My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

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. Wendy,
    The reverse stockinette makes the most of the yarn, IMHO. I’m not fond of handpainted yarn striping. Lettuce Knits in Richmond in my LYS and they’ve just started carrying Kathy’s handpainted yarns. I have a couple of skeins for socks – what pattern are you going to use for the leg? I haven’t started mine yet and I’m in the “looking for inspiration” stage.

    My long haired black kitty needs a thorough brushing every couple of days – better if every day but that doesn’t seem to work out often. She loves brushing!! After all, she deserves it!

    Thanks for the on-going knitting inspiration!

  2. lucy is beautiful as always.

    also i like the stockinette better.
    i dont think the reverse is crap i just prefer stockinette.

  3. Wendy, thanks for sharing the Fir Cone pattern. I have a skien of Fortissima Colori Disco Socka Color (sparkly!) and I have been swatching different things with it but haven’t found the right thing. I know it’s sock yarn but it’s too pretty for socks, imo.

    I printed the pattern yesterday (printed the new chart today) and decided to narrow the wrap by half and see how it looks. The skien has 420 meters so I think I will have enough. I cast on 57 stitches with US#6 needles, did 14 rows of stockinette, started the chart doing 3 repeats of the center 10-stitch pattern. I haven’t done enough yet to tell how it will look. I’m thinking this will be a gift for my 8-year-old niece. Sort of a “mini-wrap”.

    I’ll post a pic on my blog when I have enough done to see.

  4. Either side looks fine, but making a garment of reverse stockinette without knitting it very firmly is (from what Maggie Righetti says) asking for trouble. The fabric will tend to lengthen and shorten as you move around in it, because it will take any excuse to wrap around any bit of you. I’m sure this will be helped by the fact that the yarn is heavy and slippery, so perhaps the horizontal pull will balance out the vertical pull. It’s hard to tell without knitting it first, though. As you’ve said, you’re a “process” knitter, so I’m sure you won’t be upset if this doesn’t work out to be a wearable garment, right?

  5. I must admit to preferring the stockinette, although I love reverse stockinette in solid yarns.

    Lucy is such a princess, and so good-natured. Fluffy has a couple of big ugly mats on her that I would love to remove, but if I get anywhere near her she goes into furry-cuisinart mode. I don’t *want* to be sliced and diced.

  6. I never thought about how reverse stockinette would look better in one yarn than another. I agree, purl bumps work here. Love what you’re doing, can’t wait to see it finished!

  7. Katherine says:

    I like the st side better, but I like the rev st side too. I have a store-bought sweater all in reverse stockinette (it’s tweedy stripes), and I love it! I think it’ll look wonderful all put together.

    BTW, thanks for the Fir Cone pattern. I really like the simplicity of the stitch, and I think I will adapt it to a scarfy/cowly pattern and save some pretty variegated Kid Seta that had been languishing in the WRONG lace pattern for a while. Thank you!

  8. Your reverse stockinette side is so even and the texture looks great with the yarn. Go with it!!

  9. Katherine says:

    Also, one of my cats has medium-length hair that doesn’t mat, only needs an occassionaly brushing. It’s a great feature!! The beauty of longer hair without the fuss! Of course, she still sheds more than my short-hair, meaning there is still the fuss of vacuuming (a lot). Eh, she’s worth it.

  10. I like the reverse stockinette. The color variations look more subtle.

  11. Reverse stockinette!

  12. I choose the reverse stockinette… I love to see the texture and color variation. Your work is lovely.

  13. The reverse stockinette in this case makes me think of a slubby silk jacket, and I like that. Especially with the shininess of this yarn. Most of the time, though, I like the all knitted side better. It just depends on the garment or item, and the texture and character of the yarn.

  14. I think I fall in the reverse camp, I have never tried it, but tend to use garter stitch for most of the varigated stuff I make. This yarn is beautiful enough to go any way at all. Love the sock yarn too. Wish my cats liked brushing as much as Lucy

  15. I like the reverse stockinette–agree with Kathy that it makes me think of slubby silk. And the color gradations seem more muted, as in silk moire. Can’t wait to see it completed.

  16. Pam Huang says:

    I much prefer the reverse stockinette side-there’s much more texture and it doesn’t look striped. The slippery right side will feel good against your skin too.

  17. I also like the stocking stitch side. Not sure why but reverse stocking stitch always looks wrong to me.

    I love the new sock yarns… am always on the hunt for interesting sock yarns.

  18. Reverse gives more of a watercolor effect. It has my vote.

  19. Call me boring but IMHO Stockinette has a “right” side and a “wrong” side. I’ve never seen it once where I liked the wrong side better. I’ve always been enthralled with the right side of stockinette stitch, though. It is just endlessly fascinating to me. BTW, my favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Danielle M says:

    Definitely the reverse st st!! (And, I normally don’t like the look of reverse st st, either!! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  21. The reverse stockinette doesn’t look like crap, but I have to admit I like the stockinette side better, for what it’s worth.

    What matters is what you like, right?

  22. I think I like the stockinette… Love the new socks. I am working on a pair using Fleece Artist in mahogany — it, too, reminds me of autumn, so I have named my socks Autumn Delight.

  23. For reverse stockinette to show it’s best, I think you need three things, 1-near perfect stitch tension, 2-the right yarn, and 3-the right pattern that will be enhanced by the inherent sense of horizontal rather than vertical stitch ‘movement’ and added texture if that makes sense. It seems that your project has all of these elements and the close up looks quite beautiful. I look forward to seeing this adventure of yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Jean Hochard says:

    Never gave the reverse stockenette stitch a second thought until you showed it and I really like it with the seed stitch as a edge. Go for it!!!!!

  25. I like the reverse stockinette. In the variegated yarn it looks a little like a woven fabric, which I like. And I was wondering how Lucy’s fur always stays so shiny….she’s such a gorgeous cat!

  26. theroseherself says:

    Reverse-! ๐Ÿ™‚