Liesl: finished! Maybe.

Posted on by MK Carroll

Could it be?


After months of marinating, I finally finished Liesl!


Let me be a smug cheeseball for just a moment more...


...and I'm spent.

I'm going to stress that the issues I have with the finished sweater are all due to choices I made. I like the pattern layout and the way it is written and many, many knitters have successfully knit a Liesl.

In my case, the choices I made included using a vintage wool (Pingouin Fleur de Laine, not sure how old but I'd guess at least 30+ years). It's nice enough yarn, but it pre-dates the lovely merino breeds available today. It's not terribly scratchy, but it is scratchy enough so I won't wear it over bare arms again. I am also seemingly unable to count to four, a necessary skill for this lace pattern. This has become a running joke for the Aloha Knitters. "Nice enough girl, such a pity she can't count past 3." There is at least 2.5 sweaters worth of knitting in this as a result. Did you notice I still have the lifelines in the photos? Then I hit the first sleeve (right) and raging frustration ensued. I finally got it done and then shoved it in a bag and out of my sight until recently. The left sleeve had to be ripped back a few times, but I got it going smoothly last week and got it done in a final burst. I think there's something about the way I picked up stitches that threw things off; what worked for me was starting the round with *k2tog* twice, *yo, k1* twice, following the instructions in the * * and then ending with *k2tog* twice, *yo, k1* twice. Notes I'd scribbled on my pattern indicated that the swatch grew, so I had knit the body and the sleeves shorter than I wanted the finished results to be (and didn't weave in the ends, as you can see in the photos). After washing, the sweater grew to just the right length, but it's also looser than I'd like (which may have something to do with my losing about 30 lbs. between casting on the neck and binding off the second sleeve).

Then while trying it on again and admiring my work, I realized that the first sleeve had at least one mistake in it. On closer inspection, more than one. I am not posting photos, not yet, anyway. I plan to wear it a couple of times, and then if it makes me too crazy I'll rip back and re-knit that sleeve. I had also planned to dye this sweater, either dark blue or dark red, and I am leaning towards blue...and not chancing a dye debacle until I figure out if I am okay with this sleeve (right now I am not okay with it).

Pattern: Liesl, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Pingouin Fleur de Laine, 4.5 skeins
Size: 46" (if I did this now, I'd go down to at least 38")

Heather Knits: Knit Pullip/Blythe Beanie Wig Mod

Posted on by MK Carroll

August 2007: Heather of Heather Knits modified the knit Pullip/Blythe Beanie pattern to make a doll wig!  She used the Locked Loop Rerooting Tutorial from Puchi Collective, but using the hat instead of a rubber scalp.  You could also use the Simple Crochet Beanie
doll hat pattern too, and even use a lighter weight yarn (like
fingering) by using the same rate of increasing but working until the
circle is large enough for the doll's head, then working even to the
length you want.  Isn't this a great modification?  Imagine the
yarn/felt dreadlock possibilities!

Photos by Heather Wolff.


Wig as modeled by Heather's Pullip doll


inside of the wig


Posted on by MK Carroll

One of my sisters renewed my Interweave Knits subscription for my birthday, and IK gave her a free pattern.  She finally got around to showing it to me:

photo: Interweave Press, Chris Hartlove

The Orenburg-Style Scarf by Susan Sternlieb.  You can get the pattern as a free download from Interweave Knits (scroll down this page to Staff Scarves Fall 2004).

On Sunday I said NO.  I am working on saying NO more often to my siblings.  I said I would teach her to knit and she could knit her own scarf.
Her: "It's so pretty!  And it's PINK!" 
Me: I am NOT knitting that for you.
Her: "Pink!"
Me: You don't need a scarf.
Her: "Business trip in April!"
Me: ...[how does one explain to a muggle that I am NOT knitting her an Orenburg-Style Scarf in two weeks?]

On Monday, while purchasing yarn* for the Stitch Diva Goddess sweater, I may have had a wee yarn accident and somehow knocked 2 skeins of Elann Super Kydd yarn, color Pink Pearl, into my basket.  Probably while I was reaching for the last two balls of Diamond Desire (75% silk, 25% cashmere) in charcoal and antique silver gray.  Two skeins of Super Kydd is not enough for the Orenburg-Style Scarf!  I CANNOT and WILL NOT knit the Orenburg-Style Scarf! 

But I could totally knit Branching Out, or  Arches & Columns, or Maple Leaves Lace, or Leaf and Acorn Lace, or I could crochet something lacy and fluffy, or...


^ see?  see?  it's the same shade of pink, it's a laceweight mohair blend, and it's $4.48 for 259 yards, as compared to the Douceur et Soie
called for in the pattern, which is $11 for 225 yds.  On the other
hand, Super Kydd is mohair/nylon, and Douceur et Soie is baby

*8 balls of Elann Peruvian Highland Silk in 2117 Celadon - $32, not bad for a sweater!

Free Peaches & Creme/ Peaches n Creme/ Peaches and Cream Yarn Patterns

Posted on by MK Carroll

August 2019 update: many of these links are now inactive. Some changes include another company, Spinrite, purchasing the rights to the name. If you are looking for sources of the Elmore Pisgah Peaches & Créme yarn, you may be able to find some available for sale in’s Stash Search feature, Etsy, and eBay. There are over 1,000 free patterns that use Peaches & Creme yarn on! It’s free to set up a Ravelry account.

It looks like you can tell the difference between the original yarn and the current yarn by the label. The original Elmore Pisgah/Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Peaches & Créme label has a white pitcher next to a peach, and was made in the United States of America. The Spinrite Peaches & Créme label has a large picture of a peach on the label and is made in Canada.

