My current work in progress:

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


A Hodge-Podge of Mostly Unrelated Stuff

I’ve made a nice start on the first sleeve for my sweater.

As you may recall, the sweater has three-quarter length sleeves, but I am making mine wrist-length. The pattern directs you to knit for 10.5 inches before the sleeve cap shaping, but I’m doing . . . oh . . . 17 inches, I guess.

I spent some time knitting this sleeve last night while watching Season One of “The Tudors” on DVD. I’m really enjoying this series, though I do think they are taking some liberties with historical fact. For example, Henry VIII marrying off his sister, Margaret Tudor, to the King of Portugal. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t find any basis in history for that. Does anyone know?

Be that as it may, the scenes showing Margaret Tudor “interacting” with the King of Portugal had me just roaring with laughter.

**Change of topic alert!**

I started reading a new book at lunch: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

I read and knit while I eat lunch at work every day, so I’m always acquiring books to feed my habit. I have a stack of unread books at home and pluck one off the stack to take in to the office when I’m nearing the end of the current read. The Thirteenth Tale had reached the top of the rotation, so it came to work with me and I opened it for the first time at noon.

You know how some books really take some getting into before your interest is caught? And there are some that never hook you. Not this one. It hooked me in the first chapter.

After finishing the first chapter, I hopped over to Amazon to read the reviews. There are over 500 of them, and the average is 4.5 stars. But as is my wont, I went to the poorest reviews, the one-stars, first. Some said they found the first couple of chapters engrossing, and it went downhill fast from there. Some said it was the worst drech in the history of the world. One said that calling it a “beach read” was an insult to beach reads. One said that the mere reading of it would give you leprosy.

So now I have to read on. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile on the home front . . .

Lucy is spending more and more time curled up in my lap since I will insist on having the windows open and a fan blowing. She does have her Cozy Cushions, but seems to prefer Mommy-warmth, even though I am the heartless bitch who will not turn on the heat. So . . . how long do you think I can hold out before turning on the heat?

Gotta go now. I need to hunker down on the couch with Miss Lucy to watch classic horror movies on TCM!

Lucy sez.



  1. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE “The Thirteenth Tale.” I actually listened to it while knitting a pair of Embossed Leaves socks last fall. (I can’t see myself being able to read & knit simultaneously…) It grabbed me and kept me enthralled! Enjoy!

  2. The Tudors, while a fun watch, plays fast and loose with the facts. They’ve blended Henry’s two sisters, Mary and Margaret, into one character.

    Looking forward to your updates on The Thirteenth Tale; I’m curious about it, but haven’t picked it up yet.

    yarnpiggys last blog post..When all else fails, read the instructions

  3. For what it’s worth, I liked “The Thirteenth Tale.” It’s on my bookshelf to be read again, as I tend to read really fast the first time, just to find out what happens, then I go back and read a little more slowly to get the nuances of the story.

    Lisas last blog post..A Lull…

  4. Here’s more info on the fictional Margaret:

    Thanks for the info on The Thirteenth Tale. After a slog through Calamity Physics (the last 100 pages are great; the 400 pages preceding it took some serious commitment to survive) I’m looking for something a bit more engaging out of the gate!

  5. Now I have to look up The Thirteenth Tale. I’m always on the lookout for a good read–not that I don’t have a dozen books in my queue!
    So what is the prize for not turning on the heat? I see this all over blogland, and it leaves me scratching my head. I mean, I know it’s expensive to use the heat, but keeping it low and having everyone be comfortable (even if wearing sweaters) seems a little more sensible to me.

  6. I love love love that book! enjoy!

  7. A book to be added to my TBR list. Perfect!

    Lovely work on the sweater. How long can you hold out? Hmmmmmmmm….. maybe until the weekend before Thanksgiving. I’m guessing the first snowfall will be the deciding factor, but it’s just a guess.

    Have a cozy weekend and Happy Halloween! luv.m.

  8. Oh, fine. (scurries off to add “The Thirteenth Tale” to GoodReads.)

    I really want to pick Lucy up and squoosh her! πŸ™‚

    Tammy/DarthKnitters last blog post..Where to Begin

  9. I think you’d be hard pushed to use “The Tudors” and “History” in the same sentence (except I just did). It is, however, a rollicking good romp!

    Make the most of the first series. The second isn’t as entertaining.

    Mandellas last blog post..House, Sew, Knit, Muse

  10. Well I had that book laying around and when I finally got around to reading it I wanted to smack myself the book is great and totally hooked me in the first chapter. I would recommend it to any one.

