My current work in progress:

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


Which Do You Prefer?

Question from the comments — do I prefer knitting sweaters from the top down or from the bottom up?

Hmmmmm, I usually knit from the bottom up, but that’s not because I have a marked preference for that method. It’s just because the patterns I like seem to be knit from the bottom up. And I do usually prefer knitting sweaters in pieces and seaming them because I think seams add some support and structure to a sweater.

Still, I’ve no objection to knitting top-down every now and then, and this sweater will have minimal finishing needed after knitting, which is a good thing for a change.

As you can see, I’ve been slogging along on it.

And as you can see, I’m having problems photographing my progress.

I do still have a few inches to go before the ribbing, though. The ribbing will be fun, I think, because the sweater is split at that point and you knit the front and back ribbing separately. So it will have the illusion of going a bit faster.

Give-away! Give-way!

Reader Pamela B. contacted me a little while ago and offered two wonderful books for me to give away to WendyKnits readers. They are Favorite Socks:  25 Timeless Designs from Interweave and Fisherman’s Sweaters by Alice Starmore.

Would you like one of these books? Leave a comment to this entry and on Thursday afternoon (Oct 9) I’ll pick two winners randomly, one for each book. If you have a preference for one book over the other, mention that in your comment please.

Lucy Fur

Reader Mia asked me about Lucy and shedding management. I have to say — Lucy does not shed too badly, apart from her molting in the Spring. She does get brushed at least twice a week, and that helps a lot. She does leave fur on the couch, but a once-over with a good lint brush takes care of that.

Lucy sez:

“Why would you not want my precious fur all over everything anyway?”

Well, she would say that if she wasn’t watching something out the window so intently.


  1. I agree with the sweater patterns. I have yet to find a sweater/vest I’ve wanted to knit written top-down.

    Yes cat hair does get over a lot.

    I prefer new sock cuff ideas, but one can not have enough sweater books, esp if there are any guy/unisex patterns.

    Charles Parkers last blog post..OTN Update and Stitch Markers

  2. What a great idea – Lucy fur covering everything…hmmmmm Lucy socks? hmmmmm (she gives up)

    Okay, please do enter me in your drawing for either book…they both look wonderful! And thank you most kindly!

  3. Lisa in Toronto says:

    Thanks for being so generous with the extra books. Your readers appreciate it!

  4. I consider the puppy fur in everything just a little extra love 🙂

    Samanthas last blog post..SP Package

  5. I just love the color of your sweater in progress Wendy!
    While I secretly worship at the Alice Starmore altar – I know I’d have to live another life to make one of her sweaters! I’d love the sock book!
    Thanks for the gifting!

  6. Oh how wonderful! I would love either one of those books. Thank you! 🙂

    Kims last blog post..This is not the superhero power I ordered…

  7. Oh oh oh! I´d love to have that sock book!

  8. ooh, alice starmore? count me in! please and thank you!

    mais last blog post..toe-up anklets

  9. I tend to knit bottom-up sweaters too, but I agree – it’s more of a function of how the pattern reads than anything else.

    Free books?!? Count me in!

  10. I would love love love either book!

    Natalies last blog post..Maybe Fate and not so much Karma!

  11. OO! I’ve haven’t had much luck with top down sweaters, as they all seem to be raglans- they aren’t flattering on me.

    Though, most fishermen sweaters are knitted from the bottom up, which is always appealing.

    Liz U.s last blog post..Fall Fiber Festical and Montpelier Sheepdog Trials

  12. I haven’t read blogs for so long, and here’s a contest! Count me in with no preference!

    LoriOs last blog post..My Birthday Week

  13. Oh, I would love the Starmore book as I already own the other one (which is also an amazing book). Can’t wait to see the finished sweater. Stockinette is always a slog.

    Trishs last blog post..Connections

  14. Sweaters, my favorite project – I prefer pieces, too, though I’ve made in-the-round in the past. For some reason, I can knit a sweater almost as fast as a pair of socks (and cables are my favorite). I’d love to get my hands on the Starmore!

  15. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been feeling lately! I hope your back is better and you’ve found some relief!

    Shama Ds last blog post..Not Another Manic Monday

  16. PICAdrienne says:

    I have the Interweave Socks book, so I would prefer to only be in a drawing for the Alice Starmore book.

    Lucy certainly seems to like your Daily Sweater. I don’t believe I have seen this many pictures of Lucy lounging on your knitting before this sweater.

  17. Thanks for the contest! I own the sock book but would be interested in the Starmore one.

    Lauras last blog post..back from PSU

  18. You’re both so kind for offering up two books.
    Either book would be a welcome addition.
    Thanks for letting me enter your drawing.

