My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Exciting? Challenging?

A question in yesterday’s comments:

“What type of project is the most exciting and challenging for you?”

Good one!

My answer to this is different today than it would have been a few years ago. I used to be the Queen of Arans. Nothing gave me a knitting thrill quite as much as a cable could. The start of a new aran would be desperately exciting — I couldn’t wait to get a couple of repeats under belt so that I could see the pattern pop out at me, in all its 3-D glory.

But alas, no longer. The last couple of arans I’ve made were deadly dull for me. I have a photographic memory and can memorize cable charts by the time I’ve completed the first pattern repeat. Yawn. It’s just the same thing over and over and over. Again, yawn.

(I don’t know why the repetitious nature of this never used to bother me. I’ve gotten crankier and harder to please, apparently.)

So what floats my boat now? Colorwork! Woo-hoo! And non-repeating all-over patterns are particularly alluring. Like the Virgin Sweater I made in January. That was great fun.

Dale of Norway ski sweaters fall into this category to a certain extent. Once I get past all that gawdawful stockinette stitch, it’s very exciting watching the yoke pattern grow. Lillehammer was a particularly fun design — vertical panels and each one had a different motif in it. Ooh!

St. Moritz

Just for grins, I bound off the shoulders and picked up the neckband stitches.

stmoritz may08 Exciting? Challenging?

Here is the whole body of the sweater, relaxing on the couch.

stmoritz may08a Exciting? Challenging?

And I did a bit on the first sleeve too.

stmoritz may08b Exciting? Challenging?

Note to Auntie Lolly

So you think the tornado warnings were something? This is what was going on in my neighborhood last night.

A manhunt is underway in northern Virginia Thursday night for a 17-year-old boy who escaped from the youth detention facility in Alexandria. Police say the inmate may be dangerous.

Emanuel Taboko was in the detention center on sexual assault and abduction charges. Police spokesman John Crawford says he apparently escaped just before 5 p.m. Thursday.

“He broke down several doors inside the facility and then jumped over a barbed wire fence.”

Crawford says Taboko is not taking his medication and is considered dangerous.

Know where that detention center is? Directly across the street from where you parked your rental car.

I heard helicopters all evening, but they did catch the guy later that night, so I can safely (I guess) leave for work this morning.

May Contest

The May contest will be announced on Monday. Watch this space!

Thursday

And St. Moritz goes on.

I stitched the armhole steeks last night, as well as the front and back neck steeks and cut the neck open. Like so:

stmoritz may07 Thursday

I’m going to do a three needle bind-off on the shoulders, then I can pick up stitches and knit the neckband. But I’ll probably finish the first sleeve before I do that. Here it is:

stmoritz may07a Thursday

No SIP?

That is the question. Yes, we have no SIP. I have indeed been working on my secret project as commuter knitting. And I’ve also done some of the plain knitting on the St. Moritz sleeves on the train.

Sneaky, ain’t I?

Of Steeking and Decreasing

A question in my comments yesterday — am I doing the neckline decreases according to the pattern instructions?

Nope. I’m not.

Because I’ve elected to do a neckline steek rather than knit back and forth, I’ve had to alter the neckline decreases a bit. The pattern directs you to cast off x number of stitches for the center of the neck on the first row, then to decrease x number of stitches (i.e., more than 1 stitch) on subsequent rows to shape the slope of the neck.

Well, you can’t quite do it this way with a steek. You can decrease one stitch at a time on either side of the neck steek on each row. So that’s what I do until I get the proper number of decreases. Yes, it does alter the shape of the neck slightly, but not enough to make a difference, in my opinion. I’ve done this on most of the Dales I’ve made without any problem.

And I find it sooooo much easier to simply do a steek rather than knit back and forth.

I’ve finished the body of St. Moritz. Here it is a couple of rows from completion.

stmoritz may06 Of Steeking and Decreasing

And I’m starting the colorwork on the first sleeve.

And I’m still waiting for my home visit to be scheduled for the kitty adoption. sigh.

