My current work in progress:

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


Stockinette or Reverse Stockinette?

UPDATE: There was an error in the Fir Cone Lace chart (rows 9, 11, 13, & 15) in the Fir Cone Wrap pattern I put up a couple of days ago. I’ve corrected it and uploaded a new pdf (with today’s date on it). Profuse apologies, and “profuser” thanks to Chris for catching the error!

An interesting comment from Alisa:
Out of curiosity, why did you choose to do the jacket with reverse stockinette on the outside rather than on the inside? I must admit to having a personal aversion to the look of reverse stockinette in variegated yarns, and was wondering what, stylistically, you were aiming for.

The simple answer is that I like this yarn knitted in reverse stockinette stitch. While I think the stockinette is pretty, I think the reverse stockinette side is gorgeous.

I don’t like most handpaints in reverse stockinette, particularly if they stripe. Then it just looks like the wrong side of the work. But this handpaint is very subtle, I think, and the purl bumps give it an interesting texture.

Just a matter of different people liking different things, I guess. If we all liked the same stuff the world would be a dull place indeed.

Just out of curiosity, what do you think?



Or Reverse Stockinette?


Leave your answer in the comments. Don’t worry about offending me — if you think the reverse stockinette looks like crap, say so. ๐Ÿ™‚

(I tried to set up a poll, but my favorite blog poll site seems to be experiencing technical difficulties so . . . )

Sock Yarn! Sock Yarn! Sock Yarn!

My friend L-B and I did a sight-unseen sock yarn swap and I received my yarn from her yesterday.


This is dk weight superwash wool from Holly Spring Homespun — Kathy’s new Scarlet Fleece line of handpainted yarn. The colors are “Raspberry & Kiwi” and “Olives & Pimientos.” Each 3.2 ounce skein has 230 yards, so I have enough for two pairs of knee-socks. (One skein will make a pair of shorter socks.)

So I of course cast on for a sock.


It goes much faster knitting 5.5 stitches to the inch than 8 stitches to the inch. Duh. I’m using 3.25mm needles.

I knit a little gauge swatch and calculated my starting number of stitches based on my foot circumference. I measured my leg circumference in three places, and figgered out increases to accomodate the calf shaping. So we’ll see how all that turns out.

The Olives & Pimientos looks very autumnal to me, so I started with that. I’m ready for autumn.

Lucy’s Beauty Tips

Lucy says thank-you to Suzanne for noticing how well-groomed she is. Lucy gets brushed two to three times a week. We start with a Zoom Groom, and finish up with a wire brush. She loves the Zoom Groom. The wire brush not so much. But she adores the attention so is always happy to be brushed.


Ragdolls have medium-length non-matting fur, so her coat is surprisingly low-maintenance. Since she came to live with me, she’s never had a mat or tangle in her fur. When I first got her, her coat had not been properly maintained, but I still only had to cut one or two small mats out of her fur to begin with.

She’s just a natural beauty. ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. My vote? The reverse stockinette looks like the wrong side. Sorry, I like the regular side better. Just my opinion.
    I have a big ol’ Maine coon, who like Lucy is pretty much non-tangling, and he can keep himself in beautiful shape–but loves brushing. “His” kitten, though, has that long silky fur that mats if you look at it, and doesn’t like the brush. Go figure.

  2. I like the stockinette side not a fan of the purly look – sorry!

  3. Josรฉe says:

    I rather like the reverse stockinette – it seems to make the bits of different colors a bit more subdued to me since they are broken appart more by the main or base color…

  4. I would not say that the reverse stockingette looks crappy, but I would say the stockingette is more appealing to me. I like seeing the colors a little more distinctly in the stockingette.

    Beautiful sock yarns, too!

  5. I don’t really have a preference between the stockinette and reverse, to tell the truth. Not in this case, anyway. They’re both just different. (For my current socks, however, the reverse is most certainly the wrong side!)

    And I love the new sock yarn! The Olives & Pimientos is especially lovely.

  6. I like the stockinette side better. I like the way it shows off the silvery gray better- at least it does on my monitor. The purl bumps seem to obscure that color more.

  7. I like the reverse stockinette, especially since you want to make a kimono wrap. I think the exotic nature of the shape of the top goes better with the less standard reverse stockinette. I wonder if it would look cool to have the body of the jacket in reverse stockinette and the collar/front band like piece out of stockinette. Would that set the collar off or just look goofy? The colors are gorgeous.

