My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.



Shortly after taking the photos of my new sock-in-progress Catriona yesterday, I ripped it back to the heel because I wasn’t satisfied with the increases on the leg.

I’ve finally learned to listen to the little voice in my head that tells me something is not right and I need to rip back and change it or I will never be happy.


(Conversely, I do ignore the little voice in my head that tells me to push under the train the annoying woman who invariably shoves her way in front of me on the platform because she has to be the first person on the train. Trust me — this takes tremendous willpower.)

To get back to knitting, I started the leg increases too soon. Because this is a lace pattern and quite stretchy, there’s no need for increases until a bit further up the leg. so that’s where they are now.

There was a question in the comments asking what I thought of Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. Well, I enjoyed it. It’s a murder mystery (or as it says in the description a “taut, atmospheric thriller”) set in the Shetland Isles.

While not the best mystery I’ve read, it was far from the worst. A very entertaining read, with a cast of nicely-developed characters, more so than a lot of mysteries I’ve read.

The book is the first of the “Shetland Island Quartet.” I have a copy of the second book (White Nights) which I will be reading soon, and apparently the other two books of the quartet are not yet available.

Okay, who wants my copy of Raven Black? Leave a comment to this entry by noon EST this Sunday (February 22) and I will call upon the Random Number Generator to pick a recipient.

Just for Fun

I’ve been looking for a new perfume. I’ve got a couple of old standards that I will never stop using, but I like a little variety, you know? My two favorite perfumes of all time are Guerlain’s Shalimar and Cacherel’s Anais, Anais. I am also very fond of Opium, but it’s too heavy for me sometimes.

Anyone have any perfume recommendations based on my loving those three?

Oh, I do have a few samples at home . . .


Lucy sez:


“I dare not turn my back on her . . . “


  1. Wendy, I always loved Shalimar too! My husband sneezes at scent, so I don’t wear perfume anymore. But another one I’d suggest is Tabu.
    I also like mysteries, so I hope I win!

  2. I would love the book and would send it on its way when I was finished with it. I have nothing to add about the perfumes as I have no idea how any of those smell. I use Red and have for years. It is my favorite.

    faroutmoms last blog post..Tall Grass Shorty

  3. Don’t wear perfume, but I do ignore the murderous little voice that pipes up when I’m driving in crazy traffic, as I was this afternoon. I’ve no idea why the roads were so bad at 4pm on a Friday. Doesn’t everyone leave DC at 2 on Fridays? I’m ready for a new book (or a trip to the Shetlands).

    Tees last blog post..Portable knitting

  4. It looks like the new sock (reknittedd) has more design to it than the pictures you showed earlier – or is it my imagination or just the pictures you posted. I love the look of the new sock and can’t wait to see it completed.
    As for perfumes I have two that I wear and both are by Estee Lauder: “Knowing” an “Estee” depending on my mood.
    I had to read your blog part regarding listing to your inner voice and ignoring it when you truly want to push the lady under the train to my daughter. We both had to laugh at it. She works in the ER of a local hospital and says many times she must ignore her inner voice when people use the emergency room needlessly (pregnancy test, warts etc) Have a wonderful weekend and keep us posted on the sock and your perfume choice!

  5. Choose me! Pick me! Love Me!!!

  6. I haven’t worn Shalimar since College in the 70’s.. I have a much lighter taste in in scents now. Now I just use a scented lotion from “Melt” called Earth Spirit that my daughter introduced me to. It is a clean, earthy scent reminiscent of baby powder. Sounds weird, but I like it.

    Lizs last blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day

  7. My all time favorite is Angel. Something about the chocolate oil . . . mmmmm 🙂

    angelas last blog post..Fleeting thought

  8. Can’t really wear perfume due to my allergies, but I keep wishing I could.

    I do love books though and can’t resist a good drawing. 🙂

    Kellis last blog post..Book Review

  9. I would love the book, but I really like the pattern you are working on. I have two of your patterns I picked up from Loopy Ewe that are in line for my next project…………I love making socks!!

  10. My fav perfume is Mackie by “Bob Mackie”. I think I am spelling it correctly-too lazy to get up & check. Obsession is nice.

  11. Please put my number in the book drawing, too.

    I just finished reading a mystery set in Scotland with a murder victim named Catriona, but it was M.C. Beaton’s new Hamish MacBeth book, “Death of a Witch”.

