My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

TGIF

And because Katherine took this quiz and posted her results, I had to as well.

1038972908 topirisher TGIF
What’s your Inner European?

brought to you by Quizilla

It does make sense. There were no Scandinavian questions on the quiz at all. I guess they don’t understand that’s part of Europe as well.

Knitting News From the Office

The other day one of my coworkers wandered into my office and asked, “Do you ever knit for money?”

I immediately felt the icy fingers of panic touch my heart. I so hate it when people ask me that question, because usually they are expecting me to knit them, say, a fair isle sweater for a fee of about fifty bucks. Then they get upset when I laugh hysterically.

So I responded, quite cleverly, “Uh . . . why?”

He told me that his mother, now deceased, had knitted Christmas stockings for everyone in the family. There’s a new baby in the family who was born after her death. He was putting away Christmas decorations and discovered an unopened kit for a knitted Christmas stocking.

So I told him to bring it in and I’d have a look.

If it’s not too heinous, I’ll do it. Heck, he’s given me enough advance notice. I don’t think I’d charge him, though. Unless the stocking is eight feet long and knitted at a gauge of 8 st/inch.

More Knitting News From the Office

I was talking to another coworker yesterday and she was eyeing Luskentyre in a covetous manner. We have previously discussed the possibility of me teaching her to knit (as you may recall, I asked for opinions on easy sweater patterns a coupla weeks back) and now I think this has clinched the deal. Cool! I’ll be bringing in the size 8 needles and smooth worsted yarn soon.

We are currently recruiting for someone to work in my division and are getting ready to interview candidates. Would it be wrong of me to ask in the interview, “Do you know how to knit and if not, are you willing to learn?”

Guess what?

That’s right, I finished the Demon Sleeve From Hell. I know you are all relieved. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I started the second sleeve, so you’ll have to listen to my incessant whinging about that. “The pattern is sooooo boring!” “I hate knitting back and forth on the sleeve cap!”

Here’s the first sleeve.

virgin jan23 TGIF

And here’s the wrong side of the sleeve cap.

virgin jan23a TGIF

It’s still wa-a-ay cold here. Izzy’s chilly!

izzy jan23 TGIF

I’m wearing Bodega Bay which, as you recall, won a Sweater Oscar yesterday in the category of “Best Performance by an Alice Starmore Aran.”

As I mentioned in my tag-board yesterday, I was a Bad Girl. I ordered the Roscalie Cardigan kit from Virtualyarns. Teresa, this is all your fault.

Cute Stuff!

Cute stuff! That’s what my Gift Faerie left for me yesterday morning! A lovely bag of fun things from Suzanne B.!

suzanne Cute Stuff!

Isn’t that a great little bag? I think it’s perfect for schlepping around my sock-in-progress. And inside:

suzanne1 Cute Stuff!

A cute little decorative kitty that says “Blessed are the purr in heart . . . ” I know Izzy will approve.

A kit to knit a little sheep ornament. This is great! I’ve never seen this little kit before and it’s adorable. The white yarn to knit the little sheep appears to be mohair, so the sheep will be fuzzy.

And a tube of wonderful hand cream! Odie and I both tried it and it’s very nice — vanishes completely, the way hand cream should. This will be very handy (pardon my pun) in combating the cold and the industrial strength soap they have in the restrooms at work.

Thank you Suzanne!

More Cute Stuff!

My Gift Faerie visited me again in the afternoon, with a gift for today, as she;s out of the office on Thursdays. How cute are these?

lolabuttons Cute Stuff!

Tell me these aren’t the cutest little buttons! A gift from Lola L.! My coworkers and I spent a few minutes playing with them and someone suggested that I should use both the cats and the mice on the same sweater. I think that’s a very cute idea! Izzy seemed quite taken with them when I bought them home. She seemed to be unduly interested in the mice so I kept a sharp eye on her, lest she think they were snacks. But I’m pleased to report, all the little mice are still intact! Lola, thank you so much. icon smile Cute Stuff!

