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Supernova in my Living Room
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Supernova in my Living Room

A supernova of Noro!

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket
Yarn: Noro Cash Island, colorway 11
Pattern:  Free pattern from Bernat
Needles: Size US 8-10, graduated as the blanket got bigger
Ravelry Notebook Page

What a joy it was to knit… I loved every minute, and I plan to make another.  The yarn was obviously the biggest draw here – the Noro Cash Island was decadent to knit with the brilliant colors and the mix of cashmere, wool, and all of the other goodies.  I bought this yarn in the sale bin at Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years ago; initially, I was planning a garment, so I only got one bag.  Had I known that I would make an afghan, I would have picked up two bags (20 skeins).  That would have definitely made it bigger and more “afghan-like”, but it would have been quite the feat to find circular needles for it to fit on!  This was nearly 1000 stitches in the round with 10 skeins.  It was becoming quite heavy, but never became a chore to knit in anyway.

I came across this pattern when searching the free pattern library on Bernat’s website – there are some great patterns for both knitting and crochet – and when I saw this pattern, the wheels started to turn.  (You have to register on the site, and then all the patterns are free!) Noro has that amazing self-striping quality, and in a star-shape afghan, that could be quite eye-catching!  Luckily, my bet was right.  I am thrilled with the way it turned out!

I used a friend’s interchangeable needles from Knitpicks.  I have not taken the plunge to get my own set of interchangeables, but I must say, it is tempting.  I plan to make more circular afghans, and 40″ circs are not available in most stores in a range of needle sizes.  This Knitpicks kit was useful, but I was annoyed that the joints kept coming unscrewed.  I don’t know if this is something that happens often in other brands, but it’s a quick way to lose stitches, and that is not good…  Do you have an interchangeable kit that you recommend?

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket

Noro Star Blanket

I didn’t know as I was making this the star points would create this wavey edge, but I really like it!  As I bound off the stitches and saw the natural curve, I was thrilled with the results.  Blocking only made it better.

Stashbusting is at an all-time high over here – and with all the hockey-viewing lately, my hands have been quite busy.  I have more projects to share very soon!

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56 Responses

  1. Laura

    This is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I have the same problem with KnitPicks interchangeables. It’s frustrating.

  2. Kim

    What a pretty blanket. Noro is so, so pretty. I just wish it were a bit softer.

    I don’t have a problem with KnitPicks interchangeables when I use the little metal “key” to tighten the screw. Did you use the key? The only problem I’ve ever had is one of the cables came lose from the metal join. They replaced it for me.

  3. Yarndude

    Wow, it looks so cool! You know, I have the knitpicks interchangeables and have been using them for years and have never had a problem with the needle coming unscrewed. I have had problems with the plastic cable pulling out of the metal part though…

  4. Kimmen

    That is just a gorgeous pattern for that yarn. Great choice. I have a bag of Silk Garden, I may have to jump over and take a look at that pattern. I have the Denise interchangeables and like them a lot, even for plastic needles. Some people have issues with them, too, (nothing below size 5 due to the size of the join), but I’ve always liked them a lot. And you can make cables of any length by adding connectors.

  5. Laceandsteam

    Overall, I’ve been happy with the KP interchangables. If you’re having problems with the KP interchangeables coming unscrewed, you may need to tighten with the included key. Once I started using the key (which looks like a little piece of wire bent into a P shape) to ensure a good solid tighten, that problem stopped for me.

    Just put the key in the little hole in the male part of the screw (the part on the cable), and then use it to steady the cable while you twist on the needle.

    KP has a tutorial on it here: http://community.knitpicks.com/video/options-cable-key-tutorial

  6. mick

    This is so gorgeous! I have the Denise interchangeables, and while I love them, I will point out that, though they technically go down to a size 5, the thickness of the cable makes that size very uncomfortable to knit with (the needle and the cable are almost exactly the same width, so I end up having to manually move stitches around). The plastic is rather grabby; this was great when I was a beginner, but now I find I use my Addis much more often. In fact, Addi now has an interchangeable option, but I know nothing about them. So, I like my Denises for cotton yarns or anything else that’s slippery, but not so much for wool since they’re rather grabby (and the points are pretty dull). I also have discovered, since I got them for Christmas shortly after I started knitting, that I’m a very loose knitter and rarely use anything above a 5. So, there you have it. I will say that I’ve never had a problem with the joins coming undone, and I love that you can connect cables to one another to make giant cables.

  7. Betsie

    Beautiful! You always make the best stuff :o ) I heartily encourage you to go for the KP interchangeables. I have had mine for about 2 years now and I’m not sure how I would manage without them. If you can wait until they have a sale, it’s an even better deal!

