As many of you know, I inherited my parents’ cat Lily last spring. Lily is a warm affectionate soul that loves company. The problem has been that she won’t let me clip her claws, which has wrecked havoc on my furniture and skin. I posted about the problem a few months ago.


I’ve taken everyone’s suggestions to heart and have been giving her lots of love, petting and brushing her every day, and giving her catnip several times a week. I put double-stick tape on the arms of the furniture and bought different types of clippers for her nails.

‘m now delighted to report that while she slept next to me the other night, I was able to gently lift a paw and clip a nail. She didn’t flinch. I clipped another. Still, she remained calm. I clipped all the claws on one foot, then the other! Then I clipped every claw on each of her back paws. She was awake but at peace and didn’t put up any kind of fight. I even went back and snipped a little more off one of her front paws before she quietly rolled over.

Thank you all for your excellent suggestions and encouragement.

She still loves me and stays close in her bed under my desk.

Look what arrived in my mailbox! My Craftsy class titled Knit Like A Master is now available as a DVD so you can watch it even when you don’t have internet access.

This, my third Craftsy class, includes everything I think every knitter should know that will fit into the three-hour video workshop format. From knitting and measuring a proper gauge swatch to seaming and weaving in ends, this class shows ways to master your knitting. Tips and tricks along the way will help you bring your knitting to a professional level, whether you’re a beginner or have been knitting for years.

FYI, my first Craftsy class, Save Our Stitches: Fixing Knitting Mistakes, is available on DVD as well. I hope it’s only a matter of time before my second class, Essential Skills for Sock Knitting, makes it’s way to DVD format.

I love the Craftsy platform and think you will, too!

The next pair of socks I plan to knit from New Directions in Sock Knitting is Nicola Susen‘s Square Socks (page 134).










This sock construction relies on a clever formula for squaring the circle: you knit two squares and two tubes in seamless succession. It begins with a circular cast-on centered under the ball of the foot. These stitches are divided into four groups that are worked outward in rounds as increases are worked on both sides of each group to form the foot square, which determines the fit.

When the diagonal of the foot square is the same as the foot circumference, the live stitches from two adjacent sides of the square are worked in a diamond shape to form the top of the toe. The stitches from the remaining two sides of the foot square are worked even in bias stockinette until the foot reaches the desired length, then the stitches are worked upward in a bias rib pattern for the leg.

Nicola used two colors of fingering weight merino for her socks, reversing the placement of the colors on the two socks.

For my version, I’ve chosen Dream in Color Everlasting, an 8-ply sock yarn composed of 100% superwash Australian merino (420 yards/100 grams) in a single colorway called Rosy 734.

I’m using U.S. size 1.5 (2.5 mm) double-point needles to get the specified gauge of 18 stitches to 2″, or 9 stitches per inch. I plan to follow the instructions for the larger size, which has a foot circumference of 8 1/2″  (21.5 cm) to fit my largish feet.


The first few rounds are tricky, but the knitting gets easier as more stitches are formed on each needle and the size of the square increases. So far, I’ve increased to 39 stitches in each of the four sections for a total of 156 stitches, which is the stopping point for the smaller size. Although this is not progressing in a recognizable sock form, the knitting is engaging and I’m enjoying the symmetry of the paired lifted increases.

I also LOVE this yarn!

When I was in Canada last fall, I had the good fortune to spend a few hours at Knit City, western Canada’s biggest textile, yarn, and fiber event. The marketplace was packed with Canadian vendors selling the most beautiful yarns.

Although it wasn’t my intention, I was seduced by Sweet Fiber hand-dyed Merino Twist Worsted and bought a sweater’s quantity in the awesome colorway called Woodsmoke. I don’t normally purchase this much yarn without clear intentions of what to do with it. I told myself that I would design something fabulous with it.

However, when I saw that a couple of friends in my Sunday knitting group were knitting Joji Locatelli’s Big Old Coat, I decided it was better than anything I could design on my own.

Because I don’t want an oversized sweater, I’m following the directions for the smallest size. I never would have thought it possible without trying on my friends’ coats in progress!

