Stockinette Stitcher

comments: 114

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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 β€” 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.

114 comments

Hi Alicia, how about some lovely Australian yarn, its so soft, I make some of my bunnies with it. I can send you some to try xx

I've had a lot of luck with Spud & Chloe Sweater-- worsted weight, plied, very soft, part wool & part cotton-- best of both. :) And solid, with quite a few colors.

Sublime yarns is very soft if you can get any of it, Three Irish Girls can dye full solids and their Aran wool is soft enough for babies, Malabrigo Rios is like butter but is a gentle heather not a pure solid, or if you can bear a little microfibres, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is softer than soft and comes in a lovely range of pure solids and goes in the washing machine! Good luck on the softness hunt!

Gorgeous photos. If I can save any blueberries from the blackbirds I shall give those muffins a try. I always thought I couldn't wear wool at all, it makes me itch after ten minutes. But then I happened to try Madeline Tosh Merino Light, and I can wear that without too much trouble. Wouldn't want it on the whole time, but my skin is really, really sensitive to wool, so you might find it's absolutely fine on someone with less sensitivity. I know you asked about a heavier weight wool, I think they do heavier weights as well which might also be okay. I do hope you find something, it's such a shame to have to avoid wool altogether. There are some really gorgeous colours in the range, I know you'd find something you both like. CJ xx

Michaelanne says: July 19, 2016 at 01:31 AM

I am still slowly learning how to knit...I understand the basics, but it's the "unknitting" when mistakes happens that is my downfall...so, no knitty advice from me! (Sorry, I would TRULY love to help you) ...I just want to tell you thank YOU for all the lovely posts. You cannot imagine the instant good vibe I get when I see you have posted! Just a beautiful place to sit down, with a good cup of tea...and dream and relax. You are such a BRIGHT spot Alicia! Sending love and hugs your way..for all of you sweet Paulson's!

I absolutely love Purl Soho yarn!

http://www.purlsoho.com/yarn/knitting-crochet/worsted-twist-heather.html

I also love Miss Babs yarn! And a bonus is that she hand dyes every single skein herself... Awesome!

http://www.missbabs.com/collections/hand-dyed-yarns/Heartland

Agreed with the commenter who suggested Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherds Worsted - one of my favorite yarns. It feels great to work with and feels great as a finished fabric. I recently made a couple of baby sweaters with O-Wool O-Wash, and it's very soft. It only comes in fingering and sport weights, but you could hold the sport double perhaps to make worsted? The colors look right up your alley: http://o-wool.com/collections/yarns/products/o-wash-sport

Michelle says: July 19, 2016 at 06:00 AM

I'm not sure if someone has mentioned it, but Purl Soho's Worsted Twist is just lovely. It comes in pretty solids and some heathered shades too. I love Quince & Co. Yarns as well, but they are definitely not as soft as the worsted twist. I love knitting with it and I love the finished products.

The plucky knitter primo worsted. My grandson loves his soft sweaters. Beautiful colors and wonderful to knit with.

I don't know that they have exactly the color range you like, they have a very decent array, but Shepherd's Wool is wonderful. Wonderfully squishy. I used it for a newborn cardigan.

And though it's not 100% wool Berroco's Vintage wears well, have a vast color choice, and is very soft against skin. It's now my go to yarn for sweaters for super active kids who would roast to death in pure wool.

It's lovely to see all these suggestions in the comments. Very curious what you'll find.

Rebecca Bandy says: July 19, 2016 at 06:18 AM

I've enjoyed dipping into De Rerum Natura this past year. It seems to hold up well, has a decent color palette (though, I've fallen hard for their natural colors), and is surprisingly inexpensive when compared to lots of higher end yarns available here - Mad Tosh, Plucky, etc. They have great customer service. Solenn and Marthe are so kind. Best luck finding the perfect yarn!

I have knitted several items in Sheperd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill (MI), it's a very soft worsted weight merino that knits fast and keeps its shape well. I buy it at my local shop in Montreal but I am sure you can find it in Oregon too. For info, the colours I find can be seen here: http://lamaisontricotee.com/shop/laine-shepherds/

I have been reading your blog for a number of years and always enjoy it, but have never commented. Especially do I enjoy watching your beautiful daughter grow. Can"t imagine how you have time to do all the sewing, knitting, quilting, and cooking you do along with your walks and field trips. You are one busy woman! I am new to the quilting world - within the last year. I admire your simple quilts made with such lovely fabrics. Where do you get your fabrics, if I might ask. Is there a certain line of fabrics or certain designer/designers that you look for?

