My current work in progress:

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


Labor Day Weekend

Hard to believe that here in the U.S. it’s the middle of Labor Day Weekend already. It seems like it was just the beginning of July — I blinked and it became September. Not that I’m complaining — autumn is my favorite season so I’m happy to be a little closer to it.

Last week I started a new project, once again using my new favorite yarn — Hand Maiden Swiss Silk. Another lace sweater, my third from this yarn. Yesterday morning I took a look at what I had so far and ripped it out. The lace pattern I had come up with was just not working with the colorway I’m using (Earth).

I decided this time to do a very simple all-over pattern. No complex bottom border, just the same simple lace motif from bottom to top. Here’s what I have so far:

This time I think I’ll do a boatneck to make this a really simple design to knit. So basically, it will be just knitting 4 rectangles and putting them together.

I do remember that I have not yet written up the patterns for the last two lace sweaters I’ve designed. I do have the patterns pretty much completely written. Do you want to know the main thing that is holding me back from finalizing the patterns? I need to create schematics for the sweaters, and I don’t have a way to easily do that.

Can anyone recommend an easy-to-use Mac graphics program that I can use to create pattern schematics? I just need to be able to draw the shape of the body (with neckline) and sleeve laid flat and insert the multiple measurements for each piece. I do own Adobe Illustrator, but simply do not have the time to learn how to use it. I’d love to have a program that is dead-simple since I don’t need to do anything fancy. I’d love to hear any ideas y’all have.

Last week was my first week at my new job — so far so good. I haven’t broken anything as far as I know. ­čśë While it’s a great place to work and my new coworkers have been extremely nice and welcoming, I staggered home on Friday in a state of advance exhaustion. I don’t deal well with change and find it stressful being the new kid. (I am working in the same huge federal building I’ve worked in for over 15 years so happily I don’t have to deal with a change in commute and location.) This “new kid” feeling will pass, of course, but all the same I am very happy to have a three-day weekend after my first week. I’m looking forward to going back to work on Tuesday, so that’s a very good sign for the future!

But I’ll be spending the rest of this holiday weekend watching old movies, knitting, cuddling Lucy, and doing not much else. Gotta conserve my strength, right?

Lucy sez:

“Look at me! I am decorative!”



  1. I have a sneaky feeling that any program that will let you do what you want will also have somewhat of a learning curve. That said, you might have a look at Intaglio It’s designed for line drawings of various sorts, like flowcharts. And it has a free demo, so you can play around with it without losing anything but time if it turns out not to work for you.

  2. POSTCARD WORTHY! I am a long-time Lucy fan, but this is perhaps my favorite photos of all time. She is so lovely in that special composition. <3 Lucy!

  3. I love the picture of Lucy! I have an old style entertainment center with shelves behind a glass door, and my cat will crawl behind the entertainment center once in awhile, and finagle his way onto the bottom shelf amidst the other things, so he too looks decorative. They are so funny!

  4. I know Skitch would do what you want. It’s a good little program.

  5. I’m so looking forward to the patterns for the lace sweaters as I’d love to have one of these myself.
    Anne Taylor┬┤s last blog post ..Traveling Light

  6. Love the color! Lucy looks very regal on her perch, can’t help but wonder if there was anything in the center that has now been brushed aside! My cats are always finding special places to sit regardless of what is already there!

  7. Great photo of Lucy – at least she’s not trying to perch on top of the case ;o)

  8. How about some of the knitting design software? Wouldn’t they have some “boiler-plate” schematics already drawn that could possibly be tweaked or modified for your specific purposes? I’m thinking of Sweater Wizard, but I’m sure there are others by now.
    Good luck – your talent enriches all of us! Some of us are great knitters, but not designers. You bring us the tools we need, so – thanks a million!

  9. Literally, just two seconds before I saw your latest post, I said “I can’t believe it’s September already!” But I agree with you, fall is my favorite season – I CAN NOT wait for cooler weather. Just two days ago it was 102 degrees here. This morning it was raining and I hoped it would rain all day. Hate hate hate hate hate the heat! I think I need to move to Maine.