I have to admit that it’s pure delight to follow instructions without having to do any math or planning on my own! This design begins with the back collar, then the upper body (including the shawl collar) is worked from the top down to the base of the armholes. The back and front are joined at the armholes and worked in a single piece to the hem. Stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes, then worked in rounds to the cuffs. Other than weaving in ends and blocking, there’s no additional finishing!


I knitted a generous gauge swatch in the interesting texture pattern and managed to get the correct gauge on the first try. So far, I’ve completed the two sections of the k2, p2 ribbed back collar and have picked up stitches for the back.

You can’t see it in this photo, but the yarn forms a satisfying squishy fabric that’s going to feel like a comfy hug around my neck and shoulders!

Last weekend found me in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the first-ever Loops Retreat. Loops owner Shelley Brander (far left in the teacher photo below) is a genius at creating community among knitters (and everyone else, I suspect). The teachers were Romi Hill, who taught lace techniques and surgery, Andrea Mowry, who taught brioche and shawls, and Carson Demers, who taught knitting ergonomics. I filled in as the Knit Doctor. As much as I enjoy teaching, I thoroughly enjoyed spending one-on-one time with the attendees!

To ensure that everyone was comfortable, at ease, and fully taken care of, Shelley hired my Knit For Fun Retreats event coordinator Cindy Hallam to manage the weekend. It worked because I only saw smiles from registration on Thursday to the closing brunch on Sunday.

The retreat was held within walking distance of the Loops store, which is a mecca of fine yarns. If you’re in the Tulsa area, it’s worth a trip. If not, you can shop online by clicking on the link above.

A highlight of the event was the special yarn brought in just for the weekend. Dye For Knitting even dyed a special colorway for each of the teachers! “My” colorway, shown at right is called Loops Loves Ann. Wow! I want to design something special with it!

I say it often and it’s worth saying again–knitting retreats are the best way to meet up with other knitters and learn new things!

Two of the vendors at my Knit For Fun Retreat in Vancouver, Washington, last September were Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Shibui Knits. I’ve turned into a sucker for knitting skirts and walked away with yarn from both vendors.

From Blue Moon I chose Socks That Rock (100% superwash merino) in the Antiquated System colorway that’s a subtle combination of greens, blues, and browns. Honestly, it will go with everything I own. How could I resist?

Because this yarn has so much color interest, I decided to knit another version of my Putting On The Pleats skirt. To account to a slightly different gauge (7 stitches/inch instead of 7.5 stitches/inch), I’m following the smallest size. I’m also adjusting for 1.5″ waistband elastic instead of the 2″ elastic called for, starting the “gore” increases after 3.5″ instead of 4.25″, and I plan to make it a little longer, aiming for a finished length of 21″ from the top of the waistband.

From Shubui Knits I chose to combine one strand each of laceweight Cima (70% alpaca, 30% merino) and Pebble (48% recycled silk, 36% merino, 16% cashmere), both in the most beautiful Fjord colorway, for a luscious velvety fabric.

Because the combination of the two yarns will read as a mostly solid color, I decided to add a simple chevron pattern formed by traveling stitches. For this version, I’m following the basic instructions for my Traveling Pleats skirt. Other than substituting a different stitch pattern, the only adjustment I’m making is to start the “gore” increases after 3.5″ instead of the 4.5″ called for.

It’s out of character for me, but I’ve been working on both skirts simultaneously. I’m in love with both the tweedy colors of the variegated Blue Moon yarn and the velvety feel of the Shibui combo, and I can’t seem to focus on just one. I’ve been trading off knitting on the two fairly regularly and now I’m approaching the home stretch on both. There’s just 2″ left to knit on each!

With my busy travel/teaching season approaching, I think I’ll finish both during upcoming flights! But I still can’t say which I’ll finish first…



Dr. Ann

I’m excited to announce that his weekend I’ll be attending the Loops Retreat 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The retreat will take place February 1 – 4 at the Doubletree Warren Place Hotel in Tulsa, just across the street from Loops Yarn shop.

While Andrea Mowry, Romi Hill, and Carson Demers teach classes, on brioche, lace, cables, and knitting happily ever after, I’ll hold clinic hours as the Knit Doctor. Participants can sign up for 20-minute one-on-one sessions for any type of knitting consultation from taking measurements and choosing yarn to finding your place on a piece gone wrong and fixing mistakes to choosing the right yarn for a project.

