My current work in progress:

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


Current WIP

Here is what I’m working on right now:

Toorie Cardigan

This is “Toorie,” a design by Martin Storey that appears in Rowan 65. It’ worked from Rowan Felted Tweed in seven colors.

It is stranded colorwork and is worked in pieces and then seamed. While that is not the optimal way to do colorwork (because doing stranded colorwork on the purl side can be challenging) it is heavier than fingering weight, so I appreciate that it is worked and pieces and seamed. The resulting cardi will hang and fit much better.

I will spare you my rant about the plethora of seamless sweaters in ALL WEIGHTS of yarn that are popping up on Ravelry. In my opinion, designers are too concerned with ease of knitting versus look and fit of the garment. (Oh look, I ranted a little after all.)

Rowan 65 is full of beautiful sweaters that are for the most part knit in pieces and seamed and that makes me very happy. I have learned my lesson and will stay away from seamless sweaters (I’m looking at you, Comfort Fade Cardi) that are a big sloppy mess when I attempt to wear them. As far as I’m concerned, the only good reason to knit a sweater in the round is when you are working fingering weight stranded colorwork. My opinion. Your mileage may vary.


Here is the completed back:

And here is the left front:

I’m working on the right front right now.

And Loki is enjoying his little couch!


  1. GeniaKnit says:

    As always, the sweater and your comments on knitting it are awesome, but the sweet pic of your little Loki is definitely the frosting on the cake.

  2. Stephanie says:

    You are spot on about seamed sweaters, Wendy! Don’t step off of your soapbox–new knitters need to hear an experienced knitter say this. If you spend time and money knitting the sweater, what’s a little more time for seaming. I have come to really enjoy that part of the process–and it is not difficult–at all. Not sure why people are scared of it. Thanks for sharing your insight–and all of your knitting!

  3. Can’t wait to see it finished!

  4. patricia says:

    Bunnies and shrooms–almost as sure as Loki!

  5. Lynn in Tucson says:

    And I am hating the giant step backwards with all of the “drop shoulder” sweaters coming back from the 80’s. They didn’t fit well then, and they don’t fit well now. I took a class with Kristin Nichols from Classic Elite and she said they designed those patterns because it did away with phone calls from knitters who didn’t know how to decrease in pattern at the armholes. They were a small enough company they couldn’t afford to have one person dedicated to answering questions.

    Totally love seeing your projects. I want to knit like you when I grow up. Although I’m currently older than you are.

  6. Mamased says:

    Hear, hear (or is it here, here! ?) for sweaters in pieces! You start out straight and even, becoming accustomed the yarn/needles/pattern as you move up the body, then graduate to the complexity of shaping shoulders, sleeves, necklines. The seeming is the celebration of all your careful work, as a sweater! emerges in finished form.

  7. What a beautiful sweater – and bunnies….just in time for Easter. Love your work and comments, Wendy.

  8. I love this sweater and I love the kitty couch.

    The sweater reminds me in a general way of a French pattern I saw on Pinterest. Shape was almost a swing coat and the motifs were country -oriented. I’m more likely to tackle yours, though, because the French one only had charts. I’ve looked everywhere for more detail. Anyway, yours is great.

  9. I’m glad you commented on seaming and knitting in pieces. Took a class with Sally Melville a few years back and she said those top down all in one garments hardly fit anyone well. She advised against those patterns for the most part. I have stayed away. You can always count on Rowan for great classic patterns. Your fair isle with bunnies is stunning. Your work is stunning. I don’t often comment but always look forward to your post and the dear sweet Loki photos. Cheers and cherry blossoms to you! Mel

  10. Very interesting and seasonal! I’d love to see the back of the work at some point.

  11. Can you please share in another post how you deal with challenge of the purl side of stranded colorwork that you referred to in this post? I’m not as experienced in this area, and wonder what I need to watch out for or how I should adjust technique.
    Love your posts. Love your process. Love your finished objects. How do you knit so fast ?
    In awe, Marcia

  12. Your sweater is gorgeous and I agree with the seaming part. My only problem is Purling in stranded color work. I agree with Marcia in the post above. How do you handle the purling back in all that stranded color work?

