My current work in progress:

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



Remember this swatch I showed you in the last blog post?

I told you that it was a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend but not what it was. A number of you guessed that it was Rowan All Seasons Cotton or Rowan Calmer. A couple of you guessed correctly: good ol’ Lion Brand Cotton Ease.

I started the swatch with a U.S. size 7 needle but thought it was working up a little loose so halfway through I switched to a U.S. size 6. You may be able to see the point where I switched in the swatch — the stitches on the bottom half are a bit wonky. With the size 6 needle I’m getting 4.25 stitches and 6 rows to the inch.

Working up, the yarn this feels most like to me is All Seasons Cotton. But Cotton Ease is a lot cheaper. I’m planning on knitting a textured pullover with it to see what I think.

But I’m still in the middle of my diamond gansey knit from Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton.

I finished the front last night.

And I started a sleeve.

I think at some point this afternoon I’ll join the shoulders and knit a narrow neckband. Come back Tuesday to see how it looks!

And don’t forget the Tool Butler giveaway closes on Tuesday. Remember, you have to leave a comment on that post to be entered in the giveaway. If you’ve emailed me using the “contact me” link you are not entered. I have a plugin that pulls a winner at random from comments on a particular post. The link to comment is right below the title of the blog post and is blue and says “xxx Comments.”

Okay, I’ve got a lot to do today, so it is time to get started on it.

Lucy has been resting up so she can spend the rest of the day helping me.


  1. Can’t wait to see that sweater! Love the pattern on the sleeve…

  2. Love the seed stitch ribbing on the cuff. It is an excellent edging for this particular body patterning. Very well chosen!
    Jamie┬┤s last blog post ..Now what…

  3. The tool butler looks so efficient – it probably takes its inspiration from the staff of Downton Abbey.

  4. The tool butler looks great. I am always on the lookout for something to use to keep all the miscellaneous knitting tools needed for my projects. Would love to have one. Love your Blog and love seeing what Lucy is up to.

  5. Love it that you are using some cotton for warmer weather! The tool butler would be a welcome addition to getting me organized!

  6. The tool butler is to die for. I have tons of “stuff” just stuffed into dozens of cases and it is driving me crazy trying to get organized. I would so love to have your extra one. I love your patterns and can’t wait to execute most of them.

  7. I have a huge love of Cotton Ease….it’s so durable and it’s warm, and it’s cotton…and let’s not forget that it won’t break the bank! Oh, and the colors…

    I’ve made many baby hats (and a couple for myself and other kids) from Cotton Ease ­čÖé
    Renee Anne┬┤s last blog post ..Self-Imposed Year of Projects: Update #3

  8. I love working with Cotton Ease; however, I’ve never been completely pleased with my method of securing ends, so when you make your project, I’d appreciate any suggestions you may have.
    Panhandle Jane┬┤s last blog post ..Remarkably Little Knitting

  9. One of our local knitters had one of the Tool Butlers at Happy Hour Knitting. It is awesome.

  10. I am anxious to know how you like the LionBrand cotton ease once it is washed. Living in the South, I need something cooler than wool. Also, I love your new gansey! Is there a pattern or did you design it yourself?

  11. Very interested to hear your opinion on Cotton Ease. And ditto Panhandle Jane’s question.
    Angeluna┬┤s last blog post ..9/11 Remembrance and an Odd Momento

  12. Looks like Cotton Ease is knitting up with great stitch definition….hope it wears and washes well too! Keep us posted.

  13. The swatch looks lovely, I like the color. Wow! The gansey is moving right along. Lucy looks so comfy!

  14. Susan Lapierre-Jones says:

    The bulter is soo great. I have been Looking for something like this, Your knitting is sooooooo beautiful!

  15. I used cotton ease to make the February Lady cardigan. I did not care for the way the stitches stretched and do not plan to use cotton ease again.

  16. Love how Lucy always seems to braid her paws when she’s sleeping….maybe design a sock pattern based on her braided legs???

  17. I’d love a butler….so many possibilities for uses.
    thanks for your blog…I love it.

  18. Thank you for all you do for other knitters. I’m finishing my first pair of socks, toe up, short row heel and toe, from your book. I love knitting socks! I’ve started mock cables and having fn with them too!


  19. I love Lucy. We learn so much from you. Thanks. Went to “The Loopy Ewe” this weekend. I love it. Organized, quality & quanity. Lucky that they are now local. Your endorsement is a plus.

  20. Who let the air out of Lucy?

  21. Snowflake says:

    Would like to be entered in the ‘Tool Butler’ giveaway.
    Love your blog and the cotton gansey looks beautiful. I can’t believe
    how fast you are able to knit!

  22. I would like to introduce Lucy to my Beaker. They have similar energy…………………

  23. yes, much better on a size 6!

  24. I love the swatch, and would love to win the Tool Butler!

  25. I would love the Butler!

  26. This is the first visit to your blog. I love your work and inspiration.

  27. I’ve used cotton ease for some baby blankets. It washes and wears well.
    I’d love the butler.

  28. paula henderson says:

    Beautiful swatch & I would love to own a Tool Butler!

  29. Since we lost our cat I look forward to seeing yours. Your work has inspired my to be more experimental.

  30. I need a real butler, but a tool butler will be a good start. Hugs to Lucy.

  31. I would love to put my tools in a butler. Black works for me!

  32. Ha! I correctly guess Cotton-Ease as the yarn in your swatch. Of course, I was just at Lion Brand Studios in NY on Tuesday, so I *should* have recognized the yarn!

