My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Knits That Breathe

A couple of weeks ago I was sent an advance copy of Knits That Breathe: 12 Breezy Projects To Keep You Cool by Julie Turjoman.


While the hard copy is not due out until next month, the electronic version (which is what I received) is available now.

I think this book is a great idea. The author had me with the first paragraph in her introduction:

The light bulb clicked on for me at one of the many fiber industry events I attend each year. The event convention center seemed to echo with knitters bemoaning the fact that, for a variety of reasons, they could no longer wear their warm and woolly sweaters. Frustration dripped from their voices as perspiration beaded their foreheads, because they suffered from Itchy Wool Syndrome, Acute Tropical Climatitis, or that midlife condition for which time is the only sure antidote, Variable Personal Thermostatosis (known to the rest of the world as ‘hot flashes’).

So Julie came up with 12 patterns for garments that will be cool and comfortable for those of us who suffer from any of those conditions mentioned above.  There are tunics, tees, cardigans, shrugs, and tanks knit from cotton, linen, and bamboo, as well as from some of the modern fibers derived from soy, milk, Tencel™, Outlast®, and SeaCell®.

There is a great chart in the front of the book that lists 9 different “cool” fibers along with descriptions of their elasticity and hand, how well they take dye, how good they are at wicking away moisture, how well they breathe,  how strong they are ,and more.

The patterns all come in a nice size range., going down to a 31″ chest measurement for one pattern and up to 71.25″ in one case, with lots of options in-between. you can view photos of all the patterns on Ravelry, here.

My favorites:


This is “Iced Frappuccino” and it is knit from a DK weight unknown-to-me yarn: Kollage Milky Whey, a blend of milk and soy.


This is Sirena, knit from Handmaiden Flaxen, another DW weightyarn I’ve not yet had the pleasure to knit, this one a silk/linen blend.


And Haven, knit from Berroco Linsey, a worsted weight cotton/linen blend.

I have been authorized to give away a copy of the electronic version of this book. Who’d like it?

To enter the drawing to receive an electronic copy of Knits That Breathe, please leave a comment on this post by 11:00am Eastern time, Sunday,  May 11, 2014. The Random Number Generator will at that time select a winner.

Summer Mystery Shawl

A number of you have asked me here and on Ravelry if I plan to do another mystery shawl knit-along this summer.  I’ve given it some thought and decided that, yes, I’m up for it. 🙂

I will be starting it later than I usually do because I have a knitting deadline coming up soon (cue mysterious music here) so will not be able to start work on the mystery design until after that is completed. so watch this space (and the WendyKnits Ravelry group) for the KAL announcement. I’m thinking we’ll start in July, but that date has not yet been nailed down.

Current WIP

Despite many distractions (and unfortunately most of them not pleasant) I am making progress on my second Foolproof cowl:


I am close to done with one side. I will reverse the colors in the striping on the other side.


Loki can’t come to the blog right now. He says he is busy.



  1. Philhellene says:

    What acool idea! Light knits for the summer, yes please!

  2. Corinne in CA says:

    That was Loki’s funniest comment so far!

    I am so allergic to most animal fibers that this book really seems to be written for me.

    Hoping this book becomes a belated birthday present, since today is my birthday. (Hints to the random number generator.)

  3. Lynne in Florida says:

    BETCHA this one goes to a Canadian, probably one living in northern Alberta. Loki certainly is working hard!

  4. Ladyoga says:

    I really love this book. So pretty patterns !!!

  5. Sharon Gibbs says:

    What a fabulous idea!!!! Love it 🙂 Would love an electronic copy.

  6. Those are some beautiful ideas for summer knits. Hope I win! 🙂 My cat has the same schedule as Loki. 🙂

  7. JulieG says:

    Hope everything is OK

  8. Michelle says:

    Beautiful patterns! Those would be great knits here in already hot Texas.

  9. Perfect projects for idle time during the summer in southern Virginia…..

  10. Jennifer says:

    Yay! Summer Mystery Shawl!

