My current work in progress:

1. "T-Rex," designed by Rebecca Danger, knit from Blue moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in the "Lucky" colorway on U.S. size 3 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

New Year’s Eve

izzy dec30 New Years Eve

New Year’s Eve is special for Izzy and me . . . it’s our anniversary.

On the afternoon of December 31, 1986, I stopped by a friend’s house. Her son had just returned home to live and had brought a six-month old kitten named Emily with him. He had picked up Emily on the side of a highway in Richmond, Virginia when she was a tiny kitten in late Summer 1986 after seeing her being tossed from a moving car.

There was already an elderly cat living there who was not amused at having her territory invaded by a newcomer. So Emily was relegated to the basement pending disposition of her case and had been there about a week.

When I was over there that afternoon they “accidentally” let Emily out of the basement. She ran up the stairs, jumped in my lap, turned around a couple of times, settled down, and gave a huge sigh. And gazed up at me adoringly.

At this point they were already getting out a box for me to take her home in.

I already had four cats and did not need another one, but of course she came home with me. I renamed her Isolde, because all the other cats had Arthurian names: Arthur, Kay, Bedivere, and Tristan. (And the dear departed Gawain.)

So Izzy and I always look back fondly on New Year’s Eve.

In knitting news . . .

I worked on my Knitty project last night. No photos of anything, I’m afraid. Did you ever have one of those days where everything that could possibly go wrong did? That was me yesterday. Everything I attempted to accomplish at work exploded in my face, and even the commute in and out was a nightmare.

So I didn’t even attempt to play with my Ott Light. I figured I’d break it.

Emma asked about the rest of my Christmas presents. Well, other than the Ott Light, I didn’t get a lot of knitting related stuff. But I did get some size 0 Addi turbos I needed, the Knitters’ Stash book, and the “knitting stitch a day” perpetual calendar. and my good friend Geane, she of the the SL 2002 FO I blogged about yesterday, gave me a generous gift certificate to Bea Ellis Knitwear which I’m looking forward to using!

I do have a birthday looming on the horizon, so maybe I’ll get more knitting books then.

I’m ba-a-ack

Yes, I’m back to the blog. I had a great few days off, now I’m going back to work for a couple of days. Then the rest of the week on vacation again.

Thank you all for your good wishes for the holidays. We had a lovely time and a nice rest.

Izzy is still thinking about resting:

izzy dec29 Im ba a ack

I did a lot of work on my design for Knitty, so I don’t have alot in knitting news to talk about. But I did also start an Opal sock. It’s from the Southwest Collection, color number 6.

opal dec28 Im ba a ack

So I’m back to my sock knitting.

But please do check out my buddy Geane’s big FO! The SL 2002 pullover, which she made as a Christmas gift for her father-in-law. Ain’t it gorgeous?

And hey, guess what? I got an Ott Light for Christmas. I’m looking forward to experimenting with indoor knitting photography using it.

I’ll be starting my next “big” project soon — the Virgin jacket from Norsk Strikkedesign. But I won’t be making a jacket — I’m converting it to a pullover.

An annoying thing about the Norsk Strikkedesign book: all the charts are in color. The Virgin jacket chart is in dark red and black. I always make a working copy of charts when I’m knitting a pattern that’s in a bound book. It’s hard to keep your book looking good if you knit directly from it.

No luck in photocopying that for a working copy. It was suggested to me that I ought to go to Kinkos and have a color copy made. It was also suggested to me that I probably know more about making color copies and scanning than a Kinkos clerk, which is undoubtedly true. So I experimented with scanning it, and finally succeeded in getting a working copy. I achieved this by lightening the scanned image quite a bit before printing on a color printer. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Have a good Monday!

Merry Christmas

izzy dec252001c Merry Christmas

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and greetings. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday from all of us here at WendyKnits!

A Christmas Sweater Story

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I knit my brother Dave a sweater. It was in a gawdawful bright blue acrylic I bought at Kmart. Knitted in a cable and rib pattern. Not a bad-looking pattern but the heinous yarn makes the sweater heinous.

My brother still has that sweater. Thirty-odd years later.

It’s got fuzzies and pulls and snags all over it. It’s matted in places with cat hair embedded in where Dave’s old tomcat used to sleep on it. But it’s in surprisingly good shape with no unravelling or holes.