  19. Ooh the sock book looks wonderful! The other one looks pretty fabulous, too! I’m getting impatient with this whole school thing that is keeping me from my cozy fall knitting projects, but a new book would be a nice excuse to put off some reading 🙂

  20. I find that my preference is to knit sweaters from the top down. For some reason it seems to go faster than knitting a sweater from the bottom up, even if it is done in one piece to minimize finishing. I do agree with you that many of the garments that I find appealing are constructed from the bottom up. Some of my favorite top-down sweaters are in the Cabin Fever “Button Up Your Top Down” book; in case you are looking for some other options.


  21. The sock book would be nice. I can’t wait to see how your sweater turns out . I may make one.

  22. Wendy Mathiesen says:

    I’d love the sock book.

  23. I would be interested in either book. I just cast on for my very first sock and am trying to make sense of why so many people are obsessed with socks.

    Res last blog post..Fix or Frog???

  24. oooh. de-lurking to say that i’d love a crack at that sock book!!

  25. I’d love either of the books. Another chance to improve my english 😉

  26. Ah, cat hair is sooo in this season, everybody needs some on their clothes!
    And I would love to get the copy of the Starmore book- I already own the other one.

  27. I’d love to be entered into the raffle for the Alice Starmore book, as I already have the other one. 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing you finish that sweater!!

    Trines last blog post..Of yarning and cooking

  28. I’d love to get the Alice Starmore book. I have that sock book already, and like it very much.

    I prefer sweaters in the round, less seaming and less purling. Not sure if I like bottom up or top down better though. Trying on for fit is easier when working top down, that’s for sure.

  29. Wow! What a lovely pair of books to offer!

    I’d love to be considered for Fishermen’s Sweaters, as I already have the other one. Thanks!

    Gennys last blog post..Yarn is yummy

  30. I am also knitting a sweater top-down. Although I love the idea not to have to sew, I do prefer knitting bottom-up – I have the illusion I am getting forward faster.

    Please conseider me for the Alice Starmore book 😉

  31. I have 2 kitties that look like yours!

  32. I’d love to win the Favorite Socks book.

  33. I’ve never knit a sweater top down before. I’d love to try, it seems much easier to size it correctly if you do.
    Can I be in the bag for the Alice Starmore book? I’ve heard so much about her designs that I’m dying to see one!

    Sinéads last blog post..Cinders goes to the ball blind drunk

  34. I would absolutely LOVE the AS book, I only once had it from the library and loved it dearly. There is one sweater in there my boyfriend would look absolutely stunning in 🙂

  35. Just when I thought I was the only one on earth liking seams on sweaters because I do believe it gives structure and a nicer drape , I find out you on the other side of the pond like it too !!!!!!!! Do you know how good I feel ?????
    Socks ? socks ? you mean Favorite socks ? Oh my ! Thank you so much for making my day !

  36. Both those books sounds absolutely wonderful… can’t figure out why anybody would want to give them away… but then other people are much more generous in that way than me 😉
    I love how Lucy claims everything that is on the floor 😉

    Karen Ss last blog post..A secret plan…

  37. I enjoy knitting socks! I have never knitted a sweater except the Baby Surprise Jacket recently and that was fun! I would be honored to win any one of the books. Your blog is always a delight to read… gracias Bruny.

  38. Thanks for offering the raffle! I love your blog! Keep up the great work 🙂

  39. Thank you for another opportunity to win something! I would be pleased to be included in either raffle.

  40. I love reading your blog. We have six cats-all rescues from our local animal shelter. They all are short-haired, however, our daughter brushes them. We still get a lot of fur!

    Thanks for offering the raffle. I would heart either book.

  41. Would love to have the Favorite Socks Book. I can’t seem to get enough sock patterns. I already own the AS book.

  42. I would love to have either one of these books. Thank you to Pamela B. and thank you to Wendy!!

  43. What a generous offer – I have the IK sock book but I would love an opportunity to have AS’s Fisherman’s Sweaters!

    Wanniettas last blog post..Watching TAR with Wannietta – II

  44. Top down whenever possible.

  45. I carry my cat with me every time I walk out of the house. For a short hair siamese she sheds a lot. How nice that those books were donated, please include me in the drawing!

    I am working on my first sweater, it is bottom up but because I like the pattern (Sienna Cardigan). Though watching you do this top down sweater from Mason Dixon’s new book, I went out and bought the book wanting to try that sweater, you make it look so easy!! 🙂

  46. Count me in. I am interested in the AS Fisherman’s Sweater. I always say that no outfit is complete without a little pet hair! That is why I take a lint brush to work!

  47. Lucy is such a pretty girl — she can come over and shed on my sweaters any time! (What’s a little cat hair to go with the dog hair that’s already on them?)

    I’d love to get picked in the book raffle — Fisherman’s Sweaters would make my day (I’m a cable fanatic), but as a newbie sock knitter the sock book would also be awesome. May you and Pamela have lots of good knitting karma as your reward for giving these books away!

