I was slightly shortsighted still and the optician thinks this might be the cause of my frequent headaches. Whatever, it has been suggested that I have a Lasik enhancement and I am sorely tempted to take it. I love the freedom of not having anything either in my eyes or on the end of my nose as glasses are now awkward and uncomfortable.

    Re the mitred pullover: the colours are very fetching.

  41. Theresa in Italy says:

    Love the look of the mitered squares and the selection of colors (you have a good eye for color combinations). Please keep us posted and take notes. I, too, have a load of Koigu that might want to grow up to be a mitered sweater someday.

    Lucy looks like she’s feeling a bit better…?

  42. It’s only when you describe everyday things that it reminds me you are on the other side of the world (instead of this internet yarn village we all inhabit!). I didn’t realise you had to re-sit your driving licence on a regualr basis? In the uk we are late starters – you must be 17 to sit your test or hold a learners permit, but once you pass, you are not required to re-sit until your 70th birthday.

  43. Meribeth says:

    That sweater is speaking loud and clear to me! Oh, I so want one. Is there such a thing as buying a stash to reduce the stash? Is that a cheating? Will you be publishing a pattern?? Please?

    Your eyes sound like mine and my dh. He has coke bottle lenses, and I would love to see him get lasik, but he gets nervous about the subject. His eyes are so bad, and now that he is looking at middle age, they will probably get worse. oh, well

    That belly begs for a rub or smooches.

  44. Tell your friend, Judy, with the lace yarn to look at Lorna’s Laces Lace Yarn labels for their “Free and Easy Shawl” Pattern. It is on the inside of the lace yarn wrapper (“Helen” is the name of their lace yarn, I think.) The shawl is easy, not exactly free as you are supposed to buy the yarn from them first. I’ve made two shawls with the pattern, one with their yarn and one of my own handspun lace weigh yarn. Takes about 1300 yards of yarn. The pattern is made by short rows and has yarn overs and decreases along the bottom edge to create a sawtooth effect. If she likes it she might even like their color ways for the Lorna’s Laces yarns.

  45. I love the Mitered Sweater! Most of your socks will match! Lucy seems quite happy with it too;-)

  46. Am I the only one that doesn’t know what a mitered square is? Can you tell me how?

  47. I love the sweater/cardigan. The colours are just beautiful!

  48. Beth P. in Maryland says:

    Wow! There’s a lot of us with very similar vision history…
    glasses in second grade (1971?)
    hard contacts in ninth grade (1978?), continued with the hard ones until Lasik in 2001. My astigmatism was so severe I never could wear any other type. My diopters were -9 and -10.5 prior to the Lasik.
    Renewed my driver’s license in February, and passed the eye test!!!

    On the subject of mitered square projects- One of my favorites is the “Rambling Rows” pattern from Cottage Creations. I like it because the squares are not all the same size and shape.


  49. I like it! I love greens and browns. Will it be a pullover? Cardi? Love it so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Like many other reader’s comments, my myopia story is very similar, except in my 30’s I had RK (as this was before Lasik was performed). I had it done because I could not tolerate my contacts anymore in the dry Phoenix air. The goal was to make me less myopic, and thus easier to fit with contacts. The result was 20/20 in one eye, 20/10 in the other.

    Nearly 20 years later, I wear progressives to correct astigmatism and close vision. As cataracts run in my family, I’m looking forward to new lenses, so I’ll be able to see my knitting perfectly as a 80 year old.

  51. Love the mitered squares very much!

  52. I’m also pretty nearsighted, and have had glasses since I was 8 years old. I switched to contact lenses for a while, but they became too much of a hassle, and so I eventually just went back to wearing glasses full-time. Much easier that way. To see clearly without my glasses, something has to be about six inches away from my face, sometimes less. I can’t remember what it’s like to be able to see properly without corrective lenses, and I sure as heck can’t afford surgery to find out. *laughs*

    On a knitting note, I like the look of the mitred squares so far. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’ll look like when it’s all finished.