    Qutecowgirls last blog post..Crosshatch socks

  11. I also loved The Thirteenth Tale, when I read it last winter. I also enjoyed The Tudors, both seasons.

  12. I liked that book so much! I keep hoping she’ll hurry up and write another one…

    –Debs last blog post..Hmmm … Maybe Not?

  13. I also enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale. I guess I need to add The Tudors to my list. πŸ™‚

    Visionsisters last blog post..I have nothing to say.

  14. Ok, I am almost more impressed with your multi-tasking abilities than your knitting abilities. How on earth do you simultaneously eat, read (turning pages, I assume ) and knit? I find it a fair challenge to keep my book opened at a good angle on the lunch table and eat at the same time. I can imagine knitting after eating, but what is your secret?

  15. Please give details as to how to do the page turning, I am curious!

  16. Hehehe… and here I was, thinking it was short sleeved. Go me! Genius of the year alert πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing the book! I am always on the lookout for a good read, and after sneaking over to Amazon for a peek, it definitely looks like something I would enjoy. I typically go down to Books A Million and wander around until something peaks my interest. I do check out the book club sections, though, because I have found many an interesting read there. Although, there was the one about the man who tried to teach his dog to talk… Not so good.

    Happy reading!

    Megan S.s last blog post..Crown me Ms. Un-Motivated 2008!

  17. I have a need to read also but find that if I am reading a book my knitting is calling from the other room…so I download books to my zen and have someone read it to me…and as for turning on the furnace I think it will be the day you come home and Lucy is either wearing one of your sweaters or knitting one herself….

  18. Neither of his sisters was married to the King of Portugal (Mary married the King of France). His niece by Catherine of Aragon married him.

  19. Sorry for Lucy but since you live in a high-rise with units all around I have a feeling you can go a LONG time without turning your own heat on! Enjoy the weekend!

  20. Lucy cracks me up – she’s such a wimp when it comes to heat (or lack thereof!) She’s wearing a fur coat for goodness sake…perhaps you should remind her!

    The sweater looks great. I’m going to try and knit a ‘real’ garment this year…you have motivated me to try!

    Tannias last blog post..Eye Spy…

  21. This has a list of at least some of the “Departures from History” — may not want to read too far into it if you’re worried about spoilers, since clearly knowing history isn’t as much of a spoiler as you’d think!

    Love that show!

  22. The Tudors is a great soap opera in period costume. Very little historical accuracy but a great romp none the less.

    Will have to add The Thirteenth Tale to my list.

    Bought the Vogue Knitting Holiday yesterday – oohing and awing over this one purple sweater – it dawned on me looking at your posts that it’s the sweater you are knitting. Certainly looks different. I’m enjoying your version – you can really see the detail of the pattern in the yarn you chose. The pic in the magazine is too dark with the deep purple and dim lighting.

  23. Ha ha ha, I’M roaring with laughter about the term, er “interacting”!

    I have that book on my nightstand, and have for about a year. Can’t seem to quite get it going, so I look forward to hearing your review. Maybe I’ll try picking it up again…

    Michelles last blog post..Whew!

  24. The 13th Tale is a good read; I do audiobooks, and it was well read, if you like books that way. I keep hoping she will come out with another book. Your sweater is beautiful and love the color of the yarn. If your hot flashes have more or less just started, you might want to close the windows in 8-10 years! Maybe Lucy can grow extra fur.

  25. Book looks/sounds great fun………..recommend The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society – it’s one you cannot put down………..sweater (duh!) looks exquisite…………

  26. Henry’s sister Mary married the King of France (as Sheryl said) and Margaret married the King of Scotland, thereby producing Mary Queen of Scots, who was her granddaughter.

    The Tudors combined them??? Gah.

    Carrie Ks last blog post..Eek! A steek!

  27. Thirteenth Tale didn’t really thrill me, but I did read it. I do love the Tudors, though. Great romping period drama with costumes to die for. Historically inaccurate, but fun!

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..Central Park Hoodie!

  28. Enjoy that book – I did – can’t remember a thing about it, except that I passed it on to a friend as a good one. As soon as I’m done with a book, I’m on to the next one without any regrets, or memories.

  29. Someone should explain to Lucy that curling up on Momma’s lap is much like putting a purring heating pad on said lap, and is unlikely to get the heat turned on any sooner.

  30. All three of Margaret Tudor’s husbands were Scottish.

  31. I loved “The Thirteenth Tale.” I read it when it first came out and couldn’t put it down. There are all kinds of twists throughout the book, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something else pops up that shatters you theory.

