My current work in progress:

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


Cables? Yup.

Those of you who guessed that the Koigu Kersti was destined to become something cabled were correct.
Those of you who guessed that the Koigu Kersti would become something cabled and Starmore were correcter.

But no one got it exactly right.

The Koigu Kersti is going to become Cromarty, from The Celtic Collection, which is one of the few older Starmore books that one can acquire for a reasonable price.

I’ve had the Kersti in stash for quite a while. I bought it after seeing Rachael’s Cromarty made from Kersti.

(An aside: there was a question in the comments about how I store my yarn. It is, for the most part, kept in plastic bags, stacked on shelves. I don’t really have a system for organization my stash. I depend on my memory. A scary concept at best.)

I’ve had my copy of The Celtic Collection for many years, but Cromarty never called out to me as a must-knit. I think it was because of the yarn used for the original design in the book. It’s Rowan Designer DK, in what I think is a sort of boring shade of light blue. It wasn’t until I saw Rachael’s beautiful rendition of Cromarty that I felt the need to knit it.

But the yarn has been marinating in the stash for ages. It’s about time I pulled it out. I wound one skein into a ball the other night and did a swatch with the recommended needle size — a 3.75mm or U.S. 5.

Now, I’ve read discussions all over the place about people not being able to get Starmore’s stitch and row gauge, and it is widely accepted that her gauge is hard to achieve for most people. I am clearly weird, because I have never had problems getting gauge for a Starmore sweater, and this one is no exception. With the recommended needle, I get the exact stitch and row gauge with Koigu Kersti.

The pattern calls for 15 skeins of Rowan Designer DK — a 50 gram skein has about 125 yards. A 50 gram skein of Kersti has 115 yards, so we’re pretty close there. I’ve read horror stories about people running out of yarn for Cromarty, so I’m betting having 21 skeins of the Kersti, I’ll have enough. Particularly since I’m getting the recommended gauge.

So that’s it. Next up after the Maltese Shawl will be Cromarty.

I liked Nicole’s comment:
Soo I’m staring at that swatch thinking how in the h… do i think i can guess your next project off a plain vanilla reverse st st swatch; soo i try to spy out what pattern page may be underneath sort of cheating when suddenly i spot it.
Gosh is this an action shot of an adorable magnetic needle holder actually in use there on the edge of the table?

Nicole is talking about this:


She very kindly sent me this magnetic needle holder this past Christmas. As you can see, I put it to good use!

And I was very sneaky — when I photographed the swatch, it was lying on this:


That’s the January ’07 Turner Classic Movies program guide. Which reminds me — I’ve not yet gotten the February program guide. Hmmmph!

So, I’m going to dedicate large chunks of time to knitting the edging on the Maltese Shawl this weekend. The Washington DC area was supposed to get snow and ice tonight into tomorrow morning. I was hoping against hope that at the very least the government was on “unscheduled leave” so I could call in “unwilling to venture out in the ice and stay home and knit lace edging.” However, it looks like the storm is not going to reach us. *sob*

Well, here is the second Slayer sock.


I’ll finish it tonight, and start a sock for tomorrow’s commute using this:


Lucy sez:


“I wish Momma was gonna stay home with me tomorrow!”


  1. Whoa, I was gonna guess a crocheted afghan. Boy, would I have been wrong. =)

  2. Oooh, I really like the new sock yarn!

  3. Do you find the TCM program guide worth subscribing to? I usually just check out what’s playing on their website. TCM makes for a great combination with knitting, I find…

  4. I love the new sock yarn. My travel project is a scarf in pprogress…half done…looking forward to retunring to socks.

  5. Bart and Louise! Can’t wait to see how it knits up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Go ahead Momma – stay home with Lucy. You have my permission.

  7. Oh, I love the Cromarty sweater, but not so much the ex-boyfriend with the name, so I’ve never been interested in knitting it. Bad vibes… Maybe I can get over those some day because it’s a great pattern. Oh oh, I can hear the stash calling… Choose me, no me, it’s my turn…

  8. After the fines and fees that TCM’s parent company will be paying in Boston, they might not have had enough money to publish this month – lol

    Cromarty is gorgeous – you are starting to inspire me more ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ok, that is going to be one gorgeous sweater. You make me so jealous. hehe

  10. I knit Cromarity last year and it was a long, fun knit (6 months at my turtle speed) I love the color you chose, and I’m sure yours will take much less time.

