My current work in progress:

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


Cable Love!

Yup, at the point when it became obvious that I was going to run out of yarn for the Maltese Shawl, I cast it aside and cast on something new.

I could have knitted a bit more on the shawl, but doing so would leave me in the middle of a corner when the yarn ran out, and then I’d have to carefully document where exactly I was in that corner (which is the last one). So I left it at the end of an edging repeat and just set it aside. If the yarn gets to me before Friday, I’ll attempt to finish the shawl this weekend, otherwise it’ll wait until the following weekend.

I am more than mildly annoyed at running short of yarn. I think I’ll need about a half skein more of Kidsilk Haze to complete it, and that’s a pretty big discrepancy, in my opinion. But therein lies the peril of knitting something from a new book — you just don’t know how well the author estimates yardages. Oh, well. It’s not a huge deal, but I know when the yarn comes I’m not going to want to set Cromarty aside to finish the shawl.

Because I am in the throes of cable love! I’ve always loved knitting cables, ever since that first fisherman sweater I made when I was 18 years old and I figured out how to cross a cable without asking for help. (Wow! You actually physically cross the stitches!) It was 10 or 15 years later when I first discovered that you could knit cables without a cable needle. I learned that from an instructor at the first TKGA convention I attended. From that point on, I don’t think I’ve ever used a cable needle again.

On Sunday afternoon, I cast on for Cromarty and got started.


A couple of you asked in the comments if I was going to do some sort of edging on the bottom because you thought it looked a bit unfinished. No, I’m not — I’m knitting it “as-is.” I like the way it looks, so don’t feel the need to make any changes.

The yarn is Koigu Kersti in a lovely turquoise. I’m using the recommended needle size, a US 5 (3.75mm).

Kersti is a bit of a challenge for cable work, because it’s made up of multi-strands. You need to remain vigilant so as not to split the strands, but for me, so far so good.


Beyond Cool

What’s beyond cool? Having a friend knit a sweater in a pattern and yarn you picked out. This:


This is a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, a top down raglan pullover, made from Rowan All Seasons Cotton in a gorgeous chocolate brown. The color in the above photo is a bit faded. This is more true:


A close-up of the neck:


L-B made this sweater for me for my birthday. To say I love it is the understatement of the century! Thank you, L-B!!

Sock News Flash!

Just a public service announcement — Sheri at The Loopy Ewe put a bunch of new sock yarn up for sale today. She got her first shipment of Apple Laine Apple Pie sock yarn in, but I see it is sold out already. Rest assured that Sheri will be getting more in!

She got some other new sock yarns in, including Scarlet Fleece, which I recommend — I knit my Olives Socks from Scarlet Fleece sock yarn and loved it. She also has J-Knits sock yarn — I’ve got a skein of that in my sock yarn stash and it looks lovely — I’ve just not gotten around to knitting it yet!

Lucy Sez:


“I lied. I didn’t have Superbowl Fever. Momma and I didn’t even watch the Superbowl.”


  1. I like your public service announcement! (Yes, we have lots more Apple Laine on order – I promise.)

    Lucy lied in yesterday’s blog? You two didn’t even watch the Superbowl for the commercials? oh my.

  2. Thanks for the tip of how to knit cables without a cable needle. I will have to try that next time.

  3. Maybe Lucy is a Bears fan and couldn’t stand the suspense.

  4. You must be a pretty special lady to have a friend who’d knit such a fabulous gift and then actually give it! Now there MUST be a story as to y L-B does not have a blog of her own?!
    So if you don’t mind passing on my comment…. L-B you are a wonderful friend and quite a knitter to boot!

  5. And P.S. I love the sweater that L-B knit for you!! (Or wait – aren’t you and L-B the same person? So did you, in fact, knit it for yourself for your birthday? Nice job!)

  6. Thanks Wendy – I did get two skeins of Apple Laine before it sold out. Woohoo! I also made sure that Sheri knew I came from your site. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Hey, thank you for finally making it clear to me on the cable without a cable needle thingy – I’ve been so confused and hesitant because it just didn’t seem clear – yours are perfect!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ cls

  8. Cromarty is looking nice. It looks like you are a little over 1/2 way done with the first big chart.
    Ever since you posted about running out of yarn for the Maltise Shawl, I am worried about running out for the shawl I am working on.

  9. anne marie in philly says:

    you look beautiful in your L-B birthday sweater!

    and lucy, steven and meredith say there are better things to do than watch tv…say SLEEP, or CHASE A CATNIP MOUSIE, or SLEEP, or EAT, or SLEEP…(meow!)

  10. Lucy’s profile in today’s picture is great … she looks like she is staring at you in awe. (I think she’s thinking, she has the best Mom in the world).

    You are indeed lucky to have a handknit sweater from your friend L-B. My birthday was this weekend and since none of my friends knit me a sweater or even gave me yarn, I think I need to buy some sock yarn from Loopy Ewe. Of course, I don’t need any sock yarn, but that’s another story.

