My current work in progress:

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



The Rainbow Coat does not particularly lend itself to commuter knitting, so on Monday I cast on a more portable project for just that.

This is a simple lace scarf that I winkled together — nothing fancy. The extraordinary thing about this scarf is the yarn: Cormo wool.

I am a long-time fan of Cormo wool. What is Cormo? Check out the American Cormo Sheep Association website for more information on the breed.

My yarn came from Elsa Wool, a Cormo sheep ranch in Colorado. The wool that Elsa sells is frompurebred Cormo sheep, the descendants of the original Downie flock in Tasmania that was the start of the Cormo breed. Check out the website — you can purchased wool that is either woolen-spun or worsted-spun (you can read about the difference between the two on Elsa’s website) in 4 different weights (laceweight, fingering, sport, or worsted) in 4 different natural sheep colors (cream, light grey, medium grey, or dark grey). These shades of grey have a lot of brown in them, I think.

For my scarf, I chose woolen-spun fingering weight wool in light grey. A 4-0unce skein has 450 yards of sheepy goodness. The light grey is a lovely oatmeal color.

I have been thinking about how to describe why I love Cormo wool so much. It’s hard to put into words. It is soft and springy and minimally processed. It knits up like a dream. It is light and airy but at the same time has a substantial feel. You will either have to take my word for it or get some for yourself and try it out!

As I said, this is a very simple lace pattern, just repeats of a diagonal pattern separated with columns of fagoting. Because I want this to be as mindless as possible to knit (being commuter knitting and all), I have separated the repeats with stitch markers. Check out my nifty stitch markers!

Those are sterling silver rings from Kate at Spindlecat Studio. I’ve mentioned Kate’s knitting doodads in the past — she has all sorts of lovely handcrafted knitting notions. I love her stitch markers because they are very slender and do not interfere at all with the knitting.

Want to knit a scarf like this? You can use this pattern with any weight of yarn really. The pattern repeat is 8 stitches, so you can add or remove repeats to get the scarf width you want.

You need to cast on however many multiples of 8 that you want plus 14 stitches. My scarf has 9 pattern repeats, so I cast on 86 stitches: 8 x 9 + 14. I am using a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle and my unblocked scarf is approximately 13″ wide.

Then follow the charts:

(ETA: An eagle-eyed friend let me know I’d left out the double decrease symbol in the key — I’ve uploaded a new version of both the graphic and the pdf on 10/25/12.)

(Click on the chart to enlarge it. You can download a pdf version of the chart here.)

Work the 6 rows of Chart A. This is seed stitch, and makes a nice neat bottom edge for your scarf.

Next, work Chart B. Work the first 9 stitches before the dotted line — this is 5 stitches of seed stitch plus the first column of fagoting. Then work the 8 stitches within the dotted lines as many times as you cast on for. For example, I am working these 8 stitches a total of 9 times. Then work the last 5 stitches, the seed stitch border for the left side.

Work all 8 rows of Chart B as many times as you want, until your scarf is almost as long as you want it to be, or until you are almost out of yarn. You just need enough yarn remaining to work Chart C, which is 6 rows of seed stitch that make up the top border. Bind off all stitches loosely in seed stitch and block your scarf. You are done!

My scarf will probably take quite a long time — I’m knitting a fairly wide scarf on small needles and plan to make it pretty long. And it is designated commuter knitting only. But this is definitely a “process” knit — the joy is in the knitting.

Lucy maintains that the joy is in the napping.


  1. I love Cormo too!

  2. Sounds like lovely yarn and thanks for the chart. I’ve saved it and am now thinking what I’ve got in my yarn stash that I could use to make a similar scarf (you can never have too many scarves, can you!).

  3. Love the pattern! And thanks for graphing it as it is knitted – I’m sick to death of “knit on right side purl on wrong side”. Shear laziness!

  4. Linda Hiles says:

    Hi Wendy, Could you tell me if I could knit this scarf in the round or not? I would love to knit the scarf and I enjoy knitting in the round. And I went to the website and I couldn’t find where I can ordered the yarn? Please let me know?

  5. I picked up my first skein of ElsaWool at the Taos Fiber Festival a couple of weeks ago. It is yummy! The wool was selling like crazy! I’m making felted shoe insoles for hubby from it. Now that I see this pattern, I wish I had bought more….oh well, there’s always Estes next year

  6. CaroleP (ohio says:

    Thanks for the scarf pattern and charts, do love charts. Have it printed and ready to go, as soon as I finish a couple of other ones…..I need more necks though..Haven’t trired cormo as yet, sounds yummy. And took a look at Kate’s goodies, oh my, I’ll be going back. Lucy has the right idea about napping and knitting, but I do like to get some knitting done, too.

  7. Everything SpindleCat makes is wonderful — I’m a big fan!

  8. Cormo is my absolute favourite to spin. The first booth I hit at MDSW is the Cormo breeders’ booth. I have 710 yards of a laceweight in navy, green, and purple which I spun from a few years’ ago’s haul. Don’t know what to do with it, so I’m hoarding it for now.

  9. Susan Shelly says:

    Thanks so much for the nice lace pattern! Will definitely be trying this one;O))

  10. Lynne in Florida says:

    What a haul today! A great pattern, some yummy looking yarn, and knit jewelry to die for. And a cool pic of Lucy for lagniappe! Thanks, Wendy!

  11. Pam on CA Central Coast says:

    Tnanks so much, Wendy for your generosity in publishing this lovely lace pattern. I’m looking forward to giving it a go as soon as I finish the baby blanket I’m currently working on and another for a baby due in February. Maybe I can get a bit of a start at least between the December and February babies! Thanks again.

  12. Thanks for sharing the pattern, it looks like a fun and relaxing knit.

  13. Its a beautiful kind of pattern…I really love it…Thanks a lot for sharing with us..
    Yvonne┬┤s last blog post ..yeast

  14. It’s an oddity but it’s very easy to find increasingly intricate patterns to knit and totally miss the inescapable fact that sometimes we have to simply let the yarn speak for itself. Definitely room for the ‘less is more’ theory when it comes to showcasing something natural and beautiful.

    Thanks for the chart – and the yarn information ­čÖé

  15. Cormo is wonderful. If I had to just knit and spin BFL and Cormo for the rest of my life, I would not feel at all deprived.
    CarolineF┬┤s last blog post ..Rhinebeck 2012

  16. Angie A. (Sybina) says:

    Unlurking to say I understand knitting for the process, I made my hubby a scarf with fingering weight yarn on size 2.50mm that was 8′ long by 10″ wide…in black yarn. Yes, he deserves it and loves it and shows it off to everyone.

  17. Thanks for the pattern, Wendy. It’s lovely. In fact, I liked it so much, I knitted a pairof socks you designed that look suspiciously similar!

  18. Kristina Peters says:

    I LOVE spinning Cormo and have access to a lovely flock not far from me. I used my handspun Cormo to do the Summer Solstice Shawlette and it turned out beautifully!

  19. Thank you Wendy for the patter. I just ordered the yarn; I have never used it before. I am really looking forward to receiving my order. Oh to have a cat’s life:) I have two; – no worries except when mommy runs late getting home to serve dinner ­čÖé

  20. I am a fan of cormo. As it is a blended breed of corriedale and merino, I don’t see where you could go wrong.
    brandi┬┤s last blog post ..Oh The Fiber – Noteworthy Newfound Fiber

  21. Thanks for the pattern, Wendy!

  22. makes me wish I commuted like you do. I commute but am the driver. Hello Ms. Lucy, good to see you napping!!

  23. Very nice pattern. Its not all that complicated but produces a very attractive scarf.