All brave patients will be rewarded with a lollipop!




The wait is over! Registration for my second Knit For Fun Retreat in Edmonton, Canada, is now open. Once again, this Canadian retreat will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton, West Edmonton where warm woolies are welcome most of the year! The event will take place from Thursday, October 25 through brunch on Sunday, October 28.

The regular retreat classes will be scheduled during four class periods: Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. Registration includes three classes, one class with each of the three teachers: ergonomic specialist Carson Demers, prolific knitwear designer Bristol Ivy, and Poland’s star Justyna Lorkowska. Attendees will also get the opportunity to schedule an appointment with the Knit Doctor (that’s me!). Additional classes can be purchased, provided space is available.

Carson will teach 

  • Swatch Buckling—Swatching for Improved Posture, Comfort, and Efficiency Bring improved ergonomics to life in your knitting technique by examining yarn-tensioning techniques, all phases of stitch formation from simple to challenging stitches, and ways to add movement to avoid stiffness and injuries caused by disuse.
  • Socks Unraveled—Risks and Remediation for Sock Knitting Making socks should be as comfortable as wearing them. But many sock knitters experience aches and pains while creating their fantastic footwear. Fear not! This class will teach you ergonomic basics for injury prevention and explore risks and remediation for knitting socks. A little knowledge and some simple changes will help make your body happy from head to toe.
  • Knitting Happily Ever After—An Overview of Ergonomics for Knitters In this class, you’ll learn how your knitting technique impacts your efficiency and productivity. A risk-of-injury assessment will show you how knitting contributes to aches and pains throughout your body. More importantly, you’ll learn how to reduce the discomfort. A little knowledge and some simple changes can keep you knitting comfortably and safely ever after.

Bristol will teach

  • Short-Row Techniques—Shaping Made Simple  Short-rows are a handy way to add shaping to your knitting in both conventional and unexpected ways. Use them to turn a heel on a sock, better tailor a garment to your shape, or add unexpected twists and turns to accessories. In this class, you’ll learn the mechanics of short-rows, try out different techniques, and explore when and where to use them.
  • Introduction to Brioche—Find Love in Squishy Fabric Brioche is an easy stitch that creates a lush, drapey, warm fabric. In this class we’ll learn the basic principles of working brioche flat and in the round, increasing and decreasing in pattern, and get started knitting Bristol’s Hey, Little Songbird pattern.
  • Knitting Outside the Box—Bringing Inspiration to Fruition In this class, we’ll talk about different forms of inspiration and different ways of thinking about knitting, then explore methods and theory to bring those ideas to reality. This is a great class if you’re interested in designing or just want to experiment with the vast possibilities knitting has to offer.

Justyna will teachJustyna

  • Shawl Shapes—Explore the Possibilities Shawls are the hottest projects in the knitting world right now. They’re the perfect way to explore new techniques or use just a few skeins of precious yarn for something lovely. We’ll look at how to create triangular to crescent shapes and discuss how to add stitch patterns and how to play with unconventional shaping.
  • Knitted-On Borders—A Perfect Finish They can be simple or intricate, lacy or cabled—your choice—one thing is sure: knitted-on borders give a unique touch to a shawl. This class will focus on how to attach knitted-on borders to a variety of shawl types (and garments!), how to create your own border pattern, and how to determine the amount of yarn you’ll need. You’ll leave this class able to knit your own one-of-a-kind shawl.
  • Color Play—Getting Comfortable with Possibilities Are you afraid to play with colors? Is your yarn stash very colorful and you have no idea of what to cast on? In this workshop, we’ll focus on color play and step out of our comfort zones by learning basic principles of color mixing, finding inspiration, thinking outside the box, and how to translate color preferences into knitting.

I’ll set up shop as the Knit Doctor, offering one-on-one sessions of 20 minutes each on a first-come, first-serve basis (you’ll sign up for a slot when you register). I’ll help you with anything that ails your knitting, from taking measurements and choosing yarn to finding your place in a piece gone wrong to fixing mistakes. With more than 40 years’ knitting experience, I’ve seen (and corrected) almost everything.