  13. That is so beautiful and the bunnies are (for me) a total selling point. The colors look like the colors in Kate Davies’ yarns and designs, too.

    I am so glad you brought this up about seaming. I have realized that it is high time I became a grown-up about knitting and make myself learn to knit patterns that require seaming rather than just always picking patterns that are knit in the round.

    If it is possible for you to either post about the seaming itself or suggest good references for links that discuss seaming that would be much appreciated, and I’m sure not just by me! Seaming seems so SCARY, I feel as if I won’t know where in each stitch to pick up the yarn (see? I don’t even know what I’m talking about!) and I visualize myself putting a whole bunch of work into a sweater only to screw it up when I seam the darn thing.

    I hope you share more of your thoughts on doing color work on the purl side – that seems like a knitting high-wire act, like having to drive on the wrong side of the road. There must be a better analogy but it’s Sunday night. That’s all I got right now…

    The Loki sofa is seriously cute!

  14. I think the thing about seams v. seamless might have to do with what fits a given person better. I have a way of making fitted seamless sweaters from the bottom up with (equally seamless) set-in sleeves that fit me perfectly — but there are other sweater construction techniques that make me look like I have no shoulders whatsoever and yet that look wonderful on others. For me, seamed sweaters are pointless. For others, they might be all that look good on them.

    About the only thing I think looks awful on everyone are those boxy drop-shoulder monstrosities that are only good for staying extremely warm in when your care less about fashion and more about avoiding frostbite. o_O

  15. I’m so glad ypu posted this! It seams like everyone wants to knit seamless sweaters the whole time but what no one mentions is how these sweaters hold up to lots of wear. I have a very minimsl wardrobe and would rather spend ages knitting and seaming a sweater and know that it will last years and years. So I’m off to hunt seamed pattetns

  16. I tend to like big, oversized, sloppy sweaters so knitting them in the round isn’t usually a problem but knitting in pieces and seaming does have it’s value. LOVE your sweater! Can’t wait to see it finished.

  17. patricia says:

    Darn auto correct— I meant as sure as Loki

  18. Beverley says:

    I so agree! What annoys me most is all the lovely yoke sweaters but all so low in the neck line. If I knitted such I would want it further up to keep my upper chest warm can’t understand why you would knit a winter sweater when it leaves so much skin exposed.

  19. It would be interesting to develop a list of different construction techniques and which ones work best and worst for a given body type (busty or no, broad or sloping shoulders, chubby or thin, etc.). For me, set-in sleeves are a must and seamless is fine. Circular yokes are HORRIFIC, raglans are only marginally better, and drop sleeves make me look like I’m wrapped in a blanket.

    And I just wonder how this would change depending on each person. I mean, I assume SOMEONE out there likes circular yoke sweaters or raglan sleeves.

  20. Bravo!! I totally agree about seamed construction technique!!
    I have given away many top down sweaters that never fit me properly!

  21. Barbara Runcie says:

    I finished a one piece sweater coat a month or so ago and while the fit isn’t too bad it weighs a ton!! It’s a Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick Waterford Cardigan. NEVER AGAIN!! You could use it for arm curls. LOL Anyway I still like the old fashioned way best. YOUR cardigan is beautiful! I admire anyone who can do the stranded work.

  22. To me, the best thing about knitting in pieces is that it’s portable. Instead of dragging an entire sweater around with me, I can just take a sleeve or a front. That and also not having to knit the sleeves by slinging around the entire sweater. But I do hate seaming.

  23. Charlottewv says:

    I’m anxious to see your finished cardigan—so cute! I agree with you about sweaters knitted in the round, they’d be much like wearing a paper bag! Loki looks so sweet lounging on his sofa. ❤️??

  24. Wendy Parkinson says:

    I totally agree with your comments on seamed construction – the seams give structure and stop the garment stretching to oblivion…

    I’ve spotted a few Rowan stranded colourwork patterns and like a previous poster am a little nervous of purling. Any tips? Thanks.