My current work in progress:

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


The Evil Corrugated Ribbing

There were several comments about corrugated ribbing.

Yes, it is evil, but yes, I love the way it looks. It is evil because it takes longer to do than regular ribbing because it is knitted in two colors. Because I am incredibly impatient and I’m not particularly fond of knitting regular ribbing, I think that corrugated ribbing is evil.Throw in the fact that one is working it in the round — well over 300 stitches per round. Evil.

There was a suggestion in the comments about working one color at a time — slipping the stitches that are worked in the second color, then going back to work them on the next round. You know what — I tried doing that on a past fair isle project. I timed myself — took almost exactly the same amount of time to do as working the ribbing in both colors on one round. And I didn’t like it.

And yes, I know I could Norwegian Purl, but I’m not overly fond of this technique and my knitting isn’t as even with it.

So, I’ll stick with working the corrugated ribbing as I do and I will continue to complain about it at will. It is my right.

Marjorie asked what cast-on I used for this project — I used a long-tail cast-on.

So. I am into the body of the sweater, therefore I am much happier. I’m using my 3.25mm Holz & Stein ebony circular, my favorite fair isle needle.

This sweater is a cardigan, so there is a front steek.

A bonus of knitting a fair isle cardigan — the color changes are done at the center front, in the middle of the steek No weaving in of pesky ends on the body of the sweater.


As you can see, I’ve got white stitch markers marking the front steek.


Black stitch markers mark the “side seam” stitches.


And red stitch markers mark out each pattern repeat (which is 36 stitches).


I am a vision of organization and preparedness.

Here, for Mary, a picture of some of my stash enhancement from my Richmond trip:


Halcyon Gemstones Silk, sportweight, purchased from The Yarn Lounge.

By the way, did I mention that I was on a mission to try many different sock yarns?


(L-B, forgive me for posting this.) This is Sock Hop handspun sock yarn in the “Wild Thing” colorway. Purchased from Crown Mountain Farms. The extent of my passion for this yarn cannot be adequately expressed in words.

Speaking of socks, I am working on my second Black Violet sock.


Lucy sez:


“Fine, just keep it down, will ya?”


  1. I stand in awe before your knittyness. Do please continue to post pics of the guts. It helps me learn. I’m curious… do you strand with both hands? On one hand? On one hand dropping as you change colors???? I’m just full of questions today.

  2. I am such a newbie, I’m going to have to find out what a steek is. The fair isle is looking beautiful, and that Wild Thing colorway is out of this world!

  3. No worries! You’re still lightning fast ;).
    And, the ribbing looks beautiful!

  4. I looooove the Wild Thing yarn. And its name, of course! You are indeed a marvel of organization. I can barely keep my single-color work straight. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Deborah C. says:

    I LOVE me the corrugated ribbing – it’s so pretty! I just completed my first ever color knitting project – a doll’s fairisle cardigan, steeked up the front and at the armholes, and I have a question for you, o Queen of the Fairisle Knitting: do you cut the colors you are using once you are finished with the row? I am assuming yes for the body of the cardigan (because of the steek), but what about sleeves? Do you ever carry colors up to another row? I’m so new at color knitting, and I haven’t found the answer to this question. By the way, my color knitting kick is directly related to my reading your blog – thanks for introducing me to color! I am loving it!

  6. Oooo, Wendy. Just finishing socks with Wild Thing. It is a lovely knit.

  7. Why,oh,why did I stop at the library tonight? You are so very cruel! Multi-color sock yarns will surely strangle me in my dreams tonight.

  8. I love watching your work progress. Fair isle and I have never gotten along though I admire it greatly. My tension always gets screwy. How do you keep it even? Are there any books that you would recommend.

  9. AHhhhhhh!……what’s not to admire when a woman has definate opinions?…….love the organization…..and the fairisle pattern……as for the sock yarn…….oops……sorry……drooled there!