  8. Barbara

    The Star Afghan came out great – it does Noro justice! I agree with “Mick” about the Denise needles – I’ve been eyeing the new Addi sets. One thing I have done in the past on circular afghans is to use multiple long corded needles (Addi’s go up to 47″ I think). I begin with one and, when too large, add in a second of the same needle size. Eventually I may add a third and even a fourth. The circular needles start acting like dpns – just much longer! I can do this because, after 50+ years of knitting, I have a lot of needles!

  9. Mali

    tightening with the little key is the secret with the KnitPicks options. I tried skipping that step when I first got mine, and the air around here was blue with the language being uttered. Once I started using the key, all became well in the knitting zone!

  10. Luci

    Just a note about the KnitPicks interchangeables. I use the little metal pin, that comes with the cables, to tighten the needle to the cable. If I do this I have no trouble at all. If I just use my hands to tighten, the needles come apart frequently. Personally, I love them. The other needles I am really partial to are the Addi Lace. They are so fine, too.

  11. Luci

    Sorry, I got so involved with the needles, that I forgot to tell you how great your supernova of Noro is. The colors are so cheerful, and it would look good just about anywhere you use it. Thanks for sharing your pics.

  12. jess

    I said this on flickr, but I love this afghan! it just turned out great, L!

    I use the KP interchangables and have for years (since they came out) — I usually use a safety pin in the hole to REALLY tighten the tip to the cable, which works pretty well for me. Not sure if you were tightening the tip to cable or not but without it, they’re much more prone to unscrewing. The Addi Clicks set is nice but a little pricey (potentially better quality though) — but I actually prefer the KP cables to the addi clicks cables for magic loop.

  13. Rae

    I love how the blanket turned out! This is my favorite all time Noro yarn & I was crushed when they discontinued it.

    I use the KA bamboo interchangeable needles and have never had them come unscrewed on me. The cable turned in the metal bit where the needle connects, so any stress or extra twist comes out there rather than attempting to unscrew the connection. I absolutely love them!

  14. Julia

    I’ve had the same experience as others with the KP interchangeable needles–no problem as long as you tighten them with the little key–and found to my delight (when I had left the little key in my other bag) that a paper clip also works perfectly to tighten the tips.

    This star afghan is spectacular! I almost imagine it as a kind of meditation rug, something to sit on and feel all the energy of the universe converging upon you… What a beautiful thing!

  15. Elysbeth

    Lovely! Great combination of pattern and yarn.

  16. Avice

    Only one word will suffice: Stupendous.

  17. Harpa J

    This is so beautiful!

    I have had the same trouble wit the KP kit – and I DO use the little key religiously.

  18. Birgitte

    Gorgeous! Great idea for Noro yarn!

  19. kingshearte

    That does look fantastic.

    I love my knitpicks interchangeables, and haven’t had any issues with disconnection. I haven’t tried any other brands, but I do love how slippery the nickel ones are, and I love love love how uber-pointy they are. I hate knitting with dull needles, so for that alone, I’m a big knitpicks fan.

  20. Leslie

    Gorgeous, unique afghan! Well done. As far as needles, I don’t have any interchangeables BUT I am intrigued by the bamboo interchangeables offered by WEBS (www.yarn.com), one of my favorite online stores.

  21. Lauren

    Oh I love that blanket! Wow…. Noro is definitely some fun yarn :-) You never know what color is coming next! Way to go.

    I have the same issue with my knitpicks interchangeables coming unscrewed as I knit (I have the harmony wood ones)…. I still love them though, the 40″ cable definitely comes in handy!!!!!

  22. Marietta (rawyoginimari)

    This is gorgeous, Lolly! I’m going to have to put this one in the queue!

  23. Kathy

    It’s just spectacular! I want to make one! Thanks for the inspiration.

    I have a Denise set of interchangeables, but the connectors can separate from the cord just a wee sliver and then catching happens and I really hate that. Otherwise I’ve liked them. I know the separation happens because of all the yanking you do to move stitches along on the cord, but still… I’m a big Knitpicks fan, and hope to buy a set of theirs soon. I LOVE their pointy, metal dp needles for socks, etc.

  24. Debby

    That is just stunning!!!!

  25. Amy

    That’s absolutely stunning, Lolly!

  26. knitxocre

    oh geez. i love it :-)

  27. Stacey

    I just got the Knitpick Interchangeables and I like them! I too, had some issues with the tips coming loose…but that was before I realized there was a key. Duh.

    Gorgeous blanket Lauren :)

  28. Tuulia

    Wow, that’s a lot of color! Great job – congrats!

