My current work in progress:

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


Fooling Myself

I stopped working on Eala Bhan yesterday and packed it away. While it is an enjoyable knit, I know it is something I’ll never wear — a tightly knit cabled indoor sweater in 100% wool. I can barely stand how warm I get while knitting it so there is no chance I’d ever actually wear it. It suddenly seemed quite pointless to knit something I’ll never use.

I may resurrect it someday if I ever feel cool enough again to wear wool.

I started knitting something I bought yarn for a few months ago.

This is the start of the Hawthorn Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman. The link is to the pattern’s Ravelry page, and the pattern is from the Fall 2010issue of Interweave Knits.

Well, it is sort of the Hawthorn Pullover.

I didn’t like the larger cable in the pattern, so I substituted a different one, making them mirror each other on each side.

I’m using Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran, which is a 50/50 blend of wool and cotton — much more wearable for me than 100% wool! Mine is in the Orchid colorway and I bought it from The Loopy Ewe.

I finished the second pair of plain vanilla socks I was knitting several days ago. Here they are:

These are toe-up gusset heel socks (from my pattern, free on my patterns page), knit from Opal 6-ply Best of Rainforest in the “Emil” colorway, on a 2.75mm needle. I started another sock:

This sock may look familiar — I knit a pair a few weeks ago in the same yarn and colorway — this is also Opal 6-ply Best of Rainforest and is the “Demian” colorway. This pair is smaller than the ones I knit previously.

Lucy is working on relaxing today. I do believe I’ll join her.


  1. Sometimes it’s hard to admit things to yourself, especially when it’s such a gorgeous product! Kudos to you for being able to, and the new pullover looks great!

    Also, I’m super happy about your matchy matchy socks!

  2. Feel free to knit the sweater for me 🙂 I wonder how many times that will get said in your comments today? I agree for the yay on the sweater time out!

  3. I love your vanilla socks! I’m going to try to find that color to make a pair for myself.

  4. You can’t wear the sweater outside? I just finished a Fair Isle sweater (Tradition) from Philosopher’s Stone in Ontario which is VERY warm but now that it is raining in Northern California, I’m in heaven to have it. Will also wear it on a trip back East over Thanksgiving and then on to Greece. The sweater you have put away was gorgeous! But then, so is this one….

  5. I too have difficulity wearing wool unless I am out of doors. I drool over so many sweater patterns but I know I just will not wear. I try to find patterns that are ones I can wear outside. I love, love, love the colorway of your Eala Bhan.

  6. Courageous you to acknowledge the foolishness of the Eala Bhan. It was gorgeous, though. I cannot wear a worsted weight wool sweater indoors, either, except during the depths of winter when the house is cold, so I only consider sweaters for myself that are DK or lighter weight. Or not 100% wool — those yarns are on my radar, too.
    kmkat´s last blog post ..Catty-cake

  7. I chuckled when I read your post today. I too, bought yarn for the Eala Bhan and when I received the yarn, I got thinking about where would I wear it? So, the yarn is now queued to make a cardigan so that it can come on and off as needed. The yarn is so gorgeous that I simply don’t want to make something I’ll get little use out of. Now I feel like I’m in good company!!

  8. I’m with Lucy today ^..^

  9. so sorry that you had to make the decision not to finish the Eala Bahn sweater — I was looking forward to your progress and any problems you encountered/solved along the way — it is really a gorgeous item but understand how 100% wool is not an option at times in our lives —- the new choise appears interesting though — I like your choice of the smaller cable – is it a 6 or 8 and whenyou say you are mirroring the cables from one side to the other can I ask what you mean by that as it does not appear to be simply changing the twist? or am I not seeing it correctly? goood luck

  10. I so wanted to see your finished Eala Bhan. You were rocking it. But I totally understand your realism. Living in Texas, I am constantly making such decisions. Aran cables and colorwork, although I completely swoon over them, would severely limit the projects usage. Your wool/cotton yarn is something I want to check out.
    Angeluna´s last blog post ..A Nod to the Ancestors

  11. Finish the Eala Bhan, then auction it off! I would certainly love to own it!

  12. Oooh, I’m planning on knitting the Hawthorne Pullover with mods too! Can’t wait to see yours!
    YuLian´s last blog post ..Pattern- October Hat

  13. There will come a day when you will haul out that beautiful sweater and finish it and enjoy wearing it … the meantime…the sweater you are knitting know will go beautifully with your hair color….

