My current work in progress:

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


Archives for February 2006

What’s in a Name?


A Trinity Stitch by any name would be as textured.

As mentioned in the comments, Trinity Stitch is known by a number of names. Blackberry, Bramble, Astrakan, etc.

I do really like the look of it, and always have.

Robin commented:
Is there any compelling reason to knit it from the right side, rather than having row 1 (WS) knit across, row 2 (RS) [k3tog, (p1,k1,p1) in same st], etc.? I generally reverse any st pattern that’s all K and P and has plain purl rows in it, as my knits are more even, and changing this would put the patterning on the right side, in sync with any cabling that’s going on. It’d be one row offset from how it’d normally be, but that doesn’t seem like it’d be a huge difference visually in this context.

I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. However, I do find it easier to purl 3 together than to knit 3 together, which is reason enough for me to work it as I noted in yesterday’s blog.

Also, one of the things I so like about knitting arans is doing something interesting on each rown. I like that the fun part of Trinity stitch is done on the wrong side rows — it makes them more interesting.

How Do You Gauge an Aran?

Enjay asked:
How do you measure gauge over such a textured project?

What I did for Dungarvan, was to use the same needles to knit swatches of the various pattern stitches, and measure the gauge for each pattern. Then I put the patterns together to work out the design. Of course, the different cables and textures all have different gauges. My “filler” stitch is seed stitch, which is worked on the outer edges.

I then knitted a stockinette stitch swatch using the same needles and measured that. That’s the gauge measure for the pattern. In the pattern directions, the gauge is x number of stitches and x number of rows equals x number of inches using size x needles in stockinette stitch.

Lucy Sez


Do you mind keeping it down? I’m trying to sleep here.

Trinity Stitch: It’s Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

Lorna commented:

Trinity stitch: I’ve always fought shy of that particular option as I’d heard that it was hell to work.

I presume I’ve been misinformed, or are you just a bit of a masochist?

Well . . . all things are relative, ya know?

Trinity stitch is worked thusly, on multiples of 4 stitches:

Row 1(right side): p across
Row 2: [(k1, p1, k1) in 1 stitch, p3 tog] across
Row 3: p across
Row 4: [p3tog, (k1, p1, k1) in 1 stitch] across

So, if you have issues doing a k1, p1, k1 in one stitch, you’ll find Trinity stitch annoying. It’s a tad fiddly, but doesn’t really bother me.

A bit more irksome is purling 3 stitches together. That can be a bit tough on the hands, particularly using aran weight wool that’s not extremely soft . . . like the Rown Scottish Tweed Aran, for example.

I finished the back of the cardi yesterday after a fair amount of non-stop knitting, and I did have a couple of red spots on my left hand from the wool rubbing the skin in spots. However, this morning I had no residual soreness.

I’m currently working on the left side front of the cardi.


Arans in the Round?

Last week someone left a question in the comments asking if one could knit an aran in the round.

Well, yeah, you could . . . but why would you? There are several compelling reasons why I prefer to knit an aran in pieces.

1. Knitting a pullover in aran weight wool in the round would make for a very heavy piece of work to haul around.

2. What do you do about armholes? Steeking aran weight wool would result in a very bulky sleeve seam.

3. Many arans have patterning on the right side only. Knitting back and forth makes it extremely easy to keep track of your patterning.

4. Seams. They are a good thing for a heavier sweater, adding structure and stability.

Lucy Sez:



The Dungarvan Process


Elaine asked in the comments:
I wondered about the process you use when you do something like Dungarvan. Did you swatch all the patterns to build the design, or did you use a previous project as a springboard?

I swatched all the patterns first.

When thinking about the design, I wanted a simpler “filler” stitch for the center, because it’s a cardi and splits in the front. I opted for Trinity Stitch because I’ve always loved it, and it has more visual interest than moss or seed stitch.


I wanted a big meaty cable on each side, flanked by smaller simpler cables. So I swatched up the big cable, and the mirror image smaller cables and put them next to the Trinity Stitch swatch.


I liked how it looked, so I put the pattern together based on those swatches.

TJ asked:
Since it will be outerwear, will there be pockets?

I thought about pockets, but I don’t really like pockets on sweaters . . . so no. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope asked:
How DOES the Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran compare to the Hebridean 3 ply?

Apples to oranges!

The Hebridean 3-ply is a softer and slightly finer yarn. It has approximately 218 yards per 100 grams, and the Rowan Scottish Tweed has approximately 186 yards per 100 grams. The suggested gauge for the Hebridean is 21-23 sititches by 28-32 rows in stockinette stitch on size 3.75mm–4.5mm (US 5-7) needles.

Scottish Tweed is 16st/23 rows to 4 inches on a US 8 or 9.

This is Bear-y Exciting

Read this post, from our dear Phyl-Phyl.

Now read this one.

Now, go cast on for a bear!

I’ve ordered some appropriate machine-washable yarn so I can knit a bear for a child who deserves one!

Razr Name

Thanks to everyone who submitted a guess in the “Guess the Razr’s Name” contest.

A lot of you guessed Rose or Rosie, which makes perfect sense. Also a lot of guesses for Pinky, and Pinky Tuscadero (for all you “Happy Days” fans out there). A few guesses for Andie — remember “Pretty in Pink?”

But no, I originally named her Reggie.