WendyKnits presents:

My Sweater Oscars!

Yesterday Purl asked me which of my sweaters are my favorites to wear. What a great question! I had to stop and think about it a little.

The ugly truth is that none of them get a lot of wear. The climate is just not quite cold enough here for a lot of heavy sweater wearing.

Until this winter. Yipes! It’s been chilly! When hauling out sweaters to wear, I realized that I do have some favorites to wear — which were not necessarily my favorites to knit. So without further ado, the Sweater Oscars!

Category: Best Performance by a Dale of Norway Pullover

And the winner is: Jubileum!

Category: Best Performance by a Dale of Norway Cardigan

And the winner is: Kongsberg!

Category: Best Performance by an Alice Starmore Aran

And the winner is: Bodega Bay!

Category: Best Performance by an Alice Starmore Fair Isle

And the winner is: Luskentyre!

Category: Best Performance by a Lace Shawl

And the winner is: Summer in Kansas!

Category: Best Performance by a Pair of Socks

And the winner is: Purple Iris Socks

Okay, I’m cheating on the socks category, as the winner is a pair of socks I made for my mom. But I think they are the prettiest socks I’ve made.

And speaking of socks . . .

Here’s a photo of my sock in progress, knitted from Lang Jawoll (thanks again, Sabine!)

sip jan22 Cute Stuff!

Don’t you love how nicely it patterns? It looks like little waves in the Mediterranean Sea.

I wish I were near the Mediterranean Sea right now. It’s way cold! But today I’m wearing Luskentyre.

Virgin Sweater Update

I’m still plugging away on the sleeve cap on the first sleeve, and I’m almost done. I think the blamed sleeve cap is taking as long to knit as the sleeve itself. Possibly because it’s not fun to knit so I have a tendency to toss it aside.

But I shall persevere.

Morning From Hell

And I’m still frothing at the mouth over it, nearly 24 hours later. But I’ll spare you my rant on the stupidity of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and their inability to deal effectively and efficiently with the aftermath of a train derailment Monday night. (Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident.)

Suffice it to say, I was not feeling my best by the time I dragged into the office yesterday morning, very late.

So the lovely gifts awaiting me were a very, very welcome sight indeed. From Colleen H., the following:

colleen Morning From Hell

Opal sock yarn in a beautiful colorway I’ve not seen before, Regia bamboo sock needles with adorable little sock point protectors, and some sweet little wooden hearts.

I can’t wait to knit up the Opal to see what the striping pattern looks like (is it one of the Opal 2002 Collection?), and to try out the new needles. Thank you so much Colleen! I needed that! icon smile Morning From Hell

(Note: one good thing about the major transit delay — I got a few inches done on my sock-in-progress on the morning commute. Some of my fellow commuters stuck on the train with me looked envious — they probably wished they had something constructive to do too!)

Fortunately they had mostly worked things out by the afternoon commute, so I was only fifteen minutes late getting home to this:

izzy jan21 Morning From Hell

And I worked on this:

virgin jan21 Morning From Hell

I’m now shaping the sleeve cap, working back and forth. Yikes! I don’t like doing color work back and forth, but there’s really no other way to complete this successfully. My backwards knitting isn’t at the same gauge as my forward knitting.

So I guess I ought to just shut up and knit the damned thing, eh? That said, I didn’t get terribly far on the sleeve cap last night. Hopefully I’ll do better tonight.

And I’ve still got some last minute touches to put on my Knitty pattern that I’d like to get done.

It’s way cold this morning so I’m not looking forward to venturing out. I’m wearing my Dale of Norway Sirdal cardigan today, so that should keep me warm in case the office is cold.

Here’s hoping the morning commute is better than yesterday!

Tuesday Back at Work

Well it was fun while it lasted. The day off, I mean. Did a little housework, did a lot of knitting. See what an exciting, on-the-edge existence I have?

