theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 8, 2007

From Sally — A Kauni of My Own

Filed under: Sally's Kauni — surly @ 5:29 pm

My two giant balls of Kauni yarn look like some kind of desert pottery.

The colors, as you can see, don’t look subtle. Why would I knit a sweater out of tomato soup red and pea green yarn? That was one of the questions I kept asking myself, and it was why I hadn’t yet started knitting with my Kauni yarn. Susan and I (along with regular reader Kim) got ours at the same time. Susan’s Kauni, almost finished except for the dreaded last sleeve, is lovely. See?

I know that the change from one color to another is not as stark as it looks when the yarn is in the ball. When I wound these skeins, watching the color change was magical — like time lapse photography. Even so, every time I looked at the raw yarn I had doubts. I kept getting seduced by other projects, too, which often happens to me. Then Ruth Sorenson, who designed the Kauni Cardigan, put out another design.

LeafCardigan.jpg picture by lv2knit

Although I wasn’t sure I liked the style of the ribbing at the bottom, that design rekindled my interest — it reminded me of some of the sweaters in Solveig Hisdal’s Poetry in Stitches. I vaguely thought about trying to adapt one of the Hisdal patterns or some other fair isle. Then I promptly forgot all about it and went on to other knitting.

Fast forward to the other day, when my sister sent me a link to the blog of another Minnesota knitter named Maria. I took one look at her Kauni and gasped: it was the Kauni of my dreams. Maria used a Dalegarn pillow pattern called Damask. Looking at her beautiful work-in-progress, I remembered that I had bought some of Dale’s pillow patterns when I worked in the yarn store. Why? Who knows? I’ve never knitted a pillow in my life. But lo and behold I had that pattern.

I did a provisional cast on because I didn’t want to waste valuable knitting time trying to decide what kind of finishing I wanted at the bottom. I didn’t do a gauge swatch; I based my needle choice on knowing that I usually knit on one size smaller needle than Susan does to achieve the same gauge. I did a quick calculation of how many stitches I thought I would need, adjusted a bit to center the pattern on the back and started. I’ve knit one full repeat. I don’t know what I’m doing the for the neck or whether I’ll use the same pattern for the sleeves, but I think it’s gorgeous.

I’m trying to make myself finish my lone Mermaid sleeve, but this is pretty hard to resist. How wild do I want it to be? I have these beautiful buttons from an abandoned Intarsia project. The color is perfect, but I think they may be a bit too much. We’ll see.

From Susan: When I saw Maria’s Kauni I felt like I wanted to throw up!  I was so sad that I had already started mine and felt I was too far along to rip it out (though I did consider it!).  I asked myself, “Would I rather knit 1-7/8 sweaters and end up with one sweater, or knit two sweaters and end up with two?”  I may still knit the Damask Kauni at a later date.  Sometimes it pays to wait :(.

There is a benefit to knitting the original Kauni: it takes much less yarn and is much faster because you do not need to follow the pattern so closely: you only do stranded knitting on 4 out of 10 rounds instead of every round. 

When I was still considering ripping back my Kauni, I brought it out and thought, “It’s cute.  I like it.  I don’t want to rip out my lil Kauni.”   So, Lil Kauni, I still love you!



  1. OH! you guys make me so want a sister! Damn that stinkin’ little brother of mine just doesn’t cut it. Susan I’m with you! I started the >*)(&( Autumn KAL and after seeing this gorgeous sweater, I am sorry I did 🙁

    Comment by Michelle — October 8, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

  2. Why Why Why!! Why do you 2 do this to me? I was resisting the Kauni yarn purchase because the geometric pattern wasn’t calling my name – but the Damask/tapestry? Must.resist!

    Comment by Connie — October 8, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

  3. I’m with Connie above me ^ … this tapestry pattern is calling my name. What have you sisters done to me? Once upon a time I was happy knitting plain navy blue hats.

    Comment by Wendy O — October 8, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

  4. I heard this yarn is like the 8th wonder! Haha! And very hard to fine! Looks great!

    Comment by Stacey_CrimsonPurl — October 8, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

  5. Susan and Sally- You really shouldn’t show vulnerable and impressionable people
    like us these things.

    You really shouldn’t.

    Comment by Lorraine — October 8, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

  6. Ooooh…my Kauni yarn has been marinating in the stash just waiting for this pattern! I can’t wait to start it. Are you doing the original Kauni sweater design? Any way to post the chart since I can’t seem to find it (I think I know the answer to this request)?

    I was excited before but now I am reeeeaaaalllly excited 🙂

    Comment by Julie — October 8, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  7. Wow. You think it’s gorgeous because IT. IS. !!

    Comment by Laura — October 8, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  8. Ooooooooooooooh. That is totally gorgeous! I love it!

