My current work in progress:

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


You Might Want to Grab a Beverage

Because I’ve got rather a lot to talk about today.

First of all, the sweater is done. I apologize for the photo, but it has been dark and rainy since I finished it. The color is way off, and the photo is blurry. Those taken with a flash were worse. Ta-da!

To recap, this is the Rib and Lace Cardigan, from Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2008 issue, knit from Rowan All Seasons Cotton in the “Seaspray” colorway, on 4mm needles. I made the largest size and used just an ootch over 17 skeins of All Seasons Cotton.

I am very pleased with how this turned out. As I mentioned a while back, I’ve got another 20 skeins of All Seasons Cotton in another color, and I am thinking about knitting it up into a hybrid of this design. Watch this space . . .

Second . . . can you guess what fiber this adorable little bag is knit from?

Here’s a view of it with the flap up.

Well, you don’t have to guess, because I’m gonna tell you. Remember last month I gave away a little bag of Lucy’s fur? The winner, Cindy, blended the fur with some blue-ish-grey merino, spun it into yarn, and knit a wee cellphone purse from it. The ornament on the flap is a piece of sea shell she picked up on the beach. If you scroll through the entries on Cindy’s blog, you can see that she has documented the spinning there. I’m kind of glad that I did not do so before the bag came in the mail yesterday, because it was such a deligthful surprise. Thank you Cindy, from the bottom of my heart, for such a wonderful little treasure.

I showed it to Lucy, who was intensely interested in it, albeit a little confused.

“Huh? What the heck was that?”

Third, a mini book review.

(Don’t you love the cover?)

Today is the publication date for Casting Spells, by Barbara Bretton, a wonderful writer (and knitter!) who I am proud to call a friend. You may already know her from the blog Romancing the Yarn.

Barbara was kind enough to send me an advance read copy of this a while back. There’s a reason for my being singled out for such a treat, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is. πŸ˜‰

I posted a review of the book over on this morning — here it is:

Up-front disclaimer: I know the author of “Casting Spells,” but no one asked me to write this review. I can tell you honestly that I would never recommend a book I did not enjoy.

This is a delightful book about a small town that has a magical secret. At the center of the story is our heroine, Chloe, who runs a wildly successful yarn shop.

(The previous reviewer has created a nice little plot synopsis so I won’t repeat it here.)

This book was such an enjoyable read! I am a knitter and loved all the knitting and yarn content throughout the story, but you absolutely don’t need to be a knitter to enjoy this book. I read quickly and eagerly, and then was sorry when I got to the end, as I am with all good stories.

You can click over to the book’s Amazon page if you’d like to read the synopsis posted by the previous reviewer.

Congratulations, Barbara! I know Casting Spells will be a big success!

Fourth, and last . . .

I started the Midnight Lace Stole.

But I’ll talk about that tomorrow.


  1. Beautiful start on the shawl. Is it for you or for the upcoming holiday gift giving season?

    miss sandras last blog post..It’s Here!

  2. LOVE IT!!

    TheSockKnitters last blog post..Lost and all alone…

  3. A timely book review! I was looking for a knitting related book (of any kind really – just fiction) rather unsucessfully last weekend. Now I’ve got one to go look for at the bookstore! The cardi turned out beautifully πŸ™‚

  4. The cardi is beautiful … very nice design. I have to say: reading about & seeing the pouch made from Lucy’s fur gave me goose bumps. That is absolutely special. It’s something you’ll have from her forever. I might have to get some cat hair spun.

    Sherrys last blog post..Spring Forward

  5. The cardi is lovely, but the Lucy fur gift takes the cake. How sweet!

    Samoofishs last blog post..Wisconsin Trip #13: The Last Hurrah

  6. Thanks for the info on the new book. Can’t wait to read it! I love knitting/yarn related novels. The cell phone holder is a wonderful gift. How thoughtful of the giver. Your sweater is gorgeous as always. Can’t wait to see the progress on the shawl. Take care.

    Kim B.s last blog post..Happy Halloween!

  7. beautiful sweater…can’t wait to read that book…love the Lucy fur purse thing-y.

    FarOutMoms last blog post..Happy Election Day!!

  8. How did the sleeve seaming go on your Rib and Lace Cardigan? With all those row after row bind offs, do you slip the first stitch before you start the next set of bind offs? Were there any surprises as you seamed the sleeves in? Your sweater turned out beautifully as did Lucy’s bag.

    Roseanns last blog post..Justin’s Snowman Mittens

  9. anne marie in philly says:

    man, you are a knockout in that sweater! πŸ˜‰

    does lucy get to keep the little bag for a catnip stash? just sayin…

    OBAMA 08!

  10. What a great thoughtful gift from Cindy, I’m sure you will treasure it. Love the finished cardi, really beautiful.

  11. The sweater is beautiful. You did an amazing job!! I must say, you “powerknit” faster than I can ever imagine.

    Jude ( Judeh22)s last blog post..Road not taken Scarf

  12. I gave a big sigh of appreciation when the picture of you in your sweater came on the screen. Not having seen the sweater in the magazine, I was having a difficult time picturing it from seeing the individual pieces. It looks great on you! and it is exactly the kind of sweater I would wear to death. (But I am committed to knitting from stash only, and I don’t have enough of any yarn to make it, so it will just have to wait.)

    kmkats last blog post..The next generation.

