My current work in progress:

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


A Random Post

I don’t have much to blog about today because most of my knitting time last night was used dozing off and waking up until I finally gave up and went to bed. And my knitting time on my commute is taken up by a stealth project.

However, I can show you a close-up of the cast-on edge of the Chevron Stole.

I used a lace cast-on for the bottom edge so it would be nice and stretchy. The cast-on is one where you start with a slip knot on the left needle and then knit a stitch into it, transferring the new loop onto the left needle to make the second cast-on stitch. Then you continue on, knitting into the previous stitch on the left needle each time, and pulling the new loop up and placing it on the left needle.

The stole has garter stitch edgings — I started by working several rows of garter stitch before beginning the lace pattern. Once I started the lace, I worked the first and last 5 stitches in garter stitch to keep that edge going up the sides of the stole. To get a nice stretchy edge, on every row I slip the first stitch as if to purl with the yarn in back, then knit the next 4. Then onward to the lace section.

In other news

From time to time y’all ask me in the comments how the clean eating is going. It is going just fine, thank you. It’s been almost 3 months since I made this lifestyle change and I don’t miss my old ways one little bit. I would estimate that I eat 95% clean because as far as I know, nothing I eat is processed or has preservatives in it (and I work hard to make sure this is true). I eat no sugar or artificial sweeteners. I drink water all day (and one cup of coffee in the morning.) I’ve even started making my own yogurt (from organic fat-free milk) and let me tell you, that stuff is yummy. I do buy organic as much as possible.

I’ve noticed that I am much healthier. The respiratory and sinus issues that have plagued me forever are gone, as are any digestive issues. Unfortunately clean eating has not stopped my spine from disintegrating, but then, I guess that’s a bit much to expect. I look on the bright side — while I am hobbling around and screeching in pain as my lumbar vertebrae viciously squeeze my nerves, at least I’m not sniffling and sneezing at the same time.

Another a nice side-effect of clean eating is that I’ve lost a bit of weight.

(Aside: Speaking of hateful uncooperative vertebrae and disks, the little bastards are causing meΒ  rather a lot of pain these days. So much so that it affects my normal day-to-day activities. I’ve had to cut back on some things — like computer time. I get a fair amount of email every day with knitting questions, requests of one sort or another, and other random things. Because it hurts to sit at the ‘puter, I can’t answer ’em all.)

To close:

A girl and her tail-less mouse.

ETA: I appreciate all your good wishes and suggestions but truly, I am not looking for medical advice here (I’ve got a good doc I’m working with). Just wanted to let you know that I am less available than usual. Thanks!


  1. I’m so sorry about your back, Wendy. I have the same problems and send you lots of healing thoughts. Perhaps we can get a spinal transplant? *hugs*

  2. As usual, you inspire me. πŸ™‚ I’m seriously looking into the Clean Eating lifestyle – how about a tutorial on yogurt making?

    And I’m sorry about your back, too. I hope that you can find some relief soon.

  3. Don’t fret, Lucy. Slick trekked to the post office today and Priority mailed you a new mousie. All will be well soon.

    PS- please don’t puke on it. Thanks!

  4. Barb Harger says:

    Sorry you are having so much trouble with your back! I too, am trying to eat more organic/healthy these days. Has anyone suggested you have your vitamin D levels checked? Apparently a lot of people are deficient in D, as I am, and it might help your bones some to take it. I go to an D.O. doctor who is very into preventative stuff.

  5. I am sorry you are having so much trouble with your back. I have watched others in my family suffer through back problems, but thankfully, I have been spared so far. It sounds like your diet changes have been good for you. Congratulations on your weight loss. That could help you back in the long run. Keep up the good work.

  6. i’m glad at least your new lifestyle is having some good effects … my husband had spinal surgery two years ago for what sounds suspiciously similar to what you’re experiencing. he couldn’t stand for longer than 10minutes at a time and the difference is miracolous. we even managed 7 weeks overseas only 12 months after the operation. good luck … and the weight loss must make life easier.

  7. I can’t say that I feel your pain because my back only has arthritis — but I certainly can sympathize!! Nerve pain of any kind is the worst!

    Sounds like help is on the way, Lucy!!
    .-= Cathie Jones´s last blog ..March Madness =-.

  8. catspaw says:

    It’s good to have a doctor you have confidence in. You do whatever it takes to be pain free. Back problems are the suck.

  9. I’d hug you, but that would hurt, so good vibes instead. Congrats on staying “Clean”
    .-= Elysbeth´s last blog ..Brevity in the heart of winter =-.

  10. Lynne E. says:

    Back problems are the pits! Are you considering surgery any time in the near future? (Just wondering out loud–that’s none of my business.) Glad to hear that the clean eating is helping with your respiratory problems, because that makes it worthwhile to follow the regimen.

  11. I am so sorry about your back – I have back problems and so know how much it hurts me and can only imagine how much yours hurts

  12. that stole is gorgeous. it’s one of the things you’ve made that actually looks like I could do it! πŸ™‚
    .-= Claudia´s last blog ..Finished =-.

  13. back troubles are the worst.

