My current work in progress:

Roscalie Cardigan by Alice Starmore, knit from Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift  on a US 3 needle

Magic Socks

The Magic Socks are done. Alert the media.


I knit these toe up, as per usual and used almost every last inch of the yarn. I didn’t want to waste any handspun, you know.

I’ll be starting another pair of socks asap. I’m thinking another pair of Whiskers and Paw Prints socks, but this time I’ll do ’em toe-up. You know, just for grins.

I’ve got the yarn picked out.


This is Scarlet Fleece It’s Tubular 2X! sock yarn in the “Olives” colorway. It’s a 100 gram skein with 480 yards, and is 80% wool/20% nylon. It’s hand-dyed by the very talented Kathy Oliver of Holly Spring Homespun.

Note: In next Tuesday’s Heifer Project raffle, we’re giving away three gorgeous skeins of this yarn, in three different colorways, that Kathy generously donated. Just sayin’. 😉

Continuing in the theme of “all Holly Spring Homespun yarn all the time” I am continuing work on my Mountain Stream scarf, knit in the cashmere from Holly Spring.


This is such a fun knit. Once you get past the initial construction of the bottom border and the corners, it’s pretty easy for the body of the scarf — just enough stuff to keep me entertained.

I’m really liking the cashmere I’m using for this scarf — I think it’s going to make a lovely scarf.

Which brings me to a question from the comments:

LizKnits asked:

Do you have any suggestions for selecting substitute yarns — both with regards to the thickness (sport versus fingerling) and the material? I’m wondering if there are any guidelines out there about what the impact is of switching from 100% wool to a blend or to something totally different like bamboo, for example, with regards to the drape of the material, etc.

Is it a matter of swatch and see?

In many cases it is a matter of swatch and see.

In the case of this scarf — the original was knit from Rowan Kidsilk Haze, which is a mohair silk blend, which is very fine and fuzzy. I’m knitting mine from a smooth cashmere 2-ply, so I know my resulting scarf is going to be slightly larger and look different. I didn’t bother to swatch in this case. I’ve knitted lace from fingering weight cashmere before and know what to expect.

In the case of lace, I substitute wildly and freely. I keep in the back of my mind the thought that I only want to knit lace from a fiber that I can block and have a reasonable expectation of it keeping its shape. I wouldn’t, for example, knit a lace shawl from an acrylic or cotton yarn.

For sweaters, I’m a but more cautious, and I try to sub yarns that have the same general properties as the yarn specified in a pattern. If I’m knitting a cabled sweater, I want to be sure and use a yarn that has the proper stitch definition, so that the cables will “pop.”

This was a huge problem for me in my early knitting years. I’d substitute any old thing that would (well, sometimes) knit to the same gauge, but the yarn would be all wrong for the project in other ways and I’d end up disappointed. When I was a teenager, I really cranked out some monstrosities.

Knit From Your Stash 2007!

A few days ago, L-B mentioned to me that she was thinking about attempting to knit from her stash exclusively in 2007. I, of course, laughed at her initially, but started thinking that attempting to knit from my stash exclusively was not a bad idea. Both L-B and I have stashes of epic proportions. L-B had suggested a period of 9 months of knitting from the stash, so that we could go to Stitches East next October and buy yarn there.

So, in a phone call this morning, we sketched out some guidelines.

Knit From Your Stash 2007

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 — a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.

2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. We each get one “Get Out of Jail Free” card — we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

So. I have put it in writing. I’ve got yarn for a number of very alluring projects in stash, and I am hoping to actually get to most of those projects next year. We’ll see how I do.

And anyone else who would like to join us in this is welcome to do so!

Lucy sez:


I’m still holding out hope that I’ll get my baby chicks! Maybe Santa is going to bring them.


  1. The idea of using stash yarn for 9 months is great. But, personally, I get to much pleasure from shopping for yarn. As I said to a friend recently, too bad buying yarn can’t be a stand a lone hobby.

    Love your Magic socks. They look just like Coco the kitty.

    Sherry (Twyla’s Mom)

  2. I notice that your rules allow L-B to buy you gift yarn and allow you to buy L-B gift yarn….

  3. Hmmm……the “rules” sound logical to me…….and big fun……..doncha love inventing “rules”?

  4. Clearly this means buy lots of yarn in December. Which I was already well on my way to doing…

  5. Good luck on the stash-knitting for nine months thingie. Me? I can do three months but nine? I’d rather eat my own shoes.

    Just sayin’.

    You’re a stronger (or stranger) woman than I am.

  6. It was karma that I just happened by for a visit.

    I need some discipline in my life. I can’t stop buying yarn. Also,I just started to knit socks! Finished my very first practice socks yesterday. I see that sock yarn doesn’t count. Perfect.

    I love the Magic socks. I will rush over and get some yarn in case I read the rules wrong.

    It is all too perfect a fit for me. I hereby agree to the rules and jump in with all my feet.
    Please count me in.

  7. I really NEED to do more stashbusting…I have been working on it, BUT… I know that I won’t be able to keep to your rules. What if there was some accounting of projects made from the stash, as well as confessions of yarn purchased during that time (and projects made from said purchases…I’m thinking mother’s day here). I’m with Rabbitch, 3 months I could do, but NINE? Uh-uh (unless I could fairly cheat).

  8. I think I shall have to follow everyone’s progress.. and perhaps look to work from my bead stash.. maybe without purchases?! I just returned to knitting a couple months ago, so I do not really have much of a stash, I should be able to finish it up in the first 3 months or so..Love your blog and kitty pics. I have 5 cats myself!

  9. Deborah C. says:

    I think this sounds like a great idea, thanks! My stash is overflowing the basement and I have about 30 projects already lined up with pattern and yarn (I’m not kidding, I did a table in Word and I’m up to #50, counting the completed stuff and ideas I don’t have materials for yet). I have to choose between Frogner, Frieda (your name for the Dale of Norway sweater) and Rogue to make next. Decisions, decisions! Hee hee…

  10. Count me in.