My current work in progress:

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


Second Square

I now have two squares of my Cornerstone Blanket completed. Here is Square the Second:

For contrast, here it is next to Square the First.

As you can see, Square the Second has a smaller center portion.

Each square measures 21″ on each side, unblocked, so there is a fair amount of knitting in each one. I joined Squares One and Two using a three-needle bind-off as directed in the pattern. So here is the top row of my blanket:

In the comments GeniaKnitz asked “Does Silk Garden soften up after a few washings? I find it kind of scratchy.” Good question. It has been so long since I knit with Silk Garden that I don’t remember! But I’m betting that it will not soften up too much, given the composition of the yarn — 45% mohair, 45% silk, and 10% wool. I would not recommend using this yarn for a garment that would be worn next to the skin. But for a blanket, I think it is fine.

The question prompted me to look up the yarn on Ravelry and read through some of the user comments. As I write this post, there are 101 comments about Noro Silk Garden on Ravelry. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people both love and hate it. Some of the things that some people love about it are the same things that some people hate about it.

I think that if you are looking for a yarn that is consistent (in both thickness and color), this is not the yarn for you. It’ll drive you bonkers. But if you have a project where neither of those things matter too much, give it a try. It is a really amazing yarn and if you make the decision not to fight it and just let it do what it wants to do, you’ll have a lot of fun knitting with it. This blanket pattern is a great one for this yarn. This pattern is great, period. There is a lot of soothing, relatively mindless garter stitch, but there is also a fair amount of variety in what you are doing so it is not boring. And the results are so pretty.

I have encountered a number of knots in one skein of the neutral colorway used for the border, but it is not really an issue because the color changes in this colorway are pretty subtle. Noro yarns are notorious for having knots in them that break up a color sequence. This is one of the things that makes them such a challenge to use. You are happily knitting along and all of a sudden you come across a knot, and a completely different place of the color sequence is tied in. Very frustrating! But for a mitered square blanket this is not so important.

So this is a long way of saying that I am very happy with this yarn for this project!

You’ll be happy to know, I’m sure, that Lucy is on the job, checking my work.


  1. Oooh, the block with the littlest center is my favorite. I want to pinch it. Ahem.

    For what it’s worth, I find that when you’ve washed the Noro Silk Garden it is noticeably softer and also fluffier–the thick/thin aspect gets evened out a bit by the plumping of the yarn in water. I know a lot of people don’t block a garter stitch project when it’s done, but with Silk Garden, washing and letting it dry flat really is transformational.

    Personally I like those crazy knots in the skein–provided there are not too many, and usually there are not– because it breaks the pattern (to the extent there is a pattern) in the striping. In quilts and blankets I am of the school that a perfectly consistent pattern or repeat, without any small surprise elements, is less interesting. There is an equally powerful school of the opposite view!

    So happy you are enjoying it, and love the vivid blues to brighten winter.

    And thanks for all the new donations to Citymeals! They love knitters now!

    xoxox Kay

  2. Those squares are really lovely! I bought the mitered cross blanket intending on knitting a throw for the couch, but now that I see this one I’m torn. I really don’t need any more patterns, but it’s for charity, right??
    judi´s last blog post ..notice i don’t use the word resolution

  3. I made a sweater out of Noro Silk Garden back in 2006. It did soften up a lot. It is one of my favorite sweaters. It is a cardigan that is not worn next to the skin.

  4. Looks interesting so far! Would make a lovely quilt.

  5. I am still in love with the blue Noro. Don’t the colors of noro come from how it is made? So it is more like handspun in that regard, instead of dyeing yarn it is more like dyeing then spinning fiber.
    Molly by golly´s last blog post ..Da Stash

  6. Pam Beeching says:

    I knitted a sort of ‘thing’ which goes over my sweaters with jeans and sort of wafts about a bit in what I fondly hope is an artistic way and can confirm that with each washing, it does soften up a huge amount. It’s had about 17 hand-washes so far and is still holding up really well. One thing I found was that if you are wearing black underneath it, there is a small amount of ‘shedding’ but nothing major. Fabulous yarn, imho, and worth any disadvantages for the fantastic colours. So love that blanket. I don’t think anyone underneath it could be uncheerful cosied up in that one! 🙂

  7. Darn you! Your squares are so beautiful it’s making me want to put aside all my other projects & start another mitered square blanket. LOVE the colors you are using.
    Jeannie´s last blog post ..Tea Bag Pouch – slate blue with red button by JeannieGrayKnits

  8. Martina Norelli says:

    I knit with Noro yarns a lot. I’ve made some Silk Garden garments for my daughter including the Tunic/Dress. One soak in Eucalan turned the yarn into a very soft, easy on the skin, fabric. Same thing for a jacket I made myself with Iro. My LYS people couldn’t believe I had used Noro when they handled the jacket when I brought it in looking for buttons. It is hard on your hands when you are knitting with it, but it does finish up nicely. Knots are annoying, but the color changes are what make the yarn great.

  9. Just bought the pattern, Wendy, thanks to how simple you made it sound. You did make it rain, as Kay said.

  10. Wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL! Thank you so much, Wendy, for shining your beacon on this project. I love that shade of Noro you’re using, and am getting a little itchy to start another blanket myself. Cheers to you, and much gratitude.

  11. Isn’t it funny how you can see a project in one set of yarns and think, “meh,” but then seeing it in in another, it just pops? I saw Kay’s on Ravelry and while it was nice, it didn’t pique my interest. But in this blue Noro I like it. So calm and lovely. I just favorited yours on Ravelry.

    P.s. Kureyon seems to soften up with a few good soaks, but I can’t remember how anything I’ve used Silk Garden has fared. I’ve only used it as accent stripes in hats that I’ve sent off as presents.

  12. Susan D. Smith says:

    Love the blanket. I’ve been thinking of making one. The bulky yarn is cool – the foggy gray is calling to me. And – here it comes – I love Lucy (cue the music)!

  13. I would love to win you skein of Fog. I wonder why they call it Fog?

  14. The squares look great! and I agree, fog would make a great guy hat.

  15. This is looking gorgeous. I really cannot knit another blanket until I finish the ones I have on the needles.
    Seanna Lea´s last blog post ..home sick