  11. Such pretty patterns! Thanks for the chance to snag a copy!!

  12. Looks like a great book! Love your WIP and the upside down Loki;))

  13. Patricia says:

    I would love to win the book, really a good idea for lighter garments. Happy belated birthday Loki!

  14. Yes, please–perfect for steamy Midwest summer weather 🙂

  15. OK, this is a book that sounds really good to me. Thanks!

  16. Gretchen says:

    Oh, that book sounds great. I work in an arts & crafts store, and we have temperature sensitive beads that are quite lovely. However, I call them menopause beads instead of “mood” beads. (They immediately turn purple in my hands!)

  17. Venice Smith says:

    I live in Florida so the idea of an entire book devoted to breathable garments sounds heavenly. For once I could actually knit something for myself instead of items earmarked for my Northern friends and relatives!

  18. Karina Bates says:

    Thank you, again, for offering books like these. Lovely pictures, many of them look great for the upcoming warm months. I’d love a copy!

  19. Jeri W says:

    I’m not interested in the book, although the patterns look lovely. I just always tune in to your blog to see what you’re working on and for Loki pics. 🙂 Peace.

  20. Gina Zahra says:

    I hope to be able to do the mystery shawl this year 🙂

  21. Stardancer says:

    Ooh, love the patterns. I think my favorite is the Flutterbye tunic. But I’d value the book just as much for the breakdown of “cool” fibers. I live in Florida and most definitely suffer from Acute Tropical Climatitis.

  22. This is my kind of sweater book. I haven’t hit that “time of life” yet. But I am always hot! Would love to win a copy 🙂

  23. Some lovely projects for summer knitting. Would love a copy of the book.

  24. Debbie says:

    Oh, this book would be a great one to own! Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. More fun projects to add to the queue I see!

    (I got all excited because the MN Knitters Guild is having guest Speaker Wendy Johnson come in to talk about spinning, I thought it was YOU for a bit until I did some more research, imagine my disappointment!)

  26. Linda T says:

    Ooh. Such breezy inviting knits to welcome summer. They are all lovely!

  27. Gloria says:

    Yes, please. I’d like that book. Texas is only cool enough for wool about 2 months of the year, so cooler fibers are great. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Tina_R says:

    Being a “desert rat” I say yipee! finally some knits with desert dwellers in mind. That also, can be worn year round and won’t have to be put away 9 months out of the year!!

  29. I absolutely love this book idea! I live in St. Louis, MO, where the summers are so hot and humid you barely want to wear any clothing at all! (Except, of course, I think people would frown on going out naked.) 🙂

  30. Soxy Jane says:

    I’d love to have the book! I’ve got that “variable personal theromastatosis” problem and cool summer knits would be great.
    The cowl looks neat – long enough not to be a problem for us with variable personal thermostatosis!

  31. Book sounds great, and every picture of Loki makes me hate my cat allergy even more. 🙂

  32. Pauline S. says:

    Living in San Diego, I KNOW I can use this book! (Love the colors on your second Foolproof, too!)

  33. We’ve officially moved into Muggy Season here, and my handyman/hubby is not going to be able to install the air conditioners until he gets his doctor’s release. So, yeah, I’d love to have this book! I’m generally not a big fan of cotton alone, but some of the newer blends are quite nice. Thanks for the offer! AnnBan on Rav
    CeltChick´s last blog post ..Home again, home again

  34. Celeste says:

    Another great give-a-way!

  35. Love the patterns in the book, I’ve never knit anything summery for myself, this could be just the push I need to start something for myself. Loki’s idea of busy is my idea of busy!

  36. Jessica says:

    I would love to knit some of these tops!! Thank you for the chance to win the ebook!!

  37. MizMelly says:

    Now that is one relaxed cat! Heh, living in the valley of the blazing sun (Phoenix area), I can relate to never being able to wear knits more than a week or two in the middle of winter! Cool and breezy is what I crave!

  38. Lee Long says:

    Cool ebook. Pun intended. Lol.

