My current work in progress:

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


Girasole Weekend

I cast on Girasole Thursday night.


Rather than use a circular cast-on like Emily Ocker’s cast-on, I simply did a regular long-tail cast-on on three dpns and joined them into a circle and began to knit. Because this is a lace piece, I don’t mind having a hole in the middle. Rather, I like the little ring that’s formed by this cast-on.


That’s what the piece looked like Saturday morning. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see how nice it looks with the little ring in the center. I was transferring it from a 24″ circular to a 32″ and was able to spread it out nicely. I’m loving the yarn I chose to use — Indigo Moon fingering weight merino in the “MyroGreen Lite” colorway. The lighter variegation sort of look like the sun is shining on it.

Here’s what the piece looks like right now:


Obviously, I can no longer spread it out into a nice circle. I’m a bit over two-thirds the way through Chart D and zipping along nicely. Said zipping along will screech to a halt at the end of Chart D, because at that point you double the number of stitches to 640. Yeah, that’ll slow things down!

I estimate (judging from the amount of yarn I’ve used so far) I’m about one-third done with my Girasole. I’m really enjoying knitting this. It’s very easy lace and the pattern is very clear and easy to follow, so if you are a lace wannabe or newbie, I encourage you to give it a try.

Meanwhile, Lucy is busy being inscrutable.



  1. That looks fantastic- I love the yarn you picked.

    Jesss last blog post..Knitty Summer 2009

  2. Looks fantastic – how did you handle the K4tog? they are killing me 😐

    Karens last blog post..

  3. Very nice! I am going to work a couple more rounds of my Pi and then CO for Girasole tonight.

    Aimees last blog post..hmmmm….

  4. I’m knitting a doily into a baby blanket and couldn’t remember what this particular cast-on was called. Sure enough, Wendy — it was Emily Ocker’s and it was right here this minute on your blog! Yippie!

  5. Do you have any opinion on how this would work out with a lace weight? I have some lovely lace-weight from Spirit Trail that I am looking to do something with and I own this pattern as well…

    Jasmines last blog post..We get by with a little help…

  6. LOVE your yarn and how the shawl is working up. Good to hear it’s fairly simple because I want to try it, too. My yarn is on order and should arrive sometime next week. Hope to start it then!

  7. I will be doing this with The Loopy Ewe KAL. I am looking for a superwash to do it in as the recipients, my parents, will not appreciate a handwash/must block blanket.

  8. i cast on thursday as well and have to say the pattern is super simple to remember as you work around, love that! Waiting for my longer cord to come from knitpicks tomorrow though as my 36″ is super full! What colorway did you choose, love the greens!

    turtles last blog post..My Happy Place

  9. It’s beautiful! And I agree,the circle in the middle is just fine: airy and lacy and lovely.

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..WWKIP Day: Where did you knit?

  10. I can’t wait to cast mine on. I may have to work on it one night a week for a while though. I want to finish my Whispering pine shawl and knit my FLS before focusing completely on Girasole. May have to knit a pair of socks too.

    southparknitters last blog post..On the go

  11. PS Yours looks great.

    southparknitters last blog post..On the go

  12. Just looked at Girasole this morning……having just finished a Pi shawl I thought I had it out of my system but it didn’t work that way!

    Cindys last blog post..Clear Sight-Can’t Breathe…….

  13. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Your Girasole looks beautiful! I joined this KAL as well and I plan to cast on sometime this week.

    Wonder what Lucy’s thinking?

  14. Beautiful! I did mine in a natural wool (Cascade Eco) the first time around and I am smitten with the pattern. Yours has made me reconsider a varigated for the next one :^)

    Thanks as always for the great ideas.


  15. I just started mine this weekend too! I’m not as far as you so it was nice to see what mine will look like in the next week or so. Love your yarn!

  16. Lace has stymied me so far except for in socks. Maybe the trick for me is circular lace. I trust your advice and so I may try this one. Love the yarn you are using – I’m thinking I should stick with a solid. I’m making barnraising squares from my leftover sock yarn and was close to finishing the first one when I heard of the Emily Ocker cast-on. I too had done the long-tail method on the first square. With my second one I used Emily’s and for my .02, I like it better. I’m so glad there are options!

  17. It’s beautiful! What needles are you using?

  18. I wish I could push a love(1) button on your posts, like on revelry. I hate to bother you with just a “thanks for brightening my day!” but I really love and look forward to reading your blog. Thanks.