  10. That Sock Hop yarn looks really nice. That particular colorway speaks to me in the same language as someone’s 1976 kitchen wallpaper would (you know, the print with the roosters and cornucopii all over), but I’m sure they have other colors. The website doesn’t have Sock Hop pictures yet (except one of your skeins), but there’s a nifty goat on the front page. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Ah, you’ve tried it. I wasn’t even sure the slipping colors thing would work. I think I did corrugated ribbing once – on a mitten, of which there is only one. But it is very effective so what the heck. Anyway, it’s not about time, is it?

  12. Your ribbing looks great! I just finished some and am so releaved that the rest of the sweater is plain ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. How did you score the Sock Hop yarn? I have been checking their website daily, but still only see a “coming soon” note. I really, really want some of this gorgeous yarn, too.

  14. Hi Wendy – we’re so delighted that you love your Sock Hop Yarn ! Please let folks know that we have now completed all the backorders from the first round, and are spinning as fast as we can on the new batch ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re having lots of fun here ! We hope to have more for sale in a couple of weeks.

  15. Hi Wendy!
    I’m sure you’ve discussed this before (in fact, I bet if I actually trolled your archives I would find all knitterly wisdom), but which in your experience is more irritating corrugated ribbing or checked garter stitch in the round?

    Hugs and kisses to Lucy

  16. Two words….CLOSE UP.

    Two more…Macro Lens.

    Last two…PRETTY PLEASE? ๐Ÿ™‚

    PS – I live vicariously thru you Wendy, dontcha know?

  17. Just wondering if you are planning a book signing event in Toronto? You have fans up in Canada too!

  18. Must…have…Sock..Hop..Yarn….

  19. Curse you, Wendy! First it was the “Pink Clouds” sock yarn (*must have* Pink Clouds!). That led me to “Chocolate Cherry” (another Claudia and another *must have*). Both, of course, seem to be unattainable at the moment. Days are being spent as a semi-lifeless husk, clutching my coffee cup and hunching over the keyboard attempting to find those yarns. Now you come up with “Wild Thing.” I fear for my sanity. My husband fears for his wallet.

    The sweater is beautiful, but I must return to my regularly scheduled sock yarn obsessing….

  20. I so see that Sock Hop turning into the new STR! LOVE IT!

  21. Thanks for sharing your organizational skills. This clears up a couple of things that were confusing me about fair isle.

  22. The fair isle looks beautiful! (Did I read that correctly? With a cardigan steek no weaving in of ends? That so makes braving the land of steeking worth it!) Drooling over the entire post today, must learn to knit faster!
    Read your book over the past couple of days and loved it. I am almost looking forward to having surgery this summer because I’ll have six to eight weeks off in bed to knit! (I’ve got it bad, don’t I…)

  23. Everything looks so good. The silk is fabulous and I love the sock yarn!

  24. You scare me with these steeks!

  25. Hi Wendy. You mentioned that you used long tail cast on for the corrugated ribbing project. I have a question, do you normally just cast on over 1 needle or do you cast on really tightly over 2 needles of the same size? I read somewhere that casting on over 2 needles makes the edge not so tight.

  26. Wendy- you want to know my definition of evil- ENTRELAC!!!
    That’s how I spell evil.

  27. that sock yarn made my heart skip a beat, I think I’m in love. But I cannot buy anymore sock yarn, I had a panic attack this morning, I was afraid I would die before I had knit up all the sock yarn in my stash…

  28. Great website full of your projects! I’m trying toddler socks and keep getting stuck at the heel…. ughh…..

  29. Hi Wendy! That sock hop stuff looks amazing – I’ve asked them to email me when it is back in stock. The fair isle is divine too and quite thought provoking. The ribbing was definitely worth the effort.

  30. Oh man, can I spot silk from a mile away or what??!! Gorgeous stuff. Glad to know that the likes of it are available at the Yarn Lounge. Now I know I’ll need to stay away lest I clean them out of all of it and clean out my bank account at the same time! Lovely!