My current work in progress:

Roscalie Cardigan by Alice Starmore, knit from Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift  on a US 3 needle

Reversible Knits

I have another book to review . . .


This is Iris Schreier’s Reversible Knits: Creative Techniques for Knitting Both Sides Right, due out on September 3.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Using knit/purl, two-color, double knitting, cable, lace, and modular knitting methods, Iris creates beautiful shrugs, shawls, scarves, throws, hats, socks, and more.  Some of the items actually have different looks on the front and back while others simply show the same clean, finished fabric throughout.  Iris walks novices through all the essentials, then shares modern adaptations of classic stitches, illuminated by photos of hand-knitted swatches.  As a bonus, there’s a super-handy yarn substitution chart and an appendix with extra variations for advanced knitters.

This book originally came out in hardcover in 2009, I believe — this is the paperback version. I believe some patterns may have been added to this new version as only 23 patterns are listed in Ravelry for the hardcover book.

The book has 24 patterns and it is divided into sections for the different knitting techniques used: one-yarn knit/purl, multi-yarn knit/purl, lace, cables, double knitting, or modular knitting. In addition, there is a chapter on “more techniques to explore” as well basic information about tools, yarns, abbreviations, and general knitting techniques.

The patterns are mostly for wraps, scarves, collars, and hats, as well as one afghan pattern, a wrister/neckwarmer set, and a belt pattern and a headband pattern — a lot of nice variety. And a lot of items that would make very nice holiday gifts.

At the beginning of each of the 6 chapters of projects, the unique techniques used for that chapter are detailed, with lots of clear photos and charts and step-by-step instructions.

The patterns themselves are a nice assortment, ranging from easy beginner knits to more challenging pieces. There is a little something for everyone. Some of my favorites:

The Riff Belt:


La Parisienne Collar:


Courtyard Drape:



Ribbon Candy Scarf:


And the Aegean Wave Afghan:


Who would like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing to win this book, leave a comment on this post by noon on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The Random Number Generator will then select a winner.

The Sparkle Factory Giveaway

The winner of my review copy of The Sparkle Factory by Tarina Tarantino is Patti, who has been emailed.

Knitting Update

I have finished the body of Pomme de Pin. Here it is, thrown hastily over the dress form:


And I have the first sleeve near completion:


More About Loki

There have been a few questions about my new little friend Loki in the comments. For starters, will his color darken with age?

Loki is a lilac point Ragdoll, which is described as follows:

Body color is frosty white. Points are a pale dove grey with pinkish tones to a warmer deep lavender, the dilute pigment permitting the flesh tones to show through. Paw pads and nose leather lavender pink . Lilac point is the dilute of brown (+ the pointed gene) — therefore the dilute version of chocolate point, which is itself a form of dilution – so lilac is a double dilute. It’s the palest of the 4 (seal, chocolate, blue, lilac). Lilac usually takes the longest of those 4 for the color to come in and they stay the lightest in body color.


In my google research I did see one site that said that lilac is the dilute form of blue, but I’ve seen it stated in more places that it is the dilute of chocolate.

I do think his points will darken a bit more over the next couple of years (he is two years old), and his coat will fill out more. In fact, in the short time I’ve had him, there is a noticeable difference in texture and length — it is getting softer and longer. Loki is a retired stud and he was just neutered a couple of months ago. Apparently when Ragdoll kitties are intact, they tend to lose their plush coats seasonally due to their hormones. So I’m looking forward to his beautiful fur filling out as colder weather approaches.


Because he was a breeder, Loki’s focus used to be romancing the girl kitties, so human interaction is less familiar to him. I’m told that retired male breeders can be hard to place as pets because of this. But Loki is adjusting beautifully to his new situation. When I first brought him home, he stayed in “his” room for three days and rarely ventured out. Then there were a few days when I would come home from work and he’d be under the couch, but I could coax him out pretty easily just by talking to him. Now he is waiting by the door for me when I come home from work and is my constant shadow. So much so that every single time I take a shower he sits on the edge of the tub in between the shower curtain and the shower curtain liner and meows at me the whole time. And the last thing I see as I leave home for work in the morning is his desperate little face as I close the front door. But he is getting better about that too — he has learned that I will always come back!