    Lucy is as cute as ever. You’d think she’d be warmer with all that fur.

    terribs last blog post..Insanity Prevails

  32. If you’re surrounded by neighbors who keep their condos warm, and have a sunny place, it can get pretty cold outside before you need to turn on the heat. My son once never turned on his heat (his neighbors probably wondered why they needed more!).

  33. Wrist length is sometimes called bracelet length. Just in case you wanted to fancy it up!

    I LOVE The Tudors!!! Jonathan Rhys Meyers… Yum!

    Nells last blog post..A Little Indulgence

  34. I suspect Miss Lucy, by sitting in your lap trying to keep warm, is also keeping you warm, thereby making getting a reasonable amount of heat even less likely, poor little girl.

  35. Love how the sleeve is coming.
    My dogs(a pom and a pom-mix) are always hopping up on the couch and hangging their heads off the edge, just like Lucy!

    Jessicas last blog post..Pattern: Easy Moonlight Lattice Scarf

  36. One said that calling it a β€œbeach read” was an insult to beach reads. One said that the mere reading of it would give you leprosy.

    That first sentence got my chuckling, but the second one? I laughed right out loud and scared every living creature in my house!

    Now I’m going to go check this book out. With write-ups like that, it’s bound to be *ahem* interesting!

  37. The 1st season of “The Tudors” is pretty loose with it’s history. Henry VIII had 2 sisters, Mary and Margaret. Margaret, the eldest, married the Duke of Angus, I believe, a Scots Duke at any rate, which is how James I came to have claim to the throne later on. (It was not a happy marriage either, with Margaret frequently writing Henry, begging for a divorce and leading to the Duke being referred to as “the Duke of Anguish”). Mary, the youngest, and the apple of his eye, was married off to the eldery King of France and probably did have the hilarious wedding night scene. However, he lasted a few more months and it was said at the time that he “died of hunting and bedding a young bride, either of which are fatal to elderly men”. Mary did make Henry swear she’d get to choose who to marry next before she agreed to the royal marriage but Henry had no intentions of letting her do this, she was too useful as a marriageable pawn to him. Which is why he was so furious about her marrying Brandon. Stabbed in the back by his best friend and his fave little sis, who knew very well if she let Brandon get her back to England, big bro would simply sell her off to another old man.
    The 2nd season sticks to the historical facts much better.

    deidras last blog post..Musings

  38. I liked The Thirteenth Tale very much. It was our book club read last month and the general consensus was that it was very gothic in nature and had the same air as Jane Eyre. Keep with it and don’t read the ending until you get there naturally. There are some surprises.

    Lizs last blog post..Rhinebeck redux

  39. I too am wondering about the multi-tasking. I have this mental picture of you at lunch time with six hands going at once. Also, here’s a second for “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” – a really charming book!

  40. I loved The Thirteenth Tale. In fact, I read such positive reviews about it that I gave it as a gift without reading it first — something I never do — and was tremendously relieved when I later read it that it lived up to its reputation.

    sprites last blog post..perfect job, deserved accolades, and wedded bliss

  41. Theresa in Italy says:

    Too funny about those book reviews! ( I also tend to check out the one-stars and ignore the five-stars—better to know the worst right away.) Must look into The Thirteenth Tale; my siblings and I have fallen into the habit of giving the parents books for Christmas and this could be an option. I think your version of this sweater looks better than the photo in Vogue Knitting, too. I feel for Lucy but we haven’t turned on our heat, either! Happy Halloween and have a good weekend.

  42. Liz in IN says:

    I won’t be watching The Tudors. It’s a bit too, um…well, *too*, for me, what with the ‘interacting’ and all. But I am glad to hear the 2nd series sticks closer to history. Perhaps they figured out that a) they could both ‘romp’ and be semi-accurate, because b) the way things are, education-wise, the first series now IS history for a lot of people! Scary, eh?

    I absolutely love the sweater, and have to wonder (yet again) why magazines choose murky, detail-concealing ‘art photography’ over, oh, I don’t know…showing the flippin’ garment!

    Poor Lucy. When one’s “normal” body temperature is 101-ish degrees F, an ambient temp in the lower 60s F (?) probably feels pretty darn chilly! A problem, to be sure….

  43. Heh. Couldn’t agree more about Season 1. Although it is good entertainment, and there is the, uh, eye candy factor. Everyone was so good looking in the 16th century. And CLEAN!


    Brigittes last blog post..Something New

  44. I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale as an audiobook–unlike you, I have to stare at my knitting when I do it!

