The green one won’t shut up.

I am being slowly driven crazy by this shawl. In this picture, which is just two pattern rows (as I divine them) past the centre of the current motif…there are 364 stitches in a row. Because of the soul crushing nature of a shawl knit from the top down, each right side row adds 4 more stitches.


This makes me, quite frankly… want to knit something else. A decision remains to be made about the edging, which is a mere MILLION stitches away, but I can’t think about it because I am dreaming of all of the things I will be able to knit when I am done….Wee Dales in particular. There is a set of twins arriving in short order, and I am sworn to outfit them in high style. (If you are reading this and you are expecting twins, do not get excited. The person who is making twins for my knitterly amusement doesn’t read this blog, so if you are reading it, then you ain’t her.) I have the yarn. I have a plan. I need only to finish this shawl and then I may knit tiny little fussy sweaters in many colours.


I’m so excited that I don’t even want to try and tell people who aren’t knitters. (I’m not making the sweater on the cover, by the way..I’m pretty sure that’s a mistake since I smile every single time I see it. I’m doing a more classic one from inside.) When you show muggles the the little pile of yarn and tell them, in hushed tones and with only a little bit of giggling that it is “Baby Ull“, well. they start talking about how maybe you are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.


Here though, here as I display this yarn on this blog among my people, here I know that you will all get it. I know that you will understand that this yarn knows my name. That this yarn is looking at me all the time. That it sighs when I pick up the shawl and it begs to be cast on. It tips the bag over so the lime green one falls out (I really like the green one) and it cries for love and attention. Joe can’t hear it, but that is something wrong with him, not us.

To take the edge off…I may have treated myself to a little “Socks That Rock” action. (For everyone who asked me where to get this yarn…I dunno. Mine was a gift, and the only place I know of that has it is The Fold, linked above. The company website “Blue Moon Fiber Arts” is here, but minimal. Maybe you could email the info number? I suggest you try, since this it would be a shame to not respect the urge to get yourself some of this. It’s good. ) I only knit on it a little. Not enough to interfere with the shawl you understand, just enough to keep me from putting the Baby Ull on my pillow at night.


It’s helping.

Note to New York Knitters: Linda Roghaar is in your town showing off the new book again. Head over to Coliseum Books in Manhattan, 11 West 42nd St., 6:30-8pm. Take your knitting and watch Kay pretend to be Ann and listen to people read stuff about knitting. You like knitting.

It’ll be fun.

71 thoughts on “The green one won’t shut up.

  1. Mmmmm, socky goodness.
    I feel your pain. I am about ready to set a few projects on fire in the backyard so that I don’t have to look at them any more. Husband has offered to get chemicals to make the fire more interesting and/or effective. Chemists (as in scientists not pharmacists) are interesting people. Even moreso than knitters.

  2. I love Dale Baby Ull! I use it for Fair Isle socks. I taught myself Fair Isle with socks. Love, love, love that yarn! So far I haven’t caved to Socks That Rock, but I have drooled a bit. Its really only a matter of time.

  3. Umm, I might need to come to your house to snuggle with your yarn, because I get what you are talking about!!! I’ve already got my MIL to commit to knitting the Dale ladybug sweater for my firstborn child. Said child is nowhere near conception yet, but gosh I love that sweater!!

  4. Well, it makes sense that the green one would be the most jealous of the shawl, and therefor the most insistent. Maybe if you tucked just him him under your pillow at night, the whole bag would be mollified.

  5. Steph- Could you really be happy if you didn’t have several projects-in-waiting, calling your name seductively? How could you be our beloved Yarn Harlot if it weren’t so? Temptation, thy name is new wool.

  6. I’m old and evil and suspicious and unworthy to associate with good people.
    It’s just that I don’t spot any needles in that wee bit of sock knitting which is currently taking the edge off. Now, nae doot they’re just out of sight at the edge of the picture. I’m sure it’s just the embittered, cynical part of me which suspects we’re being show the upper rim of a sock well past the heel-turn — if this isn’t sock #2.
    Perfectly lovely, mind you. Just.

  7. The pictures here are all kinds of artsy fartsy. Who wouldn’t want to dress a baby in goodness like Dale Baby Ull? The colors. The texture. The weight. The Patterns. It’s the ultimate coming together of all things holy.
    Those socks rock (it’ll never get old.)