Louann

May I proudly suggest yarns from this new start-up company owned by my daughter and her bestie from college : http://www.hollyandivydyeworks.com/

Both women are raising their babies and keeping their imaginations alive at the same time.

Dana Laviano says: July 19, 2016 at 06:48 AM

I'm sure you are getting lots of great recommendations so forgive me if this is a repeat, but I would say try bamboo. I am allergic to wool and so it is all too scratchy for me (even the superwash kind). Bamboo has a lovely drape (beware, it does stretch) and a sheen like silk. I would recommend a bamboo blend to give it more structure. It doesn't have much of a halo though. Its more like cotton that way.
God bless,
Dana

Kimberley Lukasavitz says: July 19, 2016 at 06:51 AM

Are we allowed to sell afghans we have made from your patterns? I am doing an arts and crafts fair this weekend at a nature part. I have crocheted some of your patterns. Thanks.

Yay, I'm knitting the same sweaterfor myself! Dark blue-green tweedy wool for the body -- not sure about contrast colors yet. Beautiful posts, beautiful pictures. It's so hard to find cozy, soft wool that wears well. How do you feel about Quince & Co. Lark? Is that soft enough for Mimi? My toddler loves wearing things I've knit with Knit Picks Swish, but it pills and doesn't wear terribly well. But he wears it happily, and that's good enough for me, esp. since he is growing like a weed. Must try the muffin recipe, and I'm looking forward to the reading list.

I'm intrigued by what is in your basket in photo 10. What is it and how was it made? Please let me know. I want to make one right now.

There are so many options for great non-itchy wools now! Super wash is generally smoother (less "tickle"). I've recently used Cascade Longwood and it's very smooth and soft. Rowan Wool Cotton is great if you can find it! Louet Gems line comes in loads of colours. Good luck!

I love it when you ask questions, I learn so much! Sweet Liberty binding on that knitted piece pictured. Did you machine sew it on or by hand?

Such wonderful suggestions. I have a couple for you, too. First is Big Bad Wool - WeePaca. It is a wool and alpaca blend that is just wonderful. It comes in lots of colors. I know you said no to cotton, but one of my favorite kinds of yarn is a wool/cotton blend. Spud and Chloe makes a lovely worsted weight called Sweater. It comes in a variety of colors all very sweater worthy. I made my little one a vest out it last year and it was just beautiful. Easy to care for and wears really well with the sproinginess of wool. I also love Rowan Wool Cotton, but I think it has been discontinued. I have bought destashes of it on Ravelry before. It knits up really nice and feels good to the touch. It's been a favorite of mine for several years and I am sad that it seems to be discontinued. I am sure there are a lot of similar yarns, but those are some I have tried and can speak for.

Kimberley Lukasavitz says: July 19, 2016 at 08:16 AM

Are we allowed to sell the afghans we make from your patterns? I am doing my first arts and crafts fair at a nature park this weekend. Thanks.

For my designs I use worsted weight yarns a LOT and my faves are: Malabrigo Rios (I love the Sandbank, Plomo, Frank's Ochre, Aguas, Lettuce, English Rose...) It is very important to match dye lots and even then there can be variation so if you can choose in person it's better. I also really love Madelinetosh Vintage (the colors are just to die for, probably more your style than the Malabrigo colorways). It gets very soft after blocking and is quite sturdy. But it's on the pricey side. If you want the ultimate scrumptious yarn, I'd recommend Plucky Knitter Primo Aran (which is in my opinion more of a worsted weight), their colors are just gorgeous and the quality is unbelievable with 20% cashmere. I also like Spud and Chloe Sweater but probably more for blankets and the like.

Jane Miller says: July 19, 2016 at 08:41 AM

Hi! I sympathize with itching wool...I can't wear it at all, sad to say. I discovered some very nice cotton yarn sold by Scheepjes...it is soft and nice to knit or crochet. I order this from overseas through Woolwarehouse, a wonderful online yarn company. They have reasonable shipping charges and they package your purchase in the nicest sheer organza bags! Delivered via Royal Mail and very fast to us in the USA. Check them out when you have time.

Love your Blog!

I love that sweater, I have it saved in my Ravelry. I don't know why though, I can't ever imagine being good enough at knitting to feel I could tackle itπŸ˜„ The colours you have chosen sound lovely.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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 aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.