  8. Reverse stockinette… looks more unusual.

  9. Lucy sure is a beauty! I vote for seeing if you can finish the inside so well that you could wear the kimono either way depending on what kind of mood you’re in. I do like to complicate other people’s projects!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I don’t usually like the look of reverse stockinette, but I like it better here. I think because the stockinette looks too vertical–kind of fighting with the horizontal striping in the yarn. Personally, I’d probably try moss stitch, or something along those lines… (I know–it wasn’t one of the choices. Guess I’m just a born rebel.) And of course, moss stitch is reversible. Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Oh, Oh I like Diane’s idea! French seams or something- piece of cake! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I like the way the color flows in the variegated yarn are more subtule in reverse stockinette; so I guess I’m with you.

    I have a Birman – and her coat is silky and vary low maintence too. Yashie looks like Lucy but has creamy colored toes. Amazing but my short hair cat sheds the most and needs the most brushing.

  13. I have to say I don’t care for the reverse sts, it does look like the wrong side is facing out. The colors pop much nicer for me with the plain sts. But that’s just me!

  14. reverse is pleasing to me

  15. I have to go with the majority here and say that reverse stockinette just looks like the “wrong” side to me. I would rather see garter than reverse stockinette. I think the extra spacing in the bumps makes it not look like the “wrong” side. But with reverse stockinette all the purl bumps are so close together which + “wrong” side look to me.


  16. Kind of off topic, but can you tell me how to email Blue Moon? I would love to get some Lucy yarn, but I can’t find a place on their website to email them!

  17. I have to say that I agree with you. Reverse st. makes for a nicely blended fabric which is the look you are aiming for in a kimono jacket. After all this is not a sweater design. For sweater I usually prefer stockinette. Of course I am particularly partial to linen and half linen stitch for creating a blended fabric with multiple yarns (great way to use up stash).

  18. I vote for the reverse stockinette … the purl bumps seem to have a sheen to them which may just be the yarn, but it doesn’t show up on the stockinette, at least not to me. Just sayin’ …

  19. My vote: reverse stockinette.

    Gawd, those sock yarns are GORGEOUS!

    What is with cats sniffing toes, anyway? No, don’t tell me.

  20. I vote for stockinette. I’ve never been fond of reverse stockinette or even just plain knit. I think colors flow better in stickinette.

  21. Reverse is pretty and so is that Lucy.

  22. Delurking to say . . . Normally I hate reverse stockinette but somehow it just makes that colourway look softer. Pretty pretty pretty.

  23. Stockinette for me. The reverse just looks like the wrong side to me no matter what the yarn.

    Someone asked about blue moon; just mouse over “Support” and click on “contact us” (–there are several email addresses. I ordered a couple skeins of Lucy too, but just be aware they’re awash in Lucy orders apparently. It’s been 2 weeks and they’re still queuing up yarn to dye for my order.

  24. Stockinette

  25. I’m gonnago with the reverse stockinette.I think it looks better. I did a wash cloth and always show it on the reverse stockinette side.

  26. I’m usually not a big fan of reverse stockinette, but in this case I like it better. The colors don’t clump together as much on the purl side as they do on the knit side.

  27. Most of the time I rather passionately do not like reverse stockinett, however, in that colorway, it is beautiful.

  28. So Lucy’s a Ragdoll, eh? And all this time, I’ve been thinking she was a Siamese/longhair mix! Silly me to think she was so ordinary! After all, she’s got her own yarn colorway…

  29. Alice in Richmond says:

    Reverse. I made a sweater in one piece from hand painted roving which became varigated handspun and had the choice in the finished garment as to where to put the seams. I tried it on pinned together both ways. The reverse side blended and muted the colors, I liked that effect. It looks more washed together than striped or blotched. If that makes any sense.

    THe only other thing I will say about it is that it pills worse on the purl side than the knit side if that makes any difference. Maybe because the purl side is less durable? I don’t really know.

    A ๐Ÿ˜‰

  30. Stockinette for me. But it’s more of a texture issue instead of a visual issue with me. I just don’t like the way all the purl bumps feel on the outside of a garment. Beautiful sock yarns. I’ve been too busy drowning in sequins, but I have to say that the Fir Cone Stole came out lovely!

  31. I like the reverse stockingette stitch. It is more subtle in the coloring. Also, I think it looks like chainmaille!

  32. I like the reverse for a jacket..more sophisticated..for socks no..
    I am learning so much from you as I just recently started knitting and became addicted fast.. So many of your projects I want to try . The kitty bed is on top of the list.. after I finish some of the of what I have started(:
    How do you get so much done in such a short time?

