My current work in progress:

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


More Stuff

Not a lot of knitting progress to report — I was off from work today for an appointment and before I had to leave for that I suddenly lost my mind and started cleaning up my condo. I spent a lot of time sifting through the piles of stuff I’ve let accumulate over the past few months, so time just slipped away.

So I’ll show you a couple more things. Lookie here:

Needlecase 080907

Needlecase 080907

This is a fabulous needle wrap case, created by the very talented Zonda. I love that it does not have ties, but an elasticized garter that slips around it to hold it shut. Here it is open:

Needlecase Open 080907

Needlecase Open 080907

My Knitpicks Options needle set fits in there very nicely, with room to spare for more. There’s a pocket with a flap that fastens shut with velcro — a perfect place to put the needle ends and the tightening tool that comes with the Options components.

I love it — so much prettier than the plain black zippered case that came with my Options set. Also easier to use, I think.

Poo Free!

At the beginning of last month, Sandy blogged about her break away from traditional shampoo. I had heard about the concept of cleansing one’s hair with conditioner, so after reading about Sandy’s success, I immediately ordered a conditioner from the same brand Sandy was using — Chaz Dean‘s WEN Cleansing Conditioner. I’ve been using the Cucumber Aloe conditioner.

WEN Conditioner 080907

WEN Conditioner 080907

A month later, I’m still hooked. I’ve used this product exclusively on my hair for a month now and my hair looks better and is in better condition than it has ever been. Poo free forever!

Hair 080907

Hair 080907

New Book

Yarngirls 080907

Yarngirls 080907

You’ve probably seen this book reviewed here and there on knitting blogs recently. I, too, received a review copy of The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Knits For All Seasons, by Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs.

I was pleasantly surprised when I flipped through it. The patterns are arranged by season, and are in varying degrees of difficulty, but I think all would be do-able by a beginner or advanced beginner knitter. The photos are large and clear, and there are good schematics for each design. There are sweaters for both men and women, along with a pattern for a pretty lacy wrap, and a couple of accessories. A word of warning — the womens’ designs pretty much don’t go up over a 40″ bust, so this is not a book for larger women. The largest men’s sweater has a 52″ chest. But the designs are pretty and not too trendy and very pleasing to the eye. This is my favorite:

Sweater Pattern 080907

Sweater Pattern 080907

Want my copy of this book? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday August 12, 2007. The random number generator will choose the recipient on Sunday afternoon.

Sock Progress

SIP 080907

SIP 080907

See? Not a lot of progress. This sock is slower to knit than most of the ones I’ve made because of the cables — cabling takes a bit more time!

This photo is a pretty good representation of the color, by the way.


Lucy 080907

Lucy 080907

Lucy was a big help to me today.


  1. Sherilan says:

    I just counted the # of pairs of socks in your 2007 completed – if I counted correctly = 28. Wow! You and all your friends will have warm feet this winter.

  2. Wendy- I wish your back felt as good as your hair looks!!!!

  3. hey I go that same exact case from her a few weeks ago! Did you get the cute littel box bag to match? I love it.

  4. Poor Wendy, I hope you are feeling a bit better. I’m in a similar place right now and I’m getting cranky!!

    Interesting about the conditioner for shampoo. But may I give you a hint for Lucy’s locks? Since you want to bathe cats well (and as infrequently as possible) use Goop (that’s right, the hand cleaner for car mechanics) first. On a Lucy cat, half a jar, on one of my Persians a full one. Let sit a few minutes, then rinse and shampoo with Dawn. Finish with a light conditioner and ideally a hair dryer. She will be beautifully fluffy and degreased for a long time. And it is gentle, it’s for hands after all. Goop found out we’d been using their product and actually came out with Pet Goop, but I can only find that through and the shipping is horrendous.

  5. My hair isn’t entirely happy eschewing poo altogether, but conditioner-washes are a must!

    And, incidentally, you’d be amazed at how well V05 kiwi-lime clarifing conditioner works. Love the scent, too. AND it’s great for washing handknits . . . Just saying. Wen is great stuff, but it can get pricey!

