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Hey! Have you seen the new issue of Twist Collective?  I’m so happy to have my cardigan, Kingscot, included in this gorgeous, innovative, on-line magazine. Don’t be afraid of all those bobbles. I did them all without turning. I guess I’d call them “i-cord” bobbles.

Kingscot from winter 08 twist collective. Photo © Caroline Bergeron

Kingscot – photo © Caroline Bergeron

Be sure to check out Eloise Narrigan’s charming illustrations in the same issue! I met Eloise last summer and fell in love with her work on the spot.


Staycation, all I ever wanted…

This week’s KnitBits, due out on Friday, is the second in a series of themed entries called the Recession Collection. Last week’s issue was a collection of 50 projects you can knit for under 50 dollars–a LOT less than 50 dollars in most cases.


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The theme of this week’s issue is staycations–the sort of holiday you take when you can’t afford to jump on a plane headed for luxurious locales. Our feeling is that knitters know how to make the best out of a weekend on a couch. You can read our “travelogues” below but you’ll have to look for KnitBits #267 to see what Norah and Margery whipped up over the weekend. 

Favorite escapist movie:


N: Much Ado about Nothing with Kenneth Brannagh. I laughed, I cried, ……I sang!


M: Off the top of my head, month by month: Bell Book & Candle in December, Giant in January, All About Eve in February, Rebel Without a Cause in March, Vertigo in April, Splendor in the Grass in May, Rear Window in June, Dirty Dancing in July, A Walk on the Moon in August, Breakfast at Tiffany’s in September, The Body Snatchers in October,  La Strada in November.


C: Right now, Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” 


Favorite libation or wintery beverage:


N: Hot cocoa with a star anise pod thrown in.




M: Just a nice glass of Chianti.


C: Pumpkin beer–bottled dessert!


A guilty pleasure snack or comfort food recipe:


N: Chocolate and honey toasted on good bread.


M: Tarmasalata (Greek caviar spread) on a tuscan cracker.


C: Grilled cheese made with Cotswold cheddar–a double Gloucester cheese with chives.



Who or what surrounds you on the couch?


N: Lena and Jake, some tapestry needles (fallen behind the cushions) and big comfy pillows.


M: Memories of my dear cat Fred.



C: A laptop playing episodes of the British comedy “Peep Show.” 


How do you unwind and shut out the world at the end of the work week?


N: I like to plant myself on the couch and watch long marathons of TV – like the Gilmore Girls or Project Runway.


M: We take Max, Olivia and Noah [Ed: Margery’s son, daughter-in-law and beloved grandson] to our favorite Indian restaurant and we have a Bombay Sapphire Martini while Noah drinks a mango lassi and we all munch on pappadam. MMMMM!


C: Yoga and some difficult cooking–at least two hours in the kitchen! Last weekend it was matzo ball soup and the weekend before that was bourbon bread pudding. Okay, now my stomach is growling…


What does the knitting glitterati do behind close doors when they’re knitting for themselves and themselves alone?


N: When I’m really fried – garter stitch.


M: My new love is my sewing machine, so that is were I go to update my wardrobe.  When it is yarn I am craving in my hands, I crochet and felt, hats, bags and other vessels.


C: Like Margery, I’ve been ‘cheating’ on my needles…I spin or weave! It’s a good way to get a little instant fiber gratification without having to think about shaping or fit or gauge…as long as I’m touching yarn, I’m happy! And like Norah, I always love garter stitch. 



I hope you’ll join us–answer any of the questions you like, either in the comments or at your blog. 


Happy knitting,




Feel it out…

In the last post,  Norah described Pure Merino Heathers as having a “slightly dry hand,” and blog reader Marty asked us to elaborate on this. 


“Hand” is an elusive, idiosyncratic when it comes to yarn. I like to borrow a few terms from the culinary world to explain what hand means–it is similar to the multi-sensory descriptors of “mouthfeel” and Japanese concept “umami”. The only way to develop your conception of hand is to head to your local yarn shop and revert to a childlike state!

A yarn might feel squeaky, crunchy, fluffy or slick. Knitting with it might be a pleasure or a trial–it all has to do with the combination of fibers, the twist and the amount of processing it has gone through from sheep to shelf. I’ve noticed that the combination of a high twist, super-smooth alpaca and bouncy wool in Cuzco make my knitting go REALLY quickly. For me it has a sponge-like hand.

When Norah says ‘dry’ I immediately think of an unmercerized cotton or a starchy linen, maybe something like Love It or Linen Jeans. Words used to describe these yarns are ‘cool, matte, well-worn tee, stonewashed jeans’. A yarn with a dry hand is great to knit with in the summer and will create crisp, comfortable garments that aren’t overly soft or fuzzy–like Norah said, perfect for menswear and really anyone who wants a no-fuss casual garment. 

Thinking about Pure Merino Heather has just made me SUPER WISTFUL for my dream wardrobe that I’ll never have time to knit, Urban Layers from NG v1 …SIGH…one day I will knit a Kaari and never take it off! 





Ravelers’ NGV3 sweaters

I was bopping about Ravelry last night, wondering how many knitters were using Berroco yarn to knit patterns from my fall booklet. We hesitate to harp on it, but, after all, selling yarn is what my job is all about. I am very happy to report that I found some truly outstanding work. Y’all make me proud !:)


batilous strawberry hill

batilou's strawberry hill

Batilou’s strawberrry hill is knit in Palace, the yarn called for. I love seeing how the piece works with her modern tailored style!  Long sleeves were substituted for the original 3/4 sleeves and the color is quite altered. On her blog, she aptly calls her version “Granny Smith Hill”.


laurens loppem

lauren's loppem

LaurenLoves2knit made her Loppem in Palace also, choosing a color that changes the mood completely. She added a few inches to the length to suit her long frame. (I know it’s unusual, but our model, Eleanor is only 5’2″)

mollys eastlake

molly's eastlake

Last up, but certainly not least, TsunamiTattoo used Pure Merino Heather in place of Inca Gold for her Eastlake. This yarn is a bit of an underdog, since the solids sell so much better, but I LOVE IT. The change of color is very subtle and it has a slightly dry hand, making it great for men’s wear too.

Congratulations on your fantastic work!



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