My current work in progress:

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


Get Back

Cromarty now has a back.


Except that it may be a front. The back and the front are identical on this baby.

Does it look like an awfully shallow square neck there? Yeah, that’s because this design has shoulder straps, which will add a lot of depth to the neck.

I have cast on for a sleeve.

I opted to start a sleeve because at the end of the first sleeve I will have knit half the sweater (apart from the edgings one knits for the neck), and I will be able to tell if I have enough yarn. I’ve been having nagging worries about 21 skeins of Kersti being enough because everyone who has knit this design seems to have used way more yarn than the pattern claims you need.

But I am cautiously optimistic. The back (or the front) took about 6.25 skeins and I have a total of 21 skeins. If the sleeve takes 4 skeins or less (and it really should, I’m thinking), I’ll be fine, as that will add up to 20.5 skeins and the neck edging will not take more than half a skein. I think.

I really suck at estimating how much yarn the sleeves will take. Sure, they start out narrow. But you increase so that they get awfully wide at the top. And then there’s the whole shoulder strap thing one has to take into consideration. It’s a wide shoulder strap.

It’s a thrill ride, I tell you.

The New Sock in Progress

What yarn is it? Several of you got it and Adrienne got it first:
“That yarn looks very much like some Claudia Handpainted Blue Terra Cotta that I have (from the Loopy Ewe, no less!), so that’s my guess. =) ”

That’s exactly what it is — and I got my yarn from The Loopy Ewe as well.



The ice storm ended during the day yesterday and my street was more or less clear, so I headed into work today. The temperature dropped quite a bit overnight so all the ice in place is as solid as concrete. It’s supposed to stay below freezing for a couple of days, so I guess we’ll have the ice around for a while. I’m feeling very lucky that I have power, unlike a lot of people in my area!

Because I wouldn’t want my little princess to get chilly!


The little princess would like to thank everyone for their wonderful birthday wishes for her!


  1. ooh ooh ooh am i first??!!

    just had to say that. and happy birthday to Lucy because i didnt read yesterday!

    socks are so pretty!

  2. I keep weighing in on my experiences with knitting Cromarity. I also knit the front then a sleeve, then the other front, and last sleeve. It kept things interesting. I ordered extra yarn, and actually have 7 balls left in my stash, but I don’t remember how many balls of my yarn I had to start with.

  3. And I am the second…

    Love the Cromarty! Love the new sock and love, love, love that Lucy!

    Stay WARM! Luv.m.

  4. O.K., maybe the third…. ;-)))))))))))) m.

  5. Cathy-Cate says:

    Lucy is indeed the Princess of the Cozy Cushion — look at that regal pose.
    And does anyone else feel, like me, that if you’re feeling short on yarn as you approach the end of a project, if you knit faster, somehow you won’t run out?? Certainly adds to the knitting excitement!

  6. Annie Driscoll says:

    I have a method for estimating sleeve yardage quite accurately. Imagine (I draw) the sleeves laid out together so that the top of one is along the wrist of the other, forming a parallelogram. At this point, I cheat and imagine that it’s a rectangle.

    Next I calculate the square inches in my rectangle of sleeves, and compare that to the area of the back of the sweater, where I already know how much yarn I’ve used. This gives a very good estimate.

    When sleeve caps are involved, there’s a little more fudging, but I still use my drawing, and try to estimate square inches in the combined sleeves.

    I’ve found this method to be very accurate, particularly in sweaters like Cromarty, with drop sleeves, but it’s not bad with sleeve caps, either.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Beautiful start to a sweater. It looks gorgeous. And yay for the Loopy Ewe!

  8. *bows before Her Highness*

    Now, please just stop the evil kitty scowling at me!

    I love the color of the sweater in progress.

  9. Rumor has it that:
    1/3 back
    1/3 front
    1/3 for both sleeves
    That is because the neck area of the front and the back will not use the yarn that the increases in the sleeve will.
    It kind of works, kind off most of the time, but then you know… depends!
    The front/back that you have finished is lovely!

  10. Beautiful sweater! And Lucy is as regal as ever. Happy Belated Lucy Day, lovely kitty.

  11. Glad you have power, too, or you’d have to take Lucy to work!

  12. My fingers are crossed for Cromarty’s yarn. There’s a whole lotta Brrr going on up there. We’re getting the tail end of the front, so it only drops to the 40s Brrrr. {warm{Lucy}warm}

  13. Look at that back! Or front! Sometimes when I wear mine, I can’t tell which is which, but it doesn’t matter……

  14. anne marie in philly says:

    get back
    get back to where you once belonged!

    we did not lose power up here. but shoveling that concrete yesterday afternoon was NOT FUN AT ALL!

    damn my upper body achy muscles! but no achy breaky heart here LOL!

  15. I just want to wish a belated Happy Birthday
    for the 14th February and hope she had a
    great day.

  16. Wow, now I know my monitor color is way off…Blue Terra Cotta is my favorite Claudia colorway and I didn’t even recognize it! But I do know yours is lovely on faith ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cromarty too!

  17. Cromarty was the first aran I ever knit — I’m a big dive-into-the-deep-end-er — and as I recall, I had to get an extra…five or six balls of yarn to finish the sweater.

  18. Cyd in Sterling says:

    Wow, they cleared your street? I’m not *that* far away from you, but they didn’t do *squat* to our development. Took me 30 minutes to get back to the area from crystal city yesterday, and another 30 to go the last 500 ft!

    I LOVE the cromarty! I’ve been looking at a book of cables lately, and it’s got those wonderful endless loop cables… It’s so pretty!

    I hate to say it, I have no patience to finish something that detailed right now… It took all I could muster to finish a pair of fair isle socks!