  12. I already commented, so don’t count this one BUT anyone else notice the clear cables on the sock needles??? Wendy, are you using something other than the Knit Picks 16″ 2 circulars for socks. Yesterday’s photo I swear I saw the purple cord, but today it looks clear. I swear by the KP 2 circ’s but have used the Hiya steels and wondered if you had a new fave.

  13. I’m not much into perfume usually, but when I was in Ireland a few years ago, I found Inis and I LOVE it. I’m not entirely sure how to describe the smell…a friend said it reminded her of the Maine woods (I take her word for it as I’ve not smelled the Maine woods LOL). I think it is supposed to smell like the Irish Sea, perhaps? I don’t know, but I like it a lot, and I’ve found it here in the states at shops that carry Irish goods.

    Lisas last blog post..The start of something beautiful…

  14. I do love a good suspense novel! Please count me in on the contest.

  15. I don’t wear much in the way of perfume, but when I do wear some I use amber oil. It’s an essential oil, so less chance of setting off perfume allergies, but it has nice light musky scent that I really like.

  16. Haven’t tried new perfumes in quite a while. Your sock does look better with fewer increases on bottom. I love mysteries.

  17. Haven’t worn perfume for years. Can’t remember who makes it, but the last perfume I use to wear was called White Linen. I quit wearing it when I met my boyfriend’s (now husband) grandmother, and it turned out to be her favorite perfume! Didn’t want to smell like his grandmother!!

    Please put my name in for the book – I’m reading a fun book “Casting Spells” by Barbara Bretton, and she thanks you in the introduction! You must have been her knitting go-to expert!

  18. Cabotine de gras is a favorite that always gets commented on. A light fragrance that has staying power! Best found on line.

  19. ooh, ooh,ooh!!! me, me, me!!
    Thanks for all the great patterns and help you put into your blog!

  20. Perfume: if you want something as sweet as Opium but less heavy try any of the Angel range. For something that starts off with a hint of citrus and then gets into spicy undertones try Karma by Lush. Tendre or Midnight Poison may do the trick.

  21. Me! Me! I’d love to have a new mystery to read!
    Reading is my second favorite pastime – need I explain what is first?

  22. Donna in Alexandria says:

    No perfume recommendations because I haven’t worn it in years. But I do read!

  23. Sarah Warburton says:

    I love mysteries…just got the new P.D. James from the library and am also working my way through the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. They’re not my favorites, but they go really quickly.

  24. I have been wearing Design, by Paul Sebastian for years. It is soft, unlike most expensive perfumes, not flowery. Every man I see remembers it as being ME (men love this on a woman), and it is no longer exclusive to high end stores, its available at Wal-Mart now! Yay!
    Try it, you may love it!!!

  25. Eileen Bunn says:

    I love your socks. I like Obsession and I would like your book……..

  26. I would love the chance to read the book. Finding new authors is fun.
    I wore Shalimar for years, then Oscar, and now Beautiful with Amazing Grace during the summer months.
    As someone who has only knitted Christmas stockings in the past, is there something I should know before starting socks for someone with heavy ankles and calves? I’m concerned about them being snug enough to stay up without binding and being uncomfortable and unsightly. If there is a book or post I should read, I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

    Knittys last blog post..Lost in books

  27. Can’t help with the perfume, they all give me asthma attacks. But a good murder mystery/thriller isi always welcome, especially from an author I haven’t read yet. Toss my name in the hat, please!

  28. I have been using Nina Ricci’s “L’Air du Temps” since I was 15 and still love it. Worth “Je Reviens” is another I like but not had for a while.

  29. Love murder mysteries……………
    I have been using Estee Lauder “Beautiful” for awhile. I still love it. But some times I like to change around so I am wearing “Pleasure Delight”.
    It is also from Estee Lauder. But I also like Chanel No. 5.

  30. I would love to read a mystery story set in the shetland isles. Thanks, Wendy.

  31. I have always loved Annick Goutal’s Hadrien for summer. Miller Harris and Jo Malone have wonderful scents as well. Jo Malone is great for layering. Neiman Marcus has samples of Hadrien and Jo Malone. And I would love a chance at the book.

  32. Favourite perfumes – J’adore and Coco, just can’t go past them.

  33. Martha Rehme says:

    A suggestion for a nice perfume is Ralph Laurens” Romance “

  34. Herrera (the original by Carolina Herrara) is in that same family of scents, only lighter. Would never say no to a mystery, especially one in Shetland Isles.