  6. The Zonda case is very nice, love that fabric.

    My Mr. Poo aka Sammy is glad to hear your talking about shampoo free not Poodle free. He shudders to think of a Poodle free world. I’ve also heard about only using conditioner . I’ve been curious whether it has to be a special conditioner, so I’m going to read the info in the blog you linked to. My hair has been so dry this summer. It doesn’t make sense, given I have ultra thick hair & it’s been highly humid. Maybe you’ll solve our hair problems too! We’re so lucky to have you!!!

  7. Patricia says:

    Yeah, like Sherilan, I was noticing the yearly sock total too- quite a list- looks like the winter and spring of socks as well!

    Lucy had the right idea- stay out of the way and nap while momma’s going through the piles of stuff!

  8. I agree .. that sweater in the book looks great.
    Interesting tip about the conditioner. and your hair looks great. I took the link and almost checked out with an order of the conditioner but then I calculated the least expensive shipping to Minnesota and it was over $11. Ouch. I just can’t see spending over $11 to ship 16 oz of hair conditioner to myself….. yarn is a different story . ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Yeah! Poo Free and LOVING IT!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    At least you are looking wonderful, dahling!

  10. Ok, you sold me. I just bought some… can’t wait until it arrives!!

  11. We just got one copy of that book yesterday at the yarn shop where I teach. The green sweater was my favortite of the zillion things that I liked in it. The whole series of their books are so great for beginning knitters. I recommend them all the time. I, seriously, need to try that hair cleansing conditioner! Your hair looks FAB!!!!! Glad to see Lucy is SO helpful!!!

  12. why doesn’t anyone ever talk about B&B Gentle Shampoo? I’ve used it exclusively for quite a few years now (and no, it’s not cheap either) but I need no conditioner (even with old fart grey hair or salt & pepper as it’s affectionately called) and my hair is soft and silky and CLEAN …

    back to boiling the Kitchenaid measuring spoons to try to kill the fruit flies which seem to have fallen in love with them –

  13. I need a serious shampoo for the oil slick that is my scalp. But then, my thin, fine hair will tangle and what’s left of the perm will frizz, so I must use conditioner on the ends, as well. My trick is to NOT rinse all of the conditioner completely out of the hair — that helps.

  14. The case is just fantastic! Hmm I may need to try the conditioner out. hehhe ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Just putting your blog to the “test” ๐Ÿ˜‰ So far, so good.

    Your hair looks fantastic!

  16. I must try that pooless hair treatment! Sounds so funny! And boy, does Lucy know how to help or what?

  17. ISABELLA says:

    you may want to check out QVC this weekend WEN is going to be on.
    Your hair looks gret I have wanted to try this as well.

    Perhaps its Lucy’s turn?

  18. Gratz on the nice hair!

    I actually have really good luck with Garnier Fruictis. I use whatever their moisturizing formula is (I can’t remember the name) and then follow it up with some of the fruictis smoothing milk and it gives me the SEXIEST hair EVER.

    I can really only wash my hair about once a week, though, without it going nutso. But it looks good and it doesn’t get dirty very fast so I don’t mind.

    Also, you know what I miss? I miss the St. Ives mint conditioner they used to make. Made my scalp all tingly and wonderful.

  19. Wendy, try putting a small bead on the tightening wires for the Options needles. I pushed it into the loop at the top; it went fairly easily without opening the loop. This makes it easier for me to hold onto the gadget and easier to find if I drop it.

    Not so BTW, I hope your medical people are doing you some good. I’ve had upper back/shoulder pain for decades, and frequent or ongoing pain can be very debilitating.

  20. Kristina says:

    I just got that book a couple of days ago and I LOVE it. I went out right away and got the yarn to make that Bag Lady purse in the back. I got cranberry though. Love the book though…. I want everything in there.

  21. I vaguely remember reading something about people finding that washing their hair with apple vinegar works just as well as using shampoo. I might be mistaken, though.