  14. Good for you for not completing something that was not working for you. I used to send Lucy love from my bad boys Billy and Neil, but sadly Neil passed away on Labor Day. No expectation of this happening. We have since adopted a little girl cat from our Vet’s office. She was named Electra, but that was not working for us, Greek thing and sad myth. We have renamed her Willhamina, Willie for short. So now Billy and Willie send love.

  15. you are so wise to stop spendingtime on something you are not going to be happy w/, so many of us lack the ability to just give it up and knit something else. I had to laugh about the warmth factor. I am always so cold–my family jokes that I am freezing in July–that wearing 100% wool any day of the yr is what I most prefer.
    KathyB´s last blog post ..Breed All About It

  16. I like your cable pattern better too. 🙂

    I nearly finished a sweater one time and decided that it was too hot as well and never seamed it together. It’s still around here somewhere….although that was about 3 sizes ago! LOL

    Nice work on the socks!
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..Well- at least I accomplished one thing this weekend

  17. I totally understand about 100% wool. Definitely would be too hot for me as well during this “season” of my life. What amazes me most is the speed with which you knit!! Maybe one day I will knit that rapidly.
    Cathy E´s last blog post ..Needle issues

  18. Pat Dixon says:

    These have been some funny stories..I am also an Alice Starmore fan, having knit many of her sweaters..I started the Autumn sweater..also stowed it away..not great in Texas..
    I do wear my Fairisle sweater when visiting in the Northwest..that is when they are cosy..

  19. I admire you for stopping work on a project when it’s clear that it doesn’t suit. Life is too short!

  20. B…b…but it’s a cardigan… it could be a fall jacket… it could… um… ::starts fantasizing about an Eala Bhan raffle:: … nevermind.
    Hissy Stitch´s last blog post ..On Wool and Dyeing

  21. I hope the new sweater is more suitable for you. I’m always interested in yarns other than wool. Do you ever consider an acrylic? There are so many types and brands on Webs that I’d never see at my LYS, and some manufactured acrylic sweaters are very comfortable.

  22. Sorry you dropped your Eala Bhan. I loved your color. I am making it also and consider it to be lightweight rather than heavyweight, especially as compared to Norwegian or fair isle sweaters. But we need to knit what we love: this is a hobby! We aren’t getting serum to the troups!
    Susan Rainey´s last blog post ..From Susan — Bringin’ Another One Back

  23. I can certainly understand your packing the sweater away. I’ve been knitting Alice Starmmore’s Oregon Cardi in Virtual Hebridean for 2 winters now and pack it away during the summer months. I will probably take 4 winters to knit because I only work a few rows each day and am at the armhole “divide.” I will wear mine as an outerwear jacket as it will be too heavy for inside wear.
    southparknitter´s last blog post ..Double Double Dressin’ Trouble

  24. Sorry to hear you are giving up Eala Bahn. If you want to give the yarn and partially finished sweater to a good home……I know of one!

  25. I can understand why you stopped working on your sweater, though I’m cold all of the time. I almost want to hit menopause just for the hot flashes, so I would be something other than cold all of the time!
    Seanna Lea´s last blog post ..its that time of year again

  26. I went through a 2 year period where I was always too warm to wear wool indoors. I was pretty sure I wasn’t having a second menopause and thought my body temp might have permanently edged up a degree or two.

    In July 2009 I was diagnosed with Graves disease. Now that my thyroid is no longer misbehaving, I can again enjoy wool pullovers and I have an excuse to buy more sock wool.

  27. Just wondering: if you’re using long circulars anyway, why aren’t you knitting both socks at the same time?
    That’s the only reason I use circulars for small tubes, because the dangling needle tips really bug me. I guess I’m too vigorous in my throwing or something, because the unused tips actually dance. I even tried to teach myself to pick the yarn, but that made the bouncing even worse. ~ sigh ~

  28. Good for you! You did and admitted you did what many of us want to do on a regular basis. The one time I did that it was wonderfully liberating. LIfe is too short to spend our all too limited knitting time on sweaters we will never wear. Thanks for inspiring the rest of us.

  29. Yeah, I bet it is painful to abandon such a cool-looking project.

    For what it’s worth, I grew up close to where (I think) you are. (DC area, right?) I did not get into sweaters until I moved to Northern New England. That’s when I really learned to knit!
    Noel Lynne Figart´s last blog post ..Autism Awareness and Developmental Issues

  30. I love your vanilla socks, makes me want to knit a pair myself. I wish I loved knitting the second sock as much as I love knitting the first one!