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There is one rule of knitting that I have followed without fail. I was taught this rule right when I was beginning my knitting mania, in 2002.

There I was, in a yarn shop for the very first time, and the shop person was giving me a little tour. I reached immediately for a ball of Rowan in the shade I wear pretty much every day—black—and she practically whacked me on the wrist. “Don’t ever knit with black yarn,” she said, shaking her head, disgusted. “What’s the point?”

Knowing nothing much about knitting, I did what she said and never knit anything with black yarn. What’s the point?

Well, I think I’ve busted my perfect record of non-inky knitting. It turns out that the yarn I have chosen for my next sweater adventure says “Navy” on the label, but I think that’s British for “black.” This Frangipani 5-ply Guernsey wool is the lightest of the three different navy shades they show on their shade card, but I can’t imagine anything dimmer than this. Once the sun sets, it’s a long, dark night of the soul.

It’s a sort of twine. It is unromantic and stout stuff. You can’t break it with your hands unless you give it a heave-ho, and it would never want to be called “squishy.”


I love it. I really, really do. Above: unblocked. Below: washed and blocked. The double moss stitch is as tidy as a turk’s head knot.


This swatch is on a 4 mm/size 6 needle. I can hardly imagine working with this on the traditional size 2.25 mm/size 1.

But I have to say, knitting this forbidden shade of doom is kind of great. What’s the point? The point is that black is the new black!


  • That yarn makes a great little “Seaman’s Guernsey hat” ala Churchmouse. The size 1 needles aged me a few years… Your sweater will be beautiful!

  • A headlamp is my answer to what can be difficult about knitting with black yarn

    • So great! Kay is famous for nighttime car rides with headlamp proudly affixed.

  • This sweater is gorgeous! I am a lover of the moss stitch even though I hate trying to count the rows. Such a great looking sweater and it is calling to me but I hate sewing seams. Uggg. And I’m so glad to hear I am not the only one wearing a headlamp!

  • This is definitely navy!

  • Thanks to the link to Turks Knot – I’ve bookmarked that website for future knotty issues.

  • LOL!! Nice talk! I just had an excursion, too with size one needles and 100% baby alpaca yarn…..I had to double the yarn, really and up the needle size…..a pain, yet it just builds my yarnie bones.

    I just got done making a three inch garter stitch border in “black”!! That was the knit lagphan log cabin 10 ridge pattern. Loving the concept, I made it in one piece… that, too. Then, I had to make it in a full size; yup!! 100,00 stitches…..probably.

    Yup, I’m making another full size…..bought 10 (ten) 14 oz skeins of yarn; LOL!! Hubby says, “Quit rumbling about the black border yarn!!” I said, “Nahhhhhh!!”

    LOL!! Gotta tell ya, my swing arm 3-way lamp and ‘reader glasses’……and patience…..gets me through the ‘black business’. I find the black border just frames it nicely; elegant…..and I get bored stiff with all the knitting so I put a crochet picot border on them……in black! LOL!!

    Thanks for listening!! DRM

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