  48. thekidyquat says:

    Oh, please include me in the giveaway.

    I so look forward to your blog posts. I love seeing how quickly you progress on your projects. And I can’t forget Lucy. She is a sweetie pie. 🙂

  49. I have a definite preference for the sock book, please!

    You’re one of the bright points of my work mornings, look forward to hearing about you and Lucy!

  50. Fisherman’s Sweaters! I’d love to own that book.

    Saren Johnsons last blog post..And they’re off!

  51. Shirlucky says:

    I would like to enter the draw for the sweater book. Thanks for the
    chance! And thanks for your blog. I learn a lot. Plus I love to see
    pictures of your pretty Lucy. I do miss your lace though. : )

  52. I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sweaters (and the followup by Jacqueline Fee). In fact I haven’t ever made a sweater with side seams. But I’m fascinated by your comment about the additional support that seams give, so that may change!

    I’d love to be in the raffle for the Starmore book, I have the other one in my library already. It’s a great book.

    Karla (threabndr)s last blog post..More assembly……

  53. I’d like to be in the draw for Favorite Socks please. Thanks!

  54. I like your comments about sweater structure with seams. Knitting them without seems so much easier but if you are going to wear them awhile, I think you are right about structure.

  55. Lee Cockrum says:

    Hello, I have not commented in quite some time! I do read faithfully though! I noticed today that Lucy has that lovely kitty cat trait of always “arranging” her tail quite artfully for every photo! I love that in cats.

    If I get lucky on the books, I have a SLIGHT preference for the sock book, but I do not have either one, so would be quite happy with either.

  56. Hello! Thanks for sharing your sweater contruction preferences. I struggle with seaming – How have you turned what many people find to be a chore (’cause we’re bad at it) into something you prefer? Techniques and/or hints would be interesting to hear. Thanks!!!!

  57. Thank you for offering the knitting books. Please include me in the list for the Alice Starrmore book. (I have and use the Interweave sock book all the time — awesome book.)

  58. I have the socks book (its fantastic) so I’m interested in the draw for the sweater book. 🙂

  59. Different sweater construction seems to be useful for different kinds of sweaters. It all depends on what you want to make!

  60. You and Pamela B are so nice to offer this as a giveaway. Please include my name.

  61. I have been a long time reader of your blog, I really enjoy reading it as well as knitting up your sock patterns! How nice of you and Pamela B. to offer those books! Please include me in the raffle for the Alice Starmore book, please. Thank you!

    Lindas last blog post..Maine in October

  62. Thank you for running the drawing! I love the sock book – I’ve checked it out of the library a couple of times! I have yet to make a sweater, although you knit bloggers are pushing me there. Thanks for the enthusiasm and support for the craft.

  63. OMG – Alice Starmore! Count me in. Although I’ve seen the sock book too and it’s great. Personally, I like bottom up sweaters — particularly for cardigans. I’m afraid of steeking.

    Dianas last blog post..Another Half of Sandwich

  64. Kathy Parcell says:

    Hi Wendy,

    Would love one of the books.

  65. Those books both sound splendid. I am still debating what kind of sweater I like to knit best. Once I finish the one on the needles I will have done a sweater in pieces, a top down and a bottom up. They all seem to have their own advantages.

  66. Lynn Chodur says:

    I am knitting an Alice Starmore sweater right now – Oregon Autumn – and enjoying it tremendously – it’s the first time I’ve knit fair isle, and thanks to your tips over the years, it isn’t as daunting as it looks! I would love to win either book 🙂

  67. I prefer top-down, because I’m hell of lazy with finishing. (It can take me months to weave in the ends.)

    Ooh, I’ve been eyeing the Favourite Socks book for ages!

    Sariannas last blog post..Random Sunday!

  68. I love Lucy. (the cat) She’s so pretty! I love watching your knitting progress, too. I need to knit faster! It’s my sister’s birthday, so if I were to win, I’d surprise her with the book. I’m guessing she’d like the Starmore best, but either would be great.
    I’ve never tried a sweater from the top down. Am I missing something?

  69. I’ve only knit sweaters from the bottom up, but I’m only on my 3rd. I do have to admit liking the seaming. It can add a very polished look to the piece.

    Please enter me for the raffle.

  70. Would LOVE to be entered for the sock book! Thanks

  71. I can’t wait to see the Daily Sweater – I’ve yet to see the book, so I don’t really know what it looks like.
    I’d love Starmore’s book – I’ve always wanted to try her patterns.

    Love your blog!

