My current work in progress:

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


Needle Love

I am making some progress on my second Bernadette:

As I mentioned before, I am knitting this on a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle — a size that I have been using a lot lately. All of these fingering weight garter stitch shawls/wraps/scarves I am making have used this needle.

I’ve been knitting with my 24″ Signature Needle Arts stiletto point size 3.  Because these pieces are knit sideways, 24″ is more than long enough. In fact, I’ve been finding it too long. Because I have more sideways shawls in fingering weight yarn planned, I decided to get a shorter needle: a 20-incher.

For the 20″ needle, you need to get the 4″ needle tip (my 24″ needle has a 5″ needle tip), otherwise the cord is too short to easily maneuver.

As soon as I got my needle, I transferred my work-in-progress to it:

Much better! The 20″ needle is just right for working my sideways designs.

Just for fun, I had the needle monogrammed:

Did you know you have that option with the Signature Needle Arts needles? Very cool!

I’m just a bit over halfway done with this piece.

Blog Comments

There were a couple of comments on my last post that I decided to answer publicly. (Often I will email a response to a commenter.) First one:

Love Bernadette. Can it be made deeper in the back?

Good question! All of these sideways shawls that I have been making can easily be made deeper (or shallower). Or longer or shorter for that matter.


Could you publish a version of this that is not garter stitch but stockinette?

I could, but I won’t. This design would not work very well in stockinette. It’s the combination of garter stitch and short rows that gives the piece its character and drape.

And another:

. . . in an earlier post you didn’t seem to care for wollmeise (it was sock yarn)…saying it was string like, splitty, and liked to twist on itsel…though you loved the colors. Having never scored any of this yarn for myself…I don’t have an opinion. Has your opinion changed? If so what changed it? Is it worth trying to figure out how to best get on Sherry’s “good side” so she takes pity on my wollmeise poverty?

I vaguely remember the post to which this commenter refers. I think it was about my first experience with Wollmeise. It did seem string-like and was a bit splitty and it does tend to twist on itself. Yes, string-like while knitting (compared to a lot of the soft merino yarns I am used to), but it blooms beautifully when it is washed and blocked. Lately I’ve been having no trouble with splittyness, but I do use very pointy needles. Yes, it does tend to twist on itself a bit, but that is not a deal-breaker for me. The bottom line — it is lovely yarn with fabulous colors and I am happy to knit with it.

As far as getting on anyone’s “good side” to acquire it, you do know that the Wollmeise online shop is updated every week at a specific time, right? (Google “Wollmeise shop” to find it — there’s a version in English that tells you everything you need to know, and you can pay using paypal.) I’ve never had any trouble buying yarn directly from the Wollmeise online shop. Also, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe gets Wollmeise from time to time as well. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Ravelry to get notified when she has put some Wollmeise up for sale. And there is plenty of Wollmeise to be had via Ravelry de-stash, most of it at pretty reasonable prices.

This segues into another comment, excerpted here:

 . . . Why oh why do you very public knitters use Wollmeise in test or other knitting. It will just start another round of maniacal buying and people complaining about not being able to buy it. Claudia does not need any more business and there are untold numbers of indie dyers in Canada and the United States who could benefit from increased business . . .

Well, I can only speak for myself, not for other “very public knitters.” I took inventory. I have 219 designs listed on Ravelry. Only four of them are knit with Wollmeise. This comment reminds me of one I received 6 or 7 years ago in response to my saying in my blog that I was planning to knit from my stash for a while. That commenter declared that I’d single-handedly bring down the yarn industry and there would be “blood on my hands.” Well, that never happened. And I very much doubt that my knitting something with Wollmeise will cause an international frenzy.

I am knitting this design for the second time — the first time I used Kauni. (Kauni is not a North American yarn either, so I am surprised that I was not taken to task by the commenter for using it as well.)

In my books I used yarns that are widely available. The publisher, quite reasonably, demanded this.

But this blog is my own little empire, my personal space. I am not working for a yarn company or publisher here. I am working here as an “indie designer” and I am free to use whatever yarn strikes my fancy for whatever I happen to be knitting. And just as important — you are free to use whatever yarn you choose. Just as you are free to ignore my patterns (or laugh at them). If you want to support designers who use yarn from North American indie dyers only, I encourage you to do so. There are many many beautiful yarns out there. Use whatever yarn you want. And knit whatever you want. And I’ll do the same.

Lucy sez:

“I thought this was my blog.”


  1. Ignore the negative commenters. I rarely ever use the yarn that is recommended. I usually just pick another weight that is the same unless it is clothing. Then I swatch. I, personally, enjoy all your designs in which ever yarn that you choose.
    Hev´s last blog post ..Yarn Porn *shudders*

  2. Your house, your rules. Or rather, Lucy’s house, Lucy’s rules!
    pdxknitterati/MicheleLB´s last blog post ..Eeek! Steeks! 3KCBWDay6

  3. PS: I love that you can and did have your needle personalized!
    pdxknitterati/MicheleLB´s last blog post ..Eeek! Steeks! 3KCBWDay6

  4. Samina says:

    I remember the kerfluffle from back when you said you’d knit from stash. Thanks for reminding me about that & giving me my laugh for the day! How do you like the shorter needle tips? I’ve got some shorter Addis, including the first set of lace needles with the 4″ tips. I’m not terribly crazy about them & I have pretty small hands. It takes me a while to get comfortable with them & I always feel like I don’t have quite enough tip to grip. So much so, that I bought a set of the new lace needles with the longer tips.

