My current work in progress:

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


Lismore Q&A

Thank you so much for all your lovely Lismore comments. I am delighted with the way it turned out.

There were, of course, questions.

Several of you asked how much yarn I used. I had purchased 4 140-gram skeins of the Kauni, and I went back and purchased 2 more, just in case there were major problems with knots screwing up the color sequence. I used my original 4 skeins and had this much left over: a total of 170 grams.

Only 1 of the 4 skeins had any knots — it had 2. I broke the yarn before the knot and pulled out yarn until I reached the proper place in the colorway to reattach it without messing up the sequence. I was fortunate in that I never had to pull out too much. Those small balls of yarn in the photo are what was pulled out to adjest the colors, because of knots, and for starting the sleeves.

I really lucked out the with sleeves. After completing the first one, the yarn was almost at the proper point for me to switch the skeins and use what was the foreground color for the first sleeve as the background color for the second sleeve, and vice versa. I only had to pull out a little bit of yarn to make the adjustment.

So I’ve still got 2 full untouched 140-gram skeins. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to break into them for Lismore because I thought I might like to make a rainbow shawl out of them, using a simple lace pattern.

Gwendolyn thoughtfully offered to model Lismore for you.

No, I won’t get a chance to wear it anytime soon — the temperature was well into the 80s the end of last week. I could barely stand to knit it — only with a fan blowing full force on me the whole time. Sorry, I won’t be bringing it to the Spring Fling. I am a minimalist packer by necessity (I am an old geezer who can easily strains her back by lifting too-heavy stuff) and my hairdryer is more important to me than Lismore. 😉

Trish D commented:

Is it possible to upsize a complicated colorwork pattern such as a Starmore? And if so, what are some of the best tricks for doing so?

Is it possible? It depends. If it is a matter of a slight size difference, you can achieve a change by going up or down in needle size or by blocking. But if it is a large change, that’s more complicated.

The pattern repeat for Lismore is a big one (50 stitches) and the sweater has 6 repeats — 3 on the front and 3 on that back. To enlarge it, you really would need to add 2 more repeats because if you added only 1 repeat you’d have 3.5 on the front and 3.5 on the back and that would look odd. Two pattern repeats would increase the circumference of the sweater by 100 stitches — one-third of the original circumference — a very big change indeed.

You’d have more success altering a fair isle that had smaller pattern repeats.

The Knight in Knitted Chain Mail

The little cutie pictured in yesterday’s blog post is Ludvig, son of my friend Johanne. Yes, his talented mom knit the chain mail for him. I’m betting she didn’t use a pattern but improvised.

Lucy Sez

Make sure you read Sheri’s blog tonight — my Auntie L-B is in the Loopy Limelight!


  1. It looks like you could probably add some number of stitches in-between the pattern repeats by taking out the square check area and putting more plain sitches and even a different “perie” style pattern. That might allow you to change the number of stitches in a repeat from 50 to 55-60+ish which might add a needed inch or two.

    I’m also not sure what the pattern is like on the sides, but you could probably monkey around with a side panel which might help things out a bit. Also if you put those side panel stitches aside at the underarms, before the steek, they’d serve to set in the shoulders a bit, which might be nice anyway.

    If you were going to upsize the pattern by 100 stitches, you’d probably also want to gauge down harshly. I usually make far isle sweaters for myself at 320ish stitches (8ish stitches per inch) , but if have a bigger pattern I’ve been known to knit way more stitches at like 9-10 stitches per inch… It takes for-bloody-ever, but there are worse things than a fair isle project that takes a while.

    tycho garen’s last blog post..Misguided Creativity

  2. What a lovely interview with L-B! She is such a sweetie and has such a kind heart! Loved the pics of her animals!!!!!!! 🙂

    Look forward to pics/updates from the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling!

  3. Hi Wendy, as I said before the sweater is fantastic. I did read Loopy’s interview with L-B. You guys are so lucky to be great friends. You both sound generous and very kind. Again have a great time at the fling. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Mickie

  4. Ok, but to follow on to my original question… I get what you mean about the motifs being so big. But what about increasing the space between them, especially on the sides. Would that work somehow? Is there “filler” patterning? I’m not necessarily specifically talking about Lismore. I would love to make a cardigan of some Starmore design someday… but so far I haven’t yet found one that is written to my size. Any more thoughts? Thanks for your help!


    TrishD’s last blog post..Almost!

  5. Lismore is beautiful and Gwendolyn is so gracious to model for you all the time. I have a real nosy question though . I’ll wisper so Gwendolyn doesn’t hear me, “does she have a leg shorter than the other or maybe scoliosis?” I hope I haven’t offended by asking such a question in polite company.

  6. I must say Gwendolyn looks marvelous wearing Lismore. The colours playing off each other are so effective.
    L-B is such a lovely lady. I can tell you both treasure your friendship.

  7. For your leftover yarn have you considered Revontuli-huivi? I’m currently knitting one in the Kauni Effektgarn in EQ, the same Rainbow colorway you’ve used for your Lismore. It calls for a nominal 180 gm or 720 m. It’s very attractive and an easy knit.

    Mary the Digital Knitter’s last blog post..I’ve Got the Blahs

  8. I think Vickie Howell has a pattern for chain mail in her book. The trick is finding a suitably chain-ish silver yarn (Johanne?). I know there are several books of patterns for knittin garments for the *cough* virginal *cough* young maidens in the castle for the nights in chain mail to rescue. 🙂

  9. Theresa in Italy says:

    As one old geezer to another, I totally understand about jettisoning superfluous items to make space for the hair dryer. One must have one’s priorities straight.

  10. Wendy, I know you said you are not a fast knitter but I am amazed that Lismore is already finished! I started my first Starmore sweater (Inishmore) two weeks ago and still have not finished the front. Your work is an inspiration!