Cheatin’ on St. Moritz

Well, maybe not cheating.

Judging from some of the comments and email I got yesterday, some of you may have misunderstood what I was doing in the center front motif. Also, I got a request to post a photo of the inside of the front motif that dips down into the border. Here it is from the outside.

stmoritz may05 Cheatin on St. Moritz

There are eleven rounds at the bottom of this motif where there are three colors in the round — but the third color is only in this motif — it’s not carried around the whole sweater. The directions tell you to knit the stitches in the two colors that are present in the whole round, and then to duplicate stitch the third color in later.

What I did instead was to introduce the third color in each row at the appropriate place, knit with the three colors, then cut the third color after the last stitch in the motif. And repeat for the next ten rounds. Then weave in the ends on the wrong side.

Here’s the motif from the inside, ends woven in.

stmoritz may05a Cheatin on St. Moritz

Yesterday I did some more on St. Moritz. I got to the front neck shaping. Rather than cast off and knit back and forth like the directions say, I did a neck steek. Still cheating here, you see. Here it is:

stmoritz may05b Cheatin on St. Moritz

I always do my Dales this way. I think it goes faster.

Kitty Update

I’m still waiting (somewhat impatiently) for the rescue organization to set up the home visit so I can adopt my kitty.

I got a card in the mail from the Montgomery County Humane Society (in Maryland) tellimg me that Naomi (one of our online buddies here) made a donation “in memory of Isolde, who gave pleasure to so many.”

Thank you Naomi, what a lovely thing to do!

Monday

mdsw03b Monday

Well, hello there. This sheepy charmer is for Lindsey-Brooke, who couldn’t make it to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this year. There’s a whole page of photos here.

The highlight of the festival for me was seeing my dear friend Geane. Here we are — left to right are Geane’s friend Berma, Geane, and me.

may0403a Monday

Okay, that’s terrible photo of Geane, so here’s another.

may0403b Monday

With that photo you get a lovely profile view of my hair.

Geane’s on her way home today, but I’m sure you’ll see her sheepy photos up on her blog later this week.

I also met my online buddy Lola at the fesitival. Lola, I am very flattered that you recognized me and so happy you said hello!

So the only thing I bought was festival t-shirts. Weird, ain’t I?

And then last night, another treat! Laurel and Karen (who some of you may know as Auntie Lolly and PBK) came down to Virginia and had dinner with me. They came from California for the festival and we made plans to hook up. Here we are! Left to right, me, Laurel, and Karen.

lollypbk Monday

And they are even more fun in person than they are online. We had a great time!

What Did I Do on Saturday?

Well, I met “in person” a rescue kitty that I saw in an online posting. I talked to the adoption coordinator yesterday and . . . well . . . if I pass the home visit, I should be a mommy again very soon. The volunteer is going to bring the kitty along when he checks out my living conditions, so if I pass, said kitty will stay with me.

So keep your fingers crossed for me. You’ll get all the details about the new kitty as soon as the adoption is official.

This is bittersweet for me. I’m still grieving for Izzy and missing her dreadfully, and at the same time looking forward with great excitement to my new little furry baby. But I think I’m making the right choice moving so quickly to adopt a kitty. First off, this kitty has had a rough time and needs a home. Second, I think what Jerry said on his blog last week about it being hard to stay sad when there are other kitties around is very true. I think a new kitty will help me move more quickly to the point where I can start remembering Izzy with more happiness than sadness.

St. Moritz

And with everything else going on, I did work on St. Moritz.

stmoritz may04 Monday

This photo shows the front. Notice how the center motif, the edelweiss, dips down into the border? Know what a pain in the ass that is?

You are directed to duplicate stitch that in afterward (because the darker blue color isn’t carried around in those rounds). Not me. I just introduced the new color, leaving a short tail, then cut it off leaving a short tail, on each round. Then I carefully wove (weaved?) the ends in. I think this is preferable to duplicate stitch — you don’t have the bulkiness this way.