My current work in progress:

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


Archives for July 2012

Q and A Day

There were so many good questions in the comments on my last blog post (about my Noro Kureyon coat) that I thought I’d answer them here.

Q. I think you said you were going to felt it–how will you control the felting process so you don’t felt it too much? Have you done any test felting on that yarn in advance? I would like to knit some garments for felting also, but have hesitated as I don’t know if I could control the shrinking.

A. I have felted Noro Kureyon quite a few times, so I have a good feel for what it will do. But for a yarn with which you have no felting experience, knit a fairly good-sized swatch, like at least 4 by 4 inches, keeping track of the number of stitches and rows, as well as the exact measurements. Send it through the washer until the fabric looks the way you want it to look. Then measure the swatch. You can now knit your piece according to the gauge achieved after felting.

Q. I can’t remember if you were doing your own pattern or following one?

A. This is my own concoction, based on standard instructions for knitting a mitered square.

Q. Are you going to make the pattern available?

A. I’m not writing up a pattern for this because it is too hard to resize it. I’m knitting fairly good-sized squares, so to offer different sizes, I’d really need to resize the squares used and do a lot of test-knitting and math that would likely make my head explode. I am pretty much winging it, rather than following a pattern.

Q. Are you planning to line it (I know from past experience that a lining can help a larger garment hold its shape)?

A. I really should. But I probably will not. I haven’t done any sewing in ages for a variety of reasons. The fact that I am going to felt it will definitely help in the “holding its shape” department. I hope. We’ll see when it is done.

Q. Are you joining the squares as you knit, or are you sewing them as you go? I DESPISE sewing, and try to avoid it at ALL times, but if you have figured out a way to knit those bad boys together as you go… Wow!

A. I am indeed knitting these bad boys together as I knit. This is modular knitting: you pick up stitches along the side of a square to start the next one. There are several books on the subject of modular knitting that anyone interested in the technique might find interesting. I did an Amazon search on “modular knitting books” — the results are here.

Lucy sez:

“Cat nap!”



The Too-Heavy Noro Coat

I was a bit surprised by the comments on my last blog post stating that a knitted coat would be too heavy to wear. It’s no heavier than any other wool coat. I live in an area where, during a normal winter, we get our share of ice and snow and below freezing temperatures. We have blizzards from time to time. I have a number of winter coats that are far heavier than 30 skeins of Noro.

I can only assume that the commenters who think a knitted coat is too heavy to wear live in areas where coats are not needed.

Speaking of said coat, I have finished the back.

I have finished the sleeves.

And I am working on the first half of the front.

Work on the coat will, however, come to a screeching halt this weekend because that is when I can start my Camp Loopy Project Three. The coat will be on hold while I work on that. I think I won’t be needing it for a while anyway.

Lucy is resting up for camp!

The Grand Plan

My hunk o’ mitered squares is growing.

Did I mention that I was knitting a coat?

I’ve wanted to knit a coat from Noro Kureyon for years. Recently I purchased (on sale) 30 skeins of Kureyon in colorway #276. I figured that would be plenty to make a nice long coat.

I gave the design a lot of thought and settled on mitered squares because they are fun to knit and I like the way they look. I knit a sample square and measured it. From that measurement I figured out how many squares across I would need for the back of the coat. As you can see, I decided on 6 squares across.

The two pieces for the front of the coat will each be 3 squares across, and of course will be the same number of rows of squares as the back. I’m thinking 8 rows of squares to make a nice long coat. The sleeves will be 3 squares across at the cuffs and increased to 5 squares across at the top. I will do the increases with a triangle on each end of the second row.

I am knitting the back, fronts, and sleeves separately, and will then put the coat together by knitting the pieces together. Because it is modular, I could conceivably knit the back, fronts, and sleeves as one big piece by just adding on squares, but that’s not terribly practical. I’d probably pass out from the heat, buried under all that warm wool.

So the fronts will have triangles knit on the top row to make the curve of the neckline. I’ll pick up stitches down the fronts to knit the front bands, making buttonholes in one side. Then after joining at the shoulders with the back, I’ll pick up stitches and knit a neckband. I plan to finish the bottom edge of the body and the sleeves with applied icord.

Then I’ll throw the whole thing in the washing machine and felt it.

I figured out yesterday exactly how many skeins I need to complete this project and realized that because I plan to felt the garment and am therefore knitting it slightly oversized, 30 skeins is not quite enough. So I’ve ordered more.

