My current work in progress:

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


Of Gasoline Prices and Yarn and Needles

Yep, here in Virginia we have relatively low gasoline prices. There really is a wide range of prices in this area, though. I’m fortunate that the gas station closest to my home (2 blocks away) is the one with the consistently lowest prices in my area. It used to be a Mobil station, but a couple of years ago it morphed into a Sunoco. And back when it was a Mobil station it always had the lowest prices, too.

I’m fortunate that there is public transportation I can take to work (though I do have to either take a bus or drive to the train station). So my monthly bill for gasoline is always under $30. However, the cost of my daily commute (including the cost of parking at the train station) is $10.95. So I guess it all evens out.

What does this have to do with knitting? Absolutely nothing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of knitting . . .



I don’t have a lot of progress on the Agatha shawl — the past two nights I’ve knit maybe 4 rows per evening. But I am still happily knitting along. I’m nearing the end of my second skein (250 yards) so it’s time to wind up a third one.

Tammy asked:

Are you alternating between 2 skeins of DC Classy at once to avoid color chunks?

No, I am not. My reasons are two-fold.

Reason Number One: If I were to alternate skeins of yarn, I’d have to carry the yarn from the skein not currently in use up the side of the shawl, and that would be very unsightly, because it would show in the finished shawl. It it were a sweater, I might do so, because the carrying of the yarn would be hidden in a seam. But I probably wouldn’t because of:

Reason Number Two: I am lazy.

Anyhow, you cannot tell where the first skein ends and the second one begins in what I’ve knit so far. At least I can’t. And that’s good enough for me.



Cathy commented:

I love the shawl pattern; tell me, do you like the dream in color yarn?

Yes I do — it’s lovely stuff. As I said, I’m near the end of my second skein and so far no knots or anomalies.

Peggy asked:

Do you have a favorite needle for lace? I find k3tog difficult with what I have. I am looking to upgrade.

Two good choices: Knitpicks Options needles and Addi Lace Needles. Both have nice sharp points, smooth joins, and flexible cables. Some people have had problems with the cable unscrewing from the needle tip on the Knitpicks Options needles (these come in an interchangeable set), but I’ve used them for several projects and have had no problems.

WendyT asked why I wasn’t using my Knitpicks needles for this project. It’s simple: when I was ready to start, the Addis were in reach and the Knitpicks were not, being in the next room.

Much of my life is governed by inertia. I’d think about that, but I don’t have the energy.

Lucy sees nothing wrong with embracing her inertia.




  1. O am I the first? ๐Ÿ™‚

    What a beautiful kitty pic! Lucy is just too beautiful. Love the shawl, love it, love it! The color is particularly love-er-ly!

    Ah public transportation. A relatively unknown thing in SoCal! It exists, but doesn’t work too well. luv.m.

  2. I am lucky too. My husband and I have our own business, which means that we can drive to the office together. The really lucky part is that it is only 3 miles from home (actually more planned that way than luck).

  3. The shawl is looking beautiful. The colour is lovely. Soon I’ll be using DIC classy for the 1st time. I decided to participate in the Loopy Ewe DIC KAL.

    Lucy looks exceptionally cute today.

  4. Thanks for your answer Wendy! I just finished a sweater with some DC Classy (wonderful yarn!) and I found it necessary to alternate skeins. I was hoping you would say that you weren’t finding it necessary with the shawl. Looking good!

  5. Since my job is 1.5 miles from the T station on a busy commercial street with no sidewalks I’d have to drive even if the T were to start in my town – which it doesn’t. I was planning to say ‘I continue to count myself lucky I don’t pay $10.95 a day to commute’ but after doing the math and considering gasoline, wear and tear and oil changes, I guess it does. Oh well – life continues ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank god the knitting does too!

  6. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who bases some decisions on the current placement of my butt.

    I’ve been wanting to knit another shawl and this one is calling my name. Luckily I can order it without moving my aforementioned body part.


  7. That picture does not look like one of Lucy’s inertia moments! She is quite alert.
    No, perhaps she’s not a lert. She’s a Ragdoll.

    Har, har.

    I am really loving those colors. Just gorgeous.

    Besides the fact that it’s a LAW of physics to conserve energy(!), and not carrying the yarn up the side, I see no particular benefit in a pattern like this, when the stitch count is changing all the time, to alternating skeins every two rows; although there may be some temporary pooling, it shouldn’t be repetitive because of the different lengths of the rows. The yarn doesn’t look like it would give much trouble that way anyway — the only colorway of my DiC collection that I’ve actually knit yet is Black Parade, which didn’t pool, but it would be kind of hard to tell much with that color!

    And besides, you’ve said you don’t mind pooling anyway. So there. Lots of good reasons besides inertia (or the laws of thermodynamics).