    I’m interested in your comment about sleeve length. I don’t like 3/4 sleeves–they ride up if you put a coat or jacket on, and they don’t seem practical (why bother with 3/4 sleeves and just use short sleeves instead if you don’t want them to be wrist length?). It occurred to me that many patterns have them because it simplifies the sleeve measurement problem. If sleeves are wrist length, it is harder to get them accurate if there’s no ribbing. I think this is true for manufacturers as well as knitters, and that is why the style has persisted. In any case, I always adjust sleeve length so the sleeve falls at my wrist.

    marjories last blog post..As Time Went By

  45. I’m guessing mid November, unless Lucy learns to operate the thermostat. πŸ™‚ I’ve been thinking about adding the Tudors to my queue myself.

    Jennifers last blog post..Planning for fall, and beyond

  46. Margaret Tudor was Mary Queen of Scots Grandmother. She was quite a lady and quite determined that her descendants should somehow become the rulers of Britain. Best,BER

  47. Love the sleeve. I really don’t read much!

    Jewels last blog post..New stuff from Karatstix!

  48. Pulling “The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England” (Antonia Fraser) off the shelf: Margaret married James IV, King of Scots; Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus; and Henry Stuart Lord Methven. Meg and Angus were pretty volatile! Too spicy for “The Tudors”? πŸ˜‰

  49. Well, I’d have easily given 13th Tale 4.5 stars or more…I loved it. I also “read” it with books on CD. Perhaps the reader had something to do with it, but wow, the story was fab.
    Hope you love it, too!
    Happy Halloween!

    Knitnanas last blog post..Ok…Those Words? Nom.Nom.Nom.Nom….

  50. Loved The Thirteenth Tale! Loving The Tudors (I wonder if they really were such a randy bunch!) We have never gotten premium channels on DirecTv, but we got Showtime because we had it free for awhile and fell in love with The Tudors, Weeds, and Dexter! All so very creative. Whodda thunk you’d ever root for a serial killer??

    Laura from beautiful West Michigans last blog post..Friday Five!

  51. That Lucy picture with caption is the best! I can just see the sullen teenager drama queen peeking out…

    Sort of like, and they ate Sir Robin’s minstrels and there was much rejoicing. Yeah.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..counting projects

  52. I haven’t read through all the comments, so if I’m repeating something above, I’m sorry. You’re right, The Tudors is playing very fast and loose with history. Margaret Tudor was married off to the king of Scotland and her granddaughter was Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary Tudor was first married to Louis XII of France (who died conveniently quickly) and then she married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Her granddaughter was Lady Jane Grey. The truth is outrageous enough, I have no idea why they messed with it!

    anmiryams last blog post..Re-Entry

  53. The “Thirteenth Tale” has been selected as the current “One Book – One Lincoln” read for Lincoln, Nebraska. I read it maybe about a year ago and thought it was engrossing. Now the whole city will be reading and discussing it at libraries, bookstores, and private bookclubs.

    I really like it when you include what you’re reading, watching, and cooking. Of course, the knitting and what’s up with Lucy is what always keeps me coming back.

  54. I was one of those who was hooked right away with “The 13th Tale”. I was crusing along, loving it for the entire first 2/3rds of the book. Then, something went . . . wrong. It took a weird turn for me that I just wasn’t following and didn’t find consistent. Let us know your thoughts when you finish it!

    Sarahs last blog post..Weekend Craftiness

  55. Love the sweater.

    In our house, we call winter Cold Cat Season. I don’t know much about cats, but I do know that they don’t like to be cold, and they know that you’re the warmest thing in the room. Enjoy the kitty warmth — it’s better than an afghan.

    Susans last blog post..Transformations

  56. ANYthing with Jonathan Rhys Meyers is good! I would totally stalk him…. πŸ™‚

    Danieles last blog post..Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag…….

  57. HEAT NO HEAT, I would prefer no heat but my sinus start to “freeze” and then I get sinus head aches when temp goes below 70. I guess my body is use to Houston heat and humidity.

  58. I cannot get over the gorgeous turquoise color !

  59. I loved The Thirteenth Tale, had me hooked right through, and was one of those books that it was hard to find a decent follow-up to.

    As for The Tudors, I simply cannot bring myself to watch it at all – I was a huge Tudor fan growing up, and I’m sorry, but I just can’t do it – the lead looks NOTHING like Henry VIII, and I’m sure I’d just be looking for other things to complain about…

  60. I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale so much I picked it for my book club to read. (And they enjoyed it too!)
    Poor Lucy, at least she has her beautiful long fur – and you – to keep her warm.

