My current work in progress:

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


Knitting Tips and Tricks

I received a review copy of the soon to be released book Lily Chin’s Knitting Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Knitter Should Know by (you guessed it) Lily Chin.


Psst! There’s a companion book of crochet tips & tricks by Lily Chin that releases on the same day — October 13. But as I’m not a crocheter, I’m not reviewing it.

This is a smallish size (7.5 x 5.5″) hardcover book and is 208 pages long — a good size to slip into a knitting bag.

In the introduction, Lily Chin talks about a very popular class she teaches — Knitting Tips & Techniques — that always sells out quickly. She envisions this book as this class in book form. The book contains solutions that Ms. Chin has come up with over the years to solve her own knitting problems.

The book is set up chronologically to mirror the knitting process: it starts with discussions of needles and yarn, then knitting basics, followed by chapters entitled “Getting Started,” “As You Work,” and “Finishing.”

The book is illustrated with nice clear line drawings:


This one depicts the differences between garter stitch, stockinette, and reverse stockinette.

There are also step-by-step “how-tos” for a lot of techniques:


Sure, there are other books out there that detail different cast-ons and bind-offs and other techniques, and more of them than this little book. Why would you want this one?

For me, it’s the “tricks” portion. (The “trick” for a coded swatch is, in my opinion, genius!) Also, the tricks in the cast-on section of the book are great. (If you’ve ever run out of yarn on stitch 280 of a 290-stitch longtail cast-on, for example, you will agree with me.)

Bottom line — this is a great little reference book for new knitters, as it outlines most everything you need to get started. Experienced knitters will appreciate all the little extras — the tips & tricks that Ms. Chin has gleaned from her many years of knitting.

Something for everyone. What’s not to like?

Off to Florida!

Tomorrow I head south — to Maitland Florida to Sip n’ Knit to hang out with knitters, sign books, and teach classes. Info specifically about the weekend is on the Sip n’ Knit here. I hope to see some of you Florida knitters there. But could you please arrange for a cold snap this weekend? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I won’t get home til late on Sunday, so no blog post til Monday. See you then!

Meanwhile, Lucy is doing her stretching exercises:


Isn’t she fabulous? Just look at that perfect form:



  1. Have a fun trip, a safe trip and a bountiful trip!!!

    Nice job on the book review too!
    .-= Susan Mohr Krupke´s last blog ..That Girl! =-.

  2. The book looks very handy – size & all! LOL at Lucy….I just got back from yoga and I’m pretty certain I had to hold my feet just like that in one or more of the poses! Get that cat a yoga mat!

  3. LOVE Miss Lucy’s little pointed toes! Too adorable! Have fun in FL, pack sunscreen and an umbrella, weather there is unpredictable!

  4. Aw, now you’ve done it — must make a trip to the bookstore and request this one.

    Now, will Miss Lucy come out with a book of tips and tricks for stretching workouts?
    .-= HissyStitch´s last blog ..Raising the roof – literally =-.

  5. Love Lucy’s pointed toes!
    .-= Joanne´s last blog ..Yes, She Does =-.

  6. I am going to Florida in November. I would love to join one of your workshops – what a shame it’s not in a month time. But thank you so much for the tip about a great yarn shop. I’m sure my bf will love to visit Sip & Knit ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Sorry, the weather forecast is calling for an extended summer. If you want cooler weather, you’ll have to bring it down with you.

  8. I wouldn’t mind a bit of Florida weather before winter arrives in full force here!.

    I think I would get foot cramps if I stretched my legs as Lucy is doing!

  9. Lucy has the most perfect kitty toes ever! She has such darling little feet.

  10. Nice toe point, Miss Lucy! Happy travels, Wendy.
    .-= ccr in MA´s last blog ..A little of this and a smidgen of that =-.

  11. Enjoy your Florida trip but don’t count on a cool down outside! (We go inside to cool down and often need light sweaters/ shawls there so you will be just fine!)And I am very sorry to miss your visit-it is within driving distance but I am going to be in Cocoa Beach instead!! grrrrrrr. You will be a welcomed guest, I am sure! Have fun!
    .-= Cindy in FL´s last blog ..Off to the Water Again =-.