  10. Ohh, “decorative”! That explains so much. (So why does my decorative object cause so much more work and expense? :-P)

    I’m having a restorative weekend too, and it’s great: just me and the husband on the couch with a whole bunch of Doctor Who and a sock yarn scarp blanket in progress ­čÖé
    Kate┬┤s last blog post ..On knitting for others

  11. handmadebysue says:

    I love the Earth colorway. The overall lace pattern is also very nice. I look forward to seeing the completed project. It definitely says ‘fall’. (Hard to think about in Los Angeles – especially the west San Fernando Valley where I’m located and the temps are in the 90’s and 100’s).

  12. For the record, if Lucy was doing this in my house it would be called ‘dusting’. So glad things are going well at your new job and that your new book is doing well, also. Best wishes!

  13. My husband (the designer) recommended Sketch based on what he’s heard/read, but he’s never used it before. Might be worth checking out.

  14. Hi Wendy, while purusing a MAC magazine- THE ULTIMATE MAC HOW-TO HANDBOOD No.5…it suggested a free program called SKETCHBOOK EXPRESS. You can find it at the Mac App Store…they say for “now” it is FREE. I just read this last night as I was dozing off, so have not had a chance to check it out myself, could be what you are looking for.

  15. Congrats on the new job. That new kid feeling is a pain, but it will pass. Hey, just found out you are coming back for Soxperience 2012 in April. I so enjoyed last year, can’t wait!
    Milly┬┤s last blog post ..Aftermath

  16. Buffy, my dear Siamese kitty, would be the *only* decoration left on the desk, if you see what I mean!

  17. That yarn is so fabulous! Those colors are just scrumptious. I have never had an opportunity to see that yarn in person since nowhere I have access to carries it. I’d love to try it but since I have to mail order it, I have to ask- Does it smell weird? I have a freakishly sensitive nose and I have found that silk often has a wonky odor to it that I just can’t deal with. I’d hate to order it and then not be able to stand having it near me!

  18. sorry I can’t help you with an idea for a schematics program. Thank you for adding schematics to your patterns; I personally have adopted a policy of not knitting without them.

    Good luck with your new job, not that you will need luck! Jo

  19. This might sound low tech, but whenever I need to do simple, vector-based graphics I go straight for PowerPoint. The shapes menu has a bunch of custom shape options. Also, PPT 2010 has an option to combine shapes in various ways (e.g. unions, subtractions, etc.). You need to customize the ribbon to add it, but it’s already built-in, and it’s a nifty little tool. If you don’t have PPT, I assume that the OpenOffice version has similar capabilities.

  20. Hi Wendy

    I’ve been using this one for a while, so I can’t remember how difficult it was to get going with. I use it for all kinds of projects, from marking up specification sheets to making legible doodles.
    And my html has gone right out of my head, so I can’t remember how to make this a link.

  21. Oh Lucy, you look so perfectly composed! Just like a Vermeer painting!

    I must check out that Swiss Mountain silk – I’ve never seen nor tried it.

    Glad you survived your first week on the job! New challenges like that are good for setting up new neuron pathways in our brain (like knitting!).
    MicheleinMaine┬┤s last blog post ..Custom listing for joanthethird

  22. Susan D. Smith says:

    Wendy: A friend of mine just sent this link to fellow knitters. Don’t know if it is Mac-compatible, but thought you might want to see it:

    Love your new lace book – and the patterns you’ve been showing here so I hope you get to chart them soon and make them available!


  23. I don’t have a great image software for you to use. I have one I use on the Mac: Sketchbook Express (I will double check the name once I’m back on my computer), but it isn’t exactly light on the learning curve. I still like it, because it is one of the programs with layers.
    Seanna Lea┬┤s last blog post ..being a geek is hilarious

  24. Ooohhhhh, I love the way the yarn looks in that pattern. Hope the new job continues to work out.
    Beth┬┤s last blog post ..Saturdays Mean Something, Again

  25. Louise in Maryland says:

    A friend’s Mom used to say after the 4th of July summer’s shot. “The next thing you know, you’re seeing pumpkins.” The older I get, the truer it seems. Good thing I love Autumn, too!

    Unrelated, I was cleaning up and came across an old copy of Threads with an article on wedding ring shawls and a pattern for a Shetland lace hankie. I think I read one of your first lace projects was a hankie, could this be the same project or mere co-incidence?