My current work in progress:

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


Is It Pretty? Or Is It a Clown Sweater?

(If there are any clowns reading this blog, please rest assured that I in no way mean to offend you. Clown attire is simply not my style.)


That’s the question that floats through my brain as I knit my mitered sweater. I don’t think I’ll know the answer until the sweater is complete.

Will I be upset if it turns out to be a clown sweater? I’m thinking not, because I could always take it apart and morph it into a blanket. And in the meantime, I’m having great fun knitting it.

Martha in Mobile and Dave both asked if I am knitting back backwards or turning the entire project each row.

I am turning the entire project each row. Why? Because it not once occurred to me to knit backwards instead. Doh!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ve finished my Panda Cotton socks in the Fern colorway.


These socks are so soft. I have a feeling they are going to be fabulous for wearing in the summer.

And I’m ready to start a new pair of socks from this yummy yarn.


This is a new (well, new to me anyhow) sock yarn from Froebe Fibers. It’s a 440 yard skein of 100% Peruvian wool and it’s in the “Melon Ball” colorway. (The fact that I’ve been looking at this skein all week no doubt accounts for my craving for cantaloupe.)

It’s very very soft and lofty. The only other sock yarn I’ve knitted that reminds me of this is the Zen String BFL that I used for my “Bart & Louise” socks. This yarn looks thicker than fingering weight but it’s very softly spun. I’m betting that when I knit it at 8 sts/inch it’s going to make a lovely firm fabric that wears well. Here’s the blurb about the yarn from the Froebe Fibers website:

We have found Peruvian wool softer, and more durable than Merino, which is especially important for sock yarns. The lighter spinning gives the yarn more loft, and causes less “wear and tear” from stress on the fibers, which means your socks will last longer.

Sounds good to me!

Another Pig Story

Here’s another of My Favorite Pigs.


I bought this pig in Luxembourg, circa 1986. How I loved Luxembourg! It is the closest thing to a fairy tale place that I’ve ever seen. I was happily wandering through the streets, looking in shop windows, when I saw this set:


The pig is supposed to hold sausages, and the other two pieces are for pickles and pate.

I didn’t buy it, thinking it a somewhat frivolous purchase. That night, after I returned to the hotel, I regretted not buying it, so decided I’d go back the next day and get it. Heh. Not so easy — I’d forgotten where I saw it. It took me half the day to find it again. But find it I did, and I schlepped the little piggie set in my luggage for the rest of the trip.

I haven’t used the piggie for years (soirees where I would be inclined to serve sliced sausage with pickles and pate are rare indeed Chez WendyKnits) but every time I open the cupboard and see the piggie, I remember how incredibly beautiful a place Luxembourg was.

Here is a Google Image Search for Luxembourg. See what I mean?

Book Give-away

This week’s book is another Inspector Banks mystery by Peter Robinson: Strange Affair.

Would you like it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday April 15, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient. Anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter the drawing.

Lucy’s Box

Lucy’s box (pictured in yesterday’s blog post) contains this printer. Lucy is still waiting for me to open the box, but in the meantime, she consented to pose for an artsy picture.


One More Thing

Go read my Sister In Miters Cara’s post today — food for thought!


  1. I am loving watching how your miters are coming. I have been watching Cara’s unfold also. I started (barely) one of my own!

    And just a funny note. I am from Kewanee Illinois. It is the Hog Capital of the World! We have Hog Days every Labor Day! I am sharing the pig love πŸ˜‰

  2. Your blog has really resonated with me…I thought it was the knitting adventure told with such a nice appreciation for the turn of a phrase and the fact I am also in northern Virginia (Vienna). But no! It turns out it’s the pigs…I’ve collected them since I was small and it is a pleasure to see some of your cherished friends.

    And Lucy looks stunning with the dramatic lighting!

  3. The artsy photo of Lucy is pretty good, but then how could such a lovely kitty not look great in a picture?

    That sock yarn is gorgeous, I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

    Hubby and I have a life-sized concrete pig in our backyard. I’m not too sure why it’s there but it came with the house and we rather like it.