  53. I’m surprised that you wear more pullovers than cardigans! I have a large collection of pullovers from years of living in upstate NY. Since I’ve moved to northern Virginia I lament how infrequently I get to wear them. On the other hand, given the vagaries of the heating and the overexuberance of the air conditioning in the building where I work, I can use cardigans year-round.

    Love the miters!

  54. I like your sweater of many colors! I need a plan for all of my sock yarn leftovers – a mitered or log cabin blanket seems probable.

  55. The same thing happened to my mom, she wore contacts from high school on and then suddenly just couldn’t wear them anymore. She’s getting Lasik at the end of the month.

    I like the colors in those yarns!

  56. A LOT of work! Don’t think I could commit for that long … well it would take ME a long time … not you.

  57. Love the mitered square idea. Annie Modesitt has a new felted bag pattern out of mitered squares that is gorgeous.

  58. Patricia says:

    A sweater. I had the mitered part right, but thought of blanket, not sweater. Like others, I think the colors look great and will be interested to see how is is constructed.

    On the vision front, looks like I’m the odd (eye)ball out- I”m farsighted and amblyopic, with the left eye being the weaker and slightly off-center. Surgery as a tot, glasses till vanity took over in high school, glasses again in late 30s b/c I couldn’t see well enough to read. Bifocals in early 40s (progressive lenses)/ They’ve developed some sort of Lasik-type surgery for the farsightedness, but I’ll stick to glasses.

  59. Love those colors! I’m sure there’s a way to do it, but I just can’t picture how you’ll make the squares curve to fit around armholes or sleeves. Inquiring minds…

  60. I think that this will be BEAUTIFUL! I love the colors that you are using so far. This looks like so much fun. And I love that you are making things up as you go along. That’s so much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Love the mitered squares…how do you do them?

  62. Okay so now here’s the question I have to ask, your knit from your stash thingy, in which you can buy only sock yarn, can you buy sock yarn if it’s for a sweater? It is still technically labeled and targeted as sock yarn, is this a loop hole?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Oh sweet Lucy, it always does a heart good to see your cuteness.

  63. Ha, the picture of Lucy really does look like feigned enthusiasm. Cats can be so sarcastic when they want. “Oooooh, I’m so glad you’re telling the story of your Lasik again”

    Ma had Lasik last year, and she enjoys not wearing glasses, but because of something to do with scar tissue ‘floaters’, she isn’t 100% happy with the results. *shrug* One eye does distance and one eye does close-up, which sounds kind of science-fiction to me, but her astigmatism mandated thick glasses, too, and she’s very happy to be rid of those for the time being.

    Meanwhile, my MIL has cataracts and still drives. Remember this the next time you find yourself in eastern Ontario. Just sayin.

  64. Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy says:

    Just a hint on the glasses: don’t be surprised when Lucy *still* looks fuzzy around the edges.

    Pretty sweater! (Pretty LUCY!)

  65. Thanks for sharing your Lasik story, Wendy. My vision is the pits (-12.50). Thank goodness for the new thinner lenses, or I’d still be sporting coke bottles on my nose :).
    hi Lucy!

  66. Sorry for double commenting but I forgot to say I’m intrigued by your sweater and can’t wait to see how it progresses.

  67. Lisa K. says:

    Stunning! I love the woodland forest colors – Like kayaking through the Boundary Waters in summer. I can’t wait to see the finished sweater.

  68. what a fabulous way to use up your sock yarn. I will watch this one with intense interest because I have no idea what you’re doing!

  69. Anna Zilborg goes through shaping with squares in “Knitting for Anarchists” too – for folks who are looking for more details (though she uses plain garter and stockinette squares, I think the thinking is the same).

    So, when you do your short row heel, how do you make it so there are no holes at the ankle? Even with picking up extra sts, I find there are wee holes. They irk me.