  35. Avon’s Haiku is really nice; it’s light, I actually changed from Anais Anais to it–don’t get me wrong, I still love it!

  36. I love the Jo Malone scents. They’re fresh and clean smelling. You can go from light citrusy to heavier scents. You might like amber lavender or anything with veytyver. They are very generous in giving little sample vials to try out.

    Marys last blog post..Hot, Hot, Hot!

  37. Someone already mentioned it, but BPAL is fantastic stuff. It’s oil based, no perfumers’ alcohol, so it’s easier on people with allergies, it tends to meld with skin and makes it possible for two different people to wear the same perfume and smell entirely different. It’s just amazingly artistically made and it’s produced by a small business and Beth (the genius behind it) is an amazing lady. My signature scent is Bakeneko but I also adore Morocco and Hungry Ghost Moon and Haloes. Yarn and BPAL go amazingly well together. ^_~

  38. Another vote for Angel here…

  39. I used to wear Shalimar but switched to Samsara years ago – still my favorite… Not that easy to find anymore but worth the search I think.

  40. Perfume of life dot com is a great site for people who love perfume. I’m sure you’ll get some ideas there. Also if you want samples the perfumed court dot com sells samples for reasonable prices. I like ava luxe/s perfumes and dsh perfumes too. They are small, one woman perfume houses. Lastly, I would agree with the ormonde jayne suggestions. They’re great perfumes. No affiliation to any of the sites mentioned, other than as a happy customer/member.

  41. I’d say “Amazone” by Hermes, but I think it’s only available at Christmas. I love “nice” perfumes but my budget is outstripped by my taste.

  42. My all-the-time fragrance is Estee Lauder’s Aliage. It’s a little musky but not even as penetrating as Shalimar.

    painterwomans last blog post..

  43. Ginny Deppe says:

    Socks – I’ve been knitting them since I was 10. I’m close to leaving my 5th decade now so that’s a lot of socks! Back in the day it was argyles. For some reason the little plastic bobbins were fascinating to me.

    When I was in my 20’s I worked at a cosmetic counter in a large dept. store. I made friends with the little French woman at the perfume counter so my sample collection was large. She introduced me to Shalimar and Opium, two of my favorites still today. But, I am also a fan of mixing a good Musk and Patchouli together. A number of years ago I found two other fragrances I like as well – Fendi. It’s rich and exotic without being over powering – and Sung by Alfred Sung, just yummy!
    I have a bottle of Zen by Shiseido (I don’t know if they still make it) when I want something different. Good luck with your quest. Fragrances affect everyones chemistry differently. I’ve found some that I love on others don’t “mix” well on me. so, try them all! gd

  44. Late to the smelly party but I love perfume so I have to weigh in.

    Current fave: Eau d’Italie’s “Magnolia Romana”–which does not smell floral despite the name. I tend to like something with a shot of citrus. It smells light. I discovered it on a trip to Italy with a woman who goes into every perfume shop. But it’s available online. I looked, in a panic about running out and not having anyone visiting from Italy.

    Jo Malone, the one with the citrus. Can’t remember the name! I think it’s got verveine in it. (Verbena.)

    My BFL who lives in France has been wearing Opium for 20 plus years, and (seeing as how she’s in France) she lays it on with more gusto than would be tolerated stateside. But I love her, and by association I love that scent. She recently switched to one of the Clinique Essentials scents. Opium is such a strong scent but it’s so great on the right person. If you’re going to wear perfume, go gutsy, I say. Not overpowering, but recognizable!

    My old fave since the mid-80s, which I don’t wear much anymore because I can’t smell it myself (I guess the brain just filters it out as olfactory white noise), is Estee Lauder White Linen (aka White Noise). I know that’s very commercial, but it’s lovely!

    Kays last blog post..And the Yarn Goes To . . .

  45. My fave and the only perfume I wear is Paloma Picassa. I used to wear Intimate but they quit making it.

  46. i sold perfume for many years at an ecslusive (expensive) new york store for many years and based upon your preferences, i would recomend “Bal a Versailles” by Jean Desprez, it’s gotten the most compliments from men over the years, and they don’t usually comment on stuff like that. i love the old classics that have been around forever. ‘Fracas’, “Diorissimo”, Worth “Je Reviens”, but “Bal A Vesailles” is my desert island frgarance.