    Thank you for working so quickly on the gansey; I’m eager to see the finished product. Have you thought of a name, yet, for your design? Any thoughts of inviting your readers to submit possible names?

    Linda┬┤s last blog post ..Sunday Sock Pattern ÔÇô Mossy Block Socks Update

  33. Love the gangsey, its something that I would like to do one day. My next project is tracy’s shawl, thank you for that.
    Ginny┬┤s last blog post ..My List

  34. Just luv watching as your work progresses on the sweater. Keep up the good work ­čÖé

    Ellie┬┤s last blog post ..Best Medicine Anxiety Panic Attacks

  35. I did guess calmer but lion brand cotton ease it nice too I do have some in the stash. I’m wondering what Lucy is going to help you do.
    Brandi┬┤s last blog post ..Around the Farm – January 20, 2012

  36. I would *love* to have the Butler case! I haven’t been knitting for long, but have lots of needles in a pile. The Butler would be just right!

  37. Lynne Hutchinson says:

    Love the gansey. Hope you will post the pattern when it is done.

  38. Wendy: Do you mind sharing how you did the ribbing, I love the seed stitch tucked in and makes a much prettier rib at the bottom of the sweater.

  39. Terri Puett says:

    Love your site – check it everyday. I haven’t tried the Lions cotton – I’ll need to check it out.

  40. Love the Butler. Thanks
    Carolyn┬┤s last blog post ..My New Butler

  41. Wendy, I love the swatch but I still want to know how you knit so much so fast.I guess its because you are such an expert knitter which I am not YET.

  42. I love that you’re using a more affordable yarn. I know I’m guilty of overlooking some less expensive, but quality yarns.

  43. I personally love Cotton Ease… I’ve knitted a lot of baby items with it and it washes / dries beautifully… To the person asking about weaving in the ends… I always leave a very long tail to weave in and weave it in two directions for at least an inch each way… the ‘ultimate’ end will unravel a bit so I always clip it again after washing. Eventually the stitches ‘grab’ the woven tail and I stop worrying about it.
    I have enough of this stuff in my stash for three sweaters! Bought on sale, of course…:-)

  44. I could use a butler – along with a maid, a housekeeper, a gardener and a chef! I’ll settle for this one though….

  45. the butler is intriguing – like an earlier commenter, i’d like one of the human version, too!
    (and a grader)
    is this butler big enough for a kindle? the dimensions look close.

  46. I’ve been enjoying watching your progress on the gansey. I love the light green color (at least, that’s what it looks like on my monitor) you chose — I think ganseys look very feminine in lighter colors, but masculine in darker shades. I have some light grey Shetland wool I am planning to spin into a two ply yarn to knit one of my own.
    Jackie┬┤s last blog post ..Tutorial: Increasing, M1L and M1R

  47. Myrna Bell says:

    I would love the Butler. It looks really handy for travel or as an on the go bag for work, or out and about.

  48. Karen Wolke says:

    I love that you are trying a less expensive cotton. So many patterns are shown in very expensive yarns and not all knitters can afford them.

  49. Sharen Warren says:

    I (mentally) guessed either Cotton Ease or All Seasons Cotton, but on my monitor the color looked like a dusty lilac color which I haven’t seen in local stores…perhaps Blossom. I’ve washed and dried swatches, which I knit for charity afghans, but I too am looking forward to completing a a CE pullover; mine is nearly half finished. I am an equal opportunity yarn consumer, and I try to do my bit to keep many yarn producers in business ­čÖé .
    Cotton yarn ends do sometimes come loose, so I try to start a new ball at the seam edge, and since CE is a bit heavy, but fairly strong, I split the tails and work them in opposite directions. On items where the the wrong side is not seen, when I trim the tails I leave about a half inch.
    Inspired by you, Wendy, I have resolved to become a more persistant knitter, and also try to limit the number of projects I have on needles.

  50. Catherine67 says:

    You are really great fro knitting Wendy… I have tried doing a small bag but to no avail. I really lack the talent.
    Catherine67┬┤s last blog post ..Natural Remedies For Tinnitus

  51. Your swatch in cotton ease looks good–can hardly wait to see what you think of it. The tool butler is wonderful and I so hope I win it.

  52. Love the gansey! I want to knit myself a big comfy cotton sweater, but I haven’t had the courage yet. I would love to win the Tool Butler, count me in.

  53. I would really like to have a Tool Butler to help me keep all my knitting thingys together.

  54. I’ve been coveting anything and everything by Jordana Paige. The Tool Butler is the bomb!

  55. I love it, I want to have Tool Butler.
    Liz┬┤s last blog post ..How do Cash Advance Payday Loans Work?

  56. I’m betting you won’t love the cotton ease. It hurts my hands, and does not wash and wear very well. I made sweaters for my kids and they look awful after minimal wear.
    Kate┬┤s last blog post ..tasty treat

  57. This past summer I made a lace cover up with a twisted front (pattern is called ‘Cloud’) using Cotton Ease. I liked working with the yarn. Perfect for summer garments.

  58. Have you tried the Knit Wit? It looks like a tiny take along, but is it worth the cost?
    I also love the seed stitch ribbing!

  59. Personally, I love Cotton Ease. The feel is nice in my old country girl working hands – both while I’m knitting and in the finished garments. My favorite thing to make with it is the Tulip Sweater – Dream in Color is hard to come by in my neck of the sticks!