    But I think you’re right – the buttons are too much (though absolutely beautiful!). I think you should go for a solid color. 🙂

    Comment by Romi — October 9, 2007 @ 12:16 am

  9. That is just stunning work!!! Beau-u-u-u-utiful! I love those buttons, they’re wild, as wild as the color of the yarn but will they get lost in the pattern? You won’t really know until you knit some more, but you and your sister are on some whole other level of knitting. I’m blown away!

    Comment by kellistarr — October 9, 2007 @ 12:45 am

  10. Gorgeous — and it opens the mind to other applications of the Kauni yarn — color changes without yarn changes — lots of all-over fair isle patterns might work!

    Comment by Pam — October 9, 2007 @ 1:22 am

  11. That’s a lovely pattern.

    I’ve been watching this Kauni yarn stuff with interest. I have some Kaffe Fassett Patterns that I think could be adapted quite happily…. Hmmmm…off to buy some yarn.

    Comment by Soo — October 9, 2007 @ 4:55 am

  12. Wow! It’s beautiful. What a great idea.

    Comment by Gale — October 9, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  13. A friend of mine searched in vain for the pattern. (We’re both planning to use our EQ with this motif!!!) I posted a sample of the search results here:

    Basic story: Pattern is not to be found. Good news– it’s not that hard to chart out.

    Comment by Deb — October 9, 2007 @ 10:10 am

  14. I finished my rainbow Kauni a few weeks ago and am waiting for my buttons to arrive now. When I was about halfway through knitting it, and was loving every stitch, I ordered more Kauni yarn in EG and EK (pinks and greens). I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but when I saw Maria’s damask sweater, it was like the angels sang. I saw her post almost immediately since I subscribe to her blog, and I searched that very minute and got the very last Dale of Norway Damask leaflet from Personal Threads. It arrived last week. Mineminemine! 😉 Now with two other sweaters on the needles, and 90 degree weather here in Austin, I’m not in a hurry, yet I can’t wait to start on my pink/green Kauni damask. I hope it will be at least half as pretty as Maria’s and yours. The shades of pink/rose/lavender and dark green/lime/apple green are beautiful in my mind’s eye.

    Comment by Tamara — October 9, 2007 @ 11:51 am

  15. I like how the openness of the Damask pattern shows off the color changes more smoothly than the stripes of the original Kauni pattern. Yours looks wonderful so far Sally.

    I do agree with Susan that it’s way more challenging because you have to look at the chart every row. Unless you can memorize all that!

    Comment by Jason — October 9, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

  16. that pattern takes my breath away – I would love to make something like this but I’m not sure that I’m quite to that level (yet!) – you’re pure inspiration though… pure inspiration.

    Comment by Kyle Kunnecke — October 9, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  17. That is really, really pretty. I wasn’t tempted by the little squares but the flowing colors through the intricate flowers is mesmerizing.

    Comment by LaurieM — October 9, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  18. Susan – It’s me Lara from the Yarnery. I NEED to make your lace tam, but can’t find the pattern either at the yarnery or here on your site. Send me an email, if it is still availible.

    Comment by Lara — October 9, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  19. What are you doing to me. I have been looking at the Kauni with a little interest but up to this point been able to resist but now, now? That Damask design is so freaking beautiful, I think you broke me.

    Comment by Kelle — October 9, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  20. Kauni is sooo much fun. And it’s so cool to see people branching out and doing their own thing with it. The Sorenson patterns are lovely, but there are so many other wonderful things you can do with that yarn! I’m knitting a cardi using an adaptation of an Anna Zilboorg stitch pattern with EP and EK (browns and greens) and it’s coming out fantastic.

    (Anyone interested can see a pic of my cardi-in-embryo at

    Comment by Lisa — October 9, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  21. I’m jumping ship. I just completed my i-cord for the Autumn Cardigan cast-on and quite honestly the more I look at the style of the sweater, the less likely I know I am to wear it. I love the “leaf” motif… don’t love the “style” of the sweater… I do however absolutely love damask. Where can I find the pattern? you rainey girls certainly have a great pull in the knitting universe 🙂

    Comment by Michelle — October 9, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

  22. Gorgeous!! Will definitely go on my to do list!

    Comment by PainterWoman — October 9, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

  23. Oh my goodness that’s gorgeous. I love that you’ve lined up the two colors so that the complimentary colors are together (i.e. the red and green then the blue and orange)! It’s too bad that chart isn’t more readily available!

    Comment by Libby — October 11, 2007 @ 11:06 am

  24. Oh, that took my breath away. That is the Kauni I’ve been looking for too!

    Comment by Kim — October 11, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

  25. Oh. My. That Damask is freakin’ gorgeous. I vote for solid color button, too, although I LOVE the ones you photoed. Save them for a simpler patterned sweater so they are shown to best advantage.

    Comment by kmkat — October 12, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

  26. GORGEOUS! The damask pattern looks like a flower that is in bloom! Where did you find the pattern?

    Thanks, Olivia

    Comment by Olivia — August 20, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

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