My current work in progress:

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


Archives for April 2012


On Friday I finished my latest sideways shawl. Meet Bernadette:

Bernadette is knit from Kauni Effektgarn 8/2, on a U.S. size 3 needle. I used approximately 120 grams of yarn, around 525 yards. It measures 52″ along the top edge and is 11″ deep at the center.

I did a very gentle steam-block, carefully steaming out the ruffles and just barely steaming the body to even out any bumps. The garter-stitch body is very stretchy, and I wanted to keep that stretch rather than blocking it out.

The center of this piece features short rows:

This gives the top edge a gentle curve, which helps keep the piece on the shoulders.

I separated the body from the ruffle with a simple line of fagoting.

I really like how this worked out — it gives a nice line of separation between edging and body of the shawl.

So that’s Bernadette. The pattern will be available — but not yet.

I decided to knit it again using a different yarn: Wollmeise. I went into the stash room to select a nicely variegated skein from the Wollmeise Wall of Shame. Here’s what I chose:

This is the 100% superwash merino in the “Pfauenauge” colorway (in English, that means “peacock”). The skein is marked 150g, which is 574 yards. I took the label off and weighed my skein:

(Yes, that’s a bottle of Jameson behind the scale.) My experience with Wollmeise: every skein I have ever weighed is slightly over the stated weight on the label.

I laid out the skein:

Another think I love about Wollmeise? I’ve never encountered a tangled skein. The skein is tied in one place, but that seems to be sufficient to keep it in line. I wound it up into a ball.

And it was ready to go!

I’m using the same U.S. 3 needle for the Wollmeise version of Bernadette. The Wollmeise feels a little thinner than the Kauni, but I know it plumps up after blocking. The Pfauenage colorway is looking good in the design so far.

Lucy sez:

“This is not bad . . . “

(T)wee Scale

Lately I have taken to weighing my yarn.

The last few designs I have done, I’ve knit according to the weight of the skein. This takes a lot of the guesswork and anxiety out of the process: Will I have enough yarn? Won’t I have enough yarn?

Aside: If you seem to be running short of yarn as you near the end of a project, do you find yourself knitting faster, as if that will magically cause there to be enough yarn to finish?

So in the past couple of shawlette/wrap patterns I’ve released I’ve offered instructions for knitting according to number of rows and repeats, and knitting according to the weight of your skein.

So, obviously, I have a scale in my possession.

Actually, I have two.I have been using a kitchen scale for yarn weighing for several years. This scale.

It measures to the half gram, and the unit of measure can be switched to ounces, so it is useful for weighing items I am mailing as well. You can weigh up to 11 pounds on this baby.

Since I have been knitting items by weight, and I take my knitting with me wherever I go, I recently realized that a portable scale would be a handy thing to have. I shopped around and decided on this one.

It’s tiny — about the size of a deck of cards.

The cover pops off and becomes a tray to hold small items to be weighed.

You can weigh to one-tenth of a gram and it has 6 different weighing modes (including ounces).

You can use it to weigh up to 500 grams, and the scale came with a 100-gram weight you can use to calibrate it.

It’s great to tuck in my knitting bag to take along!

And as you can see, I currently have 61.5 grams left of the skein of yarn I am knitting from.

In other news, today Basil found a friend in a parking lot.

And Lucy wishes one and all a good weekend!


Yes, it is ruffled and yes it is Kauni

And, it is pink. 🙂

As you can see, I am more than halfway done with this wrap. The marker in the middle of the piece shows the halfway mark. Here’s a close-up of the edging:

As you can see from this photo, the edge features ruffles and a little bit of fagoting. I do like the addition of the fagoting — it nicely separates the ruffle from the body of the piece. This is a narrower ruffle than the one I used on Ruffles and Ridges. The Ruffles and Ridges ruffle was more part of the shawl as a whole — this one I wanted to be a clear edging.

I’m using my favorite U.S. size 3 needle and the yarn is Kauni Effektgarn, in the EE colorway:

This was a skein marked 150 grams that weighed in pretty darn close — 149 grams. 150 grams is 660 yards, and I’ll not be using all of that. I’m betting I’ll have around 100 yards leftover. So I’m thinking about turniong around and knitting another one using Wollmeise sock yarn as soon as I complete this one. I’m betting that a 575-yard skein of Wollmeise will be just right. I must remember to take a look in the stash room at the Wollmeise Wall of Shame and pick out something that strikes my fancy.

In case you couldn’t tell, my current obsession is sideways shawls.

Lucy seems more interested in circles.

Sheldon and Leonard

The Pattern for Sheldon and Leonard is now available for sale in my Ravelry shop. Sheldon and Leonard is a sideways shawlette/scarf/wrap pattern that is written for both fingering weight and sport weight yarn.

Sheldon is the fingering weight version:

As shown here, it is worked with one 395-yard skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the “Jade” colorway, using a U.S. size 3 needle.

Leonard is the sport weight version:

This was knit with one 360-yard skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the “Bark” colorway, using a U.S. size 5 needle.

This piece is worked sideways, end to end, and the simple lace edging is worked as you knit the body.

Both wraps measure 50″ unstretched across the top edge and 11.5″ deep. I did not block out the garter stitch because I like the way it molds to the wearer. It’s very stretchy — when worn, the piece stretches out well over 60″. You could knit a bigger wrap if you like. The pattern has directions for the exact number of rows/repeats for each version, but also has instructions for knitting according to the weight of your skein, so you can use up every bit of your yarn if you have a larger skein and want a bigger piece. You could also knit a dk or worsted weight version using the “knit by weight” instructions — you’d need to use a size 7 or 8 needle for heavier yarn, of course.

Basil Update

Basil was out playing in the rain this morning, but is now tucked away in the garage:

His odometer as of this morning:

I think it is a sign of maturity that I did not drive around the block until it hit 700 miles, don’t you?

Here is my current work in progress:

Yes, it is ruffled and yes it is Kauni. Fear me.

Lucy is not surprised. But she’s more interested in a paper ball.


Second Verse Same as the First

The shawl so nice I knit it twice.

This is the same pattern as the green shawlette I showed in my last blog entry. That one was knit with approximately 400 yards fingering weight yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the “jade” colorway) on a U.S. size 3 needle. This one is knit with approximately 350 yards of sport weight yarn (Madelinetosh Pashmina in the “Bark” colorway) on a U.S. size 5 needle.

The construction (short rows in the center section, etc.) and lace pattern are the same, but the number of stitches and rows worked differ because of the difference in the weight of the yarn. The finished size of the sport weight shawlette, however, is the same as the fingering weight version.

I’ll have the pattern ready for sale in a couple of days. It’ll have complete instructions for working both versions, as well as instructions for knitting by number of repeats, as well as knitting by the weight of your skein of yarn. So if you have a larger skein, you can knit a larger wrap. Smaller skein, smaller wrap.

I’ve named the design “Sheldon and Leonard.” Sheldon is the fingering weight version, Leonard is the sport weight version.

Lucy sez:

“I think I like Leonard.”