    I haven’t had problems with the KnitPicks needles but I use the little tool to tighten the cable end to the needle. They’re my best needles, I have them in all three different materials and I use them constantly. I recently got the HiyaHiya set, and it’s not bad either, but it is expensive and the tightening system is not as good as with KP. I’d say try a few needles of the Options, don’t buy an entire set if you’re not sure. That way it’s only a small investment – and you can always destash the needles if you don’t like them after all :)

  29. Beverly

    It’s beautiful! Talk about cheering you up if you are sick and lying on the couch! I love the star points too….it makes it look like a natural starfish! Great combo of yarn and pattern.

  30. Leonie

    That is divine!

  31. allison

    Wow, it turned out so great! I love the gently curved edges, too. It makes the whole thing look more like a starfish :)

  32. Linda

    What a beauty! Its lovely colours.

  33. emily

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I covet this blanket and must knit one for myself ;)

    I have the Knit Picks inter-changeables and love love love them. I trolled through some of your comments and agree with most of them that you need to tighten the joint with the little key. I have never had them come undone on me, for the record. In fact, I tightened one so tightly once that I had a hard time undoing them!

  34. Susanne

    Looks gorgeous, can you tell me the size it ended up being? that is a poorly constructed sentence if I ever wrote one!!!!!

  35. mimiknits2

    Beautiful!! I use Knit Picks interchangeable Harmonies and only had a problem with one tip unscrewing in all the time I used them (and I probably forgot to dig out the key on that one!) I love the feel of the wood! A friend loves her Addi Clicks, but for me the tips are way too blunt.

  36. Hanna


  37. tina

    Good Golly Miss Lolly—— it is spectacular! Yumminess!!!! I knit almost exclusively with Denise’s. Not the sharpest of tips but I only need that for Supah Lace, and the needles called for are usually weensier than my set anyway so I use Addi Lace’s. Otherwise, I adore my Denise’s and recommend them heartily. I’ve never had one come undone!

  38. Laura

    Noro lust: I have it.

    By the way, if you give the knitpicks needles a really good tightening with the key, they tend not to come loose. I knit a whole Girasole on those without it coming loose once.

  39. Rae

    Wow that came out gorgeous I have been eyeballing that over on Ravelry lately.

  40. Jenna

    This is so, so pretty! I think it looks more like an exotic sea star than a supernova, but it is certainly equally awe-inducing! The combination of color and pattern is just lovely. I can’t wait to nap under it!

    I have the Knit Picks Options and really love them! When I’m putting the needle tips on, I always make sure to use the little tool that comes with it to screw it on. It’s hard not to lose it, but once you get it on there, it’s usually on pretty good. Of course, if you move your wrists more when you’re knitting, it may make them more prone to come off. I’ve really enjoyed them overall, though. Will be seeing you soon, yay!

  41. Trisha

    So gorgeous! What a beautiful blanket! I love the Knit Picks Harmony interchangeable needle set. I use the key to tighten the cable screws and I have never had a problem. They are wonderful and I highly recommend getting yourself a set.

  42. Meredith

    Gorgeous blanket! I use Denise Interchangeables, which never come undone because they snap in instead of screwing in. You might not like them if you prefer metal or wood needles. I love them though!

  43. Josiane

    What a beauty! I really like the wavey edge too – what a delightful surprise to get as you were finishing that already gorgeous blanket!

  44. heleen

    B E A U T I F U L L !!!! I want one as well. Noro is my favourit yarn, love the colors and the way they change.
    I have a set of Knit Picks and never had the problem you discribe. I always use the small key to fasten them. The nice thing of Knit Picks is that there are so many options. Needle sizes until 20 mm (sorry, I am Dutch and don’t know the US sizes by head), joints to attach several cables together (very practical for a blanket like you made), etc

  45. Vicki

    Oh my goodness, that is fabulous!! Love love love!

  46. Grace

    This is AMAZING! This is definitely going on my queue…and most definitely with Noro!

  47. Lauren

    This is just fantastic! I love how it turned out.. I made a circular afghan a while back and I love it! ;)

  48. Julie

    The afghan is beautiful. The colors the best. I wondered how it would look at the end when the stripes would become very narrow. I thought it would be unproportional to the center star and detract from the overall look. Was I wrong!!! The way the colors taper out into thin stripes is perfect. I wish I had a bag of Noro I picked up on sale.

  49. Laura Baker

    Love the colorway and the way this pattern enhanced it. Really beautiful.

  50. brenda

    holy cats, that’s a pretty blankie!!! you go, girl! i have the denise interchangeable set, and i have had some separations before, much to my discontent. after a few tear-soaked experiences, i just re-inforce the connection with a tiny piece of scotch-type tape. it can be a lil’ bit snug or catchy when working with some yarns, but it’s a darn site better than clutching at your work as it drops off the needles. if the pieces are sticky after removal, a little bit of alcohol on a cotton swab takes care of that. something else i learned in 2009…the lifeline (dental floss strung thru your work at intervals)…helps keep me sane.

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