My current work in progress:

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


The Mighty Miter

I’m really enjoying the knitting of the miters.


Frarochvia had several questions (by the way, I don’t remember my pre-Lasik prescription — sorry!):

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

Any particular reason why garter stitch vs stockinette?

Actually, several of you asked about the shaping. I’m planning this as a tunic-type sweater, with a round neck and dropped shoulders. Loose-fitting, to wear over a shirt or turtleneck.

How do you do a round neck in a sweater knit from squares? With triangles! Here is a quick and dirty schematic of how you can use knitted triangles to create curves:


I’ll be doing something like that for the neckline of this sweater. Then I’ll pick up stitches and knit a neckband.

You could do your armhole shaping with some well-placed triangles as well, but I’m planning a drop-shoulder sweater.

Why garter stitch? A couple of reasons. I really like the way mitered squares look done in garter stitch. Stockinette, not so much. Another reason — I’m using fingering weight yarn to knit this sweater, and I’d like it to have a little body. Garter stitch makes it a bit thicker and sturdier.

Kabira asked:

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?

I’m using whole skeins. Woo!

I went into the stash and selected a bunch of sock yarns in greens and browns — 16 different ones. While I won’t use all of this yarn for this sweater, I will use enough from each skein so that there won’t be enough left to knit a pair of socks from each color. But the remnants will go into my “modular” stash. No worries!

Jocelyn commented:

I’m curious as to the names of the colorways that you are using.

We-e-ell, I’m using the following

Koigu — P514
Claudia’s Handpainted — Boot Camp
Claudia’s Handpainted — Jungle
Claudia’s Handpainted — Leopard
Claudia’s Handpainted — Eat Your Veggies
Cherry Tree Hill — Earth Potluck
All Thing Heather — Sherwood
Cabin Cove — unnamed colorway in tan and brown
Black Bunny Fibers — Tawny
Fleece Artist — Moss
Fleece Artist — Bronze
Mountain Colors — Red Tail Hawk
Twisted — Ankh
Scarlet Fleece — Sand and Sea
Lavender Sheep — Cinder
Yarntini — 4-8-15-16-23-42

Rebekah asked:

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?

Fair question. ๐Ÿ™‚

All these sock yarns I am using for this sweater were taken out of my stash. Some of these yarns were in my stash at the start of my “Knit From Your Stash” thingy, and some were acquired since then. But all of these sock yarns were acquired with the idea of knitting socks. I hadn’t even thought about making the mitered square sweater until I was almost done with the Alpine Lace. (Incidentally, I’m planning on blocking said Alpine Lace on Sunday.)

So I think I’ve not broken any of the rules. Rather, I’m displaying a creative use for my sock yarn. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alisa asked:

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.

I have indeed. It’s a beautiful book to thumb through and drool over the colors. Great inspiration!

Blog-i-versary Contest

The winner of the “leave a comment win a prize contest” is lurker Cricket. Thanks for delurking to comment, Cricket, and thank you so much to all of you who left comments. It’s been a very festive blog-i-versary indeed.

Book Give-away

I’ve got another book to give away this week.

This week’s book is Sight Unseen by Robert Goddard, whose books I highly recommend.

Would you like it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 8, 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 Report

There have been some inquiries about Lucy’s health. She is recovering. She still is limping, but not as badly, and she has gotten more playful as she starts feeling better.


“I’m cute, too! Don’t forget to tell ’em I’m cute!”


  1. Would this sweater go together similar to a Norwegian sweater, only with side seams, or will there be shaping? Will the sleaves be mitered block with triangles for shaping? This actually looks like a great baby sweater or blanket idea for left over yarns.

  2. I see that you are using “Yarntini — 4-8-15-16-23-42”. Aren’t those the numbers from “Lost”? Which colorway is it? Can you draw a little arrow on the sweater-in-progress? What a great name for a colorway!

  3. Just adding another answer for the question on buying sock yarn for a sweater and this counting against the rules or not:

    It definitely doesn’t count if you’re buying it for a protject you want to make for someone else either ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Wendy- May I suggest a name for your latest? Wendy’s Tecnicolor Sockyarn Coat.