  11. HEY there is no picture of your new outrageous handbag! Will you be storing the new WIP in it?

  12. After the Maltese shawl and Cromarty, I envision miles of blissful stockinette… or maybe even garter? I know that’s what I’d feel like doing!

  13. Hi Wendy- I’ve had my copy of Celtic Knits since it first came out in the “90’s. If I’m not mistaken, a customer at the yarn shop pointed out an error in the number of repeats in the arms- I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that because she knit it in the original yarn, and it was really hot pink. I loved it.

  14. OK the pink and green and black is taking me back a ways. Between you and Carole, it’s 80s day!

  15. Okay, I have to get some of that yarn – for the name alone. I felt like I was overhearing a conversation about myself as I read this entry.

    It’s going to be a beautiful sweater!

  16. yum yum, i love kersti (and all other things koigu).
    do you like the fabric you’re getting with it?
    rachel’s cromarty is gorgeous.

  17. What I want to know is what Cromarty has to do with Shane?

  18. The new sock yarn looks very interesting!! I can’t wait to see what pattern you use & how it develops.

  19. are you going to add ribbing of some kind or knit it w/o it as written? karen

  20. omg! im so excited IM in the middle of making cromarty! im making out of auracania nature wool, which im pretty much getting guage with on size 3s

    my idol and i are knitting the same sweater neat!!

    can’t wait to see what you do with it ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. That Kersti color is gorgeous. I, too, was hoping for a long weekend courtesy of our fickle weather. I’ve got an error in my Peacock Feathers shawl to fix and the bleary-eyed evening method isn’t doing it. Carefully unknit four rows of a 24-st repeat, reknit using dpn’s two or three sizes smaller, celebrate! That’s why I need a day off from work.

  22. I feel so inept next to your speed of knitting. I’m on my 2nd pair of socks and it’s taking all day just to get 4″ of ribbing. How on earth do your knit so fast…..
    love your book and blog,
    hilary btw, am I the ONLY person w/no stash?

  23. Wendy, I just saw Bob Ryan on Channel 4 leading with a coy “Is there going to be school tomorrow or not? Will we have snow? Tune in at 11:00.” So there’s still hope! I hope you get your knitting day!

  24. Ok…..have Celtic Collection and have been tooing and froing…..must jump in… inspired…..

  25. The Cromarty looks like you. Love the Slayer socks!!

  26. The Cromarty makes me want to drop everything and start it now. However, FEBRUARY IS FOR FINISHING! I have sworn NOT to start anything new until I finish some of the many WIPs I have on hand. So, I’ll revisit this idea in March.

  27. Dear Hilary McDaniel,

    Yes. You are the only knitter alive with no stash.

    Please rectify this immediately or we’ll have to confiscate your needles and give you hemp macrame equipment in its stead. Or possibly the Home Accounting Kit. Trust me, you don’t want it.

    May I suggest Socks That Rock as a good starting place for stash accumulation?

    sincerely yours,
    The Knitting Police

  28. D’oh!! I was soooo close! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cromarty will be lovely!

  29. anne marie in philly says:

    HOW CAN YOU IGNORE lucy’s plaintive expression of desire?

    yeah, I know…you stay home and she sleeps all day and ignores you.

    I am home sick with bronchitis and steven and meredith disappeared for most of thursday. so much for helping me get well again…

    I also knit along with the movies.

  30. Oooo, I love Cromarty! Beauty, isn’t it? I usually never have a problem with her tension either.

  31. Oh, Lucy, I’m sure your Momma wishes she was staying home with you today, too!

  32. that gorgeous sock yarn is the nearest thing to a rosebud I’ve ever seen (apart from a few rosebuds). What is it??

  33. I’m with you. I was really hoping that the reports were right and we’d get snow. Especially since my new wheel arrived yesterday. It would have been so nice to stay home on a friday snow day and spin. Oh well!

