My current work in progress:

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


Archives for November 2005

Breaking News!

I have decided to knit the Kolsva sleeves according to the pattern after all. Ain’t that exciting? I’ll be issuing a press release shortly . . .

So. I finished the front last night, and this afternoon very stealthily attempted to photograph it without kitty intervention.


Well, that went as well as could be expected.

Speaking of kitty intervention, I totally agree with Snow that Noro must spin catnip into all their yarns. Lucy is besotted. And it occurs to me that I will have enough Iro when I’m done to make Lucy a kitty bed from it. Because she NEEDS another kitty bed.

(I know I’ll have enough Iro, because I . . . uh . . . discovered 2 additional skeins of it in the same colorway in my stash room that I have no recollection of buying. Hello — forget much?)

Actually, Lucy does need another kitty bed. She needs one for on top of my dresser in the bedroom, which she likes to lounge and bask in the glow from the lamp placed thereon. So there.

But back to Kolsva. I started one of the three-quarter length sleeves. But I’m thinking I’ll pick up stitches for the v-neck ribbing tonight and get a start on that.

I am trying to make the completion of this project coincide with the arrival of the kit I ordered for my next knitterly endeavor. Not easily accomplished, considering the state of the US Postal Service where I live. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the package containing my kit is being held prisoner in my local post office, waiting until our latest mail carrier deigns to schlep it out to my home. If he’d just leave me a freaking note telling me the package is at the PO, I’d be delighted to save him the trouble and go pick it up.

Because I am an “immediate gratification” kind of gal, this makes me nuts. When I decide on a project, I want the raw materials for it now, now, NOW. I want time to pore over the pattern and fondle the yarns before I actually start knitting.

So to kill a little project time, I’m throwing some spinning into the mix.


This is BFL/Border Leicester roving, purchased from Jen at Spirit-Trail. A beautiful shade of aqua, no? I’ve got 4 ounces of roving and this stuff makes for very fun spinning indeed.


Okay. What is this colorwork kit that I keep yapping about? I’m not telling. It’s not that it is any big deal secret, just that I have this totally irrational fear that if I publicly talk about it before I actually have it in hand, something will happen to the kit in transit and I’ll never get it.

Hey, no one ever accused me of being rational.

Question: What is your favorite irrational knitting fear?

Today was a pretty good day at the office. No one swore at me and then exhorted me to have a blessed day. I remember at one point, however, telling a colleague that I was going take all my knitting/spinning stuff and go live in a barn in Vermont. Anybody got a barn for sale/rent?


I survived re-entry into the world of work with minimal scars, thanks for asking. The horrific event I expected to occur while I was out didn’t, while the horrific event I thought would happen next month happened while I was out. Go figure. And there were only a couple of truly horrific events today. So far, so good.

One of today’s horrific events was actually kinda funny . . . in spots. I had a voicemail from an irate woman who was screaming into the phone, saying she was filing a complaint against my agency, and threatening me with dire results if I didn’t return her call. At the end of her message, after cursing me six ways to Sunday she said “and have a blessed day.”

Such phone calls are not the norm here at Insanity Central, by the way. Thankfully.


There were lots of great suggestions in the comments yesterday for both Norgi gloves and colorwork hats. If you are in the market for either of these types of projects, do have a look there.


I’ve finished the back — see?


I had some difficulty photographing this.


See what I mean?


In the end, I gave up.


I’m working on the front.

Phyl commented:
Hmmmm, interesting observation about using the Iro. I wonder what Transitions will do? I might need to order more yarn since I haven’t a clue how to do standard v-neck stuff and I don’t want a tray.

Phyl, I believe Transitions is a bit softer than Iro, so you may get the drape you want if you make the u-neck. I dunno . . .

I believe I’m okay on yarn amounts with what I bought. I used slightly less that one-fourth of the yarn I bought to make the back. And I don’t think the v-neck will take more yarn than the u-neck, particularly since I’m not going to do 6 inches of ribbing and fold it over — I’ll probably end up with 2 inches of ribbing. And I’ll be happy to share my pattern mods for the v-neck with you. 🙂

Speaking of which, I’m at the point where I will divide for the v-neck. I know. Please try to contain your excitement.

While I’m at it, I might make long sleeves rather than three-quarter length sleeves. We’ll see.

So by the time I’m done, my Kolsva will bear little resemblence to the original pattern.

Maybe I should rename it Coleslaw, huh?

In Which I Attempt to Answer Some Questions From the Comments

Lee Ann asked:
Are you aware of any patterns out there for Nordic gloves? My nephew has made his first gift request ever, so the hunt is on (of course, mittens just don’t cut it for a teenage boy). Thanks!

I believe that Knitting Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble has some Norwegian designs in it — or at least one Norgi design. You culd take her glove pattern and plug in some Norwegian motifs with a minimum of fuss, I think.

Is there a Norwegian glove in Homespun Handknit? I think there is.

Does anyone else have any other ideas for Nordic gloves?

Anne asked:
I’m a little late to the Mermaid party… I was thinking about getting it, too, because I like the set-in sleeves and the tailored look. But… are the sleeves of yours too long? and the shoulders not quite on your shoulders? It’s hard to tell from the self-portrait, I’m hoping it’s just the angle you’re at.

