My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for February 2003

Happy Valentine’s Day

Izzy sez . . .

Happy Valentine’s Day!


The Votes Are In!

It was a close race, but as I write this, Henry VIII wins the vote for “What Should Wendy Knit Next?” St. Mortiz made a valiant comeback with 101 votes, but Henry got 110. Frogner received 60, Marina 39, and Roscalie was in last place at 38. Thanks for voting!

Warning: Opinions Ahead

Here’s another book I got in the mail recently:


Isn’t this wild? Fair isle in Japanese! The author is Margaret Stuart and a little bird told me I could order it from a Japanese website, (It helps if you have the ISBN number when trying to find it, and it is: 4529027813.)

So this books is all in Japanese, but contains charts for a number of fair isle designs. The colors used are in Japanese, so you’re on your own there.

But that brings me to my opinion.

I think most of the color combos in this book are butt-ugly.

Well, maybe that’s a tad harsh. But so are the color combos. Harsh.

But a lot of fair isle knitting museum pieces are also butt-ugly, in my oh-so-humble opinion. Bright clashing colors.

Y’all have seen the portrait of the Prince of Wales wearing a fair isle pullover — it was painted in the 1920s perhaps? This one:


While I think this is a wonderful painting, I also think it’s an ugly sweater.

Which brings me to another strong opinion.

I think Alice Starmore is an exceptional artist when it comes to color. I’ve never seen such amazing mixes and shades. Look at my Oregon Cardigan, for gosh sakes!


There was a discussion on the Knitflame list about The Scottish Collection recently. Someone posted a message asking what the big deal was about it and why it was so sought after. A couple of responses to this were that it was nothing special and if you’ve seen one Starmore you’ve seen ’em all.

Not my opinion! Apart from the fact that her designs in that book are all so different from each other, I think they are glorious. I think Luskentyre is incredible. I think Marina is magical.

All this is just my opinion, but after seeing the staid and uninteresting color combinations in the Stuart book, I felt it had to be said.

Don’t get me wrong — the Stuart book was a worthwhile purchase for me. The charts are great and the entertainment value of the photos of the dorky looking family modelling the sweaters is well worth the twenty-something bucks I paid for it.

A complaint against Alice is that her sweaterdesigns have boxy shapes and are uninspired. Personally, I prefer boxy sweaters. Fitted sweaters are simply too warm. I’ve learned from experience that if I’m wearing wool it should be loose.

Like I said, just my opinion. Your mileage may vary!

February Contest

Contest ends this afternoon! Get your entries in before it’s too late!

Sock Progress
Almost done with the first sock:


Have a good weekend, everyone!

Planning Ahead

When I get to about the halfway point in a project I start thinking about what my next project will be. At this time, I have several alluring options!

Dale of Norway Frogner

This is a cardigan knitted in Daletta wool. I purchased Daletta in olive green and black for this. Here is a photo of Frogner, done in a black and white colorway.


Dale of Norway St. Moritz

And I have the Heilo wool for this one too! Thanks to Geane, who gave it to me for my holiday gift. In this colorway:



Ah . . . Henry, my love. Click here to see a photo of this gem. Thanks to a lovely knitting friend in France (Bonjour, Stéphanie!), I’ll be receiving wool to knit this in a few weeks.

AS Marina

And then there’s Marina. I’ve had the wool for this in my stash since last summer. Sigh.

AS Roscalie Cardigan

And lets not forget my latest acquisition! The kit from to knit the Roscalie Cardigan! I’ve linked to the photo of the vest, as there’s no photo of the cardi available.

What’s a girl to do?

Why, ask her friends, of course! Which design shall I knit next? Vote in the poll below!

(Teresa, I know you won’t be voting for Roscalie, but I had to throw it in there because it’s a recent acquisition!)

No fair stuffing the ballot box!

A reward for reading this far . . . Izzy!


