My current work in progress:

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


What is a “Must Make?”

Last week in the comments, AnnH asked me:

What are the criteria for your โ€œmust makeโ€ list?

Ooh, that’s a tough question. It’s based pretty much on a gut reaction to a design.

I am extraordinarily picky about the cabled sweaters I knit, but I can’t come up with any reasons why some designs that appeal to me and some don’t. I look through a book and automatically say “Love it, hate it, love it, hate it” and I never change my mind. Same thing with lace. Once again, extraordinarily picky.

What do you all think? What are the criteria for your “must make” list?


I finished Lismore Friday night, while watching La Vie en Rose. (By the way, La Vie en Rose was an incredible movie and Marion Cotillard gave an amazing performance as Edith Piaf.)

I carefully laid Lismore out to photograph it, but I had some problems.

See what I mean?

My photo stylist seemed to have issues . . .

Finally, she seemed satisfied and let me get on with it.

The collar:

The ribbing:

A sleeve:

I’m not going to start another “big” project this week. Thursday morning I am going to St. Louis to participate in The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling, and I’m teaching 4 classes there. Apart from working on my sock in progress, I’ve got a fair amount of knitting I need to do to prepare for the classes, so I’ll be doing that in the evenings this week.

In other news, this handsome fellow wants to audition to be a Knight Who Says Ni:

I think anyone as cute as he who has his own knitted chain mail need not audition, don’t you?

In other, other news, Lucy is exhausted from helping me with the Lismore photo-shoot.


  1. Well, Lismore looks great! And, thanks for the heads up about La Vie en Rose – I had been wanting to watch it, so I’ll have to move it up in my queue. : )

    Amy’s last blog post..Static Guard Kills Bees…

  2. Lismore is so amazing! The fact that it was done using only two yarns sets my creativity pot on fire!!!

    Beautiful job.

    Megan S.’s last blog post..Hair, hair, hair

  3. Lismore is gorgeous! I don’t see any problems with that photo shoot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    jules’s last blog post..Saturday

  4. Lismore is beautiful. The sleeves are perfectly matched. Was that hard to do with the yarn you used? And I really think Lucy adds something to the design.

  5. Lismore is gorgeous – it practically glows.

    Sandra D’s last blog post..Not Kidding

  6. Oooh, purty! I love how Lismore turned out. And for some reason my cats only like the fair-isle sweaters, maybe Lucy is the same?

    Michele’s last blog post..Fiber Fest

  7. You will look Fabulous in Lismore! Have a fantastic time at The Loopy Ewe!

    Nancy’s last blog post..OKC 13 years

  8. Wendy, I don’t know if you use bambino yarn from but I think you should head over there…there is a color way in your honor, and lovely Miss Lucy’s! So pretty!

  9. OMG. That sweater if beautiful. You did a wonderful job on it. (And Lucy did a great job helping you photograph it.))

    Marion’s last blog post..Peach Basketweave Socks

  10. Did you know that Edith Piaf was a knitter before you saw the film? I didn’t. She was knitting at least twice in the movie that I remember. I’ve been a big Piaf fan for a long time, but just didn’t like the film. Non-linear just doesn’t work pour moi.

  11. Lismore is amazing! I love how you got the sleeves to match perfectly. And Lucy is a great model ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree about picking patterns to work. I usually just look at something and go, “I really have to make that!” My tastes waver a bit more though. Sometimes I will think I really want to make a certain pattern and then 2 weeks later I will find a “better” pattern for the same type of thing (sweater, tank top, hat, etc.) and just *have* to make that. This could be why I still have yet to make a tank top for this summer…I keep changing my mind!

    Melissa’s last blog post..T.G.I.F.

  12. Absolutely fantastic Lismore. Can’t wait to see it modeled.

    Angeluna’s last blog post..RAVELRAISERS…You give, you take! RAVATARS!

  13. Beautiful sweater, but I’m wondering about the light color section — does it fall across the fullest part of the bust, thus highlighting that asset? Could that have been planned for/away before starting?
    Nonetheless, stunning work!

    Liz Andrsn’s last blog post..Day-am!

