My current work in progress:

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


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?”


  1. I think Miss Lucy missed her mom today. And I’m sure her mom missed Miss Lucy too. How bad was work? I was only gone for 3 days and it seems like 3 weeks! Yikes. As always, thanks for the great info.

  2. There is a Norwegian glove in Homespun Handknits–with an interesting method for knitting fingers.

  3. Her tail looks like a big wool duster!!! I love it!! I bet it was like TORTURE going to work after all that time.

  4.,_mitts,_socks.htm – has beautiful kits and design ideas (and great photographs of same) – with plenty of Norwegian hats and mittens… but no gloves.

    The book “Folk Knitting in Estonia,” I think, has a gloves done with the 2-color Sanquahar check pattern. (Sanquahar check is a pattern of mysterious origin – I’ve seen it credited as an old-timey New England pattern, a British pattern, and a Nordic pattern.)

    Bravo to the adventurous knitters taking the plunge into two-color knitting! I love the rhythm of knitting the Nordic patterns. red red white, red red white, red red white…. it’s like a dance!

  5. I love today’s picture of Lucy with her tail like that, so cute.

  6. Another idea: There is a stranded hat kit available from SchoolHouse Press. It is called the Dubblemossa. The Robin Hansen book Flying Geese & Partridge Feet has some stranded gloves. I think Robin’s two books Fox & Geese & Fences and Flying Geese have been combined to one and recently reissued.

  7. The book “selbustrikk” was one of my last projects before I left the Rauma company. It contains 41 patterns for mittens, gloves, socks, hats and scarfs. They are all reconstructed from old originals from the Selbu area in Norway. I have no idea if this has been translated – I don’t think so. Anyway, the charts are universal, so I guess experienced knitters would figure out the rest. I don’t know where to get this in the US, but here is a Swedish webshop with pics of all the projects:
    I’m actually making the baby mittens (22) again myself right now, I love them!

  8. wendy, here’s a free color pattern hat from anne at

  9. 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.

  10. First day back to work since the 17th?? Okay, I don’t feel quite so bad about leaving Chappy today after a four day weekend. Lucy wins that one.

  11. Wow! Lucy is getting prettier by the day! Can she look anymore fantastic??

  12. Kate in Somerset UK says:

    I second the recommendation about She Ewe Knits. Anne’s very helpful and pleasant to deal with.

    I would suggest that James tries his local library. If it’s anything like ours there’ll be a fair selection of knitting books. We pay a small fee if the book has to be fetched from another branch. Help would also be on hand from the UK Handknitters group on Yahoo!

  13. oh i have to knit Kolsva. what a beautiful sweater and color!

  14. Beth Durham says:

    Regarding knit hat patterns: If memory serves, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book, “A Knitter’s Almanac,” goes deeply into the subject of how to make a colorwork hat. Granted you have to buy the whole book, but for the price you also get several other chapters on other types of garments and the pleasure of reading EZ! Who IMHO was our greatest Knitting Writer – until Wendy.

  15. i actually learned fair isle through the frost rosen mitten kit. i found it easy to do and with great instructions. (i had never even made anthing other than a garter stitch scarf before i tried the kit). the mittens came out great. the only wierd thing that happened was that my gague was tighter on the second mitten i knit so it’s slightly smaller than the first. my mom said she didn’t care however, and i enjoyed the learning process.

  16. bibliotecaria says:

    I find your list of completed projects amazing and challenging, but the one I was looking for wasn’t there. Nonetheless, I hope you can answer a question for me.

    Since you have so many Starmore projects done, can you explain the triple increase she uses in Cromarty? I’m assuming she uses it in some of her other cable designs, although I haven’t checked yet. The symbol is a V, with a line in the middle. The explanation is “(k1b, k1) in one st, then insert left hand needle point behind the vertical strand that runs down between the 2 sts just made and k into this strand making the 3rd st of the group.” When reading it, it seems to make sense, but each time I’ve tried, I’ve never been sure I’m finding the “vertical strand” to make the 3rd st. And it makes an awfully bulky increase.

    many thanks for the info, if you feel so inclined,

  17. There is a lovely fair-isle colorwork felted bag in the new Sally Melville book, designed to be a first stranded knitting project. You knit a solid color rectangular bottom, pick up stitches to form a tube, and do the colorwork on a circular needle. There is a version done with two colors of Kureyon that is lovely!

    Hope that helps.

  18. holy cow! I miss a couple days worth of reading and you’ve completed a kajillion projects!! love those mittens!

  19. You can take a glove pattern you’re familiar with and just plug in a Nordic pattern on the palm and the back of the hand and the ribbing. I know it sounds easy to do, but 2-color knitting isn’t that intimidating.

    I’ve found that with knitting my Traditional hat that my technique improved as I got farther and farther in. It may be a better place to start than the mittens, as with mittens your gauge may change with each glove.

    Anyone who’s interested, I’m hosting a Norwegian knits-along. There are quite a few projects to choose from.

  20. oops – was wrong – “Folk Knitting in Estonia” has a couple of patterned gloves, but not the one I was thinking of. “Knitting in the Nordic Tradition” has an interesting pair of gloves with a big 8-pointed star on the back of the hand, and little stars on the top-side of the fingers, and a basic small-check pattern on the bottom side of the hand and fingers. Book is not currently in print, but is worth checking the library for.

    I’m going to add a plug for using practice swatches for learning new techniques. For someone new to 2-color knitting, a good start would be to just cast on to circular needles (or dpns, if you know how to use them), and practice alternating colors, first alternating them one stitch at a time, until your hands relax a little and your tension “settles down”, then alternating two stitches at a time, and making a checkerboard pattern, etc. If you need it to “be” something, then make it a hat (or a hat lining), or a tea cozy, or a hot pad. You could even (shocking!) experiment with different yarns and needles in that same piece, to see which ones are most pleasant for you to use.

  21. DANG.

    Wendy- If I fed ex you my Christmas knitting- could you have it done by Sunday?


    OK- maybe i’ve just missed it but Continental or English…. pick, throw or combination?????? Or magical Knitting Elves? BAsed on speed- I’m guessin elves. Or, maybe Fairies.

    Question more out of curiosity than anything else.