  33. I like the way the reverse stockinette softens the colour delineation…I prefer it to the stockinette. But, I have to agree with the other commentor who stated they would have used moss stitch or some such. I probably would have gone moss/seed stitch….but, as you said – the joys of us all having our own taste ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regardless, the colours are delightful!

  34. I do like the way the reverse makes the colors look, but I think the stockinette looks cleaner, IMHO.

    But that sock yarn? To Die For. No, seriously. Mrrrrowr.

  35. I just don’t like reverse stockinette or garter stitch for that matter. it reminds me of stuff done by beginning knitters, sort of church bazaar crafty. But I can’t really say in this case without seeing the finished project. It might just be the perfect stitch for this pattern.

  36. Reverse — subtley adds to the subtleness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Reverse stockinette.

  38. rachel l. says:

    The reverse stockinette looks nicer to me — for some reason, the stockinette seems to detract from the beauty of that yarn!

    My ragdoll boy ( a sealpoint like Lucy) doesn’t much care for brushing, but my, the amounts of fur we get from him — we could spin a kitten a week just from his coat! Don’t think I haven’t thought of taking up spinning just to try to make my own yarn from an endless supply of cat hair here…

  39. I LOVE the reverse stockinette – remebers me of a Monet – soft, beautiful water colors – just gorgeous – good choice!

  40. Your lucy girl sure is a natural beauty! As for the knitting…. the yarn is just yummy! I do prefer the stockinette. I’m sorry. I just never liked the look of the reverse. However, your chico’s jacket is beautiful and you could knit wonders with just about anything! I am in awe!

  41. I like the reverse side – I’m not sure why, but it seems “prettier” to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Reverse stockinette – the effect is like a pointillist painting.

  43. I don’t usually like reverse stocking stitch, but in this case I think it’s the winner. The fabric looks exotic and less “planned.”

    My Ragdoll hates all brushes but I Zoom Groom her anyway. Thankfully the brush is aptly named and takes only a few minutes. Lucy is a very good girl to let you brush her with two differnt brushes several times a week! And she is also an exotic beauty!

  44. Christine says:

    I prefer the stockinette.

    I love the pictures you post of Lucy. She must love being close to you all the time, because she is always inspecting what you are doing.

    Happy knitting to all!

  45. Reverse stockinette seems more appropriate for a kimono because it looks more like an exotic fabric especially in a smaller gauge. Almost like a slubby silk. Beautiful!

  46. Reverse-stockinette. I think the texture adds interest and I also like the way the colors look more like a watercolor painting and not so stripey.

  47. I have to say I was surprised to think this, but I like the reverse stockinette better and agree that it makes the best right side in that yarn. I usually don’t even consider it but now that I see your 2 photos next to each other like that, I’m going to start paying attention more in my own knitting projects ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Stephanie says:

    I like the way the stockinette stitches look better but I like how the reverse stockinette makes the yarn glow. I guess I’m on the fence. I’d probably personally do the stockinette out of habit. Way to break out of the mold!

  49. I usually prefer stockinette, but for this particular garment I believe your choice of reverse is right on.
    Your sock yarn is really beautiful.
    Lucy is a natural beauty too! Thanks for sharing with us in blogland:D

  50. Both sides are pretty. I’d have a hard time choosing. Though I believe you do run the risk of people thinking you have the jacket on backwards.

    I really like the colors in the new sock. Together they make me think of mums.

  51. Ahh, the Zoom Groom. Thanks for the tip. My girls tolerate the wire slicker brush but not for long.
    I definitely prefer the look of stocking stitch to reverse stocking, but as you said…variety is the spice of life etc. etc. I really love the olives and pimientos yarn! Lucy seems to think it’s good enough to eat…

  52. I like both sides. The stockinette side is crisper looking , yet the reverse is more Monet-esque like a watercolor. Each has their own look that I find appealing.

  53. I like reverse stockinette — and I especially like it worked vertically.

  54. I usually like the stockinette side but with your yarn the reverse side looks softer more like an impressionist painting. The stockinette is less muted and you can see the individual blobs (bad word don’t mean this in a bad way) of color. On the reverse they meld into each other (at least on my monitor).

    What is a Zoom Groom? If it works fast it sounds like something I could use on my bruch fearing cat.

  55. Personally, I think seed stitch would be great. Of the two choices, I like the reverse stostockinette.
    The color is just beautiful!


