My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Archives for February 2007


It’s about eleventy-billion degrees below zero here. Does that sound like an exaggeration? Well, I am factoring in the wind chill.

Even though it is eleventy-billion degrees below zero outside, it’s close to tropical in the office. Still, I wore my new L-B sweater to work today. All Seasons Cotton makes a great sweater for overheated offices.

L-B says she’ll knit me another one for my 100th birthday. 😉

Speaking of what we’l be like when we are 100, Alice in Richmond sent L-B a link to a picture that she said was L-B and me in the future.

Because I keep the thermostat set to less than tropical temperatures at home, Lucy has become Velcro Kitty, pasted to me every time I stop moving. Except when she’s pasted to her cozy cushion. I actually ordered her a second cozy cushion yesterday, to put in the bedroom. Lucy always sleeps on the bed and I know she’s chilly in the bedroom. Is she ever gonna be happy when the second cozy cushion arrives!

I do wonder how someone who has a fur coat that looks like this:


can be cold when I am not.

Cromarty Cables

Brigitte mentioned in the comments that Cromarty reminded her of St. Brigid. Me too. I went and hauled out Aran Knitting to have a squint at the cable charts for St. Brigid. And I hauled out St. Brigid, too.


Here is the current state of Cromarty.


Different cables from St. Brigid, but similar, don’t you think?

Sarah asked:
Since you have probably had much more yarn sampling experience, could you think of a substitute yarn for the Kersti that would still “pop” the cable work for Cromarty? I have limited local yarn sources here in Canada, and would have to shop online I’m sure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

You want a smooth yarn that’s dk weight. Of course, I’m drawing a blank on what would be a good one. Anyone have any ideas? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

It does occur to me that if you wanted to make Cromarty out of something other than wool, Rowan Calmer would probably work very well.

And in other news, I turned the heel on the Bart & Louise sock!


Lucy Sez


“Yeah, I love my cozy cushion. You wanna make something of it?”

Cable Love!

Yup, at the point when it became obvious that I was going to run out of yarn for the Maltese Shawl, I cast it aside and cast on something new.

I could have knitted a bit more on the shawl, but doing so would leave me in the middle of a corner when the yarn ran out, and then I’d have to carefully document where exactly I was in that corner (which is the last one). So I left it at the end of an edging repeat and just set it aside. If the yarn gets to me before Friday, I’ll attempt to finish the shawl this weekend, otherwise it’ll wait until the following weekend.

I am more than mildly annoyed at running short of yarn. I think I’ll need about a half skein more of Kidsilk Haze to complete it, and that’s a pretty big discrepancy, in my opinion. But therein lies the peril of knitting something from a new book — you just don’t know how well the author estimates yardages. Oh, well. It’s not a huge deal, but I know when the yarn comes I’m not going to want to set Cromarty aside to finish the shawl.

Because I am in the throes of cable love! I’ve always loved knitting cables, ever since that first fisherman sweater I made when I was 18 years old and I figured out how to cross a cable without asking for help. (Wow! You actually physically cross the stitches!) It was 10 or 15 years later when I first discovered that you could knit cables without a cable needle. I learned that from an instructor at the first TKGA convention I attended. From that point on, I don’t think I’ve ever used a cable needle again.

On Sunday afternoon, I cast on for Cromarty and got started.


A couple of you asked in the comments if I was going to do some sort of edging on the bottom because you thought it looked a bit unfinished. No, I’m not — I’m knitting it “as-is.” I like the way it looks, so don’t feel the need to make any changes.

The yarn is Koigu Kersti in a lovely turquoise. I’m using the recommended needle size, a US 5 (3.75mm).

Kersti is a bit of a challenge for cable work, because it’s made up of multi-strands. You need to remain vigilant so as not to split the strands, but for me, so far so good.


Beyond Cool

What’s beyond cool? Having a friend knit a sweater in a pattern and yarn you picked out. This:


This is a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, a top down raglan pullover, made from Rowan All Seasons Cotton in a gorgeous chocolate brown. The color in the above photo is a bit faded. This is more true:


A close-up of the neck:


L-B made this sweater for me for my birthday. To say I love it is the understatement of the century! Thank you, L-B!!

Sock News Flash!

Just a public service announcement — Sheri at The Loopy Ewe put a bunch of new sock yarn up for sale today. She got her first shipment of Apple Laine Apple Pie sock yarn in, but I see it is sold out already. Rest assured that Sheri will be getting more in!

She got some other new sock yarns in, including Scarlet Fleece, which I recommend — I knit my Olives Socks from Scarlet Fleece sock yarn and loved it. She also has J-Knits sock yarn — I’ve got a skein of that in my sock yarn stash and it looks lovely — I’ve just not gotten around to knitting it yet!

Lucy Sez:


“I lied. I didn’t have Superbowl Fever. Momma and I didn’t even watch the Superbowl.”

