Stockinette Stitcher

comments: 114




























Well, hello there. How are you? We're fine here. Keeping the faith, as you do. I've been knitting like a woman who has time to knit. I don't, but I've made time, and taken time. Andy Paulson, you're the greatest. I got to sit on the sofa and knit and watch movies and listen to the birds sing and drink iced tea and knit and knit and knit. I'm making Ysolda's Strokkur sweater for myself. Myself! I don't have a picture of mine yet. Mine's teal blue (!). The fair isle yoke will be dark blue, mustard, and ice blue. I measured an existing cardigan of mine for width and length (and sleeve width and length) and rewrote the pattern a bit to accommodate those modifications, and also adjust it for the row gauge I'm getting. This was all exciting enough for me. I delved deep into these numbers, and knit so much I actually punctured the pad of my index finger where I pushed the needle tip through a thousand, ten thousand times. I switched fingers and kept knitting. If only the world's wounds could be salved by knitting. I never wanted to stop. I knit the whole body of the sweater (it's bottom up). I started one of the sleeves. I just kept going around and around and around. When Andy and Amelia got home, Amelia sat next to me and watched Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties and Andy made dinner. I was fine with both of those things. I needed them.

Thank you, thank you for the cozy mystery recommendations. Wowee! This next week I am going to go through every single comment and make a list of what I want to start reading. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave those comments. I really had no idea there were so many good ones out there, nor so many good resources to find them. I'll post my reading list once I put it together. I'm looking forward to this. Thank you!

I also started Amelia's birthday sweater, pictured in the basket above. I'm using Blue Sky Fibers Extra, which is lovely yarn, though might be too warm for our climate. I've been too lazy to enter these into Ravelry, but I shall do that soon. For now I'm going to ask you another question, though: What are your favorite very soft, non-scratchy, plied, worsted-weight natural-fiber (wool or alpaca) yarns in solid (not ombre) colors? Amelia has finally started protesting wearing the things I'm knitting for her because she says they're too scratchy. . . . But I do want to find something really soft that's still wool (doesn't have to be washable — I don't mind hand washing) or alpaca, or something that has a slight halo, no sheen, and has a really pretty color palette. In worsted.

The single-ply peachy pink yarn (knitted into another Lil Shepherd) above is from my dear friend Rebekka at Camellia Fiber Company and it is so scrumptious. I love that color so much. Their yarn sells out so fast I always feel thrilled to have gotten some.

I've used Quince & Co. Lark a lot and I do like it (I'm making my Strokkur out of it), but I need even softer than that for her. . . .

I might consider cotton if it didn't actually feel like cotton, but I don't know . . . you know? I like things to have more give than cotton. On second thought, I don't like cotton. Forget the cotton. Sorry about that.

Woolfolk Far is gorgeous, but the palette is just too limited. . . . I need pretty pinks, mustard, grays, pale greenish-blues, mauves, and some warms.

Gee, I don't ask for much, do I. I know. I do.

Should you have need for a very good blueberry muffin recipe try this one. It's delicious.


Alicia have you ever used Morehouse Farm's merino yarn? It is incredibly soft and comes in lovely shades.
Your creativity amazes and inspires me. Thanks so much for posting and letting me be influenced by you in this way.
You might enjoy seeing my Grands and flowers and such in my last post :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The plucky knitter Primo Worsted is amazing. Tons of colors. Your best bet is to go through Ravelry destash to purchase it. And, if no one else recommended them, any Ellis Peters mystery is soul-satisfying.

love your work, as always! the thing you want to avoid with the alpaca is the guard hairs. most inexpensive alpaca (cascade, lion brand, others I can't think of) have these guard hairs the yarn. some nice brands with the guard hairs removed are the Royal Alpaca by Aslan Trends, shibui alpaca, this weepaca (, and these local (to our "fibershed" here in northern california ;) alpaca:
I just saw on IG that woolfolk has some new colors coming in so that might work for you? also, the purl soho worsted merino, alpaca pure, worsted twist and mulberry merino are all really scrumptious. I have knitted with the fibre company Tundra and though it pills, it works up quickly and has some colors of interest. the cascade eco cloud is lovely but heavy. This might get you started?
Oh! and maybe the frog tree alpaca? So lovely and soft, it does come in two weights. And I always love the Madeline Tosh merino~look or ask for the single ply. More softness in that one, but if you want plied, they have that too, of course ;)

Before you completely reject cotton, please give Knit Picks "Comfy" a try I swear it is the nicest, most soft, non-cotton feeling cotton I have ever used. I've made a cardigan for my DH, a cowl for myself and even a blanket for our Rosie, with this yarn. And for the price you can't go wrong. Try it for a cowl or scarf, for yourself. 😊

Sincere Sheep's Shepherdess base is amazing. It's hand dyed, so not perfectly solid, but darn close. I used her Hester color for my a cardi for my daughter two years ago (my free Chicory pattern has photos on Ravelry) and it is my favorite pink ever.

I wonder if Shepherd's Wool would be soft enough? Knit Purl used to carry it. It's economical and has a great color range.

Swan's Island has some yummy merino worsted weight in beautiful colors. I can attest to it's softness :)

Anything merino, especially KnitPicks Swish (comes in worsted and dk) a washable wool. so soft. and lots of colors to pick from. Also morehouse merino I do not think that is a washable wool but so yummy and soft and they treat their animals well.

So, I just knit with whatever feels good and figure out gauge later, but my girls do like the colors and feel of cascade 220 super wash. I do all their hats and scarves in it now.

Your remark, "If only the world's wounds could be salved by knitting" really made me smile. I attended Meg Swansen's Knit Camp in Marshfield, WI for the third time over the July 4 weekend, and one of the things she said was a smiliar sentiment: the other night I got to thinking, what if the ISIS guys learned to knit?


