If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Mitered Crosses Blanketyness

Dear Kay,
OK I have to admit it: I wanted to be the one to buy the 1,000th pattern. I wanted to get mine at some delightful milestone in the life of Kay’s pattern. I thought about being #100, but that came and went too fast. Even #500 slipped past me in the night. It turns out that rascally Elizabeth K. beat me to #1,000, so I settled for #1,001. I had no idea that 999 other knitters would be so generous. THANK YOU, everyone, for pitching in for Japan. And congrats to Elizabeth K. for being #1,000 (she said bitterly).
(Here’s the button. Can’t believe I just said that. It’s obviously a button. CLEARLY a button.)

Thanks also to everyone who is spreading the word about the Mitered Crosses blanket pattern. Loving the good energy coming from our knitting community. Can’t get enough of this pattern-buying for Japan? Wendy Johnson over at Wendy Knits has a beautimous shawl pattern, the Japanese Garden Shawl, with net proceeds going to the Red Cross through the end of April.
In fact, if you really want to dovetail your generosity with your inability to resist a “Buy Now” button, this Ravelry thread lists a bunch of cool Japan-related pattern offerings.
This morning’s radio story about the residents of the House of Blessings and Longevity, a nursing home in Japan’s Iwatu prefecture, reminded me of some of the catastrophe’s most vulnerable victims.
Yarn Hunting
I was out yesterday hunting Noro, because I am fixated on this being an all-Noro blanket. Feeling very literal about this. Some of you have noticed the unpleasant fact that the background color, the creamy neutral known as Ol’ 269, is discontinued, which is a massive and colossal bummer. Noro Silk Garden is one of the yarn world’s glories, and this neutral is the only unstripey Silk Garden color. O Mr. Noro! Please restore this most helpful of shades! It is such a friend to all your crazy colorways. It is the vanilla ice cream of Noro. We all know the mighty power of vanilla ice cream.
Color Experiments
I was curious to see what would happen if you made the neutral background a dark neutral. So I got a skein of Noro Cash Iroha, shade 120 (silk/lambswool/cashmere/nylon) and a skein of Noro Taiyo, shade 9 (cotton/silk/wool/nylon).
This lush dark gray, high on my list of grays that I like, is too much for the light ‘n’ airy Taiyo. A lighter shade of gray would probably work, but there isn’t one in Cash Iroha. I would like this to be a cheerful sort of blanket. I duplicated the square to see what a whole blanket of gray would look like. (Imagine varied colors of crosses. And, uh, focus.)
I am a charter member of the Gray League of America, but even I think this would be a lot of gray.
Noro Kureyon, that all-wool workhorse yarn, does have the neutral shade that has disappeared from the Silk Garden world. It’s shade 211. I’m going with this for the moment, along with another shade of Taiyo that makes me really happy, #21:
Obviously I am going to report on how this one goes. I honestly don’t think I’m going to settle on any combination for a while, at the rate I’m going. Such fun.
Again, mille grazie to everyone who bought the pattern. Please post your efforts on Ravelry so we can all see!
PS I went to Rome with la famiglia last week! Will post some choice Rome moments. Reentry to Nashville has been . . . difficulto . . . I carry my can of Sant’ Eustachio caffe around with me like it’s a beloved baby. It smells so incredible, I wish I could smell-0-vision it to you right now.
PSS (Up top, I just discovered that my cat is Noro Kureyon shade 211.)




  1. Maybe it’s the computer, but that gray looks blue-gray and lovely to my eye.

  2. I say that we all write Noro Haiku to plead our case:
    Oh Mr. Noro
    We need neutral Silk Garden
    To contrast such brights

  3. Send your picture of the cat and Kureyon to Mr. Noro, and tell him how much we need that in Silk Garden.

  4. PS: 1001 is a much more auspicious number than 1000. Definitely. I envy you.

  5. Number 2-6-9
    How dark our miters are now
    Without your background

  6. Oh, say it ain’t so…I love #269. I did find a similar color in Noro Shirakaba which is listed on some sites a DK but others as Worsted. Silk, cotton, merino. I might give this a try. Link to see a pic on WEBS is below.

  7. I understand the joy of color, but I wish there was a bit more grey or white available in the Noro lines. Maybe there is another Noro yarn that we can use?

  8. I have a fushia on order in Noro Retro. I think it will work well as a background and so many of my silk gardens have bright stripes so I am hopeful.It should be here Friday so I can give it a try.