In the event of a nuclear holocaust we ought to have bomb shelters knitted from Kmart acrylic.

Believe it or not, not only does he still have it, but Dave still wears that sweater.

A few years ago, his wife went on a campaign to get rid of the sweater. It offends her delicate sensibilities. Dave adamantly refused. “My sister knit this for me,” he’d explain patiently to her.

A couple years ago I knit Dave another blue sweater. This one in a soft medium blue out of Encore wool/acrylic blend, so it was still machine washable. I did a shaker stitch raglan pattern. It’s a thing of simple beauty.

I suggested that this new blue sweater could replace his old blue sweater.

And my sister-in-law tried again to get Dave to throw away the ratty old sweater. He still refuses, and he still wears it.

It does my heart proud! I’ve knit him many sweaters since that first atrocity, but that one is still his favorite.

More about Pepparkakor

I just remembered something else about pepparkakor. Make a wish and put a pepparkakor in the palm of your hand. Push down in the middle of the cookie with one finger until the cookie breaks. If it breaks in three pieces you will get your wish.

Have any of you pepparkakor lovers ever heard that one?

The Christmas Tree

In my family, my mom would always put the Christmas tree up a week to ten days before Christmas . . . with help/hindrance from my brother and I, of course. We must be pagans at heart, because every evening leading up to Christmas Eve, my brother, my mother, and I would indulge in “tree worship.” We’d have the lights on and lie on our stomachs under the tree, gazing up through the branches and inhaling the pine scent. My mother would always put the gifts under the tree as soon as they were wrapped, so we had those to consider as well.

My brother and I (egged on by Mom) would spend many a happy hour, digging through the wrapped gifts, making little mountains out of them, and deciding which on we’d open first at Christmas, which we often somewhat irreverently referred to as “The Grand Opening.”

Swedish tradition dictates that you leave your Christmas tree up until St. Knuts Day, which is around January 16, I think? But my mother always took the tree down the Sunday after January 2, which is my birthday, so I could have my birthday gifts under the Christmas tree. This always pissed off my brother, whose birthday is four weeks after mine. He thought the tree should be left up until after his birthday.

Socks in Progress!

I started working on the first sock from the handspun sock yarn Tracy sent me. Here’s a pic:

tracysockyarn1 A Christmas Sweater Story

As Tracy mentioned in her blog, this is denser than commercial sock yarn. It’s wonderful to work with but it’s too dense for socks for me. I could knit it using larger needles but instead, I’m going to save it for another project, like fingerless gloves.

Happy Holidays All!

izzy dec23 A Christmas Sweater Story

I’ll be blogging intermittently from now until after New Years. Stop in when you get a chance!

F.O., F.O., It’s off to work I go!

My neurotic knitting frenzy this weekend paid off.

fulmar dec20 F.O., F.O., Its off to work I go!

Izzy watched on intently:

izzy dec20 F.O., F.O., Its off to work I go!

Presenting . . .

Fulmar!

fulmar F.O., F.O., Its off to work I go!

To go to the official Fulmar page, with more photos, click here.

Some notes about Fulmar:

I love it. As much as it was a royal pain to knit, I love the resulting sweater. For those of you keeping score, I made the smallest size. I shortened it by a couple of inches, and made the collar an inch shorter than the pattern directed. Also, I don’t think I blocked it quite as much as the one shown in the book.

Instead of sewing the front and back to the shoulder straps, I knitted them together. They were rippling a little until I blocked the sweater, now they look fine (I think). There’s a close-up of a shoulder strap on the official Fulmar page, link above.

And I’m glad it’s over.

What am I knitting now? It’s a secret — a design for Knitty.

But I’m starting something else . . . socks! Yep, I’m back to socks. That’s because I got my glorious sock yarn in the mail from the lovely and talented Tracy!

As you can see, I wasted no time in winding it into a centerpull ball.

tracysockyarn F.O., F.O., Its off to work I go!

The wool is lovely and I immediately started in on a sock. Progress pix tomorrow, Christmas Eve!

I’ll be starting the Virgin Jacket from Norsk Strikkedesign soon, too. I’m toying with the idea of making it a pullover. The back and the front have different designs, and I’m thiking about repeating the back design on the front. Hmmmm . . .