The shoulders fit well, and the sleeves are a little on the long side. I usually shorten my sleeves by one inch, but I did not do so on Mermaid, so they come to the base of my thumb.

Teri asked:
Are those Pony Pearl dpns [on the Frostrosen Mittens] I see? What size are you using?

I did use Pony Pearls, size 2.75mm. While I love using my bamboo and birch dpns, I know from experience that I’m really tough on needles when I do colorwork socks, gloves, and mittens. So out came the stronger Pony Pearls.

A couple of you asked how long it took me to knit Skeppsta — I did it in three and one-half days — but those were days when I was not at work!

James asked:
The mittens are lovely and would really like to try my hand two colour knitting. Unfortunately, I can not find anywhere in the U.K. to get hold of a suitable hat pattern to have a first go with. Any suggestions?

Anyone have any UK sources for colorwork hats for James? I love the Norwegian hats at Bea Ellis Knitwear. You might email her and see if she does international shipping.

Heather asked:
Also would those mittens be a good first timers project for fair isle?

I think a better first timer project for fair isle would be a hat. The mittens are pretty small in circumference, so I think a hat would be easier to manage for a beginning fair-isler.

Coleslaw . . . er . . . Kolsva Progress Report

Here is the back of Kolsva. I really love this colorway of Noro Iro (#40)!


This design is supposed to have a low “u” neck (see the photo from yesterday’s blog entry) with deep ribbing that’s folded over on itself and sewn down. This would probably look good in the recommended yarn, Kochoran. However, the Iro I am using is making a nice solid fabric, and I have a feeling that the thick ribbing would stick out like a little tray. While that would be handy for catching crumbs, should I happen to wear Kolsva whilst eating crackers, I think the look would be less than attractive. I’m not completely sold on the “u” neck anyhow. So I plan to make mine with a deep “v” neck and standard “v” neck ribbing.

So there.

Today was my first day back at work since November 17. Lucy was not amused when the alarm went off this morning. Neither was I.

And this is what greeted me when I came home from work this afternoon.


“And where the hell were you all day?”

Holiday Weekend Wrap-up

Why, yes, I did finish the Frostrosen mittens — late Wednesday night.


So I started a new project on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Question: What is the antidote for knitting Mermaid in garter stitch on 3mm needles and colorwork mittens on 2.75mm needles?

Answer: A quick-knit project on big-ass needles: Skeppsta, from the new Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book, Noro Revisited.

How quick a knit is this? I finished it this morning.


I made the smaller size (which is still pretty large) that calls for 7 skeins of Noro Transitions. I added some length to my version, and I still only used 5.5 skeins. Your mileage may vary!

This body of this sweater is done in strips of short row squares — a total of 8 for the front and back. Then you sew them together. My mattress stitch skills got a workout here!

It’s a fun quick knit and makes a big cozy sweater.

So . . . what’s next?

Anoter design from the Noro Revisited book, Kolsva.


The pattern calls for Noro Kochoran, but I’m making mine from Noro Iro, color #40. Surprisingly, I got gauge with the Iro using the recommended needle size (U.S. 9).

I’ll show my progress tomorrow.

Why two large gauge knits in a row? I’ve got a kit for a fine gauge colorwork sweater on it’s way to me and I’m gonna want to start that next, so I’m fiddling with fairly quick knits in the meantime.

I also finished spinning the blue/purple Portland.


Niddy-noddy action shot, courtesy of The King of All Remote Controls.


This is 250 yards for a 4 ounce skein.


And in the meantime, Lucy investigates my new baskets from the Knitter’s Review Boutique!


Hmmmmm . . . she doesn’t quite fit.


Mermaid Q&A

Thanks for all your very kind comments about Mermaid!

Some Q&A:

You mentioned you put the Mermaid in the washer in the spin cycle for a few minutes…is there another reason why you did that other than to dry it out? I always thought that putting a hand-knit object into the washer is a no no.

To block, you soak Mermaid in warm soapy water and rinse, then put it the washer for just the spin cycle to get the excess water out — then lay it out on towels to block.

How sturdy is the fabric? Is it truly jacket-like, with some stiffness, or is it more sweater-like?

It’s jumperweight shetland knitted on size 2 needles — not stiff at all — very sweater-like!

Tell us about the sizing – do you think it would block out larger if you wanted? does it fit right for you? (looks like it does).

I made the size large to accomodate the front porch. It’s a bit large on me, but I like sweaters on the large size. I could definitely have blocked it out larger.

Where can I buy a Mermaid kit?

Google “Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid” and you should find sources. I can tell you that they have at least one Mermaid kit at Knit Happens in the retail store — because I saw it today.

Phyl Does Orange


I think Phyl likes her Autumn Spice.


A mini skein behind the ear is a nice accessory.


Belgian chocolate tastes better when you are clutching orange yarn.


Picking up stitches is far less painful when you have orange yarn on your head.

I am grateful for a friend like Phyl who brightens my life!

Wendy Does Frostrosen Mittens

I completed the first mitten yesterday, and made some good progress on the second mitten today.

The back of the hand:


The palm of the hand:


The right mitten:


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for all your Thanksgiving wishes. Tomorrow I’ll be up to my elbows in pumpkin pie and other good stuff, so WendyKnits will return next week.

A Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!


“I’m thankful for Greenies.”