  14. Lucy had to get lovely Lismore posed just right because she knew it could be upstaged by that oh so handsome knight!

  15. anne marie in philly says:

    “la vie en rose” is on my “must watch” list.

    I do not have a “must make” list. I let my muse guide me as to my next knitted piece.

    lismore and lucy…both objects d’art!

    have fun in st. louis!

  16. What a beautiful sweater! I love the stylist!
    Where’d you find the pattern for the chain mail? It’s awesome!

    Marti’s last blog post..Devastation

  17. Marion CotillarD, ma chere amie –

    don’t forget those silent “d”s en Francais ..

    from Froggy’s “epouse”, ou “marie”, or just plain wifey –

    xxx and am thrilled that you finally had a chance to check out that film – I thought that it was phenomenal – but what do I know? I’m only married to a Frenchman …

    must make? everything that’s sitting in my “started” pile had a “must make” label on it when I started it – what can I tell you?


    margaret’s last blog post..Clinging?

  18. I’m wondering about the chain mail pattern, too. Adorable!

    And I’m curious about how much yarn was left over from Lismore? Did you already mention it? (I don’t recall, but I don’t think so…) Wonderful job matching up the sleeves, too. I love it!

    Ps. That knight’s a real cutie!!

    Jill’s last blog post..Lots of Fun, Lots of Knitting

  19. Wendy, I cannot believe you knitted that sweater in such a short time! I’ve been working on the same (uncomplicated) sock for a week! Do you ever sleep??

    Betsy’s last blog post..When Life Interferes with Knitting

  20. Kristi ~ Ohio says:

    Your Lismore is just beautiful. I’d love to see it in person… at the Spring Fling. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lucy is a great model/stylist.

  21. I do not know what you mean by problems with photographing Lismore. Problems? I see no problems.

  22. Oh, your Lismore turned out absolutely goregous – and the sleeves even match! Bravo!!!!

  23. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    You did an incredible job on the Lismore! Your photo stylist is to be commended as well.

    I love your colorway at SockPixie!

  24. Oh wow, that sweater is GOR-GEOUS. I do have to say, you got me with this one. I went on that website to order the yarn last week. I love rainbows. Always have, since kid-hood.

    I want to make a cardigan with mine. I am attracted to Alice Starmore designs, but they are all written for someone smaller than I am (I usually buy a size 22/24 sweater off the rack, though I am under 5 feet tall and have a short torso and short-ish arms. Is it possible to upsize a complicated colorwork pattern such as a Starmore? And if so, what are some of the best tricks for doing so?

    I’ve never knit a sweater in my life. But this one made me absolutely drool. Thanks a lot for helping me find just another outlet for my stash enhancement!


    TrishD’s last blog post..Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1, 2008

  25. Lismore turned out so gorgeous! Simply stunning. I just finished and blogged the Ivy League Vest today. It’s a good feeling to finish such a work intensive project isn’t it?

    turtlegirl76’s last blog post..Ivy League Vest

  26. Your sweater looks really great: hopefully you’ll get to wear it a few times before the weather finally gets nice outside! You did a nice job getting the sleeves symmetrical. Did you have to dip into extra skeins to get it all lined up? How much yarn did you end up having left?

  27. That’s pretty impressive looking. Well done.

    Janice in GA’s last blog post..Progress pictures, as promised

  28. Love the Lismore!

    My “must make” list: I’m immediately attracted to anything with colorwork or cables. Once I look closer, the pattern of colors or cables needs to be pretty symmetrical for me to like it.

    There are several patterns I’ve seen that I wasn’t interested in at all, but then I saw another picture of an FO with that pattern (usually in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group in Ravelry) and decide it looks pretty good after all.

  29. You and Lismore will stop traffic! Have a great time at the Loopy Spring Fling.

  30. Lismore is gorgeous! I also usually have a feline photo stylist. Harley totally ignore knitting until it’s damp and lying on the floor….

    janna’s last blog post..Surprises

  31. That Lucy is so funny. Lismore must feel and or smell wonderful. Lismore is also absolutely stunning. Love it.

    Dianne’s last blog post..Sock/ yarn clubs

  32. Lismore is amazing. Such a gorgeous completion.

    Teyani’s last blog post..Perfectly wonderful socks

  33. Theresa in Italy says:

    Lismore is gorgeous, you did a fantastic job (as usual), and I didn’t notice and problem with the photo shoot, either!

