My current work in progress:

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


Comfort Knitting

Knitting Kureyon is comfort knitting. Yum!

The only other time I’ve used Kureyon is for scarves and Booga Bags — this is the first garment I’m knitting from it. So far (after knitting with it for a whole day) I am loving it.

I really really really like yarns that have that minimally processed feel. (Is Kureyon minimally processed or does it just give the appearance of being rustic?) Granted, you have to pick bits of flora out of the yarn, but I don’t have a problem with that.

Knitting with a solid, hearty yarn like this makes me think of eating thick sandwiches on whole wheat bread. (Yes, I’m hungry right now.) Mmmmmmmm.

One of my happiest knitting experiences ever was knitting Starmore’s Inishmore from some no-name merino-corriedale handspun I bought at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival eons ago. This was one of the yummiest yarns I ever flung over a needle. It was full of lanolin and my hands were in great shape after knitting it. It’s one of those projects I was sorry to see completed, as the knitting of it was so fun.

Another yarn I remember fondly was some Black Welsh Mountain handspun I bought from a tiny place in Cornwall on a trip to the UK in the mid-1990s. That yarn was so minimally processed it smelled positively gamey. I still have a bunch of it and it has aired out a bit over time, but it’s still a bit whiffy.

Ah . . . yarn I have known . . .

But back to Butterfly.


I hauled out all the Kureyon I have for this project and pulled out the ends to see where each skein starts. Then I matched them up in twos and lined them up in a bookcase, two by two, like pairs of animals waiting to get on the ark.

I picked the skeins I wanted to use to start the fronts and marked the ball bands so I’d remember what I used.

It occurs to me that after knitting the fronts, I ought to make the sleeves next, so I can endeavor to get them to match somewhat. Then what’s left, I use to knit the back (and the collar, of course). The back really doesn’t matter because it will not match the front. Period. The stripes will be half the height of the front stripes, because the width of the back is double the width of each of the side fronts, know what I mean? So there’s no need to be concerned about it anyhow. Not gonna happen.

And when it comes right down to it, I’m not that concerned about the fronts and the sleeves. I’m simply entertaining myself to see how close I can get them while putting minimal thought and effort into it.

Laziness, I embrace you.

Speaking of laziness. Did I sew up Fern last night? Why, no, I didn’t. But I may tonight. Oooh! The excitement of it all.

A question about Lara — did I block her? No, I didn’t. I very very rarely ever block anything, apart from a light pressing with a steam iron.

See laziness, above.


Lucy is happy that I’m not too lazy to feed her.


  1. I love rustic yarns. I went on a Kureyon kick last year. There’s something hypnotic about the changing colors. Butterfly looks beautiful so far.

  2. you posted sometime between 3a and 6a, eastern time. wow. that is impressive.

  3. Can your Butterfly colors get any prettier? I don’t think so.

    Whiffiest yarn I’ve knit to date: Rowan’s Felted Tweed. House smelled like a barn after I had steam-blocked the fabric. Yum!

    Hey! I have a question re Silk Garden (and all other Noro yarns): Do you roll it into balls before knitting? Or do you knit directly from the skeins? I rarely roll into balls but I’m wondering with the Yarn Protocol with Noro should be for obtaining best knitting results.

  4. Pretty Butterfly.
    I,too,am a fan of Rustic yarns.I like a yarn with some personality ! I’m with you on the blocking.Life’s too short.I only ever block lace.

  5. Being a hand spinner I know what you mean about the feel and amell of “real” yarn.. I love dyeing and blending different fibers for texture. I love the colors of your butterfly and am thinking rainbow dyeing in orange, teal, and raspberry–what FUN!! Love your sweater and your blog. I read you almost everymorning with my coffee. Thank you..

  6. Dear Wendy, the end of your post saves me 😉 I thought I was alone on the other island. The one, where we don’t block :-)))) I also share your appreciation of the true wool touch.
    Lucy is, as usual, so cute.

  7. Your Butterfly is gorgeous!!! I love those colours. I think seeing it is tipping me over the edge to make this for myself in the same colours. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
    Hurry and finish it before you seam up Fern or do anything else (just kidding!)

  8. Wendy, it is beautiful, as always. You inspire me so much. With the my house torn apart from the hurricaines and my totaled car from an accident a few weeks ago and no school for my children since the last hurricaine, knitting has given me so much peace and relaxation. I hope your ankle is feeling better.

  9. Wow!! Those colors are just beautiful! I love this project so much (I voted for it)! 🙂 It’s definitely on my to-knit-next list! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. First of all, Butterfly is just beautiful! I love those Noro yarns; the colors are amazing.

    I’m also a huge fan of the more raw wools. I just finished knitting up an aran in Chester Farms Cestari, and my hands have never been so soft! There are three more projects waiting in the wings with rustic wool; my hands may not disintegrate this winter after all!

  11. Your Butterfly is boo-ful. And you’ve almost inspired me to actually purchase the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book and do some math to resize the sweaters (like Klaralund) for me.

  12. Your colourway for Butterfly really shows off the pattern better than what is shown in the book. Having knit many garments from Noro yarns I can say that Kureyon and Silk Garden are my favorites. They are particularly good for modular knitting with mitered shapes. For mitered modules you can either let the colors occur randomly or pick and choose placement. One of my friends knit a cardigan in the round with Silk Garden and then steeked it so the stripes would match. Happy knitting.


  13. If you want wider bands of color on the back try knitting with two balls on alternating rows. The balls would have to be in the same color sequence or close. Butterfly is looking goooood!

