My current work in progress:

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


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!”




  1. I’m glad that you are doing this modularly. While the math for resizing this pattern might make your head explode, thinking about you sewing all of those pieces together might make my brain explode.
    Seanna Lea´s last blog post ..Parlez vous Olympics?

  2. Robin F. says:

    How much will this coat weigh when done? You might need to do an upper body workout. I had a wool coat that I knit 26 yrs. ago- I had to stop wearing it because it was soooo heavy.

  3. Wendy,
    Your coat will be amazing. I finished the Summer Mystery Shawl a week ago and am just now getting around to saying thank you. What a delightfully FUN pattern to knit. Perfect directions and the relaxed pace of the clues just made it pure pleasure. THANKS for designing another one. Such a fun way to spend some hot summer days.
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  4. I have the No Pattern Knits book that’s listed (I think) 5th on the Amazon search you did. I really like it. It has tons of information and a few patterns. I’d recommend that one.

    The coat is lovely! I can’t wait to see it finished.
    Kalkette´s last blog post ..Just another Food Post

  5. Thanks so much for all the good info. Looks like modular knitting my be my next craze.
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  6. I can fully understand why you are not really sold on the idea on creating a pattern. After all, you already had your hands (and neurons) full with all the work you are doing.
    Claire´s last blog post ..the truth about jamorama

  7. santaptr says:

    I can’t wait to see it finished either and I also wondered if you were going to line it. I am sure it will be lovely and warm with or without a lining!

  8. I can’t wait to see this modular piece of art finished:)
    brandi´s last blog post ..Oh the Fiber – Captivating Corriedale

  9. Gretcheng says:

    I’ve often admired knitted coats, but have NOT been tempted to take on such a big project. But your modular knitting method with maching felting… Tempting!

  10. Okay, I geeked out – 30 skeins of Noro weighs about 3# 5 oz (according to my math and conversions). The women’s M wool peacoat at LL Bean weighs 4# 10 oz. Your coat is such a lightweight! 🙂

  11. I really admired you a lot since you really have talent in knitting. I don’t know how to knit so I am fascinated on your pattern.
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  12. Is the coat finished now?
    Molly By Golly´s last blog post ..Ravellenics Days 5-6

  13. I wish I could knit expertly just like you and create patterns that I can call my own.
    Alice´s last blog post ..NLP Resource