    It’s a shame that there aren’t too many patterns that take larger people into account, unless it’s a book of patterns written specifically for larger people. Not that there’s anything wrong with such a thing, but as someone who has, er, an ample figure, it would be nice to be able to knit some of the really nice patterns that I find without having to do really screwy math to accommodate for my size. (I’ve never been that great with math.) Fortunately, I dislike fitted clothing and prefer to wear loose things, so a lot of men’s sweater patterns end up doing the trick, since they at least tend to be written to accommodate larger men more often than patterns for women are.

  22. your hair looks great. I have curly hair that I’ve severely reduced the use of shampoo on for a few years now.

    Besides drying your hair, most shampoos will leave a film on it, too. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice cut the film.

    Most rinse-out conditioners have enough surfactants to work as a shampoo replacement. Still, I think I’ll try the fig or lavender version of the WEN product.

    How do you find those Addi lace needles compare to Turbos or KnitPick Options for sock knitting?

    The site has lots of info on washing with conditioner and recommendations, but is definitely slanted toward products that work for curly hair.

  23. Hi Wendy! (Long time no blog, and I’m reading through your posts from the past 3 months.) I’m like you, when I get started doing something I get carried away. So simply vacuuming the living room rug becomes cleaning the whole house! Drives my husband nuts! (But hey, clean house.)

    Great hair! You should send a picture to CD, maybe they’ll put you on TV with Sandy. Hee hee.

  24. I’m also one of those girls who can get side-tracked by organizing and cleaning! As soon as I see something that I think needs decluttering…watch out!

    I really like the cables on your current sock!

  25. Dear Wendy,
    I am one of those old people who feel like
    she needs shampoo to get her hair clean.
    Conditioner sometimes leaves my hair
    very limp and since I’m ill very fine. I left
    a message before about changing a toe
    up sock to a top down sock. You need to
    write a book about changing all those
    things. Have you tried accupuncture for
    your back?

  26. I am not exactly “poo free” since I wash my hair every two weeks but inbetween that time I, after I workout, I rinse my hair with conditioner and I love it! My hair is soft and bouncy and GREW like a weed.

  27. Ah-I remember that Salon Selectives with fondness. I use the Garnier Fructis line, too. Their little pump of smoothing serum is fantastic. I’m very intrigued by the poo free notion. Can you still use styling products? Maybe you don’t need as many…

  28. I’m like Sue. I almost checked out with a bottle of the cleanser/conditioner but the shipping cost was outrageous! Are they insane? Over $11 to ship a 16oz bottle?! It sounds like a good idea but I’ll stick with my Arbonne (also pricey but not outrageously so) for now. I’m always on the lookout for a good shampoo since Clinque quit making their Daily Wash which I used for at least a decade. I’m glad it works for you and your hair looks great.

  29. My goodness Wendy that is some seriously shiny hair you’ve got going on! I’m hoping I can get some of that stuff over here. Anything that will tame my coarse, grey locks is worth a try.

  30. Your hair looks really healthly. Pretty color too.

    I love your needlecase – – so what else is new? I seem to like the majority of your items.

    We all care so please give us an update on your back.

    Have a good weekend.


  31. The needle case is pretty and having an elastic garter would be much quicker to use than ties.

    Lucy looks like she is a really good helper. I love when my cats help out like that too.

  32. Going poo free actually isn’t a new concept. Curly heads have been doing it for years. Curls suck up moisture and shampoos tend to strip the moisture out of them. I use shampoo on my hair maybe twice a month if that. And that is only to remove any product build up. But even than, I condition my hair first. Check out and see what the curlyheads have to say.

    And of course, blow drying your hair is bad too since it dries your hair out. That is if you do it on a daily basis. But you know what your hair needs best.

    And Lucy looks like she worked super hard.

  33. I’ve been using Wen about two years now. LOVE. IT.

  34. I’ve been poo free for months and my hair is much happier. I use a variety of conditioners – organic, leave-in, sproingy gels for my curls – to prevent a build up of product. I also do a periodic rinse with a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution. My hair feels fantastic after I do that.