    Says it all, doesn’t it?

  5. I love Lorraine’s idea for naming your mitered square sweater! Very nice.

    And Lucy is indeed cute, but you hardly need to remind us. As if we could forget how very cute she is.

  6. Your mitered tunic is turning out great. I have a question about the neckline. I like square necklines as I have a round face, the contrast looks good. So, if you didn’t put the triangles in the corners and picked up stitches for a neckband and mitered the band in the corners, could you get a square neckline? I saw a woman at the supermarket with a sweater neck that looked like that, but I wasn’t sure, and she was a stranger, and I didn’t want to be arrested for harassing her to see how her sweater was constructed. You seemed a safer bet.

    So glad Lucy is getting better! She is very cute!

  7. Lucy, none of us have to be told you’re cute – we all know it. May I please send nose snuggles to your belly?

    Have a good long holiday weekend!

  8. It has been awhile since I dropped by and I missed out on Lucy’s injury. I am glad to hear she is better. I swear, that is the cutest kitty I have seen – ever. I envy her tough days laying around. You could drape her around your neck Wendy, and I believe she would ‘drape’ all day and love it.

    Tell Lucy she is cuter than cute! Priceless.

  9. Lucy’s always super cute. She makes my work day a little happier!

  10. I TOTALLY agree with Leslie!! We do not need to be told that you are cute Lucy! As a matter of fact, my sister and I coined the phrase “cuteness exercises” for poses such as yours! As in of course you have cuteness, but you must exercise it to keep it in top form! Well, the idea worked for us:)

  11. I think the idea of the neckline shaping would work well. I’ll be interested to see the sweater develop, it’s a neat idea, and I at least haven’t seen a mitered block sweater. (At least that I remember …)

    I’m so glad that Lucy is doing better. And even if you forgot to tell us, I think we’d all agree that she is a cutie.

  12. I like your idea of the Mighty Miter sweater and can’t wait to see it finished with all the colors you chose.
    Also Lucy is cute and likes to put on a show for all of us. Hope she is feeling better soon.

  13. Marianne Y says:

    What an awesome idea for a sweater! I’m not sure whether I dare say this, but it is meant to be a complement: your sweater is beginning to remind me of some of the awesome sweaters that Bill Cosby used to wear when he played Dr Huxtible. His sweaters were always one of a kind beauties. I like the way you are planning to shape the neck & then pick up stitches.

    I have a question: have you noticed that the dpns that are supposedly the same size but produced by different manufacturers sometimes seem to different circumferences? I was looking at my needle collection last night, and I was amazed by what looked like consistency in the size variations among manufacturers and needle sizes. If what I visually observed is correct, than maybe patterns should mention needle manufacturer, as well as size? I have only seen the manufacturer mentioned in a handful of patterns, and at the time, I thought it was odd, but now it makes a lot of sense to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Lucy is cute? Really? I didn’t know that! Hah! In fact, I’ve always said that such cuteness should be licenced. Smooch.

  15. I’ve gotta admit, I scroll down to see Lucy’s picture first, then I read the rest of your blog.

  16. I love the “flavor” of one of your yarns: “Eat Your Veggies.” Hee hee hee. That’s particularly appealing to a veg-head like me.

    Oh, Lucy’s tummy looks so appealingly soft and silky. I would like to hear her purr…could you upload a “podcast” of just a purr for us to listen to when we need a fix? ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. The plan for the sweater neckline is very clever. You do know that not many knitters would be able to choose 16 different sock yarns from their stash, let alone 16 in a single color grouping? Was it last spring that you ‘flashed your sock stash’?? Chin scritches to Lucy.

  18. Awww… smoochy smoochy belly rubs for Lucypoo! Do you or Mr. KOARC do a “Lucy Voice”? We always did a “voice” for our cats. When my sister would go places with our mom back when sis was in high school she would tell mom “just don’t do your cat voice.” hehe

    Oh yeah, and I do love the Mighty Miter Sweater!