  12. I took Lily’s class in May, and it was fabulous! Even after taking the class, I’d buy that book for great reminders. Looking forward to seeing it!
    .-= pdxknitterati/MicheleLB´s last blog ..San Francisco dรฉjร  vu, and Single Skein Club =-.

  13. Kathy Sue says:

    I have heard Lily talk about some some of her tricks–would be nice to have them in a handy little book instead of trying to remember all of her genius ideas.

    Lucy is so talented. Maybe you should get her some toe shoes so she could stand and do that!

  14. I have to check this book out soon, Lucy is showing you what you’ll be missing while your away, lol. She is so dang cute!

  15. Raye (mother of the other Jan. 2 Capricorn Wendy) says:

    Lily Chin is a member of our knitting guild (Big Apple Knitters Guild) in New York City. She’s going to talk about this new book and do a book signing at our November 7th meeting. Come visit and join us.

  16. I wish you a safe and enjoyable trip down and back. My daughter lives in Maitland, Fl. A nice little town. At least it will be warmer there. I hear they are having a heat wave! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have begun a pair of your Double Eyelet Rib Socks, and I used Judy’s magic cast-on, and I’m happy to say I “got it” on the first try. Things have gone nicely and I am into the pattern on the instep. I guess my next challenge will be the heel. I enjoy learning now things, and it’s about time I learned to knit toe-up socks too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep well.
    .-= Sandie Knapp´s last blog ..The Result Of A Fall =-.

  17. Beautiful Lucy, as always! But Wendy, you’re welcome to come to Kansas to cool off. We were in Florida a few weeks ago and it’s HOT and HUMID down there! It was fun but so good to get home! We’ve got forecast of snowflakes in the next few days, so we can sure keep you cooler! Truly, wishing you safe travels, wherever you go!

  18. Have a nice time in Florida, and that is such a cute picture of Lucy!

  19. nicole/sweden says:

    nothing quite cheers up the old gray mare like purrfect kitty point.


  20. I told my husband jokingly that you’d be a mere 2 hours from where we are going in Florida so we should go.

    He said yes, we should. So I get to take your sock design class on Sunday!!!

  21. Oh, Lucy does have such purrfect form! Those little toes are perfectly aligned and pointed. There should be some sort of kitty olympics for that! She would take the Gold!

    Safe travels Miss Wendy.

  22. Enjoy your trip! I stopped in at Sip ‘n Knit when I was in FL back in July. It’s a nice shop. I *love* the sheep collection the owner has. And being from OH, she named the sheep out front “Buckeye”. Very cool!

  23. I got the Sip & Knit email & I’m bummed that I can’t make it to Wendyfest, but tax deadlines (& my livelihood) beckon. I hate to break it to you, but we’re supposed to have near-record highs this weekend in Florida! Enjoy S&K. It’s a lovely store.

  24. I don’t know if this is Lily’s solution to a too-short long-tail, but it just dawned on me that I spit-splice yarn throughout the body of a sweater, so what’s to keep me from doing it on the cast-on edge. Or maybe a Russian join?
    .-= Evelyn´s last blog ..As I Lay Dyeing =-.

  25. Ellen Adrian says:

    I just love Lucy’s perfect ‘double points’….

  26. Wendy,

    Looks like a good book. Hope you had fun in Florida. It’s been way to cold where I am. I have a question about how you use excel to make patterns. Are you only doing lace in it? Or have you found a way to make cable show reasonably? I tried the other day, but feel like I’m being stupid. Any additional advises you could offer would be appreciated. I know I’m going back a few post here, but I’ve been thinking about this for several days now.



  27. I really think that’s Pilates that Lucy is doing.
    Has she been watching videos while you’re gone?

    We’re having snow today, so a little Florida weather sounds appealing, though I know it probably was really not (especially when you don’t tolerate heat so well). The cool weather is coming your and Lucy’s way, I bet!
    .-= Cathy-Cate´s last blog ..Weekend Update with hints oโ€™ Sun(flower) =-.