    I agree, anyone who’s that cute and shows up with his own knitted chain mail doesn’t need to audition.

    Have a great time at the Spring Fling! (I so wish I could be there!)

  34. nicole/sweden says:

    heh, wait’d a minute… that’s MY boyfriend!
    o.kay doe (as we say over here) i’ll share.
    is he the cutest thing since sliced bread or what!!! and yes, his sister actually looks like an angel. the mom’s kinda a crab pot joe tho and never believes me when i say these things…
    kidding. it’s basically a crab pot joe free zone over here.

    thanks for posting this photo. helps with the withdrawal factor.

  35. nicole/sweden says:

    being surprized by the viking make me loose concentration for a minute. i also wanted to say is i am astounded by how you balanced the color grade on both sleeves since variagated yarn is hard to anticipate even with long color grading.

    l.o.v.e this interpretation of starmore.

    and yes, i’m also an immediate love,hate,love,hate decider. But i do spend more time, alot of time, when i dally around with reinterpretation possibilities. and this project of yours has finally convinced me to let go of my judgmental stance about faux fairisle colorway.

  36. it’s beautiful, Wendy, congratulations!

  37. Your Lismore is fantastic, and Lucy as cute as ever! I bought some kauni yarn several monthes ago, and I’m searching for a good leave pattern, probably oak leaves, to make a jacquet. I love Kauni!
    What make me choose a must- knit? It has to speak to my soul : I mean it must have an inner story to tell, which speak to my soul….I’m I weird?

    Jocelyne’s last blog post..Pleine lune d’Avril

  38. wow, lismore is fabulous!

    vanessa’s last blog post..seeing spots

  39. Hey Wendy
    Could I pick your brains about spinning cat hair? I have a very long haired Maine Coon who we brush regularly and it occurred to me that if you’ve made yarn from Lucy’s beautiful fur, that perhaps I could do the same with Rafferty’s? Anyway, would be very interested to know the steps for spinning cat hair if you have a moment to e-mail me!
    Many thanks

    Jo’s last blog post..To do list April ongoing …

  40. Lismore is gorgeous, congratulations.

    Karoline’s last blog post..Some Finishing

  41. Lismore is just simply beautiful. Did you have try to make the sleeves match or did it work out that way. I love how the same yarn at different points can make the sweater look so different. Just beautiful.

  42. It is usually “love at first sight” for me too with regard to projects, but sometimes I’ll browse an old book or magazine and find something I missed on the first go round.

    Lismore is fantastic.

    marjorie’s last blog post..It’s Only Fitting

  43. Actually I think Ludvig would love auditioning for the part.
    And I think that a “must make” on my list is a new chainmail for him. Heยดs grown out of this old one.
    Your Lismore is lovely and so is Lucy!

    Johanne’s last blog post..Diamonds and Purls

  44. Lismore is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve waited to comment until you were done and it has far exceeded my expectations.

  45. Absolutely wonderful!!!

    Dianne’s last blog post..Kayaking Healeth the Soul (but doesn’t prevent me from ranting and raving)!

  46. That’s really a work of art.

  47. I don’t think I have any criteria. There are times when I just need to make something and I’ll go through my yarn and either randomly start something (these normally end up as scarves) just to cast on and knit.

    I don’t really enjoy the frenetic energy of randomly casting on, but sometimes when I am frustrated or tired (but not sleepy) I need something horribly easy and casting on seems to fit the bill.