Poncho Alert

The pattern for the poncho I recently completed is now available for sale in my Ravelry shop, here.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for the book giveaway. Leslie S. (who has been notified via email) was chosen at random from the comments and will receive the free copy of of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor.

Lucy Sez

“This does make a great blankie!”

Beginnings and Endings

This week I received a review copy of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. First off, its size: it is 5.5″ by 7″, small enough to tuck into your knitting bag. And it is spiral-bound, making it easy to refer to because it will lay flat no matter what page you have opened to.The book is also available in e-book format, so you can keep it on your mobile device for quick and easy reference.

Another good thing is, of course, the content!

The cast-ons covered are:

  • All-purpose
  • Ribbing (both moderate stretch and really stretchy)
  • End-of -row
  • Super stretchy
  • Decorative
  • Temporary and Hems
  • Toe-up socks
  • Circular

The bind-offs are:

  • All-purpose
  • Lace
  • Decorative
  • Stretchy ribbed
  • Specific use

Each technique is covered fully: each has a general information page that tells you the pros and cons of the technique, tools you need, etc., along with clear photos of the technique.

Then the technique is demonstrated with clear step-by-step photos and text. There are also tips and tricks in little call-out boxes throughout the book.

There is a quick start guide at the beginning of the book that covers things you need to know, like making a slip knot, and what “knitwise” and “purlwise” mean.

The tables of contents are nicely illustrated with thumbnail photos:

Bottom-line: This is a great reference for new knitters, experienced knitters, and everyone in-between. Most knitters have a “go-to” cast-on and bind-off they use 90% of the time. But there are always times when you need to use a different technique to get the best result. Reach for this handy guide!

Storey Publishing very kindly sent me a review copy and offered to send a second copy to one of my readers.

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me your favorite cast-on or bind-off before noon Eastern time on Wednesday July 18, 2012. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

It’s Hip to Be Square

Back here, chez WendyKnits, I am still all about the mitered squares!

And Lucy is all about the nap!




While the knitting of this project did not actually take too long, it seemed like forever. But the poncho is done!

This was my Camp Loopy 2 project, started on June 27 and finished on July 9. I used 8 skeins of Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Worsted in the “Eaven” colorway. I used almost every bit of my yarn — 1560 yards.

The poncho is 26″ long measured from the bottom of the turtleneck to the hem. The bottom edge has a knit facing that is folded to the inside and sewn down. The circumference at the bottom of the poncho is a whopping 109″ — but I wanted it this way for complete freedom of movement.

I did actually try this on (indoors with the air conditioning on) and am very happy with it. No modeled photos as yet because I was by myself at the time of the trying on.

The pattern will be available in the near future.

New Bag!

This week I got a “review copy” of an upcoming knitting bag from della Q: the Cleo Yarn Caddy.

This is a medium-sized bag — 12″ tall and 8″ wide. It is made from a cotton fabric and is fully lined. Inside in the lining there is an open pocket on one side and a zipped pocket on the other side:

There are large pockets all around the outside.

On Monday I put my lunch and my knitting in the bag, and my pattern in one of the outside pockets and took it to work with me.

The bag performed beautifully. There are a few things I particularly love about it., First, it has a flat bottom so it stands up nicely. Second, it is lightweight, something I appreciate very much. Third, even though it is lightweight, is maintains its shape beautifully, due to (I guess) fairly sturdy interfacing throughout. And this helps with the standing up on its own.

It’s a bag that you carry in your hands or by looping the straps over your wrists, not a shoulder bag, and this actually is something else I like. I can’t carry bags on my shoulders due to back issues, and so many knitting bags are made to be shoulder bags. And when I carry them in my hand, they almost drag on the ground because of the long straps.

So in my book it is a winner!

It will be available for sale in LYSs towards the end of August.  However, you can pre-order the bag (available in two different fabrics) on the della Q website.  Shipping from della Q is also expected towards the end of August.

And I happen to know that The Loopy Ewe will be carrying this bag. 🙂 So you could also get yours there and take advantage of their frequent shopper benefits!

Speaking of Bags

A heads-up: Next Wednesday, July 18, Jordana Paige is selling her imperfect bags to raise preeclampsia awareness. More information on her blog!

Speaking of The Loopy Ewe

Sheri announce the parameters for Project 3 of Camp Loopy! I’ve ordered my yarn — have you?

But until I can start my Camp Loopy project on the 27th, I’m doing something insanely fun:

Mitered squares knit from Noro Kureyon (color #276). Kureyon, how I love you!

Lucy sez:

“I’m sure Momma is making this for me, so I’ll sit here and watch it.”