  19. Girasole is quite beautiful, and I probably won’t be able to resist. The color on yours is beautiful!!!!

  20. Thanks for posting photos so prompty of your Girasole—it’s lovely. My gold kettle dyed fingeing weight arrived yesterday and i had to cast on last night, and I’m halfway thru chart B. The charts are so easy to follow, and the is lace easy to “read” since you are always working on the right sideI think the changing patterns will keep my interest high. It’s fun reading about the other Girasoles being knitted.

  21. Mmm-hmm. That Girasole is pretty darned addictive, isn’t it? I started my second one this weekend and am on Chart D, too. (So much for the other projects that were supposed to be finished first….)

    Sheri at The Loopy Ewes last blog post..Good Knitting Weather

  22. Love the yarn. I’m still studying whether or not to jump in. You make it very tempting!

    beckeys last blog post..Happy Birthday, Mike!

  23. This is gorgeous. I have a yarn that I’m thinking of repurposing for this in my stash, but I really hate the idea of having another project on the needles. I just need to get a few things done, so this doesn’t feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back!

    Seanna Leas last blog friends are the best

  24. Thanks for telling us about your circular cast-on! I just finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket using Emily Ocker’s cast-on. Next time I will use your method.

    Shirleys last blog post..It’s Hot!

  25. The girasol is beautiful. I am toying with the idea of doing it. Will depend on finding just the right yarn.

    WooHoo! I get to come to Richmond to see you at the book signing thingy!!! My older sister lives in Richmond and I talked hubs into making a trip down to see her the weekend that you will be there. I am so excited. 🙂


    Judys last blog post..Back again?? WOW

  26. linda-kay says:

    That shawl is so beautiful – it’s killing me. I’m in therapy for a shoulder injury and it’s ground my knitting to a halt. But at least I get a ring side seat to watch you knit yours!

  27. It is lovely! I really love the colour!

  28. Denise in Kent, WA says:

    I love the look of your center ring, mainly because you made it large enough to look intentional. Neat, closed centers can be tricky even using Emily Ocker’s cast on. I redid the center on my Frost Flowers shawl at least 4 times because I was not satisfied with it. The experience did not leave me with a burning desire to knit another circular shawl or a chest full of circular doilies! LOL

  29. Wendy,
    Your girasole is really gorgeous! I am casting on for the third time (!) tonight – shouldn’t try to knit anything when I am overly exhausted. Thanks for sharing yours and your cast on method. I did the same thing and liked having the little circle, but kept feeling like I had done something “wrong.” Needless to say, I am getting over myself. I like the circle!!! : )


  30. I am very jealous as I have two more weeks of running exams (I am an Examinations Manager) and then I will cast on my Girasole. I have ordered fingering weight blue-faced leicester yarn from Laughing Hens and can’t wait for it to arrive. I am interested to see your cast-on and will try both methods before making a final decision.
    Happy Girasole knitting!

  31. I thought I was almost done with mine til I got the edging that never ends. Each little bump in the edging takes up three stitches.

  32. Paulette says:

    Wow–your Girasole is beautiful! Love the color! I have joined the KAL and will cast on this week—appreciate your encouraging comments. I am new to lace knitting and such a large project, so a little nervous. But you and others make it seem do-able! I know you are an expert knitter, so everything is easy for you!! but I think you give us a fair evaluation of the ease/difficulty of this! So I’m encouraged to go for it!! Thank you—love seeing your work in progress and finished.

  33. I brought my pattern and yarn with me to DC, where I am right now, but have not cast on yet for my Girasole (in Malabrigo Sock, Ochre).

    Yes, I’m in your neck of the woods! College Park, MD, actually. Elder daughter has just competed at National History Day and now we have a couple days free to explore….should be fun. Deciding on appropriate knitting for the sightseeing; I’m thinking simple sock, what with hopping on and off the Metro etc.

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Knitting Blog? Well, yes

  34. SL Mills says:

    THANK YOU so much for the IBKC site — they are beautiful and I want them all — totally admire your Girasole — but am starting your Sunrise socks — can I do 2 at a time with 2 circs? Suffering the SSS dreadfully!

  35. I will not cast on Girasole….. I will not cast on Girasole….

  36. madonnaearth says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a July KAL on Ravelry for the Girasole or another Jared Flood pattern (are there two afghans there? I’ll find out.) I hope to finish a few other projects before I get to that point. I love the greenish color you’re using for yours. I am going to use some floral-based colors that have been sitting in my stash for a while.

    I also appreciate the free Catnip pattern; thanks!