  19. Sorry you’re stressing about your 21 skeins. Seems like I’m playing that “am I gonna run out of yarn” game way too often lately. Now and then it adds a little excitement to your life, but I don’t think it’s good for our blood pressure!

  20. Mmmm…. Love Claudia Handpaint. Love that Koigu Kersti, too….

  21. Debra in NC says:

    I’m sorry that I wasn’t around yesterday to wish dear Lucy a very happy birthday, so can you please pass that to her? Just tell her that I was out in the dark trying hard to deliver all the Valentine flowers ordered through a local florist, and didn’t get home until almost 11 pm.

    Girl, your Cromarty is so gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it finished……and am keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll have plenty of yarn to finish it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. oh my – I love a good mystery !(will there be enough???) – (and knitting dangerously too – smile) sounds like you’ve got a plan!
    I am totally in love with your sweater – and I’m also hooked on cables too at this moment (tho I haven’t blogged about it(yet).
    Hope you’re staying dry and warm.

  23. Your Cromarty really is beautiful. I think it may be AS’s most beautiful design, with St. Brigid a close second.

  24. Cromarty is gorgeous.

  25. The Cromarty is absolutely stunning in that colour.

  26. Hi, my mum gave me as a rule of thumb:

    1/3 for the front, 1/3 for the back and 1/3 for both sleeves. Of course that depends on the sleeves and the shoulder.


  27. happy belated birthday to lucy!

  28. Happy Birthday to Lucy. I was blessed with 2 cats born on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s cats are especially lovable.

  29. Wow you are really cutting it close with Cromarty. I say you should order 1-2 more skeins to be safe and if you happen to have extra you can add it to your stash ๐Ÿ™‚ A little way around knitting from your stash will add more to it.

  30. The only thing I’m enjoying about this weather is the fact that I can walk on top of the snow without leaving a trace (like I could when we were kids). Quite a solid base of frozen ice to walk upon there. Also amusing — letting the dogs outfora run, and seeing them slipping andsliding everywhere. They love the cold, but don’t understand the ice.

  31. Hope that you end up with enough yarn. I hate it when that happens.

    Happy belated birthday to Lucy. Looks like she had a good time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Just curious, do you wear all of the socks you make? I know I love wearing my hand knit socks and I’m thinking you have quite a collection going by now due to your daily commute.

    And happy belated birthday to Lucy!

  33. Loving the look of Cromarty! Are you planning to knit the shoulder straps and then sew them on, or will you just knit them on directly? I’d love to see your technique if you knit them on–I’ve had some issues getting both sides of straps to appear even, and I’m curious to see how you manage it.

  34. Love that sock yarn. Just gorgeous.

    Have a great weekend!


  35. I thought that was Claudia Handpainted! I just finished the first sock in that same colorway and I love it. I’m off to Mendocino and the lovely northern Calif. coast for the weekend and am hoping the second sock is done by the end of it! Cromarty is looking great. Makes me want to get started on my reversible cables afghan. Ah! Maybe next week!

  36. I must say I’m shocked that you aren’t sure about your yarn. I know I shouldn’t be, but you always are the confident knitter who knows exactly if something is possible. Not that I idolize you, okay I do. Wait that’s weird, I am not a stalker. I’ll quit now, I’m sounding insane.

    Anyway, really waht I wanted to say was I tried out your method of cabling without a cable needle. AT first I wasn’t sold, and I after I tried it a couple of times at two different knitting sessions, I gave up. But I’m working on a hat Shedir from a special Knitty issue for Breast CAncer, and it has a very annoying one stitch cable throughout. So determined to either learn your method or never do another 1 stitch cable on a hat because I hated using the cable needle and it was taking forever, I gave it a third try. The third time was the charm. I’m now in love! With your method. Really I’m not a scary stalker. I’m scary, just not a stalker.

    So now that you think I’m insane and will block all my comments in the future, I’ll shut up and go back to just reading your posts.

  37. Did you see Lucy’s namesake on Ugly Betty last night? I cast on my first pair of Wendy socks a couple of nights ago and have about 5 inches of foot done. I’m using Knitpicks gray heather on size ZERO needles. Started with metal needles, then yesterday the bamboo 4-inch (10cm) dpns I got on eBay (search for 10cm bamboo needle) arrived in the mail. Though a little rough, once I sanded lightly and applied beeswax, they’re excellent.

  38. If you’re really short of the yarn and can’t get any more of the color lot, why not do both sleeves next and (gasp) knit the back in plain stockinette?

    I know, I know. Forget I said anything.

  39. Wow, your Cromarty is gorgeous. I’ve done that exact trick with front and sleeve before – sure makes you feel better to *know* you have enough yarn. Happy [belated] Birthday to Lucy. That is one lucky kitty!

  40. Your Cromarty front/back looks really good. I hope you have enough yarn it really is quite a thrill ride to be so close and yet so far.

  41. What a lovely way to re-brand VD…as Lucy’s day. Igor sends his best birthday regards.

  42. Oh the sweater is absolutely gorgeous. What’s that cable stitch called? The color is gorgeous, I hope you have enough to finish! I have the same problem trying to guestimate how much yarn I will need, usually when I’m trying to sub yarns. And the socks are very pretty too! I’ve just discovered the Loopy Ewe and they have some very nice sock yarns! They will be breaking my wallet!

  43. Wendy, Thank you so much for your video of how to do the cables without a cable needle! I’m currently working on my first Starmore sweater, Fern and I had been doing it without a cable needle by leaving the stitches just hanging in mid-air which was giving me a migraine, literally! Your technique is so much faster and way less nerve wracking!

    thanks so much,


  44. Lucy is gorgeous! And so is that fabulous sock yarn…