    I’ve heard good things about using a standing desk. Perhaps your employer would pay for one at work – they even have desks that can shift height so you can spend part of the time seated and part of the time standing. (they provided these for people at my old job) Seems like a reasonable accommodation for something that could keep you out of work.

    also – I personally have gotten a lot of relief from nerve related back pain with (1) yoga and (2) chiropractor. Hope yours clears up soon.
    .-= ami´s last blog ..How to become good at anything – Try, Do, Experiment =-.

  14. Dorothy says:

    disk problems need a good doctor. Glad you have one!! Ah! The tailless mouse. Lucy does not seem to mind at all!! Feel better soon. We are all pulling for you!

  15. Best wishes for feeling better! I’m having some back issues myself these days, and it’s absolutely no fun.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Hope you feel better soon and love the stole!!!

  17. I’m glad to hear the clean eating is going well! That’s wonderful.

    I’ve been working on a similar path. I’ve started baking my own bread (which is awesome. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day is my guide thus far) and have been making my own granola for breakfast. I really really just *like* knowing what goes into my food.

    Sending you lots of good wishes regarding your poor back. No medical advice. I promise. πŸ™‚
    .-= Virginia´s last blog ..She’s baack… With pix. =-.

  18. Sorry about your ouchies. πŸ™

    I love your cast on (it is my go-to cast on, my absolute favorite) and the garter along the edge of your lace. Excellent, simple and elegant. Lovely!

  19. Sandra Ball says:

    Oh Wendy, I do understand about the back. I have three herniated discs and severe osteoarthristis in mine. I’ve had to cut back on a lot of things in my life. I told my husband that my knitting is keeping me sane. My daughter is loving all the hand knit socks and now wants a shawlette.
    I am very excited about your new book. It’s pre-orderd from Amazon and we are on the countdown until the day of release.
    Keep up the knitting and blogging and for goodness sake take care of yourself, there are a lot of people who love you.

  20. Melissa says:

    I’m glad to hear that the clean eating is going well and helping. You may just inspire me to try it. Also glad to hear that you have a good Doc. They are worth their weight in gold. And I understand if you can only sit in front of a computer for so long. My hands sometimes make it impossible for me to knit or check my e-mail. Hang-in and I hope things improve soon.

  21. not to add to the pain of sitting long enough to read one more comment:

    {{{{{RANDOM HUG}}}}

    stay strong, you can DO IT!

  22. Sending all best wishes your way.

  23. Hope your back is better soon!

  24. I hope you find some relief soon. You won’t get any medical advice from me–pretty much my entire body is falling apart. Except my elbows. I’m obviously doing everything wrong.

    This just means I will appreciate what you are able to post that much more.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..I attempt to photograph like Jared Flood and fail miserably =-.

  25. Thanks for the information about the lace cast-on. I can’t wait to try it.
    I’m sorry to hear about your continuing back pain.
    .-= Ida´s last blog ..What Does It Mean to Be Flawed? =-.

  26. I hope your back feels better-I watched my mom suffer from back problems for years and it isn’t fun at all. The stole looks beautiful!

  27. Hi Wendy, thanks for the update on the clean eating. The Chevron stole looks really nice:-) I hope some R&R will ease your back discomfort. Please let KOAR and sweet Lucy take good care of you. I send my wishes for feeling better too!

  28. Nancy in CA says:

    So sorry about your back! I have similar issues.I wouldn’t be spending any computer time at home without my recliner. Makes ALL the difference. I suppose that would depend on where your bad disks, bone spurs, whatever, are located. Fortunately I got a polite looking one and not one of those fugly behemoth ones.

    Feel better!!!!

  29. Hopefully your work with your doctor will leave you in good health and spirits and the big bad back demon will leave you alone!

    I have had intermittent back pain (from doing something as silly as lifting a large backpack single handed) for years, and it definitely has a way of putting a cramp in one’s style. I totally sympathize!
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..losing consciousness =-.

  30. Just be thankful that your sneezing has stopped…nothing worse than sneezing when your back hurts!! Keep up the good work!

  31. This isn’t medical advice, but… I had spinal stenosis (which, from your description it sounds like you have.) I spent years and serious drugs trying to find relief. Three years ago I had surgery. I’m now pain free. Just saying… Hope you can find some relief, I know how debilitating pain can be. Good Luck.


  32. Good luck with your back – bad discs & squished nerves are never good.

    Thinking of you,
    Lurker Diane
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Knitting and not =-.

  33. No doc suggestions, no questiions, just a word or two to say I hope you feel better soon.
    Lucy is adorable.
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Crit =-.

  34. Belinda Giliberti says:

    I had read on your blog that your back was bothering you, but I didn’t realize that it was still such a problem. Are you a candidate for back surgery? It would certainly ease the pain. I actually had back surgery, a lumbar laminectomy (of one of my lower discs, which had ruptured). It was odd actually. I am 37 years old, not heavy and have had no prior back problems whatsoever. One day my back (lower back, just above my booty, actually) just started bothering me. The pain did not subside and within two weeks, I could not walk without taking major pain meds and within those two weeks I got an MRI which showed that one of my discs just ruptured. I had to stop work and wait for the approval for the surgery in fear that I would damage my back while awaiting surgery. My spinal surgeon said that I was a sneeze away from being incontinent for the rest of my life. Anyway, I had the surgery and within two weeks I was back to almost my old self. Unfortunately, because I waited so long the damage to my back was worse than it could have been so I am not 100%. I guess what I am trying to say is that if I had waiting any longer, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Spinal surgery saved my life.