My current work in progress:

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


Archives for March 2013

Oregon Hat

I finished up the Oregon Hat last night.

So for now I am done with Oregon. 🙂 I have a set.

Preview of coming attractions:

Lucy is resting up for it!

Oregon Cowl and Mitts

The project I showed in its early stages in Wednesday’s blog post is now complete: Alice Starmore’s Oregon Cowl.

The cowl is part of a kit from Virtual Yarns and it is available in Autumn or Spring colorways. (Mine is the Autumn colorway.) The kit includes yarn and instructions for a hat, cowl, fingerless mitts, and gloves.

The yarn is Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-ply and in stranded colorwork it knits up to a gauge of 28 stitches and 32 rows to 4 inches using a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle, which is what I used for the cowl. There are 12 different colors in the cowl, and some of the color changes are extremely subtle.

I made Starmore’s Oregon Cardigan in the Spring colorway, using the original Jamieson & Smith yarns and colors — photos here. Almost exactly 10 years ago. Wow. Time flies.

This reminds me of how much I love to do colorwork. It’s not extremely portable, but it sure is fun.

Next up — the Oregon fingerless mitts. I figured I could use a new pair, particularly in light of the Powers That Be cutting back on the hours they will be providing us with heat at the office. (This is a sequestration cut-back.) I picture myself Bob Cratchit-like, swathed in shawls, working at my computer by the light of one 40-watt bulb. Heh.

I started the mitts on Friday, finished them late Saturday night.

This is a testament to how entertaining I find colorwork to be.

And this morning I just barely started the matching hat.

I don’t plan to knit the gloves because I find that I never wear knitted gloves. (I prefer leather gloves.) But the kit has plenty of yarn for a pair of gloves, so I may make them at some point in the future.

Now I have to go. Lucy wants to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD.


Fast and Easy Hooded Scarf

It was fast and it was easy. I now have a completed hooded scarf.

I basically wrote the pattern for the scarf in my last blog entry, but to make it easier to access and use, I’ve also made it a free Ravelry download.

Here it is laid out flat. As you can see, nothing fancy. But effective. 🙂

Knitting Pattern Essentials

I’ve been looking through Sally Melville’s upcoming book Knitting Pattern Essentials: Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear, which is due out later this month (March 26). The subtitle pretty much says it all!

It’s a book about modifying existing patterns and creating new ones — not so much a design book, but a book that explains how to turn your design ideas into workable patterns.

One of my guilty pleasures is catching an episode of What Not to Wear from time to time. If I’ve learned anything from that show, it is that clothes do not come off the rack fitting everyone perfectly. So why would we think that knitting patterns would as well?

I used to do a great deal of sewing, and I was pretty darn good at it. I could make a  suit from a Vogue pattern in a weekend. And I made my entire work wardrobe back in the day. I learned from experience how I needed to alter sewing patterns to fit me properly so that it looked like I had my own couturier.

And here’s a book that’ll help you do that with your knitted garments. The book covers such topics as calculating measurements and understanding ease, creating a pattern from an existing garment that fits you well, how to create a variety  of necklines, shoulders, sides, sleeves, and hemlines, how to troubleshoot a project that doesn’t turn out the way you expected, and tips for finishing to give your knits the couture look.

And there are 8 patterns included. They are all sweaters — pullovers, wraps, and jackets — and they incorporate the elements that Melville covers in the book. My fave:

I think this is a book that would be useful not only for designers and designer wanna-bes, but also anyone who has the desire and/or need to alter a knitting pattern.

Meanwhile, I’ve started something new. Can you guess what it is?

Lucy knows, but she’s not telling.


I’ve been working on a non-public project for the last week, so there has not been a lot of knitting progress I can show you.

But I finished this project late last week so I needed something new to work on. One thing I’ve been in the market for is a hooded scarf.  Leaving for work in the wee hours while hair is wet, or even slightly damp after blow-drying makes for a chilly start to the day. A hooded scarf would keep the head and neck warm without causing hat-head.

I did a search for a pattern on Ravelry and bought one that incorporated some nice cablework. I started it but quickly discovered that the pattern had a lot of problems. For starters, the gauge required did not correlate with the finished size unless one were planning on stretching the crap out of the scarf during blocking — not a good idea for a cabled design. And the numbers in the pattern were simply wrong. I fiddled with it for a while but couldn’t make anything that satisfied me, so abandoned it entirely.

I decided to go for a simple stitch pattern, knitting straight. When done, I’ll fold the scarf in half and sew up the back for 10″ or so in the middle to make the hood.

Here is my scarf in progress:

It’s all neatly rolled up. 🙂

This is The Fibre Company’s Tundra bulky yarn, in the “Tamarack” colorway. It’s a lovely blend of alpaca, merino wool, and silk.

Here’s my scarf pattern:

With a U.S. size 9 needle, cast on 45 stitches.

Row 1: Knit across.

Row 2: Knit 1, purl 1 across, end knit 1.

Repeat these 2 rows until you run out of yarn.

I have 5 skeins of yarn, and estimate with my gauge of 4 stitches and 5 rows to the inch, I’ll have a finished scarf that is approximately 11″ across and 75 – 80″ long — good and long so that I can sew up the center for the hood and still have nice long ends to wrap around my neck.

I may or may not add fringe to the ends. I’ll see how I feel about it when I get close to the end.

Book Giveaway

The winner of my copy of My First Cardigan Workbook is MariGayle, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!


This past week was my cute little Mini Cooper’s birthday — I’ve had him for a year now. We celebrated with a trip to the dealership for annual maintenance and a car wash. And as of yesterday, this was his odometer reading:


Here is Lucy watching her favorite tv show on Animal Planet: Cats 101.