He is still behaving beautifully around my knitting. He always wants to sit next to me instead of in my lap, so that helps. I am careful about not dangling yarn where he will notice it. But I don’t think I can block lace around him. Lucy had been declawed before I adopted her so I had no worries about her clawing my lace. Loki has all his claws and he is very playful. Every night he performs a routine I call “Thunder Kitty” — where he dashes around like a crazed being for fifteen minutes or so. (I’ve experienced this with other kitties so I am sure other pet parents are aware of this phenomenon.) While he is very gentle and does not extend claws when I’m petting or playing with him, all claws are extended and fully functional during Thunder Kitty. I can envision him dashing across a pinned out piece of lace and (unintentionally) ripping it to shreds.

As I mentioned, I have no place with a surface large enough for blocking that I can shut away from an inquisitive kitty. I live in a high-rise condo and while I have a garage, it is a communal garage for the whole building, so garage blocking is out. Someone suggested blocking in the back seat of my car — interesting idea! But I have a Mini Cooper and I have back issues so I’m afraid that is out of the question. So . . . no lace that requires blocking for a while, I think.



  1. This looks like an awesome book. I’m still learning about knitting and am interested in the reversible aspect of knitting.

    Glad Loki is settling in. He’s going to be a real show stopper.

  2. Looks like a fab book, and an fabber furry friend! Thanks for sharing!

  3. It’s odd that lilac would be described as a super dilute brown since his nose is clearly blue. It sounds like one source made a mistake that’s just been repeated.

  4. Thunder Kitty time, I love it! Yarn Rascal goes through something similar in the evening. Any scrap of yarn or innocent knitting project left on any table is doomed.
    maryanne´s last blog post ..Baby Sweater Sizing Standards What You Need To Know Before You Buy A Pattern

  5. Loki looks like a gem!
    Please enter me in the giveaway, too.

  6. Leslie Butler says:

    I love the idea of reversible knits AND I think that Iris Schreirer is great!

  7. Thunder kitty! Yes, my Bocephus has the same type of routinue, but always very late at night.
    And another great give-a-way, sweet.

  8. Glad to hear the bonding is going well.

    I did some double knitting years ago and loved it. I would love to have an opportunity to have this book is luck brings it my way.

    About blocking, I have an idea. It might work. Remember in the 20’s-50’s ( and in some cases now) when quilters had quilting bees. The would have a huge frame for the quilt and then raise it to the ceiling to clear the area when quilting was not done and the space was needed for general living. The would put in a pulley system with round things in the ceiling to put the ropes through to allow to put it up and down. You could block the lace while he was in his room and then raise it up with no access to the cords until it was dry. A bit unusual, but it might work. Mary Bayer

  9. You could go to the building supply store and buy the light weight styrofoam insulation board pin out your lace and then turn it to the wall so kitty can’t get it. It can slide under your bed when not in use.

  10. love the book, block on a wall!

  11. The book looks wonderful! Here’s hoping. Thanks for the update on Loki. It sounds like he is settling in well.

  12. Amanda Rae says:

    Loki is so cute with his liitle toehawks!

  13. Lee Wells says:

    Reversible Knits looks like an interesting book. I like to try new techniques, and small projects are better. The afghan was knit in blue yarns, which is the color range I’d probably use; our family uses a lot of blue (clothes, color schemes, car color, etc.) I’d love to win the drawing. Lee

  14. The book is lovely and Loki is simply adorable.

  15. Reversible knits sounds like a great idea for the book, thanks for the give away.
    About the blocking problem:
    I block on a large board which I can lean against a wall when I am done with pinning. I picture it facing the wall for inquisitive kitties; you only have to keep him away while pinning.
    He sure is beautiful, I’m so glad he has warmed up to you and his new home.

  16. Ah, we call that the Evening Crazies in my house, although our one cat gets her crazies in the morning. Sometimes our cats can sneak around, but during the crazies, their feet pound like a herd of elephants!