  35. I’ve been poo-free for about 3 months, with just 2 or 3 exceptions because it’s summer and I’ve been biking a lot. I can’t notice a difference with the way my hair looks, but I don’t get itchy scalp after my shower while my hair dries. I’ll bet I can go through the whole winter without any shampoo.

    BTW, your hair looks so soft and gorgeous in that picture!

  36. That conditioner idea is interesting and your hair looks FABulous! And that needle wrap case is wonderful

  37. Shampoo free? Hmm, wonder if it would work for color-dyed hair?

    Looking at Lucy, I’m back to trying to figure out just how cats get their necks to bend to that angle . . .

  38. Poo free… Interesting. My “wash and go” look actually requires a lot of maintenance, and I’d like to change that. And that’s what I love about blogs! I stop in to oogle your latest sock in progress, and learn about leaving shampoo in the past!

  39. “Wow” to the hair, the cat and the knitting! How does that conditioner work for knee-length hair, by-the-by?

  40. The hair is looking good! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And, I just love love that sock. The color…the cables…it’s all good!

  41. Rockin’ needlecase. I shall immediately begin making one for myself. Way better than Jonnie Walker Red box I’m using now!

  42. Your hair looks FABulous.

  43. Nice new needle case. Love the pattern.

    I think I will have to try that cleansing conditioner. It sounds like it works really well. My hair can use all the help that it can get that is for sure.

    Looks like Lucy was making sure your spot didn’t get cold. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. I haven’t used shampoo for months. I don’t use conditioner, though. I just don’t use anything. I wet my hair everyday, though, so that I can style it, and every so often, I’ll really massage my scalp with my fingers as if I’m washing it, but just use hot water.

    The oils on your scalp work on a negative feedback system. Stop stripping the oils away with shampoo, and your scalp will produce less oil. So, it’s not like your hair will just keep getting greasier and greasier. It will stop eventually.

    My hair is fine and straight. When I used to use shampoo, I had to put gel or mousse in it to get it to make any kind of style. Now it is thick and holds a style without any product in it. I love walking right past the haircare aisle in the store. Not for me, thanks.

  45. Theresa in Italy says:

    You want to be careful about that housecleaning urge. Don’t get carried away! I really like that needle case. Your hair looks fantastic. I’ve tried the “no-poo” routine but wasn’t happy with the way my hair came out. Wrong conditioner, perhaps. Don’t think I’ll be ordering Wen anytime soon, though—if they charge $11 to ship within the states, I can just imagine what it would cost to have something sent over here! Have a good weekend….

  46. Deb from Nebraska says:

    Wendy–your hair is GORGEOUS!! (as is your knitting…:)) I want my hair to look so soft and lovely. I think I will have to add that into my budget somehow…maybe knit from my stash for a month or so and see how my hair reacts. I’m one of those who has to wash their hair EVERYDAY or it is an oil slick. The idea that I could go 2 or 3 days without washing it really interests me (which also means the conditioner should last longer–right?) PS: Let Lucy know, her hair is also GORGEOUS! My cat is twenty and doesn’t groom herself any more, so I have to…with a brush, not my tongue!!
    Deb in Nebraska

  47. Love the needlecases by Zonda!! I got mine a few weeks ago and just love it!!! And I also ordered a matching bag that is perfect for a project and the case!! Love the pattern of yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. I got one of Zonda’s needlecases too, and I love it. I put my Knitpicks Options and Classic Circulars for socks in it right away. I also got a knitting bag and box bag to go with it, and now my projects are traveling stylishly. Those Amy Butler fabrics are great with these designs.

  49. After reading the blog, and especially after seeing the picture of you with such shiny, beautiful hair, I had to try it. What a coincidence that Chaz Dean was on QVC this past weekend with a special value thing. I am anxiously waiting to try it on my fine, thin, color treated hair! Love ya!


  1. […] giving away a copy of The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Knits for All Seasons – to enter, send an email to her contest line before noon EDT, August […]

  2. […] over, actually, I think it was December 11th that I did my first conditioner only wash, inspired by this post at WendyKnits. I mean. I have heard about this sort of thing for a while, but seeing results was […]