  72. The sweater seems to be coming along nicely.
    Please include me in your book drawing!

  73. Absolutely! Both books I would actually love to knit from (they’re already on my Christmas wish list!).

    Angelas last blog post..Finished Object – Cable Blanket

  74. Arlene Hoose says:

    This is my first posting on this site, but I read it everyday!!
    Would love the Fisherman Sweater book as they are my
    favorite type to knit. They are alway such a challenge.
    Lucy is wonderful and I love checking on her newest
    tricks. She seems to love that sweater!!

  75. Leslie Bennett says:

    Wendy, I know what you mean about photographing with a resident feline. I have some pieces blocking and had to close the door, or Pasha the Tonkinese would lie down on them, wet or not!
    I’d love to have either book, but would prefer the Starmore.

  76. Hi Wendy, I would prefer the Starmore book, but would happily take the sock book!

    Cat hair is just part of life for me. I wouldn’t feel fully dressed without a generous helping of it on my clothes!


  77. Hm, that’s how most of my WIPs look when I try to photograph them- very furry. 😉
    I would love to have either book!

  78. What, you haven’t heard of the newest and bestest fiber blends, Lucerino? All the rage, I hear. 🙂

  79. My grand-cat loves to “help” me knit. Knitting with black is a challenge because his golden fur just will not stay on him and off my project!

  80. Good looking sweater! I think 🙂

    Would love to win the Alice Starmore book.

  81. Would love either of those books! Lucy looks so pretty today…The Meezer agrees on the issue of kitty fur on everything!

  82. How generous of both of you. Count me in. I would love to win either of these books – but the sock book would definitely be my preference. Thanks again for this opportunity.

  83. Would love a sock book as I’m just taking the plubge into knitting socks. Thanks for the chance!

  84. I don’t imagine I have much chance of winning, with all the entries I already see here; but I would love a new book! I don’t have a preference – I’ve heard both are fantastic!

  85. I don’t mind the cat hair in everything I knit or spin. I just warn the folks with allergies. So far, no one else minds.

  86. I guess I am entering the contest. I would love to win something.
    My forest cat needs fur management. She is brushed daily.

  87. I would love to be entered into the raffle for the Alice Starmore book. I already have the Favorite Socks book and can attest to it’s greatness, so whoever gets that one will be very pleased. Happy Knitting!

  88. Sophie Kim says:

    I have never commented on your blog before but I thought, “Why not?” I just love Lucy’s adventures. I too, would love the sock book as I haven’t knitted socks in awhile. I’m waiting anxiously for you book to come out and until then, I guess Interwoven’s sock book would be a great way to dive in again.

  89. Sophie Kim says:

    Correction…Interweave not Interwoven. I’m a webpage designer and I got it confused with my company’s website management tool. =P

  90. I guess that twice a week brushing is the source of that nice bag full of fur!
    The contents of the bag looked like they had been processed a bit; do you take it off the brush as a rolag or did you card a bunch of it all at once?

  91. What a great giveaway! Thanks Pamela B! Either book would be a nice surprise to win but I think I’ll probably knit more from the sock book.

    As for the shedding, I’d much rather have Lucy’s hair around than my husbands which is what I had until last week when he cut off his ponytail after 17 years!

  92. Ooooh! Books! Now back I go to sew buttons on the Baby Surprise Jacket I finally finished knitting….

  93. Hi Wendy,

    I am mostly a lurker but I enjoy reading your blog daily. I would very much like to give a good home to the book, Fisherman’s Sweaters by Alice Starmore. I already have Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave .


  94. Please enter me in the raffle. I would like either book.

    Kelly Primmers last blog post..

  95. I prefer knitting sweaters in pieces, too, for the most part – a whole sweater OTN can be heavy. I’d love a crack at the Starmore book!

    Kathleens last blog post..FO: Knotty Gloves

  96. I would love to be in the Starmore drawing, please. 🙂

    I find that between doing sweaters on size 4s and making the occasional mistake, my knitting is plenty economical even without Fair Isle…

    Rachels last blog post..Transitions

  97. Please include me in the drawing for the Alice Starmore book. Thanks!

  98. Please throw my name in the raffle hat. I already own the sock book, so I do have a (strong) preference for the Alice Starmore book. Your Daily Sweater is looking great. It’s definitely in my line of upcoming knitting projects!

    DPUTigers last blog post..I Give Up.

  99. ME ME ME. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made in the 80s (the other one was my first marriage) was not buying the Alice Starmore Fisherman Sweaters book. I got almost all the others, and treasure them. So if I win, I will be happy happy.

    And, I continue to enjoy your sock patterns and recommend them to others!

    Sunas last blog post..Knitting Funk and Needing Feedback

  100. Alice Moisen says:

    I’d love one of those books. I would really prefer the Alice Starmore because I am really into traditional sweaters. I made an Aran after my first trip to Ireland, wore it out, and am ready to do another.

    Love your blog and am looking forward to your new book.