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Lulu asked for yardages on the Norwegian Stockings. I used about one and a half skeins of main color (brown), just about one of the main accent (blue) and a very teeny amount of the cuff accent (white), all with Dale Baby Ull (tangent - Yarndex rocks my world. End tangent), which has about 180 yards to the skein. I'm stumpier than Cotton Hill, so I did just two and a half repeats before decreasing, three and a half after, and (I think) four for the foot. The original pattern calls for eight skeins total of sportweight Dale Heilo, which has 109 yards per.

I'm of the opinion that the best way to learn traditional Fair Isle is with a small project in the round (tangent - I think these are a great beginner project, if you're already comfortable with socks. I hate it when people assign difficulty levels to projects or say that something is too hard for a beginner - all knitting is made of the same basic knit and purl stitches. These stockings have a simple, clear, repetitive pattern, and not much else going on to distract you other than standard sock shaping, and so are perfect for anyone who wants to learn something new and likes to tackle challenges head-on. End tanget), but I'd add that DPNs might not be the way to go. Though I know that's how people in Scotland knit for ages before we had fancy schmancy circulars, it's 1) damn hard to maintain an even tension around the corners, and 2) just another thing to deal with when you're already wrangling with different yarn colors. Magic Loop, or two circulars, is how I'm going to do these next time. All that said - good luck with learning FI! Here's an excellent crash course - not the way I do it (I usually knit with both colors in my left hand), but this is the traditional method, presented in a very effective way indeed. The Philosopher's Wool books are interesting, too, and Alice Starmore's Art of Fair Isle Knitting is absolutely invaluable.

On to the cono dell'abete - I did it. It took roughly the same length of time as it did to build the ark, ride out the deluge, and repopulate the world, and it wrang figurative blood, sweat, and tears out of me (okay, okay! Maybe there were one or two literal tears), but I did it. I picked up Six! Hundred! And! Twelve! dratted, golswinked, doggoned stitches.

Just starting, picking up easy selvedge stitches. Mood: Cocky, with a hint of relief.

1/3 through, and just realizing that, having put the "cut me" loop on the wrong side of the piece, the thread will have to be picked out on every stitch as opposed to simply unraveled. Mild expletives uttered. Mood: Hopeful, but fading fast.

Halfway through. Fingers aching from picking out never-ending thread. Wishing evil visitations upon any and all associated with lacemaking, ever, in the history of knitting. Mood: First-degree murderous.

It got done, though. And for what? This bulbous, floppy, unappealing thing? I'm always amazed by the waiting transformation...but really, it's useless till then (tangent - well, maybe I'll just keep my mouth shut. End tangent).


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