  61. I leafed through Vogue Knitting yesterday. I barely recognized the sweater as the one you are knitting. I like yours way better; I can see the pattern in it.
    I do like 3/4 length sleaves. They don’t get ink and jam on them, and they keep my arms warm. I like them close though, not belled and flopping all over the place.
    I noticed ‘they’ wrote cousin Julia and Miss Farish together in the movie version of House of Mirth. They lost the complexity and the point of the story by doing so, I thought. I believe the movie was far more sympathetic to Lily Blye than the book was.
    I haven’t seen the Tudors. I wonder what kind of message ‘they’ were making by changing history?

  62. The drama series “The Tudors” portrays Mary Tudor through the character of Princess Margaret, and is a composite of both sisters, Mary and Margaret Tudor, portrayed by Gabrielle Anwar. Many liberties have been taken with the story such as Henry’s arrangement of her marriage with the aged King of Portugal, not France, in the late 1520s and has Margaret/Mary murder the King of Portugal. It also has her dying before Wolsey (who died in 1530).

  63. Is it OK to revisit the “cost of yarn” question from yesterday for a moment? I just wanted to mention one other factor that I don’t believe came up – that is being able to knit things you simply can’t find. I wear leg warmers – wool ones – I almost never see these in department stores or any other stores, but when I do find them, they are always acrylic. But the acrylic doesn’t keep my legs *warm*, which is why I wear them, and I’ve never seen wool ones in a store. Ditto caps, scarves, etc. My wool things really keep me warm, they are in colors that I can choose to go with my other clothes and they also actually help to keep me drier too. I haven’t ventured into sweater making yet, though I hope to later this year. I expect that there, too, I will find that being able to get the sweater in the fiber and color I want and the *fit* that I want will factor in the expense vs. practicality assessment. How many times have you been in a store and just couldn’t find what you were looking for? For me, it happens quite a lot. Now, I have the option of making just what I want – so I get wonderful pleasure in both the wearing and the making.

  64. At least you’re being a good mummy and sharing your body warmth. Poor Lucy look slike she wishes she could get up and turn the heating on herself. Love the sweater, the detail is just gorgeous. I read the Thirteenth tale two weeks ago and really enjoyed it.

    Allys last blog post..I love swaps

  65. The sleeves are looking good. πŸ™‚

    LittleWits last blog post..Chowdah!

  66. Hi Wendy,

    Do you think one day you could go over your technique for reading and knitting? I’m a graduate student and if I could only master that skill, I would be the most productive grad student on planet earth! and it would be amazing!

  67. Your synopsis of the negative comments makes this a must-read. Leprosy. That hits my clinical funnybone.

    Lauries last blog post..One skein, down the drain: 2 FOs

  68. There have already been a ton of positive comments re: The Thirteenth Tale and I’m adding one more. It was one of my around the house chore books (I like to listen while I’m getting things done) and it allowed me to face the six year-old’s bedroom. That room got reorganized in record time thanks to the book! Also I think it’s more likely an insult to The Thirteenth Tale to call it a “beach read” than the other way around. There’s too much to it and not enough fluff πŸ™‚

  69. as i’m watching the rib and lace sweater unfold, i find myself falling madly in love with it. i went and found the magazine – but the size selections are very limited. not being a very clever knitter, what is the best way to upsize the pattern for those of us blessed by the boob fairy?

  70. Linda in Chicagoland says:

    I liked The Thirteenth Tale. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that knitting shows up near the end!

  71. I will have to check out ‘The Thirteenth Tale’ after reading the negative reviews on Amazon just now.

    Thank you for mentioning in your last post that you finish a sweater before you start the sleeves. It is so obvious but I never thought of it. (That happens to me a lot.) I think it will make the process of making a sweater happier because instead of a bunch of loose ends hanging off every which way, I will be looking at an almost complete sweater before I start the sleeves plus I won’t have all the finishing to dread at the end.

    I don’t understand why Lucy is so cold with that fancy fur coat of hers. Surely her ancestors survived much colder temps than are found in your home?

  72. Kim Deceder says:

    Wendy – might I suggest a Kindle from Amazon. It is an electronic book and turning the pages is so easy you wouldn’t have to even take a break from your knitting. The technology is great and it reads just like a regular book or newspaper. The selection of books is great, there is not a monthly fee for communication and the books are about 1/2 the price of buying them from a store – something for you to think about!


  73. I listened to “The Thirteenth Tale” on one of my work road trips to Iowa ( 5 hours each way). It definitely made the trip go quicker. The secret to the 13th tale is mmcv[w[jdc[jmegbuhpmsjd[qc – Chief just took over the keyboard and won’t let me tell you. He also says – give poor Lucy some heat.

    JillsKnits last blog post..I need some Mental Floss