My current work in progress:

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


Archives for February 2013

Hat Trick

Honesty compels me to tell you that when I started knitting the Wurm hat, I had no expectation of it actually “working” as a hat for me. The only time I have ever been able to successfully wear a hat was when my hair was long and I put it up with a clip, then could put a slouchy hat over it all.

With my hair short, I can’t keep a hat on my head unless I pull it down far enough that it smooshes my bangs into my eyes. I have too much hair for a hat to sit nicely on it and stay put.

So I knew from the start that Wurm was not destined to be my hat. I just need to hang on to it until I find the right head for it.


The winners of the the Lilly SOS brushes are Lauren and KathyM in SE VA, both of whom have been emailed.

Cardi Help

I recently got a review copy of another book from Annie’s, who has been putting out a lot of great books lately. This one is called My First Cardigan Workbook and it is written by Georgia Druen.

The book is designed as a tutorial — there are 4 different top-down cardigan patterns, each one designed to teach a new or new-ish knitter new skills. You can knit each of the 4 cardis in a baby size to teach yourself the skills, and then knit full-size adult cardis using the same techgniques. As a rule, the patterns for the baby cardis use a finer yarn than the adult ones — sport for the baby and worsted for the adult, for example.

There are 4 basic cardis: texture, cables, lace, and colorwork. Four each of the 4 basic types there is an infant-sized pattern and an adult sized pattern. The baby sizes are sized for 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, and the adult patterns are sized small — 3XL (6 sizes) with chest sizes 32 -34 through 52 -54″. You can easily swap out different texture, cable, lace, or colorwork patterns so you end up with many variations available in the patterns.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing for my copy of My First Cardigan Workbook, leave a comment on this blog entry by 11:00am eastern time, Sunday, March 3, 2013. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.



While I have been knitting along on my “main” projects, I’ve also had a “commuter” project to work on. That’s not a terribly accurate description of it as I never knit on my commute anymore. So the secondary project is worked on during my lunch break at work, and I usually only get one or two rounds in before I am interrupted, so it has been slow going. But I did finish this:

This hat is “Wurm,” a free pattern by Katharina Nopp. I knit mine in KnitWhits Freia Handpaints Sport Ombre in the Atlantis colorway. This is a lovely handpainted single ply wool that has very gradual color changes. Very fun to knit with.

Unfortunately, the hat isn’t really “me.” It’s not really the KOARC’s style either.

I need to find a head for it. ūüôā


A little while ago I was contacted by the Lilly Brush company and sent samples of their brush that removes pills, lint, pet hair, etc from sweaters and other handknits made from natural fibers.

The brush comes in 2 colors, red and black.

It is very streamlined and fits nicely into a purse or tote.

I dug out an older fair isle sweater that I had knit and worn a lot — it was covered in tiny pills. I gave it the once-over with the Lilly Brush. Unfortunately, you can’t see the pills in my “before” photo, so the “after” photo here is not extremely compelling.

You’ll have to take my word for it — the brush did a great job!

And the company very kindly sent me two more brushes to give away to my readers. Who’d like one?

Leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern time on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 to be entered in the drawing to win one of these nifty little brushes.

¬†Lucy’s Blanket

Just in case you were wondering if Lucy still is enjoying her blanket . . .

She is!


Kitty Approved

Because Monday was a federal holiday here in the U.S., I had extra knitting time. Therefore, I present to you Lucy’s Mini Cornerstone Blanket.

An afternoon of British drama on DVD was all I needed to finish it up. Lucy approached it:

She tried it out.

She has given it her seal of approval.

She has slept on it for the past two nights. It helps, of course, that I have put it on my bed.

This was knit from Noro Kureyon in colorways 321 and 211 — around 4 skeins of each. I used a U.S. size 7 needle. The resulting blanket is around 32″ across.

Nice Needles!

A little while back, DyakCraft contacted me to offer me a set of their new Heavy Metal needle set. This is a set of interchangeable needles in 6 sizes: US 0/2.00 mm, US 1/2.25 mm, US 1.5/2.50 mm, US 2/2.75 mm, US 2.5/3.00 mm, US 3/3.25 mm). The set comes with three cables Р16 inch, 21 inch and 39 inch, and a pretty needle roll.

The set comes in either a 5″ or a 3.5″ needle length. I like shorter needles so requested the 3.5″ length.

They come in a pretty needle wrap.