  8. ooooooh, socks that rock!! which colorway is that? i have the jewel of the nile colorway and i’m dying to cast-on with it 🙂

  9. *Sigh*. I keep that Dale Baby book around on the coffee table and moon after it. What to make? What to make? The cute farm cardigan with the spades and pitchforks? Is the ladybug sweater manly enough for my little boy?
    Which classic are you doing? How will you stand the small gauge? Of course, I guess it’s just like a lot of socks lined up next to each other…
    I am loving the socks that rock yarn — seems like it is self striping with varigations within each stripey band.
    Be strong, Stephanie! Plow through to the end of the shawl!

  10. I know how you feel about Dales – I saw you drape yourself across a cabinet full of Dale Yarn at my LYS…
    Not only did I contact The Fold about Socks that Rock, she got back to me about how under-stocked she was. Seems someone named Stephanie and her friends have cleaned her out…
    I am getting some of what she has left…

  11. LOL! Do your friends know that even though they may have been under the delusion that they were making babies for personal reasons, like I dunno, creating or completing a family or something, they’re REALLY just doing it for your knitterly amusement? I seem to remember you introduced us to the Snowflake by saying ‘Teresa’s making me another baby’…

  12. I feel your pain. I’m working on a shawl I’ve wanted to knit for THREE YEARS now, but only…see…when I was getting some computer paper out of my closet, this funky sock yarn fell out on my head? and it is just so spunky and frolic-y and stuff?
    The shawl is adding 40 stitches per pattern repeat. It’s taking twenty minutes for a single row. And the sock yarn keeps falling off the shelf into the middle of the closet floor. It wants to follow me to the knitting basket.
    GUSHING FAN ALERT!!! I happened across At Knit’s End at the local bookstore while waiting for the husband and had to stick it under my arm, buy it and go out to the car because I was getting stared at – I suspect my apparently random guffaws had something to do with it.
    You rock. Thanks for all the laughter and the knowledge I’m not the only “crazy obsessed yarn lady” out there.

  13. Yes, there is something quite wrong with Joe. My poor dh seems to have the same problem. Simply mentioning Dale for him appears to conjure an image of some old man, where as for me, well, I believe you all know what I covet. As a 30 something, it isn’t some old man! 😉
    Please show us which pattern you are going to whip out for the twins.
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Rams that it is quite possible that the needles weren’t showing because you were ashamed to admit the strong, yet completely understandable, lure of the Socks that Rock. And the fact that you are *ahem* a wee bit further than the picture might imply. Harlot indeed.

  14. I admire your restraint. It takes a strong woman to resist the siren song of soft baby wool and wee baby garments. They are so colorful and friendly and work up so much faster than full size clothing. All those balls of bright wool ripe with knitting potential wanting nothing more than to be useful in their soft and beautiful way. I can understand the temptation to slide just one strand of that green onto your needles. Maybe knit a few rows and pulling in some blue. Who could blame you really? You’ve been loyal to the shawl for thousands of stitches never getting more than a yarn over here and there. Stitch after stitch of white rows that go on and on. Yes, a little tiny pullover; some color changes; a bobble here and there; who could it hurt? It’s just a little sweater. 🙂

  15. Stephanie and everyone — Toni is, indeed, almost out of Socks That Rock. But — Blue Moon is in Utah; SOAR is in Utah; Toni is going to SOAR and will bring lots home. She promised me. . .

  16. Yes, we get it. We hear it too and those are some gorgeous yarns and patterns and … I’m kind of speechless. Nice sock – good idea taking the edge off.

  17. Ooh what is that pattern you are doing with the socks that rock? It looks cool and I have some sock yarn that needs to be played with!
    Now that I knit socks!!hehhe
    Super cool I see the appeal.Fast easy.. cute.. I just don’t want to do them on DPNS.. So I need a few more sets of Addis!! in smaller sizes!

  18. Hey! I’m knitting a couple of baby patterns from the same book! I’m knitting the first pattern. It was wonderful, beautiful, fulfilling knitting – AFTER I kicked its butt.
    I’m still trying to figure out how to do the chain st embroidery that the pattern claimed “is pictured” and is not. Anywhere. I have tried about 842 times to work this embroidery on flat surfaces like the bonnet, and small areas like the mitten. It doesn’t work.
    I guess the cute little stars will be unadorned.

  19. I’m with you on the Baby Ull love. Have you ever made socks with it? It’s like sticking your feet in cotton candy, but less sticky. So very nice.
    Too bad you’re not making the sweater on the cover. I’ve been slightly obsessed with it ever since I first discovered it a few months ago. I’m going to have to convince someone I know to have a baby soon, so I have an excuse to knit it. (I think my boyfriend would get just a teeny freaked out if I started knitting baby clothes for our theoretical future children just quite yet.)

  20. OK… my second attempt at commenting. If the first one showed up on everyone else’s screen but mine… don’t read this. It’s the same.
    I’m making a couple of baby patterns from the same book! I love it! It is beautiful, fulfilling, intricate work… AFTER I kicked the pattern’s butt. I’m still trying to figure out how to do the chain embroidery st that they claim “is pictured” in the book. It isn’t. Anywhere. I’m sick of trying!
    Can’t wait to see how your’s turns out!

  21. You’ll receive no chastisement from me on the naughtiness of slipping off to another project while the main project is riding you hard like an IRS audit.
    Why yes, now that you’ve asked, I *do* have one of those kinds of projects – my No. 1 Pancake Sweater. I’ve only managed to knit 25 rows (doing it from the neck down) and I’ve abandoned it to cast on my first baby sweater, a basketweave scarf (with the yarn I bought at Chicago’s Arcadia Knitting), and a lace scarf of laceweight Canuck cashmere, as well as spinning two different rovings on drop spindles.

  22. I… Have… A… Problem…
    We had a flea market here today at work to benefit United Way – and well I couldnt pass it up… I got 45 skeins of yarn for 30 bucks.
    And I am debating whether to tell my hubby or to just leave the yarn here at work and knit on breaks.
    btw the shawl looks absolutely fabulous and mmm soft yarn.

  23. Have you thawed out yet? I’ll bet if you kick on the heat you’ll knit faster, and sooner get to the Baby Ull . . . or you could do like I do, & sit under a halogen floor lamp. 🙂 That keeps me toasty even in our cool downstairs. The shawl is going to be lovely.

  24. I got mine at MDSW at The Fold… so I would totally call them. I actually got like 8 skeins – 1 (please tell me you have more than 1) is ALMOST enough to make a pair of socks… if you have elfishly small feet than you might get away with it…

  25. I made Ambrynn a sweater with Baby Ull and it’s awesome. We are your people so we understand. But, Steph, finish the shawl. You can do it.

  26. Blue Moon Fiber Arts, the artists who make Socks that Rock are actually in Scappoose, Oregon, and THEY…ARE…AMAZING. They are now putting the yarn up in 325-yd skeins, so one will make a pair. Not to make ya’ll jealous or anything, but I am lucky enough to live in Portland, a mere 25 or 30 miles from Scappoose, so some of our LYS have STR, and others are getting it. The colors are absolutely amazing!

  27. Oh lordy, I want to go to your house, sneak in, and steal all your Baby Ull (especially the green!) and maybe your Socks That Rock as well. It’s all so beautiful and looks like so. Much. Fun!
    *deep breath* Steady… steady….
    Okay. I’m all right now. But wow, have you got discipline there. Because yeah – the urge to just chuck the shawl and do something more colorful would be impossible for me to resist, particularly since it’s been cloudy and gray for like the last. Eight. Years. around here. Okay, a few days. But that’s pretty close to eight years, you know.

  28. The snow hasn’t started to fly yet, so maybe just start fondling the green Ull, if it happens to cast itself on to the needles that you happen to being holding than it was meant to be knitted right away. If Baby Ull resists than you should finish the shawl. You can’t fate the knitting spirits. If you try you just end up ripping out more rows than you knit – you keep going back wards.

  29. Oh! You are killing me. I have three skeins of Socks that Rock from Rhinebeck that are just screaming from their bag in the closet. (Its just a few pairs of socks. What’s the big deal?) I took them out and stroked them last night (and the nieghboring balls of Kid Silk Haze) but went back to my current project–the Elfin cardigan from Rowan 34.
    One at a time. One at a time. Keep breathing.

  30. I’m so with you…
    I started making my husband a sweater this summer–the first time in ever that I started a project without at least a good 4 skein surplus and boy did I regret it… I had to send away to Europe (no kidding) to get the rest of the wool, and by the time I got it, I’d already started a very cute sweater for the baby and a very boring sweater for my daughter… now the baby’s sweater is done, my daughter’s sweater is not, my husband’s sweater is getting there and I’m KNOCKED UP AGAIN!!! So my body is screaming “Baby blanket baby blanket baby blanket” and my conscience is muttering “expensive yarn from Europe, dammit, not to mention the hand painted wool for your daughter’s sweater” and in the meantime I’ve had to console myself by slipping a Halloween hat in for my oldest son just to keep me from raiding my stash and making something in pink that will totally curse my sincere wish to have another girl so I have one each in their pre-teens and one each in their toddlers, like bookends…
    But knitting really does keep me sane…

  31. Like regular old Ull wasn’t soft and fine enough… I’m with you on the cover sweater. That is just ridiculously cute.
    Maybe when I’m done de-stashing, I can have socks that rock too…

  32. I know the mother of Blue Moon’s creator! I have seen several of her “experiment” yarns that her mom has knit samples with. Very nice yarn. Laurie D. in Oregon

  33. Ok, Stephanie, I realize this might endanger the shawl rogress, but could you tell me the offical color/number on that Baby Ull lime green? I have an idea for some Wicked socks and I cannot find a non pastel green. Thanks

  34. Put the shawl down and knit the sweaters. Twins sometimes come early and you want to be sure you finish… Yeah, that’s it…

  35. I made that sweater on the cover of that book when my oldest was 2 — it was in a different colorway though (and a different book, too) — mostly orange instead of green, and I can’t tell you how happy it made me to knit that sweater. Cute goodness throughout every tiny stitch. And the buttons I used for the shoulders — little ladybug buttons. The cutest thing ever.

  36. Around the world, a cry goes out from the heart of every shawl knitter: “Give me leave to knit something else!”
    The lace throw I am making is 20% done. This weekend there were emergency Koigu footies. ‘Nuff said.

  37. i’m so shocked that anyone is able to resist the lure of baby ull…your will must be made of diamonds, because that’s the only way i can think of that you’d be able to persevere!

  38. Knuggles. So much better than muggles.
    I got Socks that Rock at Wildfiber in Santa Monica (that store carries EVERYthing).

  39. I called the Fold yesterday after drooling over the sock yarn. She was nearly cleaned out but at least it helped me make my color choices! I ended up with 5 colors which I am sure when they arrive will try to lure me away from my Christmas present knitting.

  40. I’m a shy wallflower of a reader here, but I wanted to comment for the first time to let you know that when you referred to the non-knitters as “muggles”, I laughed gleefully, because it shows that not only are you my knitter-people, you get other references.
    And also because I wanted to say that I saw your second book advertised in the October KnitPicks catalog. Not sure if you realized that or not, but congratulations!

  41. I bought my Socks that Rock yarn in at Siren Song Stitchery in Cannon Beach, OR, this summer. They had a very good supply in stock (I bought 8 skeins).
    Here’s the link for their store:
    The *yarns* page has a bunch of Socks that Rock skeins showing, but you’ll have to e-mail or call them to order, I think.
    It was a perfect vacation: great weather, my entire family (spouse, kids, their SO’s, grandkids) and many friends (also with extended families), good food, good wine, good laughter, great weather… and a yarn store across the street from our motel.
    On today’s topic- go ahead and cast on the sweater. Work on it here and there, it’ll help you get through the beautiful shawl.

  42. Sorry for the multiple comments… my computer kept giving me an error, so I came home and tried again without checking.
    And here I am, bogging down the comments with *another* comment, this one an apology! I’ll stop now. I can hear my sock calling me from my purse.

  43. Um… I can hear the yarn all the way down here in Colorado. It’s very insistent, in an adorable kid pleading kind of way. I very much doubt you have a chance of holding out against its charms… I’m tempted to buy me a plane ticket up there and sneak into your house and knit it up for you, just to make the poor little dears feel better and stop their sobbing.

  44. I love Baby Ull, and (other people’s) twins… actually 2 glasses of wine tonight and I love everyone, even muggles.

  45. Hi Steph
    I read your wonderful blog every day.
    I also live in good old Canada and I’m wondering if you run into any trouble buying wool online from the US. I have tried to stick with Canadian suppliers but the states has some of the best. Can you tell us if there are any hidden expenses when receiving orders from the States.

  46. I’m an aunt to boy-girl twins, and I found a great book for twin-knitting: Double Knits, by Zoe Mellor. Each pattern is actually two complementary patterns–one a cardigan and one a pullover, two variations on a colorwork pattern, etc. There’s lots of colorwork, if you like that kind of thing. I found out after starting one of the patterns that I don’t, so not only do I have to make one sweater I don’t enjoy knitting, I have to make two! The only thing keeping me going is knowing how cute they’ll look on the kids.

  47. Good luck resisting the baby Ull. I made one for my boy (now 6 yr old) when he was an infant. I was so afraid to do the steeks that I knit back and forth instead. It’s a beautiful sweater and it was a sad thing to put it into storage!
    Cheers! We may get snow this week in Portland and our local ski mountain will open in 2 weeks!

  48. Maybe if you put the mommy yarn and the daddy yarn together in a dark place with the pattern book and some needles, and play some romantic music, they will get together and make a sweet little baby sweater???
    My husband doesn’t understand, either. Just last evening I tried to explain to him how virtuous I’d been earlier in the day: I found the perfect Harry Potter sweater pattern and the perfect yarn for it on sale at HALF PRICE! I had the yarn in my online shopping basket, and all I had to do was click the “Complete Checkout” button to buy it, and I CANCELLED the sale! Was he impressed by the way I saved us over $50.00? Not a bit…sigh.

  49. I leave for my trip to San Francisco tomorrow morning. Just finished mapping my “Yarn Crawl” on Mapquest. There are FIVE yarn shops within a three mile radius of my hotel and ARTFIBERS is LESS THAN A MILE away!! (tee-hee-hee)

  50. Uhmm, what’s wrong with putting yarn under your pillow? I had a ball of alpaca that drove to work with me today, and then sunned itself on the dash untill I got out. I could see it looking at me as I crossed the parking lot.( I suppose if you ride the bus, you couldn’t do this, but it might keep people from sitting next to you, if you did.) But Baby Ull. mhmmmm.

  51. Ooooh – Baby Ull! My favorite yarn on the face of the planet. I once knit myself an Alice Starmore out of Baby Ull – yum! Now on the needles is a Baby Dale for my granddaughter in Easter egg colors out of – ummm Baby Ull. I love that stuff!

  52. Please ask your Baby Ull to tone it down. I can hear it all the way down here in Rockaway Beach. It’s upsetting my Tongue River Farm Icelandic Laceweight yarn and giving me ideas. I don’t need more ideas right now.

  53. They have tons of Socks that Rock, Soft Rock (a little softer), Sock Candy (cotton with a bit of elastic), and other very delicious Blue Moon Fibers yarns at Farmhouse Knits in Beaverton, Oregon. You can Google them for a phone number (no website), and Sandy will do a mail order.

  54. Sigh…if only I had ONE baby to knit for, I’d abandon all other projects. Just waiting for the first little princess or prince to arrive…none is yet conceived by my daughter. My mother & grandmother knit for my children, so I never had the chance. Waiting impatiently (but quietly) for my turn. Until very lately, I always had just one project going, and wouldn’t allow myself to start a new one until the first was finished. It spurred me on to complete something. Until the sock bug bit.

  55. Hey, isn’t that green a similar green as that Knit Picks yarn “Elegance “in Grass that you made the little booties in with the leaf embellishment in August?
    That yarn is luscious- I keep coming back to peek at it. The colors keep calling. Can’t wait to see what the final product is.

  56. I staunchly walked away from Baby Ull just last night. This is torture! But I knew I had lace weight and sock yarn in a box from knitpicks on the way….so i had to try to restrain…my “It’s for Christmas….so this is just my Christmas budget” excuse has run BONE DRY. My bank statement said so. blah!

  57. Be Strong, Harlot! You can finish that thing, you’ve done it before, you can do it again. Just remember you are in a race with the possibly exploding Teresa.

  58. I just made some baby booties and hats out of the Baby Ull and it was a DREAM to work with. Everyone at the baby shower kept touching it and admiring the soft texture. I think I we are creating generations of children who will love to be touched all the time because of their garments. Have fun with it! 🙂

  59. Who could ignore socks with the name “socks that rock”? I am tempted to buy some just for the name, maybe they could find a spot in my “core stash” The shawl is beautiful btw.

  60. I was out of town today on business and wandered into a new (4 months old) yarn shop. There were at least 2 dozen skeins of Socks That Rock! Ripe for the pickin’! So, I picked a few. 5 to be exact. If you are in the vicinity of Bellingham, Washington and want STR, call your local directory assistance and ask for Marilyn’s Yarn!
    That stuff is AWESOME!

  61. The only knitting I took with me on my trip was the Feather & Fan socks. I’m excited to see how they turned out in a variegated yarn.

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