  4. I love that picture of Lucy! I hope her leg is doing much better by now.

  5. I love Peter Robinson mysteries, he’s definitely my favorite mystery writer. I *heart* Inspector Banks. “Strange Affair” was very good.

    Thank you for reminding me I need to buy sock blockers. πŸ™‚

  6. I don’t think it’ll look clownish at all. You’ve got a great color combination, like I’ve mentioned before!

    It seems blogging’s gotten more interesting the past few months…..

  7. You made me laugh out loud with (soirees where I would be inclined to serve sliced sausage with pickles and pate are rare indeed Chez WendyKnits). It does seem that the combination of sausage, pickles & pate would be for those with an acquired taste.

    Love that melon sock yarn. Great colors. FYI, I find some clowns scary; however, I do like their outfits. But I do not think your sweater is going to look like a clown sweater.

    Lucy does look very artsy today. I went to BJs this week and brought home a box to carry my stuff. Well, Henry immediately claimed it as his own.

  8. Oh, I have Panda Cotton in the Fern colorway – very pretty. Thanks for the link for froebe-fibers, I’m running dangerously low on sock yarn sources (lol). I read Cara’s post earlier, food for thought indeed. Does it seem that some are just not able to embrace the knitterliness (just made that word up, I think), how sad. I look to, and need, the stillness and quiet of the knitting process and the comraderie of the knitting community to maintain my sanity in this crazy.

  9. I say if it looks like a clown sweater and you don’t want to wear it, put a dowel through the arms and hang it on the wall as art. It’s gorgeous…..that’s probably what I would do anyway.

  10. Mary Pat says:

    Oh my gosh!! I thought you were going to embarrass Lucy and show her litter box. I know I should have known better and my mind shouldn’t go places faster than I can read the words.

    The mitered sweater is very nice and twice as nice since you are having fun knitting it.

  11. I love the way your mitred sweater is coming along – it doesn’t look clowny to me as the colours are not so bright as I think of in that context.

    The socks are lovely – I like the sort of incidental lightening bolt on the side of them. Love that new yarn as well.

    I do enjoy your blog – thank you for sharing your work with us all – very inspiring.

  12. I do that all the time when I’m away, postponing a purchase, rationalizing it, and then forgetting exactly where it was I saw it. Happens with yarn, too,

  13. It’s pretty! I don’t think that the colours are varied & garish enough to make your sweater clown-y. JMHO.

  14. Wouldn’t you have to purl backwards though, to keep it in garter stitch? It’s 25 stitches, I’m a fan of the flipit πŸ˜‰

  15. I want to tell you that your corn bread recipe (from a Nov. entry) is fast becoming my family’s favorite. It’s wonderful.
    Also, I too am skeptical about the mitred sweater. Just can’t get my arms around it. (Sorry, lousy, unintended pun.) But, I’d also love for you to prove me wrong…

  16. I often find myself pondering the outcome of a project when I knit. The sweater is looking wonderful, and I’m so enjoying watching its progress. I’d also read Cara’s entry today and thought it interesting.

  17. Adrienne says:

    I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the mitered sweater because although I know your squares are pretty small, I can’t picture what it will look like on you… how many rows of miters will there be in the back, can you tell yet? Or can you take a picture and include Lucy for scale? πŸ˜‰

  18. I’ve been hearing good things about the Panda Cotton since it came out, but haven’t yet gotten to see (or touch) any. How would you compare it to something of similar composition such as Fixation?

  19. With all the hoopla over Imus this week (and I’m not defending him in any way!), are we going to have to be oh-so-careful not to offend anyone? Ever? Even clowns? Is that what it’s come to? Heh.

  20. The sock yarn is lovely. You don’t think it will felt, do you?

  21. The word “clown” never crossed my mind when viewing the wonderful pictures in recent blogs. It looks wonderful in the warm green and brown colors. The only thing people will think when they see you is, “I wonder where I can get a cool sweater like that!!” Thanks for the artsy shot of Lady Lucy – I hope she’s continuing to recuperate — you too.

  22. Wendy- Who knew? I bet Williams-Sonoma doesn’t have a sausage holder in their catalogue.

    Lucy needs a turban and a crystal ball. And a ruby in her navel!