  34. Wow, that’s going to be beautiful especially in that color. We’re supposed to get snow this afternoon, and are hoping that it does come through for us. Sorry you didn’t get the day off, Lucy looks forlorn.

  35. Woo-hoo, I done figgered it out. I did my toe up sock with no holes running alongside the toe. I did a departure from the pattern by doing the rest of the body of the sock with two circulars rather than fight with 5 dpns. No matter what I do, I can’t get away from developing ladders from where I move from needle to needle. Anyone else have that problem? Anyway, I’m off to work on the foot of my sock

  36. Oh I am so excited to see your sweater come together!

    What is the new sock yarn? I love the colors. I love all things pink and love to mix pink with funky colors!

  37. New Jersey Laura says:

    You’re using a 5 needle and Rachael blogged that she used a 1 — same sweater; same yarn! Wow.
    And I thought you were making swatch coasters..

  38. That sweater in that yarn is going to be gorgeous! We will send you all our positive knitting thoughts and watch in awe as you pull this off. (I personally am in awe that you are managing to hold back from starting it before you are done with the shawl)

  39. Whoa. Good luck. Maybe you won’t have any stash left over by the end. Where do you typically buy yarn in such a large quantity? LYS or online? I am not very fond of the one LYS here in Missoula, MT because they never have much in a single color. I was making my mom a sweater and bought every skein of purple Cascade 109 they had (8 balls). I started with one pattern and after I almost finished the back I realized I wouldn’t have any left for sleeves. So, I spent a month finding a new pattern. Luckily I found a beautiful cardigan from Knit Picks (although I was still a bit worried about yarn shortage). I ended up having exactly the right amount of yarn (meaning I think I have about 4 yds. left). Its a good thing my mother isn’t a larger person.

    Can’t wait to see the new socks! Love the new yarn!

  40. Oh oh oh I can’t wait to see how that new sock yarn knits up. Looks interesting!

  41. Cromarty, ah! I wouldn’t have guessed that. It’s so exciting when you start a Starmore!

    I think that sock yarn is Sunshine Yarns. Yes? No? Maybe? ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Look at that darling Lucy face!!!

    I too (and my son) were hoping for a day off. Knitting for me and PS2 for him. Oh well . . . . Would love to see a pix of the sweater you are going to make.

    Have a good weekend.


  43. Huh, I haven’t gotten the February TCM guide yet either! I emailed them, and they said sorry, sold out, we’ll extend your subscription. Humph indeed. Can’t wait to see your Cromarty – it’s been on my to-do list forever. I’m curious to see whether you’ll leave the bottom edge as pictured or do some sort of edging for it – I always leaned toward doing something to that edge, but could never decide what it needed.

  44. Add me to the “are you going to add an edging to Cromarty?” list ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the cables in it but always felt like it needed “something” at the hem. I’m with you on Starmore’s gauge. I’ve made Tara, Cashel, St. Brigid & St. Enda and never had trouble getting gauge.

  45. please, please, please tell me what that new sock yarn is!!! I love those colors and I want!!!

    Thank you!

    Please pass the appropriate cheese to go with this whine!!

  46. I LOVE the Cromarty. I just wish I had the talent (or time!) for it! And that color will be absolutely gorgeous!

    Hehehe… I recognize the Bart & Louise. It’s from Zen String! I love her stuff :-D… October’s my favorite. I use it all the time for my daughters pants and soakers.

  47. Hi Wendy — I did the Cromarty and it IS lovely, but it’s also a pain — although you will probably zip it off your needles like nothing. Something that I learned the hard way, and which you may already know through Googling Cromarty, is that the pattern calls for one more center pattern repeat than necessary where the arm evolves into the shoulder. I’m looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. Pats to Lucy — Yvonne.

  48. Finishing up my Cromarty in DDK right now, and I can tell you that it takes more than 15 balls; I made a modified drop shoulder (which is taking up less yarn, I think) and will use 17 or 18 balls.

    I have six repeats of the center cable on my sleeve/saddle, and it is the perfect length.