  8. I’ve been out of town, and wasn’t able to keep up with your blog. Now I want to catch up, but I can’t get further back than 2/28. Whether I click Previous or next or any of the numbers at the bottom, the page stays the same, 3/5 at the top, 2/28 at the bottom.

    I really enjoy your blog and appreciate what you do for us for free, so I really hate to complain. But please…I don’t want to miss anything!

  9. Lee Cockrum says:

    I was going to say basically what Cathy-Cate said before me, that Lucy looks quite alert in that photo!

    The shawl looks loverly! Great color.

  10. Lovely shawl!

    I find k3tog difficult too, to the point that I avoid lace patterns that include it. It makes me say words I don’t want my children to hear. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Up with inertia!

  11. What a lovely picture of Miss Lucy!

    I’m working with Dream in Color Classy right now too; I am using it for my current sweater project, and I really like it. I have not alternated skeins either and I can’t tell where the joins are if I don’t look at the wrong side. This may sound weird, but I love the way it smells! It’s so comforting. I don’t recall what a sheep smells like, but I imagine that the yarn smells very sheepy. Wool fumes, yay!

  12. Debra I says:

    A note about Knit Picks Options: I have both the metal and the wooden tips, love both of them, use both for many kinds of projects (depends on the yarn and needle size more than the project these days), and find the cables don’t loosen if you use the little wire wrench that comes with the set. It’s usually in the plastic bag with the end caps. It’s a little over an inch long with a loop at one end. There’s a tiny hole in the cable connector, near where the threads are. Insert the wrench and – voila! – you have something to hold onto while you tighten the tip and cable connection. Just don’t get carried away when you tighten up the connection. I had to use pliers once to loosen tips (I taped the pliers jaws so I wouldn’t mar the tips).

    All hail Lucy!

    (Still in amazement when it costs over $40 to fill the gas tank)

  13. Love the shawl so far! And good lord, I thought my commuting expenses were bad at my old place! That’s crazy. Do you live very far from your office (if you don’t mind me asking)?

  14. technikat says:

    I did a baby blanket in Dream in Color yarn. I didn’t alternate and should have. The first 2 skeins were identical, no problem. The 3rd skein was a significantly lighter color although it was the same dye lot.

  15. PICAdrienne says:

    I have been known to select what project to work on based entirely on proximity.

    My gas costs more, your daily commute costs more. i will accept the cost of gas. But, you have to pay to park at the train? Wow, that is amazing. Our park and ride parking is still free here. Where I used to work, I took the bus everyday, but stopped doing that after the Fire Department called and asked how quickly I could get to the hospital, as my son had injured himself. I now work 8 miles from home, that was just too scary (even though he ended up not being badly injured.)

    The yarn color for your shawl in progress reminds me of Cromarty, or is this yarn more green?

  16. Judith in NYC says:

    Is there a typo in the second paragraph re the amount you pay for parking, etc.?

  17. Judith in NYC says:

    Ooooooops, got it! you wrote daily, not weekly. Blame it on primary fatigue. Although the amount is low compared to NY.

  18. Embracing your inertia. Tell Lucy I really like that!

  19. But of course your use of public transportation to work does impact your knitting! You have more potential time to knit than others who drive themselves to work! I am jealous, there is not a lot of public transportation where I live.

  20. I have the option needle too… and the only one that comes unscrewed in my set is one of the 5.5mm needles, the rest are great!

  21. Thanks for providing the link to the Agatha shawl, Wendy! It’s absolutely gorgeous. Once I saw it, I just had to have it. There’s even some Brooks Farm yarn in my stash that would work nicely. Now to get a few things finished so that I can cast on!
    Maria in NY

  22. anne marie in philly says:

    your gas prices and mine are the same. cross the bridge into new jersey and the prices drop 15 cents or more.

    I drive 15 miles round trip to work every day. I only buy gas every 2 weeks, spending $40 each time. gotta lerve the fuel efficient cars! wish I had access to public transportation to/from work.

    steven and meredith say, “cousin lucy, you get prettier every day. what IS your beauty secret?”

  23. Beverley says:

    Hi Wendy

    Well after talking to my son Richard, who is living and working in Washington DC at the moment we worked out the cost of petrol here in New Zealand.

    $6.42 US a gallon!!! Think I am off to buy a scooter.

    Love the shawl by the way.


  24. Beverley says:

    Hmm forgot to add it costs about $85 + NZ dollars to fill my tank. I live 4 mins drive from work and only use the car 2 -3 days a week. [ Get rides to and from with my partner ]

    A tank fill lasts about 2 weeks. I suppose my car, a Celecia is not so fuel effcient but brought it before the petrol started its crazy sprial upwards.

    Love it too much to trade yet.