  13. Kathryn Sigman says:

    Your sweater is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  14. Yay for the completed — and gorgeous — sweater!
    Yay for the Lucy yarn!
    And yay for a knitterly novel to add to my Amazon list. πŸ™‚

    yarnpiggys last blog post..Piggy wants a vote

  15. Excellent sweater – I’m looking forward to your hybrid!

    Imbriums last blog post..Sew it Goes

  16. Oooo. That stole is looking very pretty! πŸ™‚

    LittleWits last blog post..Rock the Vote

  17. Glad you like the pouch-I have a little clutch made from my sweetie’s fluff that is a treasure to me, too. Love the sweater-it turned out perfectly!

    Cindys last blog post..Caps and Cushions

  18. The sweater is beautiful!

  19. Dear Wendy,

    the sweater is so beautiful, I love it! (and I love your hair cut, too).
    I have two non-knitting related questions…
    I remember you wrote some years ago that you collect cowboy boots and that you have more than 100 pairs. Do you still have and collect them? I vaguely remember a picture of your treasure!
    Second question: You never make hints to the elections and politics in your blog….does it depend on the fact that you work for the government? Since I can imagine that a intelligent and interested woman like you definitely is interested in politics.
    Have a nice day!

  20. WOW! To Cindy for the adorable bag knitted from Lucy fur she spun! πŸ™‚
    I remember the delight of spinning and knitting Lucy’s fur—a rare treat!
    Sorry, Wendy, it upstaged your gorgeous sweater! It looks wonderful on you!

  21. The bag is wonderful! And the sweater is lovely too! The book does sound very interesting, I will look for it locally.

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

  22. That sounds like a wonderful book, Wendy. Thanks for the review! The shawl looks great and, of course, the sweater and lil Lucy bag!!

    Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Danieles last blog post..Swallowtail and Spinning

  23. The sweater is fabulous! And what a great color on you.

    Marys last blog post..Outfit of the Day

  24. Yeah thanks for the reminder that Barbara’s new book is out!! I liked the one she sent me with the yarny prize from her blog contest! Can’t wait to get this one!

  25. Theresa in Italy says:

    Thanks for modeling the sweater—it’s lovely and very flattering! Looks like the perfect holiday party sweater. Can’t wait to see the “hybrid” version you cook up. The bag made of Lucy’s fur is just so sweet. And thanks for the book review—I’m going right over to Amazon to check it out! (P.S. Shawl looks like it’s off to a great start….)

  26. Love the sweater ! And it looks wonderful on you; how clever of you to make a larger size so as to have a looser fit — I like your version better than the original.

  27. I have been drooling over the Rib & Lace cardigan but hesitated to make it because the neds of the sleeves looked floppy (which would personally annoy me). Please comment on the wearability of the sleeves. I am hoping to buy the yarn to make this sweater at Stitches East this weekend. Thanks.

  28. Oh, that sweater is absolutely beautiful.
    Thanks for the book review. With the holidays coming it is going on my wish list.

  29. Wow. You’ve been really busy! The sweater looks great!

    Seanna Leas last blog post..2 for Tues?

  30. Well, the book sounds scrumptious, and a good “wish list” addition for the upcoming season.

    I love that little cell phone purse–wonderful she used Lucy’s fur in spinning up the special yarn. Such a treat!

    πŸ™‚ firefly

    fireflys last blog post..Wrapped in scrumptious

  31. I’m planning to knit the sweater in the same yarn, different color, and I’m also planning to knit a Large (I’m a dedicated size 12, proportions all “normal”!) and I’m wondering if the sweater seems big to you? I recall you like things with more ease..any thoughts on this would be helpful! The turquoise is gorgeous on you, excellent choice.

  32. The sweater looks lovely. I like the length.
    I just put a hold on Casting Spells at my library. I look forward to reading it.


    E. Engmans last blog post..SKULL ISLE HATS

  33. The sweater is lovely, but the little pouch is amazing. What a gift!

  34. What a beautiful thing! A little Lucy purse. To.Die.For! The smells must really confuse the heck out of her. The sweater is wonderful too!

    Earins last blog post..

  35. Wow, I like the new jacket. I love the sleeves, such great detail!

    Jacklyn Mitchard is also a knitter, I noticed. She has a knitting reference in practically every single book of hers.

    MJs last blog post..Camille Cable Hat

  36. I love your blogsite, lots of wonderful ideas and yummy yarn! Being a cat lover I must comment on your adorable cat. She is precious!


  1. […] (no, not that one, the other one) and picked up a copy of the book that was recommended in Wendy Johnson’s blog yesterday. It is called Casting Spells and is by Barbara Bretton. I started reading it on the bus ride home […]