  19. Happy belated Blog-versary Wendy! I got distracted by turning 40 and missed the appropriate post ๐Ÿ™‚

    The mitered square tunic is unexpected but it seems to have this mystery power that enchants me the more I look at it. If it is garter stitch, could you turn it every row of squares so the angles go back and forth in waves?

    The color choices seem to have that great balance of harmony and contrast that you find in stranded colorwork designs. Really nice!

    Glad to hear Miss Lucy is improving. As I read your update above the Lucy photo my first thought was “And don’t forget she’s cute” so I got a big chuckle when I got her closing quote ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Robyn Red Bird says:

    Looks great Wendy! I am knitting a similar tunic with sock yarns shading them from darker to lighter blue – mixing them in for one or two rows of squares when I change so they blend nicely. I love your colour choices – greens and earthy with a hint of sky. And I completely agree with you about the garter stitch – I like the way it mixes up the colours and the squares are neat and trim. I look forward to seeing it as it progresses. Robyn

  21. Angeluna says:

    Wendy, you are ever an inspiration. Really loving this sweater. Color choices excellent. Bless you that you are so fast and we will see an FO pretty quickly. Already eyeing my sock stash!

  22. You can tell Lucy that we could never ever forget how cute she is! That would just be unthinkable

  23. Ohmygod, there’s a colorway out there called “4-8-15-16-23-42” ?! That is the most awesome thing ever. (Is it obvious that I’m a Lost fan?) I had never heard of Yarntini before, but I had to google them and ogle their yarn after that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously awesome.

  24. You’re using my favourite colours!
    The cat is CUTE. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Lucy.
    Do you bookcross your books before they get given away? If you did, they’d stay on your bookshelf forever and you could follow their progress! (mind you – another time wasting activity on the internet – but the bookxing community is as lovely as the knitting one!).

  25. Well, I think it’s going to make a fabulous tunic! Will you maybe post the pattern?!

    Hi Lucy! Yes, you sure are cute, ’cause Atticus has been staring at the screen and says to tell you so. ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Ooh – the miters are so inspiring. I’m thinking of making my next charity project – a prayer shawl – out of mitered squares. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck!

  27. Yes, I very much think that the sweater needs a name! I like the technicolor dreamcoat reference above :oP I have been saving the remnants of sock yarn from each pair and may have to make something similar if I ever come up with enough. It’ll be a while for sure. I only have about 500 other projects to work on first :oP

  28. Beautiful! And so is Lucy:)

  29. You’ve discovered an awesome way to use up sock yarn stash (to make room for more at Stitches?)

  30. The sweater-in-progress looks great, Wendy. I have a long-term blanket project like that, using up leftovers of Tahki Cotton Classic from an old multicolor project. I turn my miters randomly so that it won’t bias when it’s big.

    There is another good reason to use garter stitch for the squares: the gauge of garter stitch is usually (always?) equal between stitches and rows, so you end up with a truly square module. If you did it in stockinette stitch, you’d get diamonds, which can also be appealing in their own way. Ginger Luters uses a striped pattern of and garter ridges in a lot of her work.

    Another nice thing about mitered squares is that you do not have to keep them all the same size — you could pick up stitches along two of your squares and make a big one, then pick up along half of that one (twice) to make small ones that come out to the same length (width).

    Happy Easter!

  31. Sock weight mitres are a very satisfying knit, aren’t they? I love the seemingly random color choices you’re making — all surely colors you’ve chosen for yourself and working together. That said, have you seen the kerfuffel over color block choices over at Queer Joe’s? Whew.

  32. Lucy is beyond cute – adorable, regal, GORGEOUS!
    The Six-Pack + 1 is SO glad she is feeling better. We all hope she’s back up to pouncing speed in no time.
    LOVE the mitered squares! Since I’m basically square in shape myself, I’d love one of these. Is this a pattern you’re going to publish?

  33. Mitred sweater construction is not at all unlike tiling a bathroom, no? Lots of squares and some need to be cut into other shapes to make the shape you want!