When I got the set, I immediately took the 2mm needle tips and attached then to a cord. I am very impressed by the join created — when I run my finger over it I cannot feel the join.

The tips are nicely pointy, but not so sharp that you’d impale yourself on them.

I took out the 3.25mm tips, and attached them to a cable. I cast on some stitches and gave ’em a test run.

Nice needles! I knit a swatch with a loosely-spun single-ply sportweight yarn and loved the way the needles performed. I could knit without looking at the stitches and did not split a single stitch, even with the loosely plied yarn I was using.

The surface of the needles have an interesting feel. They have a tiny bit of texture so they have some “grab” like wooden needles. This will make them excellent for colorwork, where I like to be able to spread my stitches out to properly tension working with two colors. This is also nice for knitters who don’t like metal needles because they feel too slippery. I don’t think you need to worry too much about stitches flying off these needles due to a slick surface. Still, they were fast enough to work with to keep me happy, and I am a fairly fast knitter.

All in all, these needles get two thumbs up! Awesome joins, nice tips, a really great range of small sizes, and a needle surface texture that is very pleasing and easy to knit with. If I had to complain about anything, my only wish is that the cables were a little bit “floppier” — they are a little stiffer than I like. But they very well may relax with use. I may give them a once-over with my hairdryer to see if that will relax them a bit.

According to the DyakCraft website, extra needle tips and cords will soon be available. I can see myself ordering extras so I can, for example, knit a sock on two circulars.

Bravo, Dyak Craft!



Lucy is Waiting

First off, congratulations to Helene who is the winner of a copy of Knit New York. Helene, I have emailed you.

I did finally complete work on my Bulky Cardi and here it is, hastily laid out on the floor:

This was knit from 14 skeins of Shalimar Missy Bulky. I’ll not be writing up the pattern because I did not take good notes while knitting it. So it is a one-off. I haven’t tried it on yet. I finished it on Monday and set it aside. I’ve had a very busy week.

But I’ve started work on Lucy’s modified Cornerstone Blanket. Here is half the blanket:

I am knitting this from Noro Kureyon on a U.S. size 7 needle. The center of each square is knit from colorway #321 and the border from colorway #211. The squares are knit according to Kay Gardiner’s Cornerstone Blanket pattern, but I am making all the squares identical instead of varying the size of the center blocks.

The center is constructed from four 36-stitch mitered squares, and the border is worked until there are 10 garter ridges. Each square is about 15″ across. I will work 4 squares and then do an i-cord edging in the center colorway all around the outside.

I’m about halfway through the third square now.

And Lucy is waiting.

Best Laid Plans

I planned to have a completed Bulky Cardi to show in today’s blog post. Instead, thanks to a sudden dramatic attack of sinusitis, I have an almost-completed Bulky Cardi:

And a half-completed sleeve.

I discovered that is is impossible to knit while you are pressing a hot washcloth to your face and whimpering in pain. Which is what I did for most of yesterday.

The worst is thankfully passed, due I think to my home remedies. A washcloth dampened with water as hot as you can stand it pressed to your sinuses really helps alleviate pain and drain the sinuses. As do a number of other remedies. But this is a knitting blog, not a homeopathic remedy blog, so I shall move on.

My loss is your gain. Instead of looking at my finished project, gaze upon this:

This is Knit New York by Emma King, as as the subtitle says, it contains patterns for “10 iconic New York projects.” So cute!

The projects are almost all knit from Rowan cotton yarns, but you could easily sub other yarns. They are all darn cute, but I of course have favorites, one being the yellow cab on the cover. Here’s another fave:

A fire hydrant! I can’t help but think that this would be an awfully cute dog toy.

Check out another of my favorites, Miss Liberty:

I didn’t think it was really possible to knit a Statue of Liberty (not that I had given in a whole lot of thought) but I think this is awesome!

The instructions are clear and easy to follow and there are charts where charts are needed, like for the Broadway street sign:

It’s a really cute book and I can think of a lot of creative uses for the projects — toys for you pets, toys for your kids, part of a centerpiece or a holiday ornament, or just a gift for your favorite New Yorker or New Yorker wanna-be.

The publisher very kindly offered to send a copy of Knit New York to one of my readers, so I can keep my review copy.

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this adorable little book, leave a comment on this blog post by next Sunday, February 17, at 11:00am eastern time, at which time I’ll pick a winner at random.

Sleeping kitties are not eligible to win.