Amber’s Blaithin — Casting On and Beyond

a ball of Juniper Moon Farm Cormo Rusticus

Since my last post, I have been happily knitting away on my Bláithín whenever I had a spare moment. And despite the fact that spare moments haven’t been so plentiful as of late, I do have some progress to share.

Getting started meant doing a provisional crochet cast on, which I may or may not have just fudged in past projects due to my complete lack of crocheting ability. Crochet and I have had a tumultuous relationship since about 1999, when I first attempted to learn the basics. It did not end well, and for many years I called crochet late at night, crying into its answering machine and writing countless, tear-stained letters that never got sent.

But some time in the past few months, something clicked! And after butchering a granny square and proudly doing some extremely crooked edging on another project, I decided I couldn’t possibly fail at a cast on. Luckily, that turned out to be correct and I am now 100% in love with crochet cast on and will use it whenever I can.

crochet cast on is my new BFF

The idea behind the provisional cast on is to do an I-cord bind off with the live stitches upon the sweater’s completion, but I am toying with the idea of adding a 2 1/2 – 3  inch colorwork section before the bind off if I have enough yarn left after doing the yoke. I certainly have plenty of time to think about it, and thanks to this particular cast on, I can decide after I see the rest of the sweater if an added colorwork section will fit with the overall design or detract too much from the yoke.

The hidden pocket construction was an absolute breeze — and so refreshing after the last pockets I did on another project which were downright fussy and fiddly. All I had to do (without giving away any vital pattern details of course) was move some stitches to waste yarn,

pocket flap stitches on waste yarn

then knit up some quick and easy pocket flaps,

pocket flaps

and easily join them right back in with the body (shown here after binding off the pocket openings).


The length I have now needs to be almost doubled to get to the underarm area, and I need to get started on my sleeves. That ought to keep me busy for a little while until my next post!


Amber resides in sporadically idyllic Berks County, PA with her husband and three children.

She can most often be found knitting, making soap, sewing, or puttering around in her garden. She should probably leave her house more often.


  1. Cute pockets…I may have to try those…and also finishing one of the many sweaters I have started in my mind and in reality…blogging the process looks like it would keep a person on task!

    • Blogging it most definitely does keep me on task — something I was initially quite worried about as I have a tendency (like many others) to drift away from something for a while before finishing it. Can’t do that this way though! :)

  2. this knit is looking beautiful……… keep up the fantastic work!

  3. Looking good!

    Another thing to consider about adding colorwork to the hem is whether you want to draw people’s eyes to that area.

    • Well, I have nothing I’m particularly ashamed of in the “hem” area, so I’m safe that way. 😉

  4. So cool! Crochet cast on is an awesome technique, and I am soooo pumped to see what the bottom edging ends up being, down the line!

    Those pockets do look pleasingly simple to execute, too.

    Yay thanks for sharing!!

    • It *is* awesome! And yeah, edging excitement! It will be interesting to see what it wants me to do to it then.

  5. Mary Hawthorne

    July 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Aren’t Kate Davies’ directions marvelous? I knitted the Blaithin Jr last year and enjoyed every moment. And the finished sweater was delightful.
    I am a former Berks-countian, having grown in the Reading area. I don’t get back often enough.

    • I’m eager to make my daughter a Blaithin Jr. at some point after I finish this one. I just love this pattern!

      And you’re kidding! Another woman formerly from Reading commented on my last post, and I live just outside of Reading myself. Small world!

  6. I would like to get your e-mails.. I think you have my address wrong on the newsletter…

    • Susan, you might want to contact someone at the Farm directly to ask what’s going on. I would try lauria (at) fiberfarm (dot) com. I don’t work for the Farm, I am just a guest blogger. Hope this helps!

  7. Great job! These pockets are so cool!

  8. Your sweater is off to a beautiful start, Amber. I love your idea of adding a colorwork hem.
    You are a talented writer as well. You have a distinctive voice and unique sense of humor. I look forward to your next Bláithín post!

Comments are closed.

© 2016 Juniper Moon Farm

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