  23. Love the sweater very much. The fun you’re having with this project really shows. I need a project like that right now. Those Panda socks look very appealing to this S FL girl! πŸ˜‰ The colors made a really nice pattern too. Hard to say, but I believe tonight’s to be my favorite Lucy photo so far! Hard to say…

  24. Well, it wouldn’t make a good clown coat because the colors aren’t lively enough. It might make a good camouflage jacket though. Honestly, I think the only thing that matters is that you are enjoying it.

    I’ve just started knitting Frost Flowers and Leaves using red jumperweight. It’s my second time through the pattern. After reading about Eunny’s version, done in Sundara’s hand dyed silk, I felt like mine will be a poor second. I decided to knit it anyway, because I loved the process the first time and I want to knit it again. I need no other reason than I am enjoying myself.

  25. Hee hee – I was thinking the same thing – it would be a fabulous blanket, if nothing else!

  26. I think it will definitely be pretty – probably not something you can wear more than one day in a row without someone noticing, but definitely pretty, not clownish. It’ll look fantastic with a pair of jeans…

  27. I don’t think your sweater will be clownish. If it was in brighter colours or clashing colours it would, but it doesn’t. It’s a more Earth Mother, Queen of the Sprites type.

  28. Funny – yesterday when Cara was mulling over color options I suggested she think about your “random with rules” methodology! I read her post today too. I can’t/won’t spend much time fretting about mean people. I don’t understand them, and really don’t understand why they can’t seem to disagree and be civil. People – you can’t live with ’em, and you can’t live without ’em!
    Sweater looks fabulous. Clowns would not choose your sweater…and that’s a good thing!

  29. I love to watch the PBS travel shows, and I especially love it when they go to Luxenbourg. You lucky gal, you! Someday I’ll get there!

    Your alpine lace shawl is breathtaking. I could stare at that picture all day. I’d like to knit it some day….

  30. The sweater – I think your color choices and technique are wonderful. The technique reminds me of granny squares which means that I am admitting how long I have been around.

    Since I was well old enough to wear such things the first time (along with the long skirts and beads) I am a bit too old to really like the effect this time around.

    But if we all did only what was comfortable, this world would be a really dull place.

    Go for it!


  31. I thought I was the only person who said “yupperdoodles.” Nice to know I’m not alone.

    I did not realize those pretty mitered squares were going to be a sweater. Honestly, I don’t know, but it will be fun to find out. It’s about the journey, isn’t it?

  32. Anita May says:

    I would agree, Luxembourg is definitely similar to a fairy tale land – my favorite part is the market in view of the Grand Duchy’s palace – almost surreal. I was a tour guide there, actually in most of Europe ’98-’03. What a grand job, sometimes the life of a military spouse isn’t so bad after all. Just wish I would have known then what I know now about knitting!

  33. Theresa in Italy says:

    So many topics, so little space…. I vote with those who think the colors of the mitered sweater are too muted to be clown colors. I LOVE the colors. As for pig collecting, there’s a town in northern Italy with a statue in honor of the pig, without which classic northern Italian cooking would be much less tasty (and caloric, but never mind). They take their pigs seriously here. We love Luxembourg as well; not only is it beautiful but the waiters are honest (long story). And that is one gorgeous Lucy portrait.

  34. That yarn is so beautiful, that color! *drools*

  35. I had read Cara’s post before I read yours. So when I read your title ‘Or is it a Clown Sweater?’ I thought that you were going to say that someone had asked you that! I’m looking forward to seeing your finished sweater.

  36. Beth French says:

    Your mitered sweater looks beautiful so far! Be careful with those turquoise spots, especially on the front. πŸ™‚

  37. You could win an art contest with that photo of Lucy!

    also, a question? Going to MSW this year??

  38. Meribeth says:

    I love what you are doing with the sweater. It will be unique, and for me that is important. It is understated because of the color choice, but is has that certain something that says “Phhhttt!” to convention. Perfect for when you really want comfort, style and express a subtle attitude. The older I get, the more important that becomes. πŸ™‚

    I read Cara’s blog. She is spot on. Yet, I find that attacking attitude in society in general, but it seems much more harsh in blogs…any blog. Keep up your wonderful blog Wendy. There will always be people who live a miserable life, and want to share it. Phhttt to them to.