Progress and Not

The Slayer socks, they are done. Completed Thursday evening.


Immediately upon completion, a new sock jumped on to the dpns, and was knit on the Friday commute (because we got some miserable drizzly rain and no snow, I had to go to work).


This very cool sock yarn is Zen String Lotus Toes, in a colorway exclusive to The Loopy Ewe (and currently sold out there, sorry!) called “Bart & Louise in the Garden.”

This yummy yarn is 100% Super Wash BFL wool and I am knitting it on my 2mm dpns. The BFL is a departure from any sock yarn I’ve ever knitted. (“I dunno lad, it’s like no sock yarn I’ve ever used before.”) It is lovely and soft and loosely spun.

But knitted on the 2mm needle (gauge is 8 stitches and 12 rows to an inch), it works up into a nice firm fabric. And it is quite soft, which makes it a pleasure to knit!

So I sucked it up and spent a good part of the weekend knitting edging onto my Maltese Shawl. There’s a total of 50 repeats of the 30-row edging pattern. This morning, with 14 repeats remaining, I had 6 grams of Kidsilk Haze left. I had my doubts that I’d be able to complete the shawl using the 5 skeins called for in the pattern, and this confirmed it.

I invoked rule 2.c. of my Knit From Your Stash rules and ordered one more skein of Kidsilk Haze.

Until it gets here, the Maltese Shawl has been set aside.


Onward . . .


Lucy sez:


I’ve got Superbowl Fever!

The Feast of Brigid

Once again, I was reminded by reading Anne’s blog of the Silent Poetry Reading in honor of the Feast of Brigid. Thanks, Anne!

So without further ado, my contribution:

Philo Vance needs a kick in the pants.

–Ogden Nash

Cables? Yup.

Those of you who guessed that the Koigu Kersti was destined to become something cabled were correct.
Those of you who guessed that the Koigu Kersti would become something cabled and Starmore were correcter.

But no one got it exactly right.

The Koigu Kersti is going to become Cromarty, from The Celtic Collection, which is one of the few older Starmore books that one can acquire for a reasonable price.

I’ve had the Kersti in stash for quite a while. I bought it after seeing Rachael’s Cromarty made from Kersti.

(An aside: there was a question in the comments about how I store my yarn. It is, for the most part, kept in plastic bags, stacked on shelves. I don’t really have a system for organization my stash. I depend on my memory. A scary concept at best.)

I’ve had my copy of The Celtic Collection for many years, but Cromarty never called out to me as a must-knit. I think it was because of the yarn used for the original design in the book. It’s Rowan Designer DK, in what I think is a sort of boring shade of light blue. It wasn’t until I saw Rachael’s beautiful rendition of Cromarty that I felt the need to knit it.

But the yarn has been marinating in the stash for ages. It’s about time I pulled it out. I wound one skein into a ball the other night and did a swatch with the recommended needle size — a 3.75mm or U.S. 5.

Now, I’ve read discussions all over the place about people not being able to get Starmore’s stitch and row gauge, and it is widely accepted that her gauge is hard to achieve for most people. I am clearly weird, because I have never had problems getting gauge for a Starmore sweater, and this one is no exception. With the recommended needle, I get the exact stitch and row gauge with Koigu Kersti.

The pattern calls for 15 skeins of Rowan Designer DK — a 50 gram skein has about 125 yards. A 50 gram skein of Kersti has 115 yards, so we’re pretty close there. I’ve read horror stories about people running out of yarn for Cromarty, so I’m betting having 21 skeins of the Kersti, I’ll have enough. Particularly since I’m getting the recommended gauge.

So that’s it. Next up after the Maltese Shawl will be Cromarty.

I liked Nicole’s comment:
Soo I’m staring at that swatch thinking how in the h… do i think i can guess your next project off a plain vanilla reverse st st swatch; soo i try to spy out what pattern page may be underneath sort of cheating when suddenly i spot it.
Gosh is this an action shot of an adorable magnetic needle holder actually in use there on the edge of the table?

Nicole is talking about this:


She very kindly sent me this magnetic needle holder this past Christmas. As you can see, I put it to good use!

And I was very sneaky — when I photographed the swatch, it was lying on this:


That’s the January ’07 Turner Classic Movies program guide. Which reminds me — I’ve not yet gotten the February program guide. Hmmmph!

So, I’m going to dedicate large chunks of time to knitting the edging on the Maltese Shawl this weekend. The Washington DC area was supposed to get snow and ice tonight into tomorrow morning. I was hoping against hope that at the very least the government was on “unscheduled leave” so I could call in “unwilling to venture out in the ice and stay home and knit lace edging.” However, it looks like the storm is not going to reach us. *sob*

Well, here is the second Slayer sock.


I’ll finish it tonight, and start a sock for tomorrow’s commute using this:


Lucy sez:


“I wish Momma was gonna stay home with me tomorrow!”