  5. lyndahitt says:

    I think you can knit whatever you want to with whatever yarn you want to use. Wouldn’t it be great if you actually had as much power as the naysayers think you do? Think of all of the good (or evil) you could do.
    Will I see you this weekend? I miss your face!

  6. Nicola says:

    Samina, I also have trouble with 4″ tips, and only use them when nothing else will do.

    Re the Wollmeise, sheesh some people. Lucy it is your blog and you have every right to tell your momma what to knit with. The rest of us, not.

  7. I find it weird that people try to make you responsible for their choices, or their perceived choices of “the masses”.
    Knit what makes you happy. Supporting local yarn suppliers makes some people happy, and buying their balls in a Jo-Anns or similar chain others. There is no one, no right way.
    That being said, thank you for many wonderful designs – which I might or might not knit in the yarns you suggest. Or in something else. Just as fancy strikes ;D
    Koko´s last blog post ..Chevron scarf

  8. It is your blog, Lucy. Don’t you always get the beauty shots? See!
    Barbara-Kay´s last blog post ..A magnificent cat

  9. I agree that we all should knit what we want with what we want. I’m knitting from stash and did the same most of last year. Every time I see the stash I think of all the support I’ve already given to knitting and knitting-related businesses.

    For every person who doesn’t buy yarn there’s always another to to take your place.
    Beverly´s last blog post ..The Road to Recovery

  10. beth bentley says:

    I love the fact that you have an empire and I am proud to be one of your subjects !!!

  11. Kate B says:

    Ummm, I thought this was Lucy’s little empire?

  12. Thx for the comments to your blog comments…! Fun for me to read anyway. I love the colorway of this Bernadette, should end up being just a beautiful shawl!

  13. I finished my Double Fun Scarf last Friday. It’s the first design in a long time that I have knit in the yarn suggested by the designer (right down to the same colorway, no less!).

    I personally am glad that you use some more unusual yarns in your blog patterns. They certainly show off your designs well. I also get good ideas for some of the indie yarns I have in my stash (the ones I bought because they were too beautiful to resist, but with no idea what I would knit with them).

    Since I have many, many pairs of socks, your current focus on shawlettes and scarves from single skeins of fingering weight yarn is especially inspiring.
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Spring fever

  14. fleegle says:

    Love your comments on the comments 🙂 You rule!

  15. Mary Pat says:

    I feel so vindicated; not even Wendy can please all the people all the time!

  16. I consider it a challenge to use up some of my stash on a pattern, especially since my stash constitutes a big investment in the yarn trade.
    Chris Reeske´s last blog post ..Value in color schemes for quilts

  17. Lucy rules!!!!! Wendy you knit with whatever Lucy says to use. You go girl.

  18. Oh, Lucy, it is your blog, poor Wendy just doesn’t know it. =;} Wendy, Thanks for this post. I found it interesting that people think you control the world ~~ however I do think you rock and I just bought yarn from two indie spinners/dyers to make several of your lace projects (the book) and one of your sideways, but also thinking of doing this last one. Thanks for writing an interesting and informative blog (and good books).
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..Waiting Room Time

  19. Sometimes you just get sick of hearing the whining. So, what I hear you saying is, “Bite me”. Love.

  20. catspaw says:

    You go!

  21. Empress Wendy: happy to belong to your kingdom…….diversity and all that jazz is what makes the world go round…….hi to Ian………opinions are just views of the world a person lives in……..some are very, very small worlds!!

  22. Yo Wendeleh – I know you love Signature Needles (and who doesn’t?) but, may I put in a plug for my new absolute fave pointy wooden circs? Dreamz! they come in all sizes (I mean ALL) and have great cords and lovely joins … and they’re different colors for different sizes, and they’re really at the opposite end of the price spectrum – if you haven’t been able to try some yet, I suggest that you do – and no, I have no interest in the company – just fondly remember when I turned you on to SNAs ;o)

  23. ROTFLMAO – I love the look you caught on Lucy’s face!!!
    Yarn.devil´s last blog post ..Gym Finale!

  24. patricia says:

    And your crown didn’t even wiggle- such poise!

    I like the way the shawl has the bit of ‘flashing’ in between stripey sections. My Baktus did the same thing, and it flashed on the opposite end,same place, same width.Great conversation piece!

    Another happy subject in your empire!.