Cute, ain’t she? This little angel woke me up at 1:45 this morning for no partcular reason, except that she wanted someone to talk to. So it’s gonna be a long sleepy day . . .

Charts and Graphs

(Wasn’t that the name of a segment on Late Night With David Letterman?)

Charts? I got ’em! I’m still basking in the glow of my recent trade with Caroline in which I received Alice Starmore’s Charts for Colour Knitting. I still can’t believe my good fortune.

For those who wish to know, it was published in 1992 by Windfall Press, ISBN 1874167001.

I already had a book of charts for knitting. A Shetland Pattern Book, authored by Mary Smith and Maggie Twatt (unfortunate name, eh?), printed and published by The Shetland Times, ISBN 0900662522. First published in 1979. Don’t ask me where I bought it, I’ve not a clue.

This little book is chock full of traditional shetland charts, organized by the number of rows in a pattern repeat. Very handy! I used it when designing my Fearless Fair Isle. Most of the charts in this book are bands of repeating motifs. There are a few pages of all-over charts and some Norwegian-inspired charts.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that the Starmore book has virtually no overlap with A Shetland Pattern Book. It has a nice section in the fron on the design process with schematics and percentages for a couple of basic sweater shapes. Then the charts. They’re divided into different ethnicities — Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, etc., and then sections devoted to birds, shoreline, landscape, etc.

Great stuff!

Oregon . . .

Continues. You didn’t get an update photo yesterday, so here’s one today.


Izzy looks a little jealous of Oregon in this photo, doesn’t she?


I’ve still got a ways to go before I finish the body, but hopefully by Monday. I’ll do the front bands next, before the sleeves. When knitting a cardigan, I always like to do the bands before the sleeves, especially when you pick up stitches and knit the sleeve down from the armhole. It’s a lot easier to manage if you do the bands before the sleeves, otherwise you’ve got a lot of sweater hanging off your needles!

A Knotty Issue

Over the weekend I got email from a knitter who is also a knitting teacher, Sarah Peasley.

Sarah mentioned that different designers have you do different things with the weaving in of the ends of wool. She reminded me of the following:

In Ann Feitelson’s book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, she suggests, when changing colors, break off the old color and knot the new color to the old with a square knot, leaving an end 1/4 inch to one inch long. She goes on to say that the strength of the square knot combined with the slight felting that occurs when the garment is washed makes this work and stand the test of time.


I remember hearing about this technique but had forgotten it again. I’ve never tried it because, like so many knitters, the idea of tying a knot in my knitting seems like heresy! But I also don’t like weaving in ends because of the slight added thickness it creates. And time I spend weaving is time that I’m not knitting!

Hmmmmmm . . .

In Oregon the colors change at least every second row, so I’m thinking the sleeves of this sweater will be a very good place to try out knotting instead of weaving! Aren’t you all excited?

Good Knitting Karma!

That’s what I must have, because look what I got in the mail:


What a nice surprise! This was sent to me by my blogbuddy Joe, of Simply Knit. This is the new Simply Knit Jamieson book that Joe has talked about in his blog. It’s a beautiful book, beautifully photographed, with beautiful designs. Did I use the word beautiful too many times there? My favorite design in it is “Stuffed Olive” and not just because I like martinis. By the way, I got a Patternworks catalog in the mail yesterday too, and this book and kits from this book were available there.

Thank you Joe!

And if that weren’t enough:


Ohmigod! Ohmigod! Ohmigod! I’m hyperventilating here. I got this in a trade with the lovely and generous Caroline. Thank you Caroline! I spent a fair amount of time drooling over this gem last night.

Yesterday on the train I was working on my sock. I looked down, and noticed how great it looked, lying against the scarf Emma made for me:


Don’t they look purty together?

Contest Clarification

All right, my pets. I didn’t make it clear enough. The names can be coincidentally the same as place names in the U.S. — but if it’s something not very obvious, tell me where the place is. I’ve gotten some good entries so far!