  9. Well, number 1001 is a palindrome, so it is more wonderful than number 1000. Congrats on finding your luscious caffe, I am in a coffee doldrums right now–nothing is the right taste. I hope I do not have to leave the country to find the coffee I am looking for. Perfect blend where are you?

  10. I just love that the Noro matches your cat.

  11. I rather like the grey. It makes the other colors really pop.

  12. Kay, I have two skeins of Noro 269 which I will be happy to contribute to the blanket. you can see it in my stash on Ravelry @ http://www.ravelry.com/people/eversr/stash/silk-garden-sock
    Just email me an address and I will send it on.

  13. O-o-o-ppS!I meant to say
    Ann, I have 269. I will be happy to send it to you as well! =:)

  14. My favorite color of Silk Garden is 252, and I can’t stop myself from buying more whenever I see it. So deliciously murky.

  15. Shave that cat and spin it! No, really!

  16. I like the colors of it too, I think that it would look really neat in a whole blanket. But you knit what ever floats your boat.
    I’m off to the kitchen to sniff my one packet of coffee that a friend bought me on his trip to Italy. I would make this, but I can’t find an occassion special enough to “waste” the percious and treasured coffee on.

  17. I thought your cat was a fleece …

  18. Your P.S.S. discovery was the very first thing I noticed in this post! You can just call me Crazy Cat Lady.
    Is there, by any chance, a black Noro? I think that would make a gorgeous background neutral. I’m off to the innernets to research this question…

  19. I actually think the grey background works!! I used 269 in a scarf and it was too much green for me (but I know you two are greenies). Will buy the pattern when back stateside and try to convince the husband that knitting a blanket for japanese victims is more important than unpacking!!

  20. I want very much to buy the pattern but I am not and will never be a paypal customer. Any other way I can swing this?

  21. ::sigh:: What a useful and timely post. Thank you, Ann! Because I CAN’T. STOP. THINKING. ABOUT. WHAT. COLORS. TO. USE! I thought I had a line on a bag of creamy Nature Wool to use with the variety of Silk Garden around the house (don’t we all?). Solved! Dashed! I had been thinking grey after that. Good to see that I’m looking for a mid-grey. Um, when you find it, please find a trove of it! 🙂

  22. #269 is available in Silk Garden Sock. Do you think holding two strands of that together would serve? The gradations would look somewhat marled, if marled is the word I want.

  23. well, I just found the last 5 skeins of Silk Garden 269 at an undisclosed LYS here in the Big Apple … now I’m up to about 10 skeins of it; I just keep collecting it until I’ll figure out exactly what to do with it – oh – wait a minute – now I KNOW exactly what to do with it ;o)
    thanks so much for the beautiful concept/pattern.

  24. Got to go to Rome last fall. A lot has changed since my last (post-college) visit, but the cappuccino is still molto delicioso.

  25. Ditto the request about a non-Paypal way to buy. Thanks!

  26. You might check with Yarn Frenzy in Dickson. She carries Noro and just might have soem left in your colorway!

  27. A PS here, I work in Dickson and am a frequent visitor to YF the LYS. My daughter works in Nashville as an MNPS art teacher at one of the magnet schools. If Diane has your yarn, my daughter and I can run interference for you so you won’t have to shlep all the way out here to the Boonies.

  28. You forgot to mention that Cash Iroha had also been discontinued. So grab it now.

  29. Did you try looking at people’s stash on Ravelry? You might be able to find some to buy. My friend just needed 1 skein of a yarn and managed to find it… in the exact dye lot she needed. She had it within a couple of days and another knitter had some money to replace the yarn the sold! Try Ravelry and best of luck to you. Your pattern is beautiful and ditto to the request for a non PayPal way to purchase. We’ve had awful experiences with them.

  30. Oh no Ann! I thought I had FINALLY supressed my continual craving for ANYTHING Sant’ Eustachio. ANYTHING. But especially a cup of that devine Sant’ Eustachio cappuccino with crema to die for!! Was just there in October and it has taken me five, count them, five months to get over the craving. Now you’ve gone and done it!! Must. go. back. soon.

  31. Oh no Ann! I thought I had FINALLY supressed my continual craving for ANYTHING Sant’ Eustachio. ANYTHING. But especially a cup of that devine Sant’ Eustachio cappuccino with crema to die for!! Was just there in October and it has taken me five, count them, five months to get over the craving. Now you’ve gone and done it!! Must. go. back. soon.

  32. Noro Kureyon 211 is discontinued. I love those neutral colors!


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