Note that I say “originally.”

Because two readers, Annette F. and Enjay, suggested names for both the phone and the headset:

Pinky and the Brain.

Here’s Pinky:


And the Brain:


Because no one guessed the actual name and because I like the idea of Pinky and the Brain sooo much, the Razr shall henceforth be known as Pinky and the headset as The Brain. While there were a number of suggestions for the name “Pinky,” there were only two for “Pinky and the Brain.” Annette suggested it first, so she wins the pink laceweight from Thursday’s blog entry. Enjay wins two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Somerset colorway:


Lucy Sez

Can I have The Brain to play with? It looks so much like a kitty toy!



After completing one pattern repeat-plus of the largest cable, I am pleased to report that I quite like how this is turning out.


I always find it difficult to take decent photos of cable knitting. Here’s the best I could do for a closer look at the large cable pattern.


The yarn is fabulous. As I said yesterday, the yarn is Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran. I purchased it at Knit Happens at the end of December, specifically to use in this design, which has been swimming around in my head for a little while now.

100% wool, it is put up in 100 gram skeins, 186 yards per skein. The ball band recommends a US size 8 or 9 needle to get a gauge of 16st/23 rows to 4 inches. So it’s a true aran weight.

I, however, am knitting it at a slightly tighter gauge — 19 st/25 rows to 4 inches, using a US size 7 needle. I’m doing so because, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m planning to use this cardi as a jacket, and I wanted a nice firm fabric. And a nice firm fabric I’m getting.

Knitting this yarn at this gauge is a little hard on the hands, but so far, so good. No hand pain or nuthin’. Ask me again in a week!

Speaking of Yarn

Britta asked in the comments yesterday:
Do you think that it is worth the money to get the kits from Virtual Yarns? I looked at the colors, and they are really lovely, but I’ve heard so-so reports on the quality of the yarn. Maybe they were just fussy!

For me, it’s worth it. I’ve knitted a number of designs from Virtualyarns kits — in the 2-ply Hebridean, I’ve made Glenesk, Amphora, Flora, and Roscalie. In the 3-ply Hebridean I’ve made Inishmore, Valtos, and Graceknot. I love the yarn. It is wonderful to knit, and the garments show no sign of wear.

Okay, admittedly, they don’t get rough wear from me. But still — no pilling or nothing.

I Do Love My Toys


That’s my new pink Motorola Razr phone with the matching Bluetooth headset. We’re talking wireless, bay-bee!!!! I can leave the phone in my purse, hit the button on the headset and give it a voice command to make a call.

I am in geek heaven.

Why, yes, I did name the Razr. Care to guess the name?

Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet by midnight EST on Saturday, February 25 with your guess for the name. One entry per person, and only entries sent to that email address will be entered in the contest.

First person who guesses correctly wins. If no one guesses the exact name, I’ll select the guess that comes closest.

I’ll send the winner pink yarn. ๐Ÿ™‚


Four ounces of handpainted laceweight wool.

Lucy seems intrigued . . .


It’s . . . It’s . . .


Ribbing! Woo-hoo!

That’s the start of my new project, which will grow up to be an Aran cardi.

The yarn is Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran, in the color #018 “Thatch.”


That’s a pretty good representation of the color — photo lifted from the Rowan website. I’m finding it hard to photograph — with the flash it’s too yellow, without the flash it’s too brown.


I’ve been wanting an Aran cardi that I could use as an outwear jacket for quite a while now. You know — for those days when a winter coat is too much but a raincoat is too little. And I am extremely picky about cables — none of the cardi patterns I’ve seen have made me entirely happy, so I decided to design my own.

I’ve spent the last week or so knitting up little cable swatches and putting them together into what I hope will be a pleasing, cohesive whole. We’ll see.

But for starters, there’s the ribbing. It’s a k1, p1 twisted rib — twisted on both the right and wrong side, which of course makes it a bigger pain to knit. But I love twisted ribbing, and it makes such a nice sturdy fabric. Which is what I want for my outerwear cardi.

I started out thinking of a v-neck design, but realized that for a jacket, I’d rather have a higher, round neck. So that’s what it has. And saddle sleeves. I’m thinking black leather buttons. Button selection subject to change, of course.

I’m calling the design Dungarvan. Why? Because I remember wishing for such a cardi when I visited Dungarvan.

To Frog or Not To Frog?

That is the question.

MJ asked:
Do you frog anything you don’t like, or do you give it away, or do you just put it away? It would be a shame to not wear the jacket [the Bolero Jacket] just because the pattern sucks pond scum!

The only time I ever frog anything is if the yarn is qiviut. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a good question. If I make something that looks atrocious on me, I’m more likely to give it away to someone on whom it won’t look atrocious.

But in the case of the Bolero Jacket, I’m pretty sure that once it has its zipper in, I’ll wear it. I gave it a quick try-on sans zipper, and it looked acceptable. And as I said, the yarn is so yummy!

Hey, Snow!

Snow commented:
I know it’s a revolutionary concept, but have you considered HEATING your place so that Lucy isn’t forced to seek heat from an ordinary table lamp? Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat is outraged on her behalf, I’ll have you know.

I’m sorry Snow, but shouldn’t you be shopping here instead of leaving outraged comments on behalf of Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat?

Lucy says: Spend . . . money . . . spend . . . money . . .