For those wanting a bit more, each teacher will offer an optional full-day class the day of registration (Thursday, October 25).

  • Carson Demers will teach an extended version of Knitting Happily Ever After
  • Bristol Ivy will teach an extended version of Brioche Stitch–The Basics and Beyond
  • Justyna Lorkowska will teach Knit to Fit–Take the Guesswork Out of Your Next Garment
  • Ann Budd (that’s me) will teach A Skirt for All Seasons–Design a Custom-Fit “Pleated” Skirt

As for the Canadian Knit For Fun Retreat in 2017, this retreat will be held in partnership with River City Yarns of Edmonton. Owners Barb and Cynthia will spearhead the Canadian-themed marketplace. You’re guaranteed to find lots of fabulous Canadian yarns and notions, many of which are not easily available in the U.S.!

Last year’s Canadian retreat filled in a manner of days. Click here to secure your spot!


In between my other knitting, I’ve been making progress on the mate to my version of Jennifer Leigh’s Tilt-A-Whirl socks in New Directions in Sock Knitting.

I’m well into the foot of the second sock and sometimes wear the first to keep me motivated to finish. My oh, my, my feet are going to be happy!


I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow at 10:00am Mountain Standard Time, registration will open for my Knit For Fun Retreat in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin!

This retreat will take place in picturesque Door County, Wisconsin from Thursday, September 20 to Sunday, September 23. We’ll be staying at The Lodge At Leatham Smith in Sturgeon Bay, where rumor has it that some of the biggest pumpkins are grown.
Knit for Fun Retreats Logo

My Guest instructors will be Susan B. Anderson, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka olgajazzy), and Laura Nelkin. I’ll fill in as the Knit Doctor to help with whatever ails you.

Susan B. AndersonSusan B. Anderson of Madison, Wisconsin, is author of six best-selling knitting books—Itty-Bitty Hats, Itty-Bitty Nursery and Itty-Bitty Toys series, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out, and most recently, Kids’ Knitting Workshop—as well as four popular online workshops. In late 2016 Susan and her son started Barrett Wool Co. Susan’s favorite part of her knitting career is traveling the country teaching and meeting knitters from all over the world.
Visit Susan at her award-winning blog.

OlgaThe daughter of a professional tailor, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka olgajazzy) acquired an understanding of clothing construction at a young age. That understanding has evolved into Olga’s imaginative yet versatile knitwear designs that balance a love for texture with a minimalist approach. Her designs evolve from technique-driven elements that provide her students with a greater learning experience and impeccably finished knitwear.In addition to publishing her own designs, Olga is a contributing designer, author and co-author of numerous titles.
Learn more at

Laura Nelkin

Laura Nelkin, author of KnockOut Knits, lives in upstate New York, where the short sunny season leaves plenty of time for knitting. She received a degree in apparel design from Cornell University, but took to knitting years ago and hasn’t looked back. Laura is currently enamored with lace and with incorporating beads into knitted jewelry. She teaches these techniques and more at workshops across the country. Laura has a line of knitting kits, self-published patterns, and runs mystery Knit-A-Longs throughout the year. Visit Laura at

As the Knit Doctor, I’ll offer 20-minute appointments on a first-come, first-served basis. I’ll help you take measurements, choose yarn or patterns, measure gauge, fix mistakes, find your place in a pattern, or anything else that’s causing you to stumble. To secure an appointment with the Knit Doctor, email Cindy Hallam at She’ll schedule your slot when you’re not in one of the other classes.


The retreat will begin Thursday, September 20, with an optional 6-hour class followed by dinner and opening festivities. In addition to all meals and lodging, each participant will get three 3-hour classes (one from each teacher) beginning Friday morning and ending Sunday morning, plus the opportunity to make an appointment with the Knit Doctor (that’s me).
The event will end in the early afternoon of Sunday, September 23, following morning classes.
We’ve got lots of treats planned, including an impressive swag bag, an exclusive market place, prizes, and even a sunset wine and cheese cruise along the bay!

Click HERE for more information and to register after 10:00am Saturday (that’s tomorrow) morning!