    Seanna Lea’s last blog post..Sometimes the simplest pieces take the longest

  48. Lismore is lovely, and even more so now that Lucy has decorated her with cat hair! My “must knit” list.. well it is whatever smacks me right between the eyes as soon as I see it. sometimes it’s even things I would never wear! I keep my “must Knit” in my queue at Ravelry, and sometimes I go back and delete things that don’t interest me anymore, but usually once something gets in my queue it stays. and it’s usually something that is “intriguing” in some way, some new technique that i don’t know, or something that is a totally different from what I have done in the past, which is alot of things, since until recently I have been a very timid knitter, but when I tackled lace and discovered it wasn’t near as difficult as I had been anticipating I’ve decided I can knit anything.. the knitting world is now my oyster! I am Knitter, Hear me Roar! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. You’ve done a beautiful job on Lismore! Love it so much I have just ordered the book and yarn to start my own. Thanks so much for the inspiration. And, just for the record: I love Lucy.

  50. WOW!!!! How about a tiny Lismore that Lucy could wear on a cool day?

  51. I am very fond of fair isle jumpers and I like most things you make. However, this time you’ve really hit it for me. It’s a wonderful interpretation of a lovely pattern. I hope you wear it, enjoy it, and get lots of well-deserved comments.

    Mandella’s last blog post..A good crafty week

  52. Oh Man is that Lismore gorgeous! I love, just love Kauni – I must have some!
    I enjoyed La Vie En Rose , the Sparrow certainly had an interesting life – I liked the part where she told the interviewer she knits for whomever will wear her work.

  53. Lismore, Lucy and La Vie en Rose – TRES, TRES BIEN!!

    Must makes for me are what catches my fancy – and are within my range of expertise! I love cables, but have not tried anything like a sweater yet (like your Cromarty). I love color, so I ordered Vogue’s “World” sweater in the earth tones as featured in their 25th anniversary issue. Also, Kaffe partner’s book…. with the sweaters from all over the world, the title escapes me – I have the wool for the “Aussie” sweater.. fabulous colors and stockinette – perfect for moi!

    Wish I could go to St. Louis and meet you and take a Wendy-class, but alas and alack, I cannot. Maybe another time, another place. luv.m.

  54. Meribeth says:

    First: Will it cover the lumps?
    Second: Color (including stash)
    Third: Unique
    Fourth: Does it sing to me?

    Your sweater does all four plus some I haven’t thought about yet!

  55. HeatherB says:

    I’m jealous, jealous, jealous and stupid, stupid, stupid. I LIVE in St. Louis (or, in the greater St. Louis area anyway) and I didn’t sign up for Loopy Ewe’s Spring Fling. What is WRONG with me??!! Well, hopefully we’ll have nice weather for you (it’s been raining enough to warrant Ark building this spring). I guess there’s always next year. ๐Ÿ™

  56. It’s sort of hard to find my “must make” gene. I walk around thinking it’s dormant, and then 6 weeks down the road I see a pattern I dismissed the first time I saw it as too hard or too time consuming. Next thing I know, I’m ordering the book it’s in or the yarn to make it. So now, I never say “never.” I have to say “Not right now. Maybe in 6 months.”

    Outside of that, color will make me order something. I was only going to order one skein of yarntini, but it took 6 hours for me to pick out the one I wanted. I wound up ordering an “also ran” in spite of myself, but I love it just as much as the other skein, maybe more.

    renee’s last blog post..My first yarnover heel

  57. renee again says:

    I love the Lucy sweater inspection! She was laying on it like she owned it!

  58. Oh Wendy, the sweater is spectacular, so perfect. You never cease to amaze me. You are really fast. Love pic of Lucy on sweater. Perfect sleeves. Have a great time at the fling.

  59. Ok…I’m dying to know this: given your project monogamy and your resulting superhero speed at finishing projects….do you have a stash or amazing proportions (like many of us!) or do you tend to buy/spin yarn for a particular project to be made within a reasonably short time?

    I wish I could be a more monogamous knitter. I have vast numbers of projects in various stages of started (right up through “nearly finished” and “just needs buttons!”). On the plus side, I am never without a possible traveling knitting project: I just need to reach into the closet and grab a bag out of the “in progess” stash!

    Lismore is fabulous! I love the colorways. It just glows! I can see all kinds of possibilities with that yarn. But not until I finish something else! ๐Ÿ˜‰