  14. Wendy, butterfly looks amazing!

    I love knitting with really “rustic” yarns too. Kureyon and Big Kureyon especially. I just finished up a really cool scarf made with this hand-spun/hand-dyed soy bulky mixed with some Mountain Colors Baby Loop. The dicotomy was very compelling.

    What an amazing colorway that Kureyon is! I swear — you must have exceptional yarn karma to consistently find such awesome stuff!

    Thanks for the commentary on “sorting the skeins”. BTW, how’s your ankle doing?

    OH yeah: found the mouse pattern. Thanks, Diana

  15. Such an enjoyable post to read today!
    ‘a bit whiffy’

    You sure have a way with words…and yarn!

    Your sweater is looking very pretty!

  16. It’s Em, writing from Rachael’s (whee!). I just had to pop in and say, hey! That’s the yarn I made my Rosedale with! It looks gorgeous in that chevron, and now I think I’m going to have to put Butterfly on my list. Hugs back to you.

  17. My favorite part of knitting is blocking — I must be the crazy one! I love how perfect it looks after it is blocked. I like finishing, too, so I’m sure the men in white coats will be coming to take me away sometime soon.

    Today I am wearing my Coral DB Baby Alpaca & Silk sweater — it looks very salmon colored and not pumpkin at all. The light really changes the color! It is so soft and gorgeous.

  18. whoa! your kureyon looks awesome – i have to pick me up some of that color! thanks for always providing your fellow knitters with an interesting read!

  19. Okay, being that my over-analytical overly anal retentive self has not started anything with all the Noro I have because of the matching stripe issue, I have been working on letting go and realizing they won’t match. Now seeing you go through it and try, I have to ask. Won’t you go nuttier if they *almost* match? I mean, if you get close, but they are off, aargh! That would bother me even more! I’ll be waiting in anticipation for the outcome!

  20. You are an efficient knitter…smart, efficient and knowledgeable. That’s a long way from lazy. Not feeding Lucy would be crazy…er, I mean lazy!

  21. Oh, the colours, what a beautiful butterfly! I addressed the same issue re the stripes on my blog on Monday. I’m at a point on my project where I decided to knit from two balls of Noro to get the stripes thicker at the bottom of my poncho. It was too obvious otherwise.

  22. That is a beautiful colorway! My knitting friend and I were just talking about how much we LOVE Noro and the striping is just SO fun. Great tips on how to try to match them up. Thanks!

  23. I love your blog Wendy and enjoy reading your experiences. I guess I am a yarn snob though because Noro Kureyon feels scratchy and itchy to me compared to homespun yarns. I’m a spinner and I love wool yarns, but I think the dyeing of Kureyon makes the wool a bit more scratchy than I like or think rustic yarn should feel like. Maybe washing the yarn in hair conditioner would help.

    I’m sure you heard this one before, but you could soak your lovely “whiffy” yarn in some Dawn (non-antibacterial) dishwashing liquid to help remove the scent.

  24. Your Butterfly is amazing. I like it much better today (yesterday’s picture looks very different on my monitor — very green as opposed to blue). The colors really look like you might see on a butterfy, or maybe a tropical fish. It will be stunning.

    Thanks for the blocking answer. I’m trying to decide whether to “dress” my swatches before picking a needle size for Lara.

  25. I have knit with Kureyon and Silk Garden. On each project, I did my best to get the sleeves to match, and to start the front and back in about the same place. By sheer coincidence on the Silk Garden project, the stripes on the sleeves lined up nicely with the front–like they teach you in sewing! Your work is lovely and you’re so prolific! I’m in awe.

  26. That colorway is going to look so good on you!

    And I feel even more validated in my Noro addiction in that I, too, have been known to “organize” my skeins pre-knitting.

    Um, I’ll just say that during Klaralund (which I FINISHED last night – will post pics tomorrow), I had skeins labeled as #1, #2 & #3 for the sleeves so they’d at least start with the right color. :#-) For some reason, the front and back matching was unimportant to me, but dangit, those sleeves were going to start in the same place! LOL…

  27. Oh yeah, and I TOTALLY did not block Klara –didn’t need to! 🙂

    Phooey on blocking when not needed (again, with the bad-assness…)

  28. Oh I’m so glad you’re doing Butterfly as I’m thinking about it too so I shall wait until you’ve ironed out the kinks then follow on – what was that about lazy knitting ?…..

    How much extra do you reckon you’ll need to match the stripes ? I think I’ve got about 18 balls stashed away so I’m hoping that will be enough !

  29. Just learned of your site while reading todays Knoxville News Sentinel, you were pictured with a beautiful knit shawl in white I would love to know where to get this pattern. I have been knitting since i was 10 years old and am now 50. I have done intarsia knitting, fair isle and also cables and lace so i don’t think the pattern will be difficult for me. Unfortunately we are having trouble with our computer and i cannot recieve pictures, but the yarn you are currently working with sounds yummy. Thank you in advance for your time. Karen Byrne

  30. Wendy – Your butterfly is so pretty – I can’t wait to see her completed. Thanks for all your work on Klaralund – I am getting ready to start one and your notes have been really helpful! i love your blog – your knitting is really beautiful (could I gush anymore???).

  31. I am currently knitting Rosedale in Kureyon, and I tried to match the sleeves. One problem I seem to have (but no one else…) is that the balls of yarn are joined toether ramdomly, in the skein. Meaning, the colour pattern doesn’t continue the same way it would if the ball were continuous. I fiddled and tried my best to get the shoulders to match up closely after the odd stripping that took place. I think it will be fine. Some how a miss in a knit pattern is worse to me than a miss in a colour pattern.