I pay attention to the searches that bring people to this blog, and searches for free patterns using Peaches & Creme yarn are piling up!  I mentioned it in my post about Craft Shops with Yarn: Honolulu, and that seems to be what brings it up in searches.

The manufacturer (Elmore Pisgah) offers free patterns on their website and spells it "Peaches & Créme" with an accent mark over the first e in Creme, which may or may not help you in additional searches for free patterns. You can buy skeins and cones of Peaches & Creme online at

A review of cotton yarns in the Aug/Sept 2005 issue of Crochet Me includes Peaches & Creme, if you are interested in learning more about the qualities of the yarn and how it compares to other cotton yarns (Lion Brand Lion Cotton, Lily Sugar 'n Cream, Bernat Cottontots, and Classic Elite Sand).  The most popular use for Peaches & Creme seems to be dishcloths, and there is a Mason-Dixon KAL for the Mason-Dixon Knitting Book, and at least one KALer has posted a free dishcloth pattern of her own. More free dishcloth patterns (knit and crochet) can be found at the Dishcloth Boutique.  Bonnie-Marie Burns of Chic Knits recently posted on her blog about using Peaches & Creme for a sweater pattern that called for Rowan Handknit DK Cotton, quite illustrative of how you need not limit yourself to patterns which call specifically for Peaches & Creme yarn. Websites like Craftown, Crochet Pattern Central, Crochet Memories, and Knitting on the Net all offer loads of free patterns, many of which use worsted weight cotton yarn. My own Crochet Bacon & Eggs handbag (adapted from a knitting pattern originally published in a 1979 issue of Jackie magazine) can be made with any worsted weight yarn as well.

(this post was edited on December 15, 2015, to make updates and corrections)

Page 49

Posted on by MK Carroll

Recently on the Aloha Knitters board*, Keohinani wondered how we could get the Yarn Harlot to Hawai'i on her booktour and Monday night I very nearly tripped over Keohinani trying to get to a shiny new copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's latest book, Knitting Rules! The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks. Monday night I also left out the decaf part of my drink order, and was up until 1 am reading the book. It's a book that is both informative and funny, and I'm putting it on my bookshelf next to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears and Annie Modesitt's Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. If you'd like a DIY, get in control, punk as Henry Rollins** book on knitting, this is one of those books.

However. Page 49. "I understand that my affection for wool probably seems silly to Hawaiian knitters." Without going into the semantics of Hawaiian knitters vs. knitters in Hawai'i,*** or that it takes more than one knitter to prove this point, or that she's just sayin', y'know, and there very well may be knitters in Hawai'i who think wool is ridiculous, may I direct your attention to Exhibit A:


These are Araucania Nature Wool worsted weight 100% wool socks with holes in them. The holes came from constant wear. Oh, did I include sunny blue sky and flowers behind them? Kind of hard not to.

Exhibit B:


These are Peace Fleece wool/mohair worsted weight slipper socks with fleece-lined soles. Note the way the right slipper sock appears to be warped. That is because the sole is splitting. I would repair it, but the wearer would have to take them off. She says I need to just make her a new pair already (already? I gave her that pair at the end of December!). She is wearing a pair of cotton socks under the slipper socks. It is 85 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Hawai'i is known for its microclimates, and it can get quite cool in some areas and *(^%#@!! freezing in others (ask me about the time I was up on Haleakala for sunrise and realized I'd left my shoes in my car parked at an airport on another island). Even though my mother is standing on a linoleum floor in an area known for being hot and dry, her feet are encased in wool all day long.

Exhibit C, to show that you can love wool even if your mother does not have a severe, chronic case of cold feet:


My take on the Interweave Crochet Textured Tweed Clutch by Mari Lynn Patrick. My version uses two skeins of Peace Fleece worsted weight (color: grassroots), minus the bobbles, and with a buckle from a thrift shop belt. I made a few alterations to the buckle strap to accomodate the belt buckle.


Zeke agrees that it is a fine handbag, large enough to carry the necessities, including a sock in progress.

I have a real thing for Peace Fleece. My stash is organized into storage bins, sorted out as:

synthetic fibers

plant fibers

Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton


Peace Fleece

Yep. I have a storage bin full of assorted wool yarn, and a storage bin dedicated to Peace Fleece wool yarn. My stash, admittedly, is on the small side, and you'll be needing a larger sample to understand the love of wool shared by many knitters in Hawai'i. I'm counting on other members of the Aloha Knitters to flash a little stash around (especially someone who has sock yarn exceeding life expectancy, *cough*keohinani*cough*) and talk about wool lovin'.

La Harlot gets much love for knowing that there are knitters in Hawai'i. Well, we are everywhere, we are legion, after all. Kelli-the-wonder-publicist, care to give us a chance to prove it in person? We're just getting started. We haven't even mentioned the island which has cacao farms, coffee farms, and vineyards (all on one island!), and a yarn shop too!

*in an attempt to raise our visibility, we also have a MySpace Group ( and a MySpace profile page (

**of course, if Mr Rollins, who is a writer, also happens to be a knitter, he could be in the running for most punk knitting book. My admiration of Mr Rollins' work is known but I must admit that given the choice between going to a talk given by Mr Rollins and a talk given my Ms Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot would win, no contest. Should Mr Rollins ever desire personal knitting instruction, he can call me.

***Hawaiian is an ethnic designation, confusing as, for example, if you are from California you can be called a Californian, but Hawai'i has the dubious honor of having been a sovereign nation prior to being annexed by the US. One can be a Hawaiian knitter or a knitter in Hawai'i , but only one of them gets preference when applying to Kamehameha Schools for admission.