    I’m just now catching up on months of blog posts, and would like to offer my condolences about Lucy. I think I knew of Lucy even before I started reading your blog. I know how saddened you must be; she was a wonderful girl!

    Glad to see Loki, though. He has no idea what a wonderful home he’s been adopted into.

  17. My calico likes the shower curtain trick too! She seems to love water, so I sprinkle her with some when I get out of the shower. She’ll meow loudly but doesn’t run so I think that means she likes it!

    Loki’s coloring is just beautiful!
    MicheleinMaine´s last blog post ..Candy Pink Dots LARGE Tote by ThreeBagsFullStudio

  18. We call it the “Feline Five-Hundred” at our house. 🙂 Fingers-crossed for the knitting book. I always enjoy reading your blog, Wendy. Regards . . . . . .

  19. That Riff Belt looks so much like a stretchable metal covered belt of my mom’s that I still have for sentimental reasons! Very vintage by now!

  20. Heather K says:

    I really enjoy your posts and one day my number will come up, LOL.

    Meanwhile I will enjoy seeing your knitting projects – and pictures of Loki. He really looks cute.
    Smiles, Heather

  21. Would love to be picked for the book draw. I enjoy your interweaving of cat and knitting stories.

  22. Kristine M. says:

    Loki is so adorable! I’m so glad he found his forever home.

  23. I would love to try a technique like this. Thanks for the chance.

  24. I wonder…is there enough wall space and blocking wires enough that you could block on the wall and not have too much of a sag? Just a thought…

  25. Margaret Griffin says:

    What a darling kitty. I got my 2 cats from the shelter.
    Thanks, Margaret

  26. For someone who is always up for something new, I think this book would be wonderful…to learn a new technique and have something useful when I am finished is even better.

  27. Laura Iseman says:

    What a lovely kitty Loki is. That book looks great and I would love to win it. 8->

  28. Catherine S. says:

    I’m happy beyond beyond to learn Loki’s settling in well, Wendy. He looks like a little lover. I’ll be interested to see if he’ll become an enormous love-sponge as I’ve known the Raggie boys to be (this can take up to 2 years: patience!). It looks like a match made in heaven. xo

  29. I tried double knitting once but stopped after casting on since I got terribly confused by the directions. I think it’s time to try again so would love to win this book.

    In my house, we call “thunder kitty” behavior “frapping” – frantic random activity period. My fur babies usually scamper about in the middle of the night. All three kitties learned not to touch Mummy’s knitting, yarn, and needles so I usually have a kitty in my lap or next to me as I knit. I’m very lucky. But it takes training. Cats really do love yarn.

    Please continue sharing pictures & updates of Loki. He’s gorgeous!

  30. Would Thunder Kitty like to come and play with Thunder Doggie? Love that manic action–it makes me smile every time I see it. Oh, and yes please, enter me in your drawing. Thanks, Jo

  31. Welcome, Loki! My three kitties say hi!

  32. We used to refer to ” Thunder kitty” as “cats on motorcycles” as they went round and round the room. A common event in cat households. My cats are too old now. And I used to play the “shower curtain game” with my old kitty, Gibby. She would pace up and down the edge of the tub and I would “tickle” the curtain with my finger for her amusement. Loki is a treasure. Thanks for your offer of the book.

  33. Even blocking on a wall might not be safe. I’ve heard of cats jumping up and climbing elaborate wall hung cross stitch tapestries. Worse, they can dislodge or gnaw pins. However, I have heard of quilting frames suspended near the ceiling with pulleys. Something like that might be safe and not too hard to set up.

  34. Alexandra wright says:

    I would love to win this book as I knitting all scarves for as presents tho year. Love Loki!

  35. This book looks very interesting,

    I’m so happy Loki is fitting in! He’s a very handsome fella and the thunder kitty is a common occurrence, lol, I have one who does the same thing along with my shih tzu—-both at the same time everyday! They are hilarious to watch!

  36. Reversible knitting is so cool!

    As for the blocking, could you do it at the office? Maybe use a conference room table on the weekend, or even during the week if there’s an empty room with nothing scheduled for a few days?

