My current work in progress:

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


Archives for September 2012

It’s a Bird It’s a Plane

There were a lot of interesting guesses about what my new project is, including a coat for Basil (my Mini Cooper), something called a Bermuda Shawl, a skirt, a bedspread, a colorwork sweater, a cowl, a blanket, something out of Knit Swirl, a ruffly shawl, and a coat I will steek.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner. Dianne is correct: it is the beginning of a coat I will steek.

I am using Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 in the Rainbow colorway (this is interchangeable with Kauni). I am using this colorway for both the background and foreground colors, just in different places in the striping sequence. I started by knitting a plain facing for the bottom edge, then did a 13-row border pattern. The main pattern is from a vintage book of Norwegian mittens. This pattern motif is popular — it is used in a Dale of Norway pattern (Frogner) and in an Alice Starmore pattern (Marina). As it happens, I have knit both those patterns: my Frogner, and my Marina.

But wait — isn’t this awfully small in circumference to be a coat? It is, because this is just the back of the coat.

I am actually knitting this coat in pieces because I prefer to have seams in larger garments like this. But because colorwork is more easily worked in the round,I am knitting the pieces with steeks. What I am knitting right now is the back. here is the steek:


Once I cut the steek open, I will have a flat piece. I plan to knit both side fronts in one piece, so I will have two steeks in that piece — one for the side seams, and one for the front opening. I will knit the sleeves in the round from the bottom up, and then pick up stitches around the armhole and join the sleeves to the body with a three-needle bind-off.

This should be interesting 🙂


I have noticed that Basil has the ability to make friends wherever he goes. Earlier this week:

Earlier today:

Super-Cute Super-Scary!

I have in my possession a review copy of Super-Scary Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec.

My first instinct was to photograph every page to show you. But since all the patterns are listed in Ravelry, there is no need for me to do that.

There is some really cute stuff in here, and the names of these critters are very cute and clever.

All of the samples in the book are knit from yarns by Cascade, so they are readily available, and also easily substituted. The patterns themselves (20 of them) are very well-written and illustrated. There is an extensive how-to section in the front of the book with everything you need to know about the techniques used to make these critters.

The photography is great — so very creative!

My favorite project form the book? Zombie Sleepover!

If you are at all interested in knitting toys, get this book — you will not be disappointed.

Lucy sez:

“This is my scary face!”



Thanks for all your nice comments about the denim coat. It is gratifying when something turns out the way you have envisioned it . . . particularly when it is something you have spent a lot of time on!

I will not be writing up a pattern for this. To do so, I’d have to resize it and have each size test-knitted and I don’t have the time or energy for that right now.

After completing the coat, I started yet another coat. I posted pictures of the swatches I knit for it a while back, here. The yarn is Cascade Eco+ and I got a nice chunk of the back done.

But I’ve decided to set it aside for now. For whatever reason, I’m not inspired to work on it.

So I started something new.

You probably can’t figure out what that is from the photo. Here is a photo of the yarn.

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

Oh, and I have more than enough of the yarn to work with.

Lucy is strangely unconcerned.


Some Photos

My coat being worn, after three trips through the washer dryer (washed out photo due to inferior lighting):

A closeup that shows the true color:

The little princess in profile:

My odometer this morning:

Finished Fini Fertig Finito

On Monday afternoon I finished my denim coat and tossed it in the washer to shrink it.

This is knit from Rowan Denim: a cotton yarn. I am not felting the coat, but shrinking it lengthwise and fading the color. I put it in the washer with a large dark colored bath towel (for friction) and sent it through a regular cycle with hot wash and cold rinse. A lot of dye washed off. It actually stained the inside of my washer slightly.

From the washer into the dryer, where it took about 90 minutes to dry on a hot cycle.

Then I repeated the wash/dry process again last night.

After the first wash/dry, it shrunk nicely in length — pretty much exactly how much I expected: about 17%. There was some slight fading of color.

After the second wash/dry, it shrunk in length a wee bit more, so in total it shrunk about 20%. There was a little more color fading as well.

Because the coat is a textured knit, more fading occurs on the parts that “stick out” so you get a nice contrast on the relief portion of the cables.

I used 34 skeins of Rowan Denim in the “Memphis” colorway and a U.S. size 5 needle.

There was a comment recently about the advisability of attaching sleeves before shrinking: wouldn’t the lengthwise shrinking affect the set of the sleeves? It doesn’t. I’ve knit denim sweaters in the past, put them together entirely, and then tossed them in the washer, and it has worked out just fine each time. I discussed this almost two years ago, in this blog post. The only drawback to waiting until I finish a garment before washing it? It’s a long wait to get to see how the design looks after shrinking fading! But that is incentive to knit faster.

There was also a question about whether it would shrink proportionately over the different pattern motifs — would they all shrink at the same rate?

They did.

I am extraordinarily happy with this coat. It is oversized, and that’s what I wanted. Since I will be wearing it as outerwear, I wanted a very loose fit so it would be easy to put on over something with sleeves. I think it is going to make a great light autumn coat.

No photo of it being worn — I was unable to get a good shot indoors.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go pet Lucy, who is waiting patiently.


To-Do List

1. Finish second sleeve.

2. Attach said sleeve to body using a three-needle bind-off.

3. Sew up side seams.

4. Shrink coat in washer/dryer.

Stay tuned!