    My, Lucy does look mysterious and enjoying her own attitude.

  39. Shirley, in PA says:

    I love the way your sweater is looking – the colors are coming together nicely. I’m afraid of clowns – I grew up in Philadelphia and when I was a little girl my father took me to watch the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. I was standing and watching and suddenly one of the clowns came up and grabbed me and kissed me. He got that greasy make-up all over me and it took my father to pull me away. Awful experience – never wanted anything to do with clowns since. But the soft colors you’re using are wonderful. By the way, your new sock yarn is hand wash and dry. What will you do? You could always send me the socks and I will wash and dry and wear them for you. πŸ™‚

  40. Dear, I hate it when those kinds of second thoughts hit. Honestly, if you had these squares in bright carnival colors (bright shades set in clashing/complementary color pairs, like purple-yellow, red-green, orange-blue, etc.), it would look clownish. But you are using muted tones and the squares are set in a very harmonious way.

    What you will have is something that would definitely fall under the category of “art-to wear.” That comes with advantages and limitations. Limitation: it probably won’t work in a conservative work environment (but who really wants to have an office reputation for being an “artiste” at work, anyhow?). Advantages: Would make a distinctive casual piece and something you can kick up to wear to dressier events, like an evening at the Kennedy Center or an opening at an art gallery. In your shoes, I’d play up it’s artsy, organic feel with custom finishes. How about getting a fancy handcrafted button, make a fancy tassel to hang off the center back or make a beaded fringe somewhere?

  41. Okay, you asked. I think the miter is lovely but a bit too busy to be wearable.

    But then almost everything in my closet is black, so please ignore me. ;-}

  42. Very cute pig sausage holder, Wendy! Definitely worth he trek to find it again so you could buy it and bring it home. |This might be a good year to use it, too…seeing as how it’s the year of the pig. =) Oink!

  43. Wendy, I don’t think your miters are going to be a clown sweater, but I can guarantee there will be people out there to whom it will not appeal. I cannot tell you how many examples of this technique I have seen at Stitches markets over the years (vests, sweaters, etc.) and they almost always evoke a strong response, either “Eww! Who would wear that?” or “Wow, look at that! How did they do that? I want one!” So if you decide it doesn’t appeal to you, there will be a large group out there of potential gift recipients clamoring!

    Have a great weekend!

  44. I’ve been thinking a lot here lately about context. Partly what context dictates how I choose to knit a project of many pieces and partly what contexts I wear my hand knits in. After looking at all of the mitred squares pictures, the idea that strikes me is it would look AWESOME as a mid thigh to knee length duster with a leather belt to pull in the waist. I know this is likely not your style (It is coming from a twenty-something college kid). I’ve been reading for three years now and have yet to see you make that long of a sweater, but I thought I’d offer it up as an idea.

  45. even if its a clown sweater – what a well dressed clown!

    a few questions on the panda socks (i’m a sock newbie) – what made the yarn color changes switch from semi-stripping to pooling/flashing? the short rows in the heel?
    also, I’ve been long admiring your sock blockers… where did you acquire them?

    and yes, Lux is a lovely country. I’ve had the pleasure of going there for work (and got horribly lost in the City) and hope to go back sometime soon.

  46. Thank you for your link to Cara’s blog. I love reading your blog, and it irks me when people are so mean-spirited. Please don’t ever give in! (Not that you show any inclination to do so.)