  37. Loki is just absolutely beautiful and looks like he’s settling into his new life so very well. Shows what a good new home he has.

    So here’s what I do for lace blocking as I can’t block around the dogs, I have these rubber mats I block on that lock together. So I pin it out on the floor, or use the bed, then I can pick up the mats (since they lock together like puzzle pieces) and lean them against a wall (vertical), and then I put a chair or two in front of it, or put it behind the couch. Works well. So when you get the lace urge back, maybe that might be an option.
    Rebekah´s last blog post ..Introducing Gertrude….or Gertie for Short

  38. Cold weather is coming. A warm double-knit would be perfect for knitting now. I would like the book!

  39. The book looks super interesting! I’m just learning about 2 sided knitting & it’s so much fun.

    Loki sounds like he’s settling in very nicely. What a gorgeous cat! He’s one lucky ‘fur man’ to have such a lovely mamma.

  40. I would love to win the book. I have made one of her patterns before. Loki is so cute and so lucky to have found a home with you.

  41. Annie May says:

    I’d love to win this book on reversible knitting!

  42. Mary E Osborne says:

    Thanks for opportunity at the book!

    My kitties, one 11 and one 10, also do the “thunder kitty workout”… usually their tails become HUGE and they run around like idiots! Oftentimes this coincides with sniffing catnip toys… but not always. Loki is too sweet! luv.m.

  43. I know what you mean about Thunder Kitty! Great name for the phenomena.


  44. Would love to win a this book.

  45. I have a cat who also loves “Thunder Kitty” as well as pulling up my pinning needles. I’ve found that laying a blanket over my blocking has helped tremendously. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment for years, and was able to block in the living room without too many issues. Hopefully you can do this as well!

  46. Cute kitty! I sure miss them, but my sweetie is allergic. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through yours.

    Oh, and the book would be awesome! That collar looks really cool!

  47. My youngest cat Buster gets what I call the night crazies.

    Fascinating book, especially the Aegean Sea. I am of Greek heritage so enjoy any nod to Greece.

  48. PS – Is it just me or does it look like Katherine Heigl is modeling the Ribbon Candy Scarf?

  49. Looking forward to the adventures of Thunder Kitty and possibly winning the book!

  50. Reversible Knits looks like fun. And so does Loki.

  51. Barbara H says:

    The book sounds really cool! I like “Thunder Kitty” I may borrow that!

  52. I enjoy reading about Loki and how he is settling into his new routine. I look forward to reading your blog. I admire your knitting and I appreciate your comments about the process. I have made two scarfs that look good from either side and I think that it is a great concept.

  53. Handsome boy! I know of two other cats named Loki so it’s a popular cat name, too.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Rhinebeck 2012

  54. Mary Saba says:

    Re. blocking with rambuncious kitties: I lay a sheet or banket over the blocking lace weighted down at the corners with book piles to keep it ‘tight’. This way if they run or sleep on it at least they dont get claws into the knitting. I also put my kitchen chairs around the blocking to interrupt their ‘run’ space. The chairs have become a new game of over/under kitty but the blocking is still safe..

  55. Thanks for the info on Loki. My daughter is lucky enough to be getting a Ragdoll from a family that has to part with him. From photos, he’s gorgeous and has dark points with white paws and blue eyes but he’s 6 now. I’m looking forward to hosting them both during Christmas break.
    our dog has a night time activity we call Tzamanian Dog, going nuts racing around until she ties her self out.

  56. (Not That) Joan says:

    For blocking your lace- can you sequester the table in the conference room? 🙂

  57. Loki is adorable! I recently adopted a 10-month-old kitten and am now a cat owner after a 35-year catless existence. Tilly TabbyCat has effectively settled into my life and has nearly completed training me. 🙂
    Cricket54´s last blog post ..August Already?

  58. I’m always fascinated with the beautiful fabric. What a beautiful collection.
    Great book review by the way.

    Kelly of KZ Audio Video


  1. […] Book review: Reversible Knits. […]