  39. I will be in Houston in July so the timing is perfect for a ‘cool knit’!

  40. I’m one of those VPT people. Winter or Summer, I need cool clothing.

  41. These look lovely, and very doable.

  42. I live in New Orleans so most of what I knit is designed for hot weather. This book would be great here.

  43. Your foolproof is looking nice. I’m about the same point as that on the one I started after seeing the first one you posted. Thank you for sharing such a fun pattern! I can see a second one happening at my casa too.
    That book is interesting, and probably long overdue. As a sufferer of “Acute Tropical Climatitis,” I know full well the frustration of not being able to wear all of my hand knits anymore.

    Love & pets to Loki, too.

  44. Ooh, this is exactly what we need down here in the already-sweltering South Carolina.

  45. Roseanne says:

    Yes!!!! I need patterns for my thermonuclear moments!

  46. Being a “woman of a certain age” i could certainly use all these patterns. Thank you for hosting this giveaway>

  47. Heather K says:

    Cool! Just in case we get a summer this year, LOL.
    Love the tees, and Loki is as cute as ever.

  48. Such a great idea for a book.
    Leslie´s last blog post ..Another Divided Basket

  49. Cheryl says:

    Since my personal thermostat is usually malfunctioning and I live in FL I think I could really use this book!

  50. I just love all your Loki comments and pictures! Thanks for chance to win the book. And I will wait impatiently for the news of your summer KAL.

  51. Wendy P. says:

    Love the Iced Frappuccino!

  52. Rachel Mitchell says:

    This would come in very handy for the hot, sultry days of July and August up here on the North Coast! Nice patterns! And Loki is adorable! 🙂

  53. YAY! I am so glad to see that you are going to do a Mystery Shawl again this year!

  54. Knits that breath, well you had me at the title, always searching for some patterns suitable for warmer weather and hot flashes *grin*
    And Yay for the KAL! Love the cowl and the colors! I recently have been having a brighter is better period!
    vicki´s last blog post ..Spring Dyeing

  55. Heidi (LunaKitty) says:

    Woohoo!!!!! Another Mystery Shawl!!!! Thanks, Wendy!

  56. MIchelle B. says:

    I love the idea of these cool weather knits!

  57. Rachel says:

    As a sufferer of itchy wool syndrome mixed with eczema, I would love a copy

  58. Veronica says:

    I would love to win a copy! I can relate to all of the reasons above. 🙂

  59. Maureen J says:

    Just what this Southern Californian needs!

  60. Love the idea of the book

  61. Kathy in Alaska says:

    What a great idea! Even in Alaska, the wearing of warm woolens is not without its hazards. Thanks for a chance to win! And best regards to you and Loki from Rocky and me.

  62. Love, love, love it

  63. As a woman of “that”age, this book speaks to me. Loki’s throat looks so cuddly. I’d like to bury my nose in it and breathe in the happy kitty smell.
    Susan´s last blog post ..and now it’s summer

  64. This is such a very clever and overdue idea. It is about time!
    Janelle Serio´s last blog post ..Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

  65. That sounds like the answer to prayers! I could really used that book!

  66. Camille says:

    Love the book! Would be perfect for those of us that are experiencing those temperature shifts!

  67. Marlene Gerhard says:

    Would love some new summer knitting projects. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

  68. I love the Haven top! Sign me up!
    I’m JLCherry33 on rav.

  69. Loki is really good at ,setting limits.– he’d probably get along well with my dachsies! Count me in, and thank you for the drawing!

  70. I agree with you–that first paragraph from the author totally grabbed me. So nice to see some beautiful cool knits for those of us who get itchy and twitchy when we wear wool!

  71. I have some Lindsey in my stash just waiting to become that top! I hope whoever wins it treasures it!

  72. I am interested to see if there really are knits I could wear in hot weather, having been seduced by too many short-sleeved tops in DK weight cotton that are just too sweaty…
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Random rant about knitting patterns

  73. Janice Lavoie says:

    This book looks awesome. Please pick me!