    Knit on >^..^<

  25. Knit pick needles unscrewing…My ancient Boye interchangeable needle set had the same little wire wrench but also included a 3-4 inch diameter flat, thin rubbery/grippy circle. If you hold the needle with that & use the wire thingy & turn them against each other it snugs up really well. A piece of non slip carpet grip fabric, rubber dishwashing glove…experiment !

  26. Theresa in Italy says:

    Back in the last century, when I lived and worked in the LA area, I was lucky enough to be able to commute by bus. (My boss would have been able to subsidize my parking had I been able to drive, but he couldn’t contribute a cent towards a bus pass.) And now that I’m in Europe, well, you don’t want to know. I usually get 50 euros worth of diesel (which is cheaper than gas) at a time, and it doesn’t fill the tank. So I also embrace my inner inertia. A lot.

    I’ve ordered the Agatha pattern, too, in case you’re keeping count!

    Lucy doesn’t look inert, more as if she’s just spotted something really interesting!

  27. Even with only driving to the post office twice a week (round trip of about 2.5 miles), running the occasional errand during the week (usually quite literally on the way home), doing a few close-to-the-house things on weekends, if not staying home completely, I run up a $45 – $50 gas bill every month. Here in California. Where we get the stuff out of the ground, and refine it. Oh, yeah, I get good gas mileage, and that $45 is for a single tank of gas. Don’t remember the last time I paid only $30 for a tank. Wow. Although I do remember, back in the dark ages, my folks complaining when gas went up to $.35/gallon. Years later I was shocked, shocked!, when it rose to over $1/gallon. What’s this world coming to? Like I said. It was the dark ages. LOL

    The only time I’ve had trouble with my KnitPicks Options needles coming apart is when I didn’t use the cute little key to tighten them. Other than that, they’re great. Though I wouldn’t part with my Addi Turbos either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Meribeth says:

    Your comment about inertia made me laugh! May I use it, as needed, and give you recognition? I may even have to do a kitchen sampler. I love it.

    And it is no wonder we love our cats. If there is any thing or creature that has inertia down pat, it is a cat. Especially one sitting in the sun.

  29. Enabler.
    and I say that with love..
    I absolutely love DIC.
    made a hat with it first.
    then saw your shawl. it will be my second lace project. For some reason, as much as I love lace, i have problems with it. But with this being heavier yarn, i see no problem. and I happen to have a beautiful skein waiting in the wings, with 2 more within reach. I bought the pattern Pdf yesterday, Rebecca being a lovely woman, just happens to be the same same of one of my best friends, and my son’s gf, most likely his forever love(or I hope so and he tells me so.)
    and not to forget Lucy, and not to give her too big a head, beautiful beautiful.

  30. We commute as little as necessary to and from Wheaton (5mi away) daily, Neosho which is 25 mi away once a week, and to my folks appx 25 mi 1-2 times a week. These are just what we have to do, we dont just go driving anymore , no side trips etc…unless its absolutely necessary. Unfortunately my truck only gets about 18 miles per gallon, I got it b4 the rise in prices and trading it in isnt an option. And in the rural area where we live public transportation doesnt exist.

  31. I appreciate your comments about public transportation in the DC area. There are upsides and downsides. It is by no means cheap. I took the subway when I was starting out in the mid-80s (when you could still find affordable housing near the subway) and I don’t think I’d be able to afford it today.

  32. I loved the Metro when I was in Northern VA and I miss the option of reliable public transportation here. But you’re very right, Virginia has lower gas prices overall. On this end of the state (SW Corner) it was $2.99 at the Sheetz on the corner on Monday. Tuesday night it went to $3.05. Wednesday noon? Back to $2.99. I jumped and gassed up. I wonder if it will be back to $3.05 this afternoon (Thursday)? In light of the $105/barrel price last night?

    You’re so right about Addi Lace needles! And I’d add KP’s Harmonies! Aren’t we lucky to have the choices?

    Miss Lucy looks particularly pretty today!

  33. Gorgeous picture of Lucy today – – WOW!


  34. Michele In Maine says:

    Aww, pretty kitty!

  35. Lovely yarn color for the shawl. I’m coming back in my next life as a cat.

  36. Ann in CT says:

    Ah, more money spent on gas equals less money to spend on yarn. We need more knitters/crocheters in public office, they would consider these things. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cats are good at embracing their inertia. I’m glad you are following Lucy’s wise lead in these matters.

  37. I live about a mile from work, I live in CA, I could walk to work except that I too am afflicted with that inertia thing. It controls the better part of my daily routine. The shawl is lovely.

  38. Inertia is a wonderful thing! I love just reaching over to my box of needles and pulling out whatever one will work (usually the first appropriate size on top).

    I’d love to say I learned to be one with my inertia from my cat, but I’ve been this way for years.

  39. I never realized that Lucy has pointy ears. I like them.

  40. I, too, loved your Agatha so much that I ordered and received the pattern…Can’t wait to cast on. Must find the perfect color.