theraineysisters knitting and so much more

June 5, 2014

From Sally — New Tricks for an Old Surly

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:41 pm

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented about Thor. All of your comments were very much appreciated; we still miss him (and think we hear him) every day.

As for knitting, it’s not been great. I worked for weeks on a long cardigan and now I don’t think I like it. I am not even going to show photos of it. Maybe later, when I’ve had time to think about it.

In the meantime, Susan I suggested I try a pattern she’d seen, Window to My Soul, designed by Joji Locatelli. I loved it, and I thought that my Madelinetosh Pashmina in the color Cousteau would be perfect. Not only that, but I have what may be perfect buttons, purchased a few years ago at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. (The pattern calls for more buttons than I have, but I would compensate by only placing buttons on the bodice portion of the sweater.) This photo is a little dark; it was hard to capture the color of this yarn.

As you can sort of see from my photo (and from the pattern page if you clicked the pattern link), one of the design features of this sweater is a smocking stitch. I’ve always liked how smocking looks, but it’s a bit of a pain to do. You slip stitches onto a cable needle and wrap your working yarn around those stitches, and then work them. But wait — someone figured out how to do smocking without a cable needle. It’s brilliant.

I’m not sure who figured it out first, but there are several youtube videos that show the technique. Here are two of them:

Video One
Video Two

It’s one of the things I love about knitting — there is always something new to learn.

Somewhere, an old dog is laughing at me.


  1. You’ve hit a couple of items on my bucket list: Madeline Tosh Pashmina and the Cousteau color which I’d happily knit in any Tosh yarn. I just finished Window to My Soul in The Uncommon Thread Silky Merino Fingering and was very impressed by Joji Locatelli’s pattern writing skills, maybe one of the clearest sets of instructions I’ve ever used.

    So sorry about Thor. Spike, our Westie, (Golden Retriever personality in a smaller package) is 15 and I know we’ll reach that place before too long, but my husband reassures me that we have given him a great life, as I’m sure you did with Thor.

    Comment by Tigermum — June 6, 2014 @ 11:42 am

  2. Love the Cousteau and the pattern. Haven’t done it but people rave about Joji’s patterns! I saw a whitish retriever while walking around Lake Harriet and I thought of Thor! Such a beautiful dog! He is in a wonderful place right now, running and playing with other pups! Love the buttons too!

    Comment by Kathy W. — June 6, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

  3. Oh, that’s a CUTE pattern!

    Comment by Laura Walters — June 17, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

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