  47. I love the way your miters look – even tho I’m not into green that much ( but I do find myself gravitating towards it lately ) so much so that I might have to try it in shades of blue or deep purples or maybe deep reds.
    Have you worn your socks with the garter stitch heels yet??? I made a pair and loved it so much that the pair I’m making now will have the heel/sole and toe in garter stitch – it was like walking on clouds ( and that was when I wore them to work!!! ).
    My theory about leaving comments is: I don’t want to leave a comment on someone else’s blog that would be embarrassing if my mom read it. If you had a real problem with someone on a blog then email them or ask them if you could talk on the phone about the problem. There is no reason to get your knickers in such a twist – I thought we were supposed to be adults ( yeah, I know … I do get delusional at times ) about things. And there is no reason to make a horse’s backside out of yourself by leaving a nasty comment ” just because you can “. I was taught that if you can’t be nice and say something nice then keep your mouth shut ( that was learned the hard way because the mouth, at times, has a mind of it’s own ).
    Oh, well, I will probably make more sense ( don’t hold your breath on it ) once my medication kicks in …
    Princess girl-pup Chloe thinks Lucy looks very regal and seductive and now wants me to take a picture of her like that. Altho she wants it done with a tiara, cape and semitar ( sp? ). Go figure.

  48. Ok, I’ve been thinking about your miters, the clown thing, and all that. You’ve kept the colors in the same family and I think they work well together. Your sweater is looking really good and is very inspiring. It’s fun to see both yours and Cara’s growing miter collections. If I didn’t already have enough UFOs around here, I’d be mitering, too.

  49. Thanks for your link to Cara’s post. Truly thought provoking.

    Awesome sweater!

  50. Hey Wendy,
    I often read your blog and I like it.
    Today itΒ΄s the second time you use the verb “to schlepp”. Is this really an original english verb or do you use the german one?
    Greetings from Stuttgart, Germany and sorry for my awful English,

  51. Kathleen says:

    I’ve been on vacation and not reading your posts so I thought the miters were a blanket – like the Mason Dixon log cabin one.
    I went over to Carrie’s blog, great insight, thank you for the link. People need to take these blogs for what they are – a place to tune in and chat by comment with someone who has a shared interest. I tune in on my lunch hour – sometimes I’m inspired to try something new (cables without cable needle – still loving that!).
    Anyway, love your creativity and Lucy is a beautiful kitty.

  52. Ann in CT says:

    You could put round crackers in the pig. I guess you could put cheese in one of the other containers. Or, if you are feeling ambitions, alternate the crackers and cheese on the pig. DH and I were doing a cracker/cheese w/wine snack recently and I busted out the marble tray we got for our wedding 5 years ago. First time we used it. It was fun.

  53. Miters are great. You hit it right on the head when you said, 25 stitches and change colors every couple inches — the satisfaction of a tiny FO every hour or so. You might like to see the mitered square afghan I made a few years ago
    You inspired me to put up the post about it that has been sitting in my drafts folder for 3 months πŸ™‚

  54. I’ve been to Luxembourg too, and I must agree. It’s a lovely place. Very much a fairytale kingdom. =)

  55. Definitely *not* a clown sweater. I think it’s going to be awesome! Thanks again for the review of the panda cotton. There’s a bunch waiting in my mailbox for me when I get home from work today. πŸ™‚

  56. Love the Panda cotton socks and can’t wait to see how the Melon Ball socks knit up. yum. Lucy is looking spectacular in that lighting!

  57. Love the picture of Lucy today, what a great model.

    I was wondering if you just used 2 balls of the panda cotton for the pair or did you need 3?


  58. A clown sweater?!? No. Not at all. I love your sweater!
    Although! This may be what is plaguing me as I consider a mitered sweater! I have three different blue colorways(sockotta 177398, 177399, 177567) and I’m really afraid to use them together. It’s weird. I might like it better if they were more/less colors but these three together(bits of green, tan, black and white)I just don’t know. Maybe it’s just cold feet.
    I think I’m afraid it will turn out like EZ’s ASJ I made a few years back. I was so sure that harmonizing shades of purples and grays would work. Well, all I can say is-it didn’t work for me. It’s in a bag under the bed waiting for me to take some of those colors out.

  59. Definitely not clown material. Gorgeous. And with your hair?! Tres soignee.

  60. Well, if you decide it is too clownish I volunteer to adopt it for you so you don’t have to go to all the work or turning it into a blanket.

    (Did that come out all innocent and helpful like it was supposed to, or is my inferior motive showing?)

    I love the Melon Ball yarn. It’s very pretty. I can’t wait to see what the socks end up looking like.