  74. Kristine M. says:

    Sirena is beautiful. I usually change at least yarn colors when I knit something but I love how the ice blue looks with the pattern. And Loki looks so comfy!

  75. Acute Variable Personal Thermostatosis. I get it. I’d love to be knitting garments again.

  76. Rosane says:

    There are some nice designs in the book. My favorite right now is also one of your favorites: Iced Frappucino. I would also love an iced frapp to drink. 🙂

  77. technikat says:

    The book sounds like a great idea. I’m always going to Stitches in the summer and can’t wear any of my knits to “show off”.

  78. Margaret G says:

    I’m very excited about the KAL.

  79. Bridgette W says:

    Those are gorgeous! I’d love a copy of the book.

  80. Michelle Donohue says:

    Thanks for a chance to win this e-book! I love the idea of light summer sweaters and also the information about what fibers are good for summer, or for those of us beginning the personal weather phase. Yikes – I wear tank tops in the winter. It’s just not right.

  81. MizMelly says:

    Huh. I posted yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared! Anyway, love that crazy relaxed kitty! And living in AZ means that we have 6 months of HOT, and an average of 109 days of temps 100 degrees or higher. A/C is our friend…..

  82. Looks like a great book. I’d love a copy.

  83. This book would be really fun to have, and I’m not even experiencing hot flashes (yet).
    BTW, Loki inspired me to adopt my own fluffy white kitty. He’s a Turkish Van, older, and declawed. Hooray for white fluffy cats and for lint rollers. 🙂

  84. Living in toasty So Cal this book would offer me some perfect knitting and wearing alternatives.

  85. I need this book, and if I don’t win it, I will certainly buy it. I am going on a cross country yarn crawl and will be looking for some of the yarns you mention.

  86. Chris Reeske says:

    Okay, living in So. Calif. I’ve been looking for lighter weight , breathable garments. So even if I don’t win, I’ll probably buy this one.
    I hope the summer mystery KAL happens, I liked last years so much I’m doing a second one right now for a gift.

  87. Dorothy in Kentucky says:

    Oh! I that Loki. Such a delightful boy indeed. That book looks wonderful. I do not handle heat very well at all. Thanks again for sharing.

  88. ooh. those outfits look wonderful…my fingers are itching

  89. MonstaOriginals says:

    I’m excited to hear that you will have another MKAL this summer! I love the sweaters shown. Loose and comfy, but stylish. I know this is a book I need.
    Also, Loki is adorable.

  90. Melissa says:

    I have a broken thermostat due to nerve damage. I must get this book. I think I’ll give myself the yarn for one of these projects for a present.

  91. Living in Humuggidy City, I could certainly use cooler clothes. Temperature wise or figuratively.
    nance´s last blog post ..Playing Mad Scientist with unexpected results

  92. Ildiko says:

    Finally a book to keep me knitting through the summer months. Would love a copy.

  93. Mary Anne says:

    What a great way to welcome the approaching summer!

  94. Kamilla Mazanec says:

    Those sweaters look perfect for our hot summers.

  95. Linen and lace, lovely designs, and most of them nearly seamless. Many are knit in the round, or one piece, and the openwork will work up quickly too. Saw the patterns on Ravelry, and I’m in love with Iced Frappuccino, Still Waters and Zephyr. Can’t wear wool much here in the southwest. Non-wool fibers behave different from wool, and I’m thrilled that Julie Turjoman’s book teaches how to use them. Excited for a book of cool wearables. The entire book looks like a joy. Would love a copy! Love your socks, Wendy. And thanks for offering the drawing!
    Kolleen´s last blog post ..Knits That Breathe

  96. Denise in Ohio says:

    Oo, oo! I have Variable Personal Thermostatosis myself. I’d LOVE a copy of the book. Count me in, please.

  97. Annie May says:

    Please pick me, I’m having a hot flash right now and could use these knit patterns!

  98. Add me in, I like Iced Frappuccino Sleeveless and A line, just the thing

  99. Sounds like a great book!