Izzy had a mellow day.

izzy jan20 Tuesday Back at Work

Speaking of fun, look at this!

needlecase Tuesday Back at Work

This adorable needlecase was my gift yesterday, from the extremely talented Tracy, of Fiberfever. Tell me this isn’t the cutest needlecase you’ve ever seen. Tracy made it herself (!!) from a fabric that has little cowgirls all over it, lined with a lovely green plaid. Note the little strap across the top to hold the needles in place. And also note that the needle pockets go up in size to accomodate fatter needles.

When I roll it up thusly:

needlecase1 Tuesday Back at Work

There’s a sassy little cowgirl dead center in the middle of it!

Thank you so much, Tracy!

Virgin Sweater

I machine stitched up all my steeks yesterday. In answer to a question in my comments, I do always alternate the colors in the steek — makes it easier to carry the colors along. I did 8-stitch steeks for the front and back neck.

Here’s the body of the sweater with the neck steeks cut:

virgin jan20 Tuesday Back at Work

And here’s the first sleeve:

virgin jan20a Tuesday Back at Work

Boring, but made bearable by the central motif that travels down the back of the sleeve.

Sock Yarn

Thanks for all the suggestions for sportwight sock yarn for my Dad’s socks. I made the first pair out of Regia 6, but wanted to try something else because the colors I’ve found in Regia 6 are sort of limited. So I appreciate all the advice!

Holiday!

A festive dinner last night because I get to sleep late today:

margarita Holiday!

Today is a holiday so I’ll not be venturing out to work. No siree! (Doncha love my new margarita glass?)

My Gift Faerie and Deity have been very very good to me.

On Friday I received this:

magnet jan18 Holiday!

A beautiful magnet clip that will be very useful for my disorganized self! The photo doesn’t show the color well — it’s really a beautiful purple.

This gift is from Melissa, whose blog Loose Ends is another of my must-reads. By the way, if you haven’t seen her post about the bunny puppets from a week or so ago, run don’t walk over there and look at them. They are exquisite.

Melissa, thank you for the beautiful and useful gift!

And Saturday brought this:

chocolate jan18 Holiday!

And this:

opal jan18 Holiday!

More wonderful yummy Valrhona chocolate and beautiful glitzy Opal Royal sock yarn, from Katherine, also a January birthday girl, of Wabi Sabi.

How delighted I was with the chocolate goes without saying, and the sock yarn . . . well, I’d heard of Opal Royal but had yet to see it “in person.” I love it! Disco socks, here I come! Thanks so much Katherine!

And then on Sunday . . .

fudge jan19 Holiday!

Homemade fudge, courtesy of Carolyn, Kate’s sister! Wow! I was so touched and delighted to get this. And it’s as yummy as it looks — we can testify to that. Thanks Carolyn!

Gasp!

Sock Yarn Question

Friday night my mom called me to ask me to remind her of the washing instructions for the socks I gave my Dad for Christmas. Apparently he has worn them for two days straight because of the cold snap. Mom says his feet have been warmer in those socks than any others he owns. She managed to talk him into letting her wash them, finally.

So I’m thinking I need to knit him more socks. I made those out of sportweight Regia — my Dad wears a size 13 shoe so I wanted to use something larger than sock yarn so I’d finish them in my lifetime.

The question is — what other larger gauge sock yarns do you recommend? I need wool or wool blend and machine washable. Thanks!

Virgin Sweater

In between stuffing my face with chocolate and fudge, I finished the body of the virgin sweater. The pattern tells you to decrease at the neckline and work back and forth. I employed a neck steek instead:

virgin steek Holiday!

I did a steek for the back neck too.

Here’s the completed body, all mushed up with the neck steeks.

virgin body Holiday!

I’ve started a sleeve, so there’ll be a progress pic of that tomorrow. I won’t be at my computer all day because it’s a holiday, but I’ll be checking in from time to time. Happy Monday all!