  11. I am really loving the Cromarty – I think you have found a perfect melding of color and design. And I do love the sweater L-B made for you. (Note to self: find a friend who will knit me a sweater for my BD …)

    Lucy! Such a startling admission! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I like the cables without the edging on the bottom. I’ve been eying a few cable sweaters in Vogue magazine over the last two months that are done in the same fashion. Very hip!

    PS – I love the blog and have been reading for several months, but it was my excitement over cables without edging that made me have to comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I love your new sweater. It reminds me of the brown cotton sweater I was wearing when I met my husband–long since worn to shreds. But I still have the miniature version of it I knit with toothpicks and embrodery thread for our cake topper along with a black beret and turtleneck for the groom! Wear your wonderful gift in good health.

  14. I love your cable knitting. I love it enough to try cables on my next project having never been shown how. I know I’ll be fine from your instructions.

    I scored some Apple Laine yarn, Whoot! Love the Loopy Ewe, I’m “this close” to becoming a groupie.

  15. I love cables too. I knit way too tight to be able to cable without a cable needle though. I’ve tried and I always unravel stitches. I don’t mind using the cable needle though, so it’s cool.

  16. I scored some Appelaine Apple Pie yarn from Pick up Sticks and it is wonderful! That is also a very fetching pic of Lucy!

  17. I love the cables.. in fact, I am having the same kind of cable love-crush goin’ on over here – just waiting for some hand dyed yarn to arrive. sigh. gorgeous.

  18. Cable knitting without the cable needle? Way cool. Will definately try that one – thanks!

  19. Nice cabling! The Koigu has a gorgeous color.
    And I have to get one of those “Knit from your Stash” buttons! (no bandwidth-stealing, I promise)

  20. L-B must really love you to knit you a chocolate brown, stockinette-stitch sweater with nothing interesting in the way of lace, cables or colorwork. My hat’s off to her! My definition of knitty love is your new sweater. Heh.

  21. I love Cromarty! I really should take a second look at it in the book…it reminds me of St. Brigid. The colour you’re using is beautiful!

  22. Another fan of cables here. I love doing them, and wearing them. I do like the way they end on the bottom of a sweater! The sweater from L-B is beautiful!!!!

  23. After finding your “cable sans cable needle” tutorial I find my cabled knitting really went much faster. Now I just need to find a use for all those dumb cable needles I had purchased before I saw the light!

  24. You mentioned TKGA in your post. Did you ever take their master knitter courses?

  25. Oooo…the sweater looks so comfy! Nice job L-B! Loving the Cromarty so far. What a fantastic color!

    I think that is the best Lucy photo I’ve seen so far. Her eyes seem full of wonder!

  26. Well done, L-B! Great snuggly sweater.

    Gorgeous cables, glorious blue on the Cromarty.

    I had the same problem with my VLT project. Even though I have the yardage called for, and got gauge, it became obvious I didn’t have enough to complete the border. Two more skeins ordered, just in case.

  27. Cromarty sounds a lovely name with irish tilt. I prefer cables to lace, maybe it is the fact that the structure is risen instead of full of holes. ( probably need therapy to analyse that one!)
    The chocolate sweater looks cosy, so nice when your friends give you things you have not knitted yourself, has different vibes in it ( good ones if its a good friend, I would not accept a knitted sweater from an enemy, oh wait maybe not)

  28. I received my Apple Pie sock yarn yesterday. I love it!!! Absolutley cannot wait to start my socks! I just want to finish my Bohus first. I’m working on the bottom ribbing of the back. Two sleeves and two fronts (I’m making the cardigan)to go! Woo hooooo!

    Darling pix of Lucy!

    L-B did a great job on your sweater. How lucky are you to have such a great and talented friend!


    P.S. Thanks so much for the tutorial on making cables without the cn! I really appreciate all that you share with us!

  29. Wendy- How do you keep Lucy out of your yarn stash? Or is she just a great kitty? My husband’s cat has never enjoyed yarn, but our new (7 mos old) kitten is a yarn fiend. This morning I woke up to 3 balls of yarn unwound all over the house. These 3 balls were wrapped in plastic, stuck in a bag, and on a table behind my sewing machine. Any suggestions??

  30. Now you’ve gone and done it! I bought the Celtic Collection book about 5 minutes after I read your post (as well as the Traditional Fair Isle book) . Since you have probably had much more yarn sampling experience, could you think of a substitute yarn for the Kersti that would still “pop” the cable work for Cromarty? I have limited local yarn sources here in Canada, and would have to shop online I’m sure. Any suggestions would be appreciated. How fortunate you are to have such a great friend who knits great birthday sweaters for you. It’s beautiful!

  31. Your cables are beautiful! L-B is a wonderful girlfriend! Lucy is an adorable Princess; this profile photo is remarkable! And I am out of adjectives. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. Hmm…very excited to see you’re knitting Cromarty as I had my eye on it for my next cable project. I just finished St Brigid, from Aran Knitting. St B was my first (adult) sweater, and my introduction to cabling sans cable needle. I really like the look of Cromarty, especially the neckline and the shorter length…so I’ll be watching with interest.

    Plus, anything knit with Koigu is Okay in my book.