    Shirley’s last blog post..Petticoat Socks

  11. Your Kauni is stunning, btw!! Another suggestion fro sizing up a fair isle is to keep the 3 repeats front and back and add a small repeat under each armhole that goes with the theme of the sweater. Meg Swansen uses this trick all the time. Even a simple striping sequence could work if you did not find a good pattern to use.

    lv2knit’s last blog post..From Susan — Shaping Up

  12. PS — should have read through the other commenters suggestions first as two said the same thing as moi 🙂

    ♥ ♥ ♥

    lv2knit’s last blog post..From Susan — Shaping Up

  13. Hey Wendy, The hotel rooms will probably have hair dryers. If you are not particular about you hair dryer you could leave yours home and take more yarn!!

  14. Lismore is gorgeous!

    Knitnana’s last blog post..Ten on Tuesday

  15. Liz in IN says:

    Lismore fairly glows! I, too, am in awe of your productivity. I knit quite a bit and fairly quickly (I think), and still take a week to make a pair of socks, FPS.

    Have fun with Sheri and all the Loopy Spring Flingers. Looks like one of Loopy’s cousins is trying to edge Miss Lucy off that chair!

    Great interview with L-B at Sheri’s blogsite. I hope there is an honoured place in heaven for folks who adopt animals with special needs. In my imagination, they are surrounded by those beloved animals–none of whom have special needs anymore! 🙂

  16. Hi Wendy! Where did you purchase the Kauni for your sweater? It is lovely!!

  17. I’m seriously behind in my commenting as usual but Lismore is seriously gorgeous! I definitely never would have though to use the Kauni yarn for that pattern, but it was a huge success. Congrats! And have a great time on your trip. 🙂

    Jessica’s last blog post..Earth Day!!

  18. Thanks for the further info on Lismore. I’ve been in love with the Henry VIII you did since I first saw it (and tracked down “Tudor Roses”, and bought yarn)… and I really need to get it started (it’s been a few years, what?). Seeing how beautiful your finished Starmore sweaters are is *such* fun, and always an inspiration!

    CraftyGryphon’s last blog post..Kauni: Just Say No

  19. Lismore looks absolutely stunning! Even DH thinks its pretty esp w/ Miss Lucy posing on it 🙂 I wont be at the Spring Fling but will be watching the blogs for posts bout it and living vicariously through all of you!

    Danielle from SW MO’s last blog post..WOOO HOOO!! An Order at the Knit-n-Stitch!!!

  20. Could you not add 1/2 a repeat to the front and back, so it would offset the design too? And, I do think you could add ‘filler’ stitches on either side of each motif.
    It really glows! I can’t wait to see what shawl you make with the leftovers!

    TracyKMs last blog post..Updates

  21. Hi Wendy – Your sweater is beautiful! I am just amazed at the speed you completed this. I love how the colors just fade into each other. You Rock!
    On a seperate note: I just read in Sheri’s Loopy Blog that you knit a Pink Floyd sweater. I would love to see a photo of this. About 2 1/2 years ago, I had the Dark Side of the Moon logo tatoo’d on my lower back. A pretty drastic thing for a woman in her 40’s to have done, but it was all I could think of that I would enjoying seeing there for the rest of my life. Have you ever seen them in concert? I saw them in Madison, WI during the early 90’s – awesome!
    I look forward to seeing what you’re going to tackle next.
    My regards to Lucy also.

  22. I love all of the kauni sweaters I have seen, this one is certinly no exeption. Now I do have to disagree about the having to add 2 repeats to make the sweater work for a bigger size. You could add one repeat as long as you make sure you have the pattern centered over the middle of the front and back.

  23. Love Lismore! Just beautiful. Now I am going to have to look through my books and see if there are any patterns that I would like to make in Kauni. So many possibilities . . .

    Lorris last blog post..Is there room for blogs in the age of Ravelry?

  24. Lismore is indeed lovely. Between that and the Damask sweater I’ve seen, it’s opened up my eyes to the possibilities of this fun yarn in patterns I already have or have seen! So much so, that when I finally saw Kauni in person during a recent trip to Seattle, some of it followed me home….

    Though I am a total sucker for rainbow yarn, I actually fell in love with another Kauni colorway; not being at home at the moment (thanks for making pictures accessible from work, blog genius, ma’am!), I can’t give you the abbreviation, but it’s a teal/green/blue/wine, all my favorites in one! So a sweaters’ worth of that, and a skein of rainbow for colorwork hats or somesuch, and then a cone of this great cream/pink/purple for a shawl….

    Umm, yes, I did get carried away. And no, it didn’t fit in my suitcase, a sweet friend who lives locally mailed it home to me. And I have no idea when I’m going to knit it, because eventually spring and then summer will come to the upper midwest, and besides, I’m test knitting this lovely shawl right now, you see.

    But your Lismore is giving me the yen to pull out the Kauni and play!

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Back from camp, more later

  25. Marianne Y says:

    Your Lismore sweater is gorgeous! I love the coloring & the pattern, done in your great fashion!

  26. Tha jumper is simply magic.

    Carols last blog post..Food P0rn

  27. Love Lismore! Just beautiful. Now I am going to have to look through my books and see if there are any patterns that I would like to make in Kauni. So many possibilities . . .

    Gazete Magazins last blog post..Bu Mesaja Sakın Kanmayın !

  28. Lismore is indeed lovely. Between that and the Damask sweater I’ve seen, it’s opened up my eyes to the possibilities of this fun yarn in patterns I already have or have seen! So much so, that when I finally saw Kauni in ppjkpşjyuferson during a recent trip to Seattle, some of it followed me home….

    Adsls last blog post..TTNET MUZİK Gold uyelik