  56. The stockinette side looks better. The reverse looks like the WS.

  57. The reverse stockinette is beautiful, and so is Ms. Lucy.

  58. Reverse!!!! lovely

  59. Reverse!!!! lovely

  60. eyooo, I’m afraid I like the stockinette better…

  61. Stockinette.

  62. Gail Lucille says:

    Reverse….Perfect idea for your Kimono Jacket,
    I think it will be so pretty.

  63. I just love the colors in this silk yarn. Personally I think of kimonos being smooth, shiny and lightweight looking. Almost
    something a fairy would wear. So in this
    case I would prefer the stockinette side,
    because the reverse stockinette ribs seem to
    make the fabric bulkier, and more rustic.
    Kind of fights the (silky) kimono theme. I
    do like reverse stockinette, but with
    different style garments and matte yarn.

  64. I like the texture of reverse stockinette, especially when paired with ribbing or an interesting textured pattern.

  65. another vote for reverse stockinette (sp?)
    it just looks more exotic and interesting, more flowing and natural…..
    by the way what is a zoom groom ? or whatever you use on lucy?
    i have an adopted himalyan who could be lucy’s twin…at least i think she is a himalayn.
    or another question from a newbie, why is colorway called colorway, and not just colors, or ?
    just never heard the term before entering the knitting world…

  66. funny this should come up. i have some very subrle handpaint type yarn i am working in stockinette. the colors are very subdued. i threw in 3 rows of reverse stockinette every 20 rows to get the colors to pop a bit. in plain stockinette the yarn looses some of it’s luster..the 3 rows on reverse pop both the various colors and the hseen.

    personally i would have done the jacket in plain stockintte and a collar /cuff / button band and or bottom edging in reverse stockinette.

    or stockinette with a diamond brocade thing throughout the’d still get the nice fabric of stockinette and the bits of color adding some excitement to the piece. dare to be different. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  67. I prefer the reverse side. It appears as if the colour variations are far more subtle on the reverse side than on the regular stockinette.

  68. Hi, Wendy,

    Thank you for the Fir Cone Wrap Pattern. I really love it. I even started out knitting it, but I made a smaller version to get a scarf. I made a smaller border, and keep thinking it might look better in moss stitch or something of the like. Still not decided if I rib it back or not. I used Regia Silk in off-white, and 3.5 mm needles. The scarf version is due to me owning only some 400 m of the yarn, which is half of what the stole takes.

    I have got a question concerning the pattern. Is there a reason why you moved the starting k2tog one stitch to the left? From the chart (row 9) it reads k1, k2tog, k2, … Typo or feature? All my pattern books read this line as k2tog, k3… If it is a feature what is behind this decision? Since I love symmetry this one is bothering me – but just a little bit.

    I know now why Fir Cones is a well-loved pattern that turns up in every (English) pattern collection: a good effect/effort ratio. Simple, TV-compatible knitting, but gorgeous looking. Thanks for pulling my German mind to that pattern.

    Chris 8-), who is still contemplating a big version

  69. I like the purl side. It gives it a nice texture.

  70. Stockinette. The other side just looks “wrong” to me.

  71. For the way the handpaint looks: Reverse Stockinette. I really like the ‘pointilist’ effect of the purl bumps; the colour changes are much more subtle than on the Stockinette. I think something containing panels of both knitted from the same yarn (perhaps with some silk content to emphasize the sheen of the Stockinette) would be very interesting indeed.

  72. I like both actually

    In this case, I like the reverse more, it seems to make the colors “pop” and gives it a better texture

  73. I like both, but in this case I think I like the reverse side better.

  74. I love reverse stockinette with handpainted/verigated yarn. I just finished up a simple Manos raglan pullover in reverse stockinette and the colors “flow” so much nicer on the purl side than on the knit. Lucy sure looks ready for the long weekend!

  75. yeesh. I like it with VARIGATED yarn, even. I can’t think/type/spell before 7AM. ๐Ÿ™‚

  76. Stockinette.


  77. Though I usually prefer stockinette, the reverse stockinette looks like little ripples on the ocean in the colorway you have, so I’m all for the “wrong side” on this one. My rescued shorthair calio Hawthorne, who displays remarkable contempt for most everything, is just ga-ga for her slicker brush and Zoom Groom (a slightly sticky rubber brush with big blunt “teeth” which whisks up loose fur like a dream). The words “brush, brush” work magic in our house.

  78. I also think that reverse stockinette looks like the wrong side (years of conditioning, I guess), but I also like the idea of giving some texture to hand-dyed yarn, like that of your kimono. I was doing something similar with yarn from Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm (merino and silk), and I opted for double seed stitch. Since you don’t like to rib, I guess you wouldn’t care for seed stitch either. But I’m a combined knitter, and so this goes pretty smoothly for me. In any case, I do think the texture on the right side gives you the look you want.