  34. I’m wondering, based on your quick schematic for the neckline, whether it wouldn’t be better to be knitting with an odd number of squares on the back as well?

    You are making the whole thing sound so easy, though, which I appreciate! I love mitred squares (I’m a spinner, too) and fantasize about garments made from handspun modules often.

  35. Mama Cat says:

    I love the idea of the mitered sweater and am finding this a great inspiration. I am really, really thinking about the possibilities here. I can’t wait to see what the FO looks like.

    So thanks for telling us about it!

    I’m glad Lucy is feeling better. Still sending healing thoughts her way.

  36. Great use for Koigu! I’ve done mitered knitting with Noro yarns for jackets and cardis, mixing different size squares or turning square on end to create diamonds. A very good reason for using garter stitch is to keep the squares squared. In stockinette they would end up as rectangles. I have also seen people mix two yarns in the squares and alternate garter and stocinette. That will work too. This sweater is going to look great when worn with your handknit socks

  37. Lucy is super cute, she really doesn’t need to worry about that. The mitered sweater is looking interesting.

  38. Kathleen says:

    Of course I love to see what you are knitting, learn something about design and technique,and find out and what Lucy is up to, but I also love knowing what you are reading. Yes to Peter Robinson and Robert Goddard! Now I need to master the Wendy Johnson technique of reading while knitting ๐Ÿ™‚


  39. I look forward to seeing the miter sweater’s progress. Creative use of sock yarn indeed!

    Thanks for the link to the new shawl yesterday. I had to order it too, having knit both of Susan’s prior shawls. I started it last night during my SnB with a lovely steel grey Kidsilk Haze. Okay so I fell off the stash wagon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. I am completely fascinated by the sweater concept, and also by seeing a few more squares appear each day. Somehow much more exciting than just looking at nebulous row-knitting prgress.

    Oh, and that pic of Lucy – it yanked an “Oh, she is sooo cute” right out of my mouth. (and I have my own kitty to coo over, which usually makes me proof against the cuteness of other cats, but not today)

  41. Oh Lucy. We would never forget that you’re cute!

    The miters are really cool. I like the creative use of sock yarn (of which you must have quite the stash!)

  42. I’m enjoying the Mighty Mitre, very nice colour combinations.
    ps: You don’t have remind us of how cute Lucy is!

  43. hehe, I’m all for loop holes myself. Thanks for answering my question though.

    And Lucy of course we know your cute!

  44. Ah, Lucy, we KNOW you’re cute! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think your creative use of sock yarn “stash” is perfectly acceptable…and if I start using a drop spindle, I’m going to get creative about my exception to your roving exception… (not exactly sure how, yet, but I’ll think of it!)
    Congratulations to Cricket!

  45. I think that the mitered sweater will be fabulous! I knit a jacket last year that was actually 3 rectangles; and the drape and “fit” are very fun. I’m sure yours will be wonderful. I love knitting mitered squares – somehow because they’re so small, it never gets boring!
    Happy belated blogiversary !

  46. Lucy, it’s my pleasure to see how cute you are every day when I read your Mom’s blog!

  47. Hi Wendy, don’t know if you read his blog but Rob from ThreadBear is in desparate need of help identifying an Alice Starmore pattern and I thought of you…link is here;

  48. Lucy … you are as cute as can be. My own kitties wonder why there’s a calendar with a cat(Lucy) other than them hanging in our kitchen. Plus they don’t know why I don’t have cups w/their pictures, but I have one w/Lucy.

    Your sweater is going to be great. My one big question on combining the different yarn colors is how do you wash it? The first time I knit with Koigu I used a purple color. After my socks where finished I soaked them in Eucalan. I was amazed at how much color bled. My 1st thought was what if I had used multiple colors, my project would be ruined? The socks, which are one of my favorite pair, bled in the next few subsequent washings. I’d like to make a Charlotte’s Web shawl, but am concerned that the colors would run. Any helpful hints?

    Happy Easter!