  25. It is because of your blog, books and patterns that I have branched out and tried yarns I would not have tried before. Kauni was “ohhh, pretty…too pretty for me to risk trying”…but I did because I loved how it knitted up in one of your patterns. It was the same for Wollmeise…”too pretty to risk knitting with”. A pattern for a beautiful pair of socks quickly changed my mind.

    Thank you for encouraging me and making me want to try new yarns and new patterns (I really can knit shawls, socks and sweaters!!) and go beyond my comfort zone.

    Oh.My.Gosh…Wollmeise on Signature needles is just heavenly…almost as delightful as a catnip-filled mouse is to Lucy! 🙂
    Ezara´s last blog post ..I Sense My Mojo is Near…

  26. It IS Lucy’s blog. She has a fair point. It’s just nice that she lets you share it, don’t you think? (Can you tell I’m also owned by cats?!)

  27. OH my god I wish people would get a grip. I love what you do and enjoy your blog I say bollocks to the others.

  28. Gayle Joseph says:

    GREAT comments Wendy–some people are unbelievable. Cannot wait for Bernedette!

  29. Don’t I recall someone who wanted you to make all of your patterns free?

    Oh, and don’t tell Lucy that it isn’t really her blog. No telling what she might do.

  30. Your personalized needles are awesome. I didn’t know you could do that. I just use whatever yarn I want as well. Sometimes even my own handspun.
    brandi´s last blog post ..Oh The Fiber – Lincoln wool

  31. well said wendy… your blog and your designs. never even occurs to me that i have to use the yarn you use =)
    oh. and i love that cat!

  32. I’ve been a bad assed knitter for years due to your influence, Wendy. If I want to knit in a different yarn or change something and can accomplish it without ruining the project I do – all because Wendy said years ago — (or was it EZ? or was it Lucy Neatby? or was it Lucy vonRagdoll?) that I could and should.

    And I would like to publicly thank Lucy for letting you put your knitting projects on her blog.

  33. Leslie F says:

    A little on-line publicity never hurts anyone. However, as you so aptly put it, each knitter can decide what yarn they wish to use on each pattern.

    That being said, I did read a statistic some time ago that roughly 70% of people doing a “published” pattern (was based on those in magazines and leaflets) not only did the same yarn…but the same color!!! And that is actually kind of sad.

  34. You are truly creative, this is what talent real is… Very creative ideas that inspire me to do it the same…
    Athena´s last blog post ..drain clearing

  35. I love how some of the pooling on the shawl does look like peacock feathers.
    Molly By Golly´s last blog post ..House 😀

  36. Well said in the last paragraph!

  37. Therese says:

    Honestly, the number of people who follow your postings AND lockstep into a particular yarn are not going to crash the market either way! Calm down everyone! It may even lead to some stash trading on Ravelry and be a good thing for the crammed closets of the world. I always appreciate a knitter’s opinion of a yarn and find that it may not even be consistent, depending on the project. It is all good information folks….and there is plenty to learn.

  38. Don’t we all know it Lucy! It is indeed your blog, you have your servant trained well.

  39. Sometimes folks seem to think email is permission to be rude. In a blog you should be able to say what you think, when you think it, when you want too. And “iffen they don like it they can stop readin’:……….. however I think it is always great fun to see what others come up with and especially fun to see how different things look. Such joy! Enjoy. Thanks for the fun.

  40. Go Wendy!
    Samantha´s last blog post ..Baby’s First Surprise

  41. Gisselle says:

    Having this kind of talent is exceptional.. I guess there are a lot of people that would be very inspired because of this..
    Gisselle´s last blog post ..How To Stop Panic Attacks

  42. Gilbert says:

    Seeing this post reminds me of my mom, who was really into knitting. My sister also got hooked in it.
    Gilbert´s last blog post good is learn and master dance

  43. Leonard says:

    Wow that was nice. I love the design, and I know it’s so hard to do that stuff,
    Leonard´s last blog post ..Ionic Smokeless Ashtray Filters at Walmart

  44. I love Donna’s comment – two fingers to the naysayers.

    I love your blog, please continue to do what you are doing, it’s incredibly inspiring, free will, free choice ! I’m really loving the peacock colourway, I’m looking forward to buying this pattern!


  45. Louise in Maryland says:

    Isn’t it cool to know you are the center of the whole entire universe and personally responsible for the fortune of yarn suppliers everywhere? I remember the dumb-ass comments about your yarn diet – I had put myself on one at the same time as part of an over-all money spending diet. I’m still trying to at least buy a little less yarn than I use to work the stash down to what I’ll be able to knit in my lifetime. This policy may change if any of my children take up knitting or crochet. And I fear some sort of fit may overtake me on Sunday at Sheep-n-Wool. These things happen.

  46. Shalani says:

    This creative talents is absolutely great, how I wish I can create such like this…
    Shalani´s last blog post ..Tips To Lose Weight With HCG And Feel Great!

  47. Love you Wendy. And Lucy too! 🙂

  48. Venice says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t read it. My suggestion to those who are critical is that they simply DON’T read it. You are creative and very generous. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide.