Kauni Questions

Okay, this time I’m not doing questions and answers as a cop out, but because there are so many.

Kellee writes

I totally do not understand the color patterning for this sweater. Are you using two balls at once, as you would for other multi-color stranding?

Yes. The chart for the sweater is a simple chart coloured in light and dark. You nominate one ball of yarn “light” and one “dark” and then follow the chart, knitting the stripes and squares.


In this example, if you start at the bottom you can see that the blue is used first for the background, with the yellow/green used to knit the squares. Then it stripes for a bit, then the yellow/green (which has progressed to be yellow) is the background and the blue is squares….etc. The yellow becomes orange, then red, the blue becomes green, then yellow. Get it?

(I’m not sure if it’s obvious, but you just start in different places on the balls so that you don’t have similar colours lining up. As you are starting in different spots, the colours “chase” each other and never line up.) When it comes time to knit the squares you are carrying both yarns all the way around, knitting with whatever the chart tells you too…just like any stranded colourwork. The stripes are just one colour. It’s one of the things that makes this sweater a relatively easy knit, there are seven rows plain work, then four colourwork, then seven plain…..


Other than the squares and stripes, the changing colours of the yarn makes all the magic happen.

Kim asks:

Okay, this might be silly, especially coming from someone who has yet to try fair isle anything, but would it be feasible to knit both sleeves at the same time, flat, with a steek, in order to match the colors? Or would a seam in the sleeves be just too bulky? Or would the colors not match anyway because of the length of the color change?

Not silly at all. You totally could, if you had the stomach for it. It would even mean that the colours changed at a rate closer to that of the body, since the diameter around two sleeves would be closer to the diameter of the body. For me though, one of the beautiful things about this sweater is that it’s easy. You knit the body, then cut armholes, then pick up and knit the sleeves down. No seams. It’s a beautiful thing. If, however, there is nothing more that you enjoy than the sewing of seams, if sewing seams fills you with a joy like the laughter of angels, you could do as pleases you. I do think that due to the steeks the sleeve seams would be a smidge bulky, but it’s not like it’s a chunky yarn.

Renae is perplexed:

Just out of curiousity and because i want to make sure i am reading the Kauni pattern correctly (and interpreting it correctly, to US needle sizes)…. What size needles have you been using?

I’ve been using the needles called for in the pattern, which, being European, are in metric, and since I’m in Canada, I’m in metric, which means that I didn’t convert to US sizes at all….I just went and got a 3mm and 3.5mm needle like the pattern says. I can see the difficulty though, since there is no US equivalent to a 3mm. You’ll need to pick between a US size 2 (2.75mm) or a US size 3 (3.25mm). I’d use gauge to solve the dilemma.

Susan T wonders what we are talking about:

Can someone please tell me when and where Rhinebeck is? I’ve heard so much about it (from your blog and others)over the past two years.

Right here. It’s a Sheep and wool festival in NY, and it’s technically not called Rhinebeck, which is where it’s held. It’s sort of like mecca for a lot of knitters. I’ll be there.

Kate has been thinking:

re strategy for matching sleeves – yes, but won’t that mean that you’ll want to have matching button bands as well????

There’s just no way to know. I’ll have to wait and see how much I care at the time. (My obsessions are variable.)

Linda M. has been charmed by yesterdays needles:

Ohhhh, must have pretty colored needles… must have…. now… how?????

Ok. I have to confess. I sweet talked my Darn Pretty dpns right out of the wood-turners hands…I am nothing if not charming in the face of knitting materials. I am ashamed, but I now own the needles. Judge me as you see fit. Now, if you don’t have easy access to the very charming Grafton Fibers people (Tom and Linda) and can’t boost yourself advance stock before they even know what hit them, then I suggest one of the following.

1. Wait. Apparently they will be available more widely (at the shops listed on their website) by the end of the month (or so – he’s just one guy and they are hand turned.)

2. Angel Yarns in the UK has them.

3. Linda, who owns this ebay store, says she will have them very soon. Probably today.

Annalea asks about my proposed haircut:

I have to ask: Are you going to see the little Greek hairdresser who says: “You sit down. I make nice.”, or the one that came very close to giving you Sarah Jessica Parker hair?

You have to ask? Hands down, Sarah all the way. (I actually got it cut already and it is potentially Sarah Jessica Parker hair. Now all I need is a personal stylist to meet me in the bathroom each morning and spend 3 hours wrangling it and I’m home free.)

I ask myself:

What are you doing writing the blog when you should be packing to go to Massachusetts and Connecticut?

Right. Sorry.