Your baby makes me smile!...Thank You!

How funny! I was at the same knit camp with Meg Swansen over July 4 - hi Trish!

I have a child with Sensory Processing Disorder and after years of trial and error the only thing (and I mean the ONLY thing) that I knit for her with is Malabrigo. Beautiful colors and a great feel to it with no itchiness. It pills like the dickens - buy yourself an electric pill shaver. You only have to shave it two or three times and then it will stop. Everything I've knit with it has held up really well - even on a super active 9 year old who wears things out. Good luck finding the perfect yarn for your girl - nothing worse than knitting a sweater only to have it rejected for the itchies!

marianne says: July 18, 2016 at 06:41 PM

I second the recommendation for KnitPicks Swish--I've used it for a lot of kid knitting and I love working with it and haven't had any complaints from kids.

If you're willing to try a cotton blend, I also love their cotton/bamboo blend, Shine. It's so soft and glossy and drapey.

Check out Anette's nordic yarn from "my rose valley" blog, I haven't used them but they seem lovely

Sublime Yarns extra fine merino yarns are so so so soft. I've knit the fingering weight and the dk but not the worsted, but I imagine it is just as soft. I agent looked at the shades recently, but from what I recall the colors are very beautiful and muted. The shades I used were a medium rose and a soft light teal. Swans Island merino is also super soft. And Shepherds Wool.
Your photos are so pretty, as always...

I love Cascade 220 - my kids will wear the superwash without complaining, and I honestly like wearing the non-superwash too. It's really the only wool that I knit with that I've come close to wearing out (I've patched sweaters that I made years ago that got enough wear to warrant patching). The colors aren't always perfect, but they also have nice *natural* yarns that are easy to dye (if you're interested in dyeing), since they're actual wool and very consistently spun.
Alpaca - my experience is Tree Frog and Ultra Alpaca (I've forgotten who makes it) are the most non-itchy, of the ones I've tried. Excepting Krystal Farms alpaca - that's almost like knitting with water.

My favorite worsted weight yarn is Berrocco Uktra Alpaca. It's 50/50 alpaca/wool, gives great stitch definition, and has good yardage for the price.

Have you seen the new cottons from Purl Soho they remind me of your color palette? Also, Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. Thank you for sharing - it is always a pleasure reading and seeing your posts.

Hi Alicia, I totally loved knitting with Juniper Moon Farm Heriot alpaca yarn. I'm one of your friends on Ravelry - drtwizzle. You can see my boys sweater made from it- the orange one. I just snuggle it sometimes. Heather

Megan Berka says: July 18, 2016 at 09:04 PM

My 3 year old has the same complaint about the sweaters I knit for him. The only one he will wear is made from Spud and Chloe Sweater yarn. It is a organic cotton and wool blend. I know you said no cotton but it's worth checking out for opionated three year olds.

I'm from Australia and don't know if you ever order anything from here but bendigowoollenmills have lovely wools and cotton,

Elizabeth says: July 18, 2016 at 09:59 PM

Malabrigo Rios is lovely, soft superwash yarn, except the color palette might not be what you're looking for! However, it would solve your itchiness issues! However, I think one of the loveliest, softest yarns I've tried lately is Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherds Worsted. It's solid colors, comes in a lovely palette, and is incredibly well priced! It is absolutely a joy to knit with! I don't think it's superwash, but I would give it a try anyway.

I'm with the commenter who recommended a cotton/wool blend. They have the softness/non-itchy feel of cotton, but the wool gives them a little "sproing" and makes them hold their shape. My favorite is Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep. It comes in a million colors, so you should be able to put together a palette you like. I knit a cardigan for myself with this yarn back when I think Abraham Lincoln was still in office, and I still wear it allot every winter---it has held it's shape, hasn't faded, and hasn't pilled. I also like that the cotton content makes it not quite as hot as wool---I can wear it indoors through the winter without feeling like I'm going to melt from the inside out, like I do when I wear alpaca or heavy wools. Also, are there any denim yarns still on the market? I love them, too---they fade like an old pair of jeans and show wear, but in a very good way! I'm knitting some socks right now with my handspun. It is really HOT and humid here in Iowa right now, but I know I'll be excited to wear them in the Fall.

Such pretty evocative images.. so you.. missed you all. :-) I love alpaca and I love cotton.. there is also some 50% alpaca 50% silk that I made my red shawl out of that I can highly recommend. Go look at at the Blue Sky alpaca silk and also their cotton. Simply amazing. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Yarns. Berroco Vintage (washable and very affordable) Berroco Ultra Alpaca (because Alpaca is ALWAYS soft and so fine.) Sweet Georgia (her colours are as fabulous as she is and I love her yarns and her!) Superwash Merino or what's really fun is the Party of Five Mini Skeins. You could have a whole lotta fun with that! I knit a lot of sock weight or DK weight occasionally.

I wanted to thank you once again for all your lovely posts. This world I am viewing is pretty darn overwhelming and I keep coming back to this sweet place and knowing that it's somehow okay just for these few moments. I am so very grateful for this lovely life you share for you and Mimi's and Andy and your home, hand work, baking and sweet life you so generously share. It is a reminder to live and love and laugh and be.

Thank you. And Sarah Addison Allen is a very fine writer, not mystery per se but certainly mysterious and such a great read. I think you would love her.

I'm not sure if my comment is lost, so here it is again---
I love Drops cotton-merino. It's a 50/50 blend. Available at Drops has free patterns for all their yarn at You can choose a pattern by type of yarn you have, or many other factors. Their kids/baby stuff is great. I just finished a baby's blessing dress and bonnet with this yarn and was quite pleased--very soft. The baby is in S Oregon, so didn't use all merino. Price is very reasonable.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at