  61. the mitre sweater isn’t at all clownish (I would never wear it for a balloon twisting engagement *grin*) I love the colours but otherwise it’s not to my taste. I’m not overly fond of patchwork quilts though either and that’s sooooooort of what the mitres put me in mind of. That said; you can’t trust my taste. I like granny squares, sparkles, and things that glow in the dark.
    The melonball yarn is stunning. I can see why you’ve been craving cantaloupe and honeydew.
    Lucy is also stunning. My beasts never pose fetchingly like that for me.

  62. I finished a pair of socks in Panda Cotton last week for my Cousin-in-Law. I used the Faded Jeans colorway and named the socks Tiger Blue. The green is pretty, too. A wonderful summery color.

    I think they’d make great summer socks.

  63. When I was in my 20s, I was an American college student in France, and my first trip to another country was to Luxembourg. I stayed in a youth hostel which was where? In a castle, of course!
    Loved every minute in that country, but I wish I had known about that little piggy set. Too cute!
    Your mitered pullover reminds me of a Koigu mitered jacket (kind of a long-sleeved bolero really) I knit once. (You can see it here: It’s called the Toreador Jacket.)
    It was one of the most fun projects in my memories of knitting. I don’t know that I’ve ever worn it (that was never the point anyway), but I’ve had requests from friends who want me to give it to them when I’ve shown them my handknitting.
    I still have it. Just can’t part with it. Who knows? I may want to wear it back to Luxembourg some day…

  64. Seeing as you asked ….. well, let me just say I couldn’t see myself wearing a mitred sweater, and I’m known for wearing pretty bright stuff. But, and it’s a big but, it may start a trend, and then a movement, and before we know where we are mitred sweaters will be seen on the catwalks of Paris and London and your name will be up in lights as the designer … well we can all have dreams. Love the blog and please finish the mitred sweater – we all want to see what it will look like.

  65. Not a clown sweater. No way. But you’re absolutely right — it could easily be broken down into a really awesome blanket if you aren’t happy with it. Ah, the joy of modular knitting!

    Lucy is looking quite artsy today πŸ™‚

  66. I love the melon sock yarn. I’ll have to check that site out. Very, very pretty. You must really like to knit, if you’d even contemplate tearing out the mitered sweater if you don’t like it! But I bet it’ll be beautiful. If you use good yarn, you’ll get a good product, right? =)

  67. Clown sweater IMHO…was wondering when someone would be brave enough to bring it up. Great afghan though. When crossing streets in Lux. I’ve never seen such polite drivers.

  68. Well, honestly… I can’t tell what it looks like folded up in the bag, but… I love the bag! πŸ˜‰ I love the green Panda socks, too.

  69. Sally Pillinger says:

    It’s not clowny at all – at least not in a bad way. The colours are gorgeous and it will go with anything! How is it going to be shaped or is it basically a rectangle for the front and back and one for each sleeve? (you’ve probably already discussed that – sorry).

    I love the green socks too.


  70. Clowns should be so lucky. :o)

    The colors you are using remind me of early spring, when some things are turning green and other things are still brown from winter. Very pretty!!

  71. Couldn’t it be both pretty ~and~ a clown sweater? Because if not, then it’s just pretty.

  72. Love the colors that you picked for your mitered jacket. I don’t think it will look clownish. Now if you picked bright colors that might be on the clownish side. πŸ™‚

  73. polarbears says:

    Art to wear. That’s exactly what it is and the greens will be gorgeous with your red hair. I’m actually thinking about the dowel on the wall suggested above. I’m tired of having all my beautiful sweaters hidden away in drawers because I can’t wear more than one at a time. I’m thinking about a rotating display in my studio/computer room.

    Note to Andrea from Stuttgart. For most Americans “to schlepp” has come to us from Yiddish. It’s one of those adopted words our language is so full of. Not quite standard English but may well get there eventually.

  74. it’s hard to tell how big the piggie is, but it looks like it would hold a nice neat row of cookies, or broccoli flowers, or any number of foods! it’s way too cut to hide!
    (can you tell i am a sucker for kitchy china. i am)