  79. I generally like a stockinette, but for a kimono, I think the reverse stockinette gives such a garment the “difference” it requires.

  80. Considering that you are making a kimono type sweater, I think it would be terribly BORING in plain ole stockinette. My vote definitely goes for the reverse stockinette.

  81. I like both but the stocknette looks better IMHO!!

    Ohhh lucious Fleece artist sock yarns nice color.. I wish I oculd get my hands on some.. Never tried it but keep hearing wonderful things about it! Enjoy!

  82. I like the stockinette side better. Reverse stockinette to me is like wearing your clothes inside out.


  83. I love showing the wrong side sometimes! And this would be one of those sometimes. I think the combo of pattern and yarn are going to be stunning! However, if for any reason, you do not like the finished project and can not bear to keep it in your possession, I will be a true friend and take it off your hands.
    I can’t wait to see progress on this one!
    LB, great yarn!

  84. The color changes seem a little more subtle to me on the reverse stockinette side but i’m not sure which I like better. I just can’y get past the feeling that the reverse is the “wrong” side. I guess it’s ingrained.

  85. Sorry, just can’t get behind the reverse-stockinette. Whenever I see someone in a r-s sweater, I think “Awwwwwww, the poor soul doesn’t realize she’s got her sweater on inside-out…”
    Love the yarn, though!

  86. Reverse. It looks better and I like being a rebel and doing what is not the norm.

    I need to look for the Zoom Groom. Husband got a wire one for our Ragdolls and they hate it so they walk around all messy. They do like grabbing the wire brush and rubbing their faces all over it. Maybe Zoom Groom is like a slicker?

  87. Definitely reverse – the stockinette is too matchy-matchy.

  88. I think the reverse looks prettier in the samples shown. You are right about the variegation, some look better in reverse stockinette, in the same way that a garter stitch might look better in some colorways .

    Happy Knitting!

  89. I am linking the reverse stockinette – perhaps it is just a phase I am going through, but I feel it mushes the colors together in a softer fashion….

  90. You’ve convinced me! My first response would be blah, because I really don’t like rev. st. st. BUT…with this yarn, in this colorway it’s right. The stronger vertical lines of the knit columns seem to interrupt the flow of the colors. Maybe it’s because it’s blue and it makes me think of waves or flowing water. Beautiful colors, beautiful cat!

  91. Of the two, I like the stockinginette, BUT, I think the texture and color would look great in simple seed stitch. I may be biased because I LOVE seed stitch, but I think you could get the same effect without the whole wrong-side right side debacle. Oh! but you’ve already knit the back. Short of a trip to the frog pond, I’d go with really neat seams so that it could be worn either way ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. Reverse but seaming sucks.

  93. I just had to de-lurk to comment that I like the reverse stockinette in this yarn, which really suprised me. I just think it looks better and does more justice to the colors – it actually looks smoother than the stockinette side.

    Also, Miss Lucy is gorgeous and fuzzy and I really want to bury my face in her fur. Does that make me creepy? ๐Ÿ™‚

  94. Cindy Laird says:

    I usually like stockinette better in all cases, but here I have to agree with you that the purl side is quite pretty.

  95. I’ll just add my $0.02… firmly on the side of the rev. stockinette. The texture and color blending really make the piece something special and reminds me of the slubs of shantung silk. Very beautiful work!

  96. I like the stockinette and the reverse, but if subtlety is what you were going for, I’d stick with the reverse. The varigations are much less obvious in it.
    That sock yarn is beautiful. The Olives & Pimientos is my favorite. The only things is, I hate olives, so it makes me sad that they named something so beautiful after something (I feel) is so gross. I agree that it looks very autumnal. Like Maine foliage! I love it!

  97. Man, I LOVE reverse stockinette stitch, and it looks particularly charming in a variegated yarn. I’ve made a few things for myself using reverse stockinette. (The French seem to favor it.) It’s reminds me of garter stitch (which I also love) without the width but plus the length.

  98. Lucy you are indeed a rare beauty.

    I worship you from you little nose to your tiny toes and up to the top of your tall tail.

    Please don’t tell my Kohl kitty; I love him dearly and tell him daily he’s gorgeous, but you my dear Lucy are the reigning queen of kitty beauty.

  99. The reverse stst is gorgeous. It